Apparently calloused knees don’t burn or tan…

We took Anna and Leah (our two younger interns) and Doug (our ” “older” construction intern) and his wife Christy to the lake yesterday. I got lobsterfied (that’s a new word). I will save you all the horrifying tan line pics because there are so many! I look like I’m ready for war with a red checkered tablecloth. There are previous lines, swimsuit lines, and my cover up (gym shorts and a T) all competing to see who can make me the most miserable today.

We did have a blast though. It’s always a tiring restful little day trip.

I was looking at my legs on the way back to the car and realized I had white circles on both knees like I had tried to wear tanning bed goggles around them or something. You tanning girls know what I mean-the raccoon eyes. Except this was raccoon knees, or a Zorro mask, or TMNT…nevermind. I realized that one of two things was happening either really bad moisturizing probs or my knees have hit the floor in prayer more times than ever. I know number one is true…come on, we live in Africa! But…I also know that more than anything else, I’m taking home calloused knees. We have roughly 22 days left and I’ve realized God needed to bring me here in the middle of nothing and no one to find a deeper relationship with Him and a stronger reliance on only Him. Not my friends, not my family, not Dr.s (at least in person), not my church, JUST HIM. I would like to think I was strong and He knew I could handle all of “this.” The truth, I was weak and needed to be stronger, and this was how He gave me calloused knees. I will never trade them in. They will forever be MY white spots in this tanned world.

I have a feeling my knees are just the beginning because in seeing the strong…my weaknesses stand out like sore thumbs. My guess is on my knees is where I’ll stay.

Do you have calloused knees? If so let’s be (weak) friends together!!

Blessings

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It will forever be a part of our life…AA.

You know when something big happens in your life and you define everything from either before or after that point.  Like for instance, before we had children…I can’t even remember that, but anyway.  Or how about, after we had 6 kids…  Yeah, moments that define everything from then til the next defining point.

AA-After Africa.  It’s engrained in us forever.  After we lived in Africa, God called us to 2nd Milk.  (Hosea 14:3 more details to come!)  After Africa, and our time in Malawi, we are now answering the call to serve the least of the least.  The ones who don’t quite have a “voice,” although the cries and tears are more audible than most words, but it’s universal.  No translation needed.  The symptoms and the signs of their fragile bodies…universal, and the 15 month old you are looking at that is the size of a 3 month old.  No doctor needed to say they are malnourished and need food.  After Africa, you are going to do this ___________.  After Africa, your kids will know and do this ____________.  After Africa, you may end up in AA.  Just kidding.  Although, I understand more than ever why people try to drown things out of their life with “things” when they are running from God.

I can’t even fathom what our next milestone would be.  I am good with AA for the rest of my life, if God sees fit.  If not it’ll be a new, After.  And even though, that seems daunting and worrisome (Phil 4:6) I won’t succumb to the “what-if’s.” I know that Jesus will never leave me and the days I can’t stand he’ll carry me.   It’s a beautiful thing when He shows you just how intense His love is!  Sometimes you just don’t see it until hindsight.

So for now, AA is home.  April 8th we will once again start afresh.  It’s time.  Our family is forever changed and it’s good, but there is also some not so good we need to work through.  We are praying for God’s guidance on which school will fit our family best.  It seems financially, public will be best, but as a mother I wonder if that will open up a can of worms and bring on battles for my children’s hearts and souls that may strip us bare.  Where do we live?  How and when?  All kinds of questions, and you know what?  I am turning them over to him!  Completely. (Psalm 4:1) I am trusting Him with the details this go around.  If I try even one iota it may cause set backs that I can’t afford.  I’m not saying it’ll be easy or perfect because it won’t.  The battle has already begun in a HUGE way that someday I hope to share with you. I have been fasting and praying this last week because of it and I am believing, based on God’s WORD, that He wrote, promises He says, we will have victory!   I will fight for my family and the hearts of my children always.  (Neh 4:14)

Humbled and thriving~

 

As you can guess or if you follow us on FB you will have seen we crammed as much as we could in the 6 weeks we were there.

