This blog should have gone in over two weeks ago and for some reason it didn’t get in so I’m adding it now. It may look out of sync which it is but the blog I wrote today connects a bit with this one so it needs to be here before I add the next!
I am so blessed. Today I drove 3 ½ hours through rain and muddy, slick dirt roads to reach the community I am working in this week. When I stopped at the roadhouse for a quick bite to eat the owner was talking gloom and doom on the rest of the road into where I was headed. He told me that the trucks sitting out front were heading back out to the highway. He said they had about 3 inches of rain since the day before with an extra inch in some places and the road famous for becoming a river was about to do just that.
I figured I’d get through but what about coming back at the end of the week if the storm kept coming? Can’t worry about that, just get there and God will get me back. I love thinking like that; it takes so much pressure off me. I can do nothing about it anyway but God is totally able to take care of the weather and the wet roads.
So I slogged on and it got wetter and muddier and soon the road was covered in water for long stretches. Then I saw the area they’d been working on the last time I was out and salvation from the flooding was close at hand. The problem with this road, which travels a long way in the outback, is it was made wrong. It has high banks while the road runs below the banks like a riverbed and when it rains a lot that is just what it becomes. Every year people are stranded in it and by it. They are now working on the road to make it higher than the banks and end the river it becomes. Suddenly there it was, a detour to a track above the road. I quickly turned and did a mud run up on the nice flat road they had cut and drove looking down at the river which got worse and worse.
I made it through the worst part in tact with my white 4-wheel drive vehicle now a red earth color from front to back. I’m not sure why, when you live in a red desert you would make your entire fleet of cars white. When I arrived at my destination I took one look at the car and knew there would be at least 2 hours of work to get it clean when I got back to town.
I lugged all my baggage and computers and paperwork into my tiny government accommodation with a sigh of relief. My little room is somewhere between the smallest motel room you have ever seen minus the toilet and shower and a berth on a train. The kitchen is across the hall and the bathroom is down the hall. The room has a single bed and the room is just a little longer than the bed. There is a small built in closet with a very small desk for your computer etc. When you sit in the chair at the desk the back of the chair touches the bed – that is how narrow the room is.
As I made my bed and wondered how I’d keep from becoming claustrophobic I told myself at least there wasn’t much to clean. I was spoiled by the last community I worked in where I got to stay in a 3-bedroom house. At first my old attitude started to rise to the surface.
There are 4 tiny rooms in this demountable building and one small unit with a kitchen and its own bathroom. I was hoping to get that room, in fact I’d been told there were several of them. But a woman working elsewhere in the community had beaten me to it and I was left with a choice of one of the four tiny rooms. Besides that the people who manage the rooms aren’t even working but still on holiday and they forgot to leave me the key to my room. It was open so I could get in but I can’t lock it when I go out to work. More frustration. But I’m pleased to say I was able to take all of that under control and be happy with what I have.
We are the only ones here this week and we both work so the demountable will be locked and it won’t matter so much about my room, besides God is in control. The important part is I made it out here and I have a week to be here and meet the people and get to know a new group of Aboriginal people.
After work and my quick dinner I was looking at my computer, reading e-mails and I heard a small band strike up in the house near me. Then they started singing what I believe was a praise song. They were singing in language of course but you can always tell when they are singing about God no matter if you understand it or not. The Aboriginal people are so gifted in the arts of painting, craft work and music. Give them a guitar, keyboard and a sound system and it doesn’t get any better than that.
I went outside to hear them better and watched the sunset over the hills as they played and sang. I didn’t understand a word they were singing but you know what it didn’t matter. It was beautiful and it soothed my spirit and made me full of Joy. A peace swept over me and I looked across the land at the grass newly greened by the rain, the trees clean from all the red dust and the last of the storm clouds moving into the distance and I felt so blessed. Here I was after all these years, finally in Australia, working with the Aboriginal people. I’d driven around the community earlier and been greeted by smiles and lots of waving hands. I’ve only been here once before for a short time and yet they were all welcoming me to their lives with smiles. Such beautiful people and how blessed I am to be here with them.
Night has fallen now and some new singers have joined with the others and it continues to lull me with a beautiful, peaceful end to my day. Thank you Lord.