After having been in this Central Asian country for almost 2 months and experiencing so many different things there is a common thread in what is going on in my heart…it goes along with a prayer that I started praying about 6 years ago. “Break my heart for what breaks Yours, everything I am for your kingdom’s cause as I walk from earth into eternity!” They are lyrics from a song that I started listening to and singing a few years ago.
There have been many new experiences for me during these 2 months, many firsts. Different foods, different customs. Now I know what a “shirdock” is and a “tushuck” and a “marshuka”. I have seen more “yurts” than I can count.
Living in community with a group of people that I did not handpick but who were divinely chosen by God for me to share this experience with.
I have learned how to become disgusted with a taxi driver when he tries to overcharge for the ride and let him know it. I have learned how to negotiate prices because there is never a “set price” on anything.
What will I remember the most about this adventure? What has impacted me the most?
It is the people. People everywhere, on foot, hailing taxis, marshukas and waiting for buses. Cars everywhere and horns honking. So many women walking around in 100⁰+ days doing their shopping in long sleeved ground length dresses and hot head coverings. I will remember a few women I have seen walking down the streets in full “burkas”.
The bazaars. The large, open meat markets in the bazaars.
The people, their smiles. The diversity of the culture and the language.
I will remember the man who offered 3 of us a ride when he saw us about to hail a taxi. He drove us to several places and then home. He knew very little English but he knew enough to let us know that he did not approve of the taxi drivers “taking advantage” of foreigners. We asked him about his faith and he said that he was not Christian, but a Communist and an atheist.
I will remember that I never had to stand on a crowded “marshuka” because in this country the people honor the “aged”, when Mr. Joe and I would get on, several people would stand up in order for us to have a seat.
I will remember the faces of many children. Their precious smiles… their hungry eyes. Hungry for what we can’t give being the finite human beings that we are.
I will remember the 2 little sisters who came to our children’s camp, one with a dark bruise covering ¼ of her face and by the third day of the 5 day camp we knew why, it was because of abuse. We were given the privilege to love on those little girls for that week and on Friday they left with smiles on their faces. I shed some tears over those two little girls.
A friend on my team pointed out to me that He is breaking my heart for what breaks His! And it’s true, my heart was completely broken.
These are some of the memories that I will carry with me as long as I have the mental capacity to remember them.
Soon we will be getting ready to go home. Soon we will be packing our bags and making a final sweep of the house where we are living.
We will be braving the airports. The Moscow Airport is the scariest. We may be running through them in order to get to connecting flights.
We will be integrating back into our familiar American society with fast food of our choice on every street corner. We will be enjoying the comforts of air conditioning and instant gratification again.
When we get home we will be spoiled and pampered and will start preparing to return to our U.S. homes. And that brings another thought…Texas….that dry and thirsty land that I wanted to get out of so badly for so long. I missed the fields of Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes in Texas this year.
Will I be glad to see that Dallas skyline? Will I be glad to see the smiling faces of my Dallas neighbors?
As we were worshipping together as a team this morning I not only felt His presence stronger than at any other time since I have been here, but I felt Him filling me up. Such a feeling inside of me… wanting more and more and asking Him to never stop filling me up. Knowing that the divinely set aside moment was going to end and not wanting it to end. I needed it, I needed to feel His aliveness moving inside of me. I felt it and now I wish I was still feeling it. Even though the strength of that exhibition of His presence is no longer moving like it was, I still know that He is all around me, in me and will never leave me!
While I have been busy allowing God to direct my steps doing His business, He has been doing His own work behind the scenes in answer to many of the prayers that I have prayed for many years. Not sure how it will feel to go home because so much of the time it has been much easier for me to run away and never look back. But this time I will be facing forward with expectation of what He has next for us.
Love and blessings to you!