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A New Normal

A New Normal
During the quarantine, due to Covid-19, the Village of Joy is operating very differently than normal. Most of our current normal programs are held off-base, in new creative ways following the prevention measures in place, or on hold due to restrictions on large gatherings. Separated into several small family groups, the missionaries and the Iris children have a unique opportunity to become a stronger family, to focus inward on our community, and pursue the presence of God together. Over the past several weeks a new normal has emerged.
One of our family groups has dived right into this new season and faced all the new challenges together. 6 young boys, 2 missionaries, and 1 Mozambican staff make up this little group. One of the missionaries with this group, Hayley, normally works as an English teacher at our school, but now she spends her days with the boys, loving on them and pouring into them. Hayley says this season has been an amazing new experience that she desires to fully embrace every day.
Each day is an adventure with new obstacles and victories. It’s a beautiful cross-cultural mix of age, gender, languages, cultures, and past histories. Yet out of all of this, God is making them a family. Even on the most difficult days, there has been plenty of laughter, and newfound understanding of one another.
With the schools closed, they fill their time staying sharp on school work and a creative variety of other games and activities. They have built a cardboard city, they dance, cook, bake, play soccer, card games and more.
Of course all of this is nothing without discipleship. It is the most important part of this quarantine family time. The boys are spending more time in bible studies and learning throughout their day about Jesus and how to live for him than ever before.
On Sundays, each house group does their own church, put together by the missionaries. They worship together, pray together, and share whatever God put on their heart. Recently one Sunday, Hayley’s group was spending time soaking in God’s presence. Hayley had told them that they too can hear the voice of God speaking to them if they quiet themselves and listen. After they were finished, one boy shared about his time soaking. He said he had been praying for God to come be with them in that place over and over until he says he heard God speak to him and say “I have always been there, just open yourself up for me.”
God is the master of using crazy upside down situations for His purpose and Glory. He turns quarantine into a time for family and drawing his children closer to his heart. He makes beautiful things out of the mess around us. This quarantine is a unique opportunity for all of us to take this extra time we have been given and open ourselves up to God. To listen to his voice and open up our hearts to him.