We’ve had a great start to our two-week English course–thank you for praying! Please continue to lift up the students and teachers as we spend time together building friendships and English skills. May our conversations go deeper as we share stories from our lives over the coming days.
The pattern of this walkway caught my attention and reminded me of the story in Matthew 13 of the farmer scattering seed. We often feel like we are doing just the same here in the city, and this photo is a good illustration of what we experience. Some of the connections we form are like cement–there is no response. But others are like the little patches of grass in the photo, and we see the thrilling signs of new life and growth. Please keep praying for “new patches of grass” as we connect with people here!!
This is an example of the “benches” at the park by our house. They don’t exactly beckon us to come and sit on them…especially on a cold day! But, when my children are playing so well on the slides and making obstacle courses, I do love just sitting and watching…and ‘being’. This has been a season for many of us on the team to learn to “sit” better. To meet with God in a deeper way. He has provided ways for us to engage with each other and with challenging messages to go deeper into His word. Sometimes, it’s hard to sit. Location and geography hardly make a difference– everyone has a park bench to photograph! How do you “sit” and meet with God? Would you pray for our team as we seek Him first? Would you pray for our hearts to quiet easily before Him?
One of our favorite parts about the Christmas/New Year’s season here is that it is a great time to get together with friends! Most people have some time off, and it’s always interesting to share different traditions. This year was no exception when we had our good friends over. Mari and Nana are a daughter and mother who have been an incredible encouragement to us in our time here. On December 23rd, they lost their Grandma – the third lady in the three-generational home. This lady, Grandma, was mostly bed-ridden and didn’t talk much. Somehow, in our different visits, she had seen me enough to give me a nickname: ბეღურა (beghura), meaning sparrow. A few weeks after her death, Mari and Nana came over. This is the cookie Nana decorated. She borrowed our tweezers and spelled out ბეღურა with sprinkles!
Would you pray for Mari and Nana as they continue to deal with the grief of losing a Grandma (and mother)?
For the fourth year in a row, we will be hosting a two-week, intensive English course in February. Please be in prayer for this very special time with students, and join us in praising God for what He has already done!!
- We already have 19 students registered! We hope to have 24 attend!
- There is a great mix of students: some we already know and others that we don’t, locals and people from nearby, closed countries, and a range of ages as well!
- Four of us teach at a local university, and we have been praying for those students to become more connected at the Center. As of now, 4 of them have registered! Please join us in praying that they do attend, and that those relationships grow.
- This will be the first intensive in our new Center. Praise God for such great space!!
- Please pray for the 5 short-term team members joining us: Emily, Brian, Jen, Charlotte, and Jim.
- Finally, we desire that our students know Christ. Please pray for wisdom, boldness, opportunities, and the work of the Holy Spirit as we pour into these men and women.
Please join us in praying these verses this month! Pray for believing leaders of the national religion to be bold and courageous in proclaiming the Truth.
“Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.” John 12: 42-43
We waited and waited for a couple of parking spots to open up, so that we could claim them with chairs and a ladder! Texts and Slack updates flew back and forth between old and new, and then the truck arrived. Before long we were unpacking and settling into our new space.
Moving day went so well–thank you for praying. We will hold our first classes there tonight, and welcome more students on Friday for our regular, monthly event. God has provided so well–join us in thanking Him!
Our family was very ill, and my heart was discouraged because it it felt like the sickness was never ending. After I was laid up in bed for 4 days, it was time to venture out and buy some groceries for our family. I was driving down the highway on my way to the store, listening to worship music, and crying out to God for relief—relief from the illness, relief from the stresses of life, relief from the sadness that though we share His truth so clearly with those around us, some still are holding out—not yet ready to embrace it. I literally got to the point of tears as I was listing off all my burdens to Him, when I saw it! There in the distance on the hill, His reminder to me that He is ALWAYS THERE for me, that He is ready and waiting for us to bring our burdens to Him, and He will give us rest, peace, joy, strength…………
One of the key elements of ministry that our organization has been encouraging us to focus on is our wellness. So, thanks to a gift we received for our team, we all took an afternoon to just go play together– because nothing rejuvenates the soul better than some healthy competition and lots of laughter!!
The gas meters in each of our apartments are located, not-so-conveniently, out on our balconies. This creates a difficult job for the meter readers that have to knock on doors and try to catch people at home in order to read the meter. Some locals tell hilarious stories of trying to avoid the meter readers so they don’t have to pay their gas bills…but everyone eventually has to pay what is due or your gas will be turned off by the city.
Our “gas lady” has often left her contact info on our door and asked us to call her with the numbers. Last month I tried a new system and simply took a photo of the meter and sent it to her. She immediately texted back, “GOOD IDEA! Thanks.”