Tuesday, March 23, 2010

holding the beautiful and sad at the same time

for a week now i have been wrestling with how/what to write. last wednesday, dan and i got the news that caleb, the son our of our friends matt and kylee was born. he was a bit early because kylee had eclampsia and was taken to the hospital that morning. normally the best way to stop eclampsia is to take the baby out and then the mother's blood pressure normalizes. so we went to bed praising God for a new life and our amazing friends- the boden family. on thursday, we were awakened by the news that kylee did not wake up from the anesthesia and died after seizures and bleeding in her brain. this was shocking and difficult news to hear. this isn't how the story is supposed to go. but it is how the story goes- it is how our loving, perfect Father willed this story.
i told you about kylee a few posts back- in "i'm glad i'm not an elephant". kylee is one of the reasons i now want to be a mother. she was one of my closest friends- always loving me, speaking truth to me, crying with me, and rejoicing with me. she was beautiful in her love for her husband, children, and family. she hated sin and loved the hurting so much. and because of her hatred of sin, she longed for heaven more than most people i know.
as we cried, prayed, processed, and talked about kylee- i couldn't help but struggle to figure out how to hold the sadness of our loss and hold on to the beauty of her finally being in the home she always longed for and for the beautiful little baby that she left. i don't know what it will be like to grow up without a mother, especially for caleb, who never met his mother but i do know that God will meet all of their needs. God is only good and beautiful. He has a perfect plan that we don't understand. on sunday, i spent time reading and thinking about how beautiful Jesus' response was to the family and friends mourning the death of lazuras. john 11:33 says, "when Jesus therefore saw her (mary) weeping, and the jews who came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled." and then the famous verse 35, "Jesus wept". i take great comfort in the truth that Jesus weeps with those weep and that the Holy Spirit is the Great Comforter.

we praise You oh LORD for the life of kylee and that You were her center. we praise You that she is now with You in the place that Jesus went to prepare for us. we ask that You as the Great Comforter and healer of our hurts will be near to us and especially near to her family, whose lives are now greatly changed by her absence. may we all cling to You and hope in You alone. in the name of Jesus we trust You in this life to be better than we can imagine. amen.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

funny shane

recently we sent out an email update that started with: Greetings and love from the three Vissanis in Zimbabwe (one of us is the size of a bell pepper, we are told!).

this is what our friend shane sent in response:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

pictures that go with the previous post

CHAMPS conference

the new (to me) sewing machine!
18 week bump

random things

lots has happened in the past week and i thought i should share a few things. our week was mostly taken up by Foundations for Farming's biannual "Champions" conference. About 200 people gathered from many surrounding countries to learn about FfF and two new ministry branches: Foundation for Health and Foundations for Family. dan and i were kept busy helping to do all the IT visual stuff like power points, music slides, and dvd's. it was surprisingly a lot of work but well worth it to know that things had gone pretty smoothly.
i also drove by myself for the first time last week. the only other times i have driven in harare (twice) was either with dan in the truck or following dan in another car. i didn't go too far or have to cross the city center which is where all the crazy driving is but i did manage to run my errand and join my fellow quilters for a morning. i am quite proud of myself. and while we are on the subject of quilting, the other important thing we did this week was buy a second-hand sewing machine! i never thought i would be so excited about my own sewing machine but i am. we heard through a friend that an ex farmer's wife was selling it for pretty cheap so we bought it! and now i can get lots more sewing done at home. i should probably branch out and sew some clothes- wait would that make me one of those stereotypical missionaries? maybe i will just make baby things.
and i will wrap this up with two funny stories from our little neighbor, tatenda. this morning he came over while his mom went to the store. we were having breakfast and he told dan that he could make tea for us. dan already had coffee so i decided i would have a cup a tea. so tatenda got the mug, put in sugar and milk and added hot water. when dan asked about the tea he said, "that is tea. there is a mug, sugar, and milk." dan then informed him that he needed to add some tea leaves (we have loose leaf for now) to actually make it tea! then after i had my tea (making sure to sip around the tea grounds) i asked him what we should name our baby. if a boy: tatenda, like him. and a girl, well tatenda would work as well. he went on for a while and then said, "if you have a girl you could always name her beyonce." i don't think that one will make it on the consideration list.
pictures to come but the internet is too slow for now.