I have begun the process of looking for places to live in town.  About a week and a half ago, one of my CMF teammates, who is also looking for housing for her and her family, came to me and asked if I would be interested in living with them.  She had found a house that had an apartment attached to it where I could live.  It sounded like the perfect living situation.  I love them as a family, and get along with them very well.  I could have my own space, but still not be living completely alone.  I told her I was absolutely interested, and we both began praying about it.  The people living in the house were hoping to buy another house, so we were just waiting to hear if that was going to happen.  Last Thursday morning, I got a phone call from my teammate saying that she had good news, we could rent the house.  I was so pumped!  Friday afternoon, we stopped by the house so I could see what it looked like.  I loved it.  All we needed to do was get the money to pay the landlord.  So, we made the necessary phone calls to get those details taken care of, and we were set to pay the landlord Monday afternoon. 

Well… in keeping with the missionary tradition of “expect the unexpected”, the housing situation fell through at the last minute.  The current tennants’ plans of buying another house fell through.  Huge bummer.  It brought about a bitter feeling in me.  The experience of “Oh, the Lord is totally taking care of this, and it is going to work out perfectly”…and then all of the sudden it doesn’t work out, at least not the way I think it should, is so hard.  I wish I was better at remembering right away the Lord’s FAITHFULNESS and SOVEREIGNTY in those kinds of situations instead of feeling like the Lord is not “for me” or that He is not in control.  I know those things ARE NOT true.  Thankfully, His grace is enough to cover my weaknesses, and He does remind me oh so gently.  Also, I am thankful for the foundation I do have.  I do know what is Truth.  I need to not look so hard at my experiences…they do not dictate truth. 

 

There may still be possibility that I could find a place with that family…but they need to find something quickly, so they may have to take the first thing they find.  There also could be a possibility of living with a college friend if she arrives in November like she expects to.  I’m just praying for some kind situation where I will have a housemate or be able to live with a family.  So, now I will trust the Lord with all of my heart, and lean not on my own understanding.  I will wait in hopeful anticipation for what He will do.  He IS taking care of it.

 

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” –Rom 12:12

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First Time for Everything

September 29, 2009

Being in Ethiopia, I have gotten to experience a couple of firsts:

-First time I have ever felt an actual earthquake. About a week ago I was sitting in my apartment on the couch, and all of a sudden the couch started moving back and forth length-wise. Weird feeling, and I didn’t really know what was going on. The fact that it was an earthquake crossed my mind, but for some reason I wasn’t sure. I waited the next day to hear if anyone said anything about it. Nothing…. Then a few days later, Tamarat, one of the workers for CMF came into my office and asked me if I felt the earthquake. He said it was 5.5 on the Richter scale!

-First Hyena sighting. Those things are huge and UGLY!

Adventure into Town

September 21, 2009

Currently, I am living about 12 miles outside of the city in one of the CMF apartments. It is so beautiful and peaceful out here, tucked into a plush green mountain area. The sunrises are just amazing! One of the downfalls, however, is that it is quite a feat to get into town unless I have a ride from one of the other missionaries, being that I haven’t started driving yet.  So, last Friday, I needed to get to town. I decided that I would give it a shot. That morning, before leaving, I was just praying that the Lord would provide a taxi for me to ride in with (out this far, taxi’s are hard to come by). I prayed, “Lord, please provide a taxi, and if you would provide in another way, please protect me.” I kind of thought of it as an adventure…just the Lord and I. Around 10:30 I headed out. I started the 10 minute walk out to the main road, and was greeted by several little Ethiopian children surrounding me, saying “money, money”, and then singing/chanting. It was really cute at first, but they just kept walking around me. I wasn’t quite sure what to do, so I just kept walking and smiling at them. Soon a little truck came our way, and the guy in it stopped and distracted the children so I could keep walking. I thought, “that was really nice of him”. I made it out to the main road, where there were 2 policeman. One asked me where I was going, and then asked if I was going by foot. I told him I hoped to catch a taxi. He seemed a bit surprised at that thought, and then said, “I will get you a house car.” Not sure what that meant, I just agreed. A few minutes later, the guy who was driving the little truck came back out to the main road. It was him and his wife in the truck. The policeman asked him if he would give me a ride into town, and he said “Of course!” So, I thought if he helped me out before with the kids, and he’s with his wife, it should be safe. Praying again for protection, I got in, and away we went. We had a great conversation on the way, and it turns out they are our neighbors. We exchanged phone numbers, and they invited me to come have coffee at their house sometime. So amazing to see how the Lord provides. We made it to the outskirts of town, and they showed me which taxi’s to head toward. The rest of the way to my destination was by taxi and about 2 miles of walking. I finally made it to my destination at around 12:30. What an adventure! It was fun to figure it out…just the Lord and I. I really loved being “in” the culture and having to communicate using what I know. It was also nice to know that I can do it if I need to…but not something want to do every day. I am hoping to be able to move into town in the next few weeks, which would make for much easier ways of getting around. I am praying that the Lord would work out the details of that. So, if you think about it, you could shout out a prayer for me.

Several years ago my parents tried to teach me how to drive a stick shift.  I learned the basics, and even had a bit of practice driving out in our field.  Unfortunately, during one of those times of practice, I was backing up ever so slowly (about 2 miles per hour) and saw a tree behind me.  Me, being used to driving an automatic pushed on the clutch, but forgot the more important of the two pedals…the break.  Before I knew it, I had hit the tree.  From then on, I was determined that I would not drive a stick shift again.  My parents, in trying to encourage me to push past my mistake, kept telling me that I should try again.  “You never know when you will need to know how to drive a stick shift, because there won’t be an automatic vehicle available” they said.  I kept insisting that would never be the case.  Well, I am now eating my words, because I am in that very situation.  In Ethiopia, the only vehicles available for me to drive are, indeed, stick shift.  So, here’s to you Mom and Dad.  You can now say “I told you so”.  I’ll let you know how the process of learning again goes.  Should be interesting…. 🙂

Challenging

September 10, 2009

Before leaving for Ethiopia, I came across several verses that I was chewing on, and that were really challenging me. At the time, I had no idea how they would continue to challenge and encourage me in the process of this transition. I am thankful for how the Lord continually puts his words in our hearts for a purpose.

Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God….”

Rom 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

2 Cor 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Col 2:6-7 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, OVERFLOWING with THANKFULNESS.”

James 4:13-15 “Now listen you who say ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Col 4:2-6 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”