Archive for August 2014

Glimpses of Glory

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

So...I have a secret.  I have been wearing the exact same clothes for the last five days.....and they are COVERED in paint.  We have been painting from early in the morning to late at night for the last week.  We are doing some repairs and much needed upkeep on one of the houses while the girls are at camp.  We have a LOVELY team from the UK here helping us.  They love my accent (I don't think I have one)...and I of course have adored their accents.  Interestingly enough....we speak the same language but find ourselves having to figure out and translate.  I have spent the last few days in confined spaces with this group and they have just poured love and encouragement in to me.  They were our first official group to help host here in Moldova and they have set the bar so high.  They love this ministry.  It shows in everything.  After long days of painting and construction, they load up and ride an hour to spend time with the kids at camp only to load back up and ride another hour back.  They go to bed late and get up early and do it with smiles on the faces and love in their hearts. 

We have had the opportunity to ride with them to camp a few nights.  Let me tell you about this camp.  This camp is being done by our girls and guys.  They are leading worship, leading workshops, feeding people. and loving people.  They are using this to reach out to their friends who are believers and to the ones who are not.  The first night we were able to join them, our guys did a complete passion play throughout the camp.  It was so incredibly moving.  The crowd of campers was quiet and reverent as they moved through Christ's life all the way to His death on the cross (His resurrection was the next night).  It was powerful.  My favorite night at camp so far was last night.  We arrived and some of our kids that we have known for at least three years greeted us.  One in particular is a young man we have known since He was about 12.  He has grown in to such a warm and wonderful young man.  He talked with me and told me (in Romanian) how glad he was that we were in Moldova and that He was ready to learn English with us.  He then caught us up on his summer and his life.  Later in the evening, he asked us to sit with him at worship.  We did and God just spoke to me in such a beautiful way.  I love when He just washes over me.  We were under the chapel tent and the air was cool.  We began singing a worship song in English.  As I closed my eyes to sing, I heard this precious young man's voice singing beautifully  (and with perfect English pronunciation) about his love for His savior.  I said a prayer of thanksgiving that God gave me that moment and that He gave this country a place for amazing young men to come to know Him.  Y'all this young man's parents abandoned him when He was young.  Her survived on sugar and stale bread.  He and his two younger siblings have been in an orphanage as long as they can remember.  He has never known the love of His earthly father....but He KNOWS His heavenly Father loves him.  He has a heart for God.  I am so thankful that God is letting me watch this young man grow.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself.  God wants us here.  He thinks we are worthy to be a part of the lives of some pretty amazing kids.   He shares these beautiful glimpses of His glory with us.  I pray that my eyes stay every open to moments like these.

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Rainy day courage

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It is almost eight o'clock in the evening here.  Although it has been raining this evening, it is still bright out.  The hillside out our window is beautiful and gray and misty.  When I open the window, the smell of rain and chamomile blow in.  It is so peaceful.  Over the last few days we have been so busy so I am just soaking up this moment of peace and quiet.  I am sure in a moment I will hear a knock at our door and some sweet girl will want to play a game.  So, while I have the time, I want to catch you all up. 

Brian and I have both driven in Moldova now, its been short distances...but we are proud.  Today I drove in the rain and remembered the path to our deposit.  I was very proud of myself as were the two sweet girls we had with us.  The rain storm today came up rather quickly but it was a welcome relief from the heat.  The last few days have been the hottest this summer.  Sunday was a squelcher, so on Monday we went to the Metro (discount club similar to but also very different from Sams).  We purchased 18 fans for the three for every bedroom.  The girls  and guys were so excited.  We bought ourselves a fan for our future home as well.  Speaking of future homes, we may be moving into our permanent residence some time in the next two weeks and we are so very excited.

