26 November 2016

catching up over coffee

I have been taken out for coffee for my birthday in spirit many, many times...a few of you even bought me a whole pot of the good stuff...THANK YOU.

Your generosity energizes me as much as the coffee would have, knowing your prayers are attached, and it has been bringing me such joy to be able to help Claudin and Josie the way they need it, the way we want to.  Thank you.
Nora and Christie
Friday evening, the hospital sent Josie home...and she is now bedridden, but very happy to be home.  We spent some time with them today, and I wish all of you could have sat on that bed with me.  
It was so dark in her room, and she's flat on her back, all day and night.  While Matt and Claudin caught up and the kids played, she started back through her story from these last weeks and months, speaking more than I have EVER heard her speak, so happy for some company and so bored.

It was by far the most inspiring hour of my week, her sharing trial after trial after trial, calling each, "another chance to grow in our faith," calling our God "the Master of the storm", explaining to me person after person who have suggested God should be questioned, suggesting they try a voodoo approach, suggested they turn away from God.  
She told me how God has always been faithful.  Told me how she always will be.  Told me how God is the only one who can give them this baby, can hold this miracle...but that even if He doesn't, she will trust Him.  Praise Him.  Follow Him.

As she articulated her faith, it gave her courage...

She told me again and again that our prayers have been as heavy to her as things she could hold in her hands, and I left her the Father she trusts so unwaveringly with such a full heart, heavy with prayer and inspired by her spirit of praise.
When Claudin planted this church as a student, with many new converts, he and Josie felt strongly that they must live in the same community where the church was, so that they could serve the church well and live in community with it's people.  Today, that means they live away from both of their families (very uncommon here), and yet pour out their lives in an incredibly poor area where there is one and only church.

I was thankful, today, walking away through the village, my heart being pulled all over the place, that his family is a faithful light in this community, not outside of struggle, but in it, through it.     
Please keep praying for Josie and for her baby, a little girl...these are long days and she's still far from the due date with much risk as she lies.
Though it is raining again now, today was the first sunny day in so very long...beautiful.
The "roads" could use the drying out!
A few pictures from the last days...
Thursday evening we had Friendsgiving, thanks to a beautiful turkey that Bubba brought us all the way from Canada!!

Nora's bestie Joel...he's six months younger, but it won't be long now before she can't keep up with him physically :)
This is the part where Nora decided to show everyone her belly :)
Nora's birthday hugs!
Nora's happy if she's in the middle, and Sofie's happy if she's not wearing pants :)  Love coming home to happy kiddos.
Swiss Family Robinson, their very favorite.
My third year students giving English presentations on common health issues, symptoms and treatments.
And lots of little sweet moments throughout...
Nora seems to be working on a being a leftie...
and adored the little kitten given to us as a thank you present last week (and then given back a week later...one cat is ENOUGH!)
Rain or shine, Louzan, Paulcine, Myolene, Granny, MaCodo are outside/inside cooking for 100+ people...so thankful for these ladies, so thankful for food for all.
We're always finding Sam's little animals everywhere, but this one on the way to chapel was cracking me up the other day.
My family, altogether for Thanksgiving this year in Ohio...my dad, sister, brother-in-law, my mom's mom and my mom's sister.  Grateful for them and grateful they could be together...
To finish, the girls were playing with their secret decoder kit the other day, and got apparently invisible ink tattooed all over their little sister...ever the willing subject :)  

There may be a lot of chaos in our home, but it's all disguised as fun.

Both Nora and Sofie are quite sick...these last few days have been rough, Sofie sent home from school with fever and Nora mostly unconsolable with runny nose and fever...thank you for your prayers for healing and patience.

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