Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blessings From Above

When you think of Thanksgiving, what are the things that make Thanksgiving...Thanksgiving for you? For me, it has always been a turkey and lots of friends or family (or both). This year, we were unable to justify paying $90 for a 12 lb turkey, so we found a place that makes rottisorie chickens. David was so bummed about not having a turkey that he went to his savings and pulled it all out and offered to help pay for it. Of course, we couldn't take his savings for something that was going to disappear in 10 minutes.

We celebrated with Tim and Karen Chase, our co-workers, and then another person, Paul Seavers. Paul is a single-young man, freshly landed in Nepal and has ties to a second cousin of Stan's. He is living with a Nepali family and eats daal-bhat (lentils and rice) twice a day, so we thought he would appreciate a nice, western dinner. Needless to say, he accepted without hesitation. :-)

Between Karen and I, we were able to make quite a feast, minus the turkey. Karen was bemoaning the fact that we couldn't find any cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving, for Karen, must have cranberries. Above is the flower arrangement I made with the help of Karen's fall decorations.

We didn't grumble or complain...we did miss our friends from Kalimantan and our individual families, but we enjoyed the company that we had and the food was great. Because of that, I think the Lord blessed us amazingly through another American woman here in Kathmandu. This lady works with US Aid, a government agency. A few weeks ago, she had invited us over for dinner and we accepted. So last night, Friday after Thanksgiving, we went to her house and were absolutely spoiled. She had overheard us at church talking about how expensive turkeys were and so had her cook bake up a turkey AND a pork roast with all the trimmings...that included cranberry sauce! We were totally amazed and humbled at how God had, in the end, blessed us with two wonderful Thanksgiving Dinners and wonderful fellowship with friends in Nepal. Oh, if you are wondering where she was able to get cranberry sauce, it was from the American commissary that is here in Kathmandu. There is an American Club here and because she works for the government she can do shopping there without having to pay the high membership fees. Lord, we are so thankful for your many wonderful blessings and how You continually amaze us with your love and care.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Crazy to ...bizarre!

This morning I woke up as usual, around 6am or so :-) and everything seemed "normal". We got the boys off to school and then Stan and I proceeded to study Nepali for a few hours before we needed to head off to school ourselves. Our language school is just a 10 minute walk from our house but that usually means having to navigate narrow one-lane neighborhood roads with bikes, cars, and motorcycles barreling through as fast as they possibly can...and did I mention, they always honk right as they come up behind you! I will have no hearing by the time I turn 50.

We arrived at school and our teacher asked if the boys were in school today. We were a bit curious and told him "yes". He then proceeded to tell us that today a "bhand" had been called. A bhand is when a particular group decides to protest something and they go out and block traffic in a certain area in hopes that someone will listen to them and they will get their way. Well, today's bhand was a valley-wide bhand and it closed down all traffic in Kathmandu. The only vehicles on the road were bicycles, a few motorcycles just going short distances, and a few diplomatic vehicles that displayed the correct color of license plate. Any other vehicles were stopped and most shops were closed.

Karen, my co-worker and friend, and I wanted to go out and do some material shopping and it ended up being a time of exercise. I have never seen a city of over a million people come to a complete stop...until today. It was very bizarre! On one of the main roads, some of the stores were "partially" open; meaning, they had their iron doors open just a little bit so that if a group of people came by that were causing the city-wide bhand, they could quickly close shop. We ended up walking most of the back roads and then circled back around so that we could just go home.

It is very sad to see things like this happen. Today many people did not make any money. Most Nepali schools were closed. Tomorrow, our boy's school will most likely be closed because they cannot run the vans/buses to pick up the children. This normally "crazy" paced city became "bizarre" and quite erie. Please pray for the Nepali people. Today's bhand was called because 2 bodies were found that had gone missing over a month ago. They belonged to one political party and that party is accusing the other of murdering them. Normally a bhand will only last for part of a day or so. This one could very well last several days if negotiations go sour or someone else gets hurt when emotions get out of control. If you remember, please pray for the Nepali people and this time of critical transition in the government. They have gone through too many years of unrest and war and it deeply affects the people.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Still in Control

Isn't it great to know that no matter what happens, our God is still in control? Ever since the election, I have kind of been living in a state of "now what?" Will our country fall even further in its spiral of liberal and "modern" ways of thinking? How many more babies will be sacrificed for the sake of our not wanting to live with the consequences of our actions? We do not have a television in our apartment here in Nepal so we check the news online daily and it has come to a point where I cannot pull up certain stories when related to our President-Elect. If I do, I find myself becoming frustrated and angry to a point where it puts me in a slump that is hard to get out of for the rest of the day. That is not God honoring...and so I step back from the "thing" that causes those emotions to boil over and strive to find ways that would honor God.

A few days after the election, I received an email from a friend who had received the email from her father and it convicted me to the core. All of my questions were "taken care of" when after reading this...


1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed teaching and healing.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Yesterday, Stan and I were walking to the grocery store and just around the corner from our house, we ran elephant!! It was just walking down the street like it owned the it totally belonged there. It didn't have a load on its back at the time so we were a little mystified as to what was going on. When I finished my shopping and was on my way back home, there was the elephant, in the same spot, but this time with a load of "groceries" on his back too. I just so happened to have the heaviest load of groceries ever in my backpack (38.2 lbs to be exact) and was wishing for a little reprieve when I saw how big his load was. I didn't complain anymore (but it would've been nice if the elephant offered to help me out a little bit). Only in Kathmandu!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The boy in the front of the elephant is Nathan! His 7th grade class took a trip down to southern Nepal to a place called Royal Chitwan National Park. Here they learned about the specific people group in that area, passed out candy and school pencils to the children, rode elephants, washed elephants, took a jeep safari through the "savannah" and saw wild rhinos, deer, and peacocks. Nathan said it was like being in Africa, Australia, and Indonesia all at once because of the diverse flora and fauna just in this one park area. What a cool class trip!
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