Sunday, July 15, 2012

We arrived in Lima about 4:10 am.  After going through customs and getting luggage collected, we arrived at our hotel.  We had time to shower and load the buses to go to the "Community."  What a blessing.

This is such a wonderful story.  We hugged and kissed and said, "Hola. Buenos Dias" about 800 times. Then we heard the story of Miguel as he bagan to realize the need of so many homeless children. His young son became ill and went to the hospital and was able to receive treatment because Miguel had money to pay.  But his son died and Miguel was heartbroken.  As he left the hospital, he saw two young boys needing medical attention.  They would receive none because they had no family to pay for care.  Miguel took both boys in and paid for their care.  One of the boys died and Miguel took the bodies of his son and the other boy to buy caskets.  There were no small caskets so Miguel buried both boys together in an adult casket.  He knew both boys were together in Heaven.
He found four boys in the street and took them home.  After a wonderful family night with the new boys, the boys were gone the next morning.  Miguel thought the boys had stolen things and left, but nothing was missing.  The next day the boys returned and apologized for leaving. They came back with four more boys because they needed a home.  When his family grew to 17, neighbors complained and they had to leave the area.  They moved to the area that is now the community, and Miguel and his wife began a wonderful ministry of caring for children.  The Community has over 850 children living, learning, caring, loving one another.  All of the children are required to learn to work - in both the bakery and the sewing shop. 
Tomorrow we will begin a weeklong Bible school for the children. 

Hello everyone,           

I begin another special journey blessed today. A group of about 100 from Abilene and Austin are going to an orphanage in Lima, Peru.  My job will be to love on a group of little boys from 3-6 years old.  There are 8 adults that are to be hugging and singing and doing Bible lessons and crafts with about 66 of these little boys.  I think I might want to put a few of them in my suitcase and bring them home with me. 

Just to fill some of you in on a few things, I am building a house in Abilene.  The date we are supposed to close on the house is August 7.  That is our 42 anniversary.  Wow!  God blesses me continually.  (If anyone really, really wants to move furniture about that time, just let me know.  ;)

The first week of July, all of our kids and grandkids were together Colorado for a great family vacation.  Everyone arrived safely, had a good week and arrived back home safely.

I continue to be involved with my wonderful church family.  There are many opportunities to serve God.  I know of many blessings some of you are receiving.      

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Since last Monday, we have been busy.  We now have 12 readers and 2 potential readers.  Please pray that these two new readers begin classes soon.

Marcia and I have done a little shopping at Montastiraki.  That has given us more experiences on the metro.  We have now ridden all three lines - the red, the blue and the green.  After three weeks, we can figure out how to get to any of the stops.

On Wednesday, Alex and Eleni were out of town to take care of business, so we cooked a meal for the group.  They eat together each Sunday and Wednesday.  One of my readers, Vasilis, led the Bible study.

Thursday, we were blessed to spend the day with Mary.  She is a precious Christian lady who has many difficulties in her life, but has remained strong and secure in her faith.  She is the lady who is studying with our friend, Petros.  As I mentioned before, Petros has been coming to the church for about 6 weeks and is struggling with addictions.  He has felt God's love in this place and he is very close to being converted to Christ.  We are thankful for Mary's committment and example.  Mary has a home near the shores of the sea.  We had a wonderful relaxing day in her beautiful home, she prepared a delicious meal, and she taught us a Greek folk dance. 

On Saturday morning we rode a bus to a mountain village of Aghio.  Eleni's aunt lives there and has suffered a stroke.  She is bedridden at this time.  Aunt Eleni is a precious Christian who has spent her life serving in this small town.  While we were there, a number of her friends came to visit.  We saw beautiful country areas while there. Eleni prepared a delicious meal for us.  She cooked lamb and potatoes on the stone oven outside her aunt's home.

Sunday was the Greek Independence Day.  The metro was closed until after noon, so we did not go to church until about 1:00.  We had the Fourth of July Party with our readers.  Several of the Bulgarians came to the party.  After it was over, we went to the home of Svetana, one of Marcia's readers.  She had prepared a feast.  We had 3 meat dishes, potato salad, stuffed peppers, and a pastry dish.  Her house was very nice, but tiny.  Her kitchen was about 8 X 8, and her bedroom/office/livingroom was about 8 X 12.  The bathroom had a shower, potty and washer.  There was beautiful marble in the apartment.  Svetana was such a sweet hostess.  She has been a widow for about 12 years.

After our meal, we caught the metro and went to another part of town where Nora, from Nigeria is beginning a group called "Integrity Sisters."  Nora wants to offer a place for women to come for help in any area of their lives.  Eleni spoke to the ladies and it seems to have been a very good beginning for the group.  It was scheduled to begin about 5:00, but it started about 8:00.  Women gathered for about 2-3 hours and just sat and visited.   We even had about 4 men who showed up - 2 photographers and 2 other men.  Marcia and I arrived home about 10:30.  We went to bed about 11:30 and began our day about 8:30 this morning.  It is now 7:00 and we will head home soon. 

Please pray for our current and our new prospective readers.

I love y'all.

So much has been happening that I have had little time to blog when I was at the church building.  That is the only time I have internet.  My readers are consistent and all have shown growth over this month. 

I wrote a blog last night and had 3 pictures in it.  But I lost the blog.  I will try to add a little tonight while Marcia reads with her last student. 

We visited the little island of Poros on our 1 day cruise.  It is a very pretty little village.

This is a view of little villages built along the sides of islands

This is the Temple of Athia on the island of Aegius.  This island is famous for their pistachios.

I know this is not very informative, but at least you know I am still here. I will try again tomorrow.  It is time to head to the house. 

I love y'all.

