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The "I love Lucy" Moments of Life

05.16.18
by Carla, missionary in West Asia
in Asia, Church Planting, Stories
"In the midst of catastrophe the Lord proves once again, that He can cause all things to work together for good."

     Growing up, one of my favorite reruns to watch were I love Lucy shows. Watching her life of catastrophe brought such laughter to our lives. They all seemed so outlandish and unbelievable. Until today.
     Today is my birthday. Always a challenging day to celebrate while serving overseas. It falls on a Sunday this year so my husband and I head to our fellowship, all the while arguing about something that happened earlier today. The stress of living here rears its ugly head time and time again. At the church, a dear gal christens my entrance with a dozen red roses. Many share their excitement for my day of birth and I am blessed.
     We spend the rest of the day doing things I love — eating Mexican food and taking a cable car to the top of the mountain, with much discussion, grace and forgiveness. Our journey home is uneventful, and we part ways at the grocery store as one does the shopping and one heads home.
      After arriving home, I decide that I want to take a bath with my new lavender bath salts to celebrate my day. I run the bath water, while tidying up the house a bit. I check again and the tub is about 1/3 full, so I return to the kitchen to finish some work. At that moment, I hear an explosion of water like a geyser at the park. My first thought is that the pressure for the water in the tub has increased, so I go to turn it off. But to my surprise, the faucet on the sink has blown off and water is shooting onto the ceiling, quickly filling up the room with water by the second. At that moment, there are many choices I can make. I first think to look for the shut off valve, but I can’t find it amidst of the torrential shower. Next I think I need to contact my neighbors. But I have locked the door with my key and removed it because my husband will use his key when he returns. After frantically searching, I unlock the door and in my soaked state, go to my neighbors doors and furiously knock, looking for anyone who might aid in my situation.
     After no one answers, I return to find my phone and dial my landlady. I ramble on about what is happening, only to be answered by “I don’t understand you!” At which time I realize I am speaking Turkish to her, instead of Russian. At the same moment, a man rushes up the stairs, excitedly yelling at me in Kazakh and my next door neighbor comes in asking if she can help. I hand my mobile to the woman and ask her to explain to my landlady. The man from downstairs has come up because water is streaming into his flat from mine. He finally locates the shut off valve and we have peace just for a second.
     My downstairs neighbor asks me to start bailing the inches of water on the floor and leaves, only to return a few minutes later with a younger man who actually does the work for me because I am too slow. We are only renting here for a short time, so when they ask me for towels and buckets, I am at a loss to give them much. I return from the kitchen with a plastic mixing bowl and the three towels we own. As I am returning, I slip and fall because the floor is all wet and I am also drenched.
     At that moment, everything stops as they both look me in the eye and at the same time say, “Are you ok?” Then we have a conversation about where I am from, because the woman next door speaks English. We have lived here for 5 months and have never seen our neighbors. We are all pleasantly surprised and encouraged at the same time. The woman leaves and the men basically clean up the bathroom for me, telling me to send my landlady down to see them when she arrives a bit later. My husband has still not returned from the grocery store.
     I finally breathe. A deep breath and realize the adrenaline is still coursing through my veins. My husband returns at about the same time as my landlady, and after changing my clothes, I help them finish with the cleanup. It is now 10 pm. The details of calling a plumber fall on our landlady and at 11 pm, the plumber comes and shuts off the water to the sink so that we can have water in the rest of our flat. 
     At this point, I am thankful for many things. It was cold water that came as a geyser out of the faucet not hot. One of us was actually home when this event happened. If not, it could have flooded and destroyed much more. The Lord opened up introduction to our neighbors with one speaking English, one who had traveled to Turkey and we also were able to meet the downstairs’ landlady the next day who was totally blessed by our hospitality to her and her grandson. And our landlady showed great integrity regarding the repair responsibility while talking with my husband.
     So in the midst of catastrophe, the “I love Lucy” moments of life, the Lord opens a door. He gives us an opportunity to bless and not curse. He proves once again, that no matter what the situation looks like, He can cause all things to work together for good. That we are here on this earth for a purpose to reach those around us with the love and message of Christ. May we be found faithful.

 

 

 

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