"You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving."~Amy Carmichael, missionary to India
Wow, I can't believe that Liddy has been gone this long already. Thank goodness for Skype! Seriously. OK, so it drops out on us pretty regularly & Liddy's connection is dodgy but for those few short minutes I can, as a mother does, glimpse my daughter's face ~ which tells me so much more than any words could about how she's doing.
So how is she doing?
She's pretty tired. That may partly be the altitude. She's been working pretty hard. Even their days of they get invited to participate in activities & mostly people choose to be involved. It is, after all, why they are there. She is finding the language barrier difficult ~ not just out & about but in house because there is only one other resident whose first language is English. She is always getting asked to slow down, repeat, rephrase ~ so the usual way Liddy communicates [which is quick, barbed repartee, witty] does not work. Nor are the others quite getting her sense of humour. That is generally an Aussie problem. The sly, sardonic & often dry throw away comments so typical of Aussies get missed in translation ~ so to speak. She is missing home, family, friends.
On the other hand she loves Chile & the Chilean people & many of the difficulties are just a question of adjustment. The team has jelled really well. Everyone is getting on wonderfully & via Skype I have been able to *meet* & chat with the other girls Liddy is sharing her room with. Makes me feel a little more in touch because we've never been so far away from each other before & it has never been so long that we have gone without seeing each other.
Now the team has experienced all the ministries available & have chosen where they would like to focus their time & energy. Liddy got both her choices. Her first choice is one of the orphanages working with boys between 5 & 12. No surprises there. The children seem to circumvent the language problem also. There are other ways of communicating ~ which Liddy is very good at so that's all good & as expected. Her second choice was to work in the arts area. This was a bit of a surprise. While I believe, & have said for years, that Liddy is quite artistic, she has always prefered sport & when you have a Star in the house it is all too easy to compare & consider you've fallen short. Not true, but it is true Liddy's artistic gifts fall in a very different patten to either Star's or mine! She thinks she needs to strengthen this area & so has chosen it as her second ministry. I think she will really enjoy it & find it very freeing.
In house the team shares the cooking during the week ~ which must be pretty cosmopolitian when there are 2 Germans, 2 Dutch, two Americans ~ & Lid, the lone Aussie. And everyone can cook so no kitchen disasters! Liddy did say she'd had an interesting toasted sandwich as the Chilean bread is sweet but live & learn! Her days are very full from the moment she gets up in the morning for in house devotions, to when she falls into bed at night after a busy day of bible study & ministry. She is still struggling to get a routine up & happening for her days; Liddy does so much better with routine & regularity ~ & 12 hours of sleep a night!
Is she happy?
Very. She is where God has called her doing what He has called her to do & there is great satisfaction in that. Her GAP team are doing a great job & once a month someone brings their lap top to bible study so they can Skype together, pray for Liddy & generally include her as usual. Great idea for keeping everyone up to speed!
Well, we all have our moments. There'll be that moment when something happens or gets said that we just know Lid would so appreciate & turn to share only to remember she's not around. Those moments are hard. However, even if she was here we wouldn't be in each other's pockets 24/7 so in that sense it is not hard. Star & I are always pretty busy & as that hasn't changed, indeed is about to get even worse, we don't have time to mope. Both her grandmas are missing her & chat about her endlessly. They too are finding perfect strangers, people they barely know, have heard Liddy's story & want to know how she's getting on.
Liddy has been too busy to do more than briefly catch up ~ & as I said her internet connection tends to be dodgy, which makes for interesting conversations! Thank you all our wonderful prayer warriors because your prayers are being answered in wonderful ways.