Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Baptisms & School Holidays

My mind is often full of random ideas, in regards to what I should put in my next blog post.  None of the ideas seem to constitute an entire post, so I’m often left wandering what you all would like to know about my adventure of late.  I do get a few comments now and again, I did have one request for a video of me covered in ants while trying to mow the lawn the other day; thankfully I don’t think I’ll have to repeat that adventure, so I’m unable to provide video proof of my plight.  Before I left the States I was requested to find out if water goes down the drain clockwise or counter-clockwise since I’m in the southern hemisphere.  Hopefully in one of my next posts I can give you all a video so you can decide for yourselves.  Since it’s been a few days since I’ve posted, you’re all left with a run-down of recent events.

Sunday was the baptismal service and it was so neat to hear the stories of how God worked in the lives of the Iranian believers.  Maryam came from a very strict Muslim family, yet still found Christ; Hossein was led to Christ by a friend and later put in prison after the police raided his house church; and Amir found out about Christ from a friend as well, but didn’t become a believer until moving to Australia for school and going to the English classes at church.  It was very neat to hear more about them and to have a baptism the week before Easter.  Because 3 of the 4 people being baptized were Iranian they had Amir do the morning reading in English and Farsi. 
Romans 6:5-1 (the Message)—“So what do we do?  Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving?  I should hope not!  If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there?  Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good?  That is what happened in baptism.  When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace – a new life in a new land!  That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means.  When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.  Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.”
They had a celebratory BBQ at the pastor’s house afterwards, so I went along to that.  I've now been dubbed "Abigail II" because the pastor's daughter is also named Abigail.  They were all quick to assure me that I was in no way inferior for being the second :) I met several more people and got to know Doug & Rosalie better when they offered me a ride back to the church (I’d ridden up with Amir, Maryam and Hossein).  Doug was the first person I met my first Sunday, and his wife Rosalie is a sweetheart.  She has a very special gift for hospitality and making people feel welcome.  They found out I’d be alone over Easter and immediately offered to have me over after church next week.  They were taking Mario & Patricia (a couple from Honduras) and me back to the church from the Pastor’s house and decided they’d stop over at their home on the way back to show us where they live, and to meet their Corgi.  They even decided they’d just drop me right off at Leslie’s door when they found out I’d be trying to catch the bus back, even though it was even farther away from their home. 

I’d been a bit worried earlier in the afternoon because Leslie had mentioned on Saturday that she was going to look at another house Sunday afternoon (at 2pm) if I wanted to come along.  I’d told her when I left for church Sunday morning that I’d been invited to a BBQ, so I might not be back in time to go.  She texted me right as we were about to eat, asking where the BBQ was at, that she could come pick me up so we could go look at the house.  I told her it was in Eden Hills (I had to ask someone because I had no idea where I was at), but not to worry about me.  She said she wanted me to see it and I thought maybe she was a bit miffed at me for not being back in time.  Thankfully, when I got back to her house they were still out and when they arrived she didn’t seem fazed at all about the whole thing. 

The boys are on school holiday this week; and then they’re going on a trip over Easter, so we’re trying to keep them entertained while also keeping the house tidy (which is quite difficult).  Monday we managed to keep them off the TV and iPad (also, quite difficult) until about 4pm!  Leslie had fitness in the park in the morning and then we went out for coffee with another mom and her 2 daughters.  We got home and then Leslie realized one of the other houses she is interested in purchasing had open house for a half hour, so we hopped back in the car and headed back across town to go look at it.  The boys were not happy about having to leave home again, so after a quick peek I took them down the street to a park.  Thankfully I was able to just push them on the swings for most of the time, and then we played tag for a bit.  When we got back home again Leslie decided that, despite the inevitable mess, the boys should do some painting.  Aleksander painted me a duck with little golden eggs; Leslie said I’ve made a friend if he’s giving me things.  Since I’ve never seen Puss in Boots (that’s why he’d painted the little duckling and golden eggs) he convinced his mom to let us watch it (despite the no TV rule).  
You can see another duck he painted on the easel in the background.  Magnus was of course in no mood to paint, but did manage to eventually paint a dinosaur.  So, all in all, my first full day of “kid time” went quite well, I'd say.  They're leaving Friday morning, and I've already made it through most of today (Tuesday), so hopefully tonight goes smoothly (Leslie's going out for dinner with friends).  Hope all is well back home!

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