Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sumnal featured on CNN

Sumnal, the Roma educational center that we work with, has been featured on CNN! Some of our friends are on this news clip. Enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0e-Xb1Q4Vc

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today is Vodici

Today is the Orthodox Christian holiday Vodici. You can see my blog post from this holiday last year. We thought the cross throwing would be this morning at 10 a.m. so we went to the Vardar hoping to see it but they changed the times from last year.
http://ericjill.blogspot.com/2009/01/vodici-january-19th.html

I found some good information about Vodici on travel2macedonia.com.mk. The article below is from that website:

Religious holiday
Bogojavlenie - Vodici (Baptism of Jesus Christ)

Celebrated on Jan 19

One of the greatest Christian holidays, Vodici (Baptism of Jesus Christ), has been celebrated since the second century. In the river Jordan, Saint John the Baptist, baptized Jesus Christ.
This event is known as Bogojavlenie, because by the act of the baptism of God has finally appeared as Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The catch of the cross means unification of the human with Jesus Christ.
The tradition of throwing the Cross in Macedonia is old 20 years, while the holiday is being celebrated for more than 2000 years by the Orthodox Christians.
Celebration of the day of St. John the Baptist by performing a unique ceremony of throwing the cross into the waters of a lake or river.
During this unique event, the waters of the lake are being baptized by the high priest by throwing the cross into the water, but the real attraction is the people jumping into the cold waters of the lake trying to find the cross! The one who finds it is believed to be blessed for the whole of next year and becomes a kind of local hero. This event is accompanied by 30 to 40,000 guests every year and no wonder, since hot rakiya (grape spirit) is being served all over the places and for free!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Baptist Global Response - Haiti

If you are looking for a way to donate money to the suffering Haitians, we highly suggest that you make your donation to (BGR)Baptist Global Response. 100% will go directly to meet Haiti relief needs. BGR is the group that has funded the feeding program that Eric was involved in last year with the Roma children. That program is continuing still in one Roma community here in Macedonia. We personally know some of the BGR workers and trust that they will make wise decisions about how best to help the Haitians in need. Click on the link below to make your donation:

http://www.baptistglobalresponse.com/new/giving-haiti.php

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sreken Bozik! (Merry Christmas)



Today is Christmas here in Macedonia. Last night we were invited to our landlords home for Batnik (Christmas Eve)dinner. The video of Sawyer shows a tradition where everyone eats bread and the person who gets the coin in their piece will have an especially great year. The pita we ate had three rows to represent all the males present for the dinner. The pita pie was made of cheese and leeks. We also ate cabbage rolls, bread, cakes, and cookies. video

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fun at a wedding









Last night we attended a wonderful wedding reception. It was lots of fun! The restaurant was at Kale (Turkish fortress). Kale was beautifully covered in snow. We danced, ate, and fellowshipped with friends. You will notice in the pictures that some of the ladies are wearing traditional Roma costumes. We were honored to be invited to this memorable occasion. video

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a blessed year in 2010! What will this new year hold for our family? We don't know, but we do know THE ONE that knows. Praise God that we have reason to not be "anxious about anything" (Phil.4:6) because our God "will make our path straight" (Pro.3:6)! We only have four more months here in Skopje, Macedonia. Eric is starting to look for other employement. It will be exciting to see where God takes us!

Christmas was wonderful! It was Olivia's 1st Christmas so I know she won't remember anything but I will have pictures to show her one day. "Pop" (Steven) came to visit us, we hosted friends in our home for Christmas dinner, and we attended two Christmas parties so we kept very busy!

Today marks the first BIG snow of the year. This city is so beautiful covered in a blanket of snow! Snow always reminds me of the forgiveness of sins I have received through Jesus Christ, for which I am very thankful!

Psalm 51:7 (New International Version)

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.