Monday, May 22, 2017

Another Stone

Each year there are 5 semesters of 12, 8 week classes with a 2 week break in between. That 2 week break is pretty vital. Jimmy always has big plans. It is when he can work on improving existing projects and starting new ones to get the farm self sustaining. He also uses this time to fix everything that has broken during those 8 weeks at the farm and at our house.

Friday evening after the last class of the semester, we were sitting at home talking about all the wonderful things that were going to be accomplished in the following weeks. I foolishly joked that something unexpected is probably going to happen that will eat up all of this precious time, since that really usually does happen! Well a couple minutes later Jimmy got a call that a huge storm came through the farm/institute and tore off half of the roof on the largest classroom. This is where we teach all of the first year classes and also where our church meets temporarily. It was sprinkling at our house, but nothing even close to a storm and our house is a less than a 10 minute drive down a dirt road from the farm. A tropical storm had come through... crazy.

I watched Jimmy's face. It always looks exactly the same whether happy, angry, or sad, but I still watched. He was processing and making plans. We had a mama pig that was about to give birth. We could sell the babies and pay for the roof repair... that's what was going on in his head. 

Then the phone rang again. The mama pig had died. No one knows why. You can't even eat a pig that dies for an unknown reason!!!

I looked at Jimmy's face waiting for anything. Still no change, but he did quietly say, "I am completely alone."

It feels like that sometimes. When the people you think will be helpful are more of a liability. That edge of the roof was the one part he had paid someone we thought would be a co-laborer to finish... but they obviously didn't care enough about it to do a good job. It feels like that sometimes when you come up with a solution to barely get by and then that solution falls through!

 A couple minutes after that, our 10 year old Boxer came over and laid on her pillow next to us. She had been sick. We knew she had cancer and there wasn't anything else we could do, but we thought we had a little bit more time with her. Well, she wasn't breathing very good and look uncomfortable. I made her some eggs since she wouldn't eat her dog food and she rejected those too. We knew it was time to put her down. Besides a necessary guard dog, she had been our first baby, before we had kids. I had gotten her for Jimmy our first Christmas here on the field. At this point who cares about the roof, our precious Lucha was going to leave us soon! 
This is how I will remember Lu. She was about 1 year old, when we lived in SE.
The next morning about 7:30, Jimmy was getting ready to take Lucha to the vet in Santa Elena to put her down, when he got a call from a church we had visited on furlough. I say a church, but it was from a friend who is one of the deacons. He said that they had had a meeting that morning and voted to send the money to cover the roof. Jimmy had posted some pictures on FB, not asking for help, just pictures of the craziness.

So basically less than 12 hours later, after we had come to the realization that we had no plans for a solution, God took care of it. Oh, and people don't call us here. We usually get a message that says to call them since we are long distance... and who knows our number?! 

I have a pile of stones, memory stones of when God has comforted us. This was one of those stones. It has nothing to do with money. We were just sad and God used a friend to reach out to us to tell us that He loves us and feels every single thing that happens to us... even our broken hearts about a dog!

When the church sent the check they said that they sent a little extra since sometimes repairs have unforeseen costs and that if we didn't need all of it for the roof, then to use the extra for a new dog. I tell you my God is specific. 

So now our roof is fixed and we found a puppy. She is a perfect fit for our family. I was worried about our other dog, Bags, since she was best friends with Lucha, but she had room in her heart for a new addition. Her name is Mu (long u), that's Kekchi for shadow. She actually has a weird howling bark that sounds like she is mooing! 
Bags and Mu, the new pack
A couple days later someone messaged Jimmy to call them. They were offering him a job in the States. It was a ministry job, a really good one, just not at all what God has put in our hearts. Jonah, our 7 year old, heard about it and I thought he was going to say something about why in the world we couldn't go live there and do that since he would be close to grandparents and he has some friends there. This is what he said, "Why would you ever do that! God has given you a job to do and He takes such good care of us here!" Then he went through and listed several bad things that had happened over the years and how God helped us through each thing and the specific ways He had blessed us through many of them. He said, "God always takes care of you when you are doing the job He gives you."

So that's why I'm sharing this. This is one of the memory stones that is part of our family's story of how God takes such gentle care of us. I want us to remember these stories always.

While our roof was being repaired we had our church service in our building that is still under construction. It needs a floor, wiring, and bars on the windows before we move in, but it does have a roof! It is a beautiful building, next to the village. Unfortunately it is also right in the middle of the goat project. There is nothing smellier than goats. That service made your nose burn! This one goat watched us the whole time. So I guess we will be moving the goats in the future!
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