Suffering for Jesus

"Suffering for Jesus" is what my dad has always said over the years anytime I spent a day at a Mediterranean beach. It's his little joke and I humor him (smile, roll the eyes). But the last few days, I've paid back all that beach time in blood, sweat, and the tears will come soon, no doubt!

We've been doing the actual moving that we cleaned the building and packed for. Wednesday we unloaded two truckloads of boxes that had been in storage (this includes all of our stock of CDs, cassettes, books and Bibles in Arabic, French, and English--that means HEAVY boxes!) Then yesterday starting at 9 am, six of us started by loading all the furniture and boxes from our present office into the moving truck and then taking that load to the new building and unloading it. Then we did it all again with a second truckload until 9 pm. Of course both of these locations involve going up and down stairs with heavy loads of archives, files, etc. And no matter how wonderful and friendly we normally are with each other, after 12 hours of hard work you stop being polite with one another and it just becomes "barking" as we say in my family. "Hold this end--no, not there--grab it here--no--Charles, this end! CHARLES!" We were all doing it, though, so no one took it personally. Today, it was really heavy duty stuff, so the women on the team got to take the day off.

Our old location wasn’t really an office building; it was a large house in a nice neighborhood that we used just until this building was built. It has a wonderful lawn and garden all around it (which served as a parking lot for all of our cars!) with 2 fig trees, a hazelnut tree, and an apple tree (too bitter to eat). So we took “fig breaks” a couple of times, reaching up on the trees and helping ourselves to the fruit that was bursting a bit—that means it’s ripe. Until yesterday the only figs I had ever eaten were in newtons, but I really enjoyed them. I especially enjoyed the cultural experience of just eating off the tree like that, and as a few minutes respite from all the work! It made me think of the various references to fig trees in the Bible, too.

In other news, today is September 1, and other than January 1, I think it is probably one of the best times to start new habits or “resolutions.” The kids are going back to school and the social calendars are getting back under control after all the picnics and pool parties have ended. It’s a time when people naturally start thinking of “getting organized.” Anyone thinking of starting a diet? I read a funny joke in Reader’s Digest: “I’m on a 45 day diet. It’s working too, because I’ve already lost 30 days!” Sounds like a good one to try!

Also in other news, has anyone seen the M. Night Shymalan film, “Lady in the Water” that wants to give me their recommendation? It’s playing in our local cheap theater in French and I’m not sure if it’s worth going to.
Ariel Rainey