Listening to God in the busyness

Josh and Beth Paulick on May 3, 2020

    The other day I was reading a book (“Who sang the first song?” By Eliie Holcomb) to Isaiah (4 yo) and afterwards he said, “Sometimes God talks to me, but I’m too busy to listen.”  Talk about a humility check.  I told him, that happens to all of us.  It can be so easy to get caught up with everything going on to listen to God and His word.  
    Like everyone else, we too are dealing with the result of COVID-19.  Togo shut the borders pretty quickly after we had our first cases in the country of coronavirus and travel was restricted throughout the country.  We have to have papers and a reason to travel to other cities.  We also have had all churches and schools throughout the country canceled, and gatherings should be no more than 10-15 people.  Because of this, we have been social distancing to some extent and trying to limit our trips to market.  Also, for the time being, the kids school is mostly closed.  The kids go to school once a week to check in with their teacher.  She gives them their work for the next week, and checks on their progress from the last week.  I actually am kind of enjoying having this time of school with them.  It’s nice having their teacher give us what to work on, but it’s nice to see how they are learning.

kidsdoingschoolwork Eli and Avery doing schoolwork at home

       I had started a preschool curriculum with Isaiah the same time to give him a little structure to his day, so he knows more what to expect.  It is challenging though and we are trying to find a balance to everything now that that is part of our daily routine.  (Even Owen gets his own "learning time.").

Isaiahschoolwork Isaiah using blocks to learn
owenplayingwithblocks

        It is challenging to have that time, while still keeping up with the daily stuff, (dishes, laundry, hanging the laundry out to dry, making meals; mostly from scratch…). Although the kids enjoy getting to play outside in our backyard while I'm hanging laundry up. 

kidsinbackyard Backyard soccer

      I started having someone come and help me clean and she has been a huge blessing to me.  She is a Muslim woman who was trained by one of the senior missionaries on the field.  She speaks French well, but unfortunately mine is still lacking.  It’s been good practice though and for the most part we’ve been able to figure out what each other is saying.  Please pray though that I can be a light to her, and that I can help show her Jesus even with my limited French.  She comes two days a week and it’s nice those days to be able to focus a little more on my kids and helping them with their schooling.  With all of that business though, it can be hard to make time to “listen to God” and I am trying to make it more of a priority.  Lifeway Women (the bookstore) has been offering some of their online Bible studies for free due to the closures of everything.  I started doing a study on Gideon (by Priscilla Shirer) that has been very encouraging.  
    Josh has been actively working in the hospital.  His first weekend on call he was able to scrub in with one of the other doctors a few times for C-sections, but Sunday morning, the other doctors had left and Josh got called with a C-Section on twins.  He did great though although I know he was nervous.  That’s been one of the harder challenges for him since we’ve been here is the learning curve with surgeries that he’s only ever done here.  He is doing quite a bid of orthopedic cases and a lot of c-sections. For the first few weeks after COVID-19 was first reported in Togo, they were canceling elective surgeries and limiting clinic, which gave him a little more time, and he’s been able to have some good conversations with the Togolese OR staff some of whom are believers and some are not.  Josh has been praying for more opportunities to share the truth with them.  
    

Prayer and Praise:
Pray for the Togolese and missionaries alike as COVID-19 is currently slowly spreading through the country, but certainly could accelerate its spread at any time.
Praise that even with social distancing some the kids are making friends.
Pray that God would reveal himself to the people we work with as they celebrate during Ramadan.
4.   Praise that we can trust God even when we can’t always see what He’s doing.  
5.   Pray that we can make a priority spending time with God and listening to Him.

PaulickEaster2020 Our family on Easter (Kids, L to R- Isaiah, Eli, Avery, and Owen)