Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Patience

Anyone considering becoming a missionary will have to acquire patience in the midst of what can be total frustration. Of course, this is also a prerequisite for anyone in Christian service, or for just living daily life--whether on the foreign field or not, but it seems that in a foreign country frustration can be multiplied.

Nothing ever seems to go smoothly the first time--I would liken it to going to the Bureau of Motor vehicles to register a car or get a title--do you ever have all the required information they want the first time?

I have been waiting for months to get in to see a specialist--we have been in Tenerife now for 15 months and am way overdo for some blood work and tests so I was looking forward to getting that accomplished today. We got up early, drove 45 minutes to the other side of the island, waiting patiently until they called me in for my preliminary medical history before I saw the doctor, and they asked me for a piece of paperwork that my family doctor was supposed to send with all my lab work--which they forgot to do--so they sent me to the university hospital, which was another half hour drive, and when I got there I had to take another number.....only for them to tell me that they couldn't see me there, but I had to go back to the other place!

OK, I said, but why did they tell me they couldn't see me at the other place--so she checked with her coworker and she said, yes, they would see me there, but they would call in a few weeks to give me an appointment. Back to the drawing board.....it will probably be another several months now as I get put back on the waiting list.
The Canary Islands has a fairly decent system of medical care, but if you are in a hurry.......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Getting the Job Done

When I was about six years old, my dad would tell me to clean up my room--it would be such a mess because I had shoved all my clothes and junk in the closet until you couldn't shut the door anymore. I took one look at the clutter, and would just sit down in front of the closet, and cry.
About an hour later my dad would come and check on me to see if I had made any progress, and I would still be sitting there in tears. The task seemed overwhelming. I didn't know where to start.

I was thinking about that today as I was going downstairs to tackle the garage--everything from moving that we didn't know what to do with ended up down there. The rest of the house is pretty much in order, but the garage still has a way to go. Part of me just wants to take one look at the disorder, go back upstairs and forget about it. Let someone else deal with it. Do I really want to get hot and sweaty again--I have already worked so hard--the lazy part of me is saying "do it later," while the other part of me says "you will be glad you did it once you get going."

As a little girl trying to clean my room, one of my older sisters would come along and start showing me where to put things, digging in and helping me to get the job done. Once I got going I learned to actually enjoy working.

The Christian life is somewhat similar--sometimes the task seems overwhelming and we don't know where to start. How can I being one person make a difference? By God's grace, with His strength and the power of teamwork, we can do the job--but we have to start somewhere. Little by little we do what we can, and try not to get discouraged. If we all do something, we can get the job done.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home Sweet Home




Today as I was cleaning our house, I was thinking how blessed we are to be in our new place of residence--it is so quiet, and we have so much more privacy now. It is nice to be able to unload groceries without having to cross heavy traffic, and Rebekah and Leanna enjoy being able to ride their bikes, walk the dog, etc. on our dead end street.

We are on the southeast side of the island, about 10 minutes south of Santa Cruz, and it is amazing how much different the climate is here than where we were living before in the north. It is very dry, and much sunnier and hotter. I am not so crazy about the warmer temperatures, but we went out and bought a few fans and it is much better. It isn't the humid type of heat that makes you feel miserable.

We are getting things put away pretty quickly--many hands make light work. Now we just need to hang curtains and pictures, and I will be very happy : )

The last place to get organized is the garage....but that is Doug's domain. His office and books are down there and he has very specific ideas how he wants it. I don't mind--every man should have somewhere to call his own and do as he pleases with the space. He pretty much lets me decorate the rest of the house. The garage is very nice and light--it will be a great place for him to get away and study, write sermons, and be alone with the Lord.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Taking a Break

Today is the first day in a long time that I have been able to sit down for a minute and write a blog entry. Moving is such a big job, but somehow we survived. We started packing things several weeks ago and got the moving truck last Friday night. It took five men to get the piano down the stairs from our upstairs apartment, but fortunately it didn't need to go up any stairs at our new house.
Doug made about four trips with the rental truck and numerous other trips with a small work van that he borrowed from a friend. Yesterday we all went to the old apartment to give it a final cleaning--that was the hardest job of all as I wanted to leave it in excellent shape, so Hannah, Jenny, Rebekah and I scrubbed all the walls to try and get off all the marks. I am so wiped out from yesterday that today I am trying to take it a little easier
I will post pics as soon as I get things a little more how I want them to look. We really like being here, it is so much more quiet and peaceful.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Suffer the Little Children


Jesus loves children. That is why we are trying to reach out to them here in the Canary Islands. First we started a Bible Club for kids called "Amigos," and just yesterday my daughter Jenny decided she would start a Sunday school for the children who have been coming to our church services. I appreciate her motivation and energy--I will have to take her place when she leaves to go back to college in the fall but right now she is giving me a reprieve from my duties. Both she and Hannah stayed up late Saturday night making posters, copying songs into Spanish and studying the Bible lesson. Jenny speaks pretty good Spanish and is putting it to good use here.


We were so thankful that our neighbor Evelyn was able to come to church with us. She is a great friend of Rebekah and Leanna and we will miss her when we move next week, but hopefully she will continue to come to our Bible club during the week. Doug gave her a Bible, and she told him today that she has already read seven chapters. Please keep her in your prayers.