I've tried (and failed) to write an update several times over the past week. Part of me thinks that everyone MUST be tired of hearing about the kidnapping by now. Part of me worries that people who aren't accessing my personal Facebook page will worry when they hear nothing here on the blog. Confused as I am, I've finally managed to type up an update!
I've been back at home for a week now. I'm doing well. My sleeping and eating have returned to normal. I'm not feeling fearful about being here, and I've even driven to town once, by myself. The roads are horrible - it must have rained a LOT while I was gone - and as I drove I barely had time to think about anything but keeping the Land Cruiser from falling into the deep ruts and potholes. I think the distraction may have been a good thing.
I've been sort of easing back into life. My trip to the US was hectic, so I'm not feeling "rested and ready," but at the same time, life has a kind of "new beginning" feeling to it right now, and I'm trying to take advantage of that.
As a family, we're doing great! I can honestly say that my marriage came out stronger for this experience, and the kids all proved themselves to be so strong and resilient! While I was in the US, the family here hosted two teams, and we have another coming next week. Between teams, the menfolk are working hard on the bridge project. We're still on the job!
And then there's Ben. People keep asking me, specifically, how he's doing, so here's the answer.
Ben continues to handle all of this amazingly well. There just don't seem to be any negative long term changes in his behavior since the kidnapping. He has received a lot of praise, and a few gifts, and he seems pleased with his new "famous hero boy" status, LOL. He was asked to tell his story to a visitor from a recent team, and enjoyed doing so. I've only been back with him a few days, and to me he seems a bit less childish than previously - I think he kind of impressed himself, with his poise and self-control during the kidnapping, and is thinking of himself more as an adult now than he did previously.
Ben and I have had several opportunities, since I've been back, to talk about various aspects of the kidnapping. I recognize some of the same thought processes that I went through, coming out in his conversation. He wondered why I was so traumatized, when I only had a couple of hours of being kidnapped, and he'd had so many more hours. So we talked about how scared we both were in those first hours, how we didn't know what would happen to us, and that we knew there was some likelihood we wouldn't live through the situation. Then we talked about how, after I was released, the kidnapper treated him reasonably kindly (given the situation!), but that the rest of the family didn't know what was going on with Ben, and we couldn't assume that he was even alive, let alone being treated well, for many hours of that time. The rest of the family was actually much more terrified than he was! I assume the conversations will be ongoing, until we eventually get to the point where these events aren't so very much in the forefront of our thoughts.
The kidnapping appears less scary when you look at it in hindsight, of course - not knowing what will happen next, and how everything will come out in the end is a huge part of what makes a situation like that scary - and as a family we are in danger of downplaying the gravity of what happened to us and underestimating the affect it has had on each of us. In general, though, I think we're doing really well, as we settle back into what we've come to call "normal" around here!
Thanks so much for all of the prayer support throughout the kidnapping, the aftermath, my trip to the US (and the trauma counseling), and now, as we move forward with life and ministry! We praise God for his faithfulness to us through this adventure!