Here in the Hallway

"Until God opens the next door, praise him in the hallway."

That is where we have found ourselves.

In the hallway.

Having left where God had us and not yet planted where he has led us.

Our hiatus from Ethiopia is looking to be more lengthy than we anticipated. Partly because the issues which caused us to leave are still being settled, and partly because we had planned to be here for the month of December and plane tickets back and forth again would be evidence of poor stewardship of the resources God has afforded us.

So, we are here. The kids and I. Until January 1st. It may be in the budget for Keith to return for a time to work and "test the waters," as he likes to phrase it to tease his family.

If you are confused as to exactly what is going on, email me. Although I am an open book when it comes to my own personal life (hygiene, bowel movements, menstrual cycle, etc.), I cannot put much detailed information here, as it is someone else's personal business. You can also click HERE for our latest ministry newsletter sent on 9/25, which has more specifics on the situation.

While we are here, we will continue to work from Texas. Our hours are a little different, as Keith has been up until the wee hours of the morning on phone calls with mission teams or folks in Ethiopia. This is a job that we don't get to put down at 5 PM. A job that supersedes meal times and bed times. A job we are doing in order to help save the jobs of close to a hundred Ethiopians...who are at risk for losing their families because they are seen as unemployable. A ministry that we are a part of in order to see the Gospel spread and lives impacted both in Ethiopia and Stateside. That is our priority right now. Making connections with people here and there in order to keep the ship sailing during this time of transition.

We don't feel like God has closed the door to Ethiopia. Not yet at least. That country, its culture and people are still rooted deeply in our hearts. However, while in this hallway, we will praise him.

A few things for which I am praising God:

Kids who, in all of this shuffling around...giving half their toys and clothes away...being dropped into a foreign culture...and again leaving their home behind, haven't batted an eye. Their adjustment has been amazing.

Luxuries like Target, Walmart, Trader Joe's, and other amazing grocery stores within a few miles of us.

Parents (in-laws to me) who have graciously let us take over half their home.

I am praising God for a deli counter that slices cheese with a different knife than the one used to slice the beef. That wasn't the case in Ethiopia, hence the bits of beef on the edges of my cheese. I am serious. And repulsed at the memory.

A kitchen that always has power...so that I don't have to cook wearing a headlamp.

Water. From the faucet. With no traces of fecal matter. Safe to drink. No worries of the tank running out. I can open my eyes and mouth in the shower. Rinse my toothbrush. No chances of anyone (Keith) contracting Giardia. Oh, man. I have missed the water.

Driving my van. Driving down the road. Driving my van. Honk, honk, I go. Sing with me!

Internet. Oh, what did I ever do without you?

Finally, we all praised God for days when this arrived.
I never thought I'd see this Barbie bag or its travel contents again. However, Lufthansa airline has won me over. Like I said before, I let the kids completely pack themselves. This was Avery's carry-on, stuffed with her Hannah Montana blanket and Dumbo. I tucked in a few favorite kids books and all our rain jackets before Keith tied the handles together. It was overlooked in the overhead compartment when we gathered our things in Frankfurt. During our layover, Keith was given a business card with an e-mail address to describe the lost "luggage." Although the bag contained none of our information...it's just a reusable shopping bag, with Barbie plastered on the front, the kind employees at Lufthansa tracked it down and mailed it to us. I love them.

It was a day of rejoicing.