Saturday, January 24, 2009
Our first Macedonian b.d. party
We went to our first Macedonian birthday party last night. It was held at "Zvezda" or "Star", which is a party room that can be rented out. The party was for Anastasia, a great friend of Sawyer's from Gradinka. That is Anastasia with Sawyer in the bottom picture. Anastasia had a great birthday party! This was the first children's party where Eric has been offered whiskey or vodka, which he politely declined. :)
Jan. 31, 2009
Today as Emily and I were prayer walking, I had a good heart search and a time of great conviction. Emily was enthusiastic about praying for the Roma community in Dame Gruev this morning; and I honestly just wanted to stay in our warm car and only “prayer ride” the area. As we got out of the car, I felt the cold outside as I gazed at the cloudy, overcast sky.
We turned to walk down an alley, and immediately we were met by a group of about five smiling faced children wearing unmatched clothing with holes. They were so happy to see us! Were we a ray of hope for their day? Were they hoping that we had brought gifts? Maybe. They started running ahead of us screaming, “Some Germans are here! Look, look, here comes some Germans!” (They thought we were German because of my light- colored hair.) I recognized some of the faces of these children from earlier visits to the area. I think this time was the saddest one for me. It being winter, several of the children had colds and their upper lips were covered with dry and fresh mucus, their bodies very dirty all over.
We walked for quite a while. Then, I just thought we were going to turn around and walk back, Emily said, “No let’s go on down this path and see if it leads back to the street.” As I looked down this extremely muddy path, I really didn’t want to go walking on it! I didn’t want to go down this muddy path and get my pink and gray Nike shoes dirty. I really didn’t want to have to clean them when I got home. What an inconvenience to my day!
Then, we came to another even muddier part of the path. I for sure was NOT walking through that mud pile! It smelled like bodily waste mixed in the mud. I keep thinking—“how do people live here? How do people live here? Oh this is so horrible-- how do people live here? ” I wanted to just wait there on Emily and not go any further. Then the Lord pierced my heart once again for the Roma people, yes for their poverty, but also for their lostness without the Savior. These people truly have no hope AT ALL according to worldly standards. I want them to know THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE of Jesus Christ! Only then will they have true hope in this world. I decided to walk that muddy path.
My heart broke for my sinful selfishness. There I was concerned with getting my Nike’s dirty, while the child beside me was wearing no socks and his heels were out of the backs of his shoes. God created these people and I’m no better than they are. I was shown once again that many of my concerns in life are very superficial. Thank you Lord for not giving up on me and thank you Lord that you won’t give up on the Roma.