Wednesday, July 31, 2013


We knew our life would be different in a thousand ways when we came to South Asia.

We saw early on the needs of the people we came to minister among, and recognized Christ was the answer they were looking for.

And just knowing how to best use our time, whether training pastors, teaching students, ministering to physical needs, etc., was a big challenge--the opportunities really were thousands!

But Kristie latched right on to a ministry aimed at rehabilitating--physically, emotionally, and spiritually--some of the most down-trodden segments of society.

And God worked through the people and the tools He provided.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 

Galatians 3:27

One of the residents of the rehabilitation home was baptized on a sunny Mother's Day celebration,

And last month, on a rainy Sunday, the second resident also took baptism, having also decided to follow Christ.

This particular friend of ours never knew when her actual birthday was, so she decided to celebrate this day as her birthday as well.

And we couldn't call ourselves Baptists without snacks to celebrate these occasions.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rats Beware!

We are blessed to have so many friends and family back home,
And because of them our two years overseas have been full of tons of goodies.

We do not "need" anything from America, but when people insist on sending packages, we give them pretty specific instructions, because certain friends of ours like to try to get into our packages before we do.

We should have suspected something was unique about a recent package from Kristie's cousin when our Postman said how heavy it was. In fact, it was not particularly heavy, though, as it was 'solid'...

Like a 20 lb brick.

 No rats, nor any other creatures, were breaking into this package.

After working and working through layers of tape and Ziplock bags, 
we became convinced of two things: 

Kimberly Higgs Volner... 

1) was a drug runner in a former life,

2) and packed us 20 lbs of awesomeness!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rainy Season

For a couple months of the year, stepping outside of our house feels like this...

Still beautiful, but definitely HOT and DRY. 

During those times, the local pools and our ceiling fans become some of our best friends.

But then the Summer comes,

And the pools and shaded parks are inaccessible. 

We just sit as the ground outside becomes muddy and pools of water take over the fields, roads, and the small children and animals!

Rainy season spells relief if you just have to sit around your house,

But some of us still have to get out, so we style it up the best we can, although our rain jackets and umbrellas do little to prevent getting soaked.

But if you have to get wet, might as well look good doing it!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Village Wedding

On that same hot...

and dry...

 day we had the honor of attending a Village Baptism,

the same young lady was having her wedding!

So AFTER the baptism ceremony, of course the men had to sit around and talk about the wedding,

The bride and groom had to change into their best clothes
(and act sad during the wedding since they were leaving their families),

The actual ceremony had to be performed,

And after pronouncing the couple husband and wife,

We had to eat chicken laced with more of the deadly hot village chilies!

We rejoice with the new couple, but are thankful we do not have to attend these celebrations more often! Our stomachs could not handle more frequent "celebrating"!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Village Baptism

We had the privilege of attending a baptism in a village near here during our language immersion, with Kristie even getting to share the reason (in the candidate for baptism's own language!) why Christians baptize.

As joyous as the occasion was for us to experience, we do not pretend the part of our work in churches or in teaching the Bible happens in a laboratory or a vacuum. The people we share the message of Christ with have just as complicated family situations as people in the USA. 

For example, the young lady taking baptism was from a Hindu family, so to ensure that her baptism did not bring persecution on her, her family, or other church members, both of her parents had to sign that she was in no way being coaxed or bribed to follow Christ. 

(Her parents could not sign their names, so her father and mother both put their thumbprints on the document.)

And we do not pretend the church workers in villages like this have it easy. During the month we visited, it was just hot and dry--no other words need to be given.

So the church workers rigged up a portable baptistry, got buckets and buckets of water from a deep, deep well...

And baptized the young lady as well as two other church members who had not taken baptism (but were listening to Kristie's lesson on baptism!).

Did we mention how hot it was?

Poor Rebekah was an awesome sport, though, despite her sweat.

But it would not be South Asia if the celebration did not include a meal packed with these little babies--who eats ferociously hot peppers when you are sweating from sun-up to sun-down!? 

But this story gets even better...

So check back in a few days...