There are distinct advantages to living in the mountains: it is absolutely breath-taking, the people are more laid-back, the pace of life is slower, the people are friendly, the rivers are clear, the birds are abundant, the mornings are cool, the stars are brilliant, the sunsets are amazing, and it is so quiet, well, except for the donkeys. The disadvantages have become very real in the past few days . . . Here are a few of my realizations of the disadvantages of Maluti Mountain living: # 1- When Anna’s hand started to swell, it was 4 hours to the closest emergency room. That’s a long way if there really is an emergency. # 2- It is 3 hours down the mountain to the closest town of any size to pick up supplies, and 3 hours back up the mountain. I have made 3 trips down and up the mountain in the last 4 days. # 3- A Toyota Condor may not be the best vehicle for mountain travel. For those who may not know, a Condor is a 7 passenger mini-mini-van. When the tires begin to wear, the roads in the mountains become tough on the tires. The fluctuation in temperature causes rock to fall into the road. These rocks shatter when they hit the road. There are so many pieces of rocks in the road that it is extremely tough to avoid running over some of them on a trip down the mountain. “How tough?” you might ask . . . 4 flats in 4 days. 10 tires plugs, and frequent encounters with a portable air compressor. Today, on my 3rd trip down the mountain in 4 days, I bought 5 new tires for the Condor. # 4- There are many things that I cannot “fix.” Anna’s hand, for example.
There are also a reminders that comes with these realizations . . .the reminder that we must still rely on God. We must rely on Him for our strength, our comfort, and our peace. The reminder that I am not really in control at all. The reminder that I need to go to the only One who can really supply our needs and provide for us. In spite of all the disadvantages, the mountains are still the place for us. Not because it is beautiful, or peaceful, or the people are friendly. It is because we are exactly where God wants us, and sometimes, He has to remind me that where He wants me is depending on Him. I had lots of time to think about that as we traveled the 8 hours to Johannesburg today so Anna can see the doctor tomorrow about her hand. Please pray for the doctors as they attempt to see what is wrong with Anna’s hand, and pray for us as we depend on the One who has called us to Africa. There is still no place that we would rather be!
Until ALL have heard, Jim