Archive for June, 2009

Indiana

June 30, 2009

Since we left the islands, we’ve experienced a slew of internet issues (many of them specifically related to uploading information and photos to this website).  In short, the resulting silence has been misleading.  If you read our June letter in the sidebar, you know our story about Indiana;  on Thursday, our oldest sat for a day of exams, and we’re all breathing a little easier.

Please pray for the mail to arrive today.  We’ve been expecting it since last week.

Monday after Work

June 26, 2009

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Last Days on the Islands

June 23, 2009

 

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Our last days on the islands were filled with discussions, last minute visits with some needy folk and some good friends, and oodles of pictures as we tried to absorb moments into long term memories.  After work –and our days were jammed with living the rustic life, visiting with friends old and new, logging hours praying, and churning out endless studies for the boys—we played.

Life in the Waiting Room

June 13, 2009

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While we wait

June 13, 2009

Life’s been just this side of crazy since I last wrote.  The thought on our  Saturday post of ‘having time to write letters while here’ has not materialized into reality, yet every day has been wonderfully productive, and full of appointments and visits and events which we never could have foreseen when we first arrived here, at that time somewhat heartsick that we were not on the ferry. Other than a few emails and letters in answers to specific questions that I was able to write, the one letter that I finished was the “Letters Home”, and I will include it soon in the sidebar so that  if you click on “Letters Home June”, you should be able to bring it up.  With funds as they are, we decided to email/post this one rather than sending it snail mail.

We so long to be on the ferry and on our way, though we love our islands and all the people God has brought (and is bringing) into our lives.  What opportunities abound!  I find my heart crying out for more people to leave the comforts of home to set their lighthouse for Him far away in distant and dark lands.

We are camping on a field next to the youth hostel.  There are only a handful of trailers around at this time of year;  this place will fill up on St.- Jean Baptiste Day, on the 24th.  The auberge (youth hostel) has at least a half dozen people about at all times, and provides a marvelous study hall for the boys, and  after-hours jam session extraordinaire due to the number of talented youth who visit.

 It is not difficult to find our lives paralleling Schaeffer’s L’Abri experiences in this setting.  Most of the youth are French intellectuals from all over Europe and Quebec;  many are bohemians truly seeking Truth, and thus far not having found it. These neo-hippies and adventure-sports enthusiasts, artists, and doctoral studies students, each with an interesting story to tell, are all – if they are without Christ in their lives—aimless and lost. 

We, who have sought for God and have found Him, feel compelled to share Him.

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Bits and Pieces

June 6, 2009

 It’s a cloudy catch-up Saturday, and I’ve just a few minutes to bring you up to date on June.  The Waiting Place in which we find ourselves is peaceful and very beautiful.  We are making every effort to maximize our time here;  having said our good-byes last week, we are seeking to visit those who were crowded out of our busy May.  There was a man, for example, who knocked on Todd’s truck window a couple of weeks ago, and said that he knew Todd and wouldn’t Todd please come visit him. 

Mail has been sorely missed since leaving Yellow House.  Mail is such an important part of keeping up our morale.  When we thought we were going to be gone from the islands, we shipped our last forwarded mail to a UPS store in Maine.  The girls and I are writing letters as we have more time than usual.  It does not take long to clean a small trailer, and since we are not on the road, we are able to do laundry and other tasks more easily and still have time left over for writing. 

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At the Youth Hostel

June 5, 2009

The campground is particularly beautiful at this time of year.  There are few people, little wind, and much sun.

Though we have had a few times this week in which our spirits were low, we are at peace in the will of God, praying for change but not praying for change that would give us our will.  Bonhoeffer once wrote, “If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”  We have no interest in boarding the wrong train;  we have learned through years of experience that there is priceless value in patience and waiting upon God for his timing.  

There is much for all of us to pray about, and we ask that you continue to hold us up in your prayers.

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Willingness to Follow God

June 4, 2009

What follows is a true story from the book, Living Faith. I read this story to the family as we finished up dinner last night because we needed to hear again the challenge to willingly follow God.  These last two days have been a stretch as we see ourselves being called to relinquish the first leg of our carefully crafted summer circuit.

Each one of us needs to be stirred in our faith, to go wherever God would send us. This may be far or near. Usually it will simply be a moving forward in the obvious line of duty, with no “extra” word of guidance. God has promised to check us if we deviate from the way but not necessarily to applaud us if we remain constantly in the way.

“And your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right or to the left.’”  (Isaiah 30:21)

On one occasion, someone was needed to drive from our village of Nyankunde across the mountain range of Central Africa to Kampala in Uganda, a two-hundred-mile journey. We left at four-thirty in the morning and climbed the long, rough road up to the border post. Customs formalities took time, and we had to move our watches forward an hour as we crossed into a new time zone. Then the steep descent down the escarpment to the source of the Nile and the long, dusty drive across the Ugandan plateau, skirting the Murchison game reserve. Eventually we reached the northern tarmac highway from the capital and drove the last seventy miles fairly comfortably and considerably faster than the previous hundred-odd miles. After a bite of supper and a bath, tired out from driving all day, I fell into bed at about ten-thirty that evening.

Next morning, I left Kampala well before dawn, on the long journey home. Racing northward on the good high road, I was alone with nature. No one else was yet up or on the road. I watched the dawn break over the plains, enjoying the bird chorus, when suddenly I realized, with an unpleasant swerve, that I was dangerously near to falling asleep. Unable to throw off the waves of sleep, I decided that the only safe thing to do was to halt for a coffee break.

