Over here, Easter is celebrated a week later than it is in many other countries. Egg dying is a common here, but has a significant meaning. Above are some of the necessary items used to color and display the eggs. Traditionally the eggs are dyed a deep red, a color achieved from using the red dye or the bundles of sticks soaked in a particular way. Then, the eggs are placed on some green wheatgrass for show. The red is said to be a symbol of victory over death and the green of the grass is said to be symbolic of new life.
Yesterday I went for a walk around the city. It was rainy and chilly but amidst the dreariness of the day, flower sellers were out in full force. Most of them had at least a bucket full of lilacs, some had more. The smell of lilacs was in the air, mingling with the smell of rain as it cleansed the city of the haze that so commonly hovers above it. April showers and flowers: a beautiful reminder of how God cleanses and brings new life.
We live in a beautiful country and I’m often reminded of that when I look out from the balcony of our 8th floor apartment. Gorgeous mountains surround our city of 1.5 million that’s nestled in a valley. My favorite time of day is when the sun is going down and we can only see the silhouette of the mountains. Everything is blooming (including the tree to the right of our balcony) and the green adds such life to the city. Glad it’s spring!
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” — Isaiah 55:10, 11
Springtime is a good reminder of God’s promises that He is the One who brings life.
We have been intentionally seeking to share the Center space with like-minded colleagues from other organizations. This has led to some interesting partnerships: for example, every Tuesday and Thursday the kitchen in the Center is filled with the wonderful smell of bagels! A young lady has started a new business here and is taking orders for bagels and delivering them around the city. We are excited to watch as the business grows… recently she had orders for 50 bagels. Praise the Lord for creative, God-honoring individuals that are seeking to build sustainable businesses here in this context. We are privileged to partner with such people.
At a recent Leadership Institute event, a local business leader shared about establishing a value-based business. She shared about the importance of a good foundation and invited two attendees to try to build towers with different types of blocks. The builder on the left had rectangular foundation blocks to build a strong tower with, while the builder on the right had oddly shaped mismatched pieces. When the oddly shaped pieces came crashing down, the illustration was clear: a business (or a life) that has a strong foundation of values is going to be more successful. It has been really encouraging to see so many of our young students attend these Leadership Institute events and hear excellent teaching from professionals in a wide variety of fields.
Compared to several of our colleagues, we are very fortunate to have pretty regular water and electricity access. However… ONCE and a while we get shut down for a day! This is a picture of the water running after a long day without washing hands, dishes, or anything else! So thankful for CLEAN water that we have 99% of the time!