November 3-15, 2012
First I want to thank you for all the prayers on our behalf. The 4 of us were the ones to go-but-you all were the hearts to send. Thank you!
Saturday- Nov 3- After a week of ticket changes (I know many at the United ticket counter)- we are finally tagged, bagged and ready to go. This is my 5th day at the airport. I am glad I live close –plus- many many hours on the phone with United and Turkish Airlines. So in about 16 hours flying and 6 hours layovers we will be in Bishkek.
Sunday-Nov 4- My first question is always- “how has God prepared you for this trip?” For all of us it was trust & obey. Each from a different perspective. For Nicki, a funeral of a friend in Kentucky on Monday the 29th. Tom (her husband) really wanted her to go. God’s ways are not our ways. For Tammy, her mother died on Monday the 29th & the funeral was Wednesday the 31st- again God’s ways are not our ways. For me-God confirms over & over we cannot mess up His plans- His purpose- His will! He knew when He wanted us there. No fear-just trust! So- my biggest fear is not the travel but that I will miss hearing His voice. I need to be still & listen so I can hear & receive His direction. My footsteps are ordered- I should step into them.
Monday-Nov 5- After settling in- Nicki & I at Anya’s flat & upstairs Tammy & Dave with Tracy & Zhenya. We showered & went to Jed and Renee’s for dinner & Christmas. HAHAHA! I call it that because they open all the duffels & their faces are all lit up & eyes sparkle. The children aren’t the only ones excited. Funny what a box of coco mix will do for a smile—Our first night & we are off to English Club. Not sure how much help we will be—3 hours later –now tired from the 22 + hours journey we go back to our flats to sleep.
Tuesday-Nov 6- Oh Lord, remind me of my purpose. Give me your strength to be all I can for you & for others. Complete in me what you have begun Lord. Please Lord, continue pouring out your grace & love on & through me. Help me to be obedient & humble. Today we shopped at the market- it is nothing like going to Kroger’s–& exchanged money- All the fruits, vegetables & breads are so rich- no preservatives-so we will shop daily. Only take what you eat today. We went to the University and handed out invitations to English Club. Dave went with Jed to do errands & get ready for Club with a movie to discuss. It was a great time of discussion considering it was our American election—This was a great opportunity to share our trust & faith in God not in our government. That word again “trust”.
Wednesday-Nov 7- We woke up to another beautiful day-cold but sunny. If it doesn’t rain I am always happy. We helped at the church; washed toys -windows-swept & did a few repairs. They are purchasing this facility-it has 8 rooms & good storage. This is a plus & it is on a very busy street. Renewal is what they call the church. Of course we had English Club again. I’ve seen this in Ukraine & it is a great way to advertise the church & to share Jesus. Even the Muslims listen & ask questions. Fill me full of you holy Spirit- make me decrease & you increase, in my thoughts, actions, words & heart. This was the 3rd night Alenia came & during cookies & tea she asked very good questions. We talked for 15 minutes about Jesus. She is open & seeking truth – please Lord let her find you!!
Thursday- Nov 8- Dave’s B-day!! Jed, Renee, kids and us went to the Golf club (HAHAHA) for lunch. Yes the Golf club. The kids loved it and so did Dave—what a birthday. We had real hamburgers and fries. They were delicious and huge. Jed cleaned up all the left over fries. We went back to the apartment to have cake and a special time before last night of English club. We played games, laughed and talked while Dave took a cat-nap. Our verse for the day was Jeremiah 18:2-6 –God is the potter and we are the clay. We are marred and He continues to make us into what He designs. Trust & obey! Again.
Friday- Nov 9- up early-shop-pack—today we leave for Karakol region. 6 hour drive north in the mountains by Isakul Lake. They have churches there that Jed and Paul have been serving. Guiding the pastors in expository teaching. They are so hungry for the Word & the truth. So many of the churches are hiper-faith or Orthodox or Muslims. There are 13 of us going. Outside of the city in the villages we see cattle & sheep crossing the roads with no fear of the vehicles. Funny how things are so primitive & yet a dude riding his horse herding the cattle on a dirt road –while talking on a cell phone-something not right with this picture. After Renee did a bible study I shared about the love God has for us with the women of the church. It was a precious time. Tammy served with Anna & Lizzy sharing with the kids. After service we divided into 3 homes. There hospitality was gracious. Homes in the village was not like the flats in the city. The time in history was in the late 40’s early 50’s. Clean, neat 4 or 5 room houses and yet no plumbing or very little. Running water and electricity but no bathrooms like we know them. It was like when I was growing up in Brown County on the farm. I felt right at home.
