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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Assaults and a Mom's heart

Today Caleb's squadron ran through the assault course.  I'm not 100% sure the picture below is him, but it shows you a bit of what he's up against.  They crawl through mud, over obstacles, run, get yelled at, have to hit things with their gun, then they have to actually fight each other (with a lot of padding).  The blog about this rates the various courses on a scale of 1 to 10 for "fun" and while there are some in the 4-8 range this one gets a negative 50.
But someone has to do this stuff, as evidenced by the tragic happenings only a hundred km away in a Denver suburb.  Evil grabs hold of people, and they do evil things that hurt others, and we're better off with someone like Caleb holding the line.  I was thinking of how much he's like his dad, who always does the hard stuff even when it costs him a lot, because it's the right thing to do.

Getting up at 4:30 to 4:45 am daily, running miles, uncountable pushups, all while being verbally abused 24/7 takes its toll.  When we scroll through pictures looking for Caleb, he usually looks just as beat as everyone else.  I was praying today for him to find a moment of friendship in the muck, and maybe even see a smile.  Here is my answer to prayer tonight!
Meanwhile Luke is just back from a week-long journey by hitched rides, matatus, buses, rafts, and foot (over the mountains) to visit his old home in Bundibugyo with his friend Stephen Congdon.  That's his story to tell and I hope he does (hint hint).  But my mom-heart was very happy to hear HIS joy in sitting in the familiar setting of a neighbor's small tin-roofed home as the rain drummed down, eating the African food he misses, reconnecting with the only people in the world who have seen him grow day by day and known him consistently since infancy.  As I pray and reflect on our life, the cost to our kids sobers me.  They are different than I am in fundamental ways because of their childhood.  A lot of that is good:  courage to do the hard things like Caleb, feeling very much at home in places of poverty and isolation like Luke.  But a lot of their life is hard too, and I am grateful for the many prayers that continue to uphold them.

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