It has been a week already since ince we arrived in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. The week has been full of seeing new things, experiencing brand new emotions, and meeting many new people. Before coming here, I read Kay Warren’s book, Dangerous Surrender . She makes the statement after visiting many devastated countries; she will never be the same again. Both of us are asking that question – will we ever be the same again? We already know we won’t be, but how we will be different, we, of course, don’t know yet.
We met Sunday afternoon with John and Krista Tsai. John is President of Mercy Foundation. They presented us with two pages of needs related to the number of different ministries of the Foundation. We will be prayerfully waiting and watching for God’s direction on how to proceed and what His plan is for us.
We had a fun encounter today at the local library, which is right next to our apartment. I asked Natalia, our translator to go into the library with us for me to look around as I plan to do some writing there. We were greeted so warmly by the library staff, who were just getting ready to celebrate Easter with a very large buffet of sweets. This is a traditional thing to do the week after Easter. They asked us to join them which we did. Later, during a tour of the library, we met a woman who was teaching English to two students. She also received us warmly and invited us to her school to talk so her children could hear English speakers. We definitely will follow up on that. One of the greatest ways to build relationships we have been told is to teach English. I am considering that.
In the afternoon we met with an incredible group of individuals for the weekly planning meeting of the new Professional Institute, which is scheduled to open in September. On Wednesday, we will meet with the school chaplains of five Christian schools. One of the roles we do see for David is mentoring these young school chaplains in their function as spiritual leaders. In the coming days, we will be meeting with local social workers and orphanage caregivers to plan possible training with them. Many of these adults have had no training on how to work with abused and neglected children. This is an opportunity for which we feel very excited.
This trip is different this time. I have had the privilege of going to many countries, staying a week or two during which we were shown about and treated as guests. This time they are looking to us for answers to complex questions and placing us in positions of leadership and ministry. It truly is different this time and we feel honored to be here. We pray God can use us in a powerful ways touching the lives of incredible and hurting people.
From the both of us…On a very personal note, we are experiencing those early emotions and thoughts related to what is commonly known as cultural shock. We knew to expect them, so are not caught off guard. We also understand it is simply a part of the journey. Although we both have traveled a lot in other countries, I think the knowledge that this is now home, sharpens that sense of cultural shock.
A disappointment, which we are trying to keep in proper prospective, is that 70% of our luggage has been lost. We received suitcases full of books and supplies, but little clothing. Of course, all that is replaceable, but the sense that it seems no one is doing anything to help us from the airlines perspective is frustrating. It is not an experience I would have chosen, but I know God has many lessons in this loss experience for us.
We deeply appreciate your prayers and emails……the journey continues….