Garry has had some incredible opportunities in Africa. He's met amazing people and seen amazing things. He's journeyed for two weeks primarily with people he would never have met without this trip. He has looked into two flight programs and interviewed various people within those programs. He attended a local church in Zambia and met passionate believers, some of them missionaries, who do a variety of things. He went on an African Safari and saw incredible wildlife from close range.
This week we at home had a first when Kaleb was beat up and his bike stolen at a local park. He wasn't exactly overpowered, but rather caught off guard. The bike is important to him, and his biking has been a great opportunity to connect with kids and minister to them. We were shocked and hurt. Some stranger had taken advantage of one of us, and in so doing, offended all of us. We called the police and were surrounded by badminton friends as we looked through security camera photos and filed the report.
News from Venezuela, the land of my birth, has been double-sided. Peaceful protests took place yesterday, and many prayers were answered as protesters went home without the bloodshed that could have happened. Yet the reasons for the protests are heartbreaking, the reality of everyday life in that country alarming. We grieve for what is and ask God for mercy and grace for this country.
The Philippines is also making the news as a new president begins his term and reportedly battles drug abuse. His methods inspire fear at many levels. We pray from here and wish we could do more, but we have no clue what that would be.
As I look at the photos of Africa, it looks different, and yet so similar to places we've lived before. And I wonder why we are so blessed. You see, when we faced the mugging and theft, friends were somewhat shocked. Police showed up. The process reminded us of all the ways we are blessed and the obstacles at-risk kids in our country face as they grow up. In many other countries, a great percentage of the population is at risk, facing danger and difficulty we can barely imagine. God must weep at what evil has done in this world, and lately we've been reminded of His heartbreak as our hearts break at the evil, pain, and suffering we see.
The tears have reminded me once more that light is greater than darkness, that good has the capacity to overcome evil. My resolve to live in light and righteousness has been strengthened by the stories I am hearing and living. My prayers for others have grown longer. My view of the battle going on all over the world has shifted, my appreciation of what God's people are doing has grown. My heart to see God's people fight evil with good has deepened.