I hope this update finds you well and not too buried in snow yet! It has been an eventful four weeks and the time has flown by once again.
For the month of November, I have been joined by my dear friend from Pittsburgh, Rachel. She has been such a joy and blessing to have here in New Zealand. She brings back to me energy to do the endless little tasks, keeps me accountable in study and prayer, and is helping me prepare a Thanksgiving feast for our host family this week. It will be hard for all of us to see her go!
A couple of the families in the neighborhood are getting ready to move out so that their houses can be rebuilt from quake damage. We have been helping them pack boxes and organize belongings to smooth the transition. It’s a big task to move and an even bigger one when you have been rooted for 10+ years and have children of all ages.
With Rachel’s help, I have also started to work with one of the local churches on more earthquake recovery outreach. We have been locating people in the area who are still under heavy stress and anxiety from the quakes. Unfortunately, most of that struggle is a result of abuse and neglect from agencies who are meant to be helping to rebuild the community. Three years later many people are still waiting for necessary repairs to their homes, waiting for a verdict on rebuilding, waiting for a just sum of money so that they can move away, or waiting for emotional support from the ongoing trauma. When we find a household that is experiencing any of these trials, we connect them with the proper service departments and check-in on them periodically to ensure progress.
Like the people of the neighborhood, we are all waiting. We cannot seem to settle or rest because we are waiting for something and we are impatient. I know I spend most of my time waiting on something to change, assuming that this next change will be worth the wait and will bring me contentment. The issue with that mindset is that I am never fully at peace and I am never free from the desire to change again. The solution is to train my mind to wait on nothing but God. If my eyes remain fixed on Him, I can be removed from all concern for the future. He will come in perfect timing and bring with Him peace in all circumstances. It is true that all things on earth fade and pass away, and change is as common as the seasons, but with hope in the Unchangeable Truth there is no room or need for fear. I will wait and not be anxious; I will change and not be disturbed. There is also a difference to me between active and passive waiting. Expecting change should not and will not prevent me from working with all my heart for the good in front of me now or from loving the people I am with today.
“Everything is only for a day; both that which remembers and that which is remembered. Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the universe loves nothing so much as to change things which are and make new things like them. For everything that exists is, in a manner, the seed of that which will be.” -Marcus Aurelius
Thank you for reading, following, and supporting me always!