Sunday, May 26, 2013

Our Village Life (Part 1)

In our efforts to learn the language here in South Asia, as well as just get a little more in touch with how South Asians live (and act and eat and do everything) when they are not hanging out with foreigners, we spent a chunk of time recently with a good friend and his family in "the village."

The Scene

From the outside, it looks like we stayed in a nice 2-story house in the village. But this house is built on stilts, like some along the Gulf Coast of MS and LA. But flooding is not the issue here: Elephants are. Having had a house destroyed by elephants makes a person want to build their bedrooms at least up off the ground. The kitchen, bathroom, and an open area (enclosed in plastic tarps and curtains) are on the ground floor. 

Elephants roam free in this area of the jungle, and are not as much a novelty as a nuisance. And you worry about termites in the USA! 

Off the back of the property you can see the tea fields that have been planted in the jungle. Most of the families living in this area work in or rely upon the people who do work in the tea fields for their livelihood.

The Cast

We stayed with a friend of ours, Rajesh, and his wife, Bina. They have one son at boarding school and two daughters, Angelina and Ritu. Rajesh works in the ministry full-time, and his family is an essential part of him reaching out to his neighbors. Bina and the children speak NO English, and Rajesh declared an "English Ban" everywhere we went with him!

Numerous other children also showed up from the neighbors' houses, probably to see this crazy little white child who did not understand a word they said, but who still laughed and played around with them.

The Life

We had so much fun just following Rajesh and Bina around to so many different settings in so many different villages. But, whether helping them in their ministry...

... Or helping them cut up vegetables for a late village dinner, we were extremely blessed by our immersion. 



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Country Clubbing It, South Asian Style

Rebekah has been a swimmer since she was just a couple months old in Mississippi. 

And since her second summer, when she was mobile yet brave, she has been pushing the boundaries of what a child her age should attempt.

At Granny's and Grandma's houses, in lakes, and even in South Asia, we pretty much always have to have a body of water nearby that Rebekah can immerse herself in. 

So this year, we joined a "country club"
(tone down images of tennis courts and golf courses, nice buffets and valets). 

What the club lacks in other amenities, it makes up for with a decent pool, 

with plenty of room to swim, 
learn to immerse ourselves under water,

Or disobey mom, dad, and the pool rules by climbing up the water slide before acting crazy on the way down.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What More Could a Mother Ask For?

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
--Ephesians 3:20-21

During the rough days living here in South Asia, 
When the language study is frustrating, 
The power goes out while the bread is half-baked, 
Or the barrage of motherhood's demands will not quit, 

A mother just has to search her life for blessings. 

South Asia will wear a mother out if she isn't careful.

As we remembered last year on Mother's Day, the journey of motherhood is great
(even though last Mother's Day was spent on the train).

This Mother's Day was spent at home, with more beautiful flowers and a cute pillow proclaiming Kristie as the "best ma ever". 

Kristie got to spend the day with Rebekah--the daughter God gave her--

And Annie, the "daughter" we discovered here in South Asia.

But even better than the focus upon Kristie as a mother
Was what we got to see in the small river next to our house: 

One of the first residents in our rehabilitation home
Who has been going through months of physical and emotional rehabilitation,

Made the decision to proclaim her loyalty and dedication to Jesus Christ.

Kristie did not mind taking a back seat on "her day" to what God is doing in South Asia!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013

I was thinking about all of the important women being honored today, and wanted to give a little shout-out to the women in my life!

Happy Mother's Day from this side of the ocean!

Wishing all the lovely ladies in our lives a Happy Mother's Day!

My Granny and Me
 She is such a blessing in my life! 

Rebekah, Me, and Mom
My awesome sister, Jess, Me, Mom, and Rebekah
Me, Mom, Rebekah, and Jess
I love my mom and my sis!  They have made life exciting and they have been supportive!

My awesome second mom, Ms. Pat, Me, and Rebekah
 She is the best mother -in-law a girl could ever be blessed with in life!  Love you Ms. Pat!

Grandma Igney and Rebekah
She is a loving awesome grandmother and great grandmother!

Granny and Rebekah

James, Rebekah, and myself are so blessed to have each of these beautiful ladies in our lives.  We wish we could be with you on this day but know that God binds our hearts together!

Love you all,

James, Kristie, and Rebekah

Saturday, May 4, 2013

When James is Away...

Last month, during one of James' work trips, Kristie and Rebekah hosted a visitor to our sleepy little town. Our friend Lydia, who we had not seen in 18 months, flew into town for some of our beautifully peaceful mornings--one place in our country where birds tweeting wake you up instead of 'street' noises--and cool weather.

Kristie, Rebekah, and our friend Annie showed Lydia all around. 

The lodging is not always posh here in South Asia
(I guess Rebekah was taking this picture),

But there is always plenty of South Asian food to be consumed as the sites of Darjeeling are explored.

Attempts at scenic pictures were taken, although the days were a little cloudy and cooler than we would have thought for a late-March day. 

But the obligatory tourist garb was donned,

And of course the local wildlife was experienced, from the hungry little monkeys,

To the pony rides,

To Rebekah chasing around birds and being gawked at by the local residents.

We love where we live, and love even more when we get to share it in person with our friends!