Archive for August 2011

The Bread of Purpose

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Well...I'm just going to go on and tell you...they eat a LOT of bread in Moldova...and its yummy.  It smells good.  It looks good.  It tastes good...its a sensory experience.  They eat it with every meal...they just tear a piece off and snack.  We stopped at a bakery in Hincesti anytime we went in to the city.  The bakery had loaves of all shapes and sizes for people to buy.  They all served different purposes...some bread was softer...some crustier...some sweeter....every bread has a mission...When you choose the right bread for the right purpose the end result is even better...All of the bread was yummy...but it was best when it was served according to its purpose.  While the delicious Moldovan bread is worthy of a post of its isn't the bread I am going to talk about delicious and filling as Moldovan bread is....Today I am talking about a figurative bread....the bread of purpose. 

    Right now my deepest fear is still that "life" will get the best of me...and I will become complacent or forgetful of all the things God has put on my heart.  Luckily, my husband is a man of consistency and integrity...when I am too busy or too tired...he sits us down and prays for us...and says...."why don't we read one of our books?"  (this refers to a whole collection that has come into our possession...we are still reading The Dream Giver)  Brian keeps reminding us of the things we have seen and heard and experienced.  He keeps praying for us...even when I forget...Last week, I was deep in the muck of real life...and complacency was creeping in on me...But God pulled me out of it...Last week at an Apples of Gold Reunion event...our topic was The bread of purpose.  The bread of purpose is not a Kathryn Jones original idea (you guys know I'm so not that smart)...the whole time our speaker was presenting...every part of it made me think of Moldova.   Let me see if I can recap some of it for you...and plug in how it relates to The Joneses and Moldova.  If you want more in depth information about the Bread of Purpose and Presence, check out this website.

The bread of purpose refers to how the show bread, or bread of presence in the tabernacle of the Lords temple, relates to us as Christians and our own God-given purpose in this world.  Check out Leviticus 24:5-9 for the passage of scripture that relates to this bread...I am using the purpose quest website as a guide.  I won't hit on all the points...just the ones I want you to know.

1.  The bread of purpose is made of fine flour- Higher quality flour has endured more beating to become a finer quality.  High quality flour takes time and pain to prepare...much like our life purposes...Sometimes in order to pursue our true life's purpose, the one that God planned for us, we have to endure hardships and spend lots and lots of time on our knees.  Life purposes take time and effort to be fully cultivated.  Right now our life purpose seems very scary and strange...and we aren't quite sure what God wants us to do with it...or how he wants us to do it...He is still refining things in prepare us for His purpose.  We don't know what that means...but we know that HE does...and we are just trusting.

2.  During the process of the baking the Bread of the presence, the bread was left unleavened...their was no air or impurities in it to "puff it up" or make it seem like something it is not.  God is working in our lives in a big way to reveal Himself to us...we are offering ourselves to be flour in His bakery...we are begging Him to keep us from being puffed up and think that anything we do is in our own hands...we are begging Him to make us the kind of people who only want His name to be praised...not our own...Let me tell you something...that's just hard!  I am struggling daily with this...especially in a new job...when someone compliments me...I think...Gosh, I am awesome...but I want to say to myself...Gosh HE'S awesome that He could get something smart out of a self-serving loony ole brain like mine!

3.  There were 12 loaves which represented the 12 tribes of Judah.  Isn't that cool?  There was enough bread for everyone....God has made a special purpose for every single person on earth.  No matter who they are, where they are, what they do, what they don't do...that's just cool...He has put a purpose...or a dream inside of all of us...and He wants us to follow and live that dream....we just get scared and lost sometimes.

4.  It was eaten in the holy place - I am quoting this one from the website...because I really like it
"There is a specific 'place' where you fulfill your purpose.  It may be among a group of people, in a certain country, or in a certain set of circumstances.  (It) is where you meet the Lord and where his presence is special for you.  Whatever it is for is a holy place.  That is where you eat your purpose and where it nourishes you for more service".  Isn't that awesome?  It makes me think of a quote that I read in The Hole in Our Gospel.  The quote reads "The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet" (Frederick Buechner) Speechless.

5.  Your purpose is special  it is holy and set apart for you...No matter what it is.  God is sooo amazing that He made us all so unique and breathed in to each of us an inner longing or dream...a dream that is special to that only you can fill...someone else could complete your dream....but not the way you can...when we open our hearts and lives up to His plan...He is faithful.

