Monday, July 14, 2014

JOY FILLED NEWS


The Lord has done great things for us
and
We are FILLED with JOY!
Psalm 126:3

News Flash! 


We have a new son! 


This precious little boy,

Moses Destin Kiziganyi Berg,
has now been adopted into our family!  

 We signed the Congolese Adoption Papers on my brother Jim’s birthday, June 24. 

What a special day!  

*******


We cannot wait to introduce him to YOU and to the USA when we come home with him in just another ten days! 

So many details and miracles played a part in Moses becoming a BERG – I will chronicle those in subsequent posts.  


If you frequent this blog much at all, you already know Moses (formerly referred to as "Deste").  If not, you can check out part of his back-story by reading this
and this
and  this
and this 
and  this
and  this!

Whew!  
They are more, but I'm guessing no one wants to read that many posts.   


In the meantime, we are happy to finally get to share this news on our blog.  What an answer to many prayers is this little boy. 


Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
    extol him who rides on the clouds;
    rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling. 
 God sets the lonely in families,
    he leads out the prisoners with singing.
Psalm 68: 4-6

 
He defends the cause of the fatherless 
and the widow, 
and loves the foreigner residing among you, 
giving them food and clothing. 
Deuteronomy 10:18

“Be glad, barren woman....."
(post-menopausal woman could go here, too, I'm thinking.  haha.) 
Shout for joy and cry aloud........,
because you're getting more children.....
Galatians 4:27, paraphrased

 "Lift up your eyes and look about you......
your sons come from afar....."
Isaiah 60:4   

Monday, June 2, 2014

HOW NOW, A RAT?

"HOW NOW, A RAT?  DEAD FOR A DUCAT, DEAD!!" ~  Shakespeare.

While of course Hamlet was talking about his step-dad, the King, and not a real rat (moral: always look before you stab - poor, poor Polonius!), I am talking about the genuine article ~ the real deal ~ the four footed, furry, non-friendly, stinky squirrel-without-the-furry-tail-nor-cute-face kind of rat.  Lots of them. A whole stinking family: cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, moms, dads, uncles, the works.  They've all moved into our home.  (Or maybe it is only 2 or 3, and they move around so much, we think there are more than there are.)

But, however many are here,  I'm putting them on notice now:   My name is Linda Muller Berg.  You ate my napkins and pooped in my shirt drawer.  Prepare to die.  (Yes, that reference to Princess Bride was on purpose.)  




One of my "transition goals" which I hope to accomplish before we move home to Texas (temporarily) is this:  to annihilate every rodent that has taken up residence in our..... residence.


I'd like the next human inhabitants of our home, whoever they may be, to not have to contend with opening clothes drawers and finding furry friends inside, or with opening a kitchen drawer and finding a running rodent ripping up our few paper napkins for her nest, or to feel a wiggling under the couch cover where one is SITTING, and realize it is yet another rat, trying to escape being discovered.


I have HAD IT WITH THESE long tailed, disease carrying, disgusting things!  (Sorry, Virginia Kerr Young, but they really are disgusting!)


This is war.  All out war.  For the benefit of whomever moves into our lovely home in a couple months, we are pulling out all the stops to find every one of these creatures and ending their lives, one by one.


We have a new cat, with a new job, and Simeon is good with his feet stomping skills, too.  Zach and Sam love to get off school to chase down and grab the little boogers, so maybe we will make headway.


Ewwwwwwww.  Today, we found and exterminated one.  Here is our proof.  One down, 999 to go.  Okay, maybe only 3.  But it feels like 999.  Ewwwwwwww.  That's all I have left to say.  EWWWWW!

Below is the play-by-play of our rat catching activity today.

1.  Sam opened drawer to get out napkins and saw a RAT.  Eww!
2. Rat jumped out of drawer and ran to the pantry.
3.  Sam, Zach and Simeon all ran into pantry after the RAT, and all sorts of screaming, laughing and knocking around noises started emanating from said pantry.  I tried to come in, but girls weren't allowed.

4.  Suddenly, I hear, "I got it, I got it!"  Then I heard a loud thud, followed by, "Oh GROSS, blood is coming from its nose and ears!"  Simeon, Sam and Zach were all howling with laughter at this point.  So glad PETA doesn't have an office in Kibogora.  
The younger boys weren't allowed to enter either, but here is a picture of their excitement just outside the kitchen while the older men-boys were doing the hunting.  
I lost the desire to enter the pantry at this point.  But I did force open the door for a quick picture, taken only moments before the rat was caught.  

