Tuesday, May 29, 2012


While making breakfast this morning, I was wondering why I was feeling so hot while standing in front of the waffle maker!  So, I checked the temperature.   97 degrees...at 7 o'clock in the morning!!  Yes, it is summer here in Punjab.

When living in, or visiting a "strange" country, people are often wondering about the weather.  April, May, and June are the summer months for us here.  Most days during May the temperature will be 100 or more.  The weather forecast for next week shows the temperature reaching 115!!

One thing I have observed about the weather, is that it affects daily life here, more so than it does in the US.  Let's face it, mostly in the US, in the summer, people go from their air-conditioned homes, into their air-conditioned cars, to drive to the air-conditioned church, school, office, or Wal-mart!  There are exceptions of course, such as people whose job requires them to work outdoors, but you get my point.  In this country, homes, churches, schools, the majority of shops and businesses do not have A/C.  Even places with A/C have to deal with power cuts, which happen frequently in summers, sometimes for hours at a time.  ((((In the interest of full disclosure, we do have an A/C unit in our bedroom to help us get a good nights sleep...as long as the power stays on!))))

So, what do we do when the temperature is over 100??

1. Get up early and do all jobs that require physical exertion.  I try to get any laundry, cooking, and cleaning done before 10am.
2.  Stay inside during the heat of the day.  The hottest part of the day is between 11:00am until 4:00pm.  If you have to go outside, make sure you take plenty to drink, and wear shoes!  When Ethan was small he ran outside barefoot on a searing hot day, and he came back in with a burn on his foot from standing on the cement in front of the house!  Ouch!
3.  Eat lots of fruit!  When it is so hot, no one has much of an appetite, but we do get delicious fruits here during the summer, like mangoes, watermelons, and lichi.  OK, I have no idea what lichi would be in English...I never saw it before coming to India.

4.  ENDURE!!  This is my summer motto!  Many people have told me, that they could NEVER live in India (or some other place) because of the weather..it is too hot.  The Lord knows that I can't bear the heat, you may say.  I am living proof that we don't have to choose our place of service based on the climate.  Any of you that know me well, know that I do not bear the heat well physically.  I have suffered heat exhaustion many times.  I suffer frequent migraines during the summer, but....BUT..."The will of God will not take you, where the grace of God cannot keep you."  "...My grace is sufficient for thee..."

And...if all else fails....eat ice cream!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

VBS 2012

VBS 2012

I am planning for this blog to be a mixture of our ministry and family life.  As I was thinking about this I realized that these two facets of life most of the time overlap.  Our whole family is involved in every aspect of the ministry, whether it be setting up and cleaning the church, teaching, preaching, visitation, Bible studies.  It is all part of the ministry, and part of our life.  I am praying that I can convey that through my posts.
     We had our VBS 2012 last week.  It was a wild, crazy, tiring week!  Our lowest attendance was 38 on Monday.  It grew every day, and on Friday we had 95!  We had 3 classes.  A little kids class  that was taught by one of our teen girls.

I taught a class of 7-12 year olds.  For a change, the majority of my class were boys...most of them unruly boys who like to fight!  The highest number I had was 43 on Friday.  It was quite a feat trying to keep their attention long enough to teach the lesson, but on Friday I was able to make a clear presentation of the Gospel to these children.  Quite a few of them were probably hearing it for the first time!  Here is my class on Wednesday...

When dealing with these kids, we always have to keep in mind that many of them do not attend school, and are not used to sitting still in a classroom.  Even those who attend school, go to the government schools, where there is little to no discipline.

Pastor Mohammad taught the youth class.  (Alyssa and Naomi were both in the youth class this year!!)
 Brian was in charge of the games and activities.  He also told the missionary story. 
We had 4 or 5 of our church ladies, who showed up every night to help out with the snacks and drinks, and sometimes crowd control!  It is a blessing when the church people get involved in reaching the lost in their village.  It was a great week!  

 If you look closely, you can see some scars on this boys face.  He is a fighter!  He came for 4 days, and finally on Friday he sat quietly, and didn't start a fight with anyone!  Believe in miracles!!

For the first time, we also used puppets in VBS.  Alyssa, Naomi, and Sahil (one of our teen boys) did a great job.  If any other missionary friends are in need of puppets for their ministry, I can get you in contact with the sweet lady who made ours for us. (Thanks Therry!)

There is so much more I could share about our VBS time.  I hope this gives a little glimpse, of one of the opportunities we use to reach children, and ultimately families.  Continue to pray as we follow up on contacts made during this week.  
It was a wild time!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A stranger

Exodus 23:9 may seem like a strange verse to apply to yourself.  It may seem like a strange name for a blog.  But, this verse jumped off the page at me a long time ago because of one word:  stranger.  Our family has been living in India for over 10 years, but I am still a stranger.  Wherever I go, I stick out like a sore thumb!  No matter how many years I live and work here, I will always be stared at and pointed out in public.  Why?  I am a stranger.  A blond-haired, blue-eyed foreigner!  In another way, our whole family are strangers.  My husband and children may not stick out because of their looks, but we are a Christian family, an American family, that chose to move to the Third World.  (Strange, I know!) We are asked constantly, "Why would you leave America and choose to live here?  We are all trying to get there!"  It is great to hear that question, because we have an answer.  The love of Christ!  He gave us an incredible opportunity to hear the Gospel, and to be saved. He has given us an opportunity to share this with others.  That they be "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens of the saints, and of the household of God" Ephesians 2:19.  So, how about you?  Are you a stranger?  Do you know the heart of a stranger? 
     I pray that you will somehow be blessed by hearing of our life and work here, as "strangers in a strange land".