We are leaving Sanda in just five days! I can’t write that without thinking a million different things. Today was very hectic, in which every job I started seemed to not get finished because of the phone or someone at the door coming to say goodbye. I was VERY thankful for the several friends who were here at different times today to help, or not much could have happened. As I sit in our living room I can see piles of filled boxes that block the windows across from me; but I also see clothes hanging to dry, piles on the dining room table, dishes still drying in the sink that need to be sorted and boxed. We still have some full days ahead, but we have made a lot of progress and we are thankful for that. Two more full days before we take everything and put it into storage! Eeek – will we be ready (enough)?
We had a call tonight from our friends up north, Chad and Jennifer. It sounds like we will have temporary housing, at least, and we truly thank God for that. There is a small house that has been abandoned for ten years (the owner disappeared ten years ago, leaving all his stuff in the house- including goods in the fridge! – and it hasn’t been touched since then!). The previous owner’s relatives would like to put the home to good use in a city where housing is extremely limited, and they’ve offered to let us/other missionaries/volunteers live there for free. Some missionary friends who are the original connection have started fixing it up- tomorrow the water will be turned on and the tatami straw mats will be torn out and hopefully the whole thing bleached. (We heard the fridge will be towed off to the dump, unopened…). We don’t know if it will be ready by next week or not but hopefully shortly after we arrive. It is the same school district as the land we are considering buying if nothing else comes through, so that is great as well.
Our friend Shirley from Hawaii was here when we got the call and when we hung up, she burst into tears. She offered God a prayer of thanksgiving for his provision, and her voice broke as she thanked God for providing a place for out family to land initially. We are all so thankful. Yeah!
We were trying to figure out how we will move up our family of six, our maltese dog, our two parakeets and one turtle and suitcases in our van, when the opportunity presented itself to drive up another car that a missionary friend in Sendai will be acquiring from friends down here. That was a great answer! But I was worried about driving twelve hours straight as the only adult in the car, when our friend Aiko came by to see if we would have any room for her and her college-aged daughter to ride up with us and volunteer for a few days. Another amazing answer to prayer! I feel much better about both Eric and I have adults in the car, whether or not they drive.
I was sharing with a friend how this whole process of moving without concrete housing/plans has at times felt overwhelming when all of our decisions seem to hinge on what we don’t know. But this month has been a process of taking steps with whatever light God has given us. Often baby steps at times, but still realizing that God is giving us just what we need to know to advance a little further than we were a few days ago. Henri Nouwen says it best:
“Often we want to be able to see into the future. We say, “How will next year be for me? Where will I be five or ten years from now?” There are no answers to these questions. Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step: what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day. The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark. When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go. Let’s rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away.”
We are thankful tonight for the light that God has given – enough for tomorrow at least; enough we hope to bring joy to those we meet in the morning.