Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day off in Kansas City

Leaving the frigid weather after a week in Iowa was no disappointment! Our host families in Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, and Marshalltown were very welcoming, but it's good to be in a slightly warmer climate.

I've had a rejuvinating weekend off in Kansas City, Kansas. Yesterday it was warm enough to be without a jacket, though I about FROZE today running across the parking lot.

Many thanks to Kendra and Dustin for inviting me over to their home tonight to hang out. I met their family when they hosted Neha, Maria, and me back in September (a few week into the tour!); it was wonderful to see them again. I happened to have a day off in their city today, so Kendra asked me to come over to fellowship with some of their church friends. Thirteen of us adults (six married couples with children...and me! ;) plus about ten little kids spent the evening together in their homey basement. I was amazed how easy it was to strike up conversations with both the wives and the husbands; they were a blast and so welcoming!

I spent the first part of the day getting my hair trimmed at the mall, followed by helping Prava with her shopping needs. It's always enjoyable to spend "girl time" with her when we're not distracted by the kids. Last night, the six of us (Jay, Taylor, Alan, Kory, Prava, me) went to the movie theater to see Slumdog Millionare. Striking movie. I highly recommend it. I loved the Indian music, the talented actors from India, the heart-warming and heart-wrenching scenes...everything about it was just wow.
Taylor wrote out some "quirks" belonging to our I am borrowing this from her blog. Here are a few of the humorous ones. Never a dull moment!
*When we watch animal movies on the bus, the kids compare each character to someone on the team (i.e. Lincoln is "Baloo" and Suresh is "Mogli" from "Jungle Book").
*Sarah is our roller coaster of emotions, up and down all day long. She has her funny moments though, and has started occasionally referring to us as "Girlfriend," as in "No way, girlfriend!" or "You're crazy, girlfriend!"

*Ezera says "No thanks" probably a hundred times a day, but he pronounces it "No sanks."

*Isaac and Zurufah (our two littlest Ugandans) have some kind of romance going on. Isaac is constantly battling with himself over whether or not he loves her. This usually depends on whether or not the feelings are returned on that particular day.

*If Yeshoda or Neha mess up on any of their solos in the concerts, they immediately sticks their tongues out and roll their eyes (an unattractive reflex that we are trying to overcome!). Must be a Nepali thing!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A God of details!

This isn't what my title refers to, but this is too funny not to mention. Today, four of our girls discovered that our human heart is NOT shaped like this <3 . [That's the best heart-shape I can make, using keyboard keys.] They literally were under the impression that the hearts inside our body looked like the stereotypical heart shape. Zurufah's mouth practically dropped to the floor as she stared at the picture of a REAL heart that I showed them. She insisted that HER heart looked like this: <3 . I think the Valentine's hearts were getting to their heads...

[Speaking of hearts, does it get much cuter than this!? Today, the 4 girls with me in the host family made belated valentines for their aunties...I will treasure these forever.]

This weekend, God showed me once again that He is a God of details. And if He cares this much about the small seamingly unimportant areas of my life, then I know He has my entire future in His hands. I pray daily for my unknown future, and so far so good as I am assured of God's faithfulness--not stressing too terribly much.

So here are the two most recent God-things:

1) I have talked with several women in the past two weeks who have raved about Beth Moore's Bible studies. I was convinced that I was supposed to start one (it was too ironic that multiple people randomly suggested Beth Moore's studies to me the past few weeks.) So I was planning to buy one this weekend in Kansas City on my day off. Well, dear Janine mailed a package to me which arrived this past Friday. It contained random books, chocolate, tea :) , etc....and a Beth Moore Bible study! It's titled "Living Beyond Yourself" and concentrates on the Fruits of the Spirit. I've already started it, and I look forward to digging deeper in Galations. Lord knows I especially need to do the week on "Patience"--just ask the kids about the countless times I say "kids! you need to be quieter!" in the costume room. Needless to say, I smiled a lot when I saw the book; I love God's timing.

2) When our team arrived Friday afternoon at our Iowa church, Taylor needed me to sort through some of the profiles of children who need to be sponsored. As I leafed through the stack of Ugandan kids, I saw a familar face: Ezera! My heart skipped a beat. I knew without a doubt that God had literally put this opportunity in my lap. I could take it or leave it. But I felt for some reason as if I'd be disobeying if I ignored it. I stared at his smiling face in the picture and knew it'd be such a blessing to sponsor a child in the choir! Over the weekend, I told Ezera I had started sponsoring him. His response was: "Eeee! Are you lying?" (a phrase all of our kids say. A lot.) I assured him that I was being truthful, that I loved him, and I was excited to do this. He hugged me as he said, "Thank you....thank you, Auntie." Was it purely coincidence that the Lord gave this opportunity--to show His love to a fatherless child--on Valentine's weekend?

Saturday, February 7, 2009


So I lied. One of my friends told me she tried to comment on my blog but it wouldn't let her since she doesn't have a blogspot account. I told her I had it set up so that anyone could comment. I just discovered that I was incorrect. But I fixed it so that anyone can comment....I think! So feel free to test it if you're bored. ;)

A friend of mine in Lynchburg noticed that Children of the World is coming to Liberty on February 18. She was under the impression that I would be there. Sadly, I will not, because we (the Central team) will be in Iowa. Lucky us ;) It's the East team that gets to be at Liberty. For all my friends in Lynchburg, try to make it to the concert. You will not regret it. 

Speaking of schedules. Thank you, Taylor, for typing this for your blog. Here's what we're up to in the near future. If any of you happen to be in these random towns, please let me know. :) 

Feb. 1 Spring, Texas 
Feb. 4 Kilgore, Texas
Feb. 6 Conway, Arkansas
Feb. 8 Searcy, Arkansas
Feb. 8 Cave City, Arkansas
Feb. 11 Neosho, Missouri
Feb. 15 Sioux City, Iowa
Feb. 18 Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Feb. 19 Marshalltown, Iowa
Feb. 22 Kansas City, Missouri (day off for Prava and me! Woohoo)
Still more cities to come in February...

March 6 Rogers, Arkansas
March 8 Lavaca, Arkansas (who names these cities?)
March 11 Ferguson, Missouri

March 12 Waynesville, Missouri
March 15 Bentonville, Arkansas
March 15 Prairie Grove, Arkansas

March 18 Little Rock, Arkansas
March 22 Owasso, Oklahoma
March 22 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
March 29 Rio Rancho, New Mexico  (day off, hopefully)
Still more to come in March, as well...

On a random note, I watched the movie One Night With the King last weekend, and I learned more about the Esther story from that movie than I ever did from sunday school. I am ashamed to say it, but after watching that movie I realized how little I knew about Esther. So this past week, I've been reading it each night. It is so fascinating to me.  The girls spent 12 months getting "beauty treatment" before they were brought in to meet King Xerxes. Crazy! Also, I really wish I could ask God some Q's concerning the story of Esther; I think I'm failing to see the "true love" aspect of Esther/Xerxes' relationship. I just don't find anything romantic about the fact that he was attracted to Esther that night in his bed chamber (after he kicked his wife out of the kingdom for not obeying him) and then decided she'd be his new queen. I wonder if Esther loved Xerxes as the Bible instructs a woman to love her husband. These are all thoughts I've been pondering this past week. Yet, God's hand was over everything, and of course Esther saved her people because of her marriage to Xerxes. Don't get me wrong; I'm not belittling the story of Esther, but it's just not your typical "love story." God's ways are mysterious, though, which we all know!