Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Burning Shack

Sara and Angie....our actresses

I just got back from my 3 days at the Villa…..God moved so powerfully.  The Lord spoke to us through the devotionals, the circumstances and a drama that the kids came up with for our Weds service.  It was awesome.  He just kept showing them (and me!) that "ALL things work together for good for those who love the Lord".   The kids so need to really believe that.  So do I.

  Our devotional was about a man who got stranded alone on an island and he found driftwood and made himself a shack.  He cried out to God for rescue and the next day his driftwood home went up in flames.  He complained to God asking why would God allow such a thing when he was already suffering so much.  Soon a rescue boat arrived.  He asked them how they knew he was there and they mentioned the smoke!  After we read that story was when Sara said it.  She said, “I think Hae Young’s being gone is our burning shack!” 

 Then in the evening they created a drama about a missionary who gets hit by a car while preparing to go on the mission field.  The missionary (played by Angie) loses her leg and has to wear a wooden one.  When she arrives in the bush with her translator (Sara), she is attacked by cannibals (the Villa boys and several of the younger girls)!  They bite her wooden leg and are surprised and frightened and this causes them to be open to the Gospel.  You should have seen the part where Sara translates what Angie’s says to the cannibals.  It was hysterical!  I was laughing so hard.  It sounded like a mix of grunts and Korean words and English.  Sara was so animated and funny!  Then we spent some time talking about how God uses really horrible things for our good!  It was such a sweet time.  

After that they opened up about how hard it was for them to have to adjust to having Elvia, Marlyn and me as their new leaders out there since we are all so different from Hae Young and Hye Jin and from each other.  I told them that I totally understood that, but challenged them to think about how hard it was for us too.  We are all experiencing the burning shack together!  The next morning around 3am the Lord awakened me to pray.  I was sleeping with the boys so I couldn’t really get up and sing out loud, so I sat there in bed, looking at the moon and began to sing songs of praise to Him from my heart.  I was so overwhelmed by His presence and I sensed Him saying, “Betsy, you have all that you need.  You have Me!”  So the next morning during the devotionals, I shared how God had touched me with that truth and asked them to consider dwelling on the given and sharing that which cannot be lost.  The Holy Spirit really seemed to touch each child and we ended up praying for the nations together, using a cloth map which had been tucked away and forgotten in a drawer.  So precious.

Hae Young wrote in the middle of the week saying that her doctor there said he thinks she has altitude sickness.   That seemed really strange since the Villa is only 3000 feet.  Her email was factual and lacked warmth which worried me.  But in total answer to prayer, she wrote again today even before I had a chance to answer her, and the tone was more like the Hae we know.  She says that now the doctor has found tumors in her thyroid (benign..... thanks be to God) and that the fatigue continues.  I am so wanting to be there with her because I know that the greatest battle she faces is in her mind, no matter what the source of her disease.  So please pray that that God Himself will keep helping her stand on the truth and that He will heal her completely. She has children to care for and many miles to go before she sleeps!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

River joy

Truly this has not been one of the easiest at the Villa.  One malfunctioning well pump+ 26 children on vacation for a week equals some wild happenings and smells!  But the not-having-of-something makes you oh so grateful.....

and yesterday was just pure joy in that river.  An unexpected blessing in the middle of much water hauling!

Our sixth grade teacher, Keidy, invited us to have lunch in the home she grew up in with her family.  Home for her is an hour by dirt road from the Villa.  We set out, all 28 of us smooshed into the two Jericho vans, and arrived dusty and dry after that bumpy road trip.    

Keidy's mum (actually her grandmother who raised her) was waiting for us.  She had prepared a huge pot of arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) and had made a juice out of a local fruit called Nance.  Her humble home was ours for several hours and it was such a blessing to wash clothes in her pila (outdoor cement basin with a cement washboard) and to take real showers.
Keidy serving arroz con pollo

Keidy and her Mama

Keidy and Juan Carlos

I think it was Keidy's idea but we were all thinking about it.  We had seen the river on our way into town.  It was the cleanest looking river I have ever seen here, not the usual muddy colored, litter strewn rivers you commonly see.  No, this one was inviting and it had a strong current.
entering the river

my swimming buddy

Julio, Carmen, Lissel, and Vanessa


"Welcome to the Swimming hole at the Bridge"
pinl parasol lifeguards

River joy

We walked  in together, tentatively at first, not sure of the depth or the strength of the current.   Julio was the first to plunge into the swirling water and it took him down quickly but without harm. We watched him bob up and down the river as he just barely missed rocks along the way.   Soon pairs of children (we use the buddy system while swimming) were plunging and floating, swirling and giggling as the current took them down the river.  I don't know how long we played like that.  I totally lost track of time and of facts like the age of my frame.  The river carried us, cradled us.....and our worries seem to float right down that river.  And we burst into joy.

We still don't have that water pump working but somehow the water feels lighter in the bucket today, knowing that the One who takes care of us knows what we need and surprises us with joy.