I know that our plan for June 2011 was to go to Moldova and love on some precious children in a hopeless country.  His purpose was to rock our world in all kinds of ways.  He is daily opening up our eyes to reveal His purpose in our life. 

Here are a few morsels from the beginning of our Bread of Purpose...just pictures of the things/people God is using in our refine us...and reveal His plan to us...
The Girls at Stella's House

Maxim...gosh I miss that kid!!!

Brian and Pasa

Mia and Maxim

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh Friends...if I were Catholic I would go to confession for this!  Forgive me, for it has been 20 days since my last BLOG and you guys NEED to hear all of this!  I NEED to tell it....Let me catch you up on life real quick like...OK?

In the last 20 days I:

  • Moved classrooms twice (with help from some sweet teenage friends)
  • Got offered a job at my old school and accepted it
  • Started School at my new place of employment :)  YEAH!
  • Got 12 precious new students with disabilities to work with this year!
  • Painted my living room and foyer in my house
  • Went to a Women of Faith Event with my momma and met up with Nycole (she's in some of the pics on here)
  • Saw the Stella's Voice girls at Evangel Temple and they just BLESSED my heart!!!!!  Please watch their video online!!!!!  They were in Huntsville this weekend at The Rock the video of that service here
  • Felt CONVICTED to keep blogging about Moldova!  (I was also convicted by my friends and family too- THANKS COURTNEY and MRS. CONNIE)
  • Celebrated my PRECIOUS husband's 33rd birthday...he is getting OLD:)

So now...I have retrieved my journal from the trip...and opened it up to the end of day 2...Remember I kind of finished that day?  Today's post will just be a quick hodge podge kind of story

Did I tell you that there are a LOT of horse and buggies still in use in Moldova?  Especially in the villages.  On the second day, we decided to take a little walking tour of Sarata Noa, the village where we were staying.  We took our new friend, Peter with us.    Here are a few pictures:
Vineyard in the Village

The fellas talking and discussing various crops in the village

Wagon full of hay...that was all chopped and loaded by hand

Horse and Buggy
This fella in the wagon here stopped to talk to us during our walk.  I had learned a teensy bit more Romanian than everyone else I spoke to him and said "hi!" and I told him my name...I'm such a show off some times.   He continued talking to me.  I told him "Nu vorbesc Romaneste"  That means....I don't SPEAK Romanian.  He then asked if I spoke Moldovan...which happens to also be Romanian....I told him "nu"  He kept on conversing with I thought...hmm...he thinks I just don't speak it....maybe I should tell him I don't understand it I then told him "Nu intelleg Romaneste"  That means I don't UNDERSTAND Romanian...well bless his heart if he didn't just keep on talking to know what?...I think he just needed someone to shoot the breeze with and I was a willing listener...and I wasn't going to disagree with him...because he knew good and well I couldn't speak it or understand it.  He just needed someone with ears to hear.

When we got back to the house...our delicious dinner was ready (thanks to Mia and Nycole).  That was the night we shared such good fellowship with everyone.  We visited with the girls...ate the yummy Manka (the cream of wheat like dish) played Trivial Pursuit (and my team DOMINATED)...and that was the first night I heard about regular cards...gosh I really can't wait to tell you about regular cards!!! 

This was a silly little story for you...tomorrow's blog topic will be the Bread of Purpose...because God really has a purpose for The two of us and Moldova is a part of it somehow....Come back tomorrow!
My apologies for the absence!!!!

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Hugs Hug Hugs

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hello again friends!  Just as I has gotten the best of me...the "real world" is taking my time and I am not listening to God calling me to share my heart with you.  I may not post every day friends...but I WILL be posting every check back! 
      I want to officially wrap up Day 2 (remember this is day 2 at the orphanage). 
After leaving Cupcui...Maxim's words haunted my heart...Tomorrow?  Would I return tomorrow.  He followed us down the drive way waving goodbye to us...and smiling...because we told him we would return... My heart said that I wanted to return every day that I possibly could.
      We were a bit of a solemn group after our departure from Cupcui that wasn't our last day...but we new a last day would come.  We were all silly songs were sung that day...we were tired physically and emotionally...and spiritually.  I again pleaded with God in my reveal His will for me.  Why had he burdened my heart for Moldova?  Why couldn't I get it out of my head?  Why did He bring me here?  What was His purpose in all of this?  What did I have to give to these kids?  I am No One Special...I am just an Ordinary girl.  I wish I could tell you that God immediately answered all of the questions in my heart....but He didn't answer them all...but he continues to reveal Himself to me...

