Friday, January 29, 2010

Building Bridges

The other day when we went with Kevin to visit some villages we crossed many bridges. Some made me a little nervous. Let me tell you, I've crossed some questionable bridges in my time but the ones that really make me power pray are the wooden ones. Kevin stopped at one bridge and asked us to help him with some 'minor'repair work. Is there such a thing when it comes to bridges? Dad (retired ODOT bridge inspector)? Several of the boards had fallen into the creek below. Kevin went under the bridge and slid boards to the surface as Scott collected them and placed them in the areas we needed. I say placed because we didn't have nails, nuts, bolts, ties, nothing! This was pretty mandatory repair for us to cross. The stop made me realize that there weren't many vehicles that drive this far out, mostly moto's. We all climbed back into the vehicle and as we were driving across the thought entered my mind that we should have walked across and had Kevin pick us up on the other side. Like most thoughts, it was too late and we were committed. We made it coming and going, thank the Lord! It would have been a long walk home!

Yesterday we spent the day with the Keller and Kane families. Keller's gave us a small glimpse into what it takes to translate the bible. I cant tell you it takes alot of what I don't have! We listened to Carol and the Keller's talk horse lingo (yawn, i know more than i did)and stories or their early missionary years. My only connection to horses is Don and Carol. I was greatful we had Carol with us to bridge that gap. You could tell horses are a big part of their lives and it meant alot to them to have someone who knew what they were talking about.

Hearing all the great stories of the early years was a highlight of the day. It never gets old hearing how people get where they are and what path took them there. Talk about real Hero's of the Faith! many missionaries here are looking for someone to document and write the Keller biography. After listening to just some of the many stories I can see why.

We returned back to our hotel to give them a little break and the four of us discussed how great it was to see their work in action. Carol and I are in a bible study that is walking us over/through the tabernacle. We were in the room as the words of Exodus were going through the first phase of translation. To here "the cloud they followed by day, and the fire they follow by night. God dwelled in that place" gave me goose bumps. There wasn't enough time for us all to email the experience (and I drew short straw), but boy was it rich! All day I kept thinking gluttony, gluttony, i am so full! I couldn't not share this with you.

We walked back to the Keller's and looked at pictures of their 2 day old grand-daughter. We watched as they looked at a going home video on facebook and could see the sacrifice they are making to be here. She played the video over and over and we happily watched. I've only been gone a short while and I look at the same pictures on my ipod and read Demi's emails over and over.

Piling into a car the Kellers drove us all over to the Kane home for dinner. This sweet family has four children under the age of five years old. We visited, laughed, ate sloppy joes and fresh mango, and enjoyed the great view and each others company. Mrs Kane was so appreciative of the things we brought her from the states. I need to say a big 'Thank You' to everyone who took the time to add mayonnaise, chocolate chips, chapstick and so on to your shopping lists. These little things meant so much to these families. Just to give you an idea of how special this family is, Mrs Kane asked for chocolate chips. We brought several bags for all the families and she made us chocolate chip cookies for desert. None of us wanted to eat them because we knew what a big treat these were for them. I relished every morsel of that cookie.

We have finally reached a place with these families that is deeper and more personal than before. we are hearing intimate and delicate prayer request. These families know that we are sincerely interested in the work they are doing and in each individual person. Emails to one another can only be so effective, but to break bread with one another and look into their eyes and hear the triumphs and trials is a whole-nother level.

Today is expected to be another great day. We are all getting ready to go for a swim and the local swimming hole. More time with the Keller and Kane's. Can't wait!


Sanford said...

Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed with your running log of events and thoughts. It is very enlightening and inspiring to read. We are praying for you and the team. I hope you continue to have the energy to keep bloggin.

Paul Glazner said...

Karen, You are doing a great job! I can see the people and taste the dust. May God give you strength and love enough to take it all in for all of us!