Monday, February 14, 2011

Laundry Lessons

Just another typical Monday… a day I dreaded up until a few months ago. For 17 years it was the first day back to school after the weekend, then it became (generally) the most hectic day of the week to work at the hospital. Around here it’s the only day we don’t leave the house or have anything we have to do… our designated ‘chill’ day. Sleep in, enjoy our typical pancakes & coffee around noon (it’s practically a tradition by now), clean a little, and an opportunity for an extended quiet time.

After finishing up our leisurely lunch of pancakes and coffee (with the company of our littlest Cambodian sisters) we decided it was time to wash our village clothes… the washing machine is broken again (still?). So, we retrieved the giant metal bowls from the balcony and set the water on to boil (we prefer the week’s worth of dirt, germs, & who knows what else that accumulates in our village clothes DEAD). I headed back to my room to do a little reading, thinking, praying, writing down thoughts from the week, etc… After I came to a stopping point and the water had had time to boil I started the first round of laundry. It takes a while to wash with all the water boiling, scrubbing, soaking, and rinsing… sometimes multiple times per bowl. I don’t ever wash clothes in the same order or even the same way. I’m still trying to perfect a method that is the least time consuming, simplest, and most effective. So far I’ve failed at finding even one that meets any of those qualifications. The nice thing about this time consuming method of washing is that it gives me time to do things during the ‘soak’ phase. Today I chose to resume my quite time.

As I searched the concordance and Blue Letter Bible I realized my laundry logic mimics my quiet time habits. … I’m always looking for some magic resource or strategy to give me to that ‘ah ha!’ moment with God. I’d like to have years of knowledge and wisdom pour out from the pages into my head and heart within a matter of minutes. I know there are strategies and resources that help with studying but, I have a tendency to consume myself in the resources instead of God. Ultimately the only way I am going to deepen my relationship with Him is by spending time with Him (and reading my Bible). I spend far too much time trying to figure out the most effective way to study His word when in reality I need to use that time to be in it and praying. So, for the next few weeks my primary resource is going to be time. I’m going to try to use it when it’s available and be more intentional with how I spend it.

I hope your Monday is as relaxing and productive as ours… and that your washing machine doesn’t break.


Friday, February 11, 2011

February Update

This past month started out with the most progress and success we've seen since we arrived in Cambodia -- it's been one exciting month! The kids are drinking clean water, drinking that water out of their own cups, washing their hands before meals (at least when we are there!), learning even more new English phrases and words, and several children are even getting some needed doctor visits. We're so incredibly thankful for what God has done, and we are so thankful for your donations and the team's help to get this all done!

God has been so good, and we know that much of the great things that are happening here are because of your prayers. When many of you committed to support us financially, you also committed to support us with your prayers. We are holding you to this commitment. In the last week, we have been discouraged and burdened about the small staff at HCO. Great things are happening, but there is a great need for more staff at HCO. Although we love this staff tremendously, HCO needs more awesome ladies (or a couple) to help and give the quality care and love for these children. We know that God loves these children more than we could ever imagine. This burden is not just our burden, this is also God's burden.

"When [Jesus] saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'"

There is story after story of the pain, suffering, and abuse that many of these children have endured. We know that Jesus looks on them with compassion. However, He wants us to be a part of providing for these children. We MUST pray "earnestly" to bring people to HCO -- to show Christ's love to them in a tangible way. We know and trust that you will obey this command to pray for our kids. And even more so, we know without of a shadow of a doubt that God is going to provide these kids with what they need. We are asking, and he will answer.