Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Joy in a few boxes!, Christmas Eve, I finally got my Christmas boxes from my wonderful family and friends at home. It was so much fun. Thanks, everyone! I love you all so very much. Happy Christmas!

(Above) This is what they looked like when they got here!

Christmas stuff for our apartment from Mama, Daddy and Blake

Me, super-excited about my Christmas magazines and plates.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Christmas!

Today, Becca and I had a Christmas party for our neighbors and friends that we have met so far. We made American Christmas sweets and decorated our home with homemade and borrowed decorations. It was a fun time, and we had the opportunity to share with them the meaning of Christmas and give a J-film as a gift. We are thanking Him so much for the opportunity to be here and share with these wonderful people. Though we miss home and family, especially at this time of year, we trust Him. We know that He is making Himself famous here, and it is a privilege to be able to witness what He is doing first hand.

Here are some pics.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Weddings...I love weddings!

Becca and I spent this past week with a national family in the town where we do storying trainings. This home stay was an effort to jump start our language learning. It certainly helped to be around mother-tongue speakers all day, every day. We learned a lot and had a lot of fun! Basically, we just enjoyed national cuisine, visiting in homes with many friends and experiencing the culture from the "inside." We even got to go to our first national wedding. For wedding preparation, we shopped for sarees and got mehndhi on our hands. It was such a fun, cultural week. Here are some pics!

1. Us with our mehndi artists.

2. Us with friends at the wedding. The bride is in pink between me and Becca.

3. Me and Becca: the only blue-eyed blondes at the wedding. Boy, did we stand out!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The everyday business...

So, you may ask, what do you actually do everyday?

Basically, we are storytellers. We tell people stories from the Book and teach brothers and sisters here how to tell these stories. We travel nearly every week to a neighboring city and do this with two different groups of women. Daily, we explore our city and neighborhood and try to meet people to build friendships with. We practice the language we are learning with the people, tell our story and tell His story. Our apartment complex is new so this has given us a great opportunity to meet people in it. Because we are all new here, we have many questions to ask. Everyone is very helpful and gives us tons of advice. We enjoy sharing tea with the people we meet.

Our little neighborhood has several supermarkets, a large fruit and vegetable market and a lot of fun shops. We've established a relationship with the man who makes chips, our security guard, several neighbors and lots of little girls that want to teach us the language. I think they especially like the fact that we are the only Americans in the area...and we have blonde hair and blue eyes! Most people are amazed that we are here to learn their language and about their lives. Everyone offers to be our language teachers.

For language learning, we will begin a home stay soon. We will live with a national family for two weeks (only during weekdays) and force them to only speak their language to us. No English! After that, our intention is to begin formal classes with a teacher weekly and have a tutor come to our home 2-3 days a week.

It's strange to think I actually live here. Sometimes I think to myself, "I'm really here. I am really doing this." It's almost like I realize it for the first time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


1. Traffic is insane. There are no lines. If there are, people don't see them. I'm getting used to riding on the wrong side of the road. Horns are a polite way of saying, "I'm coming. Please get out of the way."

2. People stare...a lot.

3. The food is tasty! I'm glad I like spicy things though. And even the "American" food at McDonald's is altered to be more spicy.

6. The darkness is undeniable. I was able to experience my first religious event. It was a celebration in which a demon effigy was set on fire to symbolize defeat of evil. Another example of the darkness is the "Abortion by tablet" advertisements on nearly every light pole.

Despite it all, however, the country is quite beautiful and colorful. I really love watching the people interact with each other. All in all, they are helpful and friendly. I know that I will eventually love this place and its people. But, the important thing is that the Father loves them and wants them to know Him. He has allowed me to be a part of His work here, and it's easy to see He's already moving. I just get to join in on the fun.

Pic: A rickshaw ride with friends.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I made it!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I made it...and all my luggage! What a miracle. He is good. He is faithful as well. I had a frustrating experience trying to fly out of Atlanta. My Albany flight was an hour and half late so I missed my flight overseas. The airlines decided to be difficult to the point that I barely got on the back-up flight. I seriously got to the gate, and it was closed. But, He is gracious and so were the people at the gate. They let me on! The travel time was 24+ hours, and jet-lag/time change is now setting in. But, praise Him for His sufficiency and His faithfulness to give rest to the weary. We are starting a busy 2 weeks of on-the-ground training. I will keep you posted and provide some pictures soon. Much love! Thanks for lifting me up!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A most excellent birthday...

The past few weeks have flown by, and I can't believe I leave tomorrow. I wanted to post a quick thank you to everyone for making my birthday (the 13th) such an amazing one! I'll never forget the hugs and wishes from each of you. I heart yall!

This is me any my family with my amazing birthday cake!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Home for now...

After saying "see you later" to my new family in VA, we drove 8 hours to Athens to say "see you later" to those folks. Now, I'm home for a while, packing and soaking up the family before more "see you laters." Official date of departure: Oct. 16.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sometimes we have fun...

Yes, we work hard here. And we are learning a lot (in fact, the information overload has been compared to sticking your head in front of a fire hydrant for a drink). But, sometimes we have fun. Among other things, we've been able to take a Labor Day weekend trip to Virginia Beach, play countless games of Signs, eat at Chick-fil-a at least once a week and go to D.C. for a field trip. My sweet friend Dana even visited this past weekend. It was so great to see my twin!

Try again...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Get your head in the game...

The past week and a half has been very busy, but everything that we are doing is helping us to prepare for the adventure ahead. Some of the things we've been able to do include classes about warfare (the spiritual kind), meetings with our region leaders, fun learning activities such as haircutting, watching "High School Musical 2" with all the kids and a party at our orientation director's home. Many of us have chosen to use two Saturdays to get our ESL/EFL teaching certificates and will finish that up this Saturday with an all-day workshop. Sunday night we had our first cultural night, and my region-South Asia-was the focus. The picture is of several of us dressed in some of our cultural clothes.

Yesterday was the very first shot day (eek!). I had five, yes five, shots and will have even more on the other two clinic days. But, it's not too bad. I got Hello Kitty bandaids.

Finally, we had our first "Special Meal" today. It was of the Middle Eastern culinary style. It was quite tasty, and we had to work really hard not to use our left hands!

Needless to say, we've been going non-stop. But, His glory is still our only aim.

Monday, August 13, 2007

You know you miss us...

Hard-core A-Yo, the ex-intern and the little one

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Journey begins...

Arriving at training this week helped me to recognize the reality of this all. I am moving in about 2 months to the other side of the world. Sometimes it seems overwhelming, but the One who calls is faithful and He will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24). I rest in knowing that I, in my flesh, can do nothing. Only by the Spirit in me can I be of any value and worth in this life. Throughout the Visa application process and planning to pack up and move, He has been teaching me more about my citizenship. I am an alien and stranger in this world and the citizen of an entirely different kingdom. And that kingdom is at war for the souls of the lost.

This time of training is invaluable. He is teaching me so much already and preparing me for what is to come. Most importantly, He is reminding me that following Him has nothing to do with me and my talents or abilities. It has everything to do with my poverty, my nothingness. The only thing of value is Christ in me and the relationship I am allowed to have with Him. His glory is what I must live for.

I am excited about the journey ahead, and I am thankful for you--those that are praying for me. Please be praying for the 354 of us (adults and kids) that are at training. I ask that you pray for our passion for the Lord...that our zeal for Him will only increase. Also be praying for our unity as we hope to bring a lost and dying world to faith and knowledge of the One True King (refer to John 17:20-).

I heart you all!


Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. Psalm 144:1-2