Ironing the Directors Shirts

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My new ironing board
I recently bought my first ever ironing board. It was oddly a very exciting moment.
Over the last couple years Nick got a bit of a hard time from the guys at the hanger that his pilot shirts were never ironed. The first year he told them it was because we didn't have house help (and really; I wasn't going to iron his pilot shirts), they mostly just left him alone after that. He was working on lots of IT stuff and flying inbetween so pretty looking shirts were really only needed for church. 
However it seems like we have come to a point there Nick really does indeed need nicely ironed shirts. 
He is now the director. 
Nick and Maurice ready for the Synod meetings
In North America we see the Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg influence of CEO wearing jeans and a sweater, the era of the suit and tie are dying away. However here in Congo it is the opposite it is alive and thriving more then ever.
When we were home over Christmas we even bought Nick a suit... He had a suit from graduation but to be honest it was like 8 sizes too big... He got a beautiful, nice fitting, 50% off Boxing Day sale suit; and boy are we glad we did. 
Just this 2 weeks ago there was a big synod meeting at ECC where we have our offices. (ECC stands for église du christ du Congo. This is the umbrella church organization that all Protestant churches in DRC are under, including MAF.) So they all had to go and present their organization/denomation. Nick was told to go put his suit on and write a little 5 min speech. 
The meetings were long, political and lasted HOURS longer then they said they would, but that is typical so not totally unexpected. Regardless it was a great time for Nick to meet and talk with different denomations and church organizations affiliated with the ECC here in Congo to see how MAF can serve them. 
Nick has also been trying his best to have meetings with high up government officials to be able to talk about the many things that affect us and really just to start to have a good relationship with them. Though he was told when he requested to have a meeting with one very important man that he could not have a meeting with him just then to discuss a urgent matter because he was not wearing a suit. 
Smiles for Big Sister
Oh man, so we brought his dress shirt that goes with the suit home washed it up, got it dryed, ironed and now it is waiting patiently at the office for when Nick is able to have this meeting.
So though I feel quite domesticated as a stay at home mom, ironing Nicks shirts; I also understand the importance in this culture of looking professional. We are here to transform people hearts toward Christ and we don't need to be fighting unnecessary battles. If we can get to the heart of the matter quicker because Nick has a nicely ironed shirt then I'm gunna make sure he has ironed shirts. There is no reason to make things more difficult in a country where things are already quite difficult. 
I know this because Nick and I are a team, it has been so great to be able to help him brain storm problems and give him ideas on how to best address issues that really are more about people then airplanes. And I love when he comes home, gets to love on our kiddos and brainstorm potty training solutions. We are in this together.
Sometimes I look at my life and think to myself... Wow it's crazy that I'm 26, married to the Director of MAF in DRC, have 2 kids and am living in the Congo... But then I think... Well where else would I be?