Saturday, December 29, 2007
The wedding was beautiful. Yes, O. wore that hat for the entire night.
Lot's of guests went home today but there are still many remaining. I'm just pushing on toward the new year.
*We had a professional photographer take pictures. I'll get them up as soon as I get them from him.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Gift Giving To Our "Karuna" Children on Christmas night:
They all got new backpacks filled with goodies sent from abroad.
New clothes too!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
We're pretty much in full wedding mode right now. Our house is bursting with more people on the way.
I bought new shoes for the wedding today, I figured my old beat up flip flops weren't really suitable and so I bit the bullet and bought some golden sandals. I'd take a picture of them and put them up but they're still in the store because I'm having most of the heel sawed off. Really. I'm just way too tall for India...
2 days, 2 days, I can survive 2 days...
I ended a perfectly miserable Christmas season by puking late into December 25th night.
A stomach virus was an utterly suitable ending. Vomit it all out and try to forget that Christmas season 2007 ever happened.
Maybe I'll write more about this, maybe I won't.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Then I had a bad day today. This has got to be one of the worst Christmas Seasons of my life. There is just a lot of disruption in our ministry. I try to be encouraged and think that there must be a good reason that Satan is attacking us, but it's still hard to hang in there.
I could really use your prayers for wisdom and protection. Thanks.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
It was a delightful and exhausting three days. I woke up this morning with a sore throat and diarrhea but beyond that and some sore muscles, I feel pretty good.
I thank God for the many doors he opened for us. We had the opportunity to share the Gospel in open air settings three or four times every night as well as pray at every person's house.
Yesterday, while talking with my neighbor about the Christmas, I shared O.'s family's testimony with her. (They were Hindu and came to Christ). Of course Satan wanted to stall and stop these programs.
Our last big evangelistic thing is tomorrow night (pray). Our church is putting on it's annual Christmas Program (although the smaller version). My girls are in 2 programs and so am I so were busy today and tomorrow with practices. I'll be glad when it is all over, for sure.
On a side note, we've heard that some of our Rajasthan pastors are being told (by anti-Christian people), as in other years, that they cannot celebrate Christmas. Pray for them.
This character trait, while always useful in India, comes in especially handy at busy times like Christmas. Our three days of carol singing ended last night and I spent much of my time ordering people in and out of cars, move faster, sing louder, play the drums better.
You might think that this would make me a hated person, amazingly, I am well loved in addition to the fact that I am considered a "big" person. Meaning - respected - hence I have all the right in the world to boss other people around. They expect it of me.
Of course, I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone, especially at Christmas...
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I am glad to be able to sing and pray at our neighbors, but it was a lousy week.
The whole issue did expose some areas in our ministry that need to change, it also caused me to reevaluate my role here and I am still in the process of doing that. I'm pretty sad, change is generally hard. I'm not sure what the future is holding for me. We'll see in January, I guess...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Upon reaching her "god room" she opened the door and said, "I don't let the servants in here, but you can go in."
Later upstairs in her attached bathroom I commented on her washing machine and she said, "I wash all our clothes. I don't let the servants do it. They're dirty themselves, how can they can they make my clothes clean?"
I said, "I wash my own clothes too, but it's because I made them dirty and I'm embarrassed to have anyone else touch them."
She said, "Huh, well, there's that too."
I did have a nice time visiting. All neighbors are Hindu and the first wants us to come and carol sing at her house and pray. Another asked about our church and the 3rd was remembering when we carolled at her house several years ago - I think she'd have us back again. It was a really good time of relationship building.
I love our new neighborhood. My old neighbors (on both sides) wouldn't even say good morning to us.
Then, we have a new lady making food in our children's home and I've asked her to come and and house clean for me since my sister-in-law will be leaving (after marriage). This morning we were having family prayer and she came downstairs and listened the whole time and said - "I love prayer. Anytime you have prayer let me know and I'll come." - She's Muslim.
So, it was a great day of victory in the Lord. I feel like Satan is trying to close down opportunities to share the Gospel, by blocking many of our Christmas plans - yet they are popping up more and more. I am praying and hoping that all these families will come to our Christmas programs and hear the Word and I am looking forward to spending more time with them in the future. I'm so glad we got kicked out of our old house.
