This week is the first week back to school for my three kids! On Day #1 back, I got this email:
I’m school doctor Nino. teacher brought Anna in my office, she hit head at the table. Anna had little bump and bruise at her forehead, I put an ice pack for 15 min. As she was feeling fine, had no headache, dizziness, I let her go back to class. I just want you to know about this incident sincerely Dr. Nino
In broken English, she did well explaining what happened to Anna’s head. Anna is fine! This is an example of countless ways God is watching our little ones. I bring them to a mini-bus every morning and watch them drive into the city traffic, wondering how this is okay?! ? Part of our journey this year, as a team, is a deeper Trust in God. For me, a lot of this is about trusting Him with my children–for their safety, for their social and emotional well-being, and with their hearts. One way He has asked us to give up control is to pray to Him and to share our burdens with Him. He can carry it all so much better than we can.
Today, would you pray for the nine children represented on Team Green? They have all started back into the drama and stresses of school. We are all so thankful for the education that is here, but it is a daily release to trust what God is doing with these lives – in the middle of living in an overseas context!
Last month, H&M opened in our city, and we were shocked to see how many people gathered on opening day. The line literally went at least half a mile down the street and around the corner! The people were waiting with great expectation.
It struck me that day, that the people here that I love so dearly do not yet have the same sense of expectations as I do. I can claim as God’s promise for me from Jeremiah 29:11 of a hope and a future. It’s our desire that this truth would become known, and that our friends and students would learn to approach life with a sense of great expectation for what God is doing and will do for them. So please pray with us, that their eyes would be opened and their hearts would yearn for His truth.
We have something that is new-to-us. It is from here…from this region. As in, it grows here and it’s sold in the market. BUT, we’ve never tasted a food with this ingredient…Sea Buckthorn…Anyone ever heard of it?
Here’s a picture of a bush nearby with the berries:
Our teammate also got daring and tried a honey and spice sea buckthorn tea. It was sweet and tasty:
A few months ago there were strong rumblings from our landlord regarding expanding his hotel into our current Center’s space. He let us know that he was applying for a loan, and that if he received it, he would let us know. In the meantime, we began the process of looking at other spaces. Faced with budget and location constraints, we weren’t sure what we would find, and how long it would take. However, once again, God had a great plan, and HE was right on time! We’ll share more soon, but please join us in praising God for His perfect provision. Now, we prepare to move–prayers appreciated!!
On a recent foggy day, we took some visiting guests just outside the city to an ancient church located on a steep hillside. The misty air provided a haunting backdrop for the old, crumbling walls. We stood for several minutes looking at these bells and wondering about their usage. For each of us, the stark reminder was that if we are “clanging” without love, we are simply providing more useless noise in an already noisy world (1 Corinthians 13:1). As you “ring” in your local community, may you be filled with HIS LOVE that “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.
Crunchy, King, and Blacky arrived on November 17 from the village! They have adjusted well to their new home with Sam, Titus and Anna! Although the porch does offer some space to run around, we were all a little surprised that the rabbits could jump up, onto the grill, and flip small trashcans with their teeth. They will begin training for more “intentional” tricks this spring! Join us in welcoming them!
One of the hardest things about living in a foreign culture is the constant change that our children experience. Though they go to an International school, it is common for their classmates to move to a new country every few years. As you can imagine, this can be difficult. Despite this obstacle, our children have continued to strive to love well and develop friendships with those around them. As Hannah (Jim & Kathy’s oldest daughter) turned 15, she invited a bunch friends over for a Wild West mystery night. This group of girls are Hannah’s old school friends, new school friends, church friends, local friends and teammates. Please pray for the team children that God would not only protect them and care for them, but also help them to continue to grow in trust of Him through all the changes in their lives.
Have you ever gotten yourself in a pickle? Or a jam? With a single wrong turn, what should have been a 30 minute errand turned into a potential disaster. I drove away chastising myself. I know that things always take longer here, that parking is going to be an issue, and that I will almost assuredly need to come up with and initiate plans b, c, d, e, and possibly f to accomplish my task. And yet, here I was–on a dead end street. I had been here before–not in this specific location, but in this situation. The way was extremely narrow–cars behind mine and others trying to squeeze through the too small space to continue on their way. I’d like to say that I handled it all with grace and smiles, but I didn’t. However, even in my frustration and fear, God gave me a glimpse of something–the hearts of the people around me. Not one, not two, but four people helped me. They guided me, they encouraged me, and in the end they got me out of a sticky situation. It took some time for me to see the gift that He had given me, but it was there. He’s always there turning dead ends into hope.
We are surrounded by amazing artisans. Take a look at these wooden figures–carved and painted by hand . It seems that Merab can make anything. Our favorite is a nativity set, which are surprisingly rare here, with shepherds wearing local traditional hats. A visit to his workshop was so much fun, and another glimpse at the talent and skill in this place.