Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia, Turkey

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Basilica Cisterna, Istanbul, Turkey

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Countdowns 7, 6, 5…

COUNTDOWNS, continued

7 Unexpected moments when God revealed Himself in a new or fresh way
7-causing me to meet people to be ministered by, in conversation, prayer, encouragement, hugs. This happened multiple times in China, Cambodia, Thailand, pretty much everywhere…
6-causing me to sit down and just breathe it in. I the mountains, on the beach, with the kids. He alone can still my soul.
5-missing my fellowship at home, feeling disconnected from the community of faith in Sydney, He allowed a church service to be going on right there and then
4-moving the weather to allow/ prevent activities (Queenstown, Milford, Capetown)
3-being so present that I can’t say I was traveling alone
2-feeling weary, wanting rest… And getting an extra day at the house of prayer in India (my flight was moved a day!)
2b-getting weary and restless again, missing friends, and hearing right then from a friend
1-speaking to me in my prayers and studies daily (about Asia when I was there, about orphans when at the children’s home….)

6 favorite sites: (this may be edited later :))
6-Summer palace in Beijing
5-Islands of Thailand, Koi Phi Phi
4-Dolphins, inches from my face!
3-Elephants
2-Milford Sound
1-Ankor Wat

5 things I enjoy most about travel:
1-Sharing with new people (conversations)
2-Seeing new places
3-Learning new things
4-Being out of my comfort zone
5-Coming home (it is the same, and yet always new..)

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Seeing the hand of God…

3/12 COUNTDOWN
7 Unexpected moments when God revealed Himself in a new or fresh way
7-causing me to meet people to be ministered by, in conversation, prayer, encouragement, hugs. This happened multiple times in China, Cambodia, Thailand, pretty much everywhere…
6-causing me to sit down and just breathe it in. I the mountains, on the beach, with the kids. He alone can still my soul.
5-missing my fellowship at home, feeling disconnected from the community of faith in Sydney, He allowed a church service to be going on right there and then 🙂
4-moving the weather to allow/ prevent activities (Queenstown, Milford, Capetown)
3-being so present that I can’t say I was traveling alone
2-feeling weary, wanting rest… And getting an extra day at the house of prayer in India (my flight was moved a day!)
2b-getting weary and restless again, missing friends, and hearing right then from a friend
1-speaking to me in my prayers and studies daily (about Asia when I was there, about orphans when at the children’s home….)

Would you each share one of these moments in your recent life?

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Istanbul at night..

Beautiful!!  🙂

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Blue mosque at night

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Hagia Sofya

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Penguin hello!!

Saw this little tuxedo guy and hundreds of his friends on Boulders beach last Thursday 🙂
The experience was astounding to see them so close – they were almost motionless.  One of the info boards tells us they are fasting as they are molting, no wonder they don’t want to move!

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Penguin hello!!

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Countdowns 10, 9, 8

I wIll be home a week from today, Monday 3/18. I plan to thoroughly enjoy my last week in Turkey and Greece, but am also looking forward to being home. I an effort to share some broad brushstrokes, and my excitement about being home, here are some countdown lists (expect one a day til return!)

3/9 COUNTDOWN
10 things I have been most excited about/ grateful for:
10-Trust, being able to trust God…. And the process!
9-freedom: to be on the journey, to travel freely, to choose what I believe, who I marry, what I wear…
8-iPad–for emailing, blogging, skyping, kindle, games, etc…
7-Jesus’ enduring presence and love, how I’m never alone, and how it connects me to people worldwide
6-amazing sites: Great Wall, beaches, Milford Sound, Taj Mahal
5-swimming with dolphins, time with elephants, penguins, and other cool animals
4-HEALTH :). So, India did a bit of damage to my back, it’s been a little sore, but otherwise… So grateful for health of back, bowels, body overall!
3-perfect timing (flights being moved, just in time for something. A person to share a car)
2-new people! One time conversations and lifetime friends, they’ve all been amazing
#1-my friends and family’s love as I travel (and staying connected). That they, relationships, are HOME….

3/10 COUNTDOWN
9 moments to remember fondly…
1- tickling kids at Asha house until we all giggle ourselves to the floor
2-any number of meals shared with ‘strangers’
3-sleeping on the top bunk of a railway car
4-being stared at, always…
5-praying for the ladies in the Bhatt community
6–Alli’s face when she realized how I could contribute to Hard Places
7-each time a kindness was extended (meals paid for, doors opened, someone to interpret language couchsurfing..)
8-swimming with the dolphins
9-SCUBA diving in Koi Phi Phi

3/11 COUNTDOWN
8 words or phrases I could carry forward…
8-ish, used in Swazi as ‘geez, really, wow, ….’
7-Mia didi, in Hindi, my sister (deedee is pronunciation)
6-auntie/uncle, in India, to address older woman or man
5-good on ya, NZ
4-atcha, Hindi for ‘okay, got it, uh-huh’
3-xiexie, thank you in Chinese
2-Akhun, thank you in Khmer
1-cheers! s.Africa, NZ

Constantly changing languages has been one of the more challenging aspects of the trip. In my first few countries I made a great effort to learn phrases, and quickly learned that Hello and thank you are the mos important. Interestingly, some languages don’t even have a ‘please’. In Chinese, one just makes a command phrase. And saying ‘God Bless You’, although like a knee reflex for me, is not normal in many countries either… I will share more on language in a later blog, but these are a few of the things that stand out :).

What’s a countdown you’d like to see??

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