Today is November 1st; 2 more months until a new year begins. In many ways, it really will be a new year for us, as we are facing several changes right now. Change is good, but change is also painful, tiring, frustrating, and stressful.
The changes we have coming up are full of uncertainty, including our change of location. This, my friends, is supposed to be our last month living at Tshepo ya Bana. We planned on several months ago being our last month, but things haven’t gone as planned. However, we are basically out of housing options. We have had possibilities and opportunities pop-up, but they all, for one reason or another, have fallen flat. We are now following up with people who have said “no” to us or who we have said “no” to before, trying to see if anything has changed. I am picturing our family living in the no electricity house, using a generator and just making do; and you know what? We could do it. I really know we could, but it would be hard and while I am not opposed to hard, I only want to do it if it is what God wants for us. Along with the questions about where we will live, I also struggle with questions such as “if we can’t find housing, does that mean God is closing doors here in South Africa for our family” and once my mind starts going that way, things start to get ugly in my head!!
Another change that is coming up is a bit more bittersweet. We are looking at transitioning Amo back to her family in the new year. This is a sweet, sweet thing, because Amo is loved, very much loved, by her mom, aunties and uncle as well as their extended family. If a child can be cared for, loved, and nurtured in their family, I believe that is best, and Amo will receive a lot of love and her family will do right by her. Yet this is a bitter time as well as we have grown to love Amo, as if she were our own. We know this child. We can read her moods, we know what makes her laugh, we have loved her through some scary times of sickness and she has become a part of our family. To not have her here for the majority of the time will be a HUGE adjustment for all of us. She has been with her family this weekend and our house is so quiet. I find myself at loose ends in the evenings as night time is party time for Amo and so much of our “nightlife” revolves around her. It’s not like we won’t see her anymore, we will just take a more secondary role, (just call me granny) and instead of 5 days a week of loving this little one, we will be the ones who step in for emergencies and the occasional “just because” babysitting night.
Not having primary care of Amo will allow both Darin and I to be out and in the community more regularly. This will be a good thing as Take Action Ministry is growing and with growth, comes the need for more regular site visits and check-ins with the leaders and centres we work with. I am hoping that I will have a chance to reach out to families who are caring for a disabled child. Having Amo in our lives has made me very aware of how difficult it is for families to cope with a child who is disabled in any way; lack of resources, lack of knowledge, cultural beliefs and stigmas, difficulties with transportation, and many other things cause these families, in particular the mamas and grannies to struggle to care for their children in a way that meets the needs of the child and doesn’t take all of the families meager resources.
We hope to get our minivan up and on the road by the new year as well, giving each of us the ability to go off in different directions on the same day. We have the minivan, we do drive it from time to time when needed, but it is not licensed or registered and we do not drive it very far as we don’t want to run into trouble with any officers of the law. The family that so kindly donated the van for our family to use for the ministry of Take Action has been out of the country, but they should be back soon and then we can get the paperwork sorted and take to the town! I did drive the van to fetch the kids from school last week and the air conditioning was bliss! It is still very disconcerting driving on the “wrong” side of the car (American made Odyssey), but I love having a minivan again!
In all of these things, we ask that you will pray for us. Pray that we will make wise decisions, that our hearts will be tender towards those we work with, that we will always wait for the Lord and His leading and that we would never forget that it is all about Him, and all possible through Him.