We're still here...I promise! I miss you!
My bones are tired and my heart is full, and it's taken it out of me...but here we are.
Tuesday was our end-of-the-year staff "Thank You" lunch, and it was just really special.
It was special to go out, because going out for lunch simply isn't a reality for the large majority of this beautiful country....which is why everyone is looking so serious and formal. Lunch in town was a big deal.
It was also special for everyone to celebrate the end of a school year that has represented an incredibly amount of hard-work, perseverance and commitment to the Lord. Being "staff" represents a LOT of service, and we are SO thankful for such a servant-hearted staff! It was fun to be able to serve them.
But the best part, as always, was the speeches. Having an opportunity to speak and publicly reflect is an important part of this culture, and I just love that. What a great way to finish the year, by allowing each staff person--from night watchmen unable to read and write to professors with doctorate degrees--to reflect on His faithfulness, to count their blessings, this year.
The very things Matt and I lay up at night praising the Lord for, they praised. What a gift.
They talked about how few of their fellow men HAVE jobs. And how many who do are abused and mistreated. And how many more are living in constant strife with coworkers living in darkness, practicing dishonesty and jealousy, laziness and corruption.
They talked about what complete and total joy it brings them to be working and living in a family, who are like-minded in Christ, and who are each doing their jobs as unto Him with accountability, fairness, support and love.
They talked about how Phil never loses patience, how Claudin exudes so much wisdom when our hearts are flustered, how our watchmen are of faithful, how our kitchen ladies are so quick to forgive and move on with love when there is misunderstanding among them, how Lucner is ready and willing to have the hard meetings and to confront with love, how Granny is mother to us all. There was a reoccurring theme of understanding...joy over everyone's commitment to be slow to anger and anxious to understand each other and our students, the needs and community around us, to assume the best of each other.
I was just so blessed to hear those many prayers answered, as that this kind of community doesn't come on it's own without much work and prayer and patience...consistently. So blessed.
If we can continue to be the kind of community that is focused individually and as a whole on Christ, I can't help but imagine what wonders God might continue to be able to do through us, as His vessels.
We also had a great few days with Grandpa and Ms. Cindy...the girls just adored having time to color and read with them, to catch caterpillars with grandpa, to play hair salon with Cindy and to build legos together. Very thankful they were able to come and experience a bit of our lives and get to know some of the people and experiences that make it so rich.
Nora continues to be more and more ornery and wreak more and more havoc. She could NOT be more fun...or keep us more on our toes!
I finished First and Second Peter and am deep into Acts...
If you need some rekindling of that first love you had for Jesus, some passion for evangelism renewed, some renewed vision for His church...just sit down and start in on Acts with me. I have struggled to put it down, and it's impossible to keep looking at your days the same way...