The last five days have felt like Hewa again. Our typical day starts with the surrounding mountains tucked into their fleecy white blankets of cloud and fog. They stay that way until the sun lazily makes its way to the top of our eastern mountain and cooks off those clouds and fog. You can't even think about using any power or having a plane land before 9:30 am. The sun then takes over for the rest of the day, giving us power and everyone enough light and warmth to work. Then late afternoon, the clouds roll back in and bring rain for the evening. This is daily life here. All year long. Sure there are "rainy seasons" and "dry seasons" but that usually means a little more rain than normal or a little less rain than normal. Over the last five days, that pattern has returned giving us the rain that was so desperately needed. We are hoping and praying this pattern lasts.
The typical dry season is nothing like what we have been experiencing. This isn't a dry season, it's a drought. And during this drought the sun comes up bright and strong early in the morning, lasting all day with no clouds in sight. There has been an eery haze covering everything from all the fires burning gardens and jungle all over the country. It's like we are constantly looking through our screened windows even when we are standing out on the wide open airstrip…like there are screens on our eyes.
It took four days, but now on day five, the haze is gone and we can see the crisp clear lines of the jungle again.
So, if you are praying for rain - keep it up! We truly appreciate everyone's emails of prayer and encouragement. We also really appreciate everyone who has asked about donating money to bring in relief in the form of food supplies. Right now, we are trying to figure out a good way for you to do that. So please, hold off on sending funds specifically for drought relief until we figure out the best way for you to do so.
We recently received the unfortunate news that we can no longer get tax deductions for our children if we have foreign earned income (Which according to the IRS, we do. I guess they figure that since most other countries' child labor laws are more lax than those of the U.S. our kids must be working and supporting themselves now). Our income tax for the year has significantly increased because of this. So we are trying to figure out how you all can donate for the drought in a way that does not have to come through our personal income, as we would like to have 100% of your donations go straight to providing food for the Hewa.
The greatest thing you can do for now is pray that the rains continue. We read several news articles that said the drought is supposed to last through December because of "El Niño" but we know that God is bigger than any weather patterns. He created those weather patterns and can do with them as He wishes. If the rains continue as normal, the Hewa will need outside help for just a short time until the gardens start producing again. This is the best case scenario for all of us.