Saturday, September 30, 2006
Today is Thursday, our fourth day of apartment hunting. To be honest,
this week has been an emotional roller coaster ride. We have found
two of the four apartments that our team will need. One was perfect,
everything we were hoping for and more. But the more Matt and I talked
and prayed about it, the more we saw that the apartment was the answer
to Peter and Jen's prayers. So today as they are signing the papers
to the new apartment, and Kellie is settling in to the other
apartment, Matt and I are still praying that the Lord will provide a
home. . .hopefully soon. It feels like we are walking the fine line
between not wanting to seem like picky Americans to our Lithuanian
leader (who has taken a week out of her work schedule to help our team
hunt for apartments), and yet hoping to find a place that our hearts
can be at home. I wish we had taken pictures of the first few places
to give you some perspective of what our options have been like. ☺
We sure would appreciate your prayers as we continue the hunt. My
(Sharon) biggest challenge has been trying to hide my disappointment
over giving up the apartment we were going to have so that Peter and
Jen will feel free to enjoy their new home. It's amazing how
seemingly "little" things like apartment hunting can tap into the
So, I've given you one prayer request. Let me close with a few praises:
• Renata – we have been blessed with a wonderful Lithuanian Agape leader.
• We have had beautiful sunshine our whole time here in Kaunas.
• The two apartments we have so far are in the same complex so Peter
and Jen, and Kellie and Tiana will be close.
Today is Friday morning. . . we will be looking at 1 apartment today.
(It was going to be 2 but one just cancelled. . .unfortunately it was
the one on the street on which we were hoping to find a place.) The
song playing on ipod right now is "Blessed be your name." The chorus
is "You give and take away, blessed be your name." . . . hhmmmm.
We looked at one apartment yesterday. . .pretty small and cramped. It
is interesting that when the Lord allows us to go through hard times
it is His love that we are quick to doubt - at least that is where I
found myself yesterday. I ended up reading through some old entries
in my journal and ran across the one I entered on the day the Lord
confirmed to us that He wanted us here in LT. I wrote something about
the fact that He brought us here to share His love - and that this is
something we could only do if we knew how firmly rooted we are in His
love. . . and then it made sense why the first thing I'm struggling
with is doubting His love and goodness. Anyhow, all that to say that
the Lord is reminding me of how long and wide and high and deep is His
love and that He is preparing a place for us.
Thanks for all your prayers! We are so thankful for each and every one of you!!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Well we finally made it to the city that we will call home for the next 2 years. Its a weird feeling knowing that this place I've never been and this language I don't understand will be my home. With so many cultural differences it will take awhile before we feel at ease here, but it will be a good experience that stretches us beyond what we thought we could take.
The town is nice, right now we are temporarily staying in an apartment on one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe. So there are always people walking up and down the street looking at all the shops. The street ends at the huge and beautiful St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral which was built in 1408.
The people are beautiful and into a lot more fashion than we are used to in the Northwest (stiletto heels everywhere, and on cobblestone nonetheless). They tend to be a lot more reserved socially, but once you say labas (hi) then they warm up and are very friendly and even go out of their way to help you. An interesting example is that no one talks on the bus, its like an unwritten rule that once you get on you become mute, but on the streets people are talking and walking hand in hand.
The food seems to be good too, different, but good. There are a lot of Italianish dishes in most of the restaurants. I say "ish" because its not quite Italian, but its still loaded with carbs and tasty. The national dish is cepalini pronounced zepalini. It is a grated potato that is cooked in lard a few times and then packed around a chunk of meat and lard and then boiled and covered with liquid lard and bacon fat. So I figured I had to try it because the Lithuanians rave about it. It was . . .interesting. I liked the taste. Really. The gummy consistency of the potato and the 1/4 inch of grease sitting in the bottom of the bowl were different but in all it wasn't too bad. I could feel my arteries hardening as I ate. The thing I can't figure out though, is how these people can eat these things often and stay so thin. I could only put down one and a half and I know a four year old girl can eat like 8 of them. P.S. the photos are coming, internet issues.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Well we left last Sunday from PDX and landed in Lithuania on Monday afternoon. We are going to be in Vilnius, the capital, for a week. Then we will head off to Kaunas this weekend. The city is beautiful and the weather was too (on Monday and Tuesday). Wednesday however the tide turned and the rain has set in (kinda reminds us of Oregon). Right now we are drinking in the culture and are frustrated by the language. To be honest it feels a lot like a short term trip as we walk around town seeing the sights and learning how to ride public transportation. The thing we have to remeber is that this is a marathon and not a sprint, like a short term often is. We had a chance to get into the dorms of Vilnius University the other day and got to talk to students about Jesus. Many were open to talking about Him. It was cool.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Its been an interesting last few months as we have lived in the netherworld of going. Its a weird place of leaving but not having left yet. Its a balance of living in the moment and looking forward to what will be, of living in houses that aren't yours yet trying to feel at home, of excitement to see what God will do and yet trying not to hope for too much. Its funny that at times we have been so focused on support raising that we forget that we are even leaving, but this last Friday we purchased one way tickets to Lithuania. It is becoming more real as we are getting ready to leave on September 17th. God is transitioning our hearts from here to there, from raising support to making disciples. We are excited and scared to leave. We know it is where God wants us right now but that doesn't mean its not tough to leave family & friends that love us and have poured into our lives in so many ways. We will go, and it will be life changing not only for the Lithuanians we meet, but also for Sharon and me, and for those that send us.