12.22.2014

Christmas Season Happenings in Myanmar


Did you know that two times Jesus talked about how if we left family or lands for His sake that we would receive what we gave up manifold times? In the book of Matthew it says we will receive a hundred fold! I have both of those passages (Luke and Matthew) written down in my  journal. The hardest part about moving abroad for me is saying by to family and saying bye to modern conveniences. Bye bye Walmart, Target and Hobby Lobby!

I don’t think God has to abundantly bless us because we obey Him but I think He is such a kind, generous and loving God for doing that for us. He really is good to us!

I can honestly say that I’ve seen God keep His promise regarding those verses. It isn’t even Christmas yet and I’m feeling abundantly blessed. Yes, I still miss my family and lots of other things but God sure has poured out His blessings on Dave and I during this season.

I wanted to share some of things we have done this December. It’s been fun, encouraging and really neat and I wanted you to have a glimpse into life here as well. 

Caroling


Earlier in the month we went caroling with the teachers at the school. We started at 7pm and it didn’t end until 2am! Dave and I went home half way through but I’m telling you caroling with them was such a fun and encouraging time. They carol to students families from the school and share the gospel with them. By caroling, I mean it’s like a mini concert where everyone sings super loud! Each place usually had a snack or meal for us after we sang.

We finished singing at one place and their neighbors liked it so much they asked us to come into their home and sing, so of course we did! It was just so neat to be a part of something that shares Christ during this season with people who need Him!

School Christmas Party
These kids were extremely excited for Santa!

This past week we had our Christmas party at school. The kids all bring a gift and then, class by class, they line up in a circle. Music is played while they pass gifts and when the music stops they have a new gift. Kind of like musical chairs but with gifts. It was really fun to see them exchange gifts.


Secret Santa
The teachers also had a secret Santa. Once again we were all in a big circle and we would share who we got for our secret Santa. Everyone was really excited about revealing who they had and it was for sure the most fun and memorable secret Santa exchange I've ever been to. Dave got a really neat tie from the Chin tribe.

The person who had my name was Mr. Za. I got a tribal dress from the Karen tribe and he also purchased a longi for Dave.

A longi is basically a wrap / skirt that men and women wear here. They tie differently for each gender but many people wear them here.


There are several tribes here in Myanmar. Each tribe has different patterns on their clothing. I’m still trying to figure out all of the tribes but I was really excited to get such a thoughtful gift. It will be a great gift for Dave and I to take back home.

The Christmas Program

Later in the evening we had the Christmas program. The whole theme was “Follow the Star” with emphasis on lights.We brought black lights in to make things really glow!

Here are a few pictures I took before the program begin. The first picture is of Crystal. She is a sweet little girl that attends school and Sunday School here.

The program started out with a Taekwando performance.


The kids sang a lot of songs and there was a drama for the nativity. It was the first year doing a drama and I got to work with the kids on memorizing and acting out their lines. I'm glad I had that opportunity because I got to know a few of the kids more through that.  Everyone did a fantastic job and it was a great opportunity to share the gospel.


I must tell you something! Most people here in Myanmar have never seen black lights and this play had a lot black lights! We had chopsticks wrapped in white paper for them to wave during a song, our shirts were black with a neon orange star and manger scene, we had neon bracelets and some kids had white crowns.

Even before the play Zama and Pam brought each class into a room where a black light was to show them how it worked. They wanted them to get all their excitement and giggles out so they wouldn’t be surprised during the play.

The program was so neat! When the black lights first came on and the chopsticks were waving everyone started clapping with excitement! The chopsticks were waved back and forth and then each kid made a cross from them.

The kids singing here is something I wish each person could come and here. They sing so loud and with such enthusiasm. I’m pretty positive that music in heaven will sound similar and I know it had to bring a big smile to God's face hearing it! I cried a lot when the kids sang. I couldn’t help it. =)

Pam directing! She did a great job and I love this picture!
 
The Christmas program is a big deal here because many of the parents get to hear about and see the Christmas story being acted out. If you think about it please pray that God would grow the seeds that were planted during this time.

School is on a two week break so Dave and I are going to spend Christmas with Zama, Pam and their family. We are so thankful for them!

We have been invited to go an a two day trip to Bagan. A church group will be sharing the gospel and visiting an orphanage there. Dave and I will be taking medical supplies and will be helping where we can. Please pray that God would bless this trip and that we will stay healthy.

I hope you each are enjoying the Christmas season. I’d love to hear what you have been up to this time of year.

What has been your favorite thing this Christmas season?

12.21.2014

Runners Tell All - Reflections and Goals + Our Final Giveaway

Can you believe it is December and that this is our last Runners Tell All? First and foremost I want to say that this linkup has been AWESOME! I have enjoyed reading your stories, hearing about your ups and down, your PR’s, your goals and so much more. I also think I've made some new friends through blogging and for that I'm truly grateful! This linkup was a success because of each of you! Thanks for making it epic.

