It is so easy to get caught up in the details, struggles and things-not-done. But once in a while one receives a beautiful reminder of the good that is happening. Stan Kennady helped me reboot this week with this beautiful essay from school…
From Mary (his mom): Stan’s class was a book project where each student had to write a favorite Bible verse, draw a picture, and write a brief essay about the verse, or tell about “a person who seems joyful in the Lord.” The quote he selected was from 2 John 4. “It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth just as the father commands us.” Here is the essay–I hope you like it.
When asked to think of someone who is joyful in the Lord, I thought not of one person, but an entire family from my church. In the summer of 2008, the Oliver family decided to spend a year in the poor country of Malawi in Africa as missionaries. Supported by our church, they left in July of 2009. The entire country is filled with poverty and disease (along with low water supply and power shortages), making it one of the worst places on the earth to live, yet they are happy. It has allowed them to become closer as a family because they spend so much time together. A year of this work would be more than enough for most people. They decided to come home for two months, then return to Malawi to continue their work for two more years. On their blog, Kara referenced a Bible passage from Matthew: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” She talked about the difficulty in understanding many Bible passages until moving to a place where people actually use oxen and yokes. In real life oxen may struggle to haul a heavy load. Kara believes that the yoke is easier and the burden in lighter with the life she is currently living with her family in one of the poorest countries in the world.