*Martha is my sister-in-law who has lived with us for the last 7 1/2 years, she's getting married on December 28th.
Monday, December 10, 2007
The saddest thing is - it's all coming at Christmas and all of our Christmas programs are disturbed because of it. Yes, they are disturbed - and me too.
I love Christmas Carol singing - will it even happen this year?
Christmas shopping - O. claims it might not happen.
I have faith - we're gonna sing Carols house to house- go ahead, put me in jail. Bhleh, is all I have to say.
I really feel like I am living the "Grinch" over here this year. The funny thing is - the women in our church are doing an adapted version of that story for our Christmas program. Real life reflecting art - Or - do we really believe what we preach? Hmmm...
Am I too tired to be writing blog posts - oh yeah...
1. Elections in our state are tomorrow and the results come on Dec. 22nd. This is always a volatile time - even more so since Christmas is coming.
Please pray for peace, pray for protection, pray for God to raise up good leaders.
2. Our carol singing program is supposed to start from Dec. 17th and go to the 20th. But because of the elections, it is not certain if we can even do it this year. This is not only a fun time but a time to share the Gospel with unbelievers. Please pray for God to open this door.
3. On Dec. 21 we have our Christmas program- small this year, but please pray.
4. Please pray specifically for our co-workers to work in unity and to have good communication with one another. We fall way short in these areas.
5. Please pray for a bunch of Christmas cards we mailed to the US on Friday, please pray they reach their destinations.
6. Pray for me - I'm exhausted and the work is just beginning. I am starting to feel discouraged.
7.Pray for O. to make right decisions.
8. Please also pray for the grant proposal for our school to be approved. Last day is Dec. 15th.
9. Our house construction started on Sunday - Praise the Lord. Please pray that it will be built well, and within budget. Pray for wisdom for us.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Here are the pictures so you feel like you were there and a part of it with us.
Everyone came to the site after church.
We read from the Word.
We broke the ground.
This is our land with the locations for the pillars marked off.
People. imagine you are here...
All in all, it's great to finally be started - second star to the right and straight on til morning from here on out.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
1. Two days ago we were asked to vacate our office space - immediately. O. has spent the last 2 days looking for a place to go. This is very frustrating, someone or some ministry dept is always on the move due to being kicked out by our house owners.
Please pray for us to find good office space - like - right away :)
2. We have money for a down payment on land for offices, church and Bible College. It is located next to our school and if we get this land it will ensure that we will not loose road access in the coming days/years. We talked to the widow of the land owner who is ready to sell but her son (in London) is telling her not to sell it. Arg. Please pray for God to open this door if it is His will. I believe God is going to give us that land (or at least land nearby).
3. Pray for permanent land and buildings for all areas of ministry, it will be a great day when we don't have to be moving every month. Esp. pray for permanent housing for our co-workers.
4. Dec. 15 is the last day for the grant proposal we submitted to complete the 3rd floor of our school. We are praying that will be approved.
5. Christmas is coming - lot's of things going on. Please pray for us not to loose sight of why we are celebrating. Pray for joy and health and sweet fellowship. Most importantly, pray for opportunities to share the Gospel.
6. Friday we are starting to dig the foundation for our house. Whoopee! Please keep the whole house building thing in prayer. Thanks.
I want to end with some praises. Last Friday we had fasting prayer all day and we had prayed about how we could give Christmas bonuses to all our co-workers. Also, that night I looked out over our Children's home kids and thought - Lord, how in the world will I be able to buy new clothes for all these kids. That night I got a phone call that a person we don't even know was selling stock and giving it to our ministry for Christmas - to be used wherever! Hallelujah! Christmas bonuses and new clothes for everyone!
* I realize this is not the promised "mosquito post." coming, coming...
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
However, with all that beauty she is also the child that I struggle with the most. Yet, here is why I Love Barbie. - C. Loves Barbie. She even prefers to be called "Barbie Charlotte"
I've learned to use this to my advantage, see following example:
Me: "C. you've got a black booger hanging out of your nose, let me get it."
Me: "Oh, Barbie doesn't have black boogers hanging out of her nose."
C: Obediently leans nose toward me to have the offending booger removed. Doesn't say a word. Doesn't complain. Doesn't shout, scream, pull away or otherwise misbehave. After booger is removed she asks to see it.
