Do not be anxious about your life

On Wednesday, we were able to graduate 24 more of our goat beneficiary ladies. After the women have been in the program for two years, we hold a little graduation celebration for them. These events are always interesting and we never know what to truly expect from the day’s activities. As my supervisor told me Wednesday, you just have to embrace the fog. Our part in the graduation party is that we provide the food – two goats for slaughter, onions, oil, injera, cokes, coffee, sugar, etc. Their part is the killing, cooking, and boiling. Strangely enough, we are still the guests at their party, so unfortunately we got served first by them and were even sat separately from them. And if they see you standing for more than about 30 seconds, you can rest assured they are going to insist you sit down and then run and grab a chair for you. Heaven forbid we should sit on the ground with them!

We showed up about 10 Wednesday morning, ate about 2:30, had a program after that where we gave out awards, and then returned home about 5. As we were sitting in the car at 5, I realized how tired I was and tried to think about what I had done that day. Oh wait… nothing. Nothing, that is what I did. We literally sat around all morning, ate, and then did a short program. I didn’t even have to drive out there. It is amazing how tiring doing nothing can be. We had lots of good culture and language time and enjoyed hanging out with the women and their many, many children. We even made a game out of spotting which of the women were pregnant, which can be hard to tell because of the clothes they wear. I’d say a good 50% were with child and the other 50% were currently nursing a child.

I had the opportunity to share a story in the language and felt like the story of the flowers in the field not being anxious for tomorrow, yet being clothed by their heavenly Father was an appropriate one to tell. I recorded someone telling it to me in the language on Monday, reviewed it with my language nurturer on Tuesday and then spent all Tuesday night and Wednesday morning stressing over trying to memorize it. I have memorized many a thing in English, but trying to memorize something in another language that I don’t 100% understand is a different story. I certainly found it a little ironic that I was worried and anxious about telling a story about not being worried and anxious. One day I will get it! At some point on Wednesday morning, my roommate reminded me that it is not in our own power that we go and that this isn’t all up to me or how well I speak. He can take what I say, even when I say it “in weakness and in fear and much trembling,” and He can use that. In my weakness, He is strong. I needed to hear that.

Thursday after the program, my language nurturer asked me how the story went and told me that she was very afraid for me because I didn’t know the story Tuesday afternoon. Turns out she was afraid they would laugh at me and wonder who my teacher was and decide she wasn’t a very good teacher. Thankfully, just about everyone here is very gracious with my language learning and are almost never critical of my poor speech. No one laughed at me on Wednesday, but they may have stifled a giggle or two during my poor attempts to tell a story in their language.

After the program was over and we were all getting ready to go home, one lady came up to me and told me that I had visited her house a couple of months earlier and that she had been very sick and that I asked for healing for her and she began to feel better soon afterwards. She said that she came to the program that day with many problems and worries and concerns – understandably so in the environment many of them live in – but that the story that was told was an encouragement to her. Can I just say that that is the first piece of encouragement I have received since being here! Most days I feel like I have done little to nothing to help these people and aside from lifting them up, given them nothing of any form of eternal value. I hope to be able to go back and talk with her again soon. #gallery-703-2 { margin: auto; } #gallery-703-2 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } #gallery-703-2 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-703-2 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

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