Friday, May 29, 2009


in myanmar most women and children (and a small number of men) wear Thanake (TH awn uh kuh).  it comes from making paste from the bark of a certain kind of tree.  it is said to protect skin from the sun and keep you cool.  i definitely wanted in on this cultural experience - so heather and i invited MaSenDa, their language teacher, to show us how to do it.  

we went into the market and found the bark and special stone used to make the paste.  then we went to work - making the paste and then putting it on.  i always thought that it was only on the circles or squares that you see most prominently on the face, but i found out that they put a thin layer on all over their face (and usually arms or other exposed skin as well) to provide skin protection.  the designs over the top, i learned, are simply for beauty.  of course, these designs were pretty hard to see on my pale skin, since it dried to a pale yellow.  oh well!  it was still so much fun!

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we didn't get any pictures of us with our thanake completely dried on heather and i - but you get the idea!

Monday, May 25, 2009

so apparently it takes a while to get my thoughts together...

so first and foremost - Happy Birthday Bethany!!  what can i say about a girl who has always, without a doubt, treated me as nothing less than her little sister - what a blessing!

i have been struggling with where to even start with my trip to southeast asia.  i went primarily to visit this dear wonderful friend of mine, Heather and her husband, Matthew.
in our matching shirts - her's a little bigger to fit her growing baby belly! (thanks mom!)

i was also bringing a little project for another family i'm friends with, namely their brand new son Jude.
i'm really pleased with this quilt.  i made it with a lot of fabrics that the baby's mom gave me when they moved to asia.  i was so excited to give them back to her in this way - and i found out when i got there that they had been her grandma's quilting fabrics!  God works in awesome ways!

now i'm gonna share one of the best stories from my time there - just in case i don't get back to updating more about the time - at least this story will be shared.  

many know that cyclone nargis hit the irrawady delta a year ago.  it wiped out entire villages, killing hundreds of thousands.  foreigners were not allowed in to bring aide.  my friends who i was visiting had yet to be able to go down.  however national missionaries from our org. have been able to go down from the first week on - bringing aide and hope.  in one of the villages they have been working in for the past year, 13 villagers have recently given their lives to Christ and become baptized!  

Matthew and i were given the opportunity to go down and visit this village on the anniversary of the cyclone.  we were written special letters of entry and allowed into the delta region.  Heather didn't go because the trip would have been to hard on her - being both pregnant and having kidney stones!  i can testify to this because after doing the 8 hour rough road trip and 1 hour boat ride twice - i was sore for the rest of the week!  

the pain was worth it!  i got to see men and women learning how to praise Jesus in the midst of their grief.  i began telling the children a story about Jesus healing a man and realized that every adult was hanging on my every word as well.  what a privilege to get to share one small bit about who our wonderful saviour is to them for the very first time!  i got to listen as they remembered those they had lost - for there was not a single family that had not lost family members and no one's home was standing after the cyclone.  i shared a psalm with them about 'worshiping God in the splendor of His holiness' as they were learning that God is indeed holy.  i listened as wonderful national missionaries shared the truth with boldness and cried with their new brothers and sisters.  i listened to the young children sing songs of praise that they had been taught and my heart rejoiced to know that a whole new generation of this village is going to grow up knowing Christ!  

the village monk wants to be baptized.  13 believers out of 200 villagers - i believe that God will sweep through this village!  they are a baby church for sure - we spoke to them under a shrine to buddha in one of the new believers homes.  they are still learning.  our national missionaries are wise.  they know that God will soon stir in them to leave their idols behind, they trust God to work in them.  they are sending down workers from their body to teach them.  i cannot describe the privilege i felt to get to be able to be a part of it.  

entering the village

children singing a new song to Jesus!

sharing about the man who was lowered to Jesus by his friends and healed!

elder in the village and brand new brother in Christ!

new believers with national missionary 

sleeping at the bottom of the boat - exhausted but hearts light!

Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; 
       tremble before him, all the earth.  Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"

-  Psalm 96:9-10

Sunday, May 10, 2009

until i'm thinking clearly again...

waiting for jet lag to wear off before i do any real posts to avoid writing things like - 

"i feel like monkeys" or "here is a sonnet dedicated solely to sleep"

but for now i will share a link to a podcast and pictures that i did with my friends in SE Asia.  they do them semi-regularly to share about their work.  i got to join them this time.  go have a look and listen - hear about some awesome things God is doing in the Arrawady Delta since Cyclone Nargis hit last year!