Life in the FLL: Why we do what we do (Part 2)

In April, I wrote Part 1 of this blog series where I focused on the call from the Bible to take the message to all nations.  In Part 2, I want to share with you the Brutal Facts of our area to further explain why we do what we do.  One of our leaders shared this little story with us which I think will help you in understanding the immense population and lostness around us…

Let’s say I was a super evangelist, and I was able to lead 5 people a week to Christ.  Let’s say that I did this every week of every year for 40 years.  During these 40 years, I would have seen 10,400 people give their life to Christ!  This would be awesome!  40 years and 10,400 new believers!  Job well done!

Yet in the state in which we focus, 10,400 people are added to the population every 2.5 days!! Yes, I said days.  Everything that I would have accomplished would be awesome; yet, all that I would have accomplished in 40 years would be equalized by the birth rate in 2.5 days.

Here’s another way to think about the monumental task before us….every 3 minutes, 5 people die in our focus state.  So every hour, 100 people die, and every 10 hours, 1000 people die.  This is a lot of numbers but here is the truth.  If 1000 people are dying every 10 hours, only 1 out of 1000 knows Jesus as his Savior.  Yep, only 1!

While these facts and statistics can seem both surreal and also saddening, know that God is working among all of this!  May these Brutal Facts both help you to understand more of why we are here and how you can continue to pray for the work.

Life in the FLL: Why we do what we do (Part 1)

Last month, Beth wrote a post about what we do here in FLL.  In it, she talked about the trips we take to do trainings.  Part of our teaching includes a section on vision casting where we answer the question, “Why are we here?”.  So for the blog today, I wanted to share some of this with you to answer the question, “Why we do what we do?”.

Why are we here in FLL? There are 3 passages from the Bible that I want to share to explain why. First start with Ezekiel 36:22-23 where I think we can see God’s Pulse.

22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. (ESV)

Israel has been exiled from their land and is now in captivity, yet we know that God has promised never to leave his people and he will restore them to their land. But look closely at what he says again. See? God acts and works for the sake of his name alone! He is not going to restore Israel for their sake. They were the ones that profaned his name! And as God makes his name holy, his name will then be made holy among all the nations! You see, there are so many places around us where God’s name is profaned every day through the worship of idols and false gods. It is God’s heart to see His name made holy in these places.

Knowing this truth, we can then look at Revelation 7:9-10 to see God’s Promise.

9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (ESV)

The apostle John here describes for us this beautiful vision of what we sees in heaven. Among the great multitude worshipping Jesus on the throne, John writes that he recognizes people from every nation, tribe, and language. Think about that for a second. In heaven, there will be at least 1 person from every people group and/or language group in the world! And not just those living now but from every group that ever was or ever will be! So what does this mean? As we go out into these nations where God’s name is not known, we have a promise from him that there will be people from these groups worshipping him. We can rest knowing it is not our responsibility to save them, but merely to make his name known. He is the one who is doing all the work!

Now that we know God’s Pulse for all nations and have God’s Promise of believers from every nation, tribe, people, and language, we can look to Matthew 28:18-20 for God’s Plan for making his name known.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

Here in the Great Commission, Jesus is giving his disciples the plan for growing the kingdom of God.  There are 3 parts to this commission.  In the middle, we find God’s Plan.  The command here is to make disciples through baptizing them and then teaching them to obey Jesus’ commands.  That’s it!  The simplicity of this is amazing, and it’s why the church grew so quickly in Acts.  What’s even more comforting in this command is the statements book-ending it.  At the beginning, Jesus states that all authority is his.  No one is above him.  Then at the end, he tells his followers that he will always be with them.  So get this: the one who has all authority will always be with us.  Therefore, we can go and make disciples without worry; Jesus is with us!

