We are not dead.
I know, it may have APPEARED like we had fallen off the face of the earth three months ago, when we began an unplanned, near-complete-cessation of public communications, but we DID NOT.
No, the reasons for our silence were much less dramatic. Basically, when you boil down our litany of excuses, it comes down to the fact that we have been busy. And not only have we have been busy, but the things we have been busy with have been boring. And it’s hard to write about boring things when one is busy.
But that is still a pretty lame excuse. Even if our daily experience has seemed uneventful, three months is still too long of a time to go without putting out an update. And that is why I am adding one more little line item to my list of justifications of our failure: It is all Rochelle’s fault.*
For the sake of brevity, here are a few of the more noteworthy happenings that we failed to keep you abreast of:
Our dog went missing.
Due to cultural differences, I won’t use the word “stolen” here. But our dog WAS “taken without our permission, by a person from a neighboring language group, and not returned to us for several weeks, even though we kept sending messengers asking for him back.”
We WERE able to eventually get him back, which was nice. Especially because there was around a 50% possibility while he was gone that the reason he wasn’t being returned was because he had been eaten.
Though the details surrounding the actual abduction are still a bit murky, we were eventually informed as to the reason for the long delay in his return. Apparently, the people who had taken him ended up becoming too ashamed and embarrassed to bring him back themselves, so they just kept him with them until a third party went and “abducted him back” on our behalf.
Griffin had minor surgery.
A few months ago, Griffin cut his finger somewhat dramatically while doing some work in the garden. Though we thought we had cleaned out the wound appropriately, it later appeared that something was not quite right. We got it X-rayed at our mission clinic while we were out in town on break, and it was determined that there were three small stones embedded in his finger. Like father, like son, I guess.
Thanks to the awesome medical staff at our clinic, they were able to (over the course of two surgeries) get all the pieces removed. He has since experienced a full recovery. And, though he is a little distrustful of doctors these days, he is quite proud of the fact that he has a personal story that includes the line “Mom followed my blood trail all the way up from the garden and through the house!”
Griffin had a birthday.
Our youngest little jungle monkey turned 5 years old this month! In a pleasant turn of happenstance, we were able to celebrate his birthday while out in town, and he was able to have his requested meal of “chicken with the bone in it and French fries,” as well as have a few friends join us for his party.
We have entered our dry season.
Though our specific jungle location experiences very little deviation from its normal climate of unbearably hot and humid, the one seasonal fluctuation we can usually depend on is that during the months of July-Sept we will receive very little rain. This means our environment makes the subtle transition from “sweltering sauna” to “baking oven.”
As our surrounding jungle is typically quite swampy, it is a pleasant change to have trails that are dry and traversable. Conversely, as our household water is collected via rain, we are entering into a time of severe water rationing. Last year, we ended up using water from a hole in our garden to do our laundry and flush the toilet during this time.
In an attempt to circumvent the labor of hauling 20 gallons of water up the hill from our garden each day, I am currently in the process of digging a well closer to our house that I can hook a small electric pump up to. Hopefully, I’ll hit that dwindling water table soon!
We fixed our oven.
The heat element in our oven had been suffering a slow, agonizing death over the last year, and, this spring, it finally succumbed to its failing health. Since trying to find a replacement part in our context is slightly more difficult than attempting to exhume the body of Jimmy Hoffa, we were left with the options of buying an entirely new unit, never baking again, or finding some hodge-podge way of jerry-rigging the thing.
Despite Rochelle’s thinly veiled doubts as to my handy-man abilities, and her overtly expressed concerns that I would burn down our home and kill us all, in the end, I was actually able find a workable solution! Yay, for saving money and being able to eat bread again!
Language-learning and the Iski church.
We are still plugging away at the Iski language. Our next language eval will be around the middle of August. With both of our partner families still back in their passport countries, the Iski Bible teachers have been shouldering most of the teaching load, both in our village, and in our outreach location. They have been doing a great job and would really appreciate any prayers you might say on their behalf.
*Because Rochelle refuses to contribute to our blog content, any contentions that she might hold to this conclusion are moot.