It’s been a while! I haven’t sat down to type out the words of my heart for a while – two months to be exact. At first, I thought that I had nothing to say; that nothing was happening. Just building relationships; learning about the cultures; finding a church family; settling into a school routine. Then – WOW – too much to share. Things are starting to move fast. It almost felt like too much to share. Do I share about The Dream Centre? Or the relationships forming at God’s Little Lighthouse? Or this plan? or that plan?
In the midst, I realized that we had found a new normal. It’s normal to live this crazy life overseas. It’s normal to wake up to the sound of the ocean waves crashing even though we are blocks away. It’s normal to drive on the other side of the car and on the other side of the road. It’s normal to be surrounded by 2 or 3 different languages. It’s normal to have my heart on 2 different continents. It’s normal to pay for things in rand instead of dollars.
But about two weeks ago – the new normal was turned upside down! The township of Masiphumelele was rocked by violence and destruction. This beautiful place where some of our favorites live was turned into a war zone! And, suddenly, this was a new normal that I don’t like….I don’t like it AT. ALL!!!
I won’t go into details about all that has happened – rape and murder and mobs and stoning people and burning others and protests and police and tear gas and fires and guns. And children trapped in the middle…
My heart breaks for those children….
My heart breaks when I wake up to news of more violence; another person – maybe innocent, maybe not – has been stoned and burned to death.
My heart breaks when I get a text from one of the mums at African Hope Trust that says they can’t go outside because of the mobs and the tear gas and the flying rubber bullets.
My heart breaks to know that there is a mother of a 14 year old boy who is missing her son; yet she can’t get the image of him in death out of her mind.
My heart breaks to be awaken by a text that Masi is on fire and no one can get in or out.
My heart breaks for the men and women who are in Masi and just want to go to work so that they can feed their family.
My heart breaks to hear that only 23 kids (out of 112) are at God’s Little Lighthouse because they are in Masi – on the other side of the protest.
My heart breaks to see the fires above the Masi and to hear the gun shots and not be able to do anything….NOTHING!!
My heart breaks to see the fear in the eyes of 5 year old kids.
My heart breaks to hold them in my lap as they cry because of the things they saw and heard.
My heart breaks to hear their stories – stories of fires bigger than Uncle Ron; stories of stones hitting the roof of the safe houses; stories of hearing people on fire scream and scream; stories that no child should be able to tell.
My heart breaks as Lil Sis’ heart breaks when one of her littles from God’s Little Lighthouse tells her that he doesn’t want to go home.
My heart breaks to hear people say….”It’s not over.”
MY. HEART. BREAKS!!! And, suddenly, when I wasn’t expecting it….I don’t like this new normal. This new normal…this broken-hearted normal…it just hurts too much.
Yet this is the normal that I prayed for…eyes to see as He sees, ears to hear as He hears, a heart to love as He loves. In this heart broken moment of time, I will be His hands and feet; His eyes and ears. I will speak truth into the lives of those kids so that they know the violence and destruction is not of God and that God loves them beyond their fear. I will hold precious little ones that just need to feel safe and loved. I will listen (with HIS ears) to the stories that are hard to hear. I will sing “Jesus Loves Me” as many times as the kids need to so that they just don’t sing the words but understand the message.
I will accept this new normal….until another new normal comes along! And then I will accept that new normal.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19