Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Friday, May 27, 2011


I hear the kids singing tonight…I haven't sat and listened to them in the evening for several weeks. I haven't had time to stop and just enjoy…I've been thinking about JOY this evening…I don't have enough of it…
stress…I've got that
when i look at the world around me it's hard to see past the garbage, the sin, the injustice and remember that God is good. 
I hear people say all the time that Africa…this place I live in…breaks them. Leaves them with a heart that is broken for the world and changes them to do something about it…but how do you live with that broken heart EVERYDAY…are we supposed to? OR does God actually call us to something bigger…does he call us to HOPE & JOY…LIFE IN ABUNDANCE! And where does that joy come from in a world filled with pain…a world in which I tend to focus on the negative, the hurt, the trauma, the abuse, the evil instead of seeing the KINGDOM coming to earth. I want to see God's hand first, before I notice where He still needs to move because then…maybe, just maybe…I'll remember that He is already moving in those places…that all is not lost and that all I need to do is take one step at a time and HE is always there to pick me up when I fall down…
So I decided to look up joy in the Bible and here's what I found: WOW!
1 Chronicles 29:17
I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.

Job 8:21
He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the way of life,granting me the joy of your presenceand the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 20:5
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victoryand raise a victory banner in the name of our God.May the Lord answer all your prayers.

Psalm 22:26
The poor will eat and be satisfied.All who seek the Lord will praise him.Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.

Psalm 34:5
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

And there is soooooo much more! 
Here's some joyous pictures of the last few weeks as well.
I snuck into preschool one day...we've got new chairs (pictured here) and new tables (I'll have to sneak in again this week and get a picture of those! Love these little ones!!!

A new bedroom is being built and tomorrow is moving day! Yeah!

We went to the beach...and this is how we felt about it! JOY!

Baby Cari got some special attention...she's 6 months old now!

We had visitors!
A goodbye and a handing over from one momma to the next...God is so good! We miss our Lucy but we love hearing the updates about how well she is doing in her new home! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blessing or Curse?

Something has been bothering me today…there is a story for everything in the Bible…and sometimes honestly I get confused…by the way people use the stories and by how I use them too.

This morning we read from Joel…you know the book about locusts…and poverty became a plague and our blessings (of wealth, success, and health) became what the locust ate…and our obedience became the key to God restoring these things to us…and I wondered anew at why there is poverty and sickness and failure…and why a God who can use JOY as well as PAIN to teach us would chose to use pain more often…why do the people of Sierra Leone suffer so? is poverty a plague? and why does it make me angry to hear these dear friends tell me over and over that they are cursed because of their lack of wealth...that they suffer terribly...that I can't possibly understand heartache and lost because I have never lived their life of poverty...maybe they are right. Maybe poverty and failure and sickness are the worst sufferings imaginable and God is waiting to take it all away tomorrow if we just pray harder and have a bit more faith...but what if they are wrong? What if God's blessings come in different forms for different people...what if?

Jabez prayed and it seems from his short minute of Biblical fame he got what he asked for…wealth and increase…Hosea prayed and his wife continued to be a prostitute and he continued to live with a broken heart…Moses' mom gave him up for "adoption" and Ishmael's mom fought for him by running away with him to keep him safe…Ruth stayed with her mother-in-law and remained loyal to her family but Esther spent years denying her family ties…

I've been thinking…and I might be totally wrong…that it's not really about "pegging" God…saying this story proves that in this situation this will happen…it's more about revealing that God is intensely personal…he deals with us each in a personal way…that from these stories we can learn to trust that when we invite God into our story HE will make something beautiful from it…

So, for some poverty is a plague, I can't deny that millions suffer daily simply because they don't have enough money to buy food and medicine and that I pray that God and the CHURCH will step up and intervene on the behalf of the poor and opressed…For some wealth is a curse as it keeps them in bondage to the material world and they ignore the emptiness of their soul...