In part 2, I will explain more about the brutal facts of our area and why we came here…

Life in the FLL: Things we love about ‘ol S. Asia…

Ok, so, in my (Beth) last post, I mentioned that we love certain things about South Asia…now, we’d like to share them with you so you’ll get on a plane and come over ASAP to enjoy with us…ha!  Well, can’t say I didn’t try…

Top Ten List of Awesome things about South Asia:

10. Transportation is pretty easy to get around, but we hope being crammed into a small space w/ others doesn’t bother you. As they say around here – How many people can you fit into a car?  Always one more!
9. The food is pretty good…you know how we roll…momos, tandoori, dal bhat & subji, naan, coke with REAL sugar and milk tea…bring it!
8. Openness…you can talk to pretty much anyone, anytime, about anything…talking about the Gospel isn’t hard, but sometimes falls on deaf ears…
7. The pace of life here is really slow…no one really gets bent out of shape if you’re late.  Just remember this phrase, “Please don’t mind.” and you’ll be golden…
6. Things are pretty easily found in the local market…with that being said, you have to go to the market and play a “scavenger hunt” to find things…so, I guess that could be good or bad. ha!
5. That at the movie theater, you buy a seat…not just a ticket where they might oversell tickets and you get stuck sitting on the floor…but an actual seat (i.e.  K10-K11) and sometimes that seat is a huge, sweet recliner…for $10 total you can get 2 tickets, popcorn and 2 cokes!  Take that couponing!
4.Things here are pretty inexpensive…except the Domino’s, KFC, Baskin Robbins and Subway…but we’ll take those any day.
3.Hindi Movies & their songs!  Some of our newer favs…Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Jab We Met, Kahaani, Don 1 & 2, and we recently saw Talaash – sooo good.  See here for our last post about our love for Bollywood movies…
2.Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol

And…

1.Modesty in most of the dress here!  (Saris and Salwar Kameezes are beautiful and very modest)

Life in the FLL: Monsoon Season (part 2)

And we’re back!!!  So with monsoon season comes some very interesting and stressful challenges.  Let’s start with the stressful…

Mold
So, you know what it takes for mold to grow?  Heat, humidity, and darkness.  You know what my house is during monsoon season?  Hot, humid, and dark!  We have a winner!  We were alerted to the idea of mold season by others living around here, but we really had no idea what we were getting into.  Right before we left for 12 days, we were alerted to a little bit of mold growing on our kitchen wall. (yes you did read that right).  So we cleaned the few spots we saw; no problem.  Well, 12 days later we returned to the mold capital of the world! (slight exaggeration).  For the next 7 days, we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.  And then we had to clean the same things again and again and again.  I made a list of everything I’ve cleaned in the past week and a half; there are 20 items on there.  In fact, here’s a picture of the mold growing on the bottom of the girls’ dresser drawers. (Note, this was only a week after having been cleaned the first time).

So yeah, mold has become a new 4-letter word in our vocabulary.  My hands smell of vinegar; my eyes seem to be twitching from thinking that every spot on anything is mold.  My nose is running from inhaling all the spores, and my patience with Miss Monsoon is wearing real thin.  But a little humor can go a long way . . .

Motorcycle
If you recall, we have a motorcycle for our vehicle.  Well, motorcycles and monsoon really don’t work well together…at all.  There are a few options to getting around during this season.  First, you can just bum rides off of people.  This is what we do for Maddie’s school.  Second, you can just stay at home.  We only do this occasionally when we are just plain tired; the locals also choose this option.  Third, you can call an auto to come and get you.  This works, except that they don’t have doors either so you still get wet and they can get quite expensive.  Fourth, you borrow someone’s car when they are out-of-town.  This is best!! Or fifth, you wait for the gaps in the rain and you hurry out to get done what you need done.  The only problem with this is when you guess wrong, forget your rain jacket, and have a hot pizza on the back of the motorcycle.  What do you do?  Stay dry and eat cold pizza after spending all day cleaning mold? Or do you just laugh at yourself, get soaking wet, and have hot pizza?  Here’s what I decided to do…

Best pizza I’ve ever had!  Now, there is another option that I haven’t tried just yet.  You can still go out on your motorcycle (or bike) and have the person on the back of the bike hold the umbrella to keep you dry.  Now, as soon as I can get a pic of this actually taking place, I will update the blog.

