Friday, September 25, 2015
“The good news is that every morning we have the choice; not to be controlled by our infirmities nor our past but by purposely designing our day to respond with love to God’s need of us.” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive
Learning that your life doesn’t have a “best if used by” date is a good thing—as is knowing that your years are not numbered by a disease but by God and His need of you. Being loved and cared for by your children who accept the aches, pains, and disabilities that age brings is also a blessed thing to receive and wonderfully humbling as well. That being said, while I may be returning with a fresh and God-graced outlook on the years remaining, I will still have hypertension, diabetes, bad feet, prostate problems, and the inability to attend church services because of the need for a western toilet every twenty to thirty minutes. I cannot walk far or stand even long enough to preach a short but powerful sermon. I miss church a lot although the bishops and pastors come to me and we talk and plan for the future and will do things at the mission so that I can be included. We will be having our annual conference in early November here in Bunda and ordaining some new ministers while welcoming some new churches into our now court certified church structure. Bishop Festo’s sister, Esther, who has been a friend for years, has graduated from seminary and will be ordained and appointed to the church in Kabinja, the church we started and where, at the first service, I personally baptized 82 new Christians. The schools will still need overseeing, teacher training, and direction. Karen had to dismiss a teacher recently who felt she had to hit the children to make them mind. There are still biosand filters to build, solar projects, and goats to give to widows every month now (thanks to a generous gift from a man on my watch forum). We still have elections to live through, and every single project we have begun in the last ten years is continuing and will need our guidance, careful tending, occasional pruning, and expansion and change. Yes, I will be around for many more years than I ever thought I would have (assuming no rhino attacks), and while I will not have to have cataract surgery, I will have to have more prostate surgery in another two or three years. It’s not the end of a fairy tale where everyone lives happily ever after. The love of my life suffers on a daily basis as well, but nothing can separate us from the love of God and nothing can deter us from doing what we can in spite of our physical and financial conditions. We will carry the Word, expand the Kingdom, and live lives that become the Gospel, the Good News, to the best of our ability. We’ve been given more time to do more and our gratitude dictates that we can do no less. It is as Helen Keller says, “I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” Words we should all live by if we have offered our lives and our service to our Lord. Christ never told us it would be easy, only that it would be worth it. Thank you again for all of your continuing prayers, support, and encouraging posts and emails. We feel loved beyond what we deserve, but we embrace each of you who reminds us that we are not alone here, nor alone in the service to the poor, the helpless, the orphans, the widows, and all those in need. God bless every single act of kindness you freely give.