He answered one of those questions back at the house that night as we shared dinner with our Scottish friends and some of the girls from Stella's House (Galina made us some yummy manka...its like a sweet cream of wheat dish...YUMMO!)
The village house is NOT a big having the 8 of us who were staying the 5 who came to join us for dinner.......well...lets just say it was a TIGHT fit.  After we ate our delicious meal...Elizabeth and I sat in the front hallway with one of the girls and looked through some of the treats we had brought.  We had some makeup for the girls at Stella's House and this particular girl had some amazing eye makeup talents...Elizabeth and I just sat and visited with her....and asked her about her story. 

She, like Galina, had lived at Cupcui....Philip Cameron's presence there changed her life.
 Let me tell you her story...Its a heartbreaking story.  Pray for her as you read this...she was raised with an alcoholic father.  He beat her mother often.   Her home was void of love.  One day she witnessed her father beat her mother to death.  This poor child witnessed the murder of her mother.  After seeing the conditions in her home, the mayor of the town said that she must be put in the orphanage at Cupcui.  She lived there for a little while...and then through changes in laws and authorities...she ended up in the home of her aunt.  Her life there was not much different from her life in the orphanage.  Her aunt only wanted her to help around the house.  She was brought in to the house strictly for her potential to serve the family...not out of love.  She did not welcome her in to her home.  Her uncle's treatment was even worse.  Eventually her aunt became concerned that the Uncle would rape her.  So she sent her back to the orphanage at Cupcui.  The orphanage was a cold and sad place before PCM came in.  At  Cupcui, she cried alone in her bed every night...wondering why no one loved her.  She was still just a child. 
Then one Christmas when she was 11, a cheerful American (with a Scottish accent), came into her life...and changed it forever...Let me tell you what she told me...He came and brought Christmas gifts to the kids.  They had been performing a Christmas Play and this stranger clapped and cheered and asked them to do it again.  The kids were all so excited.  Then he stayed and visited with them...what she remembers MOST from that that it was when she received her FIRST hug.  This poor girl was 11 years old and had never been hugged.  Can you imagine that?  I can't go a DAY without a hug.   That hug changed her life forever.  The Camerons have become family for her.  They took her in to Stellas House...She speaks AMAZING English AND she hopes to come to Auburn University this fall!  She is a beautiful and intelligent young girl.  Even bigger than that...they taught her about Jesus and she just LOVES HIM!!!  How amazing is that?  God can do so many things through us when we heed His call on our lives. 

Her story kind of got me thinking about the blessings of my life...and how God is going to use who I am to change this world.  A lot of times I feel like God first needs to CHANGE who I am before I can make any difference.  I am great at telling God all the things he needs to fix in me...I tell Him..God I'm not smart enough...I'm too goofy...I'm not well spoken...and get this I even tell God I am not pretty enough...I mean really...who uses THAT as an excuse?  When has God ever mentioned calling the beautiful?  I don't know.  But this girl's story made me think....You know what?  God made me a little different...He made me quirky...He made me compassionate...He made me want to hug every single person I ever it weird?  Perhaps!  But HE made me that way and HE is going to use me just the way I am.  Isn't that refreshing? You don't have to be anybody but yourself for God to use you!
You know what I made SURE to do the next day at CUPCUI?  I hugged every single one of those kids all day long! (Don't worry I had already hugged them the days before too...but I did it with renewed zeal!) I didn't worry if they thought it was weird or strange....I just did it! And you know what?  They hugged me back! 

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I had lunch with a precious friend of mine today...and I got to tell her the WHOLE story of Moldova.  I am so thankful that my friends continue to give me opportunities to pour my heart out about this country.  Who knows how God is going to use us?  I cannot WAIT to see how HIS plan unfolds!

Day 2  Continued (Yes...I am That slow to wrap up each day!)