Madness
You know what is maddening?  With both angry and gentle monsoon, you can’t get your clothes dry! (Now before we have our pity party, you can buy dryers here.  There hard to find, but they do exist.  They are just a bit pricey.)  So, we now dry all of our clothes in the dining room under the fan on a clothes rack with a standing fan oscillating next to it.  It mostly works and takes about 24 hours to be as dry as you can be when your house is 85% humidity.  HOWEVER, what causes mold?  Heat, humidity, and darkness.  Yep, so drying your clothes inside really doesn’t help the mold situation all that much.

Well, that’s enough for now.  As we see some more fun monsoon pics, we will be sure to post to Facebook or Flickr.  Only 2 more months of monsoon to go!!

Life in the FLL: Monsoon season (part 1)

Yes, this one is going to be a 2-parter.  You see, we took some nice time away for a little vacation and team meetings.  Since we’ve been back, the blog has been quite low on the priority list due to this little thing called MONSOON SEASON!  Now, it’s been raining in the FLL since May.  Yet the locals say that wasn’t the start of monsoon; that was just rain.  Monsoon season didn’t begin until June….and it’s not stopped really raining ever since.

Ya see, monsoon has many personalities.  First, there’s angry monsoon.  Angry Monsoon likes to just absolutely downpour for hours and hours; I mean like really downpour.  Just today, angry monsoon let us know she was angry for about 29 hours straight.  Yards, roads, entire cul-de-sacs were flooded.  Some streets have caved a little due to the ground below being so saturated.  Angry Monsoon even pushes her rain through your umbrella.  The only good thing about angry monsoon is that once she is done, the skies open up and the sun comes out and you are free to come out again….until she strikes again a few hours/days later.

Then there is gentle monsoon.  Gentle Monsoon really isn’t any better.  You see, she will let her rain fall ever so gently for-e-ver.  Yep, earlier in the season, gentle monsoon spent 3 continuous days with us…without stopping.  With her, it just always rains a little.  There is no sun; there is no break.  It…just…seems…to…never…stop.  However, with her you don’t have to worry too much about flooding and you can still get around fairly easily (for monsoon season).

So as far as we know now, these are monsoon’s only 2 personalities.  As any more progress, we will let you know.

Up next: mold, motorcycles, and madness!!!!!!

This meteorological report has been brought to you by the WAVE3 Weather Team.  Not really, but I really do miss staying informed of fun weather lore on their blog.  Check it out (if you live in Louisville).  HA!!

Life in the FLL: Our Wheels!!


MVI_3279

Originally uploaded by willandbeth

We are very fortunate to have some wheels in FLL to carry us around in . . . that would be 2 wheels to be exact! The motorcycle is an Enfield Thunderbird; I’m not sure what that all means, but I just now that it gets us around from point A to point B (when it’s not raining).
Yes, I said “us”. That’s right; all 4 of us travel on the bike. Here’s a picture and some video to show you how it’s done.

*NOTE FOR GRANDPARENTS: WE ALL HAVE HELMETS THAT WE WEAR; JUST DIDN’T WEAR THEM FOR THE VIDEO!!!

The girls both love the bike. Maddie likes to ride up front so she can watch all that is going on. Most of the time, she just sings as she rides. Her helmet has a face shield so she doesn’t get any bugs in her mouth. Mahaney likes to fall asleep on the bike; maybe it’s the humming of the engine.

My favorite time is when all 4 of us go to the grocery store, and then we all 4 get on the bike with our multiple grocery bags handing from the side bars and sitting in laps! We’ll spare details for those weak stomach-ed people. Ha!

Life in the FLL: Our kitchen and lunch everyday!!