I realize this is manipulation and I sincerely hope to someday be the kind of mother who has children who obey her immediately and at all times. Until then - man, I love Barbie.
* Yes, I know I revealed it.
Monday, November 26, 2007
The little fam.
Dance E. Dance
I love this picture because I appear to be scolding poor little Angel (It's OK to write the names of Other people's girl children on your blog. - That's for D and Matt who know what I'm talking about.) In actuality, I am just giving her a number for Red Rover. I think I must look like this in real life tho.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I took a mental break and went away with the girls and we visited to the zoo and the seashore and I went clothes shopping (fun). Many loved ones prayed for me and I've leveled back out.
But early on in my...I don't want to call it a break down, more like I hit the proverbial camel's straw or it hit me... whatever it was God gave me a verse:
John 6:67-69 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I guess I'll just start loading the pictures instead then.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Back to VBS, the day programs went well, not quite as well as last time - at least it seemed that way to me. Our Last Big evening bash was a bit of a bummer. Power went out twice at crucial times, message was not what I had hoped. Hmmm.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
As usual, one person works...
... and everybody else just stands around. Just Kidding! Everyone is working hard and we're very thankful for a college full of Bible Students to help. Yay!
I hate it. I can't go to sleep at night without thinking about all that needs to be done.
I find the whole process of moving all you own from one house to another utterly distasteful, loathsome, bothersome, despicable, miserable, rotten, stinky, repugnant, detestable, abhorrent, very unpleasant and I hate it. Did I mention that?
Pray for me, we're moving this week. (shaking her head.)
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I get it, Lord. Or at least I'm getting it.
There are two things in my life right now that God has asked me to put on the Surrender Slab. One is BIG. At least neither are my children.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
1. We ordered a beautiful wedding dress for Martha. After some searching we found a wonderful woman named Ruth who designs and makes wedding gowns. We told her what she wanted, she drew it up for us on paper right then, and called Martha and I back in the evening for a fitting.
The dress was MADE. Well, it lacked the sleeves and some of the lace and the final hemming, but it was all together and on Martha and she looked lovely. I wish I had thought to bring my camera.
O. will go to Bombay next month to pick up the final dress. The women is also making the veil and headgear and gloves to match - all for under $250. I know. Oh, and this dress is not some knockoff, it is as gorgeous and as first class as any I've ever seen in the US.
2. We got a new keyboard for our church. That's not really as exciting as the dress but our keyboardist thinks it's thrilling.
3. We got Chris, the man who came from the US and is here with us for a few days. No lost luggage! Yippee.
I just love it when everything works out as you hope. (or me - I don't even dare to hope - so I'm even happier in the long run.)
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Things seemed more normal the next morning.
The day after that O. was sharing in our office prayer time that he was suffering from different kinds of doubts. It wasn't exactly the same thing I experienced but it was close enough that a light bulb switched on in my head. We were under attack, spiritual attack.
O. seems to be suffering worse than I, please pray for us. We are coming into major Hindu festival time in India and the spiritual fight is on and intense.
You can think I'm wacky or not but last night the darkness was so bad as we were going to sleep that there was a palpable presence of evil in our bedroom.
Ah, The Love of God is so great and it was the only thing I clung to last night.
2 Cor. 10: 3-5 "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
I really hate that our train was booked for a Sunday morning. It would have been a real pain in the neck to change it after it was already booked and we would have lost a bunch of money so it is what it is, but my whole week is gonna be thrown off.
I'm a church junkie. I come from a long line of church junkies and I Love church. Not only that, but if I miss a Sunday morning of church I spend the entire week thinking, "What day is it today? What day is it today? What day is it today?"
I get very confused.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
This week we finally started Genesis - the entire month of September being taken up with the introduction to the O.T. which I freely admit is pretty dry. So, I was pretty excited to get into the meat of the Word this week. According to my syllabus I was supposed to finish Chapters 1-11 yesterday and then 12-50 tomorrow.
It's so Not happening.
We got through Cain and Abel yesterday and I'm hoping to make it to Jacob tomorrow but I'm not holding my breath. The course is designed as an Overview but there is just too much good stuff to skim over.
Now to some people who have grown up rurally this probably sounds like just the rational-ist thing in the world - you don't plan to get married during harvest season. But to a city girl like me - it's just downright amusing.
