Monthly Archives: April 2010

Transition time for MKs

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This year, I have been organizing gatherings for a group of MK girls.  MK stands for Missionary Kid.  This precious group of girls range in age from 12- 18, most of whom are connected to our ministry at the Loft.  When it became apparent this year that we were not going to be able to offer small groups in the native language (English) of many of these girls (based on age ranges, number of leaders available to lead groups, and Albanian ministry begin our primary focus), I began to meet with these girls once a month for fellowship and heart checks.

We started with 6, then the next month there were 10, the next month there were 15.  There was obviously a lot of need in this group to fellowship with one another outside of their ministry connections.  It has been hard to go very deep with the group simply based on the age ranges and the sheer numbers, but I do think that it has meet some emotional and fellowship needs that they have had.

Tonight we met for the last time and I marveled at the changes we are going to experience in the group over the next year.  Summer time is a big time of transition on the missionary field.  It is a time when people come and go for all kinds of reasons.  Here’s a list that may give you a little insight into the transitions these girls are up against these next few months.

  • 2 girls are leaving for the US permanently.  Their families for different reasons are leaving the field.  One of them has never lived in the US.
  • 1 girl is going off to college after living here for the last 4 years.
  • 1 girl is returning to Finland for HS having lived here and attended English speaking school for 4 years
  • 2 girls (sisters) are going to the States for 1 year furlough with their family.  Their family does this once every four years.  They are home-schooled here and will be in the States as well.
  • 2 girls are going to the US for 6-8 month furloughs with their families.  One will be returning in February, for the other the plan of return is unknown.
  • 4 girls are leaving between the months of April and July and staying for varying lengths of time in the US.  All are returning in the fall.
  • 3 are staying the summer in Albania.

Whew… can you imagine the turmoil of change in the room.  Would you pray with me for these girls and the places God is sending them all over the world?  Would you pray for their parents as they lead them to draw closer to Jesus?  Would you pray for their hearts as they say goodbye, temporarily or permanently (though only for this life!) to friends they may have had for a lifetime?  It has been a great joy for me to share a little piece of their lives and I know God has great plans in store for each of them.

Photos Wars Part 2

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Well… our internet has been down for a few days so instead of posting or writing I have been looking though old photos.  If you ready my last post you will understand what I mean when I say, at least we are no longer facing THIS every time I try to get a photo:

There is a fly on my forehead

Another fly?

No, mom, this is my "cool" look

Okay, mom, is this good enough?

Photo wars

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All we moms want, is a nice, simple, smiley picture when the kid looks cute.  Really… how often do we ask them to dress up and pose a little??

I started with this one... my shoes and my purse, Oh Cute!

Then we had to move the purse to the shoulder

Didn't quite make it... it's heavy!

Gotta do a little dance

"Say cheese" is lately translated in her mind as "Stick your tongue out"

Now tongue and a little head tilt

After being told "Stop__Sticking____Your____ Tongue_____ OUT!" (Imagine level of mom's volume increasing with each word)

"Oh look, tic tacs!"

Seriously.

Why do we torture ourselves so?

The new trend in furniture stores

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Outside of Tirana prices for just about anything you want come way down.  I guess it is that way in most big cities.  Those who are willing and able to drive out a little bit can find a better price on merchandice.

So a few weeks ago we took a road trip toward the mountain town of Kruja to see what was out that way.  Furniture stores.  For long stretches of road there is nothing but furniture stores.  But they have an interesting twist.  No doors.

This one has no doors at all... are they open 24/7? What happens when it rains?

There appear to be doors on the bottom but not on the top level. Maybe there are no stairs so it is secure. You may laugh... it could be true!

This one does have doors... and a mad cow to guard the place

Seriously, some things just make you wonder…

Chickens and Hens

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For as long as I can remember, my mom has had chickens and hens.  Not real ones, mind you, the kind you keep in a flower pot.  But she has them I am sure because my grandmother had them and my great-grandmother had them.  I always thought it was a strange name for a plant.  This weekend I found my own variety… they are not exactly like the ones at my mother’s but beautiful none the less.  I discovered them growing wild here in Albania.  We took a trip to Mount Dajti last week when Robert’s sister was here and they growing everywhere on the top of the mountain!

So yes, we do live on the other side of the planet….

but some things here are just like home.

Birthday parties and Hatchbacks

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Jadyn’s birthday was last week (March 31).  Bless her little 4 year old heart …. it went by with only a hug and a “Happy Birthday” and we canceled her party.  You see that was the day we brought Tyler home from the hospital.

So Friday we made up for lost time and took the children from her class to the Kolonot – Albania’s version of McDonalds but serving pizza.  Did you know that Tirana is the only European capitol that does not have a McDonalds?  There were 6 children, Tyler and Vera, their teacher and I.  It was a great time.

The whole gang!

A present from her brothers... she calls it her "Treasure Chest"

Decorating it was a big hit!

Birthday cupcakes!

But what does that have to do with a hatchback you ask?  Well, it would not be a typcial day in Albania if I did not have a story to share.  A friend brought us to the Kolonat in her vehicle (mine was having a few overheating problems) and dropped us off.  When we were all finished, we were going to get a taxi.  Vera went out to the road to find one but couldn’t so she ended up talking to a man standing on the corner and asking about getting a taxi.  He spoke right up and volunteered.  She came back and got us and this what he drove up in.

3 adults, 7 kids, 1 Hyundai = A Great birthday party!

A must for living in Albania:

LEARN TO GO WITH THE FLOW!

EDIT:  Sorry, I must note that the car we were in did NOT have four doors.  More like this:

Hatchback for 10