Monday, August 10, 2009
In a Place where NOTHING is simple
Life in general can be frustrating no matter where you live. The apostle Paul tells us to expect every kind of trial in life. But we are adjusting to living in a place where absolutely everything we are used to having is very difficult.
To get electricity you have to have solar panels, generators, batteries, or some other source and it must me monitored continually. We run our generator from 5:30 to 6:30 most mornings and then again from 6-9 pm if we can make it that long on the batteries. That depends on whether we had a sunny or cloudy day and whether or not we did anything to use extra electricity like use power tools or wash clothes or iron. If so we have to run the generator early in the afternoon for a while and then again at night. More than once I have not checked the meters regularly and the whole compound loses power and everything has to be re-set when I get the generator going.
While the generator is going we have to pump water everyday into our tanks on the roof. So we have to hook up the pump and run it for awhile to fill the tanks which means a trip onto the roof to see how much we have and then monitoring to know when the tanks are full. That is all just for the orphanage itself.
(Josie and Judah enjoying an apple after church)
Our electrical system is totally seperate. I have been able to get it up and running with the solar panels and batteries (thanks Toby for the batteries! Everyone says they are awesome.) I never knew there was such a thing as battery envy! We do not have our generator yet. We have one on the 2nd bus but it has not arrived. It is not the one I will use long term for our home system because it is portable and is not designed to be a primary source of electricity. It will work though until we get something more long term...if I can get that bus here and out of customs. We definitely need it. We lost power at about 3 am this morning and I woke up shortly after the fans went off. It is amazing how hot and muggy it can be at 3 am.
(3 of the boys celebrating birthdays this week)
Then there is the internet that I just got back up and running this afternoon and decided I had better do a blog entry before we lost it again. I believe we will have better luck once I can get things running right but right now it is very hit and miss. Thanks to everyone for their patience.
We are learning all the responsibilities to run the orphanage here. Jim and Gayle leave Wednesday so we have to take over. It is much more involved than I would have imagined. Our days are very full and with the heat you are ready for the hot bed at night.
The kids are doing good. We are getting settled into the apartment. As soon as the bus comes we will be setting up the clinic here. Pastor Jim, the missionary here that leaves Wednesday, took me aside one day last week and told me that I needed to slow down and spend more time with the kids and everything so I have been trying to heed his advice the last couple of days and take some time out to be with them. It is hard when there is so much to do and it is all right here inside the compound. I was used to leaving work and going home to the family.
(Dieudonne (aka Jackson) holding Jaxon
Here there is always so much to do and I am having to learn to
leave it undone and do the things that are the most important. I assume that once they leave on Wednesday that things will only get busier.
It is hard learning to deal with being surrounded by poverty and desperation as well. Joy and the kids have not been off of the grounds here very often but I have to go out into town for things regularly. As we go up our steps to get to our apartment we can see over onto the road that leads to many homes behind us. There are always people there and often asking for food. Yesterday there were three little girls that Joy has been talking to some and they were standing beyond our fence in the rain saying the only english they know, "I am hungry". Joy sent me out to give them each a little pack of cookies as the rain came down harder. She was pleased to have been able to "minister" to them a little bit. This morning by 7 am there were over a dozen kids...including our three little friends...lined up on the fence telling us how hungry they were. All expecting the little cookies I am sure. We are learning how to help in a systematic, God directed way of helping and not just giving hand outs. We already 'know' that from all of the previous time here, but it is different when you see them everyday and want to help them all. Pray God will continue to make us wise and give us wisdom as He uses us to meet their needs.
One of the boys came and got us at 7 this morning and said someone was here to pray for us. We went downstairs and there was an elderly, nearly blind from cataracts, pastor that said the that God told him to come and pray over our kids. So he was so sweet as he lifted his hands to the Lord in praise and then laid them on each of our kids to pray. I could not help but think of the life this faithful servant had lived in this tough place.
Well I have to go check the batteries and get the water going. I will never take that shower or electrical outlet for granted again.