Saturday April 27, 2019

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

We all woke up this morning excited to celebrate Anjali’s birthday with friends at the Adventure Park here in Brasov. This place was awesome. There were so many different courses for our various levels. They had a small kids course for the little ones, which was perfect–it was challenging enough to be fun for them, it even had zip lines at the end of each course! All of the kids and even the adults had a great time. Between my ankle and still not feeling 100%, I decided to stay on the ground and enjoy watching the happy faces of everyone else. Anjali was so excited to be here for her birthday and being able to do a course that was for those 12 years and up. Jeff spent time with the kids and then within about an hour or so everyone seemed to go their separate ways using the buddy system, which is when Jeff opted to try one of the black courses. I got some great pictures of everyone having fun and enjoying being outside, even with the thunder and darkening skies.

Lucia enjoying the younger kids’ courses Lewis, obviously having a blast! Can you find Lucia? Jeff making his way through one of the beginner courses. Jason having fun and working hard, or maybe just having fun! Lucia and Elena doing what they do best, being silly and having fun! The birthday girl in her element! Jeff working hard on the black course and surveying what lies before him David and Coen enjoying the buddy system. Jeff was pretty wiped after climbing the wobbly ladder, but he is not even close to being done. Where’s Jeff?

After a quick lunch of hot dogs at the park, we all scurried out into the rain. Our family walked to the closest taxi stand to make our way to the shopping mall. Anjali and I made quick work of our needed shopping items and then a stop in the grocery store before catching a cab home and ordering pizza. All in all, it was a very successful and fun day, but I was wiped.

I am so grateful that God has healed me enough to enjoy this time with my family and celebrate the birth of our eldest child. I could have easily seen myself still in bed, sick and unable to be here, but He provided again. I may not have gotten to do the courses with them, but I absolutely enjoyed my time with friends and family, and this was definitely a gift from God.

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Saturday January 19, 2019

Isaiah 44:8 Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? You are my witnesses! Is there any god besides me? There is no other rock; I know not one.

Today, just before lunch the mission had some visitors who where on their way to Delhi from Nepal and decided to stop to say hello. They had lunch in the Strong House and as I stopped in there after lunch I learned that they were visitors from the US and we talked a bit about their work in and around India and Nepal, as well as our mission and COG. I also learned that they too were on a hunt for cash from the ATMs and were headed into Khatima. This morning Jeff took a 3 hour walk to the surrounding towns of Banbasa in search of money with no success–there is no money anywhere. Since we are leaving on Friday morning, I didn’t want to chance not being able to get cash since we needed to pay for our taxi back to Delhi, so I took them up on their offer to join the, and I am so glad I did because I was able to get out enough money to cover the clothing items from the tailor, as well as our driver, and a few other items we needed for our last week here.

This evening we were surprised to learn that a last minute jungle dinner was in store for us. Eugene headed out at 3:30 pm to prepare our meal on the riverbed over the fire, but we didn’t leave until at 6:45 pm in the bed of a trailer being pulled by a tractor. It was so much fun. We took the bumpy ride through the neighboring village and just to the riverbed where Eugene and Uncle John were preparing our meal. We got and found a nice fire blazing and chairs situated around it. This ended up being a fun little party with some new friends/visitors. As usual dinner was amazing, though this time we were eating under the beautiful stars with the rambling river in the background. It was such a peaceful and fun meal filled with great conversation, stories, and laughter.

My pictures of our dinner didn’t really turn out, but I did capture of a picture of these two little ones having fun with me by balancing some toilet paper on our heads!

Tuesday January 1, 2019

1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

The whole mission slept in today and we all gathered for brunch at 10 am for eggs and bread. Clifton and Priscilla took all of the mission kids to the jungle for the entire afternoon and evening. David and Lucia wanted to stay home and watch movies and there were no complaints from Jeff and I. Anjali really wanted to go, so she headed off into the jungle with all of the kids.

While Anjali was off in the jungle with all of the mission kids and most of the staff, the four of us took naps, watched movies and did some research and planning for the remaining projects for 2019. We definitely took to heart this scripture passage and allowed Christ to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us

Since most of the staff were gone in the jungle, we were on our own to prepare dinner. So Jeff and I headed the Strong House to make a Thai inspired noodle soup for dinner. Anjali made it home with the rest of the kids by 7 pm and had a great time in the jungle. I am glad that she is comfortable and confident enough to go on her own without us there. She is such a strong girl and her independence is a gift from God, today she used this gift in such a positive way.

Tuesday December 25, 2018

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

I am beyond amazed that I am celebrating the birth of Christ with my husband and children in a rural village in northern India with the Himalayan foothills hovering over us. Being here on the mission during this Christmas season has been a wonderful gift. This little sanctuary, just off the main road leading into Banbasa is a testament to the love and grace of our Lord and I can’t imagine being anywhere else to celebrate Christmas during this journey.

The morning began very slowly, as every was tired. But once awake the thrill of pleasant opening quickly gave our kids a burst of energy. It was wonderful to watch our kids open their few gifts and have all three of them comment that they are all very happy to be here. While we are missing family back home, we have since been adopted into this large and loving family here in Banbasa, India. I don’t think my kids even missed breakfast this morning.

Christmas morning with our kids!
Anjali opening her “stocking” (or a pair of pants) hung outside for Santa.
Lucia loved her new Barbie clothes
David just couldn’t believe he got Pokémon cards!

We headed over to the Strong House around 9:00 for some Chai, but Pricilla surprised us with some coffee, real French Press espresso, and it was the best Christmas gift! I have been really missing some good coffee and I was able to have 2 really good cups of coffee. As we were all gathered around the nice warm fire, we were able to give Uncle Rick, Clifton and Pricilla, and Lachlan some small gifts we found, as well as track down Raymond to give him a new soccer ball (we are Raymond’s new sponsors) and it was so nice to be able to give him a small gift as we start a new relationship with him. We took a few pictures to capture the moment and other kids wanted to get in on the photo opportunity with Uncle Jeff!

Our family just grew by one!

Raymond with his new soccer ball. He was thrilled and it was wonderful to be able to bring him
some extra joy today!

As I glance around this room I am awed at God’s loving spirit and how he is able to transform every person to encompass a different aspect of Himself. We are all beautiful children of God and today is a reminder of how much God loves each one of us. He gave His son, Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life, as a sacrifice for my sins and for the sins of all. He sent our Savior here to live a life filled with hardship and tragedy to show me how to live me life. He was sent here to teach me all the ways I am able to have a relationship with God. The birth of Jesus Christ opened the door for every person on earth to experience the love of God and we have the opportunity to see God in each one of our brothers and sisters. This is absolutely the case here. I look around at the faces of the beautiful children and see a life of hardship and loss, but they are surrounded by a loving family who encourages them to see God every step of the way. These children have taught me so much and I am so grateful for every way God works through them.

We enjoyed a wonderful meal with a lot of the same people that were here for the Christmas Eve worship, as well as a gift and treat bag for everyone. The excited faces of the children were unforgettable.

Jeff and I with Raymond

Once those that do not all the mission “home” went their own ways to spend the day with their families, everything here just calmed. Kids were playing on the playground or just around the common areas with their new toys and gifts. We learned that almost everyone was heading into the jungle for a couple hours or picking berries and playing by the river. After a 15 minute walk and a quick crossing of the ankle deep river, we ended up on a small island walking through the jungle and finally arriving at a sandy beach. It was beautiful. The boys had brought along a speaker, so we had music playing in the background while we enjoyed snacks, skipping rocks, and just relaxing and spending time as a family.

Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends. We hope that your day was filled with as much joy as ours.