One of the terms they love to throw out in missionary training is moving from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’. In our experience so far, this has been more of a two steps forward, two steps back sort of progress.
In 2015 we started language school completely underwater, battling the flu, and snow, and as the year went on, just as we started to hit our stride, the good Lord blessed our family with the exciting news of an upcoming new addition. For me that is best described in the diagnosis my mother once received, ‘Honey, you have the nine month influenza.’ Add in a never ending sinus infection, head lice, and a move, and I think we barely broke even by the time we left Albertville. That was 2015 in a very small nutshell.
Looking back, 2016 was a more positive year. Especially after sweet, squishy, smiley Evangeline joined our family. But, still, between a newborn, (another) move, settling into our home, school starting, and the Holidays, we are just starting to see the clouds part again, and the sun come out. Literally, these January clouds are parting above my head as we speak.
The Lord has been good to us, we’ve made some contacts, even dare I say it, people we might be able to call friends one day. He’s also answered our prayer in providing a Christian friend for Avonlea, a little girl who lives right up the road. Progressively, life maintenance is becoming less and less exhausting.
When we are ‘thriving’ it’s doing something like making it to the local government office to renew our residents card and having all our paperwork correct.
When we are ‘surviving,’ it’s calling our landlord to say the dining room light is broken and her saying that the house was leased ’empty’ and therefore the light fixture is out of her domain. Sigh.
Over time, those little hiccups either become fewer and fewer, or we start to see them coming. For example, we now know to call the local indoor pool to see if they will be open for the school vacation, because it’s not unusual for that to be the week they close, drain, and clean the pool. It doesn’t make sense to us, but at least we haven’t loaded the family into the car, packed with swim gear, only to find an empty parking lot. Again.
We are going to start worship services for our new church plant by the end of February. We will start them in our team leaders living room, but for many reasons, would still love for the Lord to provide us a location to rent. We are turning much of our focus to the planting of this garden, this church, and we know that so many people are praying for us. For this we are so grateful.