Saturday- Nov 10- Isaiah 55: 6-9 Today we were up in the mountains hiking & looking out over the Isakul Lake. We were between China (about 80 miles and 3 mountains to our east) & Kazakhstan (about 40 miles and 1 mountain to our west). Only God could create such beauty!! The horses running through the valley and the mountain stream (pure snow water) rushing down from the top! Thank you Lord for being near! As we shared this moment of bliss one of the local ladies and her husband (the game warden) prepared for us a feast. The table was a cloth on the side of the mountain on the ground. We gathered around for Turkish tea & jam as well as salads & waited for the lamb on a stick being grilled in the open air over a pit he had made in the ground. What a grand day –we felt like kings and queens of the heavenly realm! What a precious surprise from our God. On the side of a mountain in Kyrgyzstan praising God with singing!! Even the rocks sing out!
Sunday- Nov 11- Church & then our Women’s brunch. Tammy, Nicki and I each shared with the ladies. Tammy’s loss & God’s faithfulness, Nicki’s heart for ladies who have experienced abortion and me of how God has truly become my husband and His love for me and for others. Not a dry eye in the room. After- we prayed for individuals in line for over an hour. So many hurting women. Please Lord let us stand in the gap for those who are hurting, for those that needs your love. Back to Jed and Renee’s. Games & laughter to finish the day! Pizza & ice cream for the treat of the day. The kids return to school tomorrow. Our time is winding down.
Monday- Nov 12- Finish shopping & gathering things for the out reaches left. We had women from Sunday ask for special prayer and times. Tammy had a lady who is starting a “nursing home” in her house and wanted to ask her questions. Nicki had 2 ladies that had experienced abortions and wanted to see what their next step was. I had a lady whose life paralleled mine and wanted to talk and pray. God filled our day with His healing heart and words of encouragement. We serve an awesome God. He knows the perfect time and the words of life each lady needed to hear. Please Lord bless them and draw them near to you. Help them to let you love them.
Tuesday- Nov 13- Today we met up with the team from church to visit the Children’s Cancer Hospital. They came from all over the country. The hospital was filled with children from 6 months to 12 years. A parent or guardian was with most of them. The staff is low and the help is appreciated. The group started with clowns, balloons, games, stories and ended with pictures. Tammy was a big hit with the camera!! Just like the other former soviet union hospitals I have been involved with –the parents have no pictures of their dying children. This is why it is so important to send them their own photos. Even the staff joined in. We all went out to eat and share the time we had left.
Wednesday- Nov 14- Today we finished packing-purchasing last minute chocolate- and gathering apples, candy and trinkets for the orphanage. Jed was gracious and took the day off to spend with us. He drove the 1½ hours to the Institution so we would not need to go on transport. What a blessing that was. The orphanage was unlike any I have ever seen. The buildings were drab and it was more like an institution than an orphanage. I soon found out that 80% of the children had relatives and only about 20% were true orphans. It seemed each child had some type of disability or handicap. In most countries they are sent away and left for the state to take care of them. They were ages 5-15 and the older ones seemed to bully the weaker, younger ones. It took a while and a few clowns later before they would get eye contact and smile. I sat on the floor with a group and of course made faces and stuck out my tongue—only to have them start to giggle. That was the beginning of the joy I saw in their eyes. They sparkled. If only a smile we can bring for a lonely moment in time for these little ones. Suffer not the little children. After the stories with the love of Jesus-now the real test came—out of the corner room ran spider man!! The kids (especially the older boys) went crazy—-I lost it and almost had to run to the out-house—-it was Jed in full body suit!! HAHAHAHA! I will never see Spider Man in the same light again. The only thing funnier than Jed in full suit was the look on Renee’s face when we told her what he did. It was priceless!!!
Thursday- Nov 15- Jed picks us up at 5 am and off to the airport for out next 25 hours. It took a while to get our tickets because it seems they never confirmed my reservation-only the other 3. I had to pay additional $$ but will request a refund when I return home. From the moment we planned this trip until even now—well—it seems the enemy did not want us to go. All I know is we were ordained for this trip and at God’s timing not ours and that we have no idea of the impact it has on our lives as well as the Missionay families and the nationals. God will bless the words and the love that He gave us.
Thanks to all of you for the prayers, finances and the love. It reached around the world from our hearts to theirs. May God continue to bless you all!!!