5.  Zach and Sam decided to feed the now-deceased rat to our mama cat, in hopes of cultivating a "taste" for RAT within her.    I guess it worked, because she was so happy!















And she was so proud of herself, as if she had been responsible for the kill.  Ha!  Lazy cat!

So, that was our day.

How was yours??  




42


No way!

Yes, way!


I used to say this about all sorts of silly things, many decades ago.

But now, when I think about how we have only 42 days left in Rwanda, I find myself remembering this old phrase and 
thinking it over and over (only the number of days keeps getting smaller.)




We leave kibogora (temporarily) in 42 days.  

What?

42 days? ........NO WAY!!!!  

Yes, way. 








42 days left to see friends, visit patients, for Tim to operate,  to see my sewing ladies.  42 days left for working on college apps with Prudence, taking Joshua jilles, Moses Deste and Fabrice to swim in Beautiful Lake Kivu and shopping for tomatoes and flour in Tyazo market.  42 days to hang out with the Land family www.landfamilymissions.blogspot.com and be with them as they make new friends and continue adjusting to their new home, 8,000 miles away from their family, church and lifelong friends.





I'm reading up about handling transitions, because this one seems already to be knocking me over. 



I'm so excited to see my loved ones in the United States, yet I'm basically losing it every day about leaving my loved ones here. 

This whole "belonging in two worlds" thing is kinda hard for this small town Texas girl to process.  Maybe I'm having a hard time with saying good-bye, and with this transition, because our return date is rather open-ended/completely unknown.  We don't know exactly when we'll return, because it depends on when God chooses, in His perfect timing, to make it possible for us to return by moving the people He has already chosen to donate the funds we need.  

In our home-school here, we read a devotion this morning about how God already KNOWS the person that Macy, Zach and Sam will marry one day.  OR, He already knows that they will not ever marry.  If they'll marry, He knows what their future spouse had for breakfast today, where he or she now lives, and what she or he looks like.  He knows his or her name.  He knows how they'll meet.  

If Zach, Macy and/or Sam will never marry, God knows that, too.  He knows why that will be best for them.  He knows how He'll use them in a special way on this earth, a way that wouldn't be possible if they did marry.  

He knows it all.  

He directs our paths.  

We don't know how or when the funds for our mission work will come, or from whom they'll come, but He knows.  He knows how, He knows when, He knows from whom.  He knows why we have to go home now.  We can rest, really rest, knowing He loves us and He has a great plan.  Even though we ourselves are CLUELESS.  

Then again, I've always been this way with transitions.  Maybe I'd still be this upset, even if we had it all figured out.  I still remember, like it was yesterday, when I handed my Dad my cheer pom poms after the last football game of my senior year and literally bawled all the way home from the football field, certain that my life was OVER, and that I could NOT make the transition to life after high school - that NOTHING would ever be the same and could never be as good again as it was at that moment.  (Thanks Dad, for not laughing too loudly at me back then and for your patience with your overly sentimental and transitions-impaired daughter.)  And if I was that bad in November of my senior year of high school, just imagine what I was like at graduation.  Yes.  I was a mess.  A total mess.  Just ask my parents or high school friends like Kirk, Kelly, Charmaine, Dey or Noel.  

At least regarding this transition, our family will have these friends (see pic below) back home to welcome us, friends who have experienced where we've lived these last two years. I have a hunch that these people will make it much easier for us to re-engage and reconnect back home, because if we start crying for no reason in church or show up wearing Keen's and hippy skirts (or for the guys, bright floral Hawaiian type shirts, slacks and sandals) to a formal event, they'll understand!! Haha. Just joking. I won't wear my Keens to any weddings.  Promise.  And also, in case any Rwandan friends are reading - I realize Rwandans are very sharp dressers and would never wear these things to weddings here - it is the Mzungus who wear the casual clothes, not the Rwandans, mainly b/c we are trying to navigate the bumpy roads and don't have the same core strength as our Rwandan friends, so we can't handle wearing "real shoes" here. 




