Friday, April 17, 2009

This is Lupco's house in the village and also another house. Slatino has about 70 citizens. People come visit for holidays and weekends and summers. But sadly, many people are moving out of the villages and into the big cities because there is no work for them.

Skara in Slatino (BBQ)

Today we spent the day in a village called Slatino, which is about 30 minutes outside of Ohrid. We went with Lupco, Bilijana, and their 3 little boys. It was an amazing day! We grilled some meat, drank some coffee, and just enjoyed being in the beautiful Macedonian mountains with some good friends.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Embracing Winter

You know how sometimes your life seems to have a theme? Like the same topic will keep popping up over and over?? Well anyway, my life's theme for the past eh, year and a half has been "seasons". We all got 'em. No, not like fall, winter, spring, summer. I'm talking about romance, joy, passion, pain, loneliness, singleness, rebellion, repentance, brokenness, etc. Those wonderful, awful things that make up our life. A few days ago I read an article called "Winter Gifts" about the season of "winter" in our lives. Pain. Betrayal. Loneliness. Death. Depression. Uncertainty. Darkness. It's the most misunderstood season I think. People don't know what to do with it. We usually just try to hurry through it asap to get to spring time again. At least I do. I hope I'm not alone in this. So I thought I'd share this, and hopefully it'll shed a little light into someone's "winter"...

I am not sure that any sight or sound on earth is as exquisite as the hushed descent of a sky full of snow. Winter is a reminder that times of dormancy and deep rest are essential to all living things. Nature is not dead in winter-it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for spring. Winter is a time when we are admonished, and even inclined, to do the same for ourselves.
But for me winter has an even greater gift to give. It comes when the sky is clear, the sun is brilliant, the trees are bare, and the first snow is yet to come. It is the gift of utter clarity. In winter, one can walk into the woods that had been opaque with summer growth only a few months earlier and see the trees clearly, singly, and together, and the ground they are rooted in.
Winter clears the landscape, giving us a chance to see ourselves and each other more clearly, to see the very ground of our being. Our inward winters take many forms, -failure, betrayal, depression, death. But every one of them yields to the same advice: "The winters will drive you crazy until you learn to get out in them." Until we enter boldly into the fears we most want to avoid, those fears will dominate our lives. But when we walk directly into them-protected from frostbite by the warm garb of friendship or inner discipline or spiritual guidance-we can learn what they have to teach us. Then we discover once again that the cycle of the seasons is trustworthy and life-giving, even in the most dismaying season of all.
-Parker J. Palmer

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Party People

As I said in my last blog, my friend Corrie came to visit me on my birthday. When we got to Ohrid we were welcomed by a full coffee house of people come to celebrate my birthday with me. I was overwhelmed with gifts and lots of friends. What a great birthday! And how blessed I am to have so many people to celebrate with!

Corrie in Macedonia

Oh what a wonderful birthday! If you remember last year I was at home sick all day on my birthday. As a matter of fact, all week. However this year was a total turnaround. I went to Skopje to pick up my good friend Corrie. We were room mates in college. She got to stay for a few days. It was such a blessing and encouragement.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sakash Marama?? (You want a scarf)

Thanks to a group of hard-working ladies in North Carolina, we received 83 hand-made scarves. As a team we brain-stormed how to hand out the scarves, should we give them to our friends? Do we have 83 friends? Haha. But we all decided that what we should do is hand out the scarves to the ladies who work at the pazar (open market) because that would reach a whole new group of people who would probably never come into our coffee house. And many of the workers at the pazar are from nearby villages, which we would probably never get to visit. Along with the scarves we handed out a tract and a book called "Isus, Nasha Sudbina" (Jesus, Our Destiny) as well as a flyer for the English classes at the coffee house. Much prayer was put into this whole thing. Melanie and I really had fun. And now I kinda feel like I know everyone at the pazar! I'm excited about the seeds that were planted today. We may never see the fruits of this day, but I have faith that people will hear the Gospel through the scarf/book hand-out.

The ladies were so greatful to receive the scarves, although some of them couldn't understand why we were giving them away for free, even after we explained.