"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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yesterday I had a few errands to do in town, despite the nasty heat and humidity. First on the list was a quick pickup at the post office. Well, it should have been a quick pickup. I saw a small package from a gal in Minnesota that I knew had just been in Zambia. I thought maybe she had taken a few pictures to send us. Instead I opened the package to letters from our sweet students in Zambia! What a blessing and thrill. I turned the car off (no A/C anyway) and sat in the heat and let the sweat and tears mingle as I read their letters of thanks, encouragement and blessings to our family. It was soooo wonderful. One of them sent a snap of himself, a few sent a greeting card that they had painted themselves. It was all so sweet.
We have occasionally sent them a family photo, some of the kids art work, some updates through friends going over for a visit. Last summer the kids used "work money" to buy each of the first 12 students a bible cover. They didn't make it that summer and so they were suppose to get them while in the States last fall. We never knew if they actually got them, so it was nice to hear that they did receive them and that they were using them to keep their Bibles looking "sharp".
I always get a kick out of their writing. For one, it is generally very beautiful-some of those guys have the most beautiful cursive writing I have ever seen. Everything is also very formal and proper-Queen's English you know. And everything is spelled very phonetically, even if pronounced wrong. Most of them have troubles with their "L"s, so instead of Kelly Jo, I was often Kerry Jo, and so they wrote it that way. But it's funny that they also got their "R"s then mixed up with the "L"s as Myron became Milon or something similar. Hayree was another great one, but now of them mixed up the "great king Henry." :) Such simple things, such sweet memories.
Such sincerity in their words. These weren't written just to be written. There were specific memories, words of thanksgiving, notes of encouragement, blessings on our family. I really miss these guys, and considering how little time I actually spent with them compared to the kids, I can't imagine how their hearts break too.
I know there were some people who couldn't figure out why in the world we would go down to Iowa to see the students last year, a year after we left, with the heartbreak we went through. It's simple-relationships. Relationship is very highly valued in the African cultures; friends and family are a premium. And those relationships continue on. These guys will graduate from the bible school in a year and a half and from there we will probably not have contact ever again. So until then, we keep the little embers of relationship with them-for us, for the kids, for the students. I wish we could be there when they graduate to help send them off, to see them one more time; it's sweet to know that some of them have prayed that too.

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