Monday, July 29, 2013

Before we moved here I shared with some of my dear sisters in Christ that I often felt like David from the Bible.  The reason I felt this way is because I felt like I was about to face Goliath and I knew it wasn't going to be easy.  I knew I was going to face this giant with a few stones in comparison to his shield and sword...but I also knew that I was going to be prepared just as David did.  When you look at David's life you realize that it wasn't like God just said, "Hey go fight that Giant for me."  Instead little by little God was preparing him for this HUGE step of faith...and this would continue on throughout David's life.  Sometimes he would step out and faith and sometimes he would fall flat on his face.
Today is a day I feel like I fell flat on my face...
Why you may ask?  Although I can't exactly pinpoint the precise cause it is just a general overall feeling of homesickness, exhaustion, loneliness... I think a lot of these feelings came out today as we started something new in our session.   Having to finally say these words that we have been hearing over and over again proved to be QUITE humbling and difficult.  I so badly want to be good at learning this language.  I want it to come quickly and so we can move on to the other region and help out...but instead here I am inching along.  Barely able to say "This is a dog." or "That is a woman." 
I don't say all of this to whine...but rather to Praise God for the way He has faithfully prepared me for this day.  I didn't know when it was going to be or how it was going to hit...but I knew there would be good days and bad days.  And I am sooo thankful for a faithful Heavenly Father who is willing to carry my through today and into tomorrow.  Where once again I will try and say, "This is a ____"  Thank you Heavenly Father....and thank you friends and family praying for us.  We ALL need it...keep them coming!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Today was an encouraging step from the Lord.  For the last 5 weeks or so we have been attending a small local church.  Although there are times of discouragement of not having any idea of what is being said (unless we use google translate).  The songs are becoming more familiar which is fun.  Also we are becoming more familiar with the people.  Usually we go to the worship time and then I leave and take the kids to Sunday School.  This is divided into two groups younger kids and older kids.  It is really fun because most of the moms also go with their kids.  This is an awesome opportunity for me to get to know them.  Also I have really loved learning the simple kids songs (Halla lu halla lu halla lu hallelujah...Pujian Tuhan!)  Also it has been fun to be able to understand the stories a little too.
Today after Sunday School the Pastor's wife came up to me and put her arm around me and asked me how I was doing.  I said fine.  She asked are you really doing?  I said honestly we are doing pretty good.  She asked specifically how Hudson and Stella were doing.  I explained to her that Hudson had been having a hard time but overall was doing better.  She then told me that her 5 year old son prayed for our kids the other night.  She said he said he wanted to pray for his new friend Hudson...and she said what Hudson and he said "the one from church you know Stella and Hudson."  WOW!  What an encouragement!!!    Truly the body of Christ at work!  Now it is important to mention that this whole conversation was in broken english and indo.  Can't wait to be able to communicate more.  Day by day....little by little!

Monday, July 8, 2013

just when things were starting to seem "normal"...

This next month is a very important month for the people that live near us.  It is different than any other month.  As this time approaches it seems as though the people are really excited and yet really hesitant all at the same time.  In the recent days there have been many out  of town visitors to our neighbors.  There has been a lot more noise in the evening including fire crackers and such...and we have been told to expect this more and more in the coming days...
With all of this surrounding us I definitely feel myself tense up a little.  I feel the hesitation towards feeling culture stress.  According to one article I read culture stress can be defined as, "Culture stress is the stress that occurs when you change to a different way of living in a new culture. It is what you experience as you move beyond understanding the culture to making it your own so that you accept the customs, becoming comfortable and at home with them. If you are trying to become a real part of the culture, to become bicultural, you are likely to experience culture stress as you assimilate some of the conventions to the point that they feel natural to you."
YES!  That is me right now!!!  I feel this tension and towards nothing in particular.  Just toward things being different...and now even more different.  I know this is not a wrong feeling.  However, I also know that it is something that I have to trust God with 100%.  As one of my all time favorite songs says, "He never said it would be easy...He only said you would never go alone!"  Thankful for my personal relationship with God, thankful for friends and family who are praying for us daily, thankful for my sweet children who reminded me in their prayers  tonight to just be THANKFUL even when things are not easy!  God is good!!! 
Recently I read this, "Whenever you start to feel anxious, remind yourself that your security rests in God alone, and He is TOTALLY trustworthy. You will never be in control of your life circumstances, but you can relax and trust in His control!"

Thursday, July 4, 2013

its all part of the learning process...

About a week ago a couple girls came to our front door.  Instead of knocking like I am accustomed to they stood at the door and made lots of noise until I opened the door.  As I did they smiled and handed me this little blue box.  Right away I noticed a paper on the top of the box with a picture on it.  The girls did not say much.  However, I noticed that they had a bunch of other boxes just like the one they just gave me.
I quickly sent a text to a friend who has been living here for just over a year.  She has been a huge help to me as she knows a lot of culture and language.  She told me it was probably a baby announcement and we would be expected to visit the baby that day or the next.  We also needed to bring a small gift but NOT bananas.  Didn't  get all the details...will have to learn more about this later.
The next day I asked my neighbor and she told me which house I needed to go to and said that she had already gone to visit the baby.  (I was hoping to be able to go with her so I knew what to do.  oh well!) My sweet little girl who loves babies was my perfect companion.  We built up our courage (ok maybe it was just me) and headed down the road.  Opened the gate and approached the door. I reached out to knock and then remembered what the girls had done at my house.  I made noise talking to Stella said, "HELLO"quite loud in my opinion.  But the TV inside was really loud.  Finally they came to the door.  It was the grandma, mother, and sweet baby boy. Just over a month old.  We stayed for about 15 minutes and gave them our gifts of crackers. They gave us tea, chocolates, and other treats.  We talked a bit.  Mostly just me trying out the few phrases I know.  "This is my daughter.  She is 3.  Oh sorry, she is 4. Her birthday was June 22. I have a son.  He is 2. Is this your only child?  My older sister just had a baby, a girl." 
We said thank you for having us and then we headed back home. They seemed happy to have us there.  I was so nervous to go.  But they were so welcoming and kind.  I was so thankful for my little companion...I don't think she even knows to be nervous.  Next time visiting will be that much easier...