Faith, Hope, Misfit, Missions

Off The Grid

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The world has become a small place. In 1987 when we first moved to Africa, it took months to get news vial mail from “back home.” Once, we went six months without knowing what was in our bank account. You may wonder why we didn’t just make a phone call and find out. Well, there was no phone available to us back then. You could say we were off the grid.

Today, at least when the power is on, we click a link and check what we have (or don’t have) in the bank.

Nowadays, being off the grid is far different than what it was back in the day. While we endure power and water cuts regularly, today both power and water are cut, we have a generator and right now it is on and I’m enjoying a bit of electricity. We also have a barrel where we store water to use on days like today. Should our fuel run out, and it may since we only have a quarter of a tank of fuel, or our water run out, the day will carry on. We’ll just have to make it work.

Never mind having to properly wash hands (i.e., Covid restrictions) or work on a blog. We’re off the grid so none of that matters.

News Front And Center

As far off the grid as I am, the news that has enveloped the world this past week has not escaped me. The internet has reached to the farthest corners of the African continent. This has made even the smallest village able to hear news from around the world. So, the events of last week stand front and center, even in Burundi.

Like many of you, I was shocked as I saw the events unfolding at our capital building in Washington, DC. Never had I ever imagined that in my lifetime I would witness such events. Even though I was shocked, I was not caught off-guard.

Humming In The Dark

As a missionary in a sensitive part of the world, I have lived through some crazy times. We’ve endured coups, coup attempts, famine, civil unrest, economic embargoes and more. And we’re still here, still serving God, still working and still hoping for the best.

I’ve learned to hum in the dark.

There was a time when my husband Jamie was sick. The kids were very young (the oldest two were only 1 and 5) and he was so sick that I was counseled by a missionary doctor to evacuate him back to the USA. Up to that point in my life, I had never faced anything as serious. I was alone facing the giant of sickness; all I could do was hope.

What I remember most of those days was hoping that God would come through. I kept praying and hoping and humming. I began to sing and worship God when I was alone (I have a terrible singing voice so I ONLY sang while alone). The drive to/from the hospital where Jamie was took a couple of hours each way, so I hummed those songs.

I hummed in the dark.

You probably have guessed if you are this far into the story that Jamie got better and we carried on. Hoping, humming, when it was dark helped me hang on and see God’s faithfulness.

A Song Of Hope

There will always be opportunity for our hopes to be dashed, to give up, or to to choose another route besides the one God set before us. It’s during those times that we need to learn to hum in the dark. Our humming is our song of hope.

Hope helps us keep focus when we are living off the grid.

The question that we have to ask ourselves when facing times like these where do we go from here? Do we follow the crowd or hope for better days? Hope sees where despair cannot. I prefer to live in hope than despair.

Truly Off The Grid

One reason we can hope is that we truly are a people who are off the grid. The goings-on here on the earth should not grip us to the point where we lose our hope. Our eyes should be directed not downward on the earth, but upwards towards the country that we are searching for. We are heaven-bound, we are pilgrims, strangers on this earth and as such our hope is sure.

These all died in faith not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.

Hebrews 11:12-14

It’s impossible to give up hope when heaven is our perspective.

So what do I think about last week? It’s certain that we have to pray. It is also certain that we are sliding ever so quickly towards the end times. I don’t presume to understand everything or have wisdom enough to give great counsel. I am, after all a cultural misfit and as such my advice would likely go cross-grain to what is culturally acceptable.

But, if you are asking what I’ll do during these crazy times, I will hum in the dark.

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