We are just over one week into landing our leap to Lebanon. Our feet are steadfastly planted.
It is hot and the grass is only green if watered (so don’t be thinking it’s greener on our side of the fence….haha).
We’ve unpacked our 15 boxes that we managed to get here and done several shopping trips to get us by until our sea crate arrives (in about 3 months). Anytime I feel sorry for our simplistic lifestyle, I remind myself of the many refugees who would be grateful for just a fraction of what we currently have.
The stores leave my mouth hanging open after Papua. I’m still overwhelmed at the abundance. I write this for my friends who are still serving in Indonesia. There is everything from American seasonings, to Jell-O and chocolate chips, an abundance of many kinds of cheese, and real maple syrup and any other syrup you can imagine. It. Is. Here. I am sorry, to those of you who are reading and still living in the land of “kosong” (it’s all gone, a frequent expression from where we’ve come from). There are endless aisles and stores full of food. It is not just abundant food; it is also modern household items and decorative things and stylish clothing. However, the price makes you question the necessity of these latter goods.
The first week sped by with cleaning, settling and starting to homeschool. The roaches have enjoyed the dark cabinets with no one living here for the past several years, so I am in attack mode. Darron has much more purpose to his days and I am trying not to be envious, and rest in this season of unknown possibilities.
Saturday afternoon the boys went down the hill to the Arabic church and helped hand out packages of food and clothing to Iraqi Christians who had to flee Iraq when Isis came through. Many of these families were very successful people. They had to leave with almost nothing and travel through war torn Syria in addition to Iraq. I am moved beyond words at the loss these people have gone through.
On one of our shopping trips, young Syrian girls were trying to sell roses at the traffic lights. I couldn’t even look at their beautiful faces, because my heart wants to erase their pain and end their horrible plight.
One day this past week I received a What’s App message from one of my dear friends in Papua stating that she had to help with a medivac. This was my absolute most favorite thing to do in Papua (because of the intensity, critical thinking and team work needed). Her message made me cry, as I grieve the loss of giving up something I loved doing. Shortly after her message came in, another one came. This message was from a young Mom who is passionate in connecting with many. She leads a women’s Bible study to Iraqi Christian women. Her message was an invitation asking if I would like to join her. Knowing that I must look around and see what God would like to replace this void in my heart with, I decided to accompany her.
Not far from where we live is a very non impressive store “garage”.
When it was opened up, I was pleasantly surprised at the lovely environment created inside for women to gather
As we waited for the Iraqi women to arrive, my friends prepared the material they would present. Shortly, they arrived. Two kisses on either side of the cheeks (for a total of four kisses) from each Iraqi lady. They soon relaxed and became so chatty and were so joy filled. Many of them are just waiting and hoping to go to another country. One lady shared that she just learned that she will get to go to Australia. She has been waiting for five years. I was so inspired by these ladies who have gone through so much, yet still find joy and this young Mom who is not using her baby as an excuse to stay home, but continues to persevere in serving others.
This is only the beginning of our journey here. Darron has just come home after visiting with another very special group of people. Meanwhile our boys are up at the university playing soccer with people from all over the world who are serving here. It’s 9:30 at night. The sun has long since gone down over the Mediterranean Sea, displaying night after night of gorgeous sunsets. Tomorrow will hold another day of possibilities and opportunities.
Please pray as we try to make a difference in the lives around us. There is much to be done. I also ask that you continue to pray as we transition and crawl about in infant stage of learning a new culture. We also need wisdom in purchasing a used car.
Are you struggling with a void in your heart? I am sorry. I do know it has purpose; it creates much growth if you allow it too. May you be given opportunities and insight with what God wants to put there in its place and continue to watch as you see what is placed in my void. The unknown possibilities are endless.
Can you also pray for my dear friend Missy? She and I have been friends since her first of four boys was newborn. Our boys have literally grown up together….despite our service overseas. Missy has now joined me in becoming an international traveler, as she accompanies her deaf husband all over the world supported deaf ministry. This photo was an unknown posssibility that we would have never dreamed of, but as we were leaving to come to Lebanon (out of Atlanta), Jeff and Missy were leaving to go to Germany. They rushed over from their gate and wing to connect with us and bid us farewell. What a treasured moment in time.
Be encouraged my friends.