Thursday, October 29, 2015

2 weeks till furlough and a request

We will be driving from Chicago to Battlecreek in 2 weeks!!!! Wow it is coming up very quickly. We have a friend here from our church and we have a friend from England here with a team and our days are FLYING by right now. I keep thinking that I will get some packing and organizing of the house done, but.....well there is always next week when they are all gone :) If you see us walking around West Michigan improperly dressed for the weather it could be for 2 reasons. 1- I never got us packed cause we were too busy or 2- my kids have been living in Africa for 5 years and outgrew their winter gear ages ago. Well, technically, both might be true :)

That being said, if you are living in West Michigan and have any old snow pants that your kids will not be using this year and you have yet to donate them to a charity, I wonder if we could borrow them for the winter and then donate them on your behalf in January (or return them if you need to keep them for a younger child). Please email me if you would be willing to let us use snow pants sizes 8-10 for Mercy, 10-12 for Faith and 12-14 for Elijah. I do not know what those sized equate to in S,M, or L cause we buy by age in Lesotho :) We also do not really want to buy thick gloves if we do not need to as they are no use here in Lesotho, so if you have warm gloves we can use, those would be a great help too!!!

I hope I have not scared you all away with the emotional rollercoaster that has been my life for the past 2 months. I am realizing that I do not necessarily handle big transitions well. Moving and then planning furlough on top of a few other things happening in my life, has left me feeling a little emotionally exposed. I will try to pull myself together so that we can really have a great 9 weeks home in West Michigan though! Hope to see many of you soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Anguished Heart

It is so heartbreaking to begin the actual discussions about our transition to not being the directors. We had a real heart to heart with our management team about the qualities they are looking for in their new director/s. Before they really began to share their thoughts, they first expressed their gratitude to have us, and their desire to have us reconsider and stay longer. It was a real blessing to hear them say that, but at the same time, it made me very sad. None of us really want to leave here in 2 years, but we know that we are not being called to stay longer than that. We have felt from God that it will be time for us to go back to America in 2017. We are all stuck in the crazy experience that all missionaries find themselves in, we have more than one home. If I am already a mess just thinking about having to leave in 2 years, then I cannot imagine the distress and anguish we will feel when that day comes.

What it boils down to is that I feel I am abandoning my friends. I am disappointing and hurting people by being here, and I will disappoint, hurt, and break the hearts of many when I leave here. Our staff and the BG kids have learned to trust us, and that is huge. They have made themselves vulnerable and shared their lives with us, and we are walking away from that trust.

We are going to be leaving on a 9 week furlough on November 11th. Maybe it will give us some down time to think and restore our emotions, but knowing that it is time to begin the search to replace ourselves is a lot more emotional than I had thought.

Please pray with us that we as a care center will seek the Lord's will in the new directors, who will be chosen by the BGL board. Please pray that BG will be even greater in the years to come than it is now. Please pray with us that we will always do what is best in the sight of the Lord, and that we will trust Him to heal the hearts of our many friends and family around the world.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Used and disappointed

Living in a third world country with a first world upbringing can really be damaging, not only to myself but also for those around me. I have been really struggling with something since Thursday and I am not even sure how to put words to my thoughts.
For those of you who have followed my blog over the years, you have all met and heard about Lucky, the orphan boy who used to "work" for us. He has been living with an uncle for the last couple years, and he visits us about once or twice a year. This year, he came in late January to ask me to sponsor him and help pay for his high school fees, books and uniform. Bryan and I decided that this was something we could do for him since education is very important to us.
Then he showed up last week cause it was spring break, and he had a whole list of wants; new shoes, soccer shoes, a soccer ball, more school books, food, money to start his own business, etc etc. He has always been one to shoot for the moon, so having him ask for things is not new, but something felt different this time. Gone was the gracious and thankful boy I used to know, and here was a demanding and expectant boy. Where did I go wrong in helping him that caused it to change? We certainly could not get all his requests especially when he wanted name brand shoes that I wouldn't even buy my own kids or myself. After getting affordable and sensible shoes, a ball and some food, he did not thank me, he asked for coloring books and crayons for his nephew.
I changed from his friend to the person who gives him things when he needs them. I know that I did this to myself somehow, but I am not sure what I should have done differently along the way so we could stay friends. He was no longer interested in me or my kids, but it was all in what he could get from me.
I feel used and ashamed that I did not teach him better. He is a good boy and I want him to grow up with gratitude for the help he was given, and not with an air of expectancy when he meets white people. I am really disappointed in how things turned out and aim to try to explain myself to him the next time he visits. Please pray for me to have wisdom in hopes of undoing what I unintentionally did to this friendship. Please also pray for him to realize the gifts he has been given in life, and to show gratitude to everyone he comes across in his life.