Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When light is dead

Our son is throwing up in the toilet while Brad holds a flashlight above his head. It’s Mati Lampu again. Literally translated: The light is dead.

The power company has instituted a new rotation of power outages, eight hours on, eight hours off. For three out of the last four nights, eight of those hours have fallen at night. We try to sleep in 90 degree humid heat, taking turns comforting sweaty kids, and in this case, a sweaty, sick 4-year-old.

We’re tired, and wonder when we’ll get to really sleep again.

Evan’s finally in bed, and Brad and I sit in the dark, a tiny battery-powered camp fan spinning thick air over our open Bible.

"Consider it pure joy,” Brad reads from James 2.

And despite all these trials, and despite the fact that my 2-month old just started crying again, this moment feels special.

While I bounce the fussy baby, we talk about the happenings of the last few days. Of the medevac flights Brad flew. The sick baby having seizures. The woman with the fever.

We discuss some difficulties at work. The long days Brad is putting in. Brad’s inability to work on his latest master’s course due to long power outages and intermittent Internet. We talk about whether or not our year-old generator, which the mechanic said is unfixable, can, in fact, be fixed.

I share about the one thing I managed to get done during a day of Mati Lampu. Writing thank you notes, going over the names of friends, family, acquaintances and people we haven’t yet met who give to our ministry. Seeing the response to our need for funds so we can be here.

And I laugh now when I think how I used to wish I was independently wealthy, so I wouldn’t have to need others’ money, so I wouldn’t have to ask for help. But today, those names, those gifts, their commitment provides comfort as we sit in the heavy darkness, sweating and reminding ourselves to believe.

And it makes us feel not so alone in this.

Somehow in this Mati Lampu, this Dead Light, a miracle happens in our tired hearts. Instead of grumbling, we give thanks. Instead of loneliness, we feel connected.

And in the midst of darkness, there is joy. 

photo credit, JuhlDK13


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