|Nothing like a drink and a loving hug around the neck at the same time.|
|These are the little ones. Well, unless you compared them to the babies on the other side of the rope.|
|Not every child can claim the distinction of petting an elephant.|
|He's liking it so very much.|
|A little love.|
|Grandma Weaver is one of those grandma's who likes a little adventure in her life. Petting a behemoth? Sure, no problem.|
|The adorable sleeping quarters for the babies. And for only $50 a year you can "adopt" a baby elephant and have the rare privilege of watching it go nighty-night. |
Tonight we sat around the campfire as a family and the conversation turned towards Hades/Paradise and what that is or means and how we can know that we are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Good, heart searching conversations, especially in light of moving back to the States in just 2 1/2 months, Lord willing. Here, poverty and the fine edge between life and death are always present. You leave our compound and it smacks you in the face. Last week we made a wrong turn in Nairobi and ended up in the outskirts of the very slums i mentioned in the previous paragraph. Last week, at a police check, Marlin got locked into a tiny room and then was asked for a bribe. Those kinds of experiences force our children to ask a lot of hard questions. They recognize that their growing up years are in the minority in this world. The safety and love of a two parent home, a warm bed, plenty of nourishing food, and christian friends is something that is hard to take for granted when you see the opposite all around us. They've seen the glue boys, sniffing their bottles for a bit of relief and the drunk, homeless men sleeping in the middle of a grassy patch between two highways. In the city slums, the consequences of not serving Jesus are very clear and horrific. Sin and despair are obvious companions on the streets.
So what will happen when we go back to comfortable, middle class America? Our heart is to continue to serve "the least of these" in whatever capacity God calls us. Our mission experience here has been quite the ride and there are parts we weren't prepared for, but one of the main reasons we came has been fulfilled, and that was so our children could see that the world is so much bigger than America. Very few people have had the privileges we have and we pray we won't forget that. God is going to hold us so very, very responsible not, as Marlin says, for what we have given but for what we have kept back. We're excited about going home and wrapping our arms around family and friends. We're excited to move to Virginia and worship Christ with new friends, and to sleep in a house without bars across the windows, but at the end of the day, we want to want Jesus more than anything.
Pray for us. It seem the spiritual warfare has intensified in the last several weeks as we start turning our faces towards "home." I'm fighting a lot of fear and at times it's overwhelming. Jesus is calling me to start getting up quite a bit earlier than i normally do. He's wooing me, wanting to have me soak in His presence, and my heart is hungry for that. Not out of law or fear, but out of relationship. To think He loves me and wants to fellowship with me is more than i can fathom, but getting up early is hard so if you think about it, ask God to give me the strength to deny that extra hour of sleep.
I'll leave you with a verse that has spoken to my heart.
John 14:27 - Peace i leave with you. My peace i give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.