Thursday, July 17, 2008

It’s OK. You can cry.

Maybe you never cry. OR, maybe you’re like me and have had days when you feel like you’re on the verge of tears and if just one more thing goes south, you’ll let the waterworks loose. I’ve had a couple of days like that since we’ve been here in Namibia. Oh, I know missionaries are supposed to stay upbeat and positive, but I need to be real with you. So this story is the other side of the coin.

We spent our time in Oshikuku working very hard on the (physical) building and on building relationships with the workers there. The living conditions stretched us, the work itself stretched us and we came home exhausted, but rejoicing that much was accomplished on every front.

Tony returned to Oshikuku a few days ago with a volunteer team from Holland to complete the work on the physical building. When he called me the other day to report on the progress, his words set me on edge. “I’m afraid to tell you everything. I think you’ll cry.” So, how do you think I replied? “Ok, since you think I’ll cry, then don’t tell me.” NO! Of course I was really curious after that lead in. “What? Tell me, I’m sitting down.”

“Well, you know all the wall tile that you and Mapuna put up the last week we were here?” He began. “Yeah…” I answered. “It’s all falling off the walls.” He said with disappointment in his voice. “Yeah, we have to completely redo the entire thing.”

OK. We never put kitchen tile on walls before. We did the job to the best of our limited experience and ability. But, we really pushed ourselves that week to get about 2/3 of the kitchen tiled. Unfortunately, it was done incorrectly. And, now to hear that it was all for NOTHING! Yeah….I wanted to cry.

After getting over the initial shock, I calmed down and realized that it’s OK. We learned that everything we do doesn’t end in victory. There are moments of defeat as well, and that comes with the territory. Any type of work has it’s disappointments as well as it’s successes. Kingdom work is no different.

So, if you feel like crying today. Go ahead…. God hears you and he has his eye on you. Tiles will fall, electrical gadgets will break, fuses will blow…. But none of it escapes the eye of the Almighty. We are rejoicing today that Tony is not completing this work alone. The Dutch team is working alongside him, and they are encouraging each other in the tasks before them. Please continue to pray for perseverance and patience for all – that we will not give up, but press on to meet our goals.

We miss our family, friends, our church, and all that’s familiar, but we know that God is doing a great work and we get the privilege of having a front row seat.

With tears of joy,

Catherine for…
Tony and Catherine

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