Saturday, February 3, 2007

Asian Week


During Matt's assignment a few weeks ago, I asked for prayer about balancing my time and building relationships here. Looking back on how that week unfolded, I'm blown away by God's answer to those prayers.

Monday: Just as Matt left for the airport, the phone rang. It was Nila Patel, a delightful Gujarati woman I met in September 1994 at the beginning of my two years in Nairobi with TIMO's Asian team. Back then, Nila took me under her wing and gave me a fantastic cultural orientation. Talk about a small world, she was visiting her son and his family who happen to live about 10 minutes from us! Nila and her daughter-in-law came over while Jack was at school, and we had such a fun time reminiscing and catching up. She has struggled with a lot of health issues in the nine years since I had seen her last, but she was the same Nila -- walked into the house and straight into the kitchen and started making masala tea!

Tuesday: Inspired by my visit with Nila and Malini, I made dhal and rice for supper. It's the one thing (besides a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) that Jack will always eat, and -- I'm very happy to say -- Sophie seems to be carrying on the family's affinity for Indian food. Clever girl!

Wednesday: A box arrived in the mail from Vandita in Cyprus. Our sweet friendship began about four years ago when she offered to give Indian cooking lessons in her home. (Don't get me wrong -- Nila, Nita and Shaheen had all faithfully shared their kitchen secrets with me. But I met Vandita in my 7th month of pregnancy with Jack, at the height of my spicy-food-cravings. Purely selfish on my part, I know, but I was also feeling homesick for Nairobi and just couldn't resist.) Ooooh, this friend-more-like-a-sister sent me a most stunningly beautiful shalwar kameez, hand-embroidered in her home town of Lucknow, India. Truly lovely!

Thursday: I was outside bringing tea to the man and his son who were replacing our back gate (it had been ripped off its hinges and blown to bits in the previous week's windstorm -- no, I am not kidding). Much to my surprise, a woman drove up to her house across the street, smiled as she got out of her car and then came over to me. This is absolutely not done in our part of England, in my experience anyway. Everyone keeps very much to themselves, so much so that I had not seen this woman in the seven months since we moved in. But hooray, I have an Asian neighbor! Aram is British Punjabi, and she has a 10 week-old daughter. I gave her my phone number, and after picking up Jack from school we went to her house for a quick visit and tea (of course).

Friday: Two Sri Lankan ladies came over for tea during Jack's two-and-a-half hours of nursery school. Maheesa's daughter and Mrs. N's grandson are in Jack's class, and I've often chatted with these women while waiting for our children. This was the first time we had gotten together away from school, but judging from the smiles, laughter and freely flowing conversation, it won't be the last. (Interestingly, they had never had masala tea before -- in Sri Lanka they drink masala coffee!) Now Maheesa's daughter is asking all of us to come to her house so the kids can play together. I can't wait!

So there you have it, showers of blessing in direct answer to prayer. To borrow an appropriate phrase, "When it rains, it pours." God is so amazingly, specifically, overwhelmingly good!

* * * * * * *
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17 NIV)

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. (2Thessalonians 2:16 NCV)

Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)

4 comments:

Colleen said...

Laura,

I miss you and wish we could have tea! God is good -I have seen Him work in mighty ways just this week! Need a break as tomorrow the week starts again - it is missions month at church and we are raising money for Richard Taylors and Jeff Komants - Wellspring Foundation - building a school in Rwanda. Chuck Davis from AIM spoke in service and we honored the Demars for 17 years of service. We shared with the over 60 SS class about our trip last summer and overall were in Africa heaven! Have a great day! Colleen Klassen

Anonymous said...

wow... what a week... thanks for sharing your blessings, Laura... a real inspiratio... Love, Aunt Judy Reid here in chilly Menominee.. where it's -15 degrees... and school was even cancelled for the day... yikes!!! now you know it's cold

j.a.becker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
j.a.becker said...

Hi Laura, This is a fun blog with a very appropriate name. You are too funny.

Love John and Monie