Monday, August 25, 2008

Bad News, Good News

It was shortly after 8 a.m. this morning when my cell phone rang. We had just brought our car in to a local garage and were sitting in a nearby Starbucks trying to wake up while they did a safety inspection on it (necessary for officially turning the car back over to Kathy’s dad, who has kindly let us use it for the past three years). “You need a new ball joint for the front right wheel,” said the voice on the other end of the phone. And just like that, a $70 safety inspection fee turned into a $465 repair bill! Just what we needed! :) With all the expenses of getting ready to go overseas again, like moving, buying supplies & equipment, getting passports, visas, and immunizations, etc, etc, our credit card is already screaming bloody murder. But it had to be done.

If that’s the bad news, here’s the good news: We received an e-mail this morning from a couple of friends telling us that they were sending (via Wycliffe) sufficient funds for us to purchase a new laptop computer for our work! It just blew us away! In case you’re thinking that a few hundred dollars isn’t such a big deal, I need to tell you that we’re not looking at a Future Shop or Staples special here. I’m looking at a Toshiba machine that is ultra-light, that has a special screen that is clearly visible even in bright light, and that has a battery life of up to nine hours, all ideal features for travel and village work. It’s not cheap, and these friends are generously willing to foot the entire bill! No, they’re not wealthy. But they are committed to serving God and joining in His work in any way that He leads them, even at great sacrifice. I’m not going to mention their names here since that would just embarrass them. But God knows who they are and will repay them. Why? Because experience shows that God keeps refilling the cups of those who empty them by passing the blessings He gives them on to others. It’s one of the beautiful ironies of the Kingdom of God.

Kathy started the cleaning process in our house today. We want to leave it in good shape for the next tenants. I spent much of the afternoon planning how to construct our shipping crate. In the past, these have been simple boxes with a top, a bottom, and four sides. This time, however, I’ve got to put some different-shaped compartments into it so that the more fragile items are protected from the larger heavier ones, no matter which way the crate is turned or dropped. I hope to get it built tomorrow (I haven’t put my tools into storage yet).

We spent a wonderful evening with friends we’ve gotten to know from Hiway Church. Ted & Norma are salt-of-the-earth and what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of people. They’ve had us over to their place several times over the past several years, and tonight had us over one last time for supper. Over the next few days, we’re scheduled to meet with several friends and ministry partners one last time before we head back overseas. And despite our busyness with preparations, we wouldn’t miss these opportunities for all the world!

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