Last Wednesday we had a crazy fierce dust storm. Even many Mexicans here have said they've never seen one that strong. The wind was intense! It felt like our poor trailer was going to pick up and blow away. The wind did pick up every bit of the fine, dry dirt that is notorious here and blew it around. The above picture was taken while I was desperately removing my clothes from the community clothes line. They came off dirtier than they went into the washing machine! A tree actually broke behind me almost giving me a heart attack. Fortunately I was about done and rushed back to the trailer away from the straining towering trees.
I did in fact take a picture of dust. Is that strange? The dust/dirt blew into our trailer at an alarming rate all day. The above picture is about 10 minutes worth around where my coffee maker was sitting. I swept up dirt like a mad woman all afternoon as we huddled in a hot stuffy , dirty trailer. Four filthy kids piled onto my bed and watched movies most of the afternoon. Nathanael went out on a fire call for most of the afternoon (fire + fierce wind = not good). He came home looking like a coal miner. I should have got a picture of that! The kids had dirt in every orfice of their bodies by the end of the day. I even made them irrigate their sinuses with our neti pot (bought for our trip to dusty Baja).
The next day the wind was gone and the clean up began. Lots of shredded tarps, broken awnings and dirt drifts inside buildings....similar to snow drifts but , well, you know. I cleaned every inch of the inside of our trailer. One benefit of a small home is it doesn't take too long to clean.
This is a little glimpse of our neighborhood. A lot of the staff live in old donated permenantly parked trailers.
We are so happy here...despite our new intimate relationship with dirt.
Contentment and peace are two words I would use to describe how I feel about being here. Life isn't easy but it is good. I know this is where God wants us to be in this season of our lives. I am excited to see what He brings across our path this winter and how He uses this experience to mould and stretch us. Service and obebience to His call on our lives (whatever that may be) will always have some aspect of struggle and it will always cost us something. When we move past that struggle into true surrender and submission we consistently find it brings an indescribable peace and joy not found when we strive to build our own life and happiness. That is not saying even in the centre of God's will for you life you will not meet challenges and even heart ache occasionally, but you can feel that peace and joy in the middle of it all.
During this time our focus must continue to be on the One whom we love and serve or our actions are worthless. God has been reminding me of that this week. The last months have been so busy with preparations, travel, vacation and adjusting to life here that I have put my relationship with Christ at the end of the priority list. Like any relationship it must be nurtured, not because he will leave me, but because my heart will turn hard and cold very quickly. Anyone can be charitable but it takes the spirit of God in a man to make the outpouring of his life a blessing to others. In every mundane task, in every grubby job and unnoticed, ungamorous act of servanthood God is building in me the person he created me to be....and I have a long way to go. I will live in obedience and leave the outcome of that to God. We don't serve because we have to, we don't serve because it earns us favor with God...we serve because it is the outpouring of being filled with unfathamoble love and mercy.