The end of another Monday. Monday's for me are exhausting. Today was a pretty typical day. It began at 6:00am when I looked out my bedroom window and saw a family being taken into the clinic that is in our basement. A great family from Australia has a 16 month old boy whose lung has inexplicably collapsed in the night. He is being medevaced out even as I type.
I then read the Word for a while and tried to prepare for the day. I take very seriously Jesus' caution in Luke 12:42, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time." I need to be ready to give people the 'food' they need to accomplish what the King has set for them.
But, first things first I have to get my eight year old son up out of bed.
7:00am I begin to tell my son to get up. There will be no help from Arwen this morning as she has been helping some friends with homeschooling. She has stayed up all night practicing Calculus. I know, a nightmare for me and you but it was a thoroughly enjoyable night for Arwen. But I wont wake her until later just the same.
7:20am- Son is up and eating cereal for breakfast. I fast on Mondays so just tea for me. Lots of tea.
8:00am- Son is finally out the door. Arwen is up with our two year old and I am downstairs to my office to work. I do e-mail. Several letters are needed to give information to a new team who is coming to Gondor to work with us. I also deal with the logistics of several visitors who will be coming next month. Sometimes I read a few blogs until someone comes in and I move on pretending to be doing something useful instead.
9:30am- I am just finishing all my letter writting when my wife comes down and tells me our language helper is here. We try and have language lessons on Mondays and Thursdays but Arwen often ends up alone on Mondays. Today will be no different.
9:40am- A team member calls with a disaster report. He and our doctor went on Sunday afternoon to a village that had experienced a flash flood on Saturday. The village is the home of one of our national friends and he showed up very upset on Saturday night asking for help. So, our two guys went on Sunday afternoon to the young man's father's house. The small village did not experience much damage as a whole but a young girl was killed and about four houses destroyed. This is not a disaster that our NGO would get involved in but our house churches have sent money to help. Our friend's father's house was half buried in a mud flow. They were forced to exit through the second story window. His entire crop for the year is buried under a solid meter of mud. The guys hired a tractor to dig out the house and channel future water safely away. I gave some advice on how to proceed and by the time I hung up the phone the team was there.
10:00am- Our national disaster team showed up to brief me on the previous week's work and to plan for the this week. They showed me pictures of the canal project and the home relocation project. The canal project involves piping spring water down a nine kilometer hillside to a small village in the mountians. The villagers have already dug most of the trench needed for the project. We will provide the pipe and some cement to cap the spring. The pictures of the home relocation project were quite dramatic. An entire mountainside is coming slowly down on top of a village to the southeast of Minas Tirith. We will work with Habitat for Humanity to relocate twenty homes this summer. The villagers will build their own homes with the aid of Habitat engineers and we will be on-site with a tent warehouse for the materials and monitor the project. This gives us tremendous access to the villagers for ministry. Frodo and the team will go down to Anfalas today to look over the irrigation canal work that the village is putting in. They also look forward to spending time with the young church that is there. Keep praying for Dwalin as he is still consumed by fear. Pray that he will die to himself and truly live for our Savior.
11:00am- We pray and the team sets off. Our doctor comes in and needs help with an oxigen tank whose valve wont turn properly. He needs it to transport the baby with the collapsed lung. I get the plyers and start banging- I am a natural to work with my hands (read sarcasm here).
11:30am- I go and buy printer ink for my wife who is now up and working on language learning resources for the school.
12:00pm- I suddenly remember that I need to get our secretary some updated reports for the new Government forms that they want turned in yesterday. Fortunately, I am fasting so don't have to stop for lunch.
1:00pm- I turn in the reports and figure that I have a good hour to read and pray before our afternoon meeting. Several people come in and I deal with them instead.
2:00pm- Our NGO meeting for expatriots (foregners) begins. We talk about some of the things I just mentioned. Then we talk about what I am really excited about which is a couple of our families moving north this year to start a new office in Cair Andros. This is a remote valley that we have had limited success in ministering to in the past because we can only access it by a high pass that is closed much of the winter. Our team leader for the project is a great Swiss guy who has a real heart for the people of that valley. We discuss the recent floods they have had and the erosion problems that we have begun helping with there.
3:30pm- Our South African Lawyer friend and another man from Australia meet to go over the wording of the constitution for the new seminary that we are jointly starting with the churches of Minas Tirith. We have had great cooperation and participation from the many backrounds of believers who are there and there is a great sense of unity as we go forward. But the wording of a constitution- especially when you are talking with a lawyer- is tiring work and the work drags on until nearly 6:00pm.
6:00pm- I go upstairs with complete brainfry. I am just lying down when my eight year old reminds me that he needs some dad time. We play for a while. I swing with my two year old and then I watch an episode of 'Lost' with my eight year old. He goes to bed and then I stay up with my two year old whom I now understand has had a long nap that afternoon. It is 11:40pm now and I think he is just about asleep. His mother has been in bed since 9:30 which is very unusual for her but I am sure she needs it after staying up all last night!
So, what can I say for my Monday? I did not share the gospel with anyone today. But if I have done my work well and fed the laborers at the proper time I can say that at least three teams of guys are sharing their faith in no less than seven different communities. Tuesday through Fridays are better with me spending a lot more time with nationals and every other week even heading out to the villages for a couple of days. But this is Monday and I am glad to be saying goodnight.