Charge

We had a great weekend in Kigali – finally getting a chance to do something over than survive. On Friday night, we had dinner with some missionaries that have been here over 25 years! They have lots of stories to tell – so many that there’s been a book written about them. (http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Through-Fire-Rwanda-ebook/dp/B008LCP7PM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374498336&sr=8-1&keywords=faith+through+fire) We enjoyed a delicious meal with them and enjoyed seeing their elaborate garden and farm animals, complete with goats, chickens and pig.

On Saturday, we took the city bus to the big market at Kimironko. Hundreds of stalls with produce, electronics, clothing, fabric, anything you could imagine purchasing. And if you’ve ever wondered where your clothes that Goodwill or Salvation Army can’t use/sell, look no further than the African market. I saw a 2005 Twin Cities marathon t-shirt on sale, and I’m pretty sure that guy’s never been to Africa.

Market

Market2

We get a lot of attention when we are out on the street. Besides our general whiteness that causes us to stand out, Fred usually draws a crowd as well. If BB is wearing Fred, everyone stares – men in Africa do generally wear their babies. Likewise, if I wear him on my front, we also look strange. A number of people at the market kept pulling on Fred’s hat and scolding me in Kinyarwanda. I’m guessing they thought he was suffocating or something. They didn’t like that they couldn’t see his face very well.

Beco

We then walked the 5 km back to our house. So much to see and explore.

walk

Sunday we attended Christian Life Assembly (“CLA”) church in Kigali. We enjoyed a lively service in English with a primarily African congregation. The guest preacher from Uganda convicted me about my need to recharge my battery. These past few months – really ever since Fred was born – have been draining both physically and spiritually. I need to plug back into my power source.

Church 1

Church

One of the main reasons we are in Rwanda is to continue our fast from 2012. The purpose of the fast is to draw closer to God, to increase my dependence. To become obviously weak so that he can make me strong. I’ve been feeling quite weak lately, and I’m ready to recharge from the true power source. I’m finally excited to see where this leads!

Finally, Mama Claudia, our new nanny started today. She has been great with Fred, playing, feeding, rocking. Enjoy a picture of my little African prince!

FredBack

The Struggle

Here in Chicago we have been having the most fabulously beautiful weather.  It’s been sunny and warm and now sunny and cold.  There have been a few rainy days, but most days are clear and bright.  The leaves have changed and are now crunching under our feet.  Fall is my favorite time of year in many ways, but the changes always feel harsh.

I’m having a rough week.  The initial novelty of being job-free has worn off, and I’m now settled into a new normal.  I don’t have any big projects that I am working on, and the days start to feel like they are running together.  There’s always a to do list – groceries, cleaning, laundry, cooking, writing bad reviews about One World Adoption Services, Inc. – but nothing is really inspiring me or motivating me.

I realized that I am here again with my old familiar friend.  The Wait.  We are about three months from Baby Bean’s arrival, Lord willing.  Close, but not that close.  The closer it gets, the more anxious I feel.  It’s not that I am scouring the Internet for possible things that could go wrong.  It’s more that it feels too good to be true.  Probably every mother feels this way to some extent.  Add six years of infertility and adoption failures to the mix, and you have a person waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The flip side is that I’m embarrassed to be excited and happy.  I still think about the little excited-ness and happiness I allowed  myself to be about the kids and feel embarrassed.  I so desperately want to daydream and talk about names and set up a crib, but it seems so stupid.  How can I do that knowing that there’s not going to be a happy ending?

I feel like a crazy person. Maybe I’m being a martyr.  I’m having a pity party for myself.  I know better than this, but I can’t make myself feel it.

Where does this come from?  Probably hormones.  But, other than that, where?  Is this a lack of trust?  A lack of faith?  A failure of understanding who God is?  Why am I so unable to rejoice in all things at all times when I know it’s what I am supposed to do?  Why doesn’t knowledge always translate into feeling?

Sometimes I wonder how Job felt after he was restored by God.  Was he waiting for everything to be taken away again or had he been so profoundly changed that he trusted that even if he lost everything again, he would count it all joy?  Probably the latter, but he was human so he must have struggled with faith and trust.

It comes down to the problem of being human.  God created in us these good fleshly desires for relationships, comfort, babies, food and then tells us that we should only need HIm and worship Him.  Ugh!  Make up your mind, God!  Doesn’t he know that I’m only human and I can’t possibly keep these desires in balance?  I am an addict.  Sometimes I think it would be better to have no one and nothing and live as a monk in a cave.  THEN, I could get it done.

Alas, apparently God wants us to be in the world but not of the world.  He wants us surrounded by temptation and strife.  We are in a war.  He doesn’t want me to be comfortable here because it’s not my home.  My only conclusion is that he gets glory from the struggle and not the mastery. When I am weak, he is strong.  He must be very strong right now.