Monday, February 18, 2008

The contrasting pictures

Hey friends and family,
It has been another week here, and we have really done a lot in that time, and have had a lot on our minds. We were at Peace House all last week, and this weekend we got to go on an incredible campout that included the most exciting and beautiful hike of my life. Life at Peace House has really been fun lately because of our growing relationships with the kids. It is so great having a few of them becoming comfortable enough to come and chill in our room with us. Here are some names of the kids we are getting to know the best: Good Hope, Fred, Alex, Andrew, Johnson 1, Johnson 2, Cosmas, and Selamani. I’d love it if you would say a prayer for them. I played some soccer today for the first time, and got absolutely owned. I had the ball go through my legs and popped over my head multiple times. I already knew I was slow, and playing today gave me a new reassurance of that. But now we also have a volleyball court set up, so that has been fun. We continue to do outside work during the day. Lately, we have mostly been digging holes to plant trees in.

This weekend, Zach, Max, Gina, and I drove about 5 hours away to a really neat campout spot. We spent about 3 hours on a dirt road that felt more like a rollercoaster or horse ride. The road took us through the bush, and probably some of the world’s prettiest scenery. We passed Maasai villages, naked kids in muddy puddles, thousands of cows and donkeys, and some amazing animals, like zebra, ostrich, wildebeest, grant and thompson gazelle. We ate a picnic style lunch on the way that I definitely will never forget. We were surrounded by animals and mountains, a smoking volcano, and absolutely no one in sight for miles and miles. We spent two days camping in tents, which is always fun, whether you are in your backyard or in the African bush! On Saturday, we went hiking, and it was so amazing. I wish you could have seen it, because every moment of it was almost breathtaking. We hiked up a river, surrounded by tall cliffs and mountains and palm trees. Some of the way, we were actually walking in the water, and other times we had to do some pretty serious climbing. In the four hours it took for us to get to the source of the river, we saw close to 50 waterfalls both in the river and pouring from the cliff on the side. We finally got to the source, and it was the most beautiful place I have ever stood. On three sides stood a 500 foot cliff wall pouring out crystal clear water from what seemed like a hundred spots. It was like we were the only people on Earth living in the most glorious and peaceful place created. I stood on the face of the cliff for 20 minutes in awe at its beauty and the glory of its Creator. I felt in that time God was strengthening my hope of our future glory in Him and our eternal home.

God let me see one more thing this weekend I’d like to share with you, but it is a grotesque picture, in sharp contrast to the picture of the river source. On our drive back, when we were only about an hour from home, I saw what looked like a dead animal on the road ahead. But as we came closer, the dead animal became a very young dead boy lying dead. He must have just been hit by a car, who we were told most likely just drove off. His mother was wailing on the other side of the road. I was really shaken up after seeing that, especially because I had just seen something so beautiful and full of life. In those next couple of hours, I thought about the sharp contrast between life full of God and life absent of His grace and love. It was so sad, but at the same time I was so thankful to know we worship a God who has prepared for us a glorious home, a “kingdom which cannot be shaken.” He is our only hope in a pretty dark world. I pray that you would thank God at this moment for His wonderful gift, and also pray for those who do not know Him as Savior. Thanks so much for reading about our lives here. You all mean so much to us.
Much love,
andrew and zach

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