Monday, November 17, 2008

He Will Fill Your Soul

Today was the first time I have fasted since going to Africa. I spent the day thinking about what I learned from Fagness. She and Boxan care for the grounds and cook the food at the orphanage set up by Mothers Without Borders. They are now members of the church and were able to go to the temple this year. They are happy and have a good life.

There was a time in Fagness's life where she didn't have as much. At this time she was caring for and living with 15 other people in a very small home. There was never enough food for everyone. They would take turns eating which meant when it wasn't their turn, they went without. When asked what she would do on the days that she didn't eat, Fagness said she would turn to the Lord and that He would help her feel full with His spirit. She then said she missed those times when she was so completely dependent on Him. My fasting pales in comparison to the hunger they must have felt, and so many that continue to fell that way. However, I too was grateful for the opportunity I had to rely on the Lord. Before going to Africa I never realized that Christ suffered not only temptations to help us in our sins, but that hunger and thirst were also part of His atonement for us. It is because of this that Fagness was able to feel full on her days without food. Regardless of our ailment, we can feel full and at peace as we use the power of the atonement.

One more cute story about Boxan and Fagness. On their 30th anniversary, the American volunteers had come and were playing games with the kids. One of the games was a fishing booth where you throw the line over the sheet and get a prize in return. Boxan was having fun with the kids and volunteers and decided he needed a turn as well. All that was left were some small teddy bears, so they hooked it up and tugged on the line. Boxan was thrilled with his catch. He ran over to his wife of 30 years and gave her one of the few anniversary presents she ever received. Fagness was even more thrilled and keeps the teddy bear on her bed as a reminder of that special celebration. I love the simplicity of it all and want to be just as pleased with the simple things in life.

7 comments:

Stephanie said...

These are things that we who are so blessed never know about. The Lord was not only speaking figuratively when he spoke of the word that was delicious, or feasting upon the words, or any other reference to eating or being filled. It is literal. These men and women have no choice but to starve, or to turn to the Lord. And from the stories that you and Heather share, it is amazing to know that they truly are filled if they do. It makes me wonder how many other lessons there are to be learned in this world of ours. Thank you for sharing

hedrad said...

I love that dear couple. Reminds me of Bob's comment about having dignity in sorrow. I, too, look at hunger differently now. Every time I want to say that I'm hungry I have to stop and think about the fact that I truly have no idea how it feels to be hungry. I'm grateful for the lessons learned.

Looks like Rick is off the hook for next year's anniversary. I have plenty of stuffed animals he can give you.

vaxhacker said...

Your stories from your African expedition are inspirational and very interesting to read. Thanks so much, Heidi!

Mirm said...

Okay so I love reading and hearing about your stories of Africa but please forgive me for avoiding that for a moment to say WHAT THE HECK YOU GOT YOUR EARS PIERCED? Wow the dark side really has started to affect you. I love that. Now go get Heather to partake.

Robin said...

huh? you got your ears pierced?

Tonya said...

I LOVED hearing all of yours and Heathers experiences in Africa at book club last night. It leaves me feeling very humbled and ready to take action. I guess if you can't go to Africa to help then the next best thing is to give monetary support. It feels overwhelming that so many people are suffering and it seems near impossible to get to them. I am grateful for programs like Mothers Without Borders that allow people to go and help and also allow those of us who can't go to give another way. It seems very unreal that people live this way, so to know through your personal pictures that it really is that bad is very eye opening. I feel much more grateful for all of my blessings.

Stacie Raddatz said...

Such literal, tangible hunger. We are so blessed to always have.