It's been so long since I've updated about life here.
I was talking with my Dad on the phone yesterday, and bless his heart, he is so good at asking questions about the lives of people here (mostly the youth) that I care so much about. We talked for over an hour and I (with tears) came to the realization that I should be having "debriefing" conversations a little more regularly. :)
I have a good friend (you know who you are :) who likes to remind me to drink lots of water after a good cry, sincerly concerned that I get adequate hydration after extended expenditure of H2O. Haha. I am reminded though, as I ramble on here, that in the last couple of months I have found myself quite dehydrated on a number of occasions. Not that I have shed so many tears, but in this country the rate at which one loses water is remarkable (today it was a cool 92 degrees in the shade of our back yard because it was overcast). And on top of that, I have a terrible habit of drinking coffee in the morning, and forgetting my water bottle when I head to the school each day. :)
Thirst, and the body's elementary need for water, is a crazy thing if you have some time to sit and think about it...but I'll spare you more of my rambling. Suffice it to say that far beyond the obvious physical craving, I have seen and experienced a spiritual thirst here and a re-hydration that deserve much more than just the honorable mention I have time to acknowledge here. Maybe I'll elaborate a bit more in my next post about how I've been re-hydrated lately. :)
I also recognized again yesterday (through that same phone conversation with my Dad) that perhaps why so much time goes by between postings, and why I find it SO hard to sit and write home about the ministry here, is that I most often have no idea where to even start. So much is happening. And really, it's not that there is so much happening in my life. I think that it's the constant stream of crisis' that occur in the lives of the people I love here that makes a person (well, me) feel like I could pick a subject and write for hours.
I could tell you about Jessica.
She spent the night at our place on Saturday; I asked her about how things were going in her house this past week, and with tears she told me about how her Dad basically kicked her out. Her mom left about four weeks ago, escaping the verbal and emotional abuse of her spouse, but leaving her five kids to defend themselves against his insults and indifference. She is the girl I support (and represent as guardian) at the high school. Wednesday is report card day. She's been struggling with math.
LORD, I pray that Your love for Jessica would grow to be her confidence and security. Help her mom to remember how much her children need her. Break and soften her father's heart to his family's needs. There is no healing that is too difficult for You, God.
I could tell you about Miguel.
I've written about him before. He's one of the park guys, but the only one who seems to have decided he wants to live seriously for Jesus (so far). He's been doing a bible study with William (a solid young leader here in block 6) and although dropped out of his first year of high school last month, he's been taking big strides in his faith. Today, he was over talking with Bethany when I got home from school around noon. We made rice and lentils and talked with him about his future plans. It sounds like he wants to go to military training instead of continue high school for now. That is scary. Today he was saying he likes to get up around 5:30am and read his Bible outloud before anyone else in his house wakes up (he lives with three of his siblings and all their families).
LORD, I ask You to keep him close to You, and if he does go off to cuartel... give him courage, discipline, faith, and may he be even more excited about sweet times in Your Word in another years time.
I could elaborate a little more on William.
He is a shinning light right now, a faithful servant in the chuch, and a blessing and confidante of many youth in the community. His father just abandoned their home two weeks ago. His mother doesn't work outside their home. William has been studying full-time in university, plus teaching Christian Ed in our school in the mornings. As far as I know, his income and that of his younger brother (when he has work) is the only support their family of 5 has now.
God, continue to allow William to see how You are blessing the lives of others through him. Give him confidence in Your faithfulness and strength, when he feels weak. Provide according to Your will for his family, LORD.
I could tell you about Tatiana.
She's a 20-year-old mother (of a 4-year-old boy), who has been involved in our church, helping out with kids ministry for the last 2 years. She has been back studying (high school) and seeking to honour God and choose His ways in her life. Two weeks ago she arrived at our door around 10pm. She is pregnant again, and only as a result of a weak moment in the hands of a man who has pursued her actively for over a year. He has his own family, and Tati wants no future with him. Unfortuneatly her choices have reaped severe consequences, and her weakness she won't be able to hide. Sitting in the hammock with her that night, I came to understand God's grace at a new depth. He delights in her, rejoices over her, and embraces her repentant heart.
LORD, please use this time to deepen Tatiana's dependance on You. Bless the regular times she will spend studying Your Word with Janet. Use weakness for Your glory, God, as only You can do.
I think I will stop there. The list goes on and on, as you can imagine.
Jesus said that He gives "living water". Whoever drinks water from any old well will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water that He gives, will never thirst again.
Thank God that in a land where the dusts blows, the ground is cracked and dry, and the need for water felt so desperately, the well is deep... because He is here.
The well is deep for Jessica, Miguel, William and Tatiana.
Jesus' well is deep for me. And in His spring of living water, the water wells up to eternal life.