Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
I was in the kitchen doing dishes when Dylann ran in and asked, "Mom, can I give Daniel a pair of my shoes?" I should have seen this coming. The brothers who hang out at our house have maybe 2 shoes that aren't falling apart between the four of them. Although it isn't uncommon to see someone wearing the only 2 mis-matched shoes they could find that would still stay on their feet, I knew Dylann wouldn't rest until Daniel had real shoes on his feet. "Why should I have 3 pairs when they don't have one?" Feeling motherly pride well up inside, I promised a trip to the market to find shoes in their size. That seemed to satisfy her so she skipped out to play.
Because we are still learning the culture here, it isn't always as easy as, " I see a need I can meet, so I will just take care of it." I have been advised by wise workers here of the ramifications of giving handouts. But the needs here are so real. I had had a conversation with Simon, the oldest about his mother earlier in the week. I asked how they got money for food if she didn't work. He told me that she sold the sugar cane at their gate that grew in her garden. Equipped with this info I walked over to Mamma Jennifer (the boys mother), and explained that I needed sugar cane. I asked, however, if that instead of payment I could use the money to buy the boys shoes. She smiled and said yes.
They boys hopped in the back of the truck and we headed to Republic street. The street where you can find everything there is to find here in Mbale. Simon picked up Moses, the 3 year old, and we all held hands and headed toward the street corner where there are used shoes, probably from America, lined up neatly for sale. The men saw us approaching and immediately began forcing shoes on the boys feet. Not knowing exactly what they would want I just stood back and watched. The younger ones were all smiles but Simon kept turning the shoes over and bending them. I asked him what was wrong, and he said "Madam, these are not good shoes." We disappointed the salesman and walked to find another place to look. Eventually we found shoes that were good quality and satisfied everyone. Shoes I would have paid .50 for at a garage sale in the states mind you, but they were happy. And the salesmen were happy to get way more than .50 from me that day. I didn't pay asking price for any of them, but I admit I am still working on the whole barter economy thing.
Feeling success, we loaded up the truck and headed back to the boys house. I am still smiling as I think of the looks on their faces as they showed off their new shoes. I picked up my load of sugar cane and headed home. I am reminded of the "Father" who loves to give good gifts to his children. (Anyone know what to do with sugar cane?)
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Monday, February 16, 2009
So as I drive home I am mentally forcing laundry up on the list of priorities. OK. OK. I will tuck the kids in bed, and then I'll dive headfirst into the pile of laundry and not come up till it's done. With my game plan and bad attitude firmly in place, I tuck, squeeze, kiss, pray, and turn to face the giant, when Dylann says, "Mom, remember when Daddy could raise his hands all the way up and was still really far from the ceiling in our old house? Now that we live in the trailer it is easy to touch the ceiling." "Yes." I say curiously wondering where she is going with this. " I think God brought us here to bring us closer together as a family." Wow.... She rolls over, done with her story. I walk out, far from done digesting what she has said. How many times am I so distracted by the needs, wants, perceived hardships of my situations, that I miss out on the blessing of right here, where He has me. I never wanted to sell everything we owned only to show up empty handed at a trailer door. But I realize now, we didn't show up empty handed at all. God's love living inside us is something we brought with us. That love for Him has filled the walls of our home (even if they are made of metal). That love is bigger than discontentment. That love is warmer than than our old fireplace in the winter. That love makes us laugh at the sink hole in the kitchen. The love of Christ in our family has made our trailer a home. It has helped us overcome many hard things during our transition to Africa. And that love will travel the ocean with us as we make our home on foreign soil.
Snapping back into reality...I remember my game plan....me vs. laundry. With a renewed sense of "I can do all things through Christ...", I will bring the love of Christ to the pile of laundry. Grateful to be where He placed me tonight....up to my eyeballs in jeans, soccer uniforms and socks. Just as Christ pours His love into me, I can love my family by serving them tonight. Thanks Dylann for reminding me of things I had forgotten. So Dylann, here's to a trailer full of love. And Hagen, here's to a drawer full of socks.