It was such a great day...remember we made visors, stained glass, and slap bracelets with the kids...and we learned BELT.  During our afternoon art extravaganza, we let the kids go to the "treasure box" it was full of all the random toys and treats that we had.  They each get to pick 2-3 items from the box.  They LOVED it.  Several of the boys chose kazoos and couldn't quite figure them out...and when they did...we all wished they hadn't :)  We also had hair bow time with the girls...we had collected various hair bows and barrettes and headbands...and we let all the girls pick some.  Our PRECIOUS friend Emily Roach made BEAUTIFUL handmade bows for us to share with the girls at Providence.  Look how cute the girls look with the bows...They really enjoyed them! 


Vadim and Maxim continued to enjoy photography time...between mine and Heather's cameras we had about 50 pictures of the sky...and then an additional  150 random shots.  I love them all!  They are amazing. Vadim and Maxim (remember they are brothers) were both so serious about are just a few of the photos they took...

I actually took this one of them taking pictures:)

Maxim took this picture from the top floor of Providence...its Vadim
I think Cameras will DEFINITELY be on my Christmas Wish List for Providence:)  Don't you think? :)  I know ALL of the kids would LOVE will see more pictures of the kids with cameras later.  

It was a great day at the orphanage...After all of the excitement of Day 2...we were all very tired...and we were leaving Cupcui to head back to Sarata Noah...Maxim kept touching our arms and asking the same thing over and over...we didn't know what he was saying...Maine Veniti?  (sounded sort of like-muney vayneetz)  He would tap our arms and say Maine Veniti?  Maine Veniti?  All the kids looked at as curiously wondering...would we be back in their lives again...Would we Maine Veniti...Return tomorrow?

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MOST RANDOM POST AWARD! (I gave myself that honor)

This will probably be the MOST RANDOM post to date:)  Be patient.

Well...starting back to school has thrown off my blogging game friends!  Please don't forget about me!   My preschool special education program got moved to a new school this year (the newest school I have EVER worked in) and I have been working in my super cool classroom!  Those of you who are teachers understand how awesome it is to have a classroom that actually has cabinets, cubbies, and a bathroom in it!  AMAZING! (Feel free to pray for my classroom and me this school year).   But I digress!  BACK TO MOLDOVA!!  (Side Note-I wish I really could go back to Moldova right this second and hug those sweet girls at Stella's House AND the sweet huggable children at Providence!)

ADDITIONAL SIDE NOTE-You would not believe me if I told you all the things that have transpired in the last few weeks...God is still doing big things in our life.  He is daily teaching us...and giving us opportunities to fully rely on Him...Its just crazy.  You know what?...even when it might seem like He isn't there...He is.

I tried SO hard to upload the Belt video for you  would not believe how hilarious it is...I'm gonna have to get a friend to help need to see that game in ACTION!!!  If you wanna have a game night, let me know...Belt is not the only game we learned...we also learned "Regular Cards" (which will have its very own post soon) AND Phase 10 dice! 

Followers of this know what has been missing from my last few posts???  

PICTURES!!!  Here are a remind you of why I am blogging!  These precious kids...and what they mean to me and to God!

I have posted this one once before...but gosh I love this see she is COVERED with temporary tattoos and just so proud of herself!

This is the bus station at Cupcui...Vans/Buses travel through the country side crammed FULL of people taking them to various destinations.

Maxim!!!  Gosh I love this kid...he is just so amazing and outgoing...This is a self portrait he took...look how serious he is about photography(he is usually Mr. Smiles).

Maxim took this picture of me!  I can't imagine anything in the world that would make my day better than Maxim and a camera...he and his brother are completely fascinated with them! Maxim actually framed one of the pictures he took of me...isn't that sweet?

Elizabeth playing with Danu- TRANSLATION-Danu throwing dirt at Elizabeth...this was one of his favorite games...he played throw the dirt at Brian too:)

This was a HODGE PODGE kind of post.  I appreciate your patience...but if you know KNOW I am random...I still have SOOO much to share!  I know my blog is full of emotional ups and downs...sometimes there are hilarious stories to share...and sometimes there are heart wrenching stories to share...Many of these children have had very difficult and horrible lives...but through God they can smile...and laugh...and be the funny kids that they are...

 Please continue to pray for the people of Moldova...and continue to pray for us as we discern what His plan is for us.

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