Back to Blogging

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It has been almost 9 months since I wrote on this blog!  Yikes…. where did that time go?  We have had a very busy several months which would take too long to catch you up on so I am going to settle for the highlights and get back to the story-telling of our ho-hum lives that we find fascinating!

Sept 3- We arrived back in Albania and moved into our new home.  Imagine our surprise when we discover the porch, the entryway and the kitchen had been painted pink in preparation for our arrival. :-)

Sept 6- The boys started 4th grade!  They are back at GDQ school and love their teacher(s) and their classmates.  They have the largest class in lower school, 14 kids from 8 different countries.

Sept 13- Jadyn started her new Albanian preschool (kopesht).  We are very grateful to have found a wonderful, small preschool near our home.  Jadyn goes everyday for a few hours and enjoys her time with her Albanian friends.  She is very close to becoming my official translator.

Sept 21- I began teaching music K-5 at GDQ School.  I love it…. it has been several years since I was in the classroom and I have missed it.  I love all the fun things we get to do with music and I love youtube.com  It is the greatest invention for the music teacher.

ALSO in Sept- The Loft Youth Ministry moved into a new location.  So Robert and Egli have been busy moving, painting, building and organizing for our new location.  We have had a huge number of visitors to the Loft over the course of the fall.  Check out pictures of our new location and ministry happening at journeytoalbania.com

AND THAT IS ONLY SEPTEMBER!!  Since it is already March, I clearly have much more to fill you in on…. stay tuned!

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Arrival

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Well, we have made it to OK soil and I confess, when we crossed the border, there is still a sense of “home” to this place we love.  We have had a few days to get settled and rest since we have been busy and on the road since we arrived in the US three weeks ago!  We are so blessed to let you know that a family from Henderson Hills Baptist Church is allowing us to reside in their garage apartment on their property north of Edmond for the entire duration of our stay in OK!  It is a 2 bedroom apartment above their detached garage.  They also have a pool which we have already put to good use. We are really grateful for their heart for missionaries and that we were blessed to cross paths with them.

We started in Colorado seeing our parents, supporters and friends.  Since then, we have been to Utah to see my sister, Nevada to see college friends, Arizona to see Robert’s sister and visit the Frontier’s Home office, Texas to see the Dill family who will be joining us in Albania in a few months and we bought a car for our use this summer and to ship back to Albania at the end of our time in the US.  Whew!  We are really glad to be settling down.  We have unpacked our suitcases and are anxious to connect with YOU if you are in OK!

Here are our stateside cell phone numbers…. we are still working out some schedules but for the most part we are wide open so if you would like to see us please call and we will schedule a time!

THIS SUNDAY: We’re at Journey Church in Norman!

Jenny 405-401-7484

Robert 405-343-8908

Emergency delivery

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Last week I had our carpets picked up so they could be cleaned.  The man came to my house and took them and we requested to have them delivered to the new house so we could put them in storage for the summer.  I gave him general directions on the phone and asked to meet him in front of a store close to my new house.  When I got there, I could not find him.  He called and was telling my what to look for, but I could not understand his Albanian on the phone.  I went into a local store and explained to the store keeper what was happening and asked her if she could talk to him so I could find him.   She spoke to him for a few minutes then took me outside and pointed to an ambulance.  Really?  That is my carpet delivery guy?  Indeed it was.  The back of the ambulance was loaded with all kinds of carpets all rolled up for delivery!

Similar to the one that delivered my carpets!!

Learning to live together, Part 2

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One of the most intereting facts I learned about the family of my friend’s landlord is that the oldest son has an arranged marriage. He only met his new bride a few times before they were married.  The marriage was arranged because the younger brother had met a young woman and wanted to get married, but in this culture the oldest brother must be married first.

I tend to think of arranged marriages as a thing of the past.  But many countries around the world still hold on to this tradition.  In my Western mind set, an arranged marriage may even have a negative connotation.   But there are many Albanian women who welcome an arranged marriage to a good young man, from a nice family.  And there are even still older women who are known for their match-making.  It made me think about how Albania is changing so rapidly on the surface, but down below there are a number of cultural roots that hold deep.

How do you learn to live with a man you have just met, married and moved in with his family?  This brings all new meaning to learning to live together.  Who cooks?  Who cleans?  Who has authority in the house?  What happens when a young man is a new Christian and his family wants to arrange his marriage to a young woman who is not a believer?  This is happening to another young man we know.  How does he honor His father and his mother and honor God is his faith?  These are not easy questions but they are the ones we seek to find with a God who is grace-filled and loving.

It is opening my eyes to the process of learning to live together.  Just this morning, I broke up a fight between Tyler and Austin.  We had to have a long talk about learning to love and respect each other, even when we don’t agree or when we don’t like what the other person says or does.   It doesn’t get any easier the older you get.  Even if you are not under the same roof, learning to live together is a life long adventure.