If you have time, would you please pray for me, Tim and our children as we make this new adjustment? We want to readjust well, to re-engage in our home culture while we are there, and to enjoy the time with family and friends to the fullest. 

We also want to help Hannah as she moves back into college for her sophomore year, and to help Stephen as he moves into his dorm at TAMU for the first time.  Even though we are sad to leave, we are also beyond thankful and excited for the many opportunities like these that we'll have because of our time in the States.  

I don't remember who said it, but it's true: "Wherever you are, be all there." That's what we want to do! (Without forgetting our friends here, of course, just like we haven't forgotten our USA loved ones while living in Rwanda.) 



Thanks.....

P.S.  One thing that will not take any effort to adjust to is.....Chick Fil A!  We plan to drive through on our way home from the airport...... :) 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Goodbye, Hello - Change is coming RAPIDLY round the bend, ready or not.


Our church group is flying home, and in the middle of the night last night, I woke up in a cold sweat, with the realization that we ourselves will also be flying home in only 53 days.


53 days. How can that be?? And in those 53 days, we will:

- Finish our homeschool year with Macy, Zach and Sam

- host an old YL friend (Allison Lundeen) of mine and her daughter, who will tutor Macy for her second to last month in Algebra and also do other mission work with Macy

- host another old YL friend (Pablo Hernandez) and his daughter as she helps Macy finish the last month of Algebra and do mission work at the local preschool with Macy.

- host a med student, the daughter of one of Tim's old med school friends 

(Hey! We won't be lonely these last 53 days!!)

- Pack, Move out and paint our house of the last two years

- find a way to continue some of my projects ere which are ongoing (such as sewing projects and kids' educations)

- visit Ruthie and Stephen over their midterm break

- obtain a visa for Congo.

- visit Congo, check out Iidjwi island, where Moses Deste is from, and also learn about a hospital there, amongst other cool an fun things, with our friends from Boston, the Neils. 

- renew our work visas before we leave the ou try

- attend Stephen's high school graduation

Whew! 

That's a lot. In fact, it's more than I can grasp right now. 

Right now, I'm busy just trying to understand this: 

How can two years have flown by so fast, yet also to have encompassed a lifetime? I don't even remember who I was BEFORE we came here. That life now all seems like a dream to me. 

What was life like.....

Before I met my "sewing lady" friends, Sarah, Mama Hope, Jeannette, Jeanne and Sifa?


Before I knew Muganga, Ildephonse, Thomas, Simeon, Innocent, and Silas?

Before I knew Moses Deste or Joshua Jules, or Joshua's big brother William or little brother, Kelly. Or knew his mom's (Sifa's) blind little sister, or other sister with only one eye, or her mom, infected by rape with HIV?

Before I enjoyed having a cook in my kitchen?! (Ah, Simeon, we wish you could make pineapple cake and tacos for us for forever!!)


Before we met Daniel, so many of Tim's precious patients, the people of Ruheru church, sweet and dear Esperance and her whole family, and on and on it goes?


How do I return to Texas, to the life I lived before coming to Rwanda? Of course, i love my home and my friends there. ive missed them all so much. but what will it be like to return? How will our kids adapt? How long will we be home before we go back to Africa?  How will Sam and Ruthie adapt to "home" again, to American school, to everything familiar yet now also so foreign? 

How will we even afford living in the States again?

These were some of the questions swirling in my head last night, keeping me awake.  I don't know the answers, but I do have peace knowing there is One who has gone before us, and Who knows all things. 

The plane!!!

Look closely!! Here is the plane! Yayyyyyyyy! (Can you tell we are excited!!)


Waiting for our team!!


We are all excited, anxiously and happily awaiting our team's plane to land here at the bustling (not) Kembe airport, located right next to Lake Kiveu and Congo. 

They should land any minute! 

Their bus is here (their chariot awaits!) and their favorite muzungus are here.....we only need their plane!! 


We can't wait to see all God will do through our friends these next two weeks!! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Happy Milestone ~ Happy Anniversary to US

True to my silly love of pop country music, I found myself thinking of this Taylor Swift song a lot today, but for the wrong reason. It wasn't my 22nd birthday (obviously enough), but today is my and Tim's 22nd wedding anniversary.

"I don't know about you
But I'm feeling 22
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you..."




Happy Anniversary, Tim!