Thursday, July 31, 2014

More life...

Since my last post, more life has happened. Namely, Akello, the girls' new half-sister. Their mother Alice gave birth about two weeks ago to a healthy (as far as we know) little girl. The girls' are delighted by their new baby sister and want to visit Alice every possible chance. Thankfully, we have a good relationship with Alice and mutual respect for one another. I have a feeling that we'll be seeing more of this little girl in the future. 
 This is Alice's house near Kaabong town.

We haven't taken a photo of our house in a while, so I decided to post one. We're quite comfortable for a family of four and whenever we leave Timu...we usually look forward to returning. That's a good thing!
 For most of July, it's been pouring rain in Timu. This is the sky on a normal day. It's kind of fun being at a higher elevation (on a ridge) and being able to see rain 360 degrees around us.
 Go ahead and laugh at what I'm going to tell you next. We know it's ridiculous. There is absolutely nothing happening in Timu on most when a new vehicle drives up...everyone stops what they're doing to watch the vehicle move and to speculate on who it is and what good things they are bringing. Well, Saturday afternoon we heard a large vehicle moving along the road for hours. By 6pm (and with nothing to do for the evening), we decided to hop in our vehicle and go see what was happening on the road. As it turns out, two large road works machines were fixing and widening an old road that was near-by. So what do people do who've lived in the wilderness for 9 weeks with very little exposure to the outside world? They stop near the machinery and gawk for endless minutes. Actually, to be precise, we followed the machinery in our vehicle and watched them bulldoze trees and push dirt around. Country fun! It was actually a bit of reverse culture shock for those who were driving the machines. It's usually the Ugandans who stare down the foreigners, not the other way around.
Grassy path before road work.
Our Saturday night activity.
Watching from the roof-rack of the Patrol.
One fun activity I've done with the girls this week was to make slime. It was a science lesson to talk about solids and liquids. The recipe called for cornstarch and water. Now, I've used cornstarch a lot to thicken soups and sauces, but I never realized how cool it really is. We mixed 1 cup of cornstarch with 1/4-1/3 cup of water. What it creates is a weird combination. It's both a liquid and a solid. You pick up a solid in your hand and it immediately melts into a liquid. Try'll be amazed. 
 I also had to include at least one photo of our Kaabong friends in this blog...for it is their friendship and hospitality which keep us sane during the long weeks in Timu. Every other weekend, we drive to Kaabong to hang out with these friends and experience a sense of community. They've now been around for 2.5 years and I can't emphasize enough how huge it is to have friends near-by. Thanks to Jeremy & Susan (and all of the Echelon team) for following God's leading to Kaabong and for all you do to support other missionaries here.
How am I on the blog again? We're in Kaabong and preparing to travel to Kampala tomorrow morning.  Praise God with us that we made it through a very difficult summer in Timu. Lots of death and hardship. Yet, without hardship, how can we carry our cross with Christ or be transformed by him? God never promised us a problem-free, comfortable life. In fact, should that even be our greatest heart's desire? Then why do we strive so hard to get rid of our problems and live as comfortably as possible? It just feels natural and intuitive, doesn't it? Yet when I have few problems, that is when I find myself turning my back on Father God the most and trying to be self-sufficient in life. So what I've found is...I need hardship. And one of my personal goals is to learn to turn to Father God in good times and bad.

2 Cor. 4:8-12 says "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."

Paul makes it sound like we should expect hardship...and the twist is...he even makes it sound appealing. For if we are given over to hardship (death)...then the life of Christ will also be revealed. And is there any greater calling in the Christian life than this? My searching heart has not found one. So my prayer is that...the death of the past few months would also lead to new life. I probably won't even see that new life emerging, but I can trust that God is at work through my trials.

One tangible result of our trials this summer is that Terrill has just finished revising his 740 pg. grammar of the Ik language for his PhD program. It's been a long time in coming and I'm breathing a sigh of relief as this season is coming to a close. Because for some stupid flesh thinks that the next season of life will be more 'comfortable'. ;-) I'm almost scared to ask God, "What's next?" Maybe the key is not about the running to/from hardships, but about the attitude with which we face them.


Anonymous said...

I'm so grateful to see the rains come. Hopefully the Ik will make big crops and they will store well for the dry season.

Praying that the Ik grammar will be well received and used for translating His word and bring many to know Christ.

The Reeds said...

I love seeing your home and the wonderful blessing the Talafieros and the whole Kaabong team are to you guys. I'm so thankful. I know it's no easy task to be there day in and day out.

I also love that you turned the tables and did some gawking!

Richard and Sally Hoffman said...

What a sweet baby sister Janet and Lemu now have! Does she have a name yet?
We can laugh at the fact that the appearance of a bulldozer or two is an occasion for folks to gather from far and wide for an afternoon's entertainment of gawking. Here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, ever-present road construction with its accompanying traffic snarls merits a constant monitoring of the Traffic Channel just to find out what areas to STAY AWAY from. Ah, "civilization"☺☺!!