Thursday, December 08, 2005

"I'd Have Thought We'd Be Further Along By Now..."

I am sitting here listening to a song that expresses my thoughts exactly today. I really appreciate a songwriter when they look straight into my soul and say what I don't have words for. I really did think we would be further along by now.

For those wonderfully faithful friends and family that read our blog, you know that we have been through yet another living hell this week. It's a fallen world and, in theory, I am very clear about that, but when one boy can calmly walk into a room full of his classmates and brutally murder another boy that was his closest friend only two weeks earlier, I really do wonder ....... I wonder.

I am thankful for the fact that two of my three daughters are still young enough to be affected very little and Rach will be fine. One is never quite sure what goes on in the mind of a middle school-aged child, but we are watching them all very closely, only wishing that we could take everything they know and have it completely taken out of their little heads.

As I get farther away from Monday, I get sadder. I realize all the heartache these 16 years olds still have to face because of what they have seen. They "seem" ok, but we know they aren't. Things like this take time to process, and I am so thankful that God gives us the mechanisms to survive such grief during the worst part of it.

When we moved here, we really thought that we would see hard things. We knew we would face an AIDS-ridden continent with poverty and a high child mortality rate. Somehow we were prepared for that, but not this. Not a situation where our own small girls would be in a place where they could have seen another student murdered or even still, have been hurt themselves. You can only understand fully when it's happened to you and yours.

We have a Volunteer in Mission with us right now, Ginger. Ginger is great. She is a good friend to me and we love having her here. She is also the school nurse at the American School. About two weeks ago, we realized that we needed to send two delegates to Sierra Leone for a malaria conference. She was the obvious choice. She will be helping us set up the medical missions that we dream of having some day, and malaria prevention and care is a big part of that.

I took Ginger and another participant to Douala Sunday to catch an early flight to Sierra Leone Monday morning. All I can think now is what if...what if...what if...? You can imagine the role Ginger would have played as school nurse in trying to save Alex's life had she been here. Alex could not be saved. And as hard as it is for Ginger to think that she should have been here, God was so merciful in having her gone. So merciful.

As you can see, I am trying to think of the things that make me thankful. I am thankful that Wes is able to help with counseling at the school. I am thankful that God has put on his heart to emotionally and spiritually hold up the school's director, who is just moving from one day to the next, barely hanging in there. I am thankful I had 9 kids in my house yesterday laughing until they cried and eating every bit of food I had. I am thankful they are all back at school with each other and glad to be there.

But I am really just wanting my mom. I am sure you know what that is like. Thanks for the prayers.