Thursday, July 10, 2014

different, yet the same (#k2stan2014)

I thought it might end up this way, but I was hoping it wouldn't. I had every intention to blog while I was over in Kazakhstan--especially since some of you tuned in just for our trip and to pray alongside us! But the blogging didn't happen. Wi-fi was spotty and completely unavailable in certain places, and then I just didn't have time and I was completely exhausted!

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
Quite an experience having to take our luggage out of a car and walk 10 minutes to a border crossing and pass through only to wait for our car, which took quite a while to get through! We headed off to find our guest house in Bishkek, checked in, headed out for our first Central Asian meal and came back to crash for the night--we would be jet-lagged for a good week and a half of our 2+ week stay!

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!
The next morning, we prepared for our talks. And I felt your prayers. Nerves didn't swallow me up and I was instantaneously comfortable in the coffee shop with women speaking Russian. I immediately felt desperate to know Russian and how to communicate and would long for the ability to speak Russian for the entire trip. I did pick up just a tad, and I might be able to say I know more Russian than French, which I took a year of in college. Not really sure what that says. I'll leave you to make your guesses!

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!

Wow. So much more to say and so much unsaid, but I cannot express enough, how thankful I am to all of you who prayed! I cannot wait to share more, but the most important part of this trip was the Lord and His amazing work!! I pray I can translate some of that in more posts to come!


Simply LKJ said...

Lindley, just reading about your experience on the trip brought tears to my eyes. So glad all went well. I am sure those mothers were truly blessed by having you share.

Unknown said...

I love it and you, Babe. May God's kingdom come through things like this!


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