Monday, April 30, 2007

Prayers - For Us

Everytime I am in the USA (and this happens in India, too) there will always be a few people who come up to me and will say, "You don't know me, but I pray for you every day." Or something along those lines.

This always blows me away.

Thank you Lord.


Praveen (Center)

A while back, like on the 20th of April, our co-worker, Praveen, actually got an American visa.

C.'s birthday threw me off and caused the delay in this information. I apologize.

We are very happy. It's really too late for Praveen to come now, but the visa is good for 10 years and there will be other opportunities.

So, that is 2 out of the 4 guys who got visas.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

G. Is (Almost) 6 Weeks

We took lots of pictures last night at C.'s birthday Party. G. is changing so much, here are some updated photos of her.

G. with Grammy.
Here she is with a tired-looking me and her sister's crown on. I know, I'm a wicked terrible mother for jamming that on her head.

C.'s 4th Birthday

April 24th is C.'s birthday. She wanted a dress and shoes for her gifts. Fashion is her passsion. It has been since she was teeny tiny. (She could talk at 6 months - I am NOT lying.)

It was so nice in the olden days when I went to dress her big sister E. and she would wear whatever I pulled out. Then C. came along and my days of easy dressing were over.

She is her own little person with her own ideas. She is not a "follow the crowd" kind of girl and I admire that spirit in her.

Here are some of the pictures from her birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.

This is the only picture of C. with Chuck. She wouldn't get near the "real" Chuck. E. Cheese.
What dad and Uncle Suresh did.
E. with the "real" Chuck.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Virginia Tech - A Personal Account

A friend of mine studies at Virginia Tech. I asked her permission to post this personal account. Not for the faint of heart - read prayerfully.

By Erin C., Blacksburg VA:

"My best friend here, Maria, has a husband, Lee, who was in one of the rooms where the shootings happened. The gunman came in, shot the teacher and started to shoot everyone in the classroom. Lee jumped behind a desk like everyone else did to hide as the murderer (a 23 year old Korean student) walked down the aisle shooting everyone. The guy shot at Lee but the bullet hit the desk in front of him and blew him and the desk backwards. He shot at Lee several more times but never hit him. He shot everyone else several times except for one other guy who I guess was playing dead. The shooter left the room and then came back and saw that Lee was alive and shot at him several more times - each one missed. The shooter left again and the next thing Lee heard was a police officer saying "I got another room full of dead bodies." Lee said, "I'm alive." and the other guy said, "I'm alive too." and the officer said "Get out of here!! Run towards the buses!!" So they had to (in Lee's words) "hopscotch" over dead bodies and pools of blood to get out. Then they ran to the first main road and Maria found them in her car. They were so terrified that they just drove to Roanoke where they know an older couple. Maria called me and told me the story sobbing about how the Lord had miraculously saved Lee. He was probably shot at more than any of the victims but was never touched. I went to their apartment and gathered up some clothes and their cat and stuff and met them in Roanoke. We prayed and read the Word and watched the news. Lee got a call about the other guy in the class that ran out with him. That guy is apparently pretty screwed up and is on tranquilizers and stuff so the Lord didn't just protect Lee's body, He also protected his mind.

There is an intense spiritual battle going on here right now. Satan is really attacking the survivors with fear and anger. I'm asking you to get alone with the Lord and intercede for us. I had nightmares all night about fighting demons. One girl in my class has already given her life to the Lord through this (Shelly) and others will follow as we prevail against the principalities that have settled in like a dark cloud in the last few days.

Please assemble the believers and intercede for the believers here who are reaping a harvest of souls in Jesus Name.

When I spoke to Erin about posting this here she was getting ready to head back to the school this afternoon to pray with students. She says the spiritual battle is fierce but there is also the opportunity for a huge harvest of souls for the Kingdom.

