Wednesday, December 5, 2012

House Living

Hey, remember me? I live in the jungle and I write this blog? I know I promised blogs from the bush via email, but that was a dumb promise to make. I expected that our email would just work like it was supposed to, but no. That was a very presumptuous expectation. I will spare you all the boring details, but our email doesn't really work, so we have to use our co-workers computer to email, which makes it difficult for this homeschooling, potty training, language-learning mama to do. This morning I barely made it to the bathroom much less to my coworker's house to write emails (and yes, I did say �potty training��Mia quit going to the potty as soon as the helicopter landed, so now that we are somewhat settled, we are trying again).

Anyway, I think it is going to take me a while to figure out what works with writing out here and what doesn't. There is so much going on and so much I want to say, but most of it really needs a picture and that I can't do. I will save those posts for when we come out to town. Right now I will just try to fill you in a little on what life is like out here in my remote jungle home. My last posts were about house building, but there is a huge difference in building a house when you are not living in it, and then finishing the house while trying to maintain a normal daily existence.

1. There will be bugs. Oh yes, there will be bugs. When we all moved in as a family, I had a working bathroom and kitchen. I had beds, and even a desk to do school with the kids. I had a washing machine and a nice laundry line to hang my clothes. I also had two huge gaping holes in the house on the gable ends. The priority is to get everything functional and then you can close everything up, so it is just you and your family and not you, your family, and one million moths. I actually had to make sure everything was covered while I was cooking because anytime a lid was off a pot for more than a second, three moths would plunge to their deaths in my family's dinner.

2. You are living in a construction zone. There are still cabinets to be made and put up, and lots of other projects that have to be done, so you can stop living out of boxes and suitcases. Those projects get done right inside your house. There is sawdust everywhere. Go ahead and sweep, but know that what you are doing is the equivalent to shoveling snow while it is still snowing. Also, your kids now know every tool ever created and how fast that tool can kill them if they touch it.

3. Your team is gone. It is just your husband trying to finish the house all by himself. So guess who just became his right hand man woman. That's right. You. With your weak upper body strength and lack of spatial skills. You will be frustrated. He will be frustrated. That is all.

4. You are not just here to build a house. Guess what? You're a missionary. You have to interact with people. You can't just finish your house like you want to, and get it over with. You have to make time to build relationships and learn language. This is actually a nice fun break from the construction, but then you have to walk back into your house and be reminded of all that still needs to be done. That is not fun.

5. On top of all this, you are also a mom (if, in fact, you are a mom, if not, ignore this one). You have to feed, clothe, and educate your children. So there may be a day when you are simultaneously calling out spelling words, holding a ladder, stirring a pot full of moths, and incorrectly yelling greetings out your window in the new language you are learning. You may have to stop all this to do some wiping�either of rear ends or walls, but if you have a toddler similar to mine there will be many interruptions no matter how many plates you are juggling.

Ok, there it is. It is crazy, but it is life for our family. There are some mornings I wake up feeling overwhelmed, and a few nights I go to bed totally defeated, but most days are overall pretty amazing.

To live in this tiny hamlet of the Hewa people is sort of like perpetually living in the eye of a hurricane. In full candor, the Hewa are liars, thieves, and murderers by nature. But in this small village tucked between the mountains and the river, live people who no longer live by this sin nature. They have heard and believed the good news of the Gospel and their lives reflect that. We hear the tremendous winds of fighting, sorcery and witch hunting all around us, and sometimes we have to walk into those winds to help out. Other times people come running to this little eye for relief. They have heard that something is different here, and they long for the peace they see in the lives of their relatives.

It is beautiful, but also motivating. We see that this little eye could collapse very easily. That to truly call the Hewa people �reached�, all the Hewa need to hear. Every village, every dialect, every person made and loved by God. It is a giant task, one that we know we are not capable of completing. But He is. And He is allowing us the privilege of a front row seat to watch Him do it.


  1. I wish I could push a "like" button for this.

  2. I think all of us who know and love Jessi, JM, and the girls and miss the Tribalwife blogs need to campaign to get them a satellite modem. We'd have to buy it and ship it though, because if we sent money they would spend it on something they need more like food, particularly flour, which Jessi will run out of before February when the helicopter comes back again.