Sorry, we can't get married in November because we'll be bringing in the sheaves. (Yes, pretty much all I know about farming I learned from Little House on the Prairie.)
So, the new date - which actually works out much better for me - is December 28th. We'll be in Bombay on Monday searching for a wedding gown. What fun. Shopping - much more to my liking than working in the fields.
This post is getting it's own label of "Martha's Wedding" because I have a feeling as the date approaches we'll be blogging on it a lot.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
We will be staying in this house for the next few weeks because we have a man coming from the USA and we could use the 3rd bedroom. So, we are basically renting 2 houses for the month of October - oh well.
The new house has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (also a 3rd outside -weird). It's very nice and in a great location. It is fairly new although it has been lived in before and has a "worship room" that has been worshipped in. Worship to Hindu gods. Yuck. I really don't like that but we'll pray.
We're very thankful that we have a place to move for the few months remaining til we get into our OWN house. Yay. Thank you for your prayers.
Our own house work has basically begun, - putting in the well for water first and getting permission to take temporary electricity. Building will start very soon. I'll put up pictures when it does. Getting kicked out of this house has had the added benefit of kicking our butts to get our own house work started - at last.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Anyone know any Doctors who want to come to India? - We have the medicine. (see pictures at top)
Monday, September 24, 2007
In the evening I cut a small cake at home with the kids. They sang "Happy Birthday" to me and then "May Gooo-oood Bless You" to the tune of "Happy Birthday." This shot is from the "May God Bless You" song. It's blurry because they were waving their hands at me in a "blessing" gesture as they sang.
I was truly blessed.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
We eventually ate at a restaurant that I can't stand because the service stinks, but they had a generator and that meant electricity. Beggars can't be choosers I always say.
Today was church. Having your birthday on a Sunday is nice. We had cake after church, I ordered cake for everyone, so did O. Don't ask. Suffice to say, everybody Ate A Lot of Cake today. I feel a bit ill.
There was a 60th birthday party for a lady we know held after church, I was glad to have the attention off of me.
All in all, I barely cried at all this birthday.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
So, I'm not really too stressed since we are building our own house and hope to be in it in the beginning of the new year. But we are still going to have to find a house (minimum 2 bathrooms) to live in in the interim - which means moving my entire house twice in the course of the next 4 or 5 months.
Almost there - just Almost there to our own home where we will never have to fear being kicked out at a moment's notice.
I heard the news while I was on the way to browsing at the furniture store and the jewelry store. (my birthday is tomorrow) Shopping helped - a lot. I decided to wait on all furniture till we're in the new house and I exchanged 3 pieces of old jewelry for 3 pieces of new jewelry (you can do that here).
In addition to the shopping, I'm feeling pretty OK in general. I had a few moments of stress earlier today where I would think, why do I feel bad? Did I hurt someone's feelings, Did someone not treat me nicely, was I overcharged and cheated on something I bought? Oh no, I'm just internally contemplating the effort and expense of Moving - Again. Sigh.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Here is a picture of the school taken only hours ago.
The school building actually looks better in this picture than it does in real life. Most of the 3rd floor is just bricks and cement. The plaster is only half done and there is nothing done but the roof on the left side of the building. Even so, we are using these rooms to teach classrooms of children.
Just FYI, the entire school should be that same golden color.
So why do I waste your time with this boring post.
You can PRAY! If God wills it our proposal will be approved. One way or another - we have to get this school completed!
We hope to know the outcome later this month. Thanks.
However, I was somewhat dismayed to see that her 2nd teeth are coming in - NOT beneath the baby teeth pushing them out, but BEHIND the teeth. For a few days after she showed me I was imagining the horror of having to have E.'s baby teeth deliberately extracted by the dentist. I'm pretty sure none of us would have survived it. Thankfully, the front teeth are now wiggly but I'm not holding out hope that we may get through E.'s teenage years without orthodontic work.
Anyway, I did ask E. if she was related to sharks and when she denied it I kept at her telling her to admit the truth - that she was somehow related to the shark species - I'd have made a great homicide detective - E. continued to deny the accusations. This back and forth banter went on for a while until E. burst into tears, effectively ending the interrogation.
I asked her why she was crying and she replied that she's afraid of sharks.
