Two of our short-termers flew out this week, and I find myself already missing them. An aspect of missionary life that is very difficult to communicate to people who have not lived it is the constant, emotionally exhausting cycle of hellos and goodbyes. These girls were a part of my life for only six weeks, but in that time they were such a blessing. Not only because they did photocopying and other school tasks for me, but because they spent meaningful time with me. God knew that in the midst of this year I was going to need a gift like these six weeks, and I am so grateful. I wish them all the best as they return to take summer classes and finish up their studies; who knows but that they might become full time missionaries themselves some day?
Today is our winter solstice, and now the short nights are going to start transitioning back to longer, warmer days. I am very grateful for my handknit sock collection just now; with temperatures getting down to 10 and 11°C at night in houses with cement floors, wool is a very welcome treat! The greater burning of Zambia is well under weigh; when I drove into Ikelenge to check the mail I saw much evidence of the smudges of smoke I have been observing on my afternoon walks. When I think how lush and green everything was just two months ago, it amazes me again how much this landscape changes during the year. We will start burning the school firebreak soon; they have already done some slashing in preparation for it. I look forward to the night they burn the side of the airstrip; I love to go up and watch it. When one considers the raw power of a bushfire, the devastation left in its wake, and the new green life that springs up in hope from the ashes, there are some powerful parallels with our own redemption story.