One day this week, we got up and got ready to head down the road. Chris went to turn on the motorhome and nothing. Uh, uh, uh, but no varoom. We look at each other wondering what could be wrong. He tries again and I head to the back to pray. We want to sell this thing soon and don't want any monkey business from the engine area right now. Still there is no varoom. I hang around long enough to see that I am in the way and then gather the kids and head off to Wal-mart. Chris found a mechanic to come look at it and he puzzles for a bit. "How many miles do you have on this?" "About 20,000" "Well, your fuel pump shouldn't have gone out, but gas isn't getting to the motor." "Can you check that here?" (We were in Walmart parking lot! Great for me, not for Chris) "Nope, you will have to towed to my shop and I will have to take the back of this off to get to it." The mechanic goes around back to look at where the fuel pump is located and gives the gas tank a good slap. "Son, this sounds empty to me." And yes, yes it was empty! The 6 hour delay, the prayer meeting, and the stress were all because the gauge stopped at 1/4 and the tank didn't.
Last week, we were in a Spanish service. Everything was in Spanish, except for the preacher. He was in English with a good mixture of Chinese. We have been living on the scripture that the steps of a righteous man are ordered of God, but I have to admit that I thought that someone had missed it this time. "Missionaries to Taiwan and China in a Spanish service? Okay... we might have a hard time connecting, not to mention conversing." But, as it turned out, God knew what He was doing. (Amazing? Well, maybe not.) There was such a wonderful move of God's Spirit in that service. The pastor and his family started this daughter work about three months ago. If the enemy is consist, and I am sure he is, right now, that family is probably being fought pretty hard. I remember how it was right after Chris started pastoring and I thought that I was losing my mind. The attack was so personal for me and I felt and still feel such a burden to pray for this family. They are Pastor and Sis. Luna in Austin, TX. If you will, dearest reader, (I sure hope someone reads this thing) let's come together in prayer for them and the work they are starting. They never hinted that they were facing any problems, but I feel so strongly to pray for them. Oh, the power there is when prayers bind together!
Ever notice how things just do not add up? Since we are protecting the innocent and/or guilty, (In this case, Innocent!) we will just pretend this happened. Let's say that someone is driving a cheap jeep behind another nameless in an expensive motorhome. And they stop at a red light. Someone looks down because "EEK, IS THAT A BUG IN MY DRINK I JUST BOUGHT?" Her foot slips in her distraction and she is brought back to the present rather smashingly. The motorhome quickly develops two "earthquake" cracks in the back and a light covering falls off. Someone jumps out of the jeep and puts the covering back on. Then she looks to see what happen to the cheap jeep and there isn't one little scuff. Shouldn't the cheap jeep have the cracks and the expensive motorhome be scuff less? And since nameless and someone pay for the insurance on both vehicles, whose do they file on? Somethings just do not add up!
Do you ever remember, as a child, your mother telling you it was rude to say certain things. Maybe, as in my case, you had just ask your aunt why she always borrowed your mom's clothes and never returned them? And perhaps, you had added that your mom was pretty hot about it. I remember the feeling of trying to find the path of politeness in this great big world and I am trying to keep that in mind as I guide my children. Politeness can be overwhelming. Let's say that you want to wear jewelry and your parents tell you that God made you beautiful just as you are. In fact, jewelry is "ugly". Then it would be natural to see someone wearing a ring and to comment on how "ugly" rings are. Well, in the past month, there seems to have been so many times when we are telling Abbey that we do not say such-and-such. This came home to me the other day when yet again we were telling her what not to say and she began to review. "And we don't say their teeth are green, momma? And we don't ask how they hurt their leg? (Said leg was missing!) And we don't tell the Pastor that we would rather go to Chili's? And we don't tell them that we would like some toys? Momma, what do we say?" Being the supremely intelligent parents that we are, we gave her pointers on how to talk about the weather. Because, after all, we want her to seem like a ordinary five year-old.
We recently had three Chinese sisters from Taiwan to visit us on the deputation trail. The seven of us shared 1 thirty foot motorhome for three days. That equals to 4.2 feet each if you do not discount length for the motor. God bless them for their patience. In all reality, it was so wonderful to have them here. It only deepened our anticipation to get back home. I have missed Taiwan, but I haven't felt that morose sadness for Taiwan until I saw them off to the airport and had to stay behind. But, for three days, we got to hear and speak Chinese (I mostly realized how much I had forgotten!), talk about the church in Taiwan and the brothers and sisters, and snack on dried seaweed. The church leaders are holding strong without a pastor and we are trying to hold strong without a church. And I highly recommend the seaweed!
I have discovered that kids are kids. Take them where you want, dress them how you please, but when it is all said and done (and the afore mentioned kids will make sure it is all said and all done!) there is still a kid lurking underneath. MKs (missionary kids) included. I have a front row seat to observing this daily since two such kids populate my household. That moment when you want them to be perfect little angels or will even settle for well trained monkeys, someone will be picking their nose. So, in retrospect, I shouldn't be surprised that we have stories concerning our kids while on deputation. What better chance with them on display sometimes up to five times a week? And, without further ado, here are a few I have the bravado to record.
Someone, who shall remain nameless in the blog, felt a call to preach one night at church. It happened to be a large church with 700 or so people. That equals to roughly 1400 eyeballs trained on the missionary family. After the kids were introduced, I took them back to our front row seat and nameless began to struggle in my arms and crying with a very, very loud voice, "Let me go! I want to preach! I want to preach! WAAAAAAHHHH!" And off I go trudging toward the back. If nameless does become a preacher one day, he will not have to ask for "more monitor, please."
At yet another church, we were getting ready to leave and I was rounding up the kids telling them to get their stuff so we could go. Another nameless, having made some little friends and, rightly so, not wanting to leave them began to pout. Instead of enjoying those last few moments together, nameless sat down alone with arms crossed and teary eyes. The pastor, having a very gentle heart toward children, ask nameless what was wrong. According to those around, it seems nameless told the pastor she was sad because she didn't have any toys! Trust me, my kids have more toys than they can play with in this motorhome. A secret part of me hopes that she said something else and was misunderstood, but the chance of that is probably slim to none. The end result was a trip to Walmart with the Pastor and a parental threat.
I guess the best way to begin is to start closer to the present rather than at the beginning since the beginning is full of monotonous details that no one really cares about. Here we are, currently in our 5th month of deputation across America. We started in Florida, crossed over to California, back to Alabama for Christmas, and are now in Texas. I haven't seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, but I have seen the deserts of America.
Why have a blog about driving? Well, actually, this is more about the stops. Don't worry, the name are changed to protect the innocent and/or guilty. The locations are changed to keep you guessing and this is not in real time, so eventhough I am in Texas, the stories might be from just about anywhere. You won't read about anyone you know. But I do promise that they are true. And what's funnier than fiction? Real life!
Is old enough to vote, now old enough to be president. I have 1 wonderful husband and 2 marvelous kids. I live and work in Taiwan with the afore mentioned husband and kids. We have been missionaries here together since 2001, but Chris landed on the island back in 1981. He has been leaving his mark ever since. I came as a new bride with her head in the clouds and it helped tremendously with culture shock! If you want to know anything else about us, you will just have to read the posts.