By now, I should know it. After every message God drops into my heart, there will be a challenge. Am I willing to follow the things I teach?
The last blog was about God watching, never leaving. About having to go through the growing, learning stages; they are not optional. And, wham! The exams followed shortly!
Malaria that hung around longer than it usually does, Deon away from home and on return having to deal with some real challenges to core issues in who he is and how he works. Difficulties experienced with friends here. And all of it points to the crux: am I willing to endure the learning exercises? And do I truly believe that God is good and faithful, never leaving us alone?
I do. And will continue to believe and cling to his truth. We are held in His hands, He cares and directs us. And when the tests come, the Examiner holds us through those times.
I have to comment on how surprised I was at how well a situation works.
Those who have worked in “TIA” Africa (very different to Joburg or Cape Town’s efficiency, when it works) will know that often everyday tasks require great effort and patience. Things do not often go as planned with every day living, so when there is an opportunity to brag about a success here, I will share it!
Deon forgot his gaiters at home. Those obscure things that just had you going his WHAT? They are delightful. Little bits that cover socks so that the socks do not pick up zillions of grass seeds as one walks through fields of possible itch-instigators that can drive a man to curse. Or worse.
I sat for 3 hours one night de-seeding just one pair of socks. Deon needs some protection.
We have a great house worker, Loyce. who is really smart and helpful. Loyce has a great seamstress friend. I tried to explain to the ladies what we needed, with actions and a picture from google. Between Loyce and the seamstress they created a prototype:
The thick plastic would not be very comfortable, but it WOULD stop grass seeds! But even more remarkable than the prototype was Loyce’s next solution. If this worked, then she could buy a thrift-style rain jacket at the Thursday market, and they could remodel those. Now, for those who have not already started ‘wow’ing, you may not quite appreciate that this is lateral thinking, problem solving and smartness that is not found too often.
I just gave the basics of what we needed and did send the first pair back to be made a bit shorter. Further than that, all the thought work, velcro, elasticisation, rain-coat ideas and deliver in producing two great pairs of gaiters are the genius of two smart ladies.
(I think they should develop a production line for the Mwanza mining community. Let me know if you need a pair!)
Another huge joy is the progress made in Mwanzart. The ladies are doing so well.
These are works of learning artists! The work on the right is the very first painting of one of the students. Wow. I am proud of them beyond measure!
The intermediate group is all about COLOUR at the moment. Colour wheels and mixing are EVERYWHERE!
Isn’t this just a perfect scene? Tulip LOVES art classes! (Here she is with her ‘boyfriend’, whom she particularly loves. The people are her main reason for loving class!
The younger students are showing such improvements too. They love calling themselves “real artists”. And with the finger movements, who says they are not? Just look at M ; here is a close up:
Just LOVE the little finger in the air!
Rock City, Mwanza, continues to bring challenges and tests. But there are also endless joys to be had. Like surprises of Lemon meringue pie when you have been longing for it. Like gaiters. Like kids smiles.
And in this Rock City the Rock of Ages still holds fast.