I’m going to be honest. This week was very hard.
I know, what a way to start writing. Like I said, I’m going to be honest. This week The Mango Tree was faced with some difficult circumstances when the present manager attempted to resign. I said attempted because as far as I was concerned he wasn’t getting off that easy. I came to discover that there have been some inter-personal conflicts with members of the staff. Granted, there is only 4 staff but we all know that even if there were 2 there could be problems. That’s the beauty of our human-ness! Needless to say there has been gossip and rumors of gossip floating around for some time now. If I looked at this situation with my “earth eyes” as I began to this week it could be very discouraging. The more I sought God in prayer the more I recognized this as an attack from the enemy in the attempts to divide and destroy the work God has been accomplishing through The Mango Tree.
I felt like Solomon this week calling out to the Lord for wisdom. One morning I sat on my bed just crying before the Lord pleading with Him to give me wisdom to mediate this situation and to help me see it for what it is: a spiritual attack. We were able to hold a staff meeting on Friday with a couple members of the executive committee present as well. It was exhausting to hear long drawn out stories of the lies going around, but it had to be presented. The tension in that little room was so thick you could, as the saying goes, cut it with a knife. After several hours of working through these issues and the lies it felt like we were making some headway.
I couldn’t help but laugh reflecting on my time in the business world. What I was dealing with here was no different than the issues I faced with employees there. I did my best to use the wisdom of the past in my advice to the staff. I hope they were able to fully hear my heart and understand what I had to say to them. Ultimately the problems boil down to miscommunication and perceptions of situations. People are reacting out of hurt they feel, instead of taking time to wait and respond. (Thank you Karen for those words of wisdom so many years ago. I’m putting them to good use!)
All that to say, the battle is not over. The manager has asked for a few more days to think things over and decide if he wants to continue. I pray he does, because I feel like he really has a heart for this project. If he doesn’t though, I know that God will send someone else who is fully competent. Please pray for the members of The Mango Tree staff that they will learn to work together as a team and in a spirit of unity. Pray against the attacks of the enemy to cause division and strife. There is so much hope that God wants to bring this community through this project and it’s a threat to the enemy’s camp. Thanks be to God that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world!
In other news, Starr and I are doing great relationally. We enjoy our time together but we also each thrive off of personal time so it works out well. We’ve been trying to be creative with our meals as eating the same thing can get very boring. Starr went to the butcher shop the other day and bought some sausage for us. (Meat is a rare treat around here). It tastes more like Spam than sausage, according to Starr. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never eaten Spam, only carved it in a silly youth group game over 12 years ago… haha. Anyways, I had this genius idea of making a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on a bun and it turned out phenomenal. We found this place in town that sells cheese individually wrapped (like Kraft at home). I fried me up an egg, melted some cheese, added the sausage and put it on a freshly baked bun I bought from the market. Are you drooling yet? It was divine! I even took a picture of it because it was so fantastic. Needless to say, I won’t be divulging in those too often as I’m hoping to shed a few pounds while I’m here, but it was a special treat.
This week will be one month that I’ve been in this country already. We have to go see immigration this week to get our visa extended for another 30 days. Then we’ll do it once more for another 30 days to give us our 90. Please pray that we don’t encounter any issues with the officials and that our visa is granted. There shouldn’t be any problems, but prayer is always a good thing! It also looks like we’re going to have to change our plane tickets for the way home. We’ll probably be needing to come home sooner. I didn’t realize it when we booked our flights but the time had us in the country for 89 days… not much leeway when dealing with the government here. Our visa for next month will expire right around Zambia’s Independence Day and all government offices will be closed so it throws us off a couple days. Please pray that I get it all sorted out and that there are no problems changing our flight.
Ok, this is getting pretty long so I’ll end it here. I miss and love you all very much. Thanks for all the prayers and support. You are all such a blessing to me!
This is me smiling at you and thanking you for loving me. Yeah, sorry I am absolutely makeup-less as I've been the past month save a day or 2. I actually enjoy it though and dread having to go back to the makeup world... haha.