Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Different Sort of Birthday

It's been quite the week! We started school on Monday, and Miss Lindy is really loving teaching, challenges and all. I'll post more about that soon, but right now I wanted to write about something else. Yesterday was my 22nd birthday. I don't usually post about things like that, but this was certainly a different sort of birthday, so I thought I'd share. 

I look back on the past year and can hardly wrap my mind around all God has done. It has been a year full of incredibly painful times and even more incredibly beautiful times. In this past year, my life has been turned upside down, and I feel pretty safe saying that it's been the most eventful year I've experienced thus far. But it has been a wonderful one, and I am in awe of His faithfulness through it all. 

My birthday itself really was lovely. While I did feel homesick in moments, I never felt alone. I've been here over a month, and the Talbots truly do feel like family. I was greeted first thing in the morning with birthday hugs from the girls, plus a kiss from Jenna. Hala and Charlotte each made me a sweet card, and Shannon made me a birthday cake. Later I sat by the nearby waterfall and watched as the kids swam after school, loving every moment of being outdoors and enjoying the amazing beauty that surrounded me (and today I actually went swimming myself!) One of the little guys in the village turned two on the same day, and evidently birthday parties for the kids are a big thing here. We went to his party for dinner, and though I couldn't really speak to anyone of course, it was great fun, and certainly a cultural experience! They sang happy birthday to him, along with an added verse- "May God bless you", which is a cultural thing. For me, it was a reminder to continue in prayer for these people who are in such desperate need of God's truth. I may not be able to speak it, but I can pray. Please be praying with me for these people, and for the Talbots as they are moving towards being able to communicate the gospel to them. After leaving the party, I came home to many wonderful messages and videos from the people I love so dearly back home, and got to talk with my mom and brother over Skype. When all was said and done, I was left so thankful, for truly, I am blessed beyond measure. 

Note Charlotte's addition in the corner. :)

Jenna has been helping make my birthday cake.. not that you'd ever notice.

Sophia, Charlotte, Hala, and Jenna- I really do love those girls!

Sweet cards from Hala and Charlotte

At the birthday party right before dinner

Self photography by Chuck

Macaroni, pancit, and nansilot- yummy!

This little guy shares my birthday!

The kids love it when you take their picture. I'd take one and show them, and they would all laugh and point and tease each other, and it made me laugh too. Each time they would say, "One more!"

Finally, I got in the "one more".

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