February 28, 2005
phonecall and following
Tonight I got a phonecall from Albania. It was Milto - as cheerful as he always is, with loving words that he always has - telling me he misses me, he is proud of me and asking when I will be there with him. He was with the kids - they had all been playing ping pong at the seafarers centre and now they were back at the home where they sleep. It is a cold and poor place - but where they are sheltered at night, fed, cared for and where they learn of Jesus and pray. It's a place where they feel secure in the protection of Uncle Milto. Senada, a 14 year old girl who is now pregnant spoke with me - asking when I would come, telling me she misses me. Then her brother who told me it was so cold over there right now, and Alexander a sweet young orphaned boy who I am just filled with so much affection for asked his nice kid like questions - leaving silences for me to fill in, with my broken Albanian language. I think about what it means to decide for love, and for the greatest desire of the heart, and I know there is so much that would fight against choosing the more sacraficial choice of another culture, of poverty of sorts and of leaving behind another place I have come to call home. But there is a deeper desire! It is wanting the way put infront of me by God. Can it be that there is such a way? Gosh if it were not so - so much of my life would have been a fine but coincidental misendeavor. I know when I have been in the place provided for me that I have loved each moment of every day - despite the challenges. Right now I am with a great team of people, now friends, working with others who have so many heart ache struggles. A girl that I have stayed awake through the night with a few times has been cutting herself terribly - but this self harming is part of what I am being taught about, being prepared for the future with. I think about what Allan has said about the notebook - what would I want? Well, give me numerous desire of my heart that I would choose - and I would love them - be it places or people - and I would struggle along as I do today. But with the heart given over - longing to be where He would want me to be - I find I am given the option of life as I never could have guessed, going places I never would have thought about, and doing things I didn't know I could handle. I have no idea how that all comes to be, and as to finding that I am one desrving of the love being offered to me from a godly man, and the trust of kids that need some loving attention - well - I don't deserve that at all. It's not the easiest following - but it must be the place where I will find the most happiness - although I don't know how it happens. I've loved every day of ministry to the refugees, of serving those who once were homeless, of studying at Moody Bible Institute, and I know I will feel the same in the ancient city of Durres on the Ardiatic Coast of Albania - with gypsy street children - who will become my friends and who will command my heart. It's so funny that the things that I think about alot are the things that you guys write about too - just we all have our unique ways of life and searching about us. Yeah - there's a core - the underserved grace and the seed planted in our spirits that we had so little to do with ourselves. I have no idea about the way our God works! I went to bed at 5am in the morning after waiting for Debbie to come back from the hospital - I had spent no time with God for a couple of days, but he answered all of the prayers Gareth and I prayed into the evening with before we came on to work that night. I was full of my feeling small in Gods eyes - but the only verses that I briefly opened up to read in Romans were that the things we want to do we don't do, the things we don't want to do we do - but God made a way through all of that - I'm set free. I don't get it yet - but I was made secure again until my next self despairing. I'm wandering blind - but given a gift of a color filled scene before me as I see God at work despite my weakness and in realising that yeah - God still has a place for this selfilled oftentimes confused one. Thanks to Jenn and Allan for the thoughts after God and the light hearted insights to encourage. Blessings!