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Monday, July 29, 2013

This is No Sacrifice

When John and I got married, we played a song called "This is no sacrifice, here's my life." And I loved those words but never really understood them until now.
There are some who have praised us for our "selfless" acts of selling our things to serve the blind in Angola. If I could convey our understanding of God and His Kingdom, and the amazing encounters we have had because we left our comfortable world; you would realize that we have sacrificed nothing. Instead, we have traded up in life. I have the privelege of being reminded  daily of our many blessings. Daily, we get to feel the reward of helping others in need without looking for them. Our children see, everyday, other kids who don't have it so good (although, they don't always sit content with the same "old" toys). I'm not bombarded with commercials for the latest and greatest gadgets telling me what I should be wasting my hard earned money on.
I've seen my children's prayers get answered. I've seen my husband grow in the Fruits of the Spirit. I've seen the Lord actively working in my life. Even when I thought I didn't have the kind of Spiritual Gifts that God needed in a Missionary, but I get to see Him use me! I can't hide behind all the "truely qualified" ministry people. I get to be that person. My life is so full! So blessed, so unified with my family.
I have made no sacrifice of true meaning, but I have traded up in the Kingdom of God; and want to hear no more of how amazing we are. If we were so amazing, God would have been able to teach us and use us in these ways right there in the U.S. But instead he had to send us way over here to get our attention. .
When I hear someone thanking me for coming here, I feel so humbled. It's like someone thanking me for eating a piece of chocolate cake. I just love my life.

From Angola With Love,

Note: The wording I used today, "traded up" was taken from the book "Love Does" by Bob Goff.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Proud to be an American

Happy 4th of July from Angola. It's the coldest time of year here, which means low 80s, brrrrrr. I'm loving it! I wore long sleeves all day today and didn't get hot, this is the life!
Anyway, our blog today will be a reflection on why we are proud to be Americans. I can honestly say, that before moving here, I was quite indifferent. Like many youngsters, I just didn't know how good I had it. But after living away from our precious land of Liberty for almost two years, the American pride is welling up inside me.
Let's start with road rules. You may not agree, but we are so very organized on the road in the U.S. and the people actually obey the rules, and cops only stop you when you break a rule, and not just when he is hungry. Thank you also for reliable street lights.
Customer service, when I walk into a store and I have to greet the staff first, I don't feel wanted, then they will be bothered that I had the audacity to bring in my children. My friend actually was asked to send her son outside to wait for her! And forget about exact change, if they owe me anything under 50 cents its totally acceptable to make up for it in candy. (My sons love that)
Thank you also America for paved roads! As we are driving back home from visiting a friend or a church outside of downtown, we all take an automatic sigh of relief as soon as we hit the pavement and the car goes silent and our ab muscles relax! Aaahh.
Thanks America for having enough teachers that our kids can all go to school at the same time in the mornings. Here, The even grades go in the morning, the odd grades go after lunch and many high schoolers go in the evenings. They have to share the buildings and the teachers. This goes for public and private schools.
Thank you America for having four seasons.
Thank you America for selling ground beef.
Thank you America for cleaning our tap water, thank you for tap water.
Thank you for vaccine options for our children.
Thank you for wonderful education options.
Thank you for Wal-Mart and coffee shops, and movie theaters.
Thank you for votes that count.
Thank you for water heaters!
Thank you for not having Malaria mosquitoes.
Thank you that we all have the option of electricity.
Oliver says, "Thank you for cartoons in English"
Zekie says, "Thank you for toys that don't break"
Romie says, "America?? Eu não quero ir no avião." (I don't want to go on the airplane.")
John misses green grass, baseball games, and steady electricity.

But living in Africa does have some perks. . .

like two wheeled school buses.

and walking boutiques.

massive termite mounds

nursing mommy's photo op
hunting exotic game



and giraffe

and of course my precious boys.
Happy Independence Day America, we miss you!

From Angola with Love,