After the day I had yesterday I am so grateful for a God that is so much bigger than me. I am thankful for his hand which is stretched out over those I cannot reach and over things I simply do not and will not understand. I am thankful that he is with my 91 year old grandmother as she fights back pains in Rome, GA and is having to take an unexpected 30 day stint in a live-in rehab to heal. I miss her and wish I could sit with and listen to her stories to pass the time, but God is there. On the opposite end of the world, I am thankful for how God is working in Mumena. He has been here, and he always will be.
Yesterday after a few morning chores, I went to visit a family in their village. One quick, 15 minute bike ride away. When I arrived, only the grandmother was still sitting under the kensanza, and I figured the parents and kids were in their field. The grandmother sent me out with her niece to get to my friend's field. After a long, sketchy walk through the bush, we arrived in an open field where I saw the family all out working. I was happy to be alive at that point, because we walked through grass that was as high as my waist. As I began walking through the field to meet up with the parents, all the little boys starting yelling "WHIT-I-NEY, WHIT-I-NEY!!" We turn my name into 3 syllables here because it is a lot easier to say for everyone. I LOVE hearing those boys call my name so loudly, nothing can make your heart melt more. My friends, Cosmas and Josephine handed me a hoe, and I joined them in their planting. They had arrived at the field that morning at 7 am. When I had found them it was 2 pm, and they had no plans to leave anytime soon. They had not eaten and just planned to make a meal once they finished for the day. About two hours later, it began to rain pretty hard, and I knew it would be getting dark in a couple of hours, and I should begin the path back to find my bike and then ride on home before it flooded. The kids were tired and ready to head home too, so they escorted me back to their house where my bike was. We then began the "high grass"walk back to the village. It started raining even harder, and the boys couldn't stop laughing because we were all soaked. I was laughing but also a bit terrified that between the 2, 5 and 6 year olds traveling with me--one of them was going to get bit by a snake, I was just sure of it. Of course, they make these journeys every single day. We all made it back to the village safe and wet.
Once I finally made it home and got in bed I couldn't help thinking about all of the decisions I get to make in life and the choices I have. My sweet friends would be up at 6 am the next morning to spend the day in the field all over again. There is so much to be thankful for. Although this is the way I perceive my life and theirs, God is right there in the middle of their lives as well making things happen. We are blessed.
In other news...just in case, you were curious what our house looks like at Christmas time, here are the pictures to document Jeremy and I's Christmas in Zambia.
There's our Christmas open house. Quite cozy :)