It rained yesterday, but I didn’t grab my shampoo and run outside. In fact, I couldn’t hardly hear the rain. I guess it rained during the night too, but I didn’t hear it. You can hardly tell when it’s raining here in the States unless you’re looking out of the window because the sound of the rain on the roof is so muffled. You hardly hear it- unlike the sound of the rain on the tin roofs in Africa.
I can take showers in the States. It’s nice and all, but I have found myself forgetting to shower, you know, subconsciously trying to stretch out 3 or 4 days between a wash. What’s wrong with me?
Oh, and then the other morning, I awoke to my brother lifting weights on his weight machine in the next room. The noise of the chain being pulled up and down sounded like the sound of the pump on the well in Sudan.
Oh, I’m loving being with my brothers. They are such great guys, and I hug them as often as I can. Both of them are getting stronger and more handsome. Josh has matured so much in the 4 1/2 months I was away from him… it’s hard for me to believe he graduates from high school this upcoming May. Wow. He and I danced together in the kitchen this afternoon. It was soooo fun! But we made an awkward turn, and I hit him in the head with my elbow. We both fell on the floor, laughing and whining at the same time. That was the end of our professional dance partnership. Phill came home from college today for fall break. As we ate dinner together, he teased me about boys and I teased him about girls… oh, I also teased him about the facial hair he’s trying to grow. Maybe he’s not trying at all. It doesn’t look like he’s trying too hard- but, really, what can you do to make facial hair grow anyway? He just doesn’t have very good genes for that, I guess. He comes from a long line of bald faces.
A Brazilian missionary came over tonight… she’s been here in the States learning English and receiving training for her children’s ministry in São Paulo, but she goes back to Brazil next week. We had coffee and a cookie and talked in Portuguese for a long time. She is such a treasure. Very huggable. I love Brazilians. Near the end of our time together, she told me that after more than 10 years in full time missions work, she’s learned the secret to successful ministry… love God first and always and in the middle of it all. That is our base. That is our foundation. What she was saying sounded like a Heidi Baker message, even coming from the lips of this dear woman who has never heard of Heidi. Heidi would have called it intimacy. Heidi would have said, “All fruitfulness flows from intimacy.” This beautiful Brazilian missionary just said, “Love Him, Jennie. That’s the secret to success in life.”
Love. Love. Love.
What a bummer that so many people are frightened by that word. Since I’ve been back in the States, I’ve noticed lots of people wincing- almost shuddering- at the mention of that word, which- to me- has become such a warm, welcome, beautifully safe word. Not always easy, but safe. Secure. Trustworthy. Maybe some people still equate it too much with an emotion- or blind trust leading to betrayal- or some hurtful experience in days gone by. In that case, love would sound dangerous. Risky. Weak, even? I don’t know why I think this now… rather- how my own mentality has changed… but I think love is strong. Love is wise. Love is not a wishy-washy emotion. Love is 1 Corinthians 13. Yeah. Love is 1 Corinthians 13. That’s not wimpy.
I like to think love is the answer to every problem. I believe God is love. I don’t think saying that is cliche. It’s not cliche to me, anyway. He’s not cliche… He’s so real. His love is so real.
I really need to write an email update to let people know I’m back in the States. It’s been a month and a half already since my last update- besides the blog. I’ve done well with the blog. Lots of stuff has happened in a month and a half.