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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Eye glasses video

I'm not sure what Justinho was happier about the new reading glasses, or the plastic box to keep his stuff out of the rain. But all the same, we want to thank everyone who participated in gathering glasses for us. What a huge blessing. And for that matter, if you are still waiting to send them to us, just send me and e-mail and we will get that organized. Anyway, here are some photos of others who received glasses.

From Angola with Love,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Home is where the Heart is

Although I miss family and long to live closer to everyone, my heart resides in Angola. It is hard to really explain my feelings, but while I was visiting the U.S. for the past three weeks it felt like I was walking in a newly opened toy on Christmas morning; with yet a few more buildings and bridges to peel off the plastic. It seemed like I was in a dream, where everything was brand new. And the people were just as perfectly made up like Barbie and Ken dolls.
Then when we woke up the first morning back in Angola and got on the road for an 8 hour drive to our home, it was like relaxing into my favorite old pair of sweats' in which I feel the most comfortable. All the smells and traffic jams and people on the streets were surprisingly endearing. I was ensured, in my heart, that I am living exactly where the Lord would have us live. Thank you Lord for the conformation!
Thank you also, Lord, for the lesson in humility yesterday in our travels. For I had begun to believe that I was a good parent. Before yesterday, I had always had the good, quiet kids on the plane and it was getting to my ego. But with the blessing of a screaming one-year-old and a vomiting 6-year-old, I was quickly reminded that every other easy, comfortable trip before now was given to me by Your abundant grace. You helped me know what it's like to be the scum of the airplane that receives all the "over the shoulder" dirty looks. May I too show grace to others that don't seem as good as me, when I think I have it together. You, Lord, always know how to put life back into Your perspective. Thank You.
 And in our weakness, He is strong!
As I was growing quite weary of my screaming one-year-old and vomiting 6-year-old, so were the Angolan officials. They could take our chaotic family no more and showed us out the door, by-passing customs!!!! (we were afraid they would either take some of our luggage or charge us a whole lot to get it through) Thank You, Thank You God of the universe. Nothing is too difficult for You. Now 80 blind people will have a fancy new walking stick. And more than 200 people will be able to read again with their new glasses. And John's clinic will benefit from all the surgical materials in out luggage. We didn't know how we would get them through customs, but God did!
 My best friend, Mirjam, asked what it was like experiencing miracles. But just like the Israelites, I could easily forget or explain it away the very next day. Or  I could overlook it all together as  I angrily clean up vomit off the airport floor. Don't overlook the miracles in your own lives! Don't let life be so busy and selfish that you can't see the Lord moving. I know he is moving in the lives of all of you who pray. The Lord hears, and He acts.
I was afraid that our visit to the U.S. would make us want to return and not sign our new 2-year contract. But as much as we enjoyed climbing Mt. Olympus in Salt Lake City with its incomparable views, and as much as I love roaming through the isles and isles of the endless choices that Wal-Mart and Target have to offer; I am quite content with our unreliable electricity and the growling generator that covers us, and the constant need to pour water into the purifier, and the dear ladies who cry "peixe!" outside our house as they try to sell their dried, salted fish.
I am content with our one baby hill in Benguela, that the Angolans call a Mountain. I am content with the greatly reduced menu options that my kitchen has to offer, (I cannot speak for John on that one). But we are content and delighted to be here.
I don't know what the future has to offer us on a 10 year scheme, but as for now, me and my house will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15), where ever that may be.

Congratulations James and Jamie Clements on your beautiful marrage, may the Lord be with you.

From Angola With Love,