Tuesday, November 18, 2008

James 4 back again

This is just a small praise the Lord if there is actually such a thing. Some of you may know but we have been experiencing difficulty with our Internet situation here. It really has been a chronic problem since in Africa but Isaac had assured me that the situation in Uganda was better. Once we arrived in Ft. Portal we went to the get the same system that works for Doug and Destiny only to find out that they don't actually sell that any more. BUT they assured us that this new mobile USB modem was even better. So at great expense we purchased it seeing it as an investment. The pamphlet stated that it would get speeds up to 236 Kbps which is super fast for here so we were quite excited. Our excitement was short lived. Come to find out that we were having difficulty even connecting and the fastest we ever saw it run was 5kbps. TIA (this is Africa!) Then after one month it pretty much stopped working at all. We tried everything to work with the company even asking at the "main" store in Kampala with no success. The only solution that the company suggested is that we purchase an other system at about the same price that they assured us would work "fast".

Needless to say i was less than OK with the Internet situation and in what i am seeing is my unhealthy patten i started looking to Isaac to fix the situation. He assured me that the reality was that we were not going to have internet any time soon with out dumping in a lot of time and money just to have no guarantee of success. I was just not OK with his answer. Then as i am also seeing is God's pattern ,the scripture that i wrote about in the Sept-Oct Clea's perspective (it is not up on the site anymore so if you missed it and would like to read it just email me and i can send it to you) came to my mind "You have not because you ask not". So i in typical clea form stormed off to the bathroom and half crying and half demanding i told God in my not so big girl voice "I want internet!" You can almost picture me stomping my feet.

The amazing thing is that not literally 5 minutes later we get a call from Doug about switching systems with him. That ended up not working but we did get to have his old phone that uses a different company and are now back to being connected without having to shell out money we did not really have to spend. God never ceases to amaze me. Why He would so lovingly answer me even when i am not asking in the right heart at all. All Papa wants is for me to look to Him and not to Isaac. He wants and is so deserving of all the glory.

My prayer is that next time the temper tantrum won't be necessary and i will follow Philippians 4:6 better "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What I learned from a papaya

The transition from Kenya to Uganda, like most changes in life, has come with a balance of giving and receiving. One of the biggest blessings is again as a family being part of a real Calvary chapel church; that to me that is priceless. But on the other hand we have not really been able to find a place to purchase safe meat. Lets see church or meat; living bread or steak – to me that is a no brainer.

Sometimes the blessings are hidden at first and then with time are revealed. One such gift that I have just recently began to appreciate is the previous tenant. The last renter loved flowers, plants and just anything green. She actually started a botanical garden here in town. So the compound is filled with all sorts of different types of trees, plants, flowers etc. Call me practical but my favorite type of plants are ones that bear fruit. Just the other day as I was preparing breakfast I cut open a papaya that came from our compound. This literately was our first fruits. It is hard to explain but a sense of pride seemed to come over me and the Lord began to give me a picture of what it means to sow and to reap.

For the last few years now we have been doing a lot of moving and changing of ministry. And anyone who lives a transient life understands it is hard to put down roots and then move on. Before moving to Africa we sold our house and I remember one of the harder things for us was to know that we would never experience picking apples off the tress we had planted. Again in Kenya the last time we planted a garden and left just as the harvest season began. You invest your time, money, sweat into something and yet never get to experience the joy of the harvest.

The same phenomenon occurs in ministry just ask anyone who works with children. Many times you pour your heart into the children in your ministry only to see the fruit start to form but often miss out on the real harvest. In Kenya I spent over a year investing in a relationship with the guys that I bought fruit from. Over that period of time I never saw anything amazing happen but just continued to faithfully to let them know that we cared and then we left. (As a side note, I just found out that three of the five fruit guys in Kitale currently enrolled in the bible training that Isaac’s dad and mom are doing there!)

So what does this all have to do with a papaya… well at that moment I found myself on the other end – I was now benefiting from someone else’s sowing. I did not plant that papaya tree nor did I tend to it, weed it, water it, or fertilize it. When we got here the fruit was ready for the picking and the fruit was sweet! (Actually the best I have ever had.)

I think for me God was trying to show me how selfish I am. I want the benefit of my labor but often that is not his plan lest I would boast. My success is not dependent on my harvest but my faithfulness in the sowing. He encouraged me and I encourage you to be faithful not growing wearing in doing good whatever your ministry (especially to you mothers out there). On earth we may never experience the harvest of our labor but in heaven when we see the fruit of our faithful sowing it will be more than worth all the hard work. Jesus said it right in John 4:36 “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.”