Sunday, April 10, 2011

Have You Ever....?

Have you ever trudged through the snow with snow boots? How about walked through the mud with plastic bags on your feet? As of yesterday, I have done both.
While the rest of the world thinks of "April Showers" this month, we are thinking more along the lines of "Muddy Season." The snow has melted, the rain is drizzling, and our poor, dirt roads do not stand a chance. When we need to simply survive, we look no further than our Ukrainian friends, for they are the experts on survival skills. While I wish I could take credit for the plastic bags on our feet idea, I cannot, because my very creative Ukrainian friends, Igor and Lena (who lived in our house while we were on furlough), taught me this little trick: We sold our car before we left for furlough last October and have not bought another one yet, though we hope to soon. However, I remember the troubles we had last year getting up and down our dirt roads.... flinging lots of mud with our tires, losing traction, slipping and sliding every which way... so, in a way, I am glad we have not bought a car yet. This is the best month of the year to be without one, hands down. Since hubby is in Israel and I needed to be at the church two days in a row, the VanSants invited the kids and I to stay the night at their house so that I did not have to venture out with my little ones twice in a row (one of those times being for Sunday services). So, I packed backpacks for the kids with as little as possible....
and then we ventured out into the mud for a little hike out to the asphalt road. There, we were met by a taxi which we had already called and ordered. After the taxi driver got over the initial shock of: 1) the muddy, plastic bags on our feet 2) the fact that Americans were living way out in this village 3) the astonishing amount of children I have... yes, four is a lot here... he thanked me for thinking ahead so that his car would be kept clean. Ha! Then, we headed to the VanSant's house for some much-needed fellowship. I want to let you in on a little secret - if you want to have the greatest fun in the world with your kids, get some grocery bags and tie them to their feet with rubber bands. You don't even have to have muddy roads to walk down, though that is certainly a bonus. Just let them slide around the house and there you have it... hours of entertainment that hardly costs a thing!

So, don't go feeling sorry for these little missionary kids. They are truly living, laughing, and loving every moment of missionary life!


  1. you seem like such a great mom! thanks for sharing with us & being such an inspiration & witness for Christ! wish you the best!

  2. Sounds like you all had lots of fun. We did that when we were kids. I use sacks inside their snow boots to keep the feet dry but didn't think of using them on the outside. This Gramdma will remember that since we don't always have what is needed @ Grandma's house. God Bless.

  3. Love it! :) Way to enjoy the life God has given!

  4. Love it! That is so cute and such a good idea. You take care while your husband is away. Gail

  5. I just love how you ended your post by [basically] saying...Don't feel bad for my missionary kids. :)

    I just love it when missionary's are so upbeat about the country where they minister. I have friends who were interim missionaries to Mongolia for a year and they said they didn't feel like they were "missing out" on anything being there. They simply embraced that country where God had them.

    What a blessing to those of us here in the states!

    Take care, Jolene!

  6. Oh, yeah! I've done that before, too! :o) Great idea and much easier to get rid of than great gobs of goopy mud on your shoes! haha!

  7. We did this when we were at our old church building making our trips out to the outhouse!!! Fun,Fun!!!

  8. Love your blog!

  9. I admire your "trooper" spirit with your little soldiers in their plastic bag boots. How darling. I'm so thankful you were able to spend the night with the VanSants. I'm thankful for these "stand-in-grandparents.

  10. God fills my heart with such joy and tears as I read your adventures for Him. I for one do not feel sorry for your little ones for you and Bro David have made a life worth living for the Lord an adventure for your family... You definitely have a rough road, but your babies do not realize it.. I believe with my whole being that God has shown many that service to Him can be truly joyful no matter what circumstance we are in. So many times Mrs Jolene I wanted to be a blessing and an encouragement to you and your family but everytime I hear from you and how you all face the challenges before you, God uses you to touch me in a way that I thought was buried. I pray for our Missionaries that we support here at Northside and we have given gifts, in which I hope we never stop, but now I want to pray that God increases your JOY that you share and that I will personally try to give to others.. J- Jesus first, O- others second, Y - me last...
    When you were here at Northside, I told you that you have not aged, and that is true .... for I believe that the face cream you use can not be bottled but only shared as you do...
    Thank you from my heart that you are sharing yours and your families adventures...
    Mrs. Nell Cowan


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25