3.29.2009

Sweet Baby Boy

In memory of our precious son, Jonathan Edward, who in our plans, was due this month. Our good Father had other plans and to Him we yield our entire lives.

Sweet baby boy, sweet baby boy
How I ache to hold you close

See your little hands

Tickle your little toes

Give your nose a kiss

My heart hurts so much
, cries out
That I never saw you smile

Never watched you sleep

Nestled in daddy's arms


What color are your eyes?

Wh
at song do you like to hear?
Sweet baby boy

So many questions
I long to know about you

All the dreams I had for you

I know you are with the Father

Please know that that is the dream

Closest to my heart



"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living my baby you'll be."

3.28.2009

Lego's

3.27.2009

Remember Nathan

For those who don't know, we have a chaokidars [guards] that are here at the house 24/7. Their names are Nick and Nathan. We're thankful for them for many reasons. First off, they help keep potential intruders away from the house. And, especially for me [Keith], I get free langauge practice and a friendship.

One day, I noticed that Nathan had been gone for a few days. I eventually found out that his mother had been really sick. Since coming back to work, I have been asking how his mother has been feeling. The answers have been somewhere between "there isn't much time left" to "she's getting better."

Today, I asked again and he said "she is getting better." However, I noticed that he looked very concerned. The Father put it on my heart that it was time to try and tell Nathan some things about Him. There hadn't been much so far because he speaks hardly any English and I am only five months in to learning the local language.

I tried to go over in my head many times about what to say and how to say it. After all, death is a difficult topic because the people here have seen so much of it and they are fiercely afraid of it. I went back to the room and asked the Father for help. I went to His Word and opened the Book to exactly Jn11. It is a chapter about the death of one of His close friends, and about how He is the "Re$urrection and the Life."

I went and got the Book in the local language and made a copy of this chapter. Julie and I talked with the Father for a few moments and then I went out to the guard house. After some brief chatting, I gave the copies to him and said something along these lines:
"When I heard about your mother, I became very sad. I was thinking to myself, 'What can I say?' I asked [the Father] and He helped me. This story if from my Book. I think you will like it. Many people are afraid of death, but my family and I are not. We have two [celebrations]. The first is when [the Redeemer] came into the world. The second is when, after He was crucified, He came back to life. Because we believe in Him, we do not fear death. I think this story will help you."
He proceeded to read the story up to the part where it talks about someone being very sick. Then he stopped and said, "This is very interesting." He did not read further, but I explained to him that, if he wanted, he could keep it. He said he wanted to keep it. We proceeded to chat for another hour about many things, but not the story.

We are thankful for this opportunity that the Father gave. My language was broken and my efforts imperfect, but the Father was our help in time of need. Now, Nathan has a copy of a very important section of the Father's Word. And, he has heard that belief in Him means that there is no fear of death because He rose from the dead.

Please, remember Nathan and his family before the Father:
  1. Ask that he would read the story many times.
  2. Ask that the Father would help him to understand it.
  3. Ask for his sick mother, that she would be healed. But, also ask that she would hear of the Father's victory over death, before she dies.
  4. Ask for Nathan's entire family, that their hearts would be soft to the Father's truth during this humbling time of sickness and near-death.
  5. Ask for this [from Jn11:25-26] to become truth in their lives: "I am the Re$urrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die."

Follow-Up To My Bread Story

Well, after four attempts I think I have finally figured out how to make a loaf of bread. By using a generous coating of butter and a light dusting of flour, this loaf came easily out of the pan. Thanks everyone for your tips!


3.25.2009

Picnic Season

Last Saturday certain parts of the M*sl*m world celebrated their New Year. The way that most families celebrate this holiday is to go on day long picnics. This goes on for about two weeks, ending usually, on the 13 day of the new year. My language teacher said that many people go on these picnics to get rid of the sadness and bad things from last year so that the new year would not be full of sad times. She said that some people even "gather" their sadness into a bag and take it with them to the picnic and "shake out" the sadness when they get to their picnic area. Being outside seems to make the sadness go away! Please ask for opportunities during this time that we can speak truth about the One who gives us eternal life and joy, especially as we draw nearer to our "Eid" or holiday- Easter!

Well, our office decided to take all the staff and families on a picnic to celebrate the new year, so we packed up 5 cars with people, food, blankets, etc. and made our way to a park about 5 miles outside of the city. It was beautiful! Here is a pre-picnic picture outside our office followed by a picture of our picnic area:


We rolled out some carpets, guys on one, girls on the other, and the guys served us lunch from the back of the food car. We had rice, fried chicken, the local "salad" (cabbage, tomatoes and cilantros) and of course n'an! No meal would be complete with out it! After eating lunch we passed around oranges and chatted.

