Monday, September 17, 2007

City Tour!

Today was a great day. We went out on a tour around the city. Three others who I will be visiting in other cities were there too. It was great to hang out with some people that I could potentially be partnering with in the future. I was able to ask them more questions about clothing, and about the places where they worked.

We saw the city from a hill, a bazaar, a flower garden, old buildings, a mining museum, the whole city from a mountain, a bird bazaar….

It was all exciting and I’m really thankful we got to see it all.

But the best part of the day was the discussion with Dr. B. I can’t saw how encouraging it was to hear about the place where he is and the opportunities there – that seem to fit perfectly with my interest, desires, gifts. I almost don’t want to talk about it too much because it sounds almost too good to be true.

Let me try to state things as he stated them to me… He basically was telling me of the things/work opportunities they have where they are.

He said, "There is one girl who takes some trips to the villages. She does some ESL stuff, and other stuff out there. She loves it, but for security reasons can’t live out there for more than 4-5 days at a time. There is a place called “Chan” where we have a center with national staff doing English classes, medical stuff, agricultural stuff (?). We really want to get more people out there. It is a remote area, like a village, not a lot of amenities. It takes about 14-20 hours to drive there or about a 30 minute flight.

In the past, when we’ve done medical stuff there, there has been a great response to the women there. The women have been able to connect with local women really well – there is great opportunities for relationships there. They are also always asking for a foreigner to come teach them English. We have thought about moving there, but with young kids, it just draws too much attention. It’s a better place for a single, or maybe a married couple. We do take trips out there maybe once a month to check on things. We have thought about closing the center, and bringing the locals back out several times due to no expats to work there and keep it in check. But we keep thinking and praying that more will come – and it looks like that might be happening. There is a couple thinking about working there. If they came, then it would be okay for a single woman to also be there. But we wouldn’t want to send you out there all by yourself! It’s not definite about the other couple, but just the idea makes us want to keep the center open and see if He is indeed sending more people.

It is actually the center point for the ‘IMA’ people. That is the people group we are focusing on, but for various reasons have had to stay in the bigger 'Hat' city. They are a very under-reached group – there is only one known believer right now. There may be others, but only one is really known of – and he might be the first of his group. Their language is still the national language. There might be little dialect differences, but not enough to make it its own language.

What I heard from what he said was an people/place/job that includes:
- good for relationship building
- ESL potential, actually already set up for that
- Village work
- Unreached people group

Does it seem like that has my name on it or what?

Another thing that I had almost forgotten about when I was talking with NGO folks was my driving passion, the drive that took me to India.

That is unreached peoples – and the least reached, etc.

I still have that burden and passion. Hearing about how the assignment connects with my gifts was really encouraging, but I think the trigger was hearing about how there is maybe one believer among that group of people. It was almost like God was saying, “Did you forget that the reason you want to be in the villages, the reason you want to do ESL, the reason you want to build relationships is to reach those who are least-reached? Your first passion is those least-reached groups. ESL, being in the village is just the gifts you have to reach them.”

I thought about the NGO's focus on ESL- and how I felt a little disappointed when they said, “If you want to do village stuff, you can’t do ESL…” – they have some great goals and ideas, and I think I would be an asset to their vision and strategy. However, I’m wondering if He is trying to show me that there are others who are and who can do that work. Like India, I wanted to go where no one else was…and He guided me there. I think perhaps he still wants me where no one else is.

And yet, the thought came into my mind as Brent was talking, “okay – so go get married and come back.” Haha!

You know what – somehow the conflict of being in an area where there would be no chance for a marriage partner doesn’t seem nearly as unsettling as the idea of being in a place where I’m not really supposed to be. Does that make sense? Last night, I was a bit troubled about finding something that could combine ESL/villages. Tonight, I feel at peace about that completely, realizing that there are indeed options to combine those things. The issue of being single going into it, and most likely being single coming out of it – somehow doesn’t scare me as much. Or doesn’t concern me as much as being in another place where I might have more opportunity for marriage, but not really following the passion He has given me…

Some verses I read tonight: Isaiah 5:7, 13, 15-16, 26
5: v 13 So I will send my people into exile far away because they do not know me. The great and honored among them will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.
5 \v 26 He will send a signal to the nations far away. He will whistle to those at the ends of the earth, and they will come racing toward Jerusalem.

Of course, I’m not committing to anything yet. I’m not saying anything yet, except that I’m encouraged.

Psalm 20.
\v 1 In times of trouble, may the Lord respond to your cry. (the cry of ‘I just want to do what You want me to do!). May the God of Israel keep you safe from all harm.
\v 2 May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
\v 3 May he remember all your gifts (teaching, village, relationships)
and look favorably on your burnt offerings. (sacrificing being in places where I might met someone who could be my husband!)
\v 4 May he grant your heart's desire (to bring glory to God)
and fulfill all your plans. (to bring glory to God by serving somewhere with my husband)
\v 5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory, flying banners to honor our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers. (for the unreached peoples, and for a husband!)

Anyway…I’m looking forward to the trip to the western and nothern parts of this country, and back to America! Even just driving down the streets today, I had the thought, “I can’t wait til what is next! And even being in the states recruiting for One-Story, and developing lesson plans – I can’t wait for that – it’s going to be great!”

“Let your unfailing love surround me, Lord. For my hope is in you alone.” ~Psalm 33:22

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