I have met some incredible people to whom God has not given wealth or provided a way out of poverty…but he has PROVIDED a faith that is strong, a determination that life is bigger than what happens here on this earth, and a total reliance on God and not self…I know OBEDIENT people who live without worldly possession and I know that God is a personal God…he knows each of our names and what we need and our obedience doesn't "restore" wealth or success or health but brings HIS riches of grace, HIS approval and presence in who we are and what we do, and HIS breath of life that measures our days and counts them before we are born.

Oh, that we could all learn that what we have or do not have is NOT a curse OR a blessing…it is simply, when we are willing, what God will use to shape us into the people He wants us to be and it might just be about perspective…the curse is living without seeing God's hand in it and allowing the enemy to use what we have or don't have to bring death and destruction into our lives…the blessing is placing it all in God's hands and somehow being able to say…like Shadrach, Meschak, and Abednego (Cari Logan translation and name spelling:) "If God saves us, GREAT…if not GREAT…HE IS STILL GOD AND WE WILL STILL TRUST HIM!"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Events

The last 2 weeks have been full of FUN...and adventures in listening! As usual there are a thousand things going on! Here's a few pictures.

Sunday morning fun:)

Our feet are beautiful!

Painting and new shirts!

Moses, Lucy, Duncan, Aunty Esther, and I went to the beach!


Study Time!

Birthday Treats!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Last week I took one of our teen moms and her 5 month old to the clinic to get her 5 month baby shots. We sat in the waiting room for about and hour and I watched the mothers come and go with their infants. One precious mom sat down next to me with TWINS! Seeing twins is a big deal in Sierra Leone and there were many watching her. The babies were about 2 months old and I could immediately tell that she was tired. Women kept coming up to her and asking questions about the babies and telling her to "bear up"…they all understood the difficulty of giving birth and caring for 2 babies in a country where life is difficult. This sweet mother walked a distance to the clinic with one child on her back and one carried in front. I'm sure that she hopes and prays every night that her children won't be a part of the statistic of 1 in 5 that die before the age of 5 but she knows that with 2 the chances of losing one or both grow exponentially. As she stood up to get ready to strap one baby on her back, he almost fell off, and as I reached up to steady him and another reached over to take the girl baby from her so she could properly "popo" her child I felt the overwhelming need to pray for her and join her in the call to God to save her children.

I have lived in this home with these teen moms for 5 months now and have had an extra glimpse into the struggle of motherhood in Sierra Leone. Getting up VERY early to fetch water…carrying 5 gallon pails of water on your head up the hill…washing children and laundry out of those buckets and finding that there is none left for yourself unless you go back and carry some more…cooking meals over an open fire…struggling to go to the market…riding a motorcycle with your infant (NO safety seats or laws here)…struggling to bring in a small amount of income to feed your babies…watching your children sick and not knowing what to do…daily contemplating if it's worth it…is there any hope for your children….can you really offer them what they need? 

One of them has been telling me all week, "my heart hurts for my children…what can I do?" She has a physical ache that is there because of love and longing…a desire to give them all that they need and long for, to give them hope and a future…and a realization that she cannot. And all of us must come to the point of realizing that WE cannot give a hope and a future to our children…only GOD has the ability to do that…and we must lay our children at the foot of the CROSS and ask the LORD to meet their needs, longings, and desires in his way…BUT what happens when laying your babies in the LORD'S hands means physically giving them away? 

I think of Mose's mother and the heartbreak of leaving her child in a basket because she could not save him any other way but to give him up…and my heart aches and is amazed at God's salvation…her sacrifice, her giving him up opened the door for God to save a nation…and there is great hope in that.

And today, I'm thinking of my own momma. I miss her mother daily…she has been the BEST mother and from her I know the gift of motherhood…the giving up of oneself to serve and love another…over the past year I left her and moved thousands of miles away and instead of clinging and holding me tight…she once again placed her hope and trust in GOD the Father and let me go…more than that she encouraged, sacrificed, and gave so that I might live out this piece of God's call on my life. She has taught me to live in GRACE and SERVICE. 

Mom, when you read this…know that I LOVE YOU! I am always and forever grateful for you and I miss you like crazy! Thank you for being my mom for the last 31 years and for all that you are. Love you!