Monday, July 27, 2009

VBS, Bishkek style: The art of jimmy rigging :)

Summer = VBS (Vacation Bible School). :)

And if you've ever helped out with VBS anywhere in the world, you know it's a lot of work! It's especially a lot of work if it is in a foreign country and the location (church grounds or whatever) are not your own, but someplace where you rent.

But we had our fearless leader, Tracy, and so our first day went great!

(Here she is with the "framework" of our make-shift tent...just wait to see how it was transformed!)

It was not without a few hiccups (and not because it was cold! ha! Sorry, local joke), but I'm so amazed at how much fun the kids had and how well it all really went! And that's the point, right? For the kids to hear about Jesus and HAVE FUN! :)

So when the borrowed tent didn't have all the pieces, David just hung it over the "jungle gym".

The theme of camp is the Old Testament Tabernacle, looking at the areas of worship there and corresponding with Jesus' fullfillment of them in the New Testament.

So, with a few scarves and benches inside, some major "jimmy-rigging" outside, 'voila'! Not exactly the tapestries of the original tabernacle, but we liked it! :)

We had our Bible lessons, singing and memory verse lessons here in the tent.

So even if we didn't have the snazziest set-up, we thought it was pretty cool. :)

(This is our "over-head projector" for the words of the songs! Way to go, Nadia!) :)

We made papier mache "brazen lavers" that we will spray paint tomorrow and add our memory verses.

Then we "made" the altar for our "tabernacle" ...

(amazing what gold wrapping paper on an old washing machine box will do!)

Of course there were lots of relay races and games...

waterballoon tossing

and of course - SNACKS!

(David and Deborah cutting up watermellon!)

One big watermellon was devoured immediately and the water drank up quickly. Thankfully it wasn't as hot as it has been.

I doubt I'll be able to post photos every day, but just wanted to get some up of the first day to ask you all to be in prayer and thank you all for remembering us so far. Thanks!

Friday, July 17, 2009

"I am 'Aedjae' Hear Me Roar!" :)

In the center of Bishkek there is this great park filled with statues. Most are of traditional Kyrgizi images, like this woman here.

I don't know if she would be considered "Aedjae" or not, she looks a little young. :)

Here in Kyrgizstan "mature" women are called by the Kyrgizi word "Aedjae" (ayd-jayeh, I think!).

Sometimes it's just "Aedjae" and sometimes it is added after the name, like "Cara Aedjae". :)

In Ukraine I felt like women were called "devushka" - the Russian word for young lady (older than girl, younger than woman) for as long as possible! I was regularly called "devushka" in Kyiv, even though I knew I was quite past the actual age intended for that title. [Grandmas are called Babushka, and those in between called "Teute" ('toy-teh'), or "Auntie".]

This is Melanie (Markey) Billings, (a lovely "devushka" and wife of our pastor Paul), with one of our Babushkas.

But here I am actually happy to be called Aedjae! The reason is that it means that I NEVER stand for very long on the busses or marshrutkas (mini-vans crammed full of people used for public transport here)! It's great! ha! :) Sometimes middle-aged men will actually tell young men -who haven't already stood for me - to get up and give "Aedjae" a seat! ha! After standing squished like a sardine on the marshruthkas in Kyiv it is pure heaven to be able to almost always sit here.

So...bring on the "Aedjae"! :) We finally got unlimited internet service up and running here (THANK YOU, ZHENIA!!!). The usual internet services here charge by the downloads and are very expensive, so this is a huge blessing and means I will be able to make some more updates on my summer here in Bishkek. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support.

(The mountains just outside of Bishkek, taken last Spring).