"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is a picture of Headwoman Chimunto with one of her grandbabies, Gene. I have no idea whose baby it is-I think she gave birth to 21 kids of her own (17 or 19 were still alive) I can tell that this picture is OLD. Just the look and feel of it, and her face. She looks exactly the same now, just less wrinkles. Zambians LOVE snaps. If a camera comes out beware or you may end up with a few extra unknowns in your photo! They love receiving them and collect and cherish them. Never in our time there did we ever get offered someone else’s snap. I know the Headwoman had to have taken the special time to find this snap and send it to us. It is a very special memento that we will cherish.

When one of our friends from Iowa went to Zambia this summer we sent letters and pictures and a few gifts to our friends in the village. K brought some gifts and letters back for us and we just received them in the mail. I do love seeing their writing and how they spell and say things-just makes me smile. It’s always Mr. Brian (or Brain). Not only do they have a hard time saying the ‘L’ sound, apparently they don’t write it much either! Flowers was frowers, everything is so phonetically spelled, which is kinda neat. And if they can’t say the word quite right, well, it can’t be spelled right either. The writing is also very formal-definitely the British influence coming out. There writing is always peppered with thanksgiving to God for what they have and blessings for us. They are just a grateful, joyful people. They always greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Headwoman also took the time to have someone write us a letter from her (she doesn’t speak English). She said she is praying for us and that God would bless us with more than we have. God has blessed them with much corn to feed their children this year. The kids (her grandchildren-Lackson’s kids) are well this year and they miss their friends, especially Mariah.
Mariah was always special to Carol and Lackson’s kids, spending much time holding and taking care of Memory and Peoples. Lackson wrote a note on each of the kids and they mention missing Mariah by name. We can totally see her back in Africa someday with a whole orphanage of kids calling her “mom.” Kelly Jo is doing well at 15 months (at the time) and running around. Lackson said he and Carol were moving up near his mom soon and they had a good year of corn and other crops to feed the kids. He told us the problem he had was that his cow died this year. I read that and braced myself for the request to “help” him. Instead he tells us that “I give Jesus Christ all my problem; He is my Saviour” and directs us to Matthew 6:25: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” and Psalm 37:4-5: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him…” He didn’t ask us for anything at all, just said he misses us, prays for us and sends greetings to all the kids.
We got a letter from the deputy headman, Alex. He is a Chimunto, but not the Headwoman’s son from what I understand, but not sure anymore. He has beautiful handwriting, I am actually very jealous! Driving down the road to our new home two Octobers ago, we passed him and he stop his cart and came running and pulled Brian out and gave him a huge bear hug. He and Brian had a special relationship.
John Zimba sent a letter. I didn’t know he could write English actually, so I wasn’t expecting one. He delivered a few other letters for us to some of the further out villagers. He included a dried rose that still smelled beautiful. I’m not sure if it was one we gave him and he had at his place or if it came from P & L, but wherever it was, I know he was taking care of it. John’s son Calving is doing better he said, still having seizures, but able to be on some meds that were helping . Brian went with John to pray over him a few years ago. John is still working up at the school taking care of compound one for P & L. He greeted all the kids by name (very interesting spelling there!) and my favorite line—“greeting you in the name of the Lord Jesus, so that (our) relationship never end”. He included John 1:12 for us: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” In Christ we are all brothers and sisters, and no matter how far away we are, our relationship with them will never end. Thank you Lord Jesus!
Most of the letters were thanking us for remembering them there in Zambia. How in the world could we forget??? They tell us they miss us and that they are praying for us every day. Wow. I have to admit I am not, the cares and the busyness of this side of the world get in my way. That’s one of the things we miss-the simplicity of life there (compared to here). Another thing we always saw in their writing (to us and others that I typed for them) was encouragement. That encouragement usually always came from the Word of God.
P & L sent greetings and said the dogs were doing well and looked good. I sent some pedicure fun stuff for the ladies bible study. They LOVE getting their hair done, so I thought they would enjoy soaking their feet and painting their toe nails fun colors.

These are the memories we cherish-the friendships, the faith, their encouragement to us. They sit around and laugh about the cow incident and make fun of Brian; there is no ill-will towards us, there is love and prayers and encouragement coming our way from halfway around the world. Those are the things we will remember.

Man, do I miss my friends.

No comments: