“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Even though I wouldn’t call any week that we’ve been here easy (because no entire week in life…no matter where you live or what you do…is entirely easy), this past week life gave us a run for our money. Without going into detail, the following things went wrong:
- Our dryer belt broke…
- …which we discovered because it burned our bedspread.
- Our SIM card in our phone stopped working.
- The car we’d owned for 5 days began leaking anti-freeze.
- We realized our car was leaking anti-freeze right after we’d missed the bus we would need to take to church, and we couldn’t call anyone to give us a ride or call a tow truck for the car because we didn’t have a working phone.
- On Monday James left his computer on his desk and when he came back it was on the floor and the screen looks like shattered glass. We’re still not really sure what happened.
So, it was a long week. Honestly, we’ve been able to fix the dryer, the phone, and the car for relatively little money for what it could’ve cost. (We still haven’t been able to take in James’s computer because we just got our car back last night.) And we really weren’t upset about the money. None of those things are essentials and we can take our time in fixing them if we need to.
It was just so discouraging. With the stresses of work, it was so nice to come home and pull ourselves together for the next day. But when home became a place where we were constantly having to fix things and try to coordinate rides to fix things or buy parts, it definitely drained us. So often I feel like I could fall apart, but by God’s grace and because of your prayers I always find a way. So it was overwhelming to have “stuff” falling apart on us too.
Then, this afternoon we were informed that our after school tutoring program at La California School is officially on hold until further notice. Apparently everything was going well and communication was happening, and today we hit a wall. All we know is that the school had a bad experience with a tutoring program in the past that we were just informed of today, and as of right now they have completely cut off communication with us. The director of our school even went over to their school this morning to try to discuss things, and La California’s director refused to see her. So, please pray as we have been very abruptly informed of this and we were supposed to begin tutoring this Wednesday. We were (and are) both excited to begin serving this community alongside our students and we are feeling frustrated and sad about this road block.
In the midst of all of this, my mom sent me an email. “We [my mom and sister] were both saying that you must be doing something amazing because you are obviously under attack. So even if it doesn’t feel amazing, the proof is in the trials that you are facing over and over again…I pray that those of us who love you and are supporting you will have your back as we stay on our knees in prayer.” The sad thing is, it hadn’t even occurred to me that that may be the reason for these trials. I think so often I feel like I am not good at my job…I am still learning how to be a preschool teacher and so much of my job feels like trial and error. But I am doing my best to love these kids and show them Jesus each day. And that makes Satan mad. Even if I don’t always feel successful, he is so mad that I am trying in the first place. I remember a sermon (by Ryan Rummage) that I heard in high school that talked about Satan knowing my name. Ryan talked about Satan not knowing the names of the people who are not a threat to him; he knows the names of the ones who are fighting against him, seeking to glorify God, with all of their being. I want him to know my name. I am still struggling to “consider it pure joy,” but I am learning that my efforts and not just the results of my efforts matter. So please continue to pray for me as I learn to consider it pure joy.
We ask for prayers for an upcoming opportunity as well. The Bible teacher at school appreciated the devotional that James and I gave at Staff Devotional and has asked us to share at High School Chapel on November 14th. Pray that the students would be open and that God would once again give James and I His words (in both English and Spanish 🙂 ).