Ok, so, I’ve (Beth) been waiting for a while to take pics of the kitchen b/c I wanted it to be spotless and full of food to show off 🙂  Well, the spotlessness has still not really happened but my sweet didi (house helper) does a wonderful job every day drying the dishes I washed the night before, washing the current day’s dishes, cooking our favorite lunch dal bhat and subji, washing those dishes, drying them and then mopping the kitchen floor before she leaves for the day…and that’s only like a 1/4 of what she does everyday at our house!  This girls needs a gold medal!  haha…

So, at last, here are some more pics of our house in FLL…our kitchen is approx. 10×11 (although we don’t know for sure since everything here is measured in the metric system. ha!) and we are in it quite a bit of the day.  Here’s the entrance way and I’ll show the pics counter-clockwise from when I step in the door.
 Here’s a zoom in of the wall w/ the sink and gas burners…

Round the corner to the wall w/ the little stove and microwave…

And then, my favorite part of the kitchen…no, not the fridge…the full vegetable stand!!  hahaha…is she crazy??

And all along those black cabinets are the goodies from those awesome people in the States have sent us!!  Don’t worry, they’re not just sitting there, there are great plans for them 🙂
Ok, so, now onto our favorite everyday lunch…they have the same thing for lunch everyday??  Well, if you didn’t know, if your last name is Jackson, you have to have something you do the same for at least 10+ years…remember this?  yeah, that’s what I’m talking about… anyways.  At 11:30 a.m. our time our didi starts preparing all of the ingredients for our dal bhat (lentil soup-ish stuff and cooked rice, which I’m told is a complete protein by itself.) and subji (cooked yummy vegetables in oil and other spices).  Mostly S. Asians eat the veggies cooked with masala mixes, but I highly suspected when we first got here that they may have gluten in them, but it’s not listed.  (Unfortunately, I found out the hard way.)  So, our didi has to make very simple lunch.  But it’s still sooooooooooo tasty.
She prepares everything, cooks everything and has it on the table when we get Maddie back home from school at 1 p.m.  It’s awesome…she knows pretty much how much rice we’ll eat and how much vegetables to make.  She’s awesome.
Did I mention that she is awesome?! 

So, here is the spread…the girls are always so excited.

Maddie has 1-2 bowls of dal bhat and subji…

But that’s no match for Mahaney’s whopping 3 bowls of it…

And then she promptly comatoses out…

Some would say it’s the volume of food she’s eating…some might say it’s the heat…I just say she’s a growing little girl that loves her dal bhat and subji and if she can’t eat anymore, she’ll just dream about eating more.  Love her!
So, that’s what we got folks!  If you wanna stop by for lunch sometime, it’s no problem…give us a heads up so we can tell our didi how much.  Word!!

Life in the FLL: So, what do we watch?

We don’t as of now have a TV or a DVD player…so, what do we do on some “down time” (down time…what is that?  Do they actually have down time?)  Well, we don’t have much of it, but we do make time to watch some Hindi movies.  Will and I love them.  Some people don’t, but we sure do and I’m thankful b/c the usually 3 hour movie counts towards our language learning time 🙂  So, that’s always a plus!

How do we choose the movies we watch?

File:KabhiKhushiKabhiGham Poster.jpg

We usually ask our national friends which ones are “nice” and they are right!  We also can bank that if our favorite actors/actresses (Amitabh BachchanShah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Preity Zinta, etc.) are in it…it’s probably good.

What are they like compared to American movies?  They are usually 3+ hours (yes, there is an intermission in the 

middle, thank you.), usually includes 3-4 Bollywood dance scenes (but not always for those of you who don’t like dancing), no kissing, some type of love story, and they’re usually a bit cleaner than most American films (little cussing and no inappropriate scenes).

File:KalHoNaaHo.jpg

What do we recommend so far in our journey?  We have LOVED Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham for…well, since it came out.  It has so many famous people in it and it’s just a fun, well put together movie.  Kudos Yash Johar!  We also love Kal Ho Naa Ho…it’s also a classic.  We would recommend My Name is Khan and Lagaan.

