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Monday, April 30, 2012

Things That I've Learned...

Since moving to The Village one month ago, I've had the opportunity to learn many new things.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather something of a collection of highlights.  Let's go...

Lesson #1:  We need to rotate our foodstuffs on a more regular basis.  When we moved to South Africa in 2008 we reached a point during packing where you just stop organizing and begin cramming things into boxes.  Apparently, one of those things that was crammed was a half-eaten jar of bacon bits.  Unbeknownst to us, those bacon bits had expired in 2006.  I'm happy to report that synthetic bacon, specifically Betty Crocker's Baco's brand bits, continue to make every bite better even 6 years past the expiration.  And I would be willing to bet they actually contain a greater nutritional value now than they did then.

Lesson #2:  My children are not as intelligent as we would like to believe.  The other morning Amber and I awakened to overhear an argument betwixt Meredith (age 6) and Drake (age 3).
Meredith:  "I can't hear you"
Drake:  "I'm not listening"
Meredith:  "I can't hear you"
Drake:  "I'm not listening"

Meredith:  "I can't hear you"
Drake:  "I'm not listening"
...and so on and so on for several minutes.

Lesson #3:  God bless America.  We've had lots of adventures, or more accurately, misadventures with various agencies of the republic in which we reside.  We had to renew 3 of our family's passports and in order to do so we had to travel to the US Consulate in Johannesburg.  We'll just summarize by saying we have a much greater appreciation for working with people who actually know what the job is they are supposed to be doing.

Lesson #4:  Do not, for any reason, urinate on or near a beehive.  Recently we've been working on team housing.  Team housing is on the other side of The Village from our house.  And sometimes during the course of an average day it becomes necessary to answer nature's call.  In an effort to maintain the American efficiency referenced above I've discovered a nice, private corner of the property behind one of the containers, thereby avoiding the long walk to and from my personal commode.  And I must point out that I've been using this private corner long before the killer African bees decided to build their hive there.  But possession is nine-tenths ownership, and I've made the decision that by reason of their possession those bees may now own this parcel of ground.  Also, I was the recipient of their unpleasant reception.  
FYI - God created bees to target the eyes of their antagonists and this isn't the first lesson I've had on the subject.

Lesson #5:  Life and ministry are exponentially easier now.  I'm sure there will come a day when we are tired of children or staff knocking on our door all hours of the day and night.  But so far we've seen it both as a privilege and a blessing.  Even simple things like children's Bible study are so much better.  For instance, the children wanted to know where Abraham lived and where his servant had to travel to fetch Rebecca.  And since we were able to have the study in our house I had quick and easy access to a Middle East map.  Amber has been hosting children almost every afternoon for some craft, project or other.  Hopefully our presence has helped lighten the load for Brian and Lois, as they had been doing many of these things alone for about a year now.  And that takes us to Lesson Six.

Lesson #6:  It's going to be tough to leave.  Meredith and Monica spend almost every available minute together.  Drake enjoys playing with Liam and the other kids.  Amber loves the chance she gets to invest in the kids life that she missed out on for the last couple years.  And I've enjoyed the privilege of working with our houseparents on a more personal basis.  We're really anticipating our return to the States in a couple weeks.  But we'll miss the children and the ministry here for the 3 months we are back.


  1. Bees can smell an alien a mile away!
    Pray for Gods sustaining grace both for you and us,come home safely to your family here.
    Have you alerted the shrift shops that Amber is on her way. How we shall miss you all.
    Love Pops and Bananatrish

  2. Oh my, how I do enjoy your blog.... the pictures tell your story so perfectly, along with your wonderful way with words. Lois's latest post about the difficulties you have been dealing with at RHI make me realize how much our prayers are needed each and every day. Hope I get to see you all while here in Iowa. Blessings and safe travels. Martha