Archive for July 2014

Visas and Housework

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Well hello friends!!! We have had a pretty productive few days.  Brian got to sharpen his handyman skills yesterday.  He replaced the toilet seat in the apartment where we are staying....and he replaced some light bulbs:)  Baby steps.   He is rockin it! 

Today we made a LOT of progress towards our "Visa" (Residency) applications.  We got our paperwork and the morning went very smoothly.  Several of you, my sweet friends, were praying.  It helped.  We had lovely people helping us all day today.  We were oh so thankful that the only medical exam we needed was a blood type test.  Our friend Mia took us to a nice international hospital for the blood tests.  Then we went on to make all the gajillion copies of our documents that we had to make.  It was a pretty smooth day if I do say so myself.  Our little team of four had a wonderful day of bonding. 

We are so incredibly grateful that we get to be here and be a part of this ministry.  Please continue to pray for our "Visa" process and that we maximize our time with our sweet sweet girls and guys here.  We are daily learning from them.  Continue to pray that God will open up our eyes to every single moment.  Sorry for the short post, but I want to go spend time with the girls!  We love y'all!

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Music, Italian food...and ice cream

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today was a good day.  I am still struggling to adjust to the late nights.  It doesn't get dark here until like 10 at night it seems.  We woke up and took care of a few little things around the house.  Brian "cut" the grass at both houses with an electric weedeater and did a WONDERFUL job.

We began working sorting through items that are donated.  What a blessing it is to have people donate to this wonderful ministry.  Believe me, your gifts are important.  The ministry shares your donations with the girls and guys here and with children at other orphanages.  It was such a treat to see the support people have offered in so many different ways!  The deposit itself is a cinderblock building that is rather warm:)  We stopped and got a treat of Moldovan ice cream on the way back from our toils.  Moldovan icecream is sooo very delcious.  The one I chose is actually made here in Ialoveni.  Actually right up the road.  It does not look like a factory that makes delicious ice cream, but indeed it is:) It looks more like a run down old Army Post...they have guards in Fatigues.  Apparently protecting the Moldovan Ice Cream recipe is the real deal.  It makes me nervous whenever we walk past the place it also makes me think of Slugworth in Willie Wonka.  But, they make good stuff behind those walls.  If I could send you all a box of Moldovan Ice Cream, I would.

This afternoon, I spent time with one of the girls who is studying for the music academy.  She and I sat in the church and sang and I listened to her play the piano...and I could hear how much she has learned just since last summer.  She is amazing.  It was such a special moment to be in the church listening to her play.  God is so big and He always shows up and shows out for me through music.  After talking with this sweet love about my musical past (french horn in high school, marching band, drum major, etc).  I felt the need to really show her what a marching band is (apparently they only do marching bands for funerals here).  I pulled up the Auburn University pregame show and I may have even been singing War Eagle with the crowd!  She thought it was very cool.  It was fun to share something I love with her.  Thank you Jesus for helping me connect.  Please pray that God continues to reveal ways for us to connect with the share common show them that we love them sooo much!!!!

This evening we got to share dinner with two sweet girls from the house.  We went into the city to an "italian" restaurant.  The girls loved it and so did we!  We all brought home leftovers and lots of laughs.  My goal tonight is to be in the bed by midnight...but it is already 11:00 and I have several more things to accomplish....but I want you to know...Moldova is feeling more and more familiar and comfortable.  We are adjusting to some of the things that are unique to this culture (i.e.-not smiling at people on the street -its tough for me.) We have been complemented many times by the girls saying "that is very Moldovan of you".  I pray that we can assimilate in to the culture here and yet still be who we are.  You can join us in praying for that as well.


Many of you have asked for an update...this is too much info...but my brain is still processing.

Well....We have been here  a week and it has been a whirlwind!!!!  We have Moldovan Phone numbers now (that was pretty exciting but it made all my imessage stuff go crazy:(.  Here is a brief and simple recap of our time here so far.

Tuesday-We arrived to the open arms and smiles or our beautiful Moldovan friends.  When we arrived at Stella's House the girls had decorated the gates for us.  It made us feel so welcome and so at ease.  There were pictures posted all the way up the hall to our room.  It was lovely!  Later that night, our friend Mia took us to KFC in the Malldova.  (That's right, the Mall in Moldova is called the Malldova.  I just love that).  KFC in Moldova is delicious because they serve a yummy garlic Mayo with everything.  It makes your breath stink....but it is good.  After dinner, we were both so exhausted...but we still stayed up until two in the morning visiting and processing:)  (I also burned some strawberry cupcakes within my first few hours and gas ovens and celsius are not pals yet.

