Monday May 20, 2019

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

Today was a busy day. We still had our rental car that needed be returned, so I dropped Jeff off at the hospital and made a quick detour to the store. I will say it was so nice to have a car and be able to get a fair amount of groceries at one time and then not have to carry them back to the apartment. I hope I never take that for granted again! I had enough time to drop the groceries off and the kids agreed to put them all away for me, so I headed back out to drop the car back to the rental agency. All was good and now I got to enjoy a long walk home (about 50 minutes).

I really enjoyed this time alone, walking through Brasov, surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. It was so peaceful and relaxing, such a nice change from the busy and fast-pace of Bucharest. I found so much peace walking home, listening to my music and just enjoying where God has placed me today.

I got home and found the kids running around having a wonderful time outside. Jeff ended up staying at the support center for some donations to arrive, so he didn’t get home until about 2 pm. There wasn’t much to the afternoon, I had ambitions of doing yoga, but that didn’t happen. Instead I got caught up on laundry and getting everything settled after being gone for the weekend. Then I went straight into studying.

Preparing for this licensing exam is a lot, but it feels so good to be refreshing myself on what I put so much time and energy into so many years ago. Thankfully it is all coming back to me pretty quickly, though I would say the theories are the ones I have forgotten. What I find interesting is that I do remember the application of the theories, I just mix up the names. But with some practice and studying I am sure things will be fresh in my mind again. My goal is spend the month of June preparing for the exam so I will be ready to take it before we head to Germany to visit with our friends. I am hopeful that I can be done with it and truly relax and enjoy a last vacation before we head back to reality in the States.

We have no pictures from today, so I am going to say that we just enjoyed the moment and didn’t have an opportunity to snap any photos!

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Tuesday January 22, 2019

Acts 4:30-31 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

I don’t really know what to say, other than I just can’t believe we are leaving in just a few days and I can feel a piece of my heart breaking. I am so torn because my body is looking forward to the change in air quality, my heart doesn’t want to leave and I am pretty confident that part of it will always remain here in Banbasa, India.

Today I was able to help the girls in the kitchen make chipatis. While I didn’t get the chance to roll them, I did make the batter and prepare the dough into balls to be rolled out and then cooked. I have decided that when we get a house, Jeff is going to be making me an outdoor fire pit to cook our chipati and our subji. Of course I will likely be calling back to India for some help and I am pretty sure it will never taste as good as it does here.

Shortly after chipati making I meet with Nancy who gave me a quick lesson in how to wear my Saree. She first showed me how to put it on and then I made an effort at replicating it. For my first attempt I did pretty well. Nancy asked if she could do a small photo shoot, so we headed out by the old fallen tree and I let her take some pictures. It was so funny, as I walked through the mission I had just about every child asking me where I was going and telling me how nice a I looked in a Saree. I loved having it on so much that I went into town with Rochelle after tea time to pick out another one and drop it off at the tailor. Rochelle was such a trooper. She wasn’t feeling great but still trekked into town with and enjoyed a quick treat of gol gapas. I am happy to say that I found a beautiful Saree, this one is much more simple but still very pretty. We dropped it at the tailor for him to put the fall in it and I will be able to pick it up tomorrow.

We had a fun surprise from family back home, a package! Uncle Jesse, Aunt Tessa, and Annecy thank you so much for the wonderful gifts. We all love them and it brought us so much joy to get a box filled with goodies from our family back home in the states. We all got matching bracelets, as did my whole extended family got the same ones! So even though we are away from each other we all still all connected together. Lucia was also super excited for the stuffy keychain. She has been collecting keychains during this journey and has quite a collection so far and was stoked to add one more!

I watched Priscilla make our dinner tonight and I diligently took notes so I can attempt to replicate some of this amazing food. My new little notebook is going to be a priceless resource.

Monday January 7, 2019

Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

I love that even with the ever changing activities that make up our days here, the schedule of the mission still provides a routine–7:30 breakfast, 10:00 tea, 12:00 lunch, 4:00 tea, 6:00 dinner for kids and 7:00 dinner for the staff and volunteers. For us, we have been regularly helping the girls with dishes after breakfast until about 8:30 and then we move on to our laundry which we finish around 9:15, leaving just enough time to clean up and head to morning tea.

Jeff and I are planning to make breakfast for the mission on Sunday morning so we need to learn how to make the Chai (Chai is a very important part of breakfast and we don’t want to screw it up) and how to do all the little things required for breakfast. So we headed to the kitchen at 6:00 in the morning to learn how to do all of that is necessary to prepare and serve the first meal of the day. While we didn’t actually do much today, we just watched these girls make breakfast for 80 people in just under 90 minutes.

Right after lunch I helped the big boys move some furniture from the old school to the new school; I think I really shocked them when I showed up to help. One even told me that this is man’s work and that Indian women don’t do this kind of work, to which I replied, that “I am not an Indian woman”. They seemed to get a kick out of this and we were able to move all 5 cabinets and a couple tables in two truck loads over to the school. I absolutely loved getting my hands dirty and doing something a little more physical than cooking, dishes, and laundry! I also got to drive the truck, which is really fun because it is a manual transmission, but everything is on the opposite side for me. It felt so weird to sit where the passenger would sit and to have the stick on the left, instead of the right, but I didn’t even stall once! Again, I don’t think they expected that and I just get a total kick out of surprising these boys and making them laugh.

Anjali was super excited to receive a package from her best friend today; she had no idea it was coming and was totally surprised. Thank you Nadia!

As I was hanging out in the Strong House this evening I attempted to video one of the nursery girls laughing. She has the best laugh I have ever heard and I just want a video of it so anytime I am feeling down I can capture it forever. However, her laugh tonight was not the real thing, so this will have to wait until I can capture it!

I was able to help Priscilla and the girls make dinner tonight and I took a photo so I can try to figure out how to make this when we get home because it is absolutely wonderful. This subji is made with potatoes, peas, and cauliflower and served alongside chipati and spicy chutney.

As Jeff and I walked back to our apartment we ran into these two beautiful girls. They are so amazing inside and out, and I feel so blessed to have met them and to get to know them.