We tried our hardest to fit it all in, but as some of you know we just couldn’t ever work out a time for some one on one. I hope if we didn’t get to meet up, you might have gotten a chance to stop by during our night of sharing. By the way, if you didn’t take a selfie I don’t have your picture posted below :(
It was a much needed time for our whole entire family to regroup and seek wise counsel, prayer and worship time with our very large church family! Lol

Early and late night coffee/ teas and sonic, breakfast, lunch, dinners, sleepovers (we are young at heart!) sharing with small groups and a church in Texas, the new High Rise trampoline park, where I completely humiliated myself without thinking twice, a few movie nights that I may or may not have fallen asleep in, family Christmas parties, Dr visits galore, Target and my beloved Green Bean all made the list! We loved every minute of it and wished we would’ve had more time, but even if we had a few more days we would’ve wanted more. That’s a good problem because we have so many family and friends we adore.

Thank you for making us feel so loved. Thank you for being so gracious and making or trying to make our agendas workout to meet up. Thank you for following Jesus and taking care of us while we were home!

❤️

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The lyrics (Oceans by Hillsong United) during home “Crosschurch” today couldn’t have said it better for me this past week.

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where (MY) feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

 

I would chalk this up as one of the worse weeks in my entire life…

Part of our back wall fell down due to all the rains.  Ruthie had malaria and we are pretty sure Mia had it, too.  We treated her because it won’t hurt her and we didn’t want to wait to go and see if they had more test at the hospital and pharmacy.  Malaria can multiply by the hour and since she’s had such strong cases (twice) we didn’t want to wait.  Now we wouldn’t necessarily do that on a regular basis, but since Ruthie just had it only made sense.  Not that its contagious…at all!  It’s just they share a room and they have gotten a lot of bites lately.  The electricity has been so sketchy this whole entire month.  Four of the momma pigs had babies this week…yes that’s a pain…we have pigs running out our ears.  Some of them got out this week and ate the neighbors maize.  (which we replaced) I finished one of the best and by far the funniest book series I’ve ever read in my life.  Pathetic that is a downer.  It  was a highlight too, but the bad part is…it’s over.  I’m sad.  I relate to almost every character when I read and so the characters each are a part of me…I know dramatic and pathetic.  Right?  I can’t believe I just told y’all that.  I can not help it.  Maybe at 35 I am still trying to figure out who I am.  ???

Then to end the week, we had a baby and her grandparents (her mother passed away in December) come for assistance on Tuesday.  I was so excited to be able to send them with formula and cereal to get Chisomo back on track.  She was over 15 months old and weighed all of 12lbs.  She was alert, but cranky, and drinking water and some formula.  By Wednesday night/early Thursday morning baby Chisomo had passed away.  The knock came Thursday morning that grandma and grandpa wanted me to know, and for assistance to take the baby back to their home village.  I was crushed.  I couldn’t even hear the words Ms. Jane was telling me.  You know when your brain is in a fog, and you can’t quite make sense of it.  I have once again questioned why, and what in the world, why didn’t I send them to the hospital.  It just never entered my mind.  I remember when they came on Tuesday, and I was trying to think about how much formula and cereal to tell them to feed her.  I just silently prayed in my head that God would give me wisdom for the situation.  I have run it through my head a million times: “was I not listening?” “was I so engrossed in helping that I just couldn’t pause to pray out loud and then listen?”  Maybe even if I had sent her to the hospital (if I had thought of it) it wouldn’t have made a difference.  I am trusting today after wrestling the last two days with all of it, that God will one forgive me if I wasn’t truly listening, and two, that if it was still her time, that at least her grandma and grandpa will have seen Jesus through us even if just a glimpse.   Will you please continue to pray for us?!  Will you pray for Chisomo’s family?!  Will you pray for the other babies that will come our way?!  We need wisdom.  I’m not a doctor or a nurse.  I am so not qualified 99.9 percent of the time, but God promises to stand in the gap and use my weakness.  I do not like not having control.  God is breaking me more and more, and showing me that He simply is I AM.    I am never truly in control in the first place 99.9 percent of the time.

So this song is for you Baby Chisomo!

(We Believe by Newsboys)

We believe in God the Father!
We believe in Jesus Christ!
We believe in the Holy Spirit!
And He’s given YOU new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He’s comin’ back again!