I hope this account helps you to pray and pray more specifically - it sure did for me.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

That's What They Mean By Social Security

I spent almost an hour in the local Social Security Office yesterday to get a new card for me and so I could discover C.'s (my 4 year old) number. I need her number because I realized her passport is going to expire in about 13 months and we will most likely be in India all that time and when I researched it it is a real pain to get a new passport for a minor in India.

Better to do it here and now.

The first step was getting an SS# for C. Apparently she had one at some point in her short life but beats the heck out of me where it is. Probably with her original Birth Certificate which is also missing. Nice.- Hey, we move houses - A Lot.

I, along with E., C., and G. drove to the SS office yesterday around 1PM. I was somewhat alarmed when I pulled up and saw a whole lot of cars parked in a line along makeshift parking spots by the curb.

Alarmed but still unsuspecting I hauled all 3 children out of the car (I told E. and C. to stand by the car while I got out G. from the other side but they didn't obey and followed me and E. dropped her purse in the street, bent to pick it up, thus causing C. to trip over her, fall and scrape her knee. I told C. she better not cry because had they stood and waited on the other side of the car in the first place- say it with me - this never would have happened.)

We made it inside, carseat and baby in tow, and I was now dismayed to see the place packed with people - mostly likely the owners of the line of cars. Dumb me who chose to go at the end of lunch hour. Really, how many people have a reason to go to the SS office?

Things did move along and I clung to my number - D402 - and practiced listening for it with the girls. Unfortunately, everything stopped when a women at the furthest window started talking very loudly on her cellphone.

According to her it was her 7th time there and everyone in the office gave her "attitude" and then she used a lot of foul language... blah blah blah (5 minutes later) ...and then the lady behind the counter said (with attitude) over the loud speaker. "Security!" Ah, South Jersey, USA.

She left, we got new cards ordered and I wrote down C.'s number. We came straight home.

On a good note, G. received her passport and Indian visa in the mail today. Yay!

Joy In The Fellowship

I was praying this morning and remembering old friends and there are a few friends from different times and places in my life that are still wholeheartedly walking with the Lord. I'm talking about friends that are my own age. The ones that come to mind are all born within months of me.

This made me feel really good today. Sadly there are a good number of friends who, although they once walked with the Lord, no longer do. I guess I was thinking about those kind of people today too. It's probably why I had that little burst of joy thinking about the fellowship I have with the ones who still do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We Did Have Fun

Although Tut may have been just so-so, we did have a fun and memorable time at the Franklin Institute.

Here is everyone ('cept me and G.) in front of the biog Heart. Whoever thought of that making that thing was a marketing genious. It's been the same ever since I was a child. I can distinctly remember waiting in line to walk through it when I was 12.

It's really not that exciting but you HAVE to do it. It smells better in there these days but I still do feel the need for a shower when I'm done.
C. popping out from clogged arteries.

These skeeved E. out, she wouldn't go near them. I don't blame her.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

King Tut

After much anticipation I took the family to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia today to see the King Tut Exhibition.

We had tickets to go through it at 4Pm so we spent two hours visiting the Institute before going in. The kids, O., Suresh, mom, and I had a great time fiddling around with the hands on stuff. Even G. slept the entire time in her sling.

But then it was finally 4 O'clock and time to enter the "Golden Age of the Pharaohs."

My anticipation was so intense I even got choked up a couple times as I waited. We squished in a room with a whole lot of other people and watched a 90 second introduction film narrated by Omar Shareef (sp?).

And then, and then... we were let in.

I casually walked through crowded room after crowded room, trying to be interested in the pots and grave gods and other incidental items. But I was really waiting for the big ShaBang at the end.

At last I reached the end of the exhibit after fighting my way through lots of people and fending off whiny kids (mine) , I passed the sign of "no Re-entry" with my eyes ready to take in the big "ahhhhhhhh." And then there it was in front of me - the Gift Shop.

That was it. There wasn't any ShaBang. Definitely no Ahhhhhhhh. The entire exhibit was just - Average.

