The guys are bowling tonight, and I have intentionally stayed home to try and find words to describe what is going on in this season of our lives. Afraid that too many weeks have slipped by, where I have failed to pen about life in the Middle East, during a Revolution.
Many of you wonder what living in a Revolution is really like, as you glimpse snitches and snatches of news from the media and question our safety and/or our sanity. For the most part we can live life mostly unaware, up on our peaceful hill that looks upon the city of Beirut. Fortunately, for the most part the protesting has been persistently pleasant and not violent. How we feel it is when the banks closed for the better part of a total of three weeks and now American dollars are scares and highly valued (but 4 months ago, they were common, and we were even paid in them). This has affected all the trading and in turn has impacted the prices, causing food to significantly rise in price. Small businesses are closing or really struggling. Which ripples to all the refugees who have not been able to find odd jobs for the last two months and now are reporting not being able to pay their rent and NO food in their households. They are desperate and we cannot live in their midst and not feel their pain and their hunger. I am so proud of the people we know who work hard to serve in their midst, preparing food boxes and doing what is possible to relieve their suffering. Truly, they are my favorite people in Lebanon.
Yesterday, the impact of the Revolution came a bit closer to home as Darron had been away for most of the week and I have a bad habit of living unaware of the “news”. So, I did not know that Lebanon was going on a gas strike and the van was near empty (where the wise informed people had filled up). We desired to travel on the weekend, so hearing that one gas station was open on Friday morning, Darron rushed out to try and fill up. By the time he arrived the line was long, down a narrow street. Our well used, but nice and large Honda Odyssey van, was quite wide on that narrow road and at one point, it blocked the traffic from being able to flow two ways. This was quite irritating to some of the local people and one started rocking the van and threatening Darron. Fortunately, someone dealt with this man, however, Darron was able to only purchase about $4.00 worth of gas, after two hours of waiting and stress. Needless to say, we had to cancel our weekend plans and I have learned that I must be in tune to the news and not stick my head in the sand.
Despite the Revolution our sea crate arrived from America. That was an amazing experience as we had purchased most of the contents and our entire household (lightly used) in America in a period of about four weeks. The men who unloaded us, did not carry it up the stairs but lifted it up off the truck and over our balcony. How fun to have items that we did not take with us to Indonesia (like cross stitch work and handmade quilts) and to truly begin to nest and settle. Some of my favorite items were from two different yard sales that I think was just a pouring out of God’s goodness to us. One of those sales, the lady was getting rid of all her fun delightful table linens and dishes. She shared her story and we shared ours and over linens and tea sets we cried and rejoiced. It was a God moment and I am daily enjoying those items and remembering her story.
The Revolution has caused us to not wander far from home. However, last weekend we were all feeling the need to take a day in nature and a group of us ventured to the Cedar’s of Lebanon. Mentioned 75 times in the Bible, one cannot live (or even visit) here and not see the Cedar’s of Lebanon. Sharing this time with friends and hiking to find the tree that was almost 3,000 years old etched memories in our mind that will live on and will resonate deeply when we read the passages in the Bible that talk about these trees.
We also rejoice that despite the Revolution that life goes on. How exceedingly fun to watch our oldest son, Aubrey, prepare and ask his sweet girlfriend to become his wife. We couldn’t be more delighted, and we are thrilled to be getting a REAL daughter at last. We have known of Mia for many years, as we had circles of friends and church activities that would overlap. This summer Mia spent quite a few hours just hanging out with Darron and I as Aubrey was working. We approve!!!!
As we continue to settle and send out roots of getting established (despite the Revolution) we are grateful to be here in such a time as this. We look forward to being able to share more stories with you in person. For now, hopefully this has given you just a tiny window and an honest look at what life in Lebanon looks like right now. Thank you for your interest and your prayers. As always, we need them.