This place boasts beautiful mountains, so you might be surprised by how hot it gets–especially in July and August. Yesterday, our car thermometer read 100 degrees, and today it was even hotter! Our city clears out during August as people retreat to their home villages away from the city. While we don’t enjoy the heat, traffic is a lot lighter during this time–a huge bonus!
Have you ever seen something growing out of a hard, difficult spot, and wondered–how did that happen? All of us face times of difficulty, and we can also testify to the way God has grown (or is growing!) something new out of those circumstances. While it can be overwhelming to see hurt and brokenness in our own lives and in the lives of others, we have a Hope that is greater than all of those things. Today, let’s join together in praying for new life to spring out of hard places–in GM, your hometown, and in our own hearts!
Once you’re in our city for an hour or two, you quickly realize that building codes and standards are quite different. What do you notice about this picture?
Yes, these iron beams are holding up the outside wall of this building! While we certainly stop and look (and take a picture– :-))when we see instances like this, we appreciate that people here often have to make things work with what they have. And, they do a great job of it!
This father, dressed in traditional clothes, is obviously quite proud of his child, and everyone wanted to capture the moment. Christenings are special events, and are typically celebrated with a large gathering after the service. This stands in sharp contrast to a recent conversation where a local woman described abortion as a “solution to a problem.” Please pray with us for many to understand the value of every life and to know the Giver of Life.
This monument commemorates old, unkept promises between neighbors. While many stop here to enjoy the view, it’s also a sobering reminder of continuing geopolitical struggles in this land. However, we know there is hope for all of us, because despite being people who have broken promises and hurt one another, we serve a God who has provided a way for reconciliation and redemption. Praise Him!
…on the other side of the mountain?!? It’s easy to see how GM got its name! The landscape is vibrant in many places this time of year–full of life and color. However, the country is facing a new and daunting challenge from a familiar foe. Please pray for wisdom for the leaders here as they respond, for opportunities to listen and ask questions, and for His Peace to be known in this place.
Every once in a while we see a familiar sign that makes our hearts skip a beat–could it be true? It’s common to see brand names that we know (or close variations of them) on signs and store windows, only to discover that they’re not the real deal. Real or not, it’s still fun to see something we know now and again.
We recently stumbled upon a new art installation in a local park–a graduations tower. According to the placard, these towers were used in the 1600’s to produce salts for food and medicinal purposes. This tower is composed of many compartments, and in each one, the artist has arranged various objects. While the project is visually interesting, it also reminded us that there are conversation starters all around. Let’s all look for the opportunities that God presents us this week to ask questions and listen to others as they share what fills up the space in their lives, and what compartments are still empty or unsatisfied.
On a recent visit to another region, we learned that each village appointed a mediator–a very important position. The job description included listening to both sides of a quarrel, and devising a solution that would (hopefully) satisfy everyone involved in an effort to avoid ongoing revenge between the two parties. Each mediator carried a staff like the ones below for support, but also as a status symbol and record of resolved cases–a notch was made for each one.