There was a clump of bushes some little way ahead, and I drew up there at the side of the deserted road. Getting out, I found myself face to face with an African! Quite honestly, I did not want to see an African just then; I did not want to see anyone, white or black. We went through the usual courtesies. He was speaking East African Swahili, and I, West, but we could make ourselves understood. After the courtesies he should have gone away; they always do, in their innate politeness. But he just stood there.

I asked him what he wanted.

“Are you a sent one?” he queried.

Puzzled, I hesitated. That is doubtless the meaning of the word missionary.

“Well, yes,” I assented, adding hastily, “but it depends—sent by whom and for what?”

“Are you a sent one, by the great God, to tell me of the thing called Jesus?”

It is pretty shattering anywhere in the world to be met with such a question.

“Can you read?” I asked him.

No, he was an illiterate herdsman, looking after the family’s cattle.

I had in the car a copy of the “wordless book,” a small booklet of colored pages, that we use to help illiterate people to understand the way of salvation. I reached in for it, and then we sat together at the roadside in the early morning sunshine, as slowly and carefully I outlined to this inquirer the way to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his own personal Savior. Within twenty to twenty-five minutes, I had the joy of seeing him open up his whole heart to receive God’s gift of faith, and to believe that Christ had died for his sins, redeeming him from the sentence of condemnation.

I then asked him why he had used that strange phrase: “are you a sent one from the great God to tell me of the thing called Jesus?”

“Well,” he started to explain, “my brother is a teacher.”

So often in Africa, all members of a family club together, and out of their scanty means pay for one son to be educated. He will, they trust, become an “earner” and at that time will be expected to refund all he has been lent. This refunding system can be deeply painful and can last a lifetime. The “family” tends to live on the back doorstep of the unfortunate man and demand help on every conceivable occasion. It is not at all an enviable position, and yet education is a coveted blessing. Frequently such a person will seek employment far from his own tribal area, just to escape the harassment of poverty-stricken relatives. Others, bound by centuries of family tradition, stay and eke out a fairly miserable existence and carry the burdens of all. Among those, many are driven to escapism tactics and drown their problems in drink, so I was not surprised to hear the next comment, as my new friend continued his explanation.

“He is not a good man; he is often drunk. He came home from school early the other day, and we asked him why. He told us that there had been a special speaker at school that day.

“’Oh,’ I enquired, “What did he teach?’

“’Well, he told the children that he had been sent to them by a great God to tell them about something called Jesus,’ my brother replied.

“What did he tell them, then?” I queried.

“Oh, I don’t know,’ he answered. ‘I didn’t bother to stay. I went out for a drink.’

“Every day since,” my herdsman friend concluded, “when I have been out watching the cattle, I’ve repeated the phrase: ‘A sent one from a great God to tell them about something called Jesus,’ and each time I said the word ‘Jesus,’ it was sweet in my heart. So I began to want to know more.”

He prayed, I gathered, though he did not call it praying, “Please God—if there is a God—would you send me a sent one to tell me of this thing called Jesus?”

We talked for some time, and as we drank a cup of coffee together, I went through the wordless book with him yet again, making him recite after me a bible verse for each page until he knew these verses by heart. I left him with the booklet, so that he might share the Good News with his family. Taking with me his name and a vague idea of his whereabouts, I eventually drove on. At the next main village, I stopped to look for the African evangelist to tell him of this new convert, so that he might visit his village and talk with his family. Driving on a little further, I remember stopping where the road crosses the river, not this time for a coffee break. I was trembling and needed a moment just to worship God for His abundant mercy and overflowing love. That He had sent me on a four-hundred-mile journey to another country, another tribe, and language group; that He had allowed me to feel sleepy at six o’clock that early morning, in order that I might stop at that clump of bushes, to meet with one man, and he an illiterate herdsman—my heart was filled with a deep sense of awe at the marvel of His grace, so unlike the begrudging, halfhearted concern of man for man.

 

“The distance involved in the sending was of little importance. What mattered was the willing obedience to go, wherever sent.”

                

 

Big drama at the Adams’ Outpost

June 2, 2009

It was a very late night for all…

The blur of cleaning

The blur of cleaning

The landlord wanted some of her furniture moved up a few floors.

The landlord wanted some of her furniture moved up a few floors.

After the drama of leaving home early this morning, we set up camp at Gros-Cap, in the very same spot where we stayed five years ago when we were island newbies.  The cliffs have eroded much in that time, but the kind people who run this site have remained as generous as ever.

The day is almost done.  Anneliese is making tortilla soup in our Kitchen Lite, Todd and the youngest are playing Rook, two of the boys are playing guitar and violin, and one boy is journaling.  Though the sky will not darken for several hours, we are tired enough to go to bed; our emotions are plumb wrung out.

Countdown to the Mainland

June 1, 2009

Today is a whirlwind of final business, errands, and housecleaning. There is a storm raging outside, the seas are wild, the trailer sways and we are still safe within our much-loved rental home. Tomorrow morning, if our bills are paid, we will leave for the mainland, catching the 8 a.m. boat.

Please pray that we would have peace of mind to wait if His green light to go does not come overnight, and pray also that we breathe-talk-think contentment in Him as we transition tomorrow from a rental house to a small trailer.

Todd just came in the house to say that the trailer is full to the gills and that life in there will be a little “close” until we get to the United States. Once in Maine, we will ship boxes of some things we will need in the Fall. This will help significantly to empty out space in the trailer so that next week when we head back across the border for meetings in Quebec, we will have a table to sit at for meals and space to breathe.

Our faith is being stretched and tested. We do so count on you for your prayers!