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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Love Letters (News) - You Can't Take it With You

We are in our new home and everything is great. Matthew and Lydia enjoy their new friends and playing outside in our large yard. After living in an apartment where we had little outside environment, this is a great blessing. Bart Bruington has built a brick fence around about half an acre behind our house where the children can freely play. The other children enjoy playing with Matthew and Lydia and so for the first time we don't have to constantly keep our eyes on them. The yard is safer than any environment in the States.

The other missionaries prepared our house for us before we arrived. Our house was full of furniture and our cupboards were full of dishes. In Lusaka, we stocked up on groceries (which are often not available at Solwezi the nearest town), so we are ready to learn how to cook and eat here. So far, because we cannot eat fast food or go to a restaurant, our meals are actually much healthier and taste better than what we were eating in the States. We have had eggs, omelettes, banana bread, homemade white bread, tuna salad sandwiches, potato soup, roast, any other excellent dishes. Also, we are all aware of the amount of time involved in purchasing and preparing food here, so we are much more thankful for the food. Because of this, the food tastes much better than the best American restaurant.

There has really only been one problem, which in some ways has turned out to be a blessing. While we were traveling to Solwezi in the truck, the topper on the truck came open and nobody noticed. At some point a bag fell out and we were not able to find it. Out of all the bags that fell out, this was the one in which I put everything that I considered very important or irreplaceble.

Just to give you an idea of what I lost:
My Bible and Karen's Bible
My Laptop computer with all my files
An external hard drive which contained all the digital pictures of our children and the backup to all my files
(Just to emphasize the point, my laptop is my main tool for communication with my family and friends, storing and viewing family pictures, Bible Study, lesson preparation, language learning, financial management, and other things)
My MP3 player with all my music, audio recordings of Matthew and Lydia, and major tool for language learning
All my notes for Zambia, including language, etc.
Every important document for our family:
Passports (except mine which I had in my pocket)
Social Security Cards
Wedding Certificate
Birth Certificates
Medical records of immunizations
Other expensive items (which can be replaced):
All our Wii games
All our computer software discs

To sum it up, every item that I considered a "treasure" was in that bag. Now it is gone. Now, I have no treasure on this earth. My only remaining treasures are my family and friends, whom I hope to see in heaven.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in my that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
John 15:1-2

If God sees it fit, I will try to replace the items which were lost. I now have a completely new perspective for them. Instead of "idols" which I cherish and depended on, they have become tools which I can use to serve God. Whatever the situation, I will use whatever tool God has made available, instead of relying on things which will always fail.

So remember not to build up treasures on heaven which will be a great loss.

May God bless you with great heavenly treasures,
Rick Love

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