Then we cleaned up the trash, rolled up the blankets and we grabbed a quick family picture before the ladies went for a walk and the guys played soccer, volleyball and tossed around a frisbee. Quite a crowd gathered around the frisbee throwers as not many people had seen this game before! Keith was able to play frisbee and soccer (all while wearing his crocs!) and had a lot of fun with the guys. Keith kept the camera with him, so I don't have any pictures of the walk with the ladies but here is our family picture and some pictures of the guys playing:


Benjamin and I went for a nice long walk with the ladies, which was wonderful! We walked around the park and up a large, very steep, gravel hill. The view from the top was fantastic, but getting up there was a challenge. First of all, I was carrying Benjamin and I wasn't exactly wearing hiking shoes. However, one of the ladies that works at our office (who was wearing high heels by the way) took Benjamin and carried him and was holding me to make sure that I didn't fall. These women are amazing! Benjamin also enjoyed seeing a lot of animals: a rooster, a donkey and a dog!

When got back to our area we had some tea. Poor Benjamin got a hold of a cup and spilled hot tea all over the front of his shirt which resulted in a very minor burn that was gone in a few hours (which explains why he is shirtless in the following picture). He was so tired after the outing that he passed out on the way home.

These coworkers are very dear to our hearts; please ask Dad that He would move in their lives in miraculous ways and that they would come to know Him. We are so thankful for our coworkers and friends! Happy Picnicking!

P.S. For security reasons, please do not forward these pictures for any reason. Thanks!

3.20.2009

My Bread Story

For awhile here in our city we had been able to find some western style loaf bread at our friendly neighborhood "dokan." However, for the past few months we have been unable to find it. While this was quite sad, as the local bread doesn't make very good sandwiches, I decided that I would just have to learn to make my own bread. How hard could it be?

I am now on my second loaf and have run into a few problems. What started out looking like this in the pan, a beautiful loaf of golden goodness:

Unfortunately turned into this as I got it out of the pan:


From this I have learned that oil is not the best way to grease the pan. Next time I will use butter and see what happens. We learn really well when we make mistakes! Regardless of how it looks, it still tastes yummy...

3.14.2009

When you are from Texas.....

.... it just isn't Spring without taking Bluebonnet pictures! But, since Bluebonnets are of short supply here in Central Asia, we did the best we could: we took our family picture in front of our peach trees in bloom! So, for all of you from Texas, when you see the fields of Bluebonnets in bloom, praise Dad for His creativity and take a picture for us! Happy Spring everyone!


3.06.2009

Shoe Man

In our Benjamin update I mentioned how much Benjamin loves to play, wear, and rearrange all of our shoes. It is so wonderfully precious, but it has been difficult to capture these moments on film. However, I was finally successful! The picture quality is not so great, but you can see him wearing my shoes (on the wrong feet, too). So cute! I love how curious he is about everything. Praise Dad for His goodness!

3.05.2009

Cheese!


3.04.2009

Springtime is Here!


Highs in the 60's and lows in the 40's and flowers blooming- Spring is here! We have been getting a lot of rain which has made our city green and blooming practically overnight. There is something miraculous about it really, and I stop to think about the fountain of living water. There is a time for everything and I know that in Dad's timing He will bring about a change just like we have experienced with the coming of Spring. His water will touch hearts that are dry and weary and bring forth new life. I love it! Praise Dad!

Please ask Dad that we would faithfully prepare His fields for the rains He will bring. Ask for hearts that are soft to the word of truth. Ask that people would truly feel the dryness of their hearts and yearn for living water as they see the coming of Spring. Rejoice with us for the miracles that Dad is showing us every day!

Benjamin Update

I thought y'all might like to get a little update on all the fun new things out little man is up to these days!

  • He recently got a haircut; his second- such a big boy!
  • He loves to help clean up his toys, basically putting them in containers.
  • Lately he has been fascinated with shoes, especially putting on mommy and daddy's shoes and walk around in them
  • He has fun making animal sounds. His favorites include "woof," "meow," and "hiss" (snake)
  • He is talking all the time and it is so much fun! A lot of his words only Keith and I can translate, but he is just growing up so fast. His "Aunt" Jerry just taught him to hold up a finger to his mouth and say "Shhhhhh"
  • He likes to talk into cups, bowls, etc. to hear the echo
  • Anytime he finds a phone laying around he holds it up to his ear and says, "hello?" Well, actually he says, "low?"
  • He likes to help daddy get his bath ready by putting all his toys in the bathtub
Well, that's all I can think of right now. More pictures to come!