The ocean, a reflection of the sky, was so dark blue today - Wow! As I walked the beach I felt a letter coming on. Whenever you see an awesome sight like the ocean, man cannot mess that up, or when you see a flower, just think that it is God saying, "I love you, and I have given you all this to enjoy." It was a day after a night of rain, when we were able to catch two drums of water, not so hot and just right.
You are probably tired of hearing about the water situation. At least now we have a good system going on. The water has been off so long and we have been praying for water. Well, it rained hard last night - straight from God, right? So, up we went to catch it in drums. I was able to do four loads - catch the wash water with which to wash floors and flush toilets; catch the rinse water with which to do the next load of wash. We have the dirty drum of water, but lots of nice soap, to the rinse water, to the clean water. Anyway, it is lots better – the house is clean. Who knows, we might even keep this system of recycling water. I don't know if I want to tolerate two drums in the laundry room non-stop.
The situation here in San Pedro is calm --- we just came through a civil war. The former president is in custody, and the new president has the hard job of uniting the country, restoring order, keeping the soldiers under control, and trying to get the economy back on its feet. Gas is in town; taxis were lined up. It costs $10.50 a gallon, so think of that the next time you fill your tank. We are thankful that we have a diesel Land Cruiser. The market and supermarket are open again, and today while we were at the beach, we saw two ships - one pulling away full of containers, probably cocoa, and one arriving for pick-up.
During this period of unrest we heard gunshots. Twice, young men with guns, I don't know whose side they were on, came and tried to steal the cars - ours and Andy and Becky's. In God's provision, neither car was working at the time, and after that Dan and Andy deflated some tires to make sure they would not go. So many had their cars stolen. One of our neighbors had both cars stolen and another neighbor had one stolen. The guys that stole his couldn't even drive -- hit that man's big iron gate on the way out - oh well. So, God has been protecting us and providing for us at the same time.
Meanwhile, since we had to "lay low," we did not go out in the evenings and did not take the car out for about a month. I was thinking of Jesus saying, "Come apart and be ye separate for a while." They needed a rest. I felt in need of a rest. I sometimes do not look forward to Sunday - so, I am honest: lots of kids, it is always hot and tiring, I have my own baby to think of, lots to teach, get home late -- 8:30 to 12:30 or later, and usually a house full of kids from church to feed, and no water for the clean up. This has actually been a great month for me. On top of that, Andy and Becky's (my sister) family had moved in with us just before all the trouble started. Their house had been sprayed with an insecticide that was causing Andy to have severe headaches. While they were staying with us, they had friends completely scrub down all the walls and screens and then even paint most of the house. By the time the main unrest was over, the house was livable again. So, we had the added joy of all being together and not having to wonder how it was with them.
If to love God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind is the greatest commandment; what would be the greatest sin? Right, to NOT love God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. Aren't we all guilty of that? Even the most self-righteous sinner is guilty of breaking the law and needs Jesus to save him.
Happy Easter! (late) Such a small phrase to cover such a huge event.
With lots of love,
Dan and Joan
Ruth and Hannah (in the Philippines), Seth, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon
PS. Our water came on. Never feel sorry for us - just be thankful. It is not at all unusual to hear our kids pray, "Thank you for the electricity and water being on." After a hot, sleepless night we are extra thankful for electricity; and after almost running out of clothes we are extra thankful for water.