I also gotta give a shout out to Amanda because she has been a wonderful friend and great to work with. We have had a lot of fun coming up with monthly themes, giveaway items and getting everything ready. 

Today we are reflecting on 2014 and sharing what our running goals for 2015 are.

I’m going to be honest, and I feel like a hypocrite even admitting this, but in 2014 I put in the least miles since becoming a runner. I had high hopes and goals this year but it didn't happen and I'm honestly ok with that. 

I did learn that I run better when I’m with people and am surrounded by my running community. I did not have that this past year and it’s ok. I also learned that doing crossfit and running at the same time is a bit too much for my body to handle. I still love running and I know that I’ll get back at it!

2015 and running. As most of you know I moved to Myanmar (Burma) this past November. Even before I got here I kind of had an intuition that this wasn’t a running country. What do I mean by that? Well, here is a picture of traffic here. 


See what I mean? That's the street I live on and running on those streets just isn’t going to happen. I play frogger as is just walking and I really don’t want to be a smashed frog. On top of that the sidewalks, if there is one, aren’t level or even.

I though about running the side roads but those aren't the safest either. I hope I don't sound like I am complaining because I really am ok with how things are now. I know that fitness isn't about one sport all the time but rather a lifestyle of staying healthy. I am not going to obsess about not working out hardcore all the time either. I think I can be creative with how I will stay healthy this year. 

What can I do? Here is my plan:

Walking  |  I walk daily to the school where we work and back. That’s about 20-30 minutes of walking a day. The culture here in general walks more than the culture in America so I am going to take advantage of that and use it to help stay in shape.

Stairs  |  My apartment is on the 11th floor. I’m pretty positive that taking the stairs needs to happen at least 2 times a week. I haven’t committed to that yet because the one time I did take the stairs I was panting like I had just ran the world’s fastest marathon. 

Exercise at home  |  I have my husband Dave to thank for this because he is really creative. He has a work out routine in our apartment where we can do step ups on chairs, lift furniture, do pushups, etc.

Healthy Living  |  I am making an extra effort in Myanmar to be more conscience of my health. I am drinking more water, eating smaller portions, healthier options, etc. The climate here can be rough on your body and Dave and I have already have been sick several times so we are doing our part to stay healthy. I think this is something we should normally do but I’m extra aware of it because of where we live.

Giveaway
For our final giveaway we will have three winners! We have compression socks and a jade bracelet from Myanmar for each of our winners. I'm excited that we will have three winners!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linkup
Please be sure to stop by and visit some other bloggers today. I will read your post as internet here allows! Thanks again for being so awesome this year in helping us make Runners Tell All a success! 

12.06.2014

Our Myanmar Apartment


Hi, friends! Today I wanted to give you a glimpse into our apartment in Myanmar.

One of our biggest concerns and prayers about moving to Myanmar was housing. Before we left God gave me a peace that He would work everything out for us and He sure did. I really felt like we just sat back and watched Him work wonders for our housing.

I wrote down over 30 answers to prayers and blessings God gave us with this apartment! Our apartment number is A2 so I'm naming our apartment Answer 2 Prayer! The realtor that helped us find the place even talked the lady down $100.

In Myanmar you have to pay for the entire year of rent up front in cash! We paid for the whole year in equivalent to $1 bills. It was quiet the site to see.

I have uploaded a video tour of our place and have put pictures up here too. If you have any more questions about where we live please feel free to ask.

 

The picture at the top of the page is our apartment building. This picture below is the street to cross to our apartment building. We get to play live frogger each and every day to cross the road.


This is the view from our apartment, looking across the road. The large building is a local market. Behind it is where we can purchase fresh fruits and veggies.


This is the view directly off the elevators viewing to the west.


The entry way to our apartment. There are 4 locks to get inside. Safety first. 


The living room



Dining room


Hutch to store dishes and miscellaneous items.


The kitchen. I'm positive a man designed it. The washing machine and the sink are right next to each other. The kitchen is also the only room, other than bathrooms, that does not have an air conditioner. See why a man must have designed it? ;)


The hallway


Guest room 1! Two mattresses so it will be perfect for couples who come to visit. 


Guest Bedroom #2


Entry way into the master bathroom. The blue tank is to fill with water for when the electricity and water aren't running. That way we can take a bowl bath. Hopefully it won't happen too much. 


The master bedroom


The porch view outside the master bedroom. The view was one of the things that we loved about this apartment. Coming from Oklahoma and Kansas we enjoy wide open spaces and being on the 11th floor still gives us that open view.


The large building with the yellow crane is right behind Pam and Zama's house and the school. The walk is about 15 minutes. We are very thankful to be near the school, our friends and the ministry.


After we took the video tour we went exploring around our complex. Someone let us to the rooftop and we got to finish watching the sunset. It was really pretty.


That is our place, friends! I hope you like the little tour we took you on and our doors are always open and welcome for visitors. If you have any other questions about our place ask away! I'll answer when internet allows. 
TEMPLATE BY PRETTYWILDTHINGS