As God would have it the other man who was reading scripture at Tom and Esther's wedding had served as a missionary in Africa for 17 years with his wife and 3 kids. We asked them if they ever had regular help in Africa with their kids. (I can't for the life of me remember their names) The wife's immediate response was YES! They were just the encouragement I needed to begin to think about having live in help again. She told me two things that really have stuck with me. 1. She said "We've had good experiences and not so good experiences with people who have lived with us. When it's good it's like having family with you. And it's wonderful! When it's not good, it's just hard, and usually doesn't last that long. And from our experience the main thing that makes the difference is the maturity of the person living with us." 2. "Just because you're a Christian doesn't mean you have to invite everyone and anyone to live with you. You're inviting someone to live with you. You can be as picky as you want." These words were golden to me!
You may be thinking why not just get help from someone who lives in the city? Why do they have to live with us? Good questions. If you live in the city you are paying a lot of money just for rent, so you have to have a job. Coming to our house a few times a week and not getting paid would not provide for you. We are not in a place where we can pay someone what they deserve to help us out like we need. It is expensive to have a baby sitter here. I called a girl that nannies for our old neighbors to baby sit one night when the Gallery had a function. She said for my 3 kids she would charge $20 an hour, with a 4-5 hour minimum, plus a cab ride home back to Queens which would have been around $45. She didn't come, but do you get the idea? We are unable to pay our baby sitters what they deserve. The ones that come over and keep our kids are very kind to us , we are thankful! All that to say, it would be REALLY expensive to have someone come over regularly. If we have a live in helper then we are providing their living quarters and meals and will be as generous to them as we can, but the reality is it will take a special person who wants to come to the city to serve rather than have a job.
So we had a conversation or two with our dear friend and within a week she called us and told us she wanted to serve our family exclusively. We were really excited. I was hopeful. God was working, but not the way we were thinking.
Still more to come...