So until we meet again, rest in Jesus arms and know you were loved sweet girl!  You will never cry, be sick, or hungry again.  My feet may have failed, but my faith remains the same.

Baby Chisomo

Baby Chisomo

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Wanted to give you all a short follow-up on all the building going on at EH.  I love seeing step-by-step photos of projects.   Don’t you??  I love to see where it came from and the tiny stages of progression,  and then the big reveal at the end!!!!  It’s all so Extreme Home Makeover-ish.  I wonder if we could get Ty and his team to come finish it in a week?! haha Either way,  you can guarantee I will be saying, “Move that bus” before unveiling the finished Lodge and the chicken house!
I can’t wait to see how God uses the new chick project.  I wonder if an egg can bring someone to know Jesus?  I wonder which came first…the chicken or the egg.  Wait…no I don’t wonder that.  I don’t even care.  I do care that the chickens and the eggs are going to provide protein and sustainability for our program and I do know a chicken could bring someone to know Jesus!!
We are believing God will bless it and it will provide more than we ever could’ve imagined. For the love of “stage” pics like me, here ya go! :)

I don’t have any current pics of the chicken house but when I do I’ll share!

Footings? Is that was this is called?

Footings? Is that was this is called?

Stem walls

Stem walls

Look carefully they are holding wire up not just doing warm ups! Lol

Look carefully they are holding wire up not just doing warm ups! Lol

Loading the wheel barrows and then running up the ramp to dump them in the big truck. One after another.

Loading the wheel barrows and then running up the ramp to dump them in the big truck. One after another.

Pouring the slabs

Pouring the slabs

Cement slabs are finished!!

Cement slabs are finished!!

Yesterday we took a road trip to the town of Thyolo. We had posted about flood victims here needing help and you gave! So we delivered.

With the initial monies of $250 we bought a 50kg bag of beans, 160+ water bottles, bags, and gas to make the trip! With that we fed 50 family units with 2-4 meals depending on how many people in their immediate family. Thank you for that!!! It may not seem like a lot, but we just wanted to be able to report back with exactly where your funds went, assess the situation, and make some connections for any future money coming and “flood” teams coming.

We didn’t really have a plan when we set out, but we took Steven with us and went to where we knew there were homes lost. Jimmy, was a part of the government team assessing the situation in Thyolo. He took us to a village an hour away where the families had set up home in the school rooms.

I wasn’t sure when we first got there if they were going to be receptive and I’m pretty sure they were a little leery of us, too. It didn’t take long though before they were all smiles and ready to laugh and hang out!!

We weren’t there for long, but left them with the hope of Jesus and a little love from all of us. We told them they were being prayed for here and in America, and we will continue to pray for them! They honestly were more happy when Jason told them that Jesus was the true bread and water of life, than us Americans that brought the tangible food and water. I’m pretty sure we basically had church up in there because the second we mentioned Jesus (in English before it was even interpreted) they were “uh huh-ing” and doing there little yodel-yelping they do with their tongues. I won’t even say it “may have” because in truth it TOTALLY made me tear up! I was so thankful God brought us to that place where we could love on His children. I would’ve loved to love on others too don’t get me wrong, but knowing they were probably asking Jesus “why” or “how” or “what”, and then we showed up on a whim to let them know they weren’t forgotten. Well…its just beautiful, priceless, and something that will stay with me for a lifetime.

So, thank you for sharing and caring for a people you’ve never met. Thank you for praying for them. Please continue to do so, and thank you for trusting Jason and I and our team to do right by your gifts. I know sometimes we give and wonder where it actually goes, or if it really helped, and I can promise you the people you blessed won’t ever forget it. I hope you don’t either!

Hugs and blessings!!

miles of beauty

miles of beauty

tea trees as far as you could see

tea trees as far as you could see

The men/women wore these yellow rain jackets with open baskets on their backs.  They would chop, chop, chop the tea leaves and then toss over their shoulders in the basket.

The men/women wore these yellow rain jackets with open baskets on their backs. They would chop, chop, chop the tea leaves and then toss over their shoulders in the basket.

D. C.'s office in Thyolo!  Love those doors!!!

D. C.’s office in Thyolo! Love those doors!!!

part of the "road"

part of the “road”

one of the homes that toppled

one of the homes that toppled

giggles and all

giggles and all

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Ethan measuring out beans

Ethan measuring out beans

Steven was a huge help!

