Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chased in by the wind

This is a dust devil on steroids. Sucked the hat off my head despite it being tied with a strap under my chin. Just the start of what turned into a serious sand storm

5/24/11 Tuesday
Cherie’s jury duty didn’t happen. She went in and told me that half of Stanton was there, about 300 people were packed into the courthouse. The two guys who were to be tried were brought into the courtroom for the start of juries being picked. They looked at the crowd and both of them decided to plead guilty, so that was that. Worked out well for we didn’t know how long this would take, one day, one week, ??? Who knows, so it was a relief to not be tied up with the jury duty.

I got out early this morning to work on the farm. Knew it was going to be pretty warm later and wanted to beat the heat. Worked yesterday till it was too dark to see. Things were progressing well till after I stopped to eat lunch. I went back out and started digging trenches to lay the drip tape in but it wasn’t long before the wind kicked up. With the wind comes sand so I put one of the dust masks that Cherie bought for that purpose on. It didn’t take long for things to turn into a major sand storm. Right now I can’t see farther than fifty yards out the window and on occasion that is reduced to about twenty feet. Way too much to work in. The dust mask doesn’t make a difference when your getting your eyes full of sand. So I’m done working outside. That means I finally get a chance to write in my journal.

It’s always a blessing to be able to go into the prisons. There are so many lives there, lives that have been wrecked by drugs, drinking, and all that goes along with those vices. But in the midst of that pain and misery we find bright lights of hope shining in the darkness, and hear wonderful tales of hope and redemption. That is the power and gift of God, to restore what has been lost, to make good out of evil. It’s a story I relate well to, for it’s the story of my life as well. I’m sitting now with my wife, watching as she works on making a quilt. She is my first and third wife, evidence of the power of God to fix what has been broken. To be able to share that power and the love of God is wonderful, kind of like passing on the blessings we have received. With that comes a responsibility though, and we share the burdens with these men, the burdens they carry with them in those prisons, and try our best to help them with that.
When I took this picture you could see the tree. Moments earlier it was not visible due to the sand.

I’ve met some marvelous people in prison. One is working on his PhD in theology, having already got his masters degree. Two weeks ago I met a man who is memorizing the bible. That sounds like quite a feat in and of itself, but when I learned that he just learned how to read recently and is still going to school to learn more it blew me away. He paid people to read the bible to him for years in order to memorize it. Talking with the man is quite unusual as he quotes whole paragraphs from the bible as part of his conversation.

But there is so much more, so much I can’t share. Hopes and fears, questions, sorrows, losses, gains, joy, pain, it’s all there, only amplified by the situations these men face. For us to be there and help in any small way we can, is a privilege. When these men in the prison ask me “How are you doing” while I’m there with them, I honestly say “I’m in prison with you, so I’m doing fine”. They like that and I mean that. I am grateful for the help of others who make it possible to be there. There are fees and costs with the Kairos prison ministry that we simply can’t afford, but God consistently brings forth people who help defray those costs. I never have asked anyone for that but it still happens out of the blue. There are some who seem less than excited about this ministry but I hope to help them understand better the heart of God regarding the those whom society thinks the least of.

Time to go. I need to spend this time, when I’m unable to work outside, doing some writing and bible studies that has been put off for too long now.

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