When I moved into my flat, I was the first ever tenant. This flat was beautiful, modern and all I could ever hope for. It looked perfect and being the first tenant surely meant that everything should be solid. Fast forward to a few months ago: I noticed a crack in the ceiling of my beloved kitchen. Recently as I sat drinking coffee and looking at that crack, I came to an understanding. I’ve learned a lot about the local people and their attention to aesthetics: all about appearances. Our team uses the phrase, “saving face”, a telling phrase for the people here. This shows up not only in personal beauty, but in buildings and homes. They may be outwardly beautiful, but missing a solid foundation accomplished through committed time and care. These dear people are hiding behind something that is fallible. They are holding onto something that will fail. Our team daily desires to break down these fronts and show them how to have a solid foundation in Christ, the only one who will not break, who will NEVER fail.
Art is so important in this culture, and it is a joy to see all of the different ways that our local friends express themselves. From jewelry making to painting, there is an abundance of creativity and ingenuity here. This leaf painting is by one of our favorite artists, Zaza, and we recently had an opportunity to hear a little about his story. Since teammates first met him over five years ago, he has become well known in other countries too. Zaza shared that he has actually been stopped at borders due to the suspicious amount of leaves in his trunk! Please pray for this talented man to know his Creator, and to find true peace, hope, and healing.
Looking for the top places to travel this year? Our country has made a lot of recent lists, and people are listening. Tourists are flocking here in increasing numbers, and they are discovering what we already know—this place is amazing! Old meets new, mountains and sea, long-held tradition and modern ingenuity, beauty and decay, past regimes and new-found freedom, and don’t forget the food. We pray that the positives of tourism will outweigh the negatives, and that God will continue to preserve this place for all to enjoy!
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:19
Pray for our team to thrive, and for our words to be Spirit-led and bold—always proclaiming the Truth.
One of the greatest challenges to living overseas is being far away from family. We feel this acutely as we watch our kids interact with their grandparents. We’re grateful for technology that allows instantaneous communication across the ocean! Here our 8 year old is enjoying chatting with his grandparents in Colorado.
Seeing this display of “old things” reminded me that we are never to old to be used for our intended purpose. While there might be new and easier ways to weigh, stir, and cut, all of these tools can still accomplish those things. Each believer has a purpose—to share the hope of Christ. There’s no age limit (young or old), no obsolete methods, no expiration date—we are called and equipped.
This city has a diverse international population. We are starting to have access to many various types of food and one of them is ramen! We enjoy Asian food and ramen is a welcome treat in cold or heat!
This last Monday we hosted a leadership seminar for locals on the subject of feedback in the workplace. Several of our higher level English speakers attended the seminar and it was very interesting to hear from them on this subject. In short, the giving and receiving of good feedback seemed like a rarity in most jobs. One man even mentioned how he worked so hard at his job and was proud of what he did, only to be fired the next day and not given a reason. Another talked about how she wanted to make a change in her workplace and be open to giving and receiving feedback in a positive way. Overall it was an interesting discussion and an example of a different way to pour into the lives of people here. Please pray for the Leadership Institute branch of the center as we strive to not only lead good discussions and coach locals in various areas of their lives, but also to show God’s love through our words and actions to people who are open to life changes.