Steven was a huge help!

Beans, beans, and more beans

Beans, beans, and more beans

Serving with my main man

Serving with my main man

Leah and Anna (our 2 current interns)

Leah and Anna (our 2 current interns)

Jason and I with the head woman and Jimmy

Jason and I with the head woman and Jimmy

signing the register of visitors

signing the register of visitors

Some of the families and their children

Some of the families and their children

I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in I don’t even know when. I don’t like telling myself I’m going to do something when in the back of my mind I’m pretty sure I won’t finish. If there’s one thing I’m not…I’m not a quitter, until I absolutely have NO other choice. I’m stubborn like that.  Ask my husband. This year I feel different. I want 2015 to be about more than survival and the mundane. So, I am starting where I left off on one of my last blog post about getting my house in order. We are setting aside family time for devotions and prayer and just hanging out with a purpose and being intentional about it. Not the randomness we’ve been used to for years.  I pray it’s something that gets so imbedded in my children’s hearts they will want to carry it on with their own family someday…in the far, far future.

My resolutions this year:

•Read through the Bible along with my home church. It starts today!! You can join to by finding the reading plan at www.crosschurch.com. I’m writing and hanging the plan in our diningroom where we seem to do life the most, for my boys to see.  I hope they take on this challenge for themselves!

 

•Praying intentionally and specifically with my children after dinner at night. We have our prayer calendar going and adding to it daily!! (Calendar for ongoing prayers and sticky notes close by for a temporary prayer request) We have our Pastors, close family (specific names) and all of our extended family, close friends (again specific names bc I think that is so important!!) our support team, our church, other missionaries, other missionaries and orphans we support as a family, our kids, their future spouses, kids and in-laws, our Esther’s House staff, kids, and widows, along with a list of other things!  We would love to add you to our list!

Our prayer board and Bible plan!

Our prayer board and Bible plan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

•The third resolution I have this year was a challenge from some close friends that are real with us, obviously, (I will keep them anonymous) for Jason and I as a couple. The challenge to basically respect each other more to where we aren’t making little “jabs” at each other. You know the funny put-downs you get caught up in when you are in a crowd to make people laugh. (Even though we were laughing hysterically) Yeah, those that maybe you don’t realize are actually tearing down that person from the inside out slowly but surely.  That’s our challenge and my personal goal this year (bc I can’t tell Jason what his personal goals should be) to love and build my husband up in a crowd rather than make fun and joke about his_____.  That in turn means I will be making you the brundt of all my jokes now!!  Lol

 

That’s it in a nutshell.  I think a lot of other goals will fall into place if I follow through with these! It’s like having my cake and eating it, too.  

It’s the million dollar question(s).  When are y’all returning?  When are y’all coming home? How do you feel about going back?  What food was on your “must” list?  Where was the first place you ate?  How are the kids feeling?  Is it harder this time or the first time?  What’s your greatest need?

 

So tonight as I’m pondering all that God has blessed us with these last few weeks, I figured I’d write them all out and share as much info as I can without you calling some 1-800-LOON-E to anonymously report me.

I’ll start with the easiest and see if I can make it to the hardest without my eyelids closing and drool causing the keyboard to start smoking.  If it post with a lot of nonsense at the end you’ll know I “crashed” and my chin hit “send.”

When are we returning?  We head back to Malawi this Friday morning.

Where was the first place you ate?  Taco Bell Drive through (two taxi drivers that were shifting us from one airport to the other courtesy of the airlines) Which turned out not to be the best choice…food that is, not the shuttling.

