Sunday, December 26, 2004

Earth Quakes

So after a relatively uneventful journey from Indonesia to Singapore to Detroit we arrived in the midst of a surprise winter storm. But, we found ourselves drawn back once again to that Little Rock (the capital not the Kabah). We're spending the holidays with family and attempting to feel something approximating normalcy.

I am writing due to the concerns of several who have heard of the devastating earth-quake that happened today in East asia and the subsequent tidal waves that have killed thousands. We were shocked and concerned about our friends, but it seems that the epicenter and waves were so far from our home in Manado that all of our friends and students are unaffected. Even a friend of ours on Jakarta emailed and said she was fine and didn't even feel it.

Thanks for your concern and prayers as we continue to look for work, insurance, permanent lodging and transition back into life here.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

There's Lumpkin Bread in the Oven

So, you want an update, eh? Well, Matt and I have officially resigned from our teaching positions at MIS. We will be heading back to Arkansas soon. If we can get flights worked out, it will be before Christmas.

If I have piqued your interest, then please, read on. There have been some recent developments in my health. More precisely, there’s one major development that will develop over the next few months and greatly influence my health. We are expecting a child. And I find myself wishing more and more that those stork stories were true.

We are sad to be leaving here, frightened by the possible complications this pregnancy could create, and excited about a new life.

We have a little over a week to sell, give away, and pack up all our things. My rat poison (which apparently is baby poison too) was replaced by twice daily injections. Matt is getting good at stabbing me. It’s a crazy life, but someone has to live it.

Ways you can pray for us (if you are so inclined):
- my health and the baby’s health
- Matt’s health (he’s sick right now with some kind of cold/infection)
- the long ride home
- financial issues (my new medicine is quite expensive and our insurance only covers us while we are out of the States)
- job/housing issues (we will be presuming on the graces of our parents initially, but hope to find a home to call our own soon)
- finding good doctors (anyone who happens to know a good hematologist in the LR area, let me know)

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and we will see many of you soon.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

On Spirits and Stories

The week was long. The days are still hot. We spent copious time this week struggling with the administration of the school over petty things (and some not so petty things, like our salary). By Friday afternoon, I was exhausted and wanting to be anywhere but teaching fourth grade. Usually on Friday afternoons, I read to them, but we had finished our book and I didn’t want to start another one so close to the end of the semester. I explained how to make nouns plural, which they picked up rather quick (I’m sure they will forget it all by Monday). Not really caring about plurals, they asked me to tell them a story. Not really wanting to put forth the effort to drag them through singular/plural exercises, I obliged.

I asked them what they wanted to hear a story about. They said, “spirits,” “ghosts” “evil”. This wasn’t exactly the kind of story that I had in mind, but I thought for a minute and something came to mind.

In the second grade Bible class I teach, we had just talked about a story from Acts 16, where Paul casts the evil spirit out of a servant girl and ends up in jail. Paul prays and sings in jail and an earthquake shakes the doors open. I started telling this story and fourteen pairs of eyes stayed glued on me.

As I was telling the story, they stopped me, “Ma’am, true story ma’am?” I told them it was. I saw the fright on their faces of the idea of an evil spirit being inside a little girl. I saw them look relieved when Paul cast the spirit out. They had no problem believing that spirits were real. None of them tried to explain away about the spirit. There was no need to.

I thought for a while after that. The western world approaches spirits and spiritual ideas with great caution. Spirits need to be explained away with scientific explanations and nothing is real unless it can be proven. After being on planes and in airports for 44 hours, we stepped into a world where the seen and the unseen are equally real. Magic and ghosts are alive and well. The children have no problem believing that there was an evil spirit in a little girl. No one tried to explain it away as a seizure.

In other news:
Matt will be preaching tomorrow morning at a local church.
My leg is doing well, still slightly swollen, but much better.