We had our annual Bonfire and Hayride at Shady Acres last night. Daniel asked me how long we’ve been doing this, and I said that I thought probably about ten years. Last night was one of the most memorable yet because of the perfect weather, the gorgeous moon, and the wonderful people who came to share with us. “Our kids” that come to Sunday School were all here — with one set of parents and the one Dad, and the kids were pretty wild. Half way through the evening someone came into the house and dialed 911 and hung up. I came into the house 20 minutes later to get something, and got a phone call from the State Police asking if everything was alright, wondering if they needed to dispatch someone out here. Of course I was totally in the dark, but promised to investigate. And (of course!) NO ONE knew anything at all and the evening went on. I went back to see if 911 had, in fact, been dialed from the house phone and sure enough, there it was. We can always surmise and suspect and wonder, but there were so many people here last night, not just the children, who could have done it, I guess, but I found other things amiss — lots of trash, just thrown down, a broken flower pot on the deck, overturned stands, etc., that make me wonder just what all happened under the cover of darkness.
It reminds me again of how much we’ve been given in the training we’ve had, and the examples that we’ve had before us of being stewards of what is entrusted into our care — but it also reminds me of the fact that when we are called to a mission, when we feel strongly that God has asked us to be involved in lives that are messy or noisy or angry or broken, we can expect that it comes with a cost to our comfort and complacency and even (maybe especially) our treasures. The flower pot that was broken last night was a gift from one of my cousins when I had surgery last spring. It was a spikey geranium that has been incredibly beautiful all summer, and I had plans of wintering it over because it just wouldn’t stop blooming.
I especially loved the big round bellied pot that she had it in, and I looked at that broken pot, strewn across the deck and wanted to cry. I picked up the flower, found it surprisingly intact and repotted it in a handy, white plastic container, brought it into the sun room and hoped for the best. Time will tell.
On another note, back just before Rachel left for Uganda, there had been an outbreak of the Ebola Virus — which was quickly contained, and travel was not restricted. However, we received an e-mail this morning from the home office of her sending organization, Uganda Studies Program, informing us that there has been an outbreak of Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever (of the same family of viruses as Ebola) in western Uganda. Not only is it close to “home” for this team, but one of the University Professors at Uganda Christian University (THEIR UNIVERSITY) has died. The students of the team are with host families in Eastern Uganda this week (So Grateful!!!) but are scheduled to return tomorrow to the university. Steps have been taken to isolate anyone who had contact with the professor, and everything has been done to insure the safety of the students that physically can be. If you could just pray for Rachel, her Cedarville friend, Anna, who is in Uganda with her, and the rest of the team, I would certainly appreciate it.
They are all in the hands of The Father, and it is a good time for me to trust HIM with another of my “Precious Treasures.”