Sunday, December 13, 2015

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie ten Boom

We have learned over the past forty-eight hours that for Christians there is never total darkness.  There are flashes of light, some dim, and some blindingly bright as caring Christians all over world send prayers on our behalf.  The dimness or brightness has nothing to do with geographical distance but with the singular sincerity of the soul whose hearts break with ours and unite with ours in hope and love.  Father Steven has relented and asked forgiveness for his anger and has agreed to help us as much as he can.  He was so hurt by the screaming anger and hurtful words of Juliana, he reacted purely emotionally.  Back home, he realized that it is Charlini who is the one in need of help.  Shaban, too, has been at work along with many members of the Bunda community who were so shocked by Juliana’s behavior that they were hurt as well and hurt for us.  Our doctor, Dr. Chris, has told us we have no idea how beloved we are in this community for all we have done for and with the people of Bunda.  We are not alone, not here, and not around the world.  Your prayers and heartfelt comments like Joe McCrabb’s on Facebook, have renewed our hope and faith.  We will not give up, we will not stop loving, we will not stop doing all that we can especially now that we have felt the presence of so many others in our hearts.  You may not think you can do much from so many thousands of miles away, but you are wrong—you are here with us.  God has sent us a few “thank you” notes as well to help us keep our spirits up.   Karen was able to go to Mwanza (three hours to the south) to get her hair done which always lifts her spirits and got her away from here to help get her emotions under control as well.  Having Shaban (who knows the culture so well) to talk to all the way there and back (it was just Shaban and Karen in the car) also helped immensely.  To add to all that, while we have been here eleven Christmases, for only two of those did we have turkey, but yesterday, Karen bought the last frozen turkey in Mwanza (a sixteen pounder) and brought it home, so we will have a traditional Christmas family dinner.  Thank you, God.   While not exactly feeling elated or full of Christmas joy, still we have hope which St. Paul wrote in Romans 5: 3 that  “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  Funny how healing finding the right passage in the Holy Scriptures can be.  We thank you humbly knowing that our feeble attempts here are not worthy, yet you pray, encourage and support us nonetheless.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Remember us and Charlini as you worship today.

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