Sunday, September 23, 2012

Missing Out?

One of the biggest worries any parent has in taking their child to a brand new culture is how she will adjust.

Despite the (understandably) numerous evaluations and tests our employers had us give Rebekah during the application process to come live over here in South Asia, she has taken the South Asian culture by the hand and become part of it.

Just this week, some local high school students (who think Rebekah is the cutest thing, and always talk to her) asked her where she was from, and her reply was "South Asia." Then they asked again and she got confused, asking us, "Where AM I from?"

We have been blessed to have many reminders of what it would be like if we were back in the USA, including a great team to come lead Rebekah in a Vacation Bible School during our meetings last July, 

And our home church sending Rebekah all of the craft projects the kids did at their VBS in Hattiesburg this Summer, which are perfect projects during the persistent monsoon rains.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Keeping South Asia Running

How does this area of the world keep ticking?

Did you know we live in the most heavily populated river basin in the world?

I mean, how do you support 1.5 billion people
(with no slow-down in sight)?

How about one enormous river flowing from the Himalayas...

And miles and miles...

and miles and miles...

of rice, rice, and rice.

People ask what we usually eat here in South Asia. Any guesses?

We never imagined South Asia to be this green, but after 5 months of rain, we understand this land a little better.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hair Bows

James was a bit unsure of how to raise a daughter, 
with the anticipation of frilly dresses, make-up, and hair bows
in his life for the next 20 years.

Lucky for him, for the longest time, Rebekah had no hair.
(This picture is on Rebekah's actual first birthday--no hair!!!)

BUT, now Rebekah is 3. And her hair, although short, is now long enough to braid (barely).

And Rebekah is fascinated with putting multiple clips in other people's hair

And in her own hair.

And James has learned that if you are going to bring a 3-year-old girl something from his trip to the big city, Princess hair clips are always a well-received gift.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Heart to God, Hands to Man

Do we really think we are making much of a difference in South Asia?

We spend so much of our time trying to learn to talk on an elementary school level, shopping for vegetables in the market, and sweating, that we wonder if eternity is really impacted.

But because of the faithfulness of our friend, Shay,
 (who likes to pick up cute--yet stray--animals)
who kept coming to this village
(although she spoke almost none of the language)
week after week to play with and love the children,

Kristie has had so many opportunities to share Bible stories

through crafts, songs, and actually talking (albeit on an elementary school level)

with kids (and recently their mothers!).

Just showing these kids God's love is worth the few hours a week it takes to actually go and see them. 

And Rebekah, apparently, has had numerous opportunities to play in the dirt with sticks.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

WOW!!! Packages!!! (Part 2)

The day after our mother-load of packages last week, 

we got a call from our postman saying three more had come! 


Our friends from Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo

had sent multiple packages, the last of which had arrived.

James's Aunt Joanne had sent a great package from Hattiesburg, 

including all kinds of school supplies, candy, and some Red Beans & Rice mix!

 And a Growth Group from First Baptist Church Hattiesburg

packed an amazing package full of all of our favorite goodies!!!

 We know sending packages is not cheap.

We also know that "stuff" does not equal "love."

But being on the other side of the globe, thoughts of being "forgotten"

sometimes arise. But as God has placed you all where you are,

He has placed us here. 

And the touches of home really do matter.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

WOW!!! Packages!!! (Part 1)

 We were not feeling homesick any more than any other day,

but sometimes good, unexpected surprises come and make 

ho-hum weeks even better!!!

Last week...

James was out of town for a few days...

Kristie was not feeling 100%... 

Rebekah was full of energy, as always....

And Aunt Jess,


And amazing friends from Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo, MS

Perked our week up.

Who knew tuna fish, candy, pizza crust, and princess paraphernalia

could get a person so excited?

Although it was a bit creepy that Kristie seemed so excited about the "Kennedy Tragedy" from her People magazine!



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Really, South Asia? Part Ten (McDonalds)

When you have something good, you want to show it off, don't you?

 In the USA, at least, McDonalds requires its franchises to display the Golden Arches high above the surrounding scenery, but apparently the franchises in South Asia don't have the same requirement. 

On a recent day trip to Kolkata, James made a point of making one of his stops one of the three McDonalds in the city of over 15 million people.

See that hidden behind the tree--that is the wonder that is McDonalds. 

I guess if you actually sought publicity for the restaurant, you would not be able to contain the crowds.

And since beef and pork are not allowed in this particular region in order to not offend any religion, James chose to just snack on a small order of fries.