Africa Blues

My sister just came in for a few days to visit and be with me while Rob is away. We had a GREAT time. The lesson? Sharing. Being 8 months apart, Keira and Robby clearly do not understand the sharing thing. One day, I'm sure. We visited my grandpa as a surprise and he loved it. It took all we had to get a good picture.

Five days to go until Rob returns with the other 11 on the team. Today, Sunday, is usually a family day. We would be planting flowers, riding bikes, being outside, playing disc golf, trying to play tennis at some point. Turns out my husband is on the other side of the world today! Despite my blues (the most bluesy yet), I am really proud of him and excited about his adventures. Here's a few pieces of correspondence:

A text I received yesterday (yes, his iphone can text from Africa):

"In the middle of a field outside of Zomba. Showing the Jesus Film. Never seen anything quite like this. Camera equipment draws a crowd. Setting up projectors in the dark while a couple hundred children press in. Chris and Christie will share testimony while we change reels."
You hear about people who get a chance to share the Jesus Film (a film on the life of Jesus shown in cultures where they do not know about Him) "way out there" where people have never heard of the name of Jesus, nor have ever seen a video projector. They are doing it. And texting me as he's doing it. From Africa. What a wild world we live in.
Another text this morning:
"18 people crammed into a mini-bus. Heading to orphanage school. Should be fun.....Hiked in a botanical garden with monkeys this morning. "
Monkeys? Seriously. What a trip.
On May 12, 2009, at 10:28 PM I emailed:
Day 4 of The Twelve Days of Africa. (this is more for me than you, so don't feel like you've got to read my little journal if you've got other things to do)
I've gotten several texts and one email from Rob. Sandy has had an email from Steve, too. They are doing well and it sounds like the guesthouse on the side of the mountain is beautiful that they are staying at - with gardens and all.
Rob said that Gerald, the one Crusade Staff guy there, met them at the airport. He then told them that his wife had their third child (a girl) yesterday! If I had been Gerald's wife and a bunch of silly Americans wanted to come and visit my homeland on my due date and have my husband proceed to guide them all over the area I would have asked my husband: "Are you insane? No, they cannot come then. No. And.....No." I am guessing Gerald's wife is more spiritual than I. Let's just assume so. 
Rob said all the kids he sees each day remind him of Robby in some way and that he is really, really missing us. He is giving them money and loving on them.  
He also said: "please keep sending texts, they are like little love notes...." So, I texted him up today. He got things like: "Robby just peed on the kitchen floor."  Did he consider that a love note? Maybe.
Robby was at least only just a foot away from the toilet. We are dabbling in potty training around here....just something to do!
I also texted him other lovie-dovie things like:
"I just picked up a great card-table from the trash!"
"I found a cool, weird wrought iron thingy that is tall that can go in our garden from the side of the road. Don't worry, you'll love it."
"I just ran 2 miles - my knee is getting better!"
And so on.
Thanks for listening. Did I tell you that Rob recorded himself reading 4 books and singing his usual "Come Thou Fount" on imovie on his computer and we "watch Daddy" before we go to bed? But he keeps trying to actually interact with Daddy. That's what we've done when I've gone away on conferences when we video chat. Ahhhh, technology these days.
On May 9, 2009, at 1:28 PM, I wrote this the day they left:
Well friends who love Rob (and Steve)....  They left for Africa at 9:30am this morning. I haven't cried like this in the past 48 hours in a long time. 12 days. We figured out we have not been apart from one another in 8 years for longer than 3 days. And, hard to believe, but I have never stayed in my home by myself (with Robby). So, I've got a baseball bat and Jesus - what more shall we need?

I do keep quoting this to myself: "Who else is a rock but our God?" - Psalm 19. And Sandy and I have a verse a day to meditate on for The Twelves Days of Africa.

Sandy and I headed from the parking lot of dropping the guys off straight to the Zoo. She's got the tougher job - their foster baby and her 2 older ones. Though - I must say - they did fantastic at the zoo and are such sweet kids.

I am so glad we've got kids to keep us company and to say funny things like: "Daddy curling iron? Daddy need iron?" As he's packing up this morning. :) Nope, buddy, Daddy is all set with his curls for Africa.

Sandy and I decided that tomorrow (Mother's Day) we're reclaiming as: "I am so thankful I have the privilege of being a mom day." We are going to fight the thoughts: no breakfast in bed? No flowers? Nothing? Oh, wait, our husbands are halfway to Malawi. That's right. With water buffalo and elephants. And then when he misses our anniversary on May 19th - I will rejoice in our marriage of 8 years with a pizza by candlelight with my son.

So, thanks for praying for us and caring for us. The fun thing - with Rob's iphone - he can receive texts for free....and can send a text for 50 cents. Not bad. We'll spend $6 for a text a day. Calling is another story.....

May 9-May 21...the adventure......