I am sitting outside…the air is cool and a bit fresher from our afternoon rain. The children are yelling and playing nearby…the birds are happy in the trees…All of Mine are resting. Today was a day of learning, absorbing…..my first day of Amharic…the first day my ears heard and understood some of this new language and people….it is a thrill for me. God speaks. His voice is to all nations, all tongues. How absolutely exciting to study another language where His Name can be made known. It struck me that HE IS IN ALL THINGS…He gave language to His people so He can be worshipped. I love this gift. I hear new sounds, the words come…the meanings form. This is like unwrapping a gift–a gift to know and be known by this culture that I am falling in love with.
I feel like a sponge. Like a little child running around in a whole new world. Some of what I hear and see terrifies me and some of it delights me…some smells turn my stomach, some make my mouth water…some of the sights are beautiful–pictures of grace, some sights are painful–redemptive, harder pictures of His grace. I love this People. I love their hearts. Their Joy. Their Faith. Their Strength. I love the smiles. The warmth in the greetings…the joy in their eyes. I love all the laughter. I love the sound of this new language…the new way to hear, the new way to love. I love how they celebrate and clap for me when I make one small step! I love the children. I love their persistence. I love their resiliency. I love that there is Hope. I love that 20 of them gather around me wherever I go. I love new friends from around the world. Kindred hearts…lives surrendered.
I love the rain…the sound, beating out the smog and dirt from the sky. I love the blue after the rain. I love the sun’s warmth in the mornings. I love the red of the ground, the green of the trees. I love that their are goats and donkeys in the roads.
I love the hard. Moments in our day…thoughts, longing for home and family. Unfamiliar. Seeing hurt, pain, deep needs. Feeling helpless, but never hopeless. There is so much Hard here. Always evident, always pressing in around. The endless beggars sitting in dirt…the squalors that line the street…the waste everywhere…the rank smell of the garbage dump up the street where so many are suffering…the sight of whips in the hands of guards…sick animals…poverty. In it I must SEE. I have to SEE that Jesus cares and loves. That HE IS good. He is all Love. I must SEE that He is the Redeemer, the Provider, the Heavenly Father. It is learning to see Jesus in the hard…in the things that break my heart. He is in it all…sovereign over it all.