We met this really big cow yesterday at the village.

Then, we “ate” (by ate, I mean chewed up and spit out) some sugar cane.

We got to hang out with this grandma and sweet boy.

The view from the village house we were visiting when we got there.

We got to help the village women pluck and separate their peppers for market day.

The view from the village road when we were leaving.

They government is tearing down some really old homes across from the house, so we went and took some windows and doors to use for home decor.

There are so many piles exactly like this of old doors.

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“Mundane” Monday

Although today didn’t consist of a whole lot, there is nothing mundane about life here.  For example, we went up to the school today with plans of registering Mike & me for classes since school starts next week for the foreigners.  Instead, we went to the teacher’s office, got seated, and then after about 5 or 10 minutes were told to come back tomorrow. No explanation- just plain and simple. So tomorrow, we will go again.  Nothing is consistent, but that could be part of why I like it here.  Another day, I might say it’s one of my pet peeves here, but today, I’m okay with it. Then, Christi and I had tutoring with our friend Peggy.  We have now gone over major kitchen items, some animals, bedroom items, and basic actions.  I understood (but can’t reproduce all of it quite yet) an entire command. It can be such an encouraging feeling… even when it takes you up to 3 minutes to comprehend and do.  Whatever, it’s just the way it happens.  Now, Christi is cooking dinner from scratch (yummmmmmy) and after that the three of us will have a meeting.  Talking business, ya know.  Tomorrow, a few of us ladies are planning to go out to a nearby village.  One of them has spent the last 2 years in another part of Asia studying midwifery and hopes to practice in this village.  Oh dear- lets just hope I don’t have to witness that tomorrow. I’m not so sure my stomach could handle all that on any given day.  Then, I’ll be meeting with another single girl here that is working with the orphanage through physical therapy and hopefully we’ll be able to set up some stuff with them.  Seeing as how she is basically fluent in Mandarin and has great connections (really important here. It’s called guanxi), she should be a lot of help.  Plus, a friendship would be quite the bonus.

Life is great here. I love fellowshipping and hearing the hearts of so many other Ms. There seems to be a great team of families and singles here that desire to see this city won over by/for Him & I am anxiously awaiting what He has in store. I’m even more excited to be a part of it.  He has just been making evident the brokenness that is in me & His power to restore.  Today, I am thankful to be broken because I know that it is through it that His power, strength, and glory are displayed.  He won the battle for my heart long ago as His blood spilled & I am overjoyed to see even more of His plan come to fruition.

Getting Settled In.

Today, we went to the orphanage for the first time.  They let us stay for a few hours which was a blessing.  There are 2 kiddos from this summer whose faces are imprinted on my heart.  I got to hug them today.  What an awesome feeling.  One seven year girl in particular (one of the 2 from the summer) can come home with me any day she wants. Or every day. Whichever she would most prefer. 🙂 I had gum today and she could not get over the fact that I know how to blow bubbles.  I quickly learned that vocabulary after being asked to do it about 2934289309 times.  The bubble would pop & she would laugh hysterically.  I just couldn’t get enough. But since we’re not allowed to take pictures at the orphanage, I figured I’d share a few others from this week.  Silly things, but things nonetheless.

So last night (Friday), a few of us M’s played risk.  Twice.  And finished at 4am.

My first piece of furniture from the used furniture market. 35 quai = about $5.

My sweet spot.

The view from that sweet spot. Mm.

I bought a microwave.  Complete with Chinese characters under the buttons.

& the refrigerator is full of wedding photo booth pictures, Simon pictures, & sweet family Christmas cards.  Naturally.

I’m Home, Y’all!

I made it here. Safely. I just got all my internet stuff worked out so sorry this is the first post.  I am moved in & loving every minute here. The team here has been so helpful and I had my first tutoring session which was so fun & overwhelming.  Basically, you start to like feeling overwhelmed because it becomes so flippin’ normal. 🙂 Oh, & I bought a scooter. Sweet, huh? 

My MTI family.

My sweet friend Nasiria from MTI.

One of the many views from here.

Just Holding On.

There are so many new things making their way into my life right now. All at once.  I have no clue what I’m doing.  I genuinely feel like all I am doing is holding on. I’m hanging in there.  I’m clinging to what I know and, right now, that is not much.  What that is, is a Creator and Savior that will bring to completion what he has started.  It’s like I’m in the middle of an unfamiliar ocean and, although I’m by no means doing proficient breath strokes, I’m doggy paddling and at least I’m staying afloat.  I feel as if I’m not doing anything well, but I’m getting by and it’s getting done.  I am overwhelmed by the strange and unique combination of feeling so scared, but feeling so sure that this is right.  Right where I am; it is right.  It is right because He is made strong in my weakness.  He is made evident.  He is magnified.  He is glorified.

Tonight, a few of us got together for some time together and some time with the Spirit.  We interceded  on behalf of everyone there.  We sang praises and then they interceded on my behalf.  It was a moment of bringing fears to the surface and praising the One who casts out those same fears. It was so encouraging to be with people who are not only trying to relate, but know exactly what I am experiencing right now.  They have been there and they are able to speak truth of who He was in their lives at these very moments.  I am so thankful for His timing.

Tonight, I’m trying to become okay with vulnerability.  I’m trying to become okay with a place that is guaranteed to break me of my pride and self righteousness.  I’m striving to continue finding joy in making less of the creation (myself) and more of the Creator.

He is good.

This evening, we single ladies decided to offer some babysitting services for parents who wanted to go on a date or simply get packed up without distraction.  We had about 6 to 8 kids from 4:00pm to 8:30pm.  It was so much fun to be able to provide relief to some stressed parents & the kids were so much fun.  We watched veggie tales, Adventures in Odyssey, and played Dutch Blitz.  To say the least, it was a good time.  I have so enjoyed getting to know each person here.  The singles.  The parents. The MKs.  All of them.   They each have a different story and His hand was at work evidently in each.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for each of these families as they step out in obedience and faith!!