Learning to live together, part 1

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We are in the process of moving.  We have been living in a 2 bedroom house for the last 4 years.  Yes, all three of my kids share a room.  When they were smaller it did not seem like such a big deal.  But as their little bodies grow and they actually take up more space, it has begun to feel more crowded in our little house. We have struggled to find a place for everyone to do their homework, and work, and cooking.  Learning to live together is a process.

Last night some friends had us over for dinner.  They are here short term and live in an even smaller house.  More like a 2 bedroom apartment.  Much smaller than our place.  They also have three kids… they all share one room.  They also home-school their kids.  Can you feel how cramped their place must feel??

Their Albanian landlord lives in the apartment above them.  It has an identical floor plan to their apartment.

Their 2 grown sons (in their 20s) also live with them.

Both of those sons are married and their wives live there too.

One of the is expecting a baby.

Three couples, two bedroom apartment, one baby on the way.


In no way, can I compare the complexities of learning to live together as a family of 5, with what they are doing, learning to live together as three families…. with more on the way.  I still have a lot to learn about living together.

The God who Sees

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Mariam has learned to sit at the feet of Jesus. She grew up in a broken home, one step away from the streets. Her childhood was crazy-surrounded by guns, drugs, prostitution. Placed in foster care, she eventually found her way into the arms of an African-American convert to Islam. When her marriage resulted with one child and a divorce, at 18 Mariam was looking for a “savior.” She thought she found him in a Muslim immigrant, a father-figure who was her hope for the future.  Read the rest of Miram’s story here…

The Crescent Project has designated the month of May as a Month of Prayer for Muslim Women.  Would you join me in prayer for these precious women of the world, created by our God just like us?  You can sign up for Crescent Project’s daily emails here. The motto of our mission sending agency is “With love and respect, inviting all Muslim peoples to follow Jesus.”  Won’t you join us by taking a step and praying for them?    Don’t we have a hope worth sharing?

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?