You win some. You lose some. This time, we won.
The biggest challenge Michelle and I faced coming to Zim this time was with our luggage. We packed valuable and large items (office equipment) to gift to the orphanage organization to help with its management, organization and efficiency. Technically we carried too much. There is always a concern when flying the particular route that we flew (intentionally vague)... that items may be stolen when transferred from one plane to the next. For that reason, we had to carry our valuable items on our person. With that we were concerned about security and questioning. Bringing such things into the country can be frowned upon... and if authorities want to they can either confiscate or impose a hefty tax. We had prayed much in advance for all of these possible negative outcomes to be avoided. We did have 2 very close calls and I feel certain I made one enemy in transit...however, God graced us with amazing favor. For some reason, once we landed here, our bags were not checked AT ALL. Everything made it through. Glory! Your prayers for traveling mercies have been a gift.. please continue to pray. We are winning.
Having Michelle (a new Board Member) here with me this time is an immeasurable gift... and I may never be able to put fully adequate words to the meaning. She is at home here in more ways than one and I thank God for her. The kids have instantly taken to her and it has been so nice to divide spotlights, to feel that none of the children is being overlooked and untended to. If there is anything better than one visitor, it is 2. Thank you, Jesus, for Michelle. (And if there is anything better than 2, it is 3. Hint Hint.)
The orphanages are way behind in their expenses. This is hard to see and hard to know, but hard drives results. I have never been more determined than now to use the place that God has given me to serve and the voice he has asked me to broadcast to work hard. Due to finances there is a food shortage here. The kids have been eating bread for breakfast and porridge for lunch without any meat, vegetables, fruits or dairy. As you can imagine, they are hungry. They do not dwell on hunger or complain about it. Michelle and I purchased a ton of fruit and vegetables and last night we treated the older children (we stay with) to delicious meat pie. It was such a joy to observe their delight in eating a simple meal.
During the day yesterday we played with the younger children. They did some dances for us and were treated to some pecans that had blown over onto the property from a neighboring property with pecan trees. I asked Momma Fatima where the pecans came from and she responded "It is truly a miracle. God has blessed us with a wind that blows pecans to us." My friends, if that isn't manna then I don't know what is. I had some pecans too. Teeth are nutcrackers... did you know?
The girls have been cleaning the carpets with brushes and hot soapy water. I swear, if I had to clean my carpets that way... well, I'd throw temper tantrums.
The hugs are even tighter in this Part VI. It is amazing to observe how love swells and continues to grow. Nothing about this place is foreign to me anymore. When I arrived, they said... "welcome home". Home is right where Jesus places you; He calls us to locations to love. To each of us He has granted a territory and to each He has appointed a position and a task. Michelle and I are studying the life of Joseph while we are here because we'll be teaching in a few days. Something impressed on my heart today is that Joseph, by accepting God's will and keeping his posture toward the Lord even in desperate circumstances, was eventually appointed to a position of power. However, in this power Joseph remained enslaved for quite some time. In power, he was a prisoner. Eventually Joseph was appointed to be 2nd in command over all of Egypt.. but his position was not royal. Joseph didn't cease to be a servant and even when it appeared that Joseph had much as in influence and access, he had been entrusted with a hugely significant amount of responsibility. He didn't have a relaxed, laid-back, easy going life on any level. Obedience and walking in God's will doesn't promise us ease... if anything, it appoints for us great responsibility. We can never be more than 2nd in command... always in service to our great King.
Today we are going to church to worship corporately but everyday we are singing His praises.