Monday, March 19, 2012

This evening, still Sunday, tears are still falling.  This time it is thanksgiving.  One of the men I talked about at the end of my entry on March 14,  was with us all day at church.  He studied with Mary, a wonderful Christian woman here in Greece.  For about an hour after they talked, Petros stayed and studied his worksheet and Bible all by himself.  I just watched for a little while as he was in the Word.   I tried to encourage him, but he knows very little English. He hit his chest and said “no good man, woman problems, drugs, hashish, police arrest.  Walk better road.”  If I interpret that correctly, Petros was telling me he wants a better life with Christ.  I talked to Mary and she said they have been studying, and she believes he will become a Christian.  She is talking to him about ways his life will need to change then.  

We had a good meal together after morning worship.  Natalia’s birthday was this week, so she came early to prepare Russian food.  She made Russian salad, which seemed to be a much larger version of our potato salad.  However, everything must be chopped very, very small.  Natalia had me chop and chop and chop.  For those of you who may not know, I do not like raw onions.  I had to chop about 4 onions very, very “ti-i-i-ny” as Natalia says.  She said they only make this for special occasions because it takes so long to chop.  I understand.  She also prepared a delicious dish of onions and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and added sour cream. She also stayed up until 2 am making a chocolate nut ball dipped in chocolate.

Pictured here are the two birthday girls from this last week - Natalia and Slava.  Natalia was so excited to be able to share real Russian Salad with all of us.

Marcia had a party for Tennessee.  We had only a few attend, and you can see Natalia and Mary attempting to do part of the Virginia Reel (do-si-do and curtsie.) They also learned some facts about the state of Tennessee.

It is now 5:15 on Monday evening and my four readers have finished for the day.  Marcia is reading with her last one and we will head home.

Keep praying.  I love y'all.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Today is Sunday.  My heart feels broken.  As we left the apartment this morning and got to Evangelismos hospital, a young woman was sitting on the curb crying.  We walked past her, but could not go on.  I thought maybe her child was in the hospital.  We went back to see if we could talk to her.  She spoke no English, but made us understand that she was crying about a child.  She showed us a picture of a little boy, but after we left I realized it was probably an old postcard - not even a photograph.  She showed us a transportation ticket.  She acted like she needed money to travel.  Because we could not communicate, we did not know what was truly going on.  Marcia gave her money, and we went toward the church.  As I walked down the sidewalk, I felt so helpless.  I am so blessed, and I cannot even talk to this lady to see what she needs. 

After arriving at the metro that is close to the church, we began our walk to the church.  About three blocks along our walk, we saw a man fallen on the curb.  He was moaning and rolling around.  One person was trying to help him up, but was not able to.  That man walked away and tried to hail a policeman across the street.  That policeman did not respond.  I stayed to watch the man, and Marcia went to get help from the church. Many people walked past the man fallen on the street and stared, but no one seemed to know exactly what to do.  I didn't know if he fell, was hit by a car, or was knocked down by someone.  Finally two motorcycle policemen came, but they told him to get up and did not do very much to help.  Another passerby tried to help the man up and move him from the curb.  A bottle fell out of his bag and it was wine.  I realized that he was probably too drunk to stand.  There are so many people here who need help.  My heart breaks.  I want to do more, but I do not know what to do.

The last two evenings as we arrived at the metro at Evangelismos, a young lady was standing on the stairs begging.  Her face was badly scarred, and looks like pictures we saw on the news of people in the Chernoble disaster.  A few euro will not help her.  She needs medical help, but I cannot help with that.  My heart breaks. 

This country is so poor and wages are so bad.  Even people willing to work cannot make wages that are enough to care for themselves.  Please continue to pray for these people and the economic situation in Greece.

I love all of you.

Friday, March 16, 2012

We began this day with the fruit and vegetable market at our front door.  We bought food for us, but also for the group that meets on Wednesday.  They always eat together before Bible study.  Eleni and Alex will be gone for a few days, and Marcia and I will prepare potato soup. This is my teammate, Marcia with some of our wares.
The market is several blocks.

Yesterday three new students showed up at the same time.  One of them, another Vasilis, owns a store very near here.  The girl, Yanna, works for him.  And her boyfriend is attending.  We have stopped at their store several times and they have spoken English.  Marcia is having a class with them every other day.  Normally each classtime has only one student, but these three are reading together for 2 hours.

My class with Lana continues well.  Today we read from Luke 4:1-14.  Lana looked at me and said, "Janiece, this is just for me!"  It is so wonderful to see the word convict hearts.

Vasilis has almost completed Luke.  We will begin John later next week and we will also study I and II Peter.  He is thirsting for more and more knowledge.

Tomorrow will be our day off.  We are planning to go on a "cruise" to three small islands.  We will leave about 7:15 am and return about 7:00 that evening.  I will let you know about them in a few days. 

I will give you a little preview of our home.  The kitchen has a stove, a small refrigerator, a small dishwasher on the cabinet, a microwave, and a small table.  Sometimes it has our clothes hanging in front of the  radiator to dry.

The living room is also my bedroom.  It has the largest radiator to dry our clothes.  There is a desk area for us to try to lay maps, etc. out to make plans.  There is a TV, but we cannot understand the Greek stations.  Some of you please let us know if interesting things are happening elsewhere in the world.

The bedroom is Marcia's.  It has a balcony about 2'X 3'.  She enjoys the fresh air at night.  Sometimes it gets a little chilly.

Our bathroom has a washing machine in it also.  We have hot water for showers, so it is very nice. 

This is a very nice apartment and it is in a nice neighborhood.  We have 2 little grocery stores very near us.  I think each one is about 45 seconds from our home, just in different directions on the street.

Marcia is with her last reader now.  We will be heading home in about 45 minutes.  Thank you for the messages, e-mails and prayers.

I love y'all.