We returned from Central Asia really late Friday night, but all our luggage didn't make it with us- only 2 of the 8 bags (mine came!) so saturday was spent driving around the Houston airport looking for the remaining bags. By 4:00, we had all but 2 of them (but we had david's) Sunday was our first day at our new church. Jet lag wasn't bad, except I've been waking up at 4:30 the past few days.
I'll post pics of our trip, but right now I just need to process/write out my feelings/thoughts about the trip. After this trip, I've been on 5 of the 7 continents. This trip was different from any one I've ever been on. Never in my life have I felt so unprepared physically, emotionally, spiritually for a trip. I think part of it had to do with moving 5 days before we left, but most of it was because it was a vision trip and we weren't really sure what to expect or what we'd be doing.
We spent 3 days in a village in Central Asia, at a women's center for mother's and children. Many of these women were forced to choose Jesus over their family. I had no idea that the Muslim culture is based so strongly on shame and honor.
Here are a few things that I don't want to forget:
- seeing a sheep sacrificed for Korbidanite (festival remembering Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac) and knowing that I'll never look at the Cross the same
- Being on the receiving end of hospitality and servanthood
- Holding a precious woman as she cried as she told me about something that happened to her as a young adult that she has never told anyone; seeing the relief and freedom on her face
- Hearing story after story of rejection being replaced by redemption
- Seeing a true miracle- a little boy who was healed after being born paralyzed. He's walking, running!
- Knowing that a smile is universal- no matter the language
- How I felt as I held a little girl as she fell a sleep in my arms
- Realizing that "stuff" is just "stuff" and less really is more
- Hearing the story of my new friend Norbideck- how he came to know Christ from Islam and what it cost him
- seeing God move in ways I never thought possible