Tailgate Thoughts

Some weeks there are so many words. So much to say. So much good news to report. Sometimes, like tonight for instance, there aren't quite as many words, but still that same content, optimistic feeling. 

I had some good reflecting time this morning. Our only real Saturday task was to pick up a truck load of supplies and deliver them to the land. We had travelled about a 1/3 of the way when it seemed that the rebar trailing from the truck bed was growing longer and longer with every bounce. Jenn was driving so I volunteered my 120 lb self to sit atop the cement bags thinking somewhat naively, that it would make a difference. I possibly just made things worse. Every once in awhile I'd have to wrangle a cement bag that was slipping dangerously close to the tailgate and it's a wonder I could hear my own thoughts with all the rebar rattling wildly in the dust. Aside from the rattling and sliding, thinking conditions were perfect. 

It's not everyday I get to see the countryside perched atop a pile of materials in the bed of the truck.
I thought about how green everything looks from outside the vehicle. For my day job I spend anywhere from one to 5 hours of the day riding inside an air conditioned monster of a vehicle, literally the navy blue equivalent of a UN trooper (which I realize seems like a perfect analogy in my head but maybe you don't see a whole lot of those where you live...). Just to clarify, I don't work for the UN and I do get out of the car eventually to do important things. But wow, the colors...

I also thought about how ridiculous I get when I read fiction, which I do almost never, although at present I am working my way through the Hunger Games series. Fiction causes me to chew on the moments of my day and the thoughts that accompany them over and over until I can spit them back out in the form of a story. Something novel worthy. This all happens in my head of course. Unless I write. Which also got me to thinking that it's about time I'm honest with myself and admit it. I like to write. 

So even though there aren't a ton of words (yet). I've decided to write anyway, for the pleasure of it. 

Things right now are moving forward. Predictable wouldn't be my first choice of words, but steady. There's a bit of rhythm. And a solid display of teamwork between the team here on the ground, the supporters and encouragers back "home," and God, whose skillfully coordinating what's going on in both places. 

Life is just rolling and we are learning so much in the process...

Not all of this week's lessons have been especially spiritual. Kelinise the 17 year old that spent last weekend with us has a particular knack for cooking. Among other things I learned how to make bean sauce, a staple in these parts. Apparently, you know you're on the right track when you've beaten the black out of the black beans, you've added a generous portion of every spice and seasoning available, and  have topped off the mix with something unhealthy. Butter and oil are both acceptable options, Kelinise added both. 

She also let us in on a little secret. The price of meat at the market. We've been avoiding the meat section for awhile...the goat skulls, the intestines, the pig hooves, and the chicken feet can be a little too much at times. But now that we're armed with an accurate price ($1.25/lb) we've been enjoying the luxury of beef with our rice at some meals.   

Thanks to the much, much appreciated donations we received this week and last, work resumed this last Monday. Several thousand more blocks were made, buildings traced, trenches dug...People paid.  
Our first phase is to finish a small clinic on the property that will serve the community for years. So, in addition to our paid workers we once again enlisted the help of some willing volunteers. Jenn and Dadou held another "under the tree" meeting where they rallied the troops to participate in a project that would benefit themselves and their children for many years. 

I spent all day Thursday at one of the local hospitals. Partly for my work with the Caris Foundation and partly because Kelinise had an appointment at the diabetic clinic. Jenn called to tell me that the volunteer meeting was a success, that sign-ups were happening, that people were willing to build this clinic. It was for them after all... That's when I started to panic. I worried that I wouldn't be able to make it worth it for them. That they would demand too many clinic hours...that too many people would beg to be seen each day....that they'd be upset if we didn't have certain medicine available...that they would regret that they ever offered their labor. 

I allowed these thoughts to take up space in my head for all of 1 second and then they were gone.
I was filled instead with perfect peace. It was startling! I didn't know I had it in me. It's something new that God's been stirring inside me...this new tendency to look straight to Him in moments of fear. 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, with prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:12)

In that second of anxiety he reminded me that I don't have to be in charge of those things. God's plan for the clinic is something we can't yet know. But He is more then capable to establish a place that will bring Him glory. And because of this I'm sure that the clinic will be open when it needs to be, full of medicine the people need most, and supported by doctors and teachers that want to give back. 

When we arrived at the land today. There they were, hard at work, and almost ready for lunch, on us. :) 

The clinic space 

Stephanie and Love Merline, twins, 16 years old, and the 2nd oldest of 11 children!
Jenn's crew after the "under the tree" meeting

Please join us in praying for this space and for these sweet people.