Thursday, April 18, 2013

Decision Day

In the book of Luke, Jesus tells this story:


“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Today I was able to spend a lot of time with my dad at the hospice house. While he enjoyed a nice upswing in his health over the last couple of weeks, it looks like he is now declining again. And while we still can't be sure how long it will be, my mother is feeling again like it could be any day now. This may sound unfeeling to many of you, but I'm not worried about my dad. Today while I was with him, I felt happy for him and strangely bored. It seems a lot like I am at the airport waiting for him to take a flight. I'm super sad to say goodbye but I'm also stoked for him because I know that he is going to a paradise, and some day I'm going to join him there. 

For all of my friends that haven't given their lives to Christ, I really want you to understand that I totally and utterly believe in heaven and hell, and I believe that Jesus Christ is the way and the truth and the life just like he said. There are many Christians out there who don't want to face the idea of hell, but in the story above I don't think that Jesus was speaking figuratively really. The story may have been a parable but I think Jesus was talking about real places. Hades was a place Jesus obviously believed in and he spoke of hell all the time. "Agony" is certainly a word that catches my attention.

Right now we don't know which day will be my father's last day. But the fact is, none of us know that on any day. And every single day is a day we can decide to worship Jesus as God and follow him... or not. Today I did cry in the car but believe it or not, I wasn't crying about my dad. I was crying for all my non-Christian friends who might face their last day, and face without Jesus. If you are not trusting Christ with your life, well, I prayed for you today. I prayed that you would give Jesus your life. He can do a much better job with it than you can anyway.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No Gnus is Good Gnus

Hello folks! This is Tricia doing a quick report for y'all about our first weeks in the good old US of A. Believe it or not, things have been even stranger than we ever imagined, but also really wonderful too. Maybe it has seemed like we haven't had any news. And there really isn't any BIG news but here's the small news anyway.

There may be some things that you are wondering about so let's just get a couple things out of the way:
1.  The thing we missed the most: of course our family and friends!!! Seeing family and friends that we have missed so much is absolutely fantastic. You all look gorgeous!!! We are surely missing our Zambian family and friends but are absolutely STOKED to be seeing everyone here. Okay, I'll say it... the second thing is surely the food. I had some breaded and fried cod the other day that brought tears to my eyes and I got a little choked up. Seriously, it was that good.
2. The thing we are most grateful for:  honestly the first thing is just that we've been able to spend time with my dad. He is hanging in there longer than we thought at first and it's a gift from God. And I am so happy that he is trusting the Lord and will be able to be with the Lord soon. The second thing is the provision of God. God has moved people to really have everything ready for us and though there have been a lot of little details for us to take care of over these last weeks, we basically had a place to land and a vehicle and a church home all ready to go!!!
3.  The thing we DIDN'T miss the most:  drizzling rain. Yes I know that's what makes the trees so green but that's just what PNW'ers say to comfort themselves about the abusive relationship they are stuck in with the weather here. Second thing:  bumper stickers... and yes, I mean all of them.
4.  The biggest adjustment for us:  getting used to family life here in the States. Um, maybe y'all don't remember, but when we left we had one really tiny kid. And we had grandparents nearby that were ready and willing to babysit. Kelly and I pretty much did whatever we wanted. Now we have three much bigger ones and my mom already has a full plate taking care of my dad at hospice. Trying to get the kids settled and healthy and happy, and us too, has been crazy.

Okay, so I think that covers the FAQ's I've been getting, at least a little bit. Of course I can go on and on about the differences between Bellingham and Lusaka but you guys hear that stuff from us all the time. Mostly what I wanted to tell you is that despite the surprise visit with Ethel to urgent care to get an earring surgically removed from inside her earlobe, and despite news that Kelly needs eye surgery, and despite the nasty cold that is making its way through our family, and despite my dad's slow decline in hospice care, and despite weeping in front of Cordata elementary school because I'm still a control freak after all, despite being unable to see nearly as many friends each day as I would like, despite all of these trials:  God is GOOD.

And we Huckabys are glad to be here in America. It's so good to enjoy your company, my dear American friends. And it's so good to have an opportunity to miss Zambia and our friends there and let it all grow dearer and dearer in our hearts. Our heavenly Father will strengthen us for our daily struggles and we will be better for it. Please DO keep praying for us. Just because we aren't on the field, doesn't mean you can forget all about us!!! Please remember us and pray that we would stay focused on our Lord and the mission he has given us. Please pray that we won't be seduced into comfort and apathy but that the Holy Spirit would continue to urge us toward good works for the glory of God. Amen!

Monday, April 15, 2013

First Day of School

So today was a big day for the Huckaby family. Since it's so cold and rainy, and we don't have our homeschooling materials, and since we have a lot of stuff to do that would require us to leave our kids with various people we decided instead to put them into the local elementary school. Today was their first day and even though the school seems so awesome and the teachers and staff are incredibly nice and helpful, it was so hard to drop them off today. Joy and Lucas looked so small and there were so many kids running all around. Tricia cried a little to see them go and it was a little scary for everyone. But these kids are gonna have so much fun and meet lots of great kids and we'll have time to do lots of meetings and spend time at the hospice with Tricia's folks. So please pray for our kids!! It's Joy and Lucas' first time in a structured school and who knows if they won't drive their teachers totally nuts! 





Friday, April 12, 2013

Blog-lagged

Well here we are back in America. The land flowing with ice cream and mexican food. The girls and I had a great trip over from Zambia. Our flight to London was totally uneventful. Customs and immigration were a breeze and the hotel was perfectly quiet, insanely clean, and so futuristic - the girls loved the auto flushing toilets, lights that came on by themselves, and the tv in the room - they thought the news program was someone trying to call us on Skype.

freezing at the bus stop

at LHR

checking out the goodies in their happy meals

We had some terrible McDonalds and slept late and survived the freezing temps. In the morning we had a wonderful visit with our dear friends the Melvilles.

Randolph and Madeline 

We got a bit delayed in LHR the next morning but the girls were excited to see our double decker airplane. They kept asking during the whole flight whether we had already landed. When we hit some heavy bumps coming into SEA they cheered and laughed.

Finally we got picked up by the Williamsons at SEA (we were also greeted at the arrivals by our friends the Armstrongs but Josh has failed to send me some pics of them!)


So what have we been up to ever since? We've mostly been getting settled into our apartment, trying to buy clothes for this freezing wet weather, getting the kids into school and spending lots of time with Tricia's folks.

So thank you for the prayer and for the calls and emails. We'll be emerging from our jet-lagged, culture-shocked, bubble of exhaustion sometime in the next two weeks and then we should hang out at Mallards and get and ice cream sundae or maybe catch a taco at La Gloria.