Caution...what follows is important, but could resemble written diarrhea at times. You have been warned, and have probably already given up reading by now, but here goes:
Life is a struggle. I am struggling right now with one overwhelming task, and several smaller ones. I say that word a lot...overwhelming. I know I do, and I feel it even more often than I write it, because I do not want it to seem hackneyed. That seems weighty, like trying to hold up a big 2000 pound wall from falling down. Often enough, however, I realize as I figuratively stand there pushing...that God is already really holding it up, and what is more...reminding me I can not do it, to give it to Him.
Like Soren putting on his socks....I pull as hard as I can, I get frustrated, I cry out "O sock, o sock, why has thou shaken me!!" as from my brute strength the only thing that gets done is the sock is streched and my blood pressure rises, sure in my conviction that if I just kick against the goad a little harder, it by my pure will and determination I will surely move where I want! And God comes in, like I do to him, and says "It is ok, I was here to help you all along. Why do you doubt? Why do you keep trying on your own? Why do you struggle instead of coming to me to learn? When you exert all you have in something for which you have not yet been prepared, you kick and struggle, pull and fight...but just like with that goad, you do go where you want, but where I will."
So, here I am struggling with a yearly financial statement I must put together for the mission...no small feat mind you. I kick and try to veer, but firmly I am driven back to my row to hoe by the goad. Not pleasant always (and often it is) but here I am.
To be perfectly honest with you, dear reader and I hope prayer warrior, although there is no doubt in my mind that this is where we are to be, and I am sure we are not alone is that for everyone everywhere, life can be draining. But specifically for me, I can think of only one person here who has called me or has come to see me in the past year that was just for pleasure, not involving some complaint/problem/need/question. Of course, during normal conversation, things are fine, warm, open, and loving...but when my phone rings outside of normal happenstance....it is never someone just wanting to chit-chat. Ah, but such is life for those in positions of responsibility. After all, why would anyone call to say "oh, just wanted to let you know everything is going swimmingly!" And those phone calls are not like a beating drum, lest I play victim too much. God really has provided so much so often, that although my selfishness cries "poor me!" the Spirit reminds me God is saying...."for Me!"
Take today for instance. I was talking with Dora on offering her a full time position, what that would entail (one rule I imposed like the dictator I am...no bottle feeding for her baby, I expect the baby to come with her to work for at least the first six months.) and as my mind wandering inside to the pressing issues I needed to deal with elsewhere...I thought about a woman who almost single handedly has had to scrape and fight for herself and her, now eight, children. I could see flashes of God's intervention in keeping them all healthy, together, and prospering that when taken together had her all the way to the point of having this new position with the mission. Sure, it is more work for me, more problems, another contract to fill out, more monthly paperwork, etc....but that is the reason we are here! Praise God we need help to get all this done...it means He has made this all abound more than we can hardly conceive. She was so grateful...she was not sure how they would survive...literally how they would eat this year. Not that with the salary we are paying her life will be a bed of roses, but to have the hope and evidence of God working in her life was obvious in her thanking God first of all, and I join her, not humble enough, but I can scarcely take it all in that He is doing...everywhere! And to try to think where we are as a family, and what God has done and continues to do? Whew.
Such silly stupid things like a broken digital camera seem so small! And yet, here I sit, trying to avoid getting a new camera despite the constant problems it is giving me. Not its fault however...it leads a rough life on my hip, and has been dropped in the call to duty several times. Now it either is not whirring and buzzing and produces images such as this first one, or with beating, coaxing, and lots of waiting, you can still get fairly decent pictures like the next and following (the second picture is the same as the first...just not as much whirring.) It would be one thing if I did not like the camera...then getting a new one would be a welcome excuse, but no, I liked this one. And my stubborness/budget-mindedness refuses to sit back and pay $220 for a new one, and eBay would take me hours to sift through the results to find an acceptable pocket sized Sony to replace it. Hmmmm, we shall see....but not clearly through the camera very easily.
As you can see, work on the new clinic progresses. Still seems like a lot left to do, but the end is near enough to start to see what the rooms will be used for, even without stuff in them yet. Oscar will be leaving in April for three weeks to visit family, show everyone the new baby (not as new, but new to them) etc., so if we do not get it open by the end of March, it will have to be May before we would do it. I am not sure how likely that is given that although the look is near completion, all the other stuff that needs to happen would be monumental....moving everything out of the existing clinic, moving all the other equipment/stuff that would be needed for the waiting room, pharmacy (uh, new shelving for starters!) not to mention getting Camilo's pump, chair, and everything else moved...they are all small items, but start to add up to weeks of work ,and that does not include that the outside painting has not even started, we still have to finish the concrete drive approach and turn around, move the containers back and then bring up all the storage for the clinic from the man cave. You get the idea. Valerie is not pressuring (mostly because she is so incredibly busy, and sick) but will not be happy to have to wait until May, but I do not see any way around it.
Speaking of Valerie, pray for her health, and for strength. A blood pressure of 90/60 on Saturday, God got her through today somehow...even with staying late due to patients. She has people that come to see her, to talk, to share, sometimes to ask for help...and she has had to turn them all away in the past two months...she simply does not have the time to talk. Me being a cold, closed off person...that is hard to hear, let alone for her, the opposite of me, to have to say to people. And now Gladis, who was taking care of the house and the kids in the afternoon here at home, accepted another job that starts tomorrow, so we have to try someone to take her place. I suppose we were not able to pay her enough to keep her here, I can not blame her....she felt awkward about it, because of the help we were giving her, but the opportunity to make 6,000 Lps versus the 4,000 we were paying (and our 4,000Lps was not quite really full time) won out in the end. Finding someone that can help the kids with homework, clean, and be trustworthy...not an easy combination for us to find, and it is more and more obvious that we need that help.
And another little thing....the Defender has oil in its computer again. I love that truck and although disappointed in its current state, still mindful of how blessed we are to have it at all, but am not happy with whomever designed the wiring loom for it. We totally replaced it ($750 I think with labor) and have done "fixes" twice, plus I clean it out occasionally, but the oil somehow keeps getting sucked back up the line back to the computer. Very annoying, and not handy because when enough accumulates...it will not start. If I can not clean it well, or did not catch it in time...we may have to get a new computer (over $1,000) I am letting the oil drain out of it for now, next step is to get brake cleaner to flush out the rest....and then see if it starts.
And lest I get stuck in the muck and mire....or leave you thinking I am....praise God in it...through it, and after it all, the giver of all good things, and purposer behind everything else to conform us more that are in Him to the likeness of His son!