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.
I've been busy this past year assigning names to things I went through. The list was long, filled with unfriendly designations like Frustrating, Exhausting, Debilitating, Incredulous and Difficult.
It's hard to live out our convictions in an increasingly hostile world - and I'm not only talking about the hostility we see on the news or internet. In our personal, day-to-day lives it's not uncommon to come face-to-face with intense rejection any time we choose to go against the grain of what is "the norm."
If I had chosen differently, my tree would have looked so very different. It would have had better lights, trendier ornaments and more presents underneath. But, it wouldn't have all the beauty represented on it now and room for more beauty to come.
Malaria kills 1,200 children daily, about 50 per hour, around the world. 90% of those deaths occur in Africa. Earlier this year, we handed out 200 mosquito nets in a rural area outside of Bujumbura city and I wonder how we can do more, help more and prevent more deaths.
The problem isn't the gallon of milk, or the errands we are sent on. The problem is found in our attitudes when the errand doesn't suit us.
I've heard it said that if you shoot for the moon, you might hit the stars. If you shoot for nothing, that is exactly what you will get.
So what is it that keeps me going when giving up sorely tempts me to walk away? I can answer this question with a question: What is there to go back to?
It's been said that the love you have for someone can be measured by the pain you feel in their absence. I have found that there's truth to that statement.
I have four children, each one is precious to me. My firstborn was the first with everything. He was the first child born to our family. The first one we taught to walk, the first one we walked to school and the first one to leave home. He was the "trial run" that paved the… Continue reading The Paintbrush