I overheard one lady in the gift shop say to her friend. "Well, I'm really disappointed. I think we were all expecting to see his head." I think she was referring to the Gold Death Mask thingy. Yeah. Tell me about it.

Save your shekels people. I saw this exhibit in Egypt at the Cairo Museum in 1994 and it was way better - even with the dust and a weird Egyptian man who latched himself onto my hand and wouldn't let go.

For the amount of money you spend for entry into the Tut Exhibit at the FI you could FLY to Egypt- go dig up a tomb of a pharaoh for yourself.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good Easter

Yesterday, on Easter morning, my 6 year old daughter, E., asked Jesus into her heart.

We were on the way to church and E., C. and I were squished in the back seat of the van. During the ride O. took a Gospel tract he got the day before out of his pocket to show my mom, and C. and E. wanted to see it too.

I thought it was a tacky and tact-less tract when I read the front of it. but E. took a glance at the fancy front of it and flipped it over and asked me to read the small print on the back. It was the Gospel message. You know, it started with the "Have you ever lied?" question and went on from there.

E. and I talked it over in the car. There was a part of me that wanted to wait and talk this over with her later when we got home, in a private place, a quiet place, a more "Gospel sharing friendly" place. But that was just that old Evil that tries to keep us from sharing the Gospel.

I pushed onward and E. prayed with me and accepted Jesus as her Savior right there in her carseat.

I've always loved Easter.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Learning Languages

Today after we woke up E. and C. came in to see me and Baby G. in the bedroom.

E. asked if G. was awake.

C. (my almost 4 year old) leaned over and looked at G. and said:

"It's alive!"

See was dead serious.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

G.'s Passport

Our new daughter, G., received her passport in the mail today. I don't know if you know, but passports look totally different these days. The first page is no longer the picture/info page, that's on page number too.

I think they look really really cool!

Now it's time for the visa.

Hello India Consulate.

Suresh Has Arrived

Yes, Suresh arrived in NYC at around 8:00AM today. His flight was an hour delayed - probably because of the nasty weather, but he's here and in one piece. Praise the Lord and thanks for praying.

He actually had some trouble getting out of India but no problem entering the US. Weird.

He is pretty exhausted and it will take a few days to adjust but he'll be fine. I look forward to hearing what's going on in India.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Challenge Of Not Being There

It's hard not being in India when things are going on. Things like building rooms on our school.

The new school year actually starts tomorrow (for a month and then there is a summer break and then school opens in June.)

But here we are with 100 kids moving from our small school to enter 1st grade in our big school and there is not enough room. There weren't enough classrooms last year and now we have added 10th grade and there are the 100 new kids coming up.

O. is feeling the stress to say the least. We have started building 3 classrooms on the 3rd floor of the school but we need permission from the local government to resume building and the permission is taking forever to come. That and we don't have the money to build the rooms, but we gotta do something.

The school management is adjusting the best they can, putting 9th and 10th grade students in one room, cramming another hundred 1st graders into another room. It's a nightmare. I admit I'm glad not to be there to have to deal with it. We have good people overseeing the school, God bless them. I pray.

Then there is O., on the phone day and night (literally) trying to see what is going on and giving advice and suggestions.

The school is a main source of income for our ministry as well as being the place where we get the salary for the majority of our co-workers. The school is growing and we have to keep up with it, it's just so much harder when we are not there...

(picture of school in next post.)

3rd Floor

This is a picture of our school at Christmas and you can see the 3rd floor construction. Half the roof and the pillars are up but that's it. We still need walls, floors, windows and doors - not to mention electricity, asap.

Suresh Coming On Wednesday

It's hard to believe that April 4th is almost here. The day when our co-worker Suresh comes in from India.

Time flies doesn't it?

Please pray for him since it's his first time flying internationally and he will be alone.

(insert picture of me here biting my nails)

Nah, he'll do fine.