When my husband is away, with having 5 children--after everyone is asleep it is usually treasured time to think and reflection life. It is a much needed breathing time.
Dave had taken our eldest daughter, Sophia to the States to begin her first year of college. I had desperately wanted to be the one to take her but when the time approached it was not to be. We were fostering a small baby boy,Gabe at the time and he needed me to stay.
In reality Dave was probably the better choice to take Sophia to Wheaton--he could crunch the numbers, sign the papers and give her the stability she needed to thrive. We had sent her off well. We had an African party--a" Harambe" Invited all our Rwanda community---Rwandans,other Africans from neighboring countries, ex-pates--both Christian workers and seekers--a real hodgepodge of folks.
I love a good party. This was the first one in our new home. I enjoyed setting the stage for an exciting evening. Tents were put up in the yard, table clothes were laid on the tables and all was decorated. Chairs were placed strategically to encourage conversations. Candles were lit and the bomb fire was built and stoked. Yummy food was laid out to share…..friends began to arrive.
Sending Sophia off was both an expression of faith and a test of faith…..How would God provide for His calling on us and Sophia to send her to a Christian University. Were we crazy to think this would be possible? We had asked our community to pull together and help us send her( Harambe).
We were humbled that night as over $5000.00 U.S dollars was given by our Rwandan community and the largest gift was from our Rwandan friends….humbled! As I write this, Sophia is in her 2nd year at Wheaton and God has provided mightily. She has had to take out only small loans each year and the rest has come from grants and scholarships. We and her will never forget the push that our Rwanda community gave us that night!
Anyway back to my treasured time to think and reflect. As Dave was taking Sophia to school, he felt God calling him to a 40 day retreat from the church God had asked him to plant and pastor. Even though I was still in Rwanda and emerged in life--it was these still quiet evenings that I would join Dave in prayer and reflection.
Since returning from an unexpected medical leave over a year ago,I had still not found my place. At first I thought it would just take time……then God had plopped baby Gabe in my lap and made it clear that this was who I was to pour into. Gabe was a foster baby that we were caring for. The first "Spoken For" baby. A new ministry that our church had started to care for orphaned and abandon babies and give them a temporary home as a permeant home was found. Preventing them from going to an orphanage.
Then God made me move from our house that had become our home for the last 6 years in Rwanda---full of unforgettable memories--my retreat--my place that I had served out of to so many…..Then my youngest son Timothy needed mom to be his teacher….
All these things took me away from being "plugged in" --finding my place again. Or should I phrase it finding where God wanted me. In the past, although it had sometimes taken time, I had always found my spot--the place that I knew I was right where God wanted me--joining Him where He was working---Being Jana plus God and using all the gifts, experience, and makeup that God had called me to be and service flowed naturally.
This was not the normal season. I loved loving on Gabe, and was enjoying the extra time Timothy and I were having together with homeschooling….but I was feeling out of place and out of sorts in my community. In someways my relationships with both my Rwandan friends and expat friends seemed to polarize me like never before. Different sets of expectations seemed to pull at me and I started to feel very uneasy….uncomfortable…a hah…I know why I do not like this feeling---in the past this was usually a sign that God was going to move me! "I DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE!" I found myself crying out!
Even though I had been thinking about this for sometime it all seemed to be boiling up since Dave was away. On this night of reflection, I was praying and crying out to God asking Him for direction, answers, and clarity. Then Dave SKYPED me and shared something he wanted me to pray about….One of our ROC board members and dear friend had asked Dave if our family would consider a move back to the U.S for a season and help with the work on the U.S. side.
As soon as Dave shared this news with me I was flooded with a tangible peace--not the serean peace you can feel looking out over calm waters but the strong secure peace when it seems that everything is falling around you but you have been caught--held tightly. A since of relief as well--like someone turn on the light so I could see a few steps in front of me.
This was the beginning of my journey with God back to my passport country. I could go on this journey with Him because I had traveled many journeys with him in the past and He had been so faithful!