What’s next on the list?  We plan on in the coming weeks watching Chak De! India, Om Shanti Om, Taare Zameen Par, Koi…Mil Gaya, and Baghban.

Got an other suggestions??  🙂

Life in the FLL: Wish List!

Listen, the FLL is great.

We are really enjoying living here and there is really very little food-wise that we cannot get here.  There is a really nice, modern grocery store 1.5km from our house that carries almost all of what we need.  There is another, smaller store near Maddie’s school that carries a good amount of imported goods (tortilla chips and salsa).  Every Tuesday, I (Will) go to the  local fruit and

vegetable market to buy all that we need for the week.  For all the vegetables, it costs about $4; fruits are a bit more expensive, costing about $6.  Yep, for $10 a week, we get: oranges, grapes, apples, pomegranates, bananas, eggplant, okra, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, garlic, onions, cauliflower, carrots, and cucumbers.  BAM!

However, there are a few things that are not here in the FLL that would be wonderful to have, but that we can live without.  We call this our wish list.  So here’s our wish list for any of you who have (or want to) send something to us:

  • Welch’s Grape Jam in squeeze bottle
  • Bisquick (both regular and gluten-free)
  • Nestle’s chocolate chips
  • M&M’s and/or Snickers
  • Boxed Mac and Cheese
  • marshmallows
  • Dry Ranch packets
  • Taco seasonings (without wheat)
  • Pepperoni
  • Lysol Wipes
  • Magic Erasers
  • Bic mechanical pencils
  • Dry Erase markers
  • 4×6 Index cards, lined
  • *Cute* Notecards from Target’s Dollar Spot or wherever w/ envelopes
  • Tide Stain sticks
  • Gatorade/Lemonaide mixes
  • Flushable wipes (Cottonelle or store brand)
  • Fun band-aids

Now Beth has a gluten allergy, so here is her special wish list:

  • Anything made by Udi’s
  • Nut-thins Crackers (Sea Salt or Original)
  • DeBoles spaghetti/penne rice noodles
  • Trader Joe’s makes a real nice boxed mac and cheese

No pressure on ANYONE to send us a package.  We know that the cost of shipping through USPS runs anywhere from $40-$60 per box.  But for those that ask, here ya go!  Just leave a comment or send an email (willj31 at gmail dot com) and we’ll send you our address.  Thanks in advance!!!

Life in the FLL: Construction

While  Beth is talking about what’s in the house, I thought a quick post about what is going on outside the house might be of some interest.

Yes, that is a picture of our house now.  Who needs scaffolding when you have bamboo poles that stretch 3 stories?  Who needs screws when twine can tie them all together?  The construction process here is crazy (from my perspective).  The 2nd floor of our house (that would be 3rd floor in the US) is under construction for our landlord.  Almost all of the brick work and window framing is done.  The inside concrete plaster is finished, so now comes the fun part: the outside plaster.

First though, there are 3 ladies who porter all the sand and bricks and rock up to the top.  How you say?  Well, they carry the bags of sand on their heads up 3 flights of stairs!  Then they carry 8 bricks at a time…also on their heads up 3 flights of stairs!  Most of the time, they do this without no hands!! (I know, lots of !! but did you just read what I wrote?!?)  Then, the other workers mix all the sand, concrete, and rock by hand; throw it into a big bowl-looking thing; and carry it over to the plaster guy who slings it against the wall.  Then another guy comes through and smoothes everything out so that it looks all nice.  Here’s the problem, when they sling the concrete against the wall, it doesn’t all stick.  Some it falls all the way to the ground so be careful where you walk.  We’ve been told that all this work will be done by May; maybe yes, maybe no.  Either way, they have to get it done before monsoon hits, otherwise the walls might come tumbling down and we sure don’t want that.

Here’s another picture of how they hold up the concrete both before and after the “pour” it.  Craziness!