What food is on your “must” list?  In no particular order…Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Arby’s, La Huerta, Market Place Grill, That Little Pizza Place, Starbucks, Chuy’s, and The Green Bean.  We have accomplished all of those and many more EXCEPT my very own personal request…The Green Bean…I’m going to throw a 3 year old tantrum if I don’t get to eat there.  Just warning you.  Basically I’m going to stand and bang on the front door like in the movies until the owner walks over and unlocks the door for me; and ushers me in to watch her cook and we talk about life and laugh til we cry and leave BFF’s; and she becomes my children’s Aunty.  (And I pretty much just threw in a bunch of semicolons there because I just couldn’t leave it all alone nor is my grammar skills working at this hour; )

Is it harder this time or the first time?  It is definitely harder going back this time.  If you don’t understand that.  I’m sorry.  No, really just catch up on life with any of my previous post.  :)

How are the kids feeling?  Mixed emotions.  The girls are ready to go back and see Esther, Asher, and Ms. Judith!  Lol.  The boys are trying to talk me into changing their tickets to a “little” later…  Kreyton flat out wants to stay here.  Truth.   I don’t judge them, they know they are safe to tell me exactly how they feel.  Little FYI, IMB will not even let you go on the mission field with children our age if that tells you anything.  And that’s just all I’m going to say about that.

What’s our greatest need?  I would say it depends on what level we are speaking.  Spiritually we need your prayers, your messages, and your uplifting scripture to read over and over.  Physically my kids would say we need Cereal!! Haha.  No. Really.  And financially we need your continued support!  Our family couldn’t do this without all of you so thank you for your giving the last year and a half!!  Unlike IMB missionaries we are not funded through our church.  We raise our own personal support and actually we love it because we get to share this journey with each and every one of you.  You are our biggest cheerleaders!!  We have been incredibly blessed and humbled by your generosity.   We are believing God for 2015.  If you aren’t plugged into this journey financially and want to “hook” us up monthly go here or here for one time donations visit here.

How do you feel about going back?  I don’t even know where to begin with this loaded question.  This is the thing I am what I would call an open book when it comes to writing.  I have been told by some I share too much, but by MOST that they are encouraged by the candidness.  So here goes…remember when Jesus was in the garden praying?  (Yep, I’m using my Jesus card because if He can do it, then I can, right?)  Well, yeah so I have been praying if “this” cup can passeth over me…well then I wouldn’t exactly be too upset.  This is what I will be upset about though.  If I miss out on the biggest blessing of my life from not sticking out my commitment.  Fulfilling my commitment and still leaving too early that God doesn’t do all He had intended on doing through (all) of us.  So.  I want to stay here at “home,” but I want to go back to Malawi if the best is yet to come.  Just Lord, send it quick like.  In the meantime you could pray for a little dose of joy for all of us.  Okay a gigantic dose!

 

Lastly and the most POPULAR Million Dollar Question.  When are y’all coming home?  I’m pretty sure I just answered it.  I will share this with you.  Our 2 year commitment will be up this July.  I know right?  Where in the heck did the time go?  Trust me the days were long, but the months were fast.  We are fervently praying for God to show us to stay, to come home, to go to ______, or that He’s going to return before any of it and we won’t need to make a decision.  God clearly, and I mean clearly, showed us we were supposed to come to Malawi.  Trust me, having gone down the road of selling everything, giving up your jobs, and buying one-way tickets once before, makes you a little gun shy the second time around.  God will have to make it that clear for our family to stay and/or to go again.  That’s all I know.  No more and no less.  Will you please join us in praying what God has in store for our family?  Six months seems like we have some time to think and pray before we make a decision, but a lot of missionaries have already made new commitments at this point, and I know how fast time will fly, too.

 

It wasn’t 20 questions, but hopefully you feel enlightened and know how to pray more specifically in the days and months to come!

 

Challenge yourself this year!  It could be your last!

So this is the last of my meet the staff series for now.  Mostly because this IS the last of our personal staff…for now!  ;)  I don’t know if I have ever clarified what I mean by that, but as of now we don’t live on campus.  We have our own separate home so that means we have our own staff here.  That’s why I introduced our staff here on my blog.

Henry Kalitera, born August 19, 1968.   I saved him for last even though I meant to write about him long before now.    He is unique to our staff in that he doesn’t work here at our home, unless something goes wrong.  I will get more into what he does in a moment.  First, I want to share a little bit of personal info about Abusa Kalitera. He has been the Pastor to the Church of the Nazarene here in the boma for four years.  He is married to Agnes.  They have 4 children: Matrida who is 14, Pricillah 10, Violet 8 and Grey almost 2.  They do not have a garden at their home, but Agnes is a teacher at the nursery school.  A personal prayer request for them is that God will heal Henry’s body fully and completely.  He has been sick for several weeks, and seems to be past most of the sickness now, but still feels very weak.

