And now that I'm back, I'm still completely exhausted! I arrived a week ago--greeted by my sweet hubby! Ohhhh home (him) felt soooo good! But my littles were away with grandparents, so I wasn't able to have them in my arms until the night of July 4th--2 whole days later! The anticipation was killing me! But we are back together again and finally made it back home (we went to pick them up from their grandparents at the lake) last night!
So all is good and I've been processing so much! I'll be sharing the processing throughout the posts, however they come out, but the Lord was with us! It's not at all like I doubted He would be, because I know He is with us every second of every single day, but being so mindful of it over in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan was good for me. For all of us. And for those of you who prayed for us--I wish I could express just how much it means to me and how much we felt it! We spoke of your prayers daily! We never had one hiccup in the entire trip, and believe me, we could have!
I left my off in my last post as Jeanne and I were going to be speaking to moms of children with Down syndrome. So let me start there. Or actually, lemme back up a smidge. We (Catherine, Jeanne, Marina--friend, National and translator and I) made it across the border from Kazakhstan (a 3 hour drive) into Kyrgyzstan without a problem, which was wonderful. I can give more details on that in a different manner, but let's just say, the Lord made that happen and move on! Oh, and it was hot. Hotter than Memphis, hot. But we made it. Praise God!
|the drive from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan--the Kazak steppe|
|Our garden view from our guest house|
|A typical breakfast scene during our 3 day stay in Kyrgyz. Tea and toast with Catherine and Jeanne!|
Jeanne's message was wonderful, as it would be the whole trip. She spoke of her story with her son, Jacob, which is told in her book, Parting the Waters. The Lord truly spoke through her to all of us! After her talk, we had tea and cookies and a couple of activities, like scarf-tying lessons (fun)!
And then, I told our story with Way and what the Lord has done in my life with him. I felt instantly connected with these mothers--almost all of them had a child with Down syndrome from the age of 1-3 years old. And while I couldn't speak directly to them without a translator, while I was looking into their eyes, I could see into their hearts. They live in Central Asia. They speak Russian. They are primarily Muslim. And they have a child with Down syndrome. So different and yet I know I have shared some of the exact same thoughts as each one of those women. And I was able to tell them that. And they knew we were the same. Heart-piercing. I was in awe of what the Lord was doing. It was like that for the 2 days we met with the women. Some came both days, some were new. We had a question/answer period at the end of our talks. All kinds of questions were asked and answered. I was even able to pray with a sweet Mama, thanks to lovely Marina who was able to translate for me. This Mama was gripped with fear. Fear of having a child with Down syndrome. In her culture, her child is viewed as cursed and even she is looked at as having done something to bring this on. And so we prayed. And we cried. And we laughed. And we hugged. And then we said good-bye. I may never see her again, but I will never forget her.
|Some of the moms (and a dad) who came to our sessions|
|A Mama I will not forget! Praying for this one!|
|My new heart friend, Dina, the one who organized the moms' group, and her cutie pie daughter, Abby!|