Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Ardor. Fondness. Attraction. Desire. Affection. Fancy. Admiration. Passion.
I’ve been thinking about love recently. Love not as the world depicts, but what is true (Rom. 12:9-21, I Cor. 13, I Peter 1:22, I John 3:16, 4:10-11, 19, 5:3 to start with!). Love that is not just a feeling, but a choice and a commitment. A self-sacrificing love that endures relentlessly through persecution. The descriptions of love found in the aforementioned passages are the ones I ask you to pray for me – not that I would merely love the people who love me back and when it’s easy, but the tough people and during all situations. So when…
…the furniture molds for the fourth time in a week.
…there’s a choice between flour with bugs or no flour.
…the 76th person in a day asks me for money because my face is white.
…I itch and have unsightly bug bites all over.
…there is no internet or “entertainment” in the rain forest.
…I miss people.
God would bless me with His supernatural love. Love that in every situation would allow me to deny myself and follow Him (Lk. 9:23). For His yoke is easy and His burden, light (Mt. 11:29-30)! In a world that proclaims “do whatever it takes to make yourself happy,” we should defy normality. God said they will know us by our LOVE and was, Himself, the ultimate example of love (John 15:13).
So if you would pray that God would saturate me with that kind of love, I would muchly appreciate it. That and please pray that Heather and I will finish language school strong. We have three weeks left before we head to Zambia for our month of wilderness survival training. :0)
We saw Safidisoa (the malnourished baby we took to the hospital a couple weeks ago) recently and she looks FANTASTIC! Much more alert and no signs of infection present. Praise God!
The trip to Kelilalina was so good. The rain forest was AMAZINGLY beautiful. We thought we could make the trip down there in a day, but actually had to spend the night in a town a couple hours away because a cyclone had flooded the road and our car couldn't make it through 5 feet of water! The people were very welcoming. There seems to be a spiritual darkness there that is not as visible here on the more evangelized plateau. We will have to adapt to their Malagasy dialect, but it is basically understandable, so that was a GREAT encouragement. We also got to be a part of the very first church service in Rivo’s hotel (Rivo is a believer and in one of my pictures– here’s the link to the rain forest album - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2001275&id=85900022&l=d1d09b83e3 if you want to check it out!).
I thank my God at every remembrance of you all!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
You don’t know me very long before finding out that I love babies. I adore newborns and even though am not a frequent crier by any means, get close to tears at every miraculous birth I witness (which is all of them!). All that to say when I was prayer-walking around town yesterday and God nudged me to share the story with a woman who had a three-week old baby in her arms I was MORE than excited. :D
I sat down beside her in the shade and started talking about how cute her baby was (zazakely botrabotra!), how much she was sleeping at night, etc. Except for a stuffy nose, this little one was doing great. I asked the woman if I could read her a story.
Leaning her head close to mine so she could read along with me, I cuddled her baby close and told her of God’s love, grace, and power. I don’t know how much was lost in translation, but after the story the woman smiled at me with a tobacco-filled grin and told me she believed in God.
Love you guys,
P.S. An update about our trip to the rain forest and such is coming soon!
P.P.S. The baby in the pics above is not the one from the story, but an adorable one from church this morning!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Good news! Heather and I have found a “home worship place” for our time here in Antsirabe. It has been such a blessing to us. There is one Australian family and everyone else is Malagasy. At worship yesterday morning our Australian friend found a chameleon and teased the kids with it. His wife was like "Hey, do those things have teeth?" And he said, "Nope, they just spit acid." HA HA HA! Oh my my my...
Amazingly enough, we are over halfway through language school! Huzzah! We have two weeks left in intense classroom time and then our teacher said for the last three weeks we can take lots of field trips to really help us learn to talk with people! :) One of the difficult things about the Malagasy language is that all but four of their verbs start with the letter M! So that can easily lead to confusion. Check this out:
Mandefa – to send
Mandeha – to go
Mandena – to wet
Mandeta – to cut the neck
Not exactly the words you want to mess up! :P
We are taking a trip to the rain forest THIS WEEKEND – woohoo! I am SO incredibly excited to finally get to see where we will be living and meet people from the Tanala people group! Please pray that God uses this time to fill us with love for the Tanala people, give us a vision for what He would specifically have us to do there (because the possibilities are endless), and have a wonderful time of fellowship with our friends.
You can also lift up Safidisoa, a malnourished baby God placed in our path who is now receiving rehydration, nutrition, and treatment for her infection at the hospital. She had swollen feet, a swollen belly, and was rather listless when we first met her. She entered the hospital this weekend weighing only 14lbs at 13 months old. Praise the Lord she is doing better and He has already received glory for this healing! Pray also for her mother who has to stay with her almost continuously at the hospital even though she has four other children!
Our language tutor has helped us translate a short presentations into Malagasy, so I believe that will really help us with the vocabulary. Pray that I will memorize it by the end of our time in Zambia!
Let me bookend this letter with animal stories - after mentioning to my language teacher that he had unknowingly brought a little friend into our house, he looked down at his shirt and flung the bug off. "Quick - where did it go? I have to kill it because it is dangerous!" he said a little frantically. I laughed and said, “Are you telling me there are NO poisonous snakes in Madagascar, but I should look out for the CATERPILLERS?! Ha ha ha...oh Africa.
Hoy Kara ilay tia anao!
(Malagasy way of ending a letter that literally means “says Cara, the one who loves you”)
I John 4:7-11