Friday, August 6, 2010

like a foolish man who built his house on sand

I know this scripture in Matthew 7 is talking about people that hear the words of Jesus and don't listen, but the words keep echoing in my head: like a foolish man who built his house on sand. I feel like that foolish man. As I've said before I know nothing about building houses especially traditional mud houses in Namibia.  Sometimes I feel like I've bit off more than I can chew.  Fortunately I am not building alone.  Elton is an excellent builder.  As with any kind of building project, everything costs more than we expected. The roof alone cost $1000 USD which was actually already at a great discount.  People here normally build with thatch but unfortunately I am terribly allergic.  We are struggling to finish the house properly.

As I've been recently reminded (thanks scott!), one of the reasons I was running from being a missionary in Africa was because I was scared of the very life I've just chosen.....this simple life living in the bush. Its amazing how God has eased me into this lifestyle.  First He got me to Africa and allowed me to fall in love with it (and my wonderful husband) so that when it came time to chose this more simple life I was more prepared.  We won't have electricity or running water.  We are even going to fail to put in a concrete floor I had wished for so we will have mud floors. (What is that going to be like when Quincy starts crawling?!)

Life just becomes more difficult when the baby is crying in the night and you have to light a candle to see what's the problem rather than just flip a switch.  Or when you need water, you have to go draw it from a bore hole this is way down the road instead of just turning a tap.  Or when you want to cook, you have to light a fire instead of just turning on the stove.  Or when you want to wash clothes, first to carry water then to scrub by hand.  The great thing about being human is our ability to adapt. I am learning how to do these things, but it takes so much time there is little time left for anything else.

These things I can learn to live with. What I'm really struggling with is this idea of going to the toilet in the bush especially at night. We bought a toilet at a really cheap price, but we are failing to put in a septic system which makes that toilet obsolete.  So off to the bush I will go.  I don't know how many grown up people you know that are still scared of the dark, but I am one of them.  And the darkness here isn't like in America.  There are no street lights or city glow to brighten the sky at night.  If the stars aren't shining or the moon is small, you can't see you hand in front of your face or the snake that is underneath your feet.  I think I just won't drink much before I go to bed.     

Another thing is I don't know how I'm going to manage is to cook daily over a wood fire.  I am trying but I manage to burn everything including myself. The bottom line is when you are camping cooking over a fire is kind of fun but when it is everyday life, it will get very tiresome. We can buy a simple gas stove with an oven for about N$1500 (about $200 USD) but right now it is also outside our budget.

One of the biggest rookie mistakes I've made in building this house was to ask for more windows.  The window frames are sort of expensive, but in my head I thought it was worth it.  Since we won't have electricity, why not use the sun to our best advantage by having more windows, right?  What I didn't know is that window frames are sold without glass and glass here is ridiculously expensive and somewhat difficult to get.  It is almost essential to have either glass or netting on your windows, not only to keep our malaria-ridden mosquitoes but also snakes and other critters. 

So I say all of this as a plea for help.  We are building this house on our own. The best thing is after it is build our daily living costs will be significantly reduced.  But we need help to finish some of these basic things. If we are especially blessed, we can add some of the more modern conveniences to make my life a bit more manageable. In the future, we are praying for the money for a generator or solar panel system both of which are about N$5000 or in our wildest dreams a transformer to be able to hook into the government power which begin at N$20,000.  As for water, they say sometime next year the town will be installing a public water line that will pass by our village.  Again, it will be affording the connection fee.  As for right now, we are praying for the money for a small water tank on a trailer approx. N$5000 that can be filled and parked next to the house.         

If anyone is willing to make a donation to help us to finish to build the house, you can mail a check to my parents or contact me personally for the address.  You won't receive a tax-deductible receipt. 

We will be moving into the house before the end of August with or without these things.  Pray for us and especially for my sanity as I struggle with so many changes at one time.  We know it is super expensive to come visit, but if you want to make the trip, we welcome any of you. In November, one of our friends who is finishing her peace corp contract is hoping to visit us.  Early next year, we expect a friend from the US and possibly a student group. Hopefully in the next year or two somehow Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie will manage to scrape together enough money to come visit Q in her natural habitat. 

Matthew 7:24-27 "Therefore everyone who hears these words
of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise
man who built his house on the rock. The rain
came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew
and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because
it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone
who hears these words of mine and does
not put them into practice is like a foolish man
who built his house on sand. The rain came
down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and
beat against that house, and it fell with a great
crash."

1 comment:

gary said...

Hi Jessica,
I'm the fella you met in the bank on 4/13/11.I think what you are doing is GREAT. I will keep reading.
I will write and get some things for dental to you.
God bless,
Gary