Henry’s home village is Sabwera Village here in Ntcheu.  His mother and father are still alive and reside in Lilongwe.  He has 2 brothers and 4 sisters. Pastor Henry finished Form 4 (which would be compared to a high school diploma in the States) and went to college for electricity technician and went again for motor vehicle mechanics.  He attended a theology school and is currently working on a diploma to be recognized by the Church of the Nazarene.  I asked how he came about to know Jesus and he gave me the typical PK story!  I was pleasantly surprised!  He said, “I grew up in a God-fearing home, and was exposed to all the religious things. But I had no intentions or desire to become a pastor.” The Principal of Nazarene Theological came to him after form 4 and asked him to go to seminary classes because of his father, and he did it for fun.  Still no intentions of becoming a pastor because of the sufferings which most Malawian pastors, including his father, go through.  Meanwhile, (back at the farm…jk) he is doing his electrical and mechanical work. Henry was married to Chrissy. They have 3 children who still live in Lilongwe, also.  (time period from 1990-2000)  In 2000, long story short Chrissy had just come home from the college where she graduated as a teacher in April. Henry becomes ill for a couple weeks, and when he felt better he had some business to attend to.  He discussed with Chrissy and she said if he felt better she guessed it’d be ok for him to do that.  So he comes here to Ntcheu and the very next day he receives word that Chrissy has passed away last night.  His mother had went to his home to visit and check on him and found her ill instead. She attended to her on her death bed. To this day, Henry does not know what happened to Chrissy, and he is hoping to meet her in heaven where she will tell him why she left so sudden like that while they were celebrating her graduation as a teacher. They were hoping their lifestyle would change! He said, “Only God knows.” I could still see the pain and love he had for her.  He was very distraught over it at the time, but he said a friend/pastor had come along side him and spent lots of time with him to give him the support he needed during those difficult days.  Y’all, I wanted to bawl right there at the table, but was afraid he might fall apart too and then I’d have no clue what to do next.  I mean hugging on a grown man, who happens to be a pastor in a world where if you even hold hands (boy and girl) you are considered possibly married but definitely sleeping together.  Wouldn’t do.  Then, if Jason was to hug on him well…anyway.  I felt like I had invaded a very real and personal part of his life.  During that time with the pastor is when he realized God was calling him to do his work all the rest of his life. This brings me to where we are today.  Through connections, Henry came to maintain the Esther’s House vehicles while Ms. Cindy was here and that is how we came to know him.  Henry shared with me that he wanted to do something more with his life to help others, too.  He wanted to be able to help surrounding pastors who are struggling and hurting in their villages.  Pastor Henry said most pastors want to flock to the towns because there are larger populations. He wants to reach these pastors in villages because of their sufferings to help ease their pains. He was already helping a few pastors, not monthly, but on how God provides to him. He did all of that before he even became a pastor which is what discouraged him in the first place. Pastors in America look quite different than the pastors here a lot of times they are the last to be taken care of instead of the first or second or third.  So that’s where OUR (God+Henry+us) story begins.

Jason and Henry have opened a shop up down the road.  It’s basically a big yard with “known” boundaries.  It does not have ceilings, walls, or even floors if that’s the vision you have for this “shop.”  This is one of those God things where He worked it out to not only help Henry and his family survive with some income, but we rent the yard in front of the church so it helps his church out.  They are currently building the walls of the pastor’s house through the success of the business.  The main purpose of the shop is schooling  young men and women for free to help them learn a new trade that will serve their families and their families and their families…well you get the point.   During the teachings though Henry is investing in their spiritual lives.  Teaching them about the Bible and how to be good stewards with their money and their lives, all to help the struggling pastors in their home villages.  You see, Henry sees that investing and teaching them to tithe to their church would be part of the solution for those pastors he has a heart for!  What an amazing vision God has given him.  Currently the shop has 6 men we are teaching mechanical, driving and electrical skills, too.  We have 4 that have already gone on!  It may seem small to some, but for 10 families plus Henry’s family and a small church (God is helping, through us and all of you who support us) to help influence and pay it forward-the numbers are limitless.  Who knows what children 50 years from now could be saying!  You know those multi-level marketing people charts…or the ones your health teacher showed you in high school…yeah completely opposite categories, but that’s what I’m envisioning here. ;)

Now you’ve met Henry Kalitera!  I hope you love our God story as much as we do!! We would love it, too if you would come along side us and pray for favor on Henry’s life and all that revolves around the shop!

