Thursday, July 28, 2011

Party for the dead....

    A dear friend and young widow came over for tea. She had also come to cut hair but Laura could tell she had something on her mind...."Friends and family are asking me why I'm not have a 'memorial party' for my husband's birthday!" (Four years ago, this girl's husband and brother had gotten into a fight while drinking and the brother stabbed her husband to death!) The culture here expects several 'memorials' actually; the first on the day of the funeral, then at 40 days after the person's death, then again a year later. These 'parties' are for a time of remembrance and most importantly...drinking. We had never heard of remembering someone on their birthdays, but apparently it's also a practice in the area and another opportunity to gather, remember, and drink. Wait...this isn't all depressing....our friend asked the question because she wanted to know what we should do as Christians. In all the years we've lived here, we don't think we've had this question before. However, it was a chance to talk about death and what we know to be true as Christians.
     Julie lives in the same building as our friend we mentioned above. We've shared a little about her in the past...her husband had been responsible for the death of their five year old son. It's been difficult at best for Julie, but she has grown so much in her understanding of the Bible and her faith is amazing. At a recent visit, she was sharing how something so horrible - losing her son - could be taken and used for something good! What is so good you ask???? Through this experience, she as well as her daughter, and mother have made decisions to follow the Lord and her younger sister is very close!! This was a family where drinking was a huge part of their lives. How amazing to see lives transformed so drastically.

Julie and friend....

     So far, this summer has been filled more with great opportunities for conversation and not so much with projects. We are truly enjoying the time of fellowship and having opportunities to sit and talk with folks who have been quite interested in who we are and why we're here. We were able to complete two small projects for the fellowship's building were a new window and a small drain field for the kitchen. (We're hoping for running water this year!) The window will allow light and fresh air in for our children's room. We have 15 or more kids attend services each week to sing songs, play games, hear stories and learn verses! This room will be a huge asset to the fellowship's meeting place.

Digging the drain field...

Our little helper Luke...he fit in the hole better than the big guys!

Preparing to cut through logs for a new window...

Next step...getting the window to fit properly.
For some reason, the camera didn't work when the window was'll just have to check in next time for the finished product!

    Going though our pictures I found the following and just had to add them to the update....Most items needed can be bought here in the village, however, the price is 20% higher. When there's an opportunity to go the city, we all pile in a truck, buy the bigger items and load the truck as much as possible. You never know what you'll be bringing back to the village.....
Feed for the animals, cement, and bikes.....still some room left!

The fellowship has lunch together once a month after Sunday services...there's always plenty of food and fellowship and the property has lots of running space for the kids......
Not close to a lake or ocean??? Make a raft anyway!!!
There's more to share....but we'll save that for next time. With humble hearts we say, "Thanks", to all who take the time to read our blog and  for the faithful support and prayers. We pray you are blessed and encouraged through these pictures and updates.
   Kevin & Laura

Talent is God-given; be thankful.
Praise is man-given; be humble.
Conceit is self-given; be careful.
                           Dave Driscoll