July 4, 2012

the good, the bad, and other news

The good news: it's not pneumonia, but acute bronchitis.

The doctor was wrong. Lovely.

The bad news: I've lost about a year of my life from nerves. Also have quite a few more gray hairs. I'm mad, but mostly just glad it's not the "p" word.

We've been in and out of the hospital over a half a dozen times in the past two weeks. First me, then Tony, then I took the girls because they got sick, and I wanted to out rule pneumonia. While we were there, Boy had minor oral surgery to remove a cyst on the inside of his lip. They're a little rougher with needles down here than back home. But I think we'll all be alright eventually.

Thankfully the kids only have a cold - the same virus Tony has is now circulating through our family, causing colds.

More antibiotics, neb treatments, cough and cold meds, etc etc etc. I am fah-ried.

Why are WE getting so sick? I talk to other missionaries, and they just don't get sick like we do. Don't understand it. When I stopped by the pharmacy one day and told our woes to the couple from church that run it, she simply said, "The purpose must be great." Ha. That's a nice way to look at it.

But of course this sickness has to happen right when we are planning something. It always does. It's ridiculously predictable. You'd think we'd get used to it. We don't. I never did mention all that happened before our last mission trip (i'm way behind on this blog). Before we left for Chos Malal I threw out my back and was bedridden all week. All three kids got a mysterious virus with strange little bumps all on the inside of their mouths. Then the overwhelming but vague anxiety I felt on the six hour drive there made me want to turn right around and go home, just forget the whole thing. Tony felt it, too. Also while on the road we almost hit a horse, a goat, then a cow. Serious close calls as they walked right across the highway in front of the church's truck in front of us carrying a family and some of the youth. Then the church's mission mobile mysteriously stopped working. Just stopped. Caput. It mysteriously started up again, but then did that at least a half a dozen more times before the trip was over. And that's just the tip of it.

It happens all the time around here.

Recently we got in contact again with the Campus Crusade for Christ staff here in Argentina. Old friends, long story. They are coming to town and we have been helping them organize some training and leadership seminars. It is very last minute (like so much here) and we are some of their few contacts in the city. CCC does not currently have a ministry in town even though there are quite a few universities here. As Tony has been going around telling churches, the response has been very positive. But trying to plan something like this while we are down with illness has been almost impossible. Fortunately, God did help us find a place for them to stay and a place for them to do the seminars. The last minute details and running around still have to be done. We are praying they all fall into place and that we all get healthy before next week.

Remembering what Dori in Finding Nemo always says,

When life gets you down, you know whatcha ya gotta? Just keep swimming...

{extended version of this scene here}

July 1, 2012

update on Tony, etc

Tony is doing slightly better. Day 3 of three weeks of antibiotics, nebulizer treatments, pain meds, and bedrest. He is now eating and smiling and talking without getting so winded, none of which he was doing on Friday. The coughing sounds horrible and is painful, but he looks and sounds a little better. Trying to keep him in bed or in the house has been a challenge, though. I've had to crack down and get militant.

Thank you for the prayers and encouragement and support and verses sent; they so help! We spent most of the day looking over and studying some new and beautiful verses we haven't looked at in a while.

The last post I wrote very quickly in a small window late at night. I should clarify: We are not starving, and we do have this month's rent. It's actually been a good month. But August? who knows. That is life here for us.

We are selling off some big appliances we brought because we can't use them here and we need the money. Yes, we do need to eat and no, we don't have anything after the rent is paid. Welcome to faith missions. You do what you gotta do. Selling appliances works.

Our house is small, and my super sized washer just doesn't fit anywhere. It has been taking up precious space next to the dining room table, along with a dishwasher someone gave Tony back in the States. If we left them outside to free up valuable space, they would get stolen. After many months I have convinced Tony to just sell them - they are driving me crazy, and we have bills to pay. It's simply God's provision.

I haven't said much about our financial situation because I walk a very fine line between being honest and telling the truth of our financial situation and not upsetting or offending someone by doing so. People ask and want us to tell them if we have any needs. We are not like other traditional missionaries in that we have a church, or many, behind us, or a missions organization. We do not recieve regular monthly support that we know will cover all our expenses every month. Our church officially would not support us, officially closing the door for us to go with a missions org, officially leaving us on our own to raise support and do everything else. We left without a church, an missions agency, monthly support, or a job. We trusted God would provide. So far He has. The life we lead, this missions life of faith, is not for everyone. It's not for me either if you were to ask, but what can I do. We live day to day here, month to month.

I think of the story where Paul asks the Lord to remove the thorn from his flesh. He asks three times. Jesus answers this way,

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Cor. 12:9

I am not at the boasting in my weaknesses and taking pleasure in my infirmities part just yet, but we have been able to see Christ's power resting on us. It's pretty amazing. What else could explain us being able to make it this far?

The difficulty in sharing our situation is that every time I do I inevitably get an angry email from someone. I am "criticizing" or "not thankful" or "accusing". They think that I am talking specifically about them (it's more likely I was not even thinking about you when I was lamenting one night at 1am over the keyboard the fact that we can't pay the rent the next day). Or, if I do share our needs, I upset relatives who think we are starving and want us to come home stat. I always inevitably upset someone. Throw some pneumonia in there = fun times.

We do appreciate every single person that supports us. We simply couldn't be here or continue without it. If we have seen one thing, we have seen that it is God's people, the Believers, individual Christians, who make up the Church. The church as an organization can make its decisions, but it is the Church capital "C" through which God choses to work. At least, that is our experience.

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