Tuesday, 5 July 2011
The last few days have been an interesting time of working out what's really gone on for me over the last six months. I don't think I've come to any actual conclusions yet. I'll probably be doing something at church in the next few weeks, but if you don't come to (my) church then you'll just have to call me up to say hi.
But for now, here's the biggest thing that I'm taking away with me: I stumbled across a group of girls, young women, who I will never forget and who I love dearly and deeply, with all my heart. I wrote this about them last week as I was preparing to leave them:
I have come to love these girls with a depth and a passion that I never expected. There is a fierceness in my heart for these girls that is burning big and bright for them. I have come to respect them more than they will ever know. I have been inspired in my faith by their quiet confidence in God, their conviction of Him that lets them be drawn away from their family and friends. These girls are women warriors of God because they bring the Spirit of God into homes where He is not welcome, not invited, not encouraged. They stand firm against social expectations and opposition because they are convicted of God's grace and truth. They accept division, pain and rejection because they know that they have died to sin and been raised to the new life of Christ. They are bad asses for Jesus and I love them.
I've left them now and my heart is full of aches and pains. All I can really do for them is pray. So I will, that they will grow deeper in love with Jesus and that they will be eternally strong and courageous. I will pray that they will mature, as women and as followers of Christ who do not waver. I will pray that they are changed from glory to glory, until our final glory.
And so that's all from me. With all my love and God's blessings....
Saturday, 2 July 2011
For now, I'm just going to fill you in on the excitment of the last week. On Tuesday evening Kayla and I arrived home from dinner to discover that someone had tried to break into our house, which was not particularly nice. They didn't get in (which just means they wasted everyone's time and created a mess for me to sweep up) but it did mean that Kayla and I moved out off the house very swiftly and spent Wednesday morning at the police station. Although we did discover that the police station functions quite well, it's just the judicial system that's questionable and overloaded. So it was an interesting little interlude, it just came at a bad time.
And then, to compound the drama, I missed my flight home on Thursday. We drove through some really bad traffic and although I could have still made the flight, the BA people wouldn't let me on, even when I stood wailing that it was my sister's birthday and I REALLY needed to get home. But they didn't let me so I had to stay in Kosovo for another (half) night, getting up at 2am yesterday morning, driving to over the boarder to Skopje, Macedonia, taking the 6:10am flight from Skopje to Zagreb, Croatia, and then from there to London. I was in four countries yesterday, I'm quite proud of that.
So I did eventually make it in time for birthday breakfast with my sister Jess and the rest of the family. And mildy more importantly, going to see Take That last night at Wembley! Oh yes. Here are the Daughters Davis and a sideways Take That sign. From left to right, Lou, Char, Jess, and me. So you'll understand why it was so important to me to get back in time. That was a night I was not about to miss just because BA are mean and the traffic in Prishtina is rubbish.
And so here I am, along with 80,000 other people at Wembley last night. It was wild. And I'm happy to be back. It's not as simple as happy to be back and no longer in Kosovo - I'm very sad to have left, there are some very precious people I have left behind that I will always treasure in my heart. But more on that next time. Stand by.
Also, ps - Dad says I haven't written enough about my knitting. Well, in total I knitted two and a half jumpers (none of which are totally wearable, but some adjustments will do them fine) and a pair of gloves. I'd show you a photo but I left it all in Kosovo because after my flights changed I couldn't take as much luggage. So maybe another time...
Sunday, 26 June 2011
She came to believe the truth that she heard, after she received her Christmas shoeboxes and hung out at Kid's Club, and went to camp and heard and saw the testimony of Jesus Christ in the lives of others.
She learnt to listen to God, to hear His voice, to let Him guide her in the steps of her life. She read the Word, she learnt to worship, she learnt to pray.
She grew, she matured, she experienced. And then, she stepped out in obedience. Once you know the truth, Jesus asks you to declare that you believe it in public, to commit an act of public witness to your friends and family which states "I am a follower of Christ."
She considered what that would mean. It would mean that her friends may fall away, that her family may harrass her, hurt her or even reject her. She considered that finding somewhere else to live might be a result of her action. She considered that there is a price to pay when you step out in obedience to something that might bring real persecution.
