It’s the fifth time I’ve tried to sit down and write this post.
Life has been busy.
Some days, I ache to find words I do not have. Other days, just as the words come, there is a knock on the door, or the clock strikes a certain hour and it is time to go. And at other times, I’m afraid of the words that would come if I sat for too long.
Music has been blaring in the next-door soccer field since 3 o’clock this afternoon. Literally 5 hours and counting of blasting loud Creole music with a slightly obnoxious drum beat. It sounds like the same song on repeat. I just found a dead cockroach underneath the couch I’m now sitting on. The shower has left me feeling clean- a feeling I’m thankful for after being covered in sweat and dirt and who-knows-what-else all day. The sound of the fan helps drown out some of the music. My good ole “Shaggy” (the kid’s nickname for Stephen) sits at the kitchen table grading yesterday’s quizzes.
It’s been a busy few weeks. 3 weeks of school beneath our belts, 2 teams, and 1 stomach bug later, I’d say we are into the ‘swing of things’ here in Limbe. This week in school we are working on contractions (you + are = you’re). And I am praying one of these days we will make it past subtraction with regrouping (please, Jesus, please). School is a continuous up and down ride- the child who doesn’t want to listen one day is a grade A student the next, but yesterday’s grade A student then decides it’s their turn to make your morning miserable.. and on and on the game goes. But we are learning to roll with the tides, to Quit Taking It Personally, and to recognize what the struggle is really about (because it’s really never again the flesh and blood).
Stephen has taken on the role of being the teacher/supervisor/grader/test-giver for the oldest classroom at the orphanage. They started a new virtual school program last month, and needed someone to keep track of tests and scores, and just keep tabs on how things are going. We sat on the kitchen floor this morning, tearing out georgraphy tests from the booklets.”So did you ever imagine yourself doing this?” I asked Stephen. He just laughed. But now he sits at the kitchen table, with a stack of answer keys and pile of papers, furrowed eyebrows and pen and all.
Since being back, I have found myself asking the Lord again and again, “Is there really any chance that a lasting impact can be made here?” I struggle with my own cynicism, quick to judge or point out the hundred reasons why cerain ideas or dreams would never, ever work here. It has been a struggle to view the world I see realistically, yet not belittle the power of my God. It’s a balance I’m not quite sure I will ever get a handle on. Some days I feel overly optimistic, and other days I’ve become such a pessimist I hardly recognize my own self.
My prayer through it all has been that God would instill His heart into mine. That I would see with His eyes, and hear with His ears. And in certain moments, what He has laid upon my heart is simply this.. it’s not the people or the culture. What you hate is the evil at work within the people, throughout the culture.
And I pray He continues to remind me of that, especially in the moments I forget it..
Mikey continues to be my little sweetheart, and dare I say has even gained some weight lately? Every time I put him in the bouncer in our apartment, the spring seems one step closer to bottoming out. He’s a little rascal, that boy. Eating macaroni noodles for me one minute, and the next spitting them out all over. But he’s got a killer of a smile and a tickle spot that simply melts my heart.
The girls favorite afternoon activity has been knitting. I ordered in a kids knitting book, full of projects and beginner techniques and stitches to learn. They’re working on washcloths right now. Finding the time and energy to sit and fix mistakes and explain things proves difficult. There is never enough time.
Sadrack (one of the orphanage boys) comes up every afternoon at
1:30, 2:00, 2:30, whenever I finally go to find him. First thing I am buying when we get to Florida in March is a watch for that little boy. Haha. So many afternoons I call him my saving grace. He comes up and practices reading with me (pretty sure I can recite all the words to “Little Critters: Just Helping My Dad”). Tigers, sharks, whales, and lions are little Sadrack’s obsession. So we end up reading about animals, and watching short youtube videos about lions vs tigers until the power goes out, taking the Internet with it.
And on that note of losing power and internet, Stephen has gone to switch the generators. Which means now is probably a good time to post this and sign off, before I’m rewriting this blogpost for the 6th time.
The music in the soccer field is going on over 6 hours here. But at this point, who’s even counting?