Hello, friends! Life here in the big city is coming along swimmingly. We are happy to say we have wrapped up our five-week stay in a hotel, and have moved into a nice home. The kids are happy to have all of their toys and books back with them, and Kevin and I are happy to have faster Internet.
We are officially residents and not tourists.
Our house is just perfect for our needs. It’s exactly the same square footage as our house in Redding with the same number of bedrooms, baths, an office, etc. The landlord is British, so she speaks English with is invaluable when our ability to speak the local language is basically non-existent. And the view is great, overlooking a park and trees. The main difference is that we are on the 5th floor of a 17-story building. It’s a huge, yet quiet neighborhood with families, playgrounds, dogs going for walks, and birds singing. This is such a blessing as I was not looking forward to the “concrete jungle.” The “jungle” is in walking distance, but not right outside our door, so we are glad for that. We are also quite close to Western luxuries like Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut. We are thankful that this is the provision for us the next couple of years!
Our place has rodents! (ok, just one)
Another wonderful provision happened for the girls. They have wanted an indoor pet for years, but due to their young age and our lease agreement in Redding, we didn’t have any pets. Rachel asked our landlord if we could have pets here, to which she said yes. So I told the kids they would have to pay for most of the pet, including a cage, food, etc. and of course be responsible for all of the feeding and cleaning the cage. They agreed to take care of one well, and I think they will. But five days later on a Craig’s List type site we have here, a free hamster with cage, food, and shavings was posted! I contacted the lady right away and Kevin went down to pick it up for the kids. They are so thrilled to have “Grace” the hamster, and they know that Dad heard their hearts and provided for what they had wanted for so long. Again we are so thankful to see little needs like this being met for all four of us.
Allison is an art teacher.
Other than moving and getting settled, other wonderful things are beginning to happen. I (Allison) have been invited to teach “special art” and creativity with some locals. The teacher had been wanting someone with my gifts, experiences, and passions for months, and he was just waiting for the right person to come along. He off handedly invited me to come teach, not knowing that I had the exact mix of gifts he was wanting! So we figured out during the second class that I was the answer to his need. How fun is that?!
The farm is on its way!
On the first “art class,” I spoke encouraging words over each of them individually. I watched as tears rolled down their faces as they received the love and affirmation from Dad they did not know was available. One of the women was so touched she offered me her farm!! It is too far away from the city and too small (1.6 acres) for what we want to do, but this was confirmation of what we believe will be provided in the future for our work with orphan girls. It definitely increased our faith to believe the farm is a reality for us when the timing is right.
“I feel so light and full of faith!”
On the second class, another woman in the group was totally set free with many lies she was believing regarding her family. She said she was “heavy and weighted down and didn’t know what to do.” After a five minute conversation with some translation, she said, “I feel so light and full of faith! Thank you for setting me free!” It was powerful to see the truth set her free so quickly. They are all so hungry for Truth and more of Him. They are such beautiful people and so powerful. I am beyond honored to know them and be able to spend time with people who have been on my heart for so many years. They are some of the “fruit” I have been wanting to see for years, and what a blessing to see that fruit in their home country. Again, I am blessed beyond words to be here.
We have more opportunities to teach.
Kevin and I have also been given the opportunity to teach ex-pat kids on Sunday mornings. The children range in age from 9-14, and we will be going over the book of John, creativity, and how to give encouraging words to others as well. We are excited to love on them and get to know them. We know a few of the kids already, and from what we know they are eager to learn and grow.
Understanding more of our new culture
In other news, the four of us took a home school field trip to a Buddhist temple in the city. It was a beautiful and peaceful place. The kids enjoyed it and we talked about the differences between the way they practice their faith and the way we do. And we came home and read online about Buddhism. They have good morals, and it was overall a good way to understand more of the culture we are experiencing here. And men in orange “dresses” are always fun, too. ☺
Did you notice the new site?
Overall our first six weeks here have been so good and so easy. With the occasional language barrier that makes us feel, I will say humbled, it has been really fun. We enjoy the people, the food, the culture and our new lives here. Thanks for all the support in getting us here and helping to make our transition smooth.
By the way, did you notice the new site? We claimed the URL, JosiahsCovenant.com, and we have officially set up the non-profit. You can now send checks directly to us to support our work with orphans. All checks are tax-deductible. We are working on setting up the payments by credit card, which we hope to be in a couple weeks. Until then, you can make checks out to “Josiah’s Covenant” and mail them to:
c/o Jeff Veal
6845 Rawson Road
Corning, CA 96021
Love to you all!