This Sunday, I was asked to share a word of encouragement for the church.  The topic was courage.  Y'all, that is NOT a word I would use to describe myself.  I am not fearful...but I also don't think I am courageous.  I felt rather ill equipped to discuss the topic.  But then I read the passages from Esther that would be the topic of the sermon and it made me think.  Sometimes courage is acting even when you are scared...or nervous...or unsure.  I used the example of a recent zip linning "adventure" Brian and I went on.  Brian and our friend, Kimmie enjoyed the zip lines tremendously.  They loved every minute....and I thought I would.  But, apparently I am afraid of heights...more specifically I am afraid of hanging from a line high above the ground.  It was the first time I have ever truly felt fear of something.    It was terrifying for me...jelly legs...heart racing...stone in the pit of my stomach terrifying.  At the very last zip line (which was also 80 ft. in the air), my husband and friend encouraged me to climb up with them.  I did.  I got to the top...and I felt paralyzed with fear.  I was on all fours on a platform 80 feet up in the air.  I wanted to just get in the fetal position and make it all go away.  But, I knew that ignoring the problem was not an option at all.  I HAD to act to move on from the fear....and that act took courage.  I had to step off an 80 foot platform and trust that I would live to tell you this story.  Courage is like isn't lacking is acting in spite of fear.  I used the passage in Mark 6 when Jesus is on the land praying and he looks out on the water and sees the disciples in the middle of a treacherous storm.  He can see their fear.  He can feel it even from far away.  He then goes to them, and as soon as he is near...their fear is gone and the storm is calmed.  He is the one who gives us courage.  When we cling to Him, He helps calm our storms and our hearts.    He helps us move through our fears of failure or heights or inadequacies or whatever it is.  That was so profound to me....He doesn't say I have to be courageous.   But, He knows that I can be.  As I finished sharing this story, I looked in to the faces of literally the most courageous people I know. Children of God who had the courage to keep on living, even when their family didn't know or care that they existed,.  Sweet girls who have the courage to be different from others because they want what God has planned for them and not what the world has planned.  Young men who have the courage to be passionate about their creator and about serving others even when they live in a ego-centric world.  These kids have the courage to get up every day and face it with grace and strength and patience.  They are courage...they are so much more like Esther than I every will be. 
I am so stinking blessed to be a teensy weensy part of the lives of these dynamic young people.  They are teaching us so much already. 

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Laundry and Laughs

Friday, August 1, 2014

We have been in Moldova almost two weeks!  I cannot believe it!  In the last two weeks we have completed so many different jobs and spent so much time with the kids.  We are awake until at least midnight everynight...and while we are physically exhausted, our hearts are so full.  

God is amazing.  He reminds me of His love every day, today it was while I was hanging our laundry on the line. The linens smelled so good and it mixed with the smell of chamomile hanging in the air....and then the laughter of the girls drifted on the breeze....It was a beautiful moment.  God reminded me, I am here...and even when you have no idea what I am doing....He knows EXACTLY what He is doing,  That is good stuff y'all.  

As some of you already know, last night we had a lovely Moldovan dish called Tocanita.  It is tomatoes, onions, eggplant, and peppers.  Yummo!  It was served with these small strangely shaped white ovals which sweet sweet Moldovan friend told me they were pigeon eggs and that I should try them. Well, I am determined to at least try everything. So, with great trepidation, I did try them and my friend laughed and laughed and asked how I liked the eggs. It was mozzarella balls y'all.  These girls LOVE to play tricks:)  

We have started our visa/residency process and it seems to be going well.  We actually got to spend about an hour on US soil at the US Embassy today.  It was a lovely time.  Brian and I both passed the criminal records portion with flying colors.....although there is a Brian Jones somewhere in Mississippi who is up to now good.

As we speak, Brian is having a guys night with the boys of Simons House and I just got finished cleaning up the mess I made making milkshakes for all the girls here:) Pray for us as we hope to begin language classes soon.  We desperately want the girls to know how much we love them and respect them.  Learning the language is an important part of that for us.  Tomorrow we have cleaning and such today and then next week will be very very busy.  Please pray that we can rest some:)  We love y'all!!!

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