I have heard this my entire life, and I still have to say there are certain virtues that I lack! Admittedly, it has been 6 weeks since I got back to Ethiopia but it seems like an eternity. A lot can happen in six weeks. It takes an ostrich 6 weeks to hatch its young. The gestation time for a squirrel is around 6 weeks. The US State Department says to allow 4-6 weeks to process a passport application. Oh, and that Snuggie you ordered, it may take 4-6 weeks to get that too! So I know a lot could happen in 6 weeks, but here we have managed to catch a major case of the stir crazies in 6 weeks.
Jonathan has been bogged down in governmental processes. After being told for many weeks that the protocol was one thing, he found out today it is a different, though simpler, protocol. It would have been nice if someone would have told someone sooner so that we might have found out before an unnecessary day long trip to Awassa. We thought we had to wait for the organization’s name change to be complete before we could continue the process to get the land that we need in Chencha to expand the agriculture project. Apparently, that is not the case and these weeks of waiting to make sure the name change was official were a test in the virtue of patience.
I have spent these weeks getting readjusted to life in Ethiopia, after two months in the states at my mom’s house. I even had cable at her house! In addition to the adjustment of life in a developing county I have also had to adjust to being a stay at home mom with no car. In the states Dawit and I stayed busy with activities that carried us all over the place. Now, we mainly play in the large living room of our rented house. Once a day we take a long walk to buy the groceries needed for the day. You might be wondering how I could get stir crazy with the responsibilities of a 15 month old and a house. We have a helper, Rosa, who is wonderful, but she rarely lets me do anything cooking or cleaning related. I really never thought I would put my foot down about cutting up potatoes for soup ( I really needed something to do) or sneak around to revel in doing laundry.
Recently, Jonathan and I have been able to go to the Drop-In Center together a few days a week. Dawit is now comfortable staying with Rosa in the mornings while we go and try to make ourselves feel useful. The reality is that there is a constant state of flux in the plans you make in Ethiopia. The power may be out so an office you need to visit is closed. Or, the letter you have isn’t the right letter anymore so you have to go back and redo and regroup. We plan to head down to Chencha, finally, the coming week. The 3-4 months that we planned to spend there has been whittled away to 2 1/2 weeks (Jonathan did go down for a little over a month while I was in the states).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.
Perhaps this is the time that the Lord has made for us to be tried and our patience tested. We’re Americans and we are used to things being done quickly and not having to wait. Maybe God is reminding us that we are His children first and we need to remember patience.