Saturday, November 25, 2006
So it was quite a Thanksgiving. You see it all started when we slept in on Thursday morning, a good start to a long day. I (matt) went to the store to get some groceries around 1 then came home and prepared for THE JOURNEY. I got all the stuff together that I was to bring (2x11 pound turkeys, ceramic casserole dish, spices, bottle of olive oil, bottle of wine, laptop, bag of briquettes, our unopened bbq, and tools to assemble the bbq) aka 65lbs. I loaded up the backpack and set out on the 1.2 mile journey to Peter & Jen's place. Once I got there the boys did the some assembly required stuff on the bbq and then we got the birds on around 5pm. Melissa, our friend working for Crusade in Germany, arrived in Lithuania around 5 and then got to Kaunas, our town, around 9. The birds were a little slower than I anticipated but we got them done at 10pm or so. Dinner then commenced between 10 and 10:30. It was so late when we were done that no even thought about all the desserts that were made. But, that was ok because the team from Vilnius came on Friday to have our team cook a Thanksgiving dinner for them. So we got to do it all over again the next day. We had a great time with our friends on both days, and we got a lot of turkey.
Monday, November 20, 2006
(Be warned this is a long one) We got to meet with Sharunas who is the priest/chaplain for Kaunas Tech the other night. He was at an alpha course meeting which is a video series used all over the world to teach people who are interested in understanding the basics of the Christian faith. Anyway, he is a cool cat. No really, he is the hippest priest I've ever met, Rayban reading glasses salt and pepper hair and all (kinda reminds me of Tim for all you CDF folks). All this was an answer to prayer and as many of you know we were praying to meet and partner with a priest here in K-town. He is excited about what we are doing and would love to work together in the future. Sweet.
All this coupled with what our team has been reading for our Bible study in the Old Testament has helped us better understand what our role here in LT is. Basically to pray. Let me tell you how we got to this ingenious conclusion. You see in Exodus 19 God tells all Israel to come up on Mount Sinai and into His presence to be a kingdom of priests. God wanted Israel to be priests to the world around them that didn't know God. Israel however rejected that invitation and instead wanted a mediator between them and God, i.e Moses. Leviticus then goes on to show the role of priests and how they come to God on others behalf.
1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we Christians are a royal priesthood. We are to be what Israel rejected back at Sinai. We have been invited and given access into God's presence. We are also to come to God on others behalf. Thus one of our main roles here in Kaunas is to pray for those around us who do not know God. I must tell you that it breaks my heart that there are many students and people who we come in contact with have probably never had anyone pray for them by name or face. So, some are called to be a priest as a full time vocation, like my new friend Sharunas, but we are all called to come before God on behalf of those around us.
One of the goals of our team is to have a ministry that puts way more time and energy into personal relationships and not as much energy into events. But we also need to meet people to start those relationships, so one of the things we will use is events as a way to meet students, we are not sure if it will work. Our goal is that our energy will transition into meeting with students on a regular basis and walking with them through the stuff of life.
Enough explaining, our first event went ok the other night. We had 7 students come to the film festival (not quite as many as we had hoped, but thats ok). We had a great time talking about the short films, what they meant, and how they impacted us. In all it was a good 1st event and we learned a lot. We have a better idea of what to do and what not to do in regards to being relevant and working within the LT culture. Another one of our goals was to be students of this culture and we are definitely getting a chance to do that. Here is a picture of some of our friends that came the other night.
Thanks for your prayers.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Well, we got an apartment this last week and the first thing that I (Matt) did was unpack all my stuff. It was fun to see what I had packed in some of those suitcases a month and a half ago. And honestly it was nice to not have to dig through a bag everyday for clothes, which we started doing back at the end of July when we moved out of our house. Thus I am truly praising God for this place.
Here are some pics and some of the cool and quirky aspects of our place. First, Sharon really wanted a nook where she could spend some quiet time. She got it. This great chair overlooks our busy downtown street from the third floor.
Next, I got a urinal. Yeah, thats right dog, my very own flip top, macho, pee place. I have to admit that I didn't pray for it, but yeah I'll take it.
Lastly, we got a lime kitchen, interesting yet cute.
Thanks so much for all your prayers. Really.