Wednesday-  We went on an adventure in the city with a friend who needed to pay a parking ticket.   Our friend laughed when I brought my umbrella (there was an 80% chance of rain).  I brought it anyway....we could not find the place to pay tickets and ended up walking about a mile to the office and the sky got darker and darker and darker.  At the ticket office, the bottom fell out and it began pouring with no end in we decided to just go for it.  We walked about a half a mile to the place we needed to go to get our new SIM cards.  That's right-we have Moldovan phone numbers now.  After walking about another mile in the rain we boarded a bus to head back to the car.  It was like monsoon season here.  It was crazy.  We were so soaked...I cannot even remember what we did the rest of that day.  No clue.  I just remember being soaked.  Oh and that I still couldn't get myself asleep before three in the morning:) 

Thursday- On Thursday morning we did a tour of the two new homes and some basic shopping.  Thursday evening, I lead a Bible Study for the girls.  We talked about one of my favorite characters in the Bible, Ruth.  I shared some of my most favorite things about the book of Ruth and what God has taught me from Ruth.  Then we discussed how Ruth and Boaz are heroes and that lead in to a whole discussion of the heroes in our life.  Several of the girls shared different people who had inspired us....many of us shared that our brothers were heroes to us.  I guess that is not that strange....but we all have been inspired by our brothers...I guess girls are just built to understand the importance of the older brother figure. 

Friday- Brian was very excited on Friday because we got to spend the day doing some mapping of the new homes.  He got to use Excel.  A day with an Excel spreadsheet is a good day for him:)  We spent a good part of the day doing that and then we got to go to Youth Group with the girls.  It was a small group because most of the kids are working camp out at Providence.  At Youth Group we again discussed heroes and their profound impact on our lives.  One of the pastors shared a beautiful story of his mother and all that she went through as a Christ Follower under Soviet Rule.  She was oppressed and mistreated and still called on God daily.  She won so many people to Christ and was such a wonderful doctor that eventually the Soviets realized they just needed to leave her to practice medicine and follow her god.  We then talked about people we may affect in gets you thinking....we are in a place now where every decision we make can impact the lives of some amazing can be a good impact or a bad impact....I am praying that God gives me the strength to make every decision count for Him and for others.    Friday night our friend Mia made us some delicious Mexican food.  It was wonderful and we shared a game time with a dear Moldovan friend.  Moldova already feels like home.

Saturday- We spent the day out at Providence (aka-one of our favorite places in the world).  It was water/mud day for the kids.  I ended up being the videographer and escaped the mayhem.  Brian was covered with water and mud but had the biggest smile on his face.  He rocked the wheelbarrow race and was very proud of himself.  Of course, his team won.  Here is a picture of him at water day....You can't even see how muddy he truly is...He said and I quote... "I have mud in my teeth".  Up until yesterday I was still cleaning the mud from his ears.  It was a wonderful day spent with wonderful people.  The Simon s House Boys are amazing at coordinating the fun activities.  They have a heart for the kids.

Sunday- We worshipped with the girls (which is our favorite place to be).  We then spent the remainder of the day celebrating our friend and fellow missionary's birthday.  We had a lovely day.  Went to a Moldovan pool....went bowling (they don't really oil the lanes) and then we shared dinner with friends.  Our dear friend Sergiu is now back in Moldova so he spent the day with us and invited Brian to his home while we were off having girl time.  Brian was spoiled and told Sergiu and his mother that she has southern hospitality:)  Lovely day.  We ended the day very late eating a strawberry cake that I made (and did not burn)for the birthday girl.  The girls were all silly and laughing and it was a beautiful end to the day.

After today I won't give you a play by play of everything....but just wanted you to see all the things our first week here entailed.  We had an amazing team meeting last night and made a to do list that was a mile long.  Hope you are all well!  Te Iubim!!!  We love you!!

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Travel Time

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Well....the day finally arrived when we would load up all of our belongings and head to Moldova.  The last six months have been so busy, Brian and I haven't had much time to process.  We have both felt like we were watching all the events and time with family we were onlookers.

So on Sunday, We rode to the airport in rainshowers all the way (Brian in the car with his parents and me in the car with two precious friends)....we waited in the ticket line forever....we were given special baggage rates (thanks for praying for that friends)....and then we said goodbye.....and it still didn't seem real.  Our friends and family left the airport...  and we waited for it to start feeling "real".  We still had to rush about to get to our flight and grab a bite to eat.  We boarded the plane and then we waited for it to feel real....

Somewhere half way over the Atlantic Ocean, it finally processed through our brains.....This..Is....REAL.  Then I began to cry.  I cried because it finally hit me how much I am going to miss all of those amazing friends that I told you about.  I cried because I was thankful that God gave me those friends.  I cried because I realized I wouldn't get to hug my momma or my best girl friends for over year.  It got real at 30,000 feet in the air. I am sure the people around us were wondering what all the sniffeling and ugly cry faces were about.  We cried and we let the tears flow....and then....we felt that peace that only He can give.

After being awake for over 30 hours straight....I feel certain I could cry about anytthing right now.....and I know that I will have sad days and long for the love of my family and friends in the U.S.  But I will continue to hold on to the promises of the One who loves me.

We arrived in Munich 30 hours after our original flight (we had a 19 hour layover in Munich)....We spent a rainy day with our dear friend Raegan, sight seeing and attempting to stay awake:)  The weather was very wet and cool....but the company was wonderful....and the German food did not disappoint.  Brian had Schnitzel and I had Spaetzle.  All yummy.  We then headed back to the Hotel and we passed out.  (Brian fell asleep in two different churches in Munich during our sight he was ready for rest).