I am holed up here in my bedroom writing today (Saturday morning) because they are slaughtering turkeys, cutting up a pig they butchered yesterday and there is just “stuff” everywhere.  If I ever want to eat again it’s best I keep to myself.  And bring in the bleach and water hose tomorrow when it’s all said and done.   We are celebrating with our staff, the EH staff and all of their immediate families (yes that had to be clarified lol) with a whole hog, turkey and all the Thanksgiving fixings this evening.  I will post some pics this coming week!  We are excited to just spend some time getting to know everyone and their families and laugh and eat…or at least try to eat for some of us.  Or maybe I’ll just hang out and laugh, and keep a stash of gummy bears in my pocket.

 

Blessings!

Yes he is inside the car :)

Yes he is inside the car :)

explaining car parts...or something like that

explaining car parts…or something like that

Jason wrapped it all in a big plastic bag last night...it basically looked like something off of NCIS

Jason wrapped it all in a big plastic bag last night…it basically looked like something off of NCIS

Henry and Grey. Such a little cutie!!

Henry and Grey. Such a little cutie!!

Henry and Agnes with Violet and Grey

Henry and Agnes with Violet and Grey

The other day I was peeling potatoes in the kitchen, and just having one of those casual prayer/talks with the Lord in my head.  Just thinking through the usual, “What am I doing?”, “Why am I here?”, “Where is this leading?”. I feel as though the work I am doing here not very useful.  People question our motives.   They have even said we aren’t here to help people. The have “hated” on us with their words and FB posts for the world to see.  It’s all of the devil…I know, but it’s hard to not retalliate.  Hence this post.  (I kind of am defending myself.  okay I totally am, but there’s more to this post than that if you stick with me) I have so wanted to lash back at a lot of the negativeness, but that is not what the Bible or Jesus has called me here to do.  I am here to do what God called me to do.  Jesus, people JESUS, was hated and scoffed even with his own “people” and his intentions and actions were the purest.  So, what makes me think ALL people will love us…the Carney’s…the name all on it’s own brings a good joke.  That’s okay though we are Carney’s and we’re proud!!  I feel like I need a hoorah and a fist pump.   Aaaannnd we love to laugh, mainly at ourselves, so it all works out.

God placed these words on my heart (as I was mindlessly sorting through the trash in my head) “Set your house in order.”  I spend most of my time here inside the walls of this home.  Not what I pictured my “mission life” to look like.  God has carried, dragged, and pushed me through some really difficult days here, and I will, AM, forever changed from it.  It  is finally bringing me to a new normal within myself.  I am geared up for the next leg.  The next leg for me “setting my house in order.”  I am challenged to pour scripture and life lessons into my boys (and girls), and have some deep conversations with them. I see that in their near future they will be set out for their next leg of the race.  I pray daily that God will use our time here for them as much as me.   I pray that we will get our family in order for what’s to come.  I pray that while we are here we will help and love on as many as possible and that PEOPLE will see the good.  I realize this morning that people are looking to us to be their savior, to give them EVERYTHING they need, to keep giving and giving, when really all they have to do is look to Him.  He’s the one with all the answers, not us.  Aaaannnd, I need to speak the same words to myself, and look to Him for acceptance and gratification, not from the same people looking at me.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

By the way if you look up the scripture about setting your house in order…this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth:

2 Kings 20:1 “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

I would just like to say I am thankful he didn’t place all of those words on my heart (gulp), but we are all dying the moment we are born…so if I live to be a 100 or if I die tomorrow I want my house to be in order!!  I want my children to be rooted in Christ.  I want to know that I, at least with the Lord’s help, took care of what He entrusted me with first.  After that I pray that I have helped people all over the world see their need for Christ, not for my feeble attempts at “helping” them because it will never be enough.  And that’s ok.  (that was for me not you)

 

Hugs

Lace