I know it may not always look like it but spring will come along sooner or later. We have had days that give hope of warmer weather to come then a smack down that makes you wonder if we’ll ever see spring show itself at all. Still, there’s something about the light that hints of warmer times to come. I can’t put my finger on it always but each season has it’s own type of sunlightand right now I notice the change from winter to something else. There are foods that remind me of the season change too. Lovely has been making salads with fruit in it…this one strawberries and mango. Our salamander is coming out every so often too…a sure sign better weather is out there somewhere. Beyond all of this is the recent explosion of buds on the trees. Have you ever been outside feeling the warmth of the sun on your face and seeing the light greens that only spring can bringwhen you feel so blessed to be alive? I feel that right now. Come what may there’s always something out there that’s good. Easter looks like it may be anything but pleasant weather wise but I’m going to take today and enjoy every last moment of it!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
There’s a song I wish I could put on my page…since the only sites I know to put my own mix on my page died I’ve not been able to add music the way I like. The song talks about memories from the past being like wolves scratching at the door. My memories aren’t all dark…in fact time heals a lot of wounds…perhaps not all of them as the old adage goes but some at least. My wolves are at least partially domesticated I guess you could say. Opening the door…expecting the wolves I see instead the African mission grounds that we stayed on the first time I went to Ghana. We spent many an hour waiting on rides to other places…African time they called it…well it effected the Americans plenty. One such time two beautiful little girls happened along wearing their Sunday best. Ghanaians always wear their best to church. I found their respect for God really inspiring. We often found ourselves arriving before the regular service started…sometimes those were the best parts of the day. I think the thing about the mission field that’s hard to get used to is the moments where you’ve got nothing to do but entertain yourself looking at things like the mission ground pet monkeyor marveling at the greenery you’d never see…it least not if you’re a Montanan like myselfto entering meetings where there’s so much going on. Here in America it seems many are loath to show their spirituality…in Ghana that’s not the case at all. Our church is already very lively so it’s not hard to get involved. Days off are never truly days off but I love them none the less. I never get tired of seeing things I’d never see at home…like someone picking coconuts from a tall treeor seeing Pastor Harry’s children enjoy the swing on the mission grounds. I wonder just how many miles we traveled with Pastor Harry in this van. Sometimes I look at our attempts to dress like the locals and shake my head. About now, the day after spring made itself official all weather seems to be horrible for anything I can see in the extended future…I try to glean some warmth from the pictures of yesteryear. Here is my Mom petting a dog that visited us on occasion. Once we visited a place where many Ghanaians were trained to enter the ministry…it was one amazing meeting! Understandably after meetings like that we felt a little drained…but where will we ever rest? Someone took our favorite spot on the mission grounds! Birthdays happen for us…on the field or not. We always find ways to celebrate such things. I can’t remember who’s birthday this was…it might have been my Mom’s. I was only a teenager on these trips. I didn’t preach yet but watching my Mom do so was always inspiring to me! Just look at this African rhythm section! Here is dear Pastor Harry, I’m not sure what the occasion was here, that is lost in the sands of time but I love this picture. Days off were often spent at the market…it’s just not like Walmart. Though I know southern states have red earth…we don’t here in Montana…I found it fascinatingand the unfinished structures we so often passed…what were they going to be? Days on the beach…another favorite way to spend a rest day. My African brother also named Joseph spent this day with us. I found it incredible, coming from a landlocked state to find myself on an African shore. Before I graduated I never dreamed I’d see such sights. We met with various people that really impacted my young life. It wasn’t always pastors…sometimes it was people like this man who put his life on the line to guard the compound for us. Not every day was serious……not by a long shot! Mom’s at the center of this chorus line! I’ll end this today with a picture of a memorial graveyard in Zurich, Switzerland where we had a layover before heading back to America. Stopping in the utter and complete order of Switzerland after the chaotic way we’d been living was a bit of a shock. I am not sure which I love more but I do know for sure that if these memories are wolves scratching at more door…I’m not afraid to let them in!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
I’m not really a person that dwells on the past, I don’t think often about it at all. Occasionally the past just finds a way to tap me on the shoulder and going through these old pictures has brought back so many things. I’ve spent my share of mission trips marching through the jungles of the world. There is nothing like going down a path with a guide destination unknown. Nothing like waking up in a foreign city that you’ve never before seen…this one being Bangkok during rush hour…but then when isn’t it rush hour in Bangkok? Ever heard about those bridges you’ll cross when you get to? Well, I’ve found a few of them in the jungles of the Philippines. As a young missionary I never feared the dangers, I thought I was ready to die but when my dear wife and children came along it changed my perspective. This is an old picture of my first daughter and my son…treasures very precious to me. Seeing Asian gardens here in the US just isn’t the same as seeing them in Asia. I remember living in the Philippines…I remember what it was like to have a guard post on our street. I remember villages that had names I’ve never heard of. I remember the strange situations I would find myself in time and time again…just don’t ask…LOL! The thing about jungle marches is that you can go for a long time seeing no opening and feeling very little movement in the air but then you’ll come to an opening with the the breeze finally making itself known…easing the heat…just a bit and you’d swear it was a window to heaven. Walking down these roads you see that cars are the exception not the rule…cattle remain the family tractor. I have marched in a line of missionaries looking at the back of the person in front of me wondering when the trek would end and where it would take us. I’ve taken my eldest daughter to the nations of the world…I can now hardly believe this was her with her makeshift helmet. I’ve lived like a king and I’ve lived with nothing but the clothes on my back…but whether palaceor a parking lot of an African church with my African brother and his wifeI feel honored…God has been so very good to me. He has kept me safe even on the backs of elephants. He brought me my wife from the Philippines…this is us heading to our house. He kept me safe through danger and illness when I lived in India with Pastor Samuel and his wife. Looking back I see a land before time and I’m in awe and grateful. I wonder if I feel like these kids seeing a long line of missionaries coming to visit their village.