I have no idea why, she's obviously related to them...
** Update: An hour after writing this post E. came home from school and one of the bottom front teeth is MISSING! Man, we can't help losing stuff over here...**
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Several of us were going to an out of town meeting last Wednesday and we were all going in our car. We were to meet at our school/church at 5:30 and go together. When I arrived at school I looked over from the car and saw people in the compound but no one was coming to the car. After a couple minutes I got out and walked over.
I asked where everyone was and was pointed up to the 2nd floor. As I reached the top of the steps I heard this voice say, "Everyone come up here fast, I found something!"
At that, several people (who were supposed to be getting in the car and going with me) went rushing past me up the stairs. I caught one of them who was lagging behind and blocked his way.
"Somethings disappeared hasn't it." I asked.
"Yes, Madam." And off he went.
It turns out our (very expensive) LCD projector was "missing." (think: stolen) Oh dear, that's not good.
But whoever took it, did it during the day and hid it on our school roof where construction was going on. It was hidden under some construction materials. The thief would return in the night to smuggle it away under cover of darkness.
By God's grace our Choir team was leaving on Thursday morning to sing at a conference and we were taking all our instruments and materials - including the LCD - with us. Our sound guys knew immediately that it was missing. It must have been spirited away during the school hours when the church was open and someone was working inside.
Needless to say, Everyone was VERY relieved. And our Ministry President, Mr. Praveen, was crowned hero of the day for the quick thinking to check the roof and actually find the projector.
This entire situation was made worse since it came immediately on the heels of the court case, etc.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
"God -- You have two choices: Either kill those bad men or make them love Jesus."
I don't think I even need to comment.
We pretty much knew that was coming, and it sounds fine. but The Other People are cunning and ruthless and have no problem lying about us. So, we are now all being very careful not to ever be in any situation that The Other People could use to drum us some stuff about us.
We continue to keep the situation before the Lord. But the satanic attacks (and God's deliverances) just continue on. We had a very expensive piece of equipment stolen (and found) yesterday. I'll write about that in another post because it's a good story.
I'm thinking the whole no Internet thing was part of the spiritual battle going on.
Satan shuts down the lines of communication, yet, unwittingly keeps people praying for longer than they may normally would have, hence, God's purposes prevailed? It's possible.
Oh, other than being communicaty, I'm also an optimist.
Monday, September 10, 2007
The other people are claiming that we have attempted to beat them and that we are here only to change peoples' religions, etc. Lies.
I take comfort in David's words to Goliath:
"I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty."
Please keep on praying for all the people involved. Thanks.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Back to the point - writing urgent emails (so urgent that I just realized I forgot to spell check and I KNOW there were spelling mistakes in there - dang.)
We (meaning our family and our ministries) have been threatened by a Hindu family of 4 brothers for the last 7 1/2 years. They spread all kinds of gossip about us and what we do. They talk to lawyers and attempt to bring court cases against us. They get the Police on their side. They threaten us (and our co-workers), often, with bodily harm - all this because we are Christian. They'd love to just be rid of us.
O. makes plans to ship me and the girls out of the country on a moment's notice - just to be ready. (Not like that's likely to happen, but he likes to bring it up every so often.)
Through this and the various other disturbances that we have been facing in our ministry over the last 7 days, we keep our eyes fixed on our Living God and repeat to each other that He has Already Won the Victory and for us to stand still or step backward is a victory for Satan and that is something that we are not willing to do.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
This is exciting for me and intimidating at the same time. I love the subject matter yet I look out at my students and see 14 eager young men who are really, really weak in English. They'll learn, but man, I just look at myself and see how incapable I am to teach these guys.
Thank goodness the Lord is on our side. 'Cause this surely would be impossible without Him.
Friday, August 31, 2007
A little opposition is often just the kick needed to make you pray harder.
I really do love fasting prayer days. We have them from 10AM to 4PM on the last day of every month. It's a special time to come together as a body and corporately present our requests to God.
But I gotta be honest with you, it's 9:24AM and I'm hungry. Really Really Hungry - already.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Here she is in O.'s sister's arms looking at her paternal grandfather, "Dada."
Oh, she's such a pleasant girl.
With Aunt Martha - yes, she works very hard to get her hair to look like that - I can't be bothered.