Wednesday, April 25, 2018

It is finished! April 25, 2018

Another day of wondering... is this it? Will it happen? Mikael and the team are Skyping again and I hear spurts of Portuguese and Nyungwe dialogue. They discuss a term that might not really match a Greek item in the original. Can they make it better? They discuss verb tenses and discourse markers... It's about 2:30 pm and this is another "last day" for them to check final revision of Luke. They are finally on chapter 24.

Around 3:30 pm Mikael comes downstairs. 

"We're done."
"For the day? Do you have to work on this tomorrow?!?"

"No, we are done with the New Testament."

Mikael doesn't get excited very easily or visibly. It just doesn't happen. I do! I hugged him. I posted to Facebook. I offered him some coffee. Kids started coming home from school. Mikael's sister saw the post on Facebook and brought a little cake to celebrate when she came to pick up Doris the dog. 

We are celebrating in our hearts. There is still a LITTLE bit of Exodus to check, but the New Testament in Nyungwe is finished! Praise the Lord for his faithfulness!

Two months in and growing strong!

I ended the title with an exclamation point! It is a hopeful gesture more than a show of exultation. This week marks a full two months since we moved back to Sweden as a family. A church friend asked yesterday if we are here to "recharge our batteries" before returning to missions. I sort of laughed. Yes and no, would be the answer to that one.

I was reminded again during the sermon yesterday that we have to live COMPLETELY where we are at the moment. We will miss opportunities to thrive and grow and bless and love if we constantly dream and hope to be somewhere else! We can get lost in that mentality: I'll get to that once I'm ____________. We can fill in the blank with a place or a circumstance: "once I'm back in Africa" or "once the kids finish school" or "when I've finally reached that certain level of spiritual maturity." Honestly, we'll never really get "there" so lets just live the life we are in now!

In our case "recharging our batteries" includes being near family and being included in a loving church family. We have been loved in all of our fellowship families on the mission field, but we sometimes long to be loved by those from our own cultural background. We long for teaching that fits our situation and culture. But the longer we have been away from Europe and USA, the less we actually fit in with the European or American way of looking at life and living out God's love in this world. We do still fit with family! We will have to get as much as we can while we are nearby!

We are at risk of not being a real part of anything here on Earth. That is maybe one of the benefits of mission life. We will be a little lost in the world and find our real connection as brothers and sisters following Jesus. As we struggle to feel a good fit here we need to be aware of belonging to a bigger family in a bigger mission.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

We moved to Sweden!

An important page from my passport

December 7th 2017.
We left Mozambique
There were tears and hugs and lots of luggage and lots of notes about who will take what where and how all of our Earthly possessions have been dispersed. We have very good friends who we trust. We also depend on each other when things get tough or weird or even exciting! I love you guys. You are Jesus' hands weather you know it or not. 

December 10th 2017. 
We arrived in AMERICA!!!
There were hugs and tears and all that luggage! We spent Christmas with my family in Birmingham AL area. Cousins were reacquainted. Sisters were reunited. Brothers-in-law were reminded how it feels to watch the flurry of activity created by the addition of the 1st sister and family to the bunch. It was a wonderful stop and just what we needed. We took the kids away from Grandma's house as little people 5 years ago. They are now full-fledged teenagers and all bigger than Grandma. It was too long to be apart. It was a choice we made to ensure that the Nyungwe New Testament wasn't delayed. Most of our sacrifices are small and involve some physical discomfort in the moment. Pulling kids away from family doesn't hurt very much... until you come back. Then it hits so hard that there aren't words. Love covers all and God's grace is indescribable. 

December 28th 2017. 
We arrived in SWEDEN!!!
In the dark of night on a frozen plane, we landed in Gothenburg into the arms of family once again. We are rich to have such love to receive us and send us off again on each trip. We left Sweden in August of 2013. Our children last went to school in Sweden in 2009! They are in for a real treat this year! They have grown up and thrived in our African homes and schools. They have been surrounded by others who "don't belong" quite where they are.. and as such, they have found a sense of belonging among those like them. Now they are stepping into Swedish schools... as internationally-born Swedes. 

We look forward to finding our place here.
We look forward to meeting old friends here and there.
We look forward to knowing NEW friends in this year we will spend on Mjölmossevägen in the middle of Sweden. Welcome to get in touch if you are in the neighborhood! I've got some Mozambican coffee to share, if you do!