Today, we arrived in Moldova...and came through customs and were greeted by by dear dear dear people.  They had signs and letters and flowers for us.....but most of all they had warm open arms.  Nothing like a welcome home hug...and that is where we are now....home.  Its strange....but true.  We are both exhausted right now...but wanted to take a minute to let you all know how things are.  We will post pictures soon!  We love you our friends.  Nopate Buna Si Vise Dulce!!!!  (Good night and sweet dreams!!)

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

This week it is real.  For the last six months I have felt like I was simply an onlooker to all the changes God is making in our lives.  But this is all so real.  My brain is sleep heart is all mixed my apologies if this does not make sense.

We had a time of prayer/time for goodbyes with our friends and family on Thursday night.  We were so incredibly touched by all of the folks who came out to pray with us.  My sweet PKS work friends came out, our nearest and dearest chosen family (our amazing close friends), family, mentors, and just other precious people.  They all came together to come show us love.

I closed my eyes and steadied my heart and tried to tune everything out but the Holy Spirit moving in the room.  He pressed down on my spirit and let me feel the love emanating off of our beloved gathering.  He spoke to me in the whispered "amens" and sniffles.  God has always shown Himself to me in the most beautiful and powerful ways in the people in my life.  I have never felt more aware of His beauty, majesty, and power then when I am looking into the eyes of a dear friend and sharing a special moment without words.  (Or laughing til I cry at a shared memory). Our God is so amazing...If you don't know that then you need to look around you....or come and meet my friends.  (I digress).

Actually, perhaps I am not digressing...perhaps I am just filled with awe at the beauty of our Creator and how incredibly talented He is at making each person such a unique work of art.  It may sound corny...but we all know I am not great at truly conveying overwhelming moments.  I am in love with our Creator...and I love His creation...the world around me....especially my friends.

Speaking of being of our friends prayed the most beautiful of prayers....I had told her that we were feeling a little overwhelmed....and her prayer was something like this....
       Lord where there is anxiety...OVERWHELM them with your peace
                where there is fear....OVERWHELM them with your presence
                 where there is sadness....OVERWHELM them with joy.

    Do you see how amazing our friends are?  That makes goodbye a whole lot more difficult.  Over the last few days we have said goodbyes...or see you laters....We have all kept it together quite well....Today I just had to have my own little come apart in the closet.  I literally went and locked myself in the closet in the guest bedroom at Brian's parents house and I experienced some emotions....I felt crazy...I felt anxious....I felt sad...I felt out of whack....and then after some sad times....God turned those ashes into beauty....He reminded me of how much He loves me...I need that...He is my heavenly Father and even though the family we chose for ourselves will be here and we will be way over there.....Our Heavenly Father promises He will be with us....that doesn't take all the sad away.....but it provides a warm embrace and a place to shed tears.  He is good all the time.   All the time I tell you!!! 

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Last Days

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Last days are both wonderful and horrible. I don't care what cool quote or sentiment you put with it(Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened,i do love that one:) etc)-there is still some sadness. They are just a big ole crazy mix of emotional highs and lows. Brian and I have had several "last days" over the last few weeks. We are so humbled and excited to be following God's plan for us in Moldova...but we are saying goodbye to friends and family...and well, that part is tough...because we have some wonderful friends and family. Brian has been a Quality Engineer at small company in Montgomery for the last thirteen years. He is a hardworking, smart, and kind man and they, of course will miss him. I am so glad they celebrated him for this last two weeks. They took him to lunch, had a surprise lunch for him, and just generally loved on him and encouraged him. They took the time to share their respect for and appreciation of him. That makes this girl smile. If you don't know my husband, you should. He is quiet, incredibly witty, generous, kind, driven, loving, and thoughtful...(he is also incredibly cute-but I digress-I can talk about Brian all day long). Because Brian is a man, his "last day" wasn't quite as crazy emotional as I was. He felt loved and that was that:) Crazy emotional Kathryn on the other hand....My going away party at work was at the end of May (I am was a special education teacher at an all Kindergarten school..its like Disney world....with 500 five year olds). My coworkers friends did an amazing job surprising me. If you are my friend on facebook, you saw all the pictures and felt the love, I am sure. It was such a joyous feeling to be loved on and surprised like that...but ya'all, I did the ugly cry for real ( and my goal has been to NOT ugly cry in front of others...but ALAS, a rock star party did it to me). I was so overwhelmed with emotions for my sweet friends I even tried to leave my own surprise party...they kept turning me around and sending me back in. I wanted to have my ugly cry in peace:) It was an amazing party and given by people who know me so well. It was a beautifully up lifting "last day". My actual last day of teaching was a struggle. So much of who I am has been tied up in being a special education teacher and I'm not gonna lie, it was another ugly cry kinda day. But, this time I got to ugly cry by myself :) We have so many "last days" ahead of us over these next 17 days. Each "last" moment is beautiful and sad. I am praying that God helps me store them all up as treasures in my heart. So that when I am feeling sad, alone, forgotten, frustrated....I will remember that I am loved by Him...and one of the ways He shows us love is through the love of friends and family.

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