I am on the eve of starting my journey home to the USA for a visit.  Last time I was home was last year.  It feels like it was so much longer than that, mostly because of all that has happened this year to glorify the Lord and to me.  Oh the places I’ve been and the people I’ve seen – haha!  I am still amazed by how fast God moved on our behalf in Aweil and all that He taught us through it.  These are things I could not learn in a church.  Well, I could learn about them but I wouldn’t have a deep revelation of what these things mean.  I still remember that first mission’s trip to Mozambique and how God spoke to me about the things He wanted to teach me.  He revealed to me, “To whom much is given, much will be expected”, and “With the measure that you use it, that is what will be added to it”.  It is with this insight that I continue my quest of seeking God’s plan for my life above all things.

This week the children are back in school so it has been fairly quiet during the morning hours.  I always miss their laughter and excited conversation while they play.  It was also a somewhat difficult week, as I had to seriously discipline some older boys who were consistently sneaking out at night.  I had a talk with them when I first arrived about my stance on running around at night.  I told them that I don’t want to create a prison here and it would be up to them whether we get fenced in.  So, six boys decided to test me.  Like a mom, I have eyes and ears everywhere.  I used to always wonder how my mom knew everything!

After having a long talk with these boys, along with our two pastors, they were assigned some physical chores to do.  Two of the boys do in fact have relatives living right here in the town.  So, these two have been sent home.  Now the children are thinking that if they misbehave they will be sent away.  I just learned this when they were coming to me to ask permission to go places.  Now that is a good thing, asking permission, but I do not want them to think that I am going to send them away just because they went somewhere.   I tell you, things like this can have a profound impact on their lives and I don’t want them living in fear, instead, knowing that we truly do love them and want what is best for them and that is why we discipline them.  I told them so and today seemed a bit more relaxed and they felt freer to come and go, I am glad to say.

All this to say that children are the same all over the world.  They get into the same mischief and struggle with the same emotions as any other in this big world.  When it comes to the children I don’t worry too much about cultural differences.  They all need to be loved and encouraged above all else, even in discipline.  Our Father tells us that because He loves us He disciplines us.  He is a good Father.