Friday, October 22, 2010

It Ended Up In the Hole

My current time in Tanzania with Angel House has been a time of growth. Grass Roots (the organization over Angel House and the rest of our ministries here) is in a time of growth. We are building a secondary school, developing our staff to better take care of our kids, and even looking at different partnerships within Tanzania. All of this development is prompting me to step into roles and jobs that I have never done before. There is a lot of on the ground learning going on. One of the lessons I am learning well is patience.

Earlier this week the student bathroom that was the farthest along in the construction process decided it did not appreciate what its foundation was doing for it. The bathroom decided to fall in. I am sure that the rain and newly poured cement adding a lot to the weight of the foundation helped contribute to the fall. I also know that the fall contributed to my stress level as it sets our construction of the school back on the timeline. I have encountered many such setbacks, stalls, and roadblocks since we have been back. And unfortunately I am not a patient person by nature. Every time I find myself up against something that threatens to derail “our” plans once again I am reminded that what is often the most important thing in any situation is how you respond to it. It is easy to grow frustrated and it is easy to wait for someone else to figure out a solution. What I have learned to be more difficult, but worthwhile is to gather the right people around you and work together toward a solution.

I was reading in the Gospel of Luke about Jesus going to the temple and reading the passage in Isaiah that outlined Jesus’ ministry and named him as anointed by God. This was the verse that proclaimed that Jesus came to give sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed, and release for the captives. What most caught my attention in that passage though was that Jesus was simply doing what he always did. The opening few verses say that Jesus went to the synagogue as was his custom and that he read from a scroll that was handed to him. This was the day to announce in his home town the start of his ministry, yet this day was also just one in a string of faithful attendance to the place where he had grown up worshiping his father. This big day in his life was not altogether out of the ordinary. That is something I struggle with. I struggle to have the patience to do the day in, day out work awaiting the big days, even if the day in and day out are what make those big days possible.

I am learning patience. I am learning to deal with setbacks. I am learning to be constructive in slow, patient, steady ways so that someday the announcement can be made, on a day like any other, that it is the finally day we have been waiting for.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. ~Romans 12:12

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