As many of you already know, we had to move our center to another location because our old landlord wanted to turn our building into a hotel. Recently some of our teammates visited the old center and found that the renovation was well underway. It’s amazing how much has changed in just a short time!
It has been a while since we moved to the new location, but some of our students still talk fondly of the old center. Because of this, we realize that they are still getting used to the new place. Pray that they would not only make new memories but also continue encounter Christ’s love as they come.
One of my students was recently expressing to me her frustration of how many of her friends seem to have a negative outlook on life. She then proceeded to tell me she enjoys our times together saying, “Even when you were going through a hard time with your father being ill, and you having to be so far away from him, you still seemed to have a peace about you.” She went on to say that many days she arrives at our lesson feeling discouraged or overwhelmed with her life, but by the time she leaves she feels better and has a new perspective. Then she asked me, “Why are you such a joyful person?” That is a question I love to be asked. I was able to share with her about where my source of joy is found! I told her that yes, life is hard and we all go through struggles, but I can trust in God. He is there with me through it all—He is my source of peace and joy! Please pray that His light and joy would continually shine brightly through us here, and that people would be drawn to His truth by it!
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:21
At a recent team retreat, we not only prayed together, but we also made bread together. We were taught how to form the dough into a boat-like shape, though some of our team members decided to be a little more creative in the shapes they formed. We then pressed the dough against the walls of a hot stone oven and waited for it to bake. There is nothing quite like a piece of fresh hot bread, called “shoti”!
This past Mother’s Day, I sent this picture to my mother saying that her grandchildren are coming soon. Though we are excited to see family, we are also sad to leave the work here and the friends that we have made. We often find ourselves caught between these two worlds.
Pray for our team as two families will be returning back to the States for one year. This leaves a void on the field for the work that needs to be done and also requires great transition for these families. Pray particularly for the children who constantly seem to be experiencing constant change.
A recently passed law bans smoking in many public places (restaurants, hotels, stores, etc). This is a major change for this country, where approximately 60% of the adult population smokes. It remains to be seen how strictly the new law will be enforced, but we are hopeful that it will lead to some cleaner air!
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16
Pray that “the good way” will once again be known and that this nation will once again walk in it.
My grandfather worked as an electrician in his retirement years and he would have LOVED seeing the way the electrical grid is set up here. This photo of a utility pole near the university where we teach shows how haphazard the system can be. Nonetheless, we are grateful for fairly regular power that is not often interrupted.
The view on a morning walk around a local park as the lake reflects a clear image of the scene around it. Periodic moments of being still and removed from activity provide much needed time to slow down.
Proverbs 27:19 -NIV
“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.”
These ladies are in charge of keeping a nearby park clean. They were serving with joy as they walked through the park together – laughing and talking, picking up pieces of trash and helping small children play as they went by. Not all of the people wear these orange vests (representing a job with the city) with joy, but many have embraced their jobs fully – happy to help.
Team Green has a new bike rider! Anna inherited her brothers’ bike and is proudly rolling around the neighborhood on her two-wheeler. Way to go, Anna!