Wanted to take a second right off the bat to thank all of you who stepped up to say "We wanna help get Adesse outta the dump!" I am a skeptic and pessimist by nature sometimes it seems - and today was a very encouraging day for me. You guys are awesome! I mean not only were people jumping to help - they were moving fast so we could welcome Laura at the airport with that surprise! I had people go out of their way to drop support off in places I would be today, other people throwing checks in the mail, etc... so anyways - thank you so much! So not only will we be able to get her in boarding school for the next year - it looks like we might be able to make a more long term commitment. I am going to be seeking out as many details as I can - and as usual - I'll share 'em all with you guys... thanks for being in this with us.
Today was a quiet day for communication from Laura. There were logistical mixups so their original plan of painting at the Six Bear Essentials didn't happen. All I heard from Laura was that it didn't happen but then the mom of that family sent me a message on Facebook explaining that there had been some confusion and the supplies weren't there for the team. She felt really bad about it - but God has His hand in everything and surely there was a reason for it. And the cool thing about Africa - and something our good friend Alysia emailed me tonight - is that
every touch and glance given to another from the outpouring of Christ is sufficient to heal their broken hearts and draw the to the love of the Father.SO TRUE. And I rest assured in that - knowing that whatever they did and wherever they went - they were Christ to people they encountered. Thank you Alysia for those wise, wise words.
With the down time - it seems Laura was able to go a little earlier in the day to visit Brighton's grave. I can't even explain to you how much I wish i could have been there with her. Truthfully though - maybe this was the way God wanted it. Laura has done a better job of healing than I have. I have come to terms with and kind of accept it as a wound my heart isn't going to heal from. I would have been a mess. I prayed for her all morning knowing that was where she was headed. At 8:40 AM, I received a text that said
"Went to B's grave. Picture faded. Took awhile to find. Emotionally overwhelming. I love you."A little later in the day I got some more texts from her saying she had gotten some great pics of his grave - so it sounds like she had a great visit - I am sure God was there with her as was at least one of her teammates that I know of. I am so proud to be married to this woman - doing seemingly impossible things like visiting our son's burial site in a crowded cemetery 8,000 miles away in Ethiopia. God is indeed giving her the spiritual, mental and physical strength we've been praying for.
We have some friends - well - we haven't fully met them yet but I call them friends - they graduated from high school with my older sister and are from my hometown - and last year they packed up their awesome family and moved to Ethiopia. CRAZY LOVE!! Anyways - we have stalked their blogs and followed their journey and I reached out to them to let them know Laura would be in-country and would LOVE to meet them. They came to her tonight. Her text said "Met the Shannons. very nice!" I am excited to hear how that meeting went because what they have done - committed to time in country - is something we have not taken off the table and we are very open to it. So I am hoping she picked their brains over it...
THE PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING
In re-reading yesterdays email, I realized it was kind of gloomy. I mean - it was 100% truthful but that stuff can sometimes be overwhelming. And I did indeed forget to share one super important thing Laura said to me on the phone. she said, "Tymm - these kids are HAPPY! They have JOY! They know PEACE!" And having been twice to two different spots in Africa I know exactly what she is talking about. In the midst of unexplainable, indescribable, unimaginable poverty - there is a joy that we simply don't see here. There is a peace that comes with truly relying on God for all things - not just going to Him when the going gets rough. See the going doesn't GET rough in Africa - the going IS rough in Africa. They know God. They sing TO God. We tend to sing ABOUT God. Bottom line is this - they have a peace that passes understanding. Down in their hearts. They have a clearer, unobstructed channel to our father than we do here in the states. And that is the source behind this seemingly out of place joy. I just didn't want to NOT share that - I wanted everyone supporting us to know that even though things are "emotionally overwhelming" there is a WHOLE LOT OF GOOD going on there. 9 times out of 10 - the mission team walks away blessed FAR more than the folks they worked with. Rest assured - Africa may not be able to compete with our stuff - but they very well may have us beat in the joy department.
We had another great day. We started it off with a daddy-daughter breakfast at Chick-Fil-A. That was a blast. She thought she was so special... and well, she is.
Meron got her hair done by one of her teachers and when I got to her classroom the whole class (kids and teachers) yelled "Surprise!" It was so cute... I am so thankful for the awesome staff at her school! Going WAY beyond their job description - these guys are so supportive. After school we rushed home and changed clothes (she got to rock the new mommy flip-flops) and we went to meet some of our very best friends and biggest supporters at their neighborhood pool. We had pizza, brownies, watermelon and Meron went under water several times. So thankful for friends like these. Keeping an eye on Meron - taking her to the potty. Even the small things like that were so welcome - I tell you - i TOTALLY feel for the single parents out there! God bless all of them!!
The MOMMY VIDEO was another big hit - she was trying to converse with Laura - at one point yelling "Mommy! Mommy!" trying to get her attention. And tonight's mommy bag grab was sidewalk chalk - we'll take it to Arkansas with us and she'll love it!
Was hoping to make it the entire time mommy was gone with no blood - alas, we managed to make it 5 days. Meron did a nice Pete Rose slide across the parking lot and scraped both knees pretty good. Mr. Mark hooked her up with neosporin and band-aids which she talked about the whole way home. We did soap and water cleaning and new neosporin and new band-aids when we got home. It called for a 15 minute couch session - she said "I want to snuggle" - how the heck do you ever say no to that?
Work has had me burning the candle at both ends which makes for little sleep with me still wanting to spend time with Meron (top priority) and get everything done. A lot of hours went to my 9-5 this week (which was nowhere near a 9-5 on the hour thing...) so I am really looking forward to hitting the road and visiting family.
THANKS again for all of the prayer support. We are feeling them. I love that God is so enormous that our little prayers from right here can be heard and felt simultaneously halfway across the globe. We love all of you guys and couldn't be doing any of this without you.