And then today she walked in obedience and followed the example of her Saviour. She spoke out in public that she is a follower of Jesus and then she died to her old life, left her sins in the water and was risen to her new life in Christ.
And around her, her family sung "I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back."
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Sunday, 19 June 2011
I love you!
Questionable hair/outfit Steve
Sunday, 12 June 2011
Richard lounging and Amelia getting a free haircut
Transporting school and house furniture as BMS will be giving up the property after I leave
Me and Kayla, catching some rays. Kind of, if the sun had shown it's little face.
Saturday, 4 June 2011
First things first, travel. We got to take the authentic Albanian approach to mass travel which was most definitely a first for both Kayla and I. If you've ever suffered through a long bus journey or a trip in a mini bus, just be grateful you had seats. Because we didn't. Why have seats when you can have mattresses on the floor in the back of a minivan? Here we are, packed in and ready for our countryside jaunt. At various points in the journey there were between 5 and 10 of us, sprawled out on mattresses, getting really comfortable with each others feet.
So we set off into the hills for a nice day out
in the sunshine. We stopped off at a friends house which is right next to a little stream/river which we got to adventure over on what I can confirm is most definitely a bridge. Compared to some of the other "bridges" I've seen here, this one is a feat of engineering genius. Then we were back in the van for the next leg of our journey. We stopped again, this time because we'd reached the point where the river crossed paths with the road. We all got out, had a nice little look at the river, got back in the van and drove through the river. That was not the plan of action I had been expecting. It wasn't deep, less than a foot, but enough to be slightly concerned that our mattresses might be about to get damp. They didn't, and the crossing-the-river exercise was repeated several more times before we reached our destination. The other exciting thing was that as it had got so hot in the (unventilated) back of the van, the sliding side door was opened as we drove so we got to see the countryside and the river close up. It's not something I've experienced before, or particularly expect to again, but I honestly loved it. It felt so outrageously opposed to all my ingrained health and safety expectations, I felt utterly wild.
And then there was the Fli. Fli is an
Albanian speciality food, mostly made during the summer because you have to make it over an open fire and it takes hours and hours and hours. It's basically lots and lots and lots of layers of a thick pancake batter cooked one at a time and layered up, which is why it takes so long. It's good, especially with some cheese and roasted peppers. We set down some blankets in the grass and gathered around to feed up, still sitting by the river that we'd just crossed again. It was great! And as we were the guests, we got to go first, which I appreciated.
After Fli came the walk up into the mountain which was at times beautiful, steep, terrifying, and wet. We crossed the river again, on foot, which was exciting and only a little treacherous. After that we went barefoot which added to the feeling I already had that I was in Lord of the Rings, climbing through dell and over mountain. No shoes complimented the hobbit effect, although to clariy, less hairy. We drew the line at carrying on when I had visions of having to ring my boss to tell I'd fallen into a river and half drowned and needed some medical attention. That's not a phone call I'm about to make. So we pootled back, had another drink by the river, and then all clambered back in to the van for the trip home. The nice thing about sitting on mattresses is that lying down on them is pretty comfy too which means sleep is much easier to come by...
But the experience of being bundled into the back of the van made me thinkg quite seriously about another part of the legacy around here - being a refugee. A couple of people mentioned it as they looked in on us, and the stories began to flow of being squashed into small spaces with three times as many people as we had, or of being transported by tractor for the three day journey into the relative saftey of the villages. The family we were with had spent 10 weeks away from their home with various other people all packed into places far too small for so many people. The teenagers who were little children at the time remember sleeping curled up in tiny spaces and being protected by mothers who were leaving husbands and fathers and just hoping it would be alright. The girls who were small but are older now are developing a new appreciation for their mums who spent weeks barely sleeping, sitting up because there wasn't enough space to lie down and because being awake was the only way to protect their precious cargo.
It all made me understand better why war leaves no winners. These children will never forget what they were put through, and their children and their children's children will know these stories. And on the other side, the young Serbs who were sent off to fight for no good reason will remember what they were part of, and their children will know and their children's children will know, and they will have to work out how to live with that. I suppose this isn't news to anyone, but war is no good, and it makes me really cross. So pray for wars to end, and pray for the children, and thank God that Jesus is the one who brings peace.
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