Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Seti and people

Today we took a cab and wanted to see the Seti river and the expansion bridge that goes over it.  So we called a friend to ask the name and he told the cab driver.  When we stopped we thought it looked a little different.  But we paid for a ticket and went in.  In total it took 15 minutes and we saw the Seti River gorge.  Cool to see, but not exactly what we were looking for.  So we set off again and found it on the second try.  A little outside of Pokhara proper there is the Seti River and rock quarry. There is also a very long bridge that goes over it.  It probably looks scarier in the pictures than it was.  It was metal and felt stable.  However, there was a little twinge in the belly going over it. 


I love the prayer flags hanging from it.  It makes it look festive.


One of the reasons we came here is because Sam wanted some open space to fly his drone.  That was the one toy he really wanted to bring with him.  Well, not many have seen drones here and we became quite the spectacle.  One lady even tried to talk with Sam in Nepali and was confused when Sam asked her to speak English.  Luckily we had our taxi driver with us.  (He is the brother of the Landlord for our apartment.  His name is Prem and he is very nice and helpful.)  I started taking pictures of the children that stopped to watch and ended up with a few really nice pics. 

Still in school uniform

Not so sure about me!

Flying the drone with Prem taking a picture

Namaste!

This little one warmed up to me when I showed her the picture that I took of her.  She is beautiful!


Here is a view when we made it down to the river.  David loves rocks and we wanted to get to the river so he could find a few that he liked.  This plan may backfire as we have to get things home after being here 5 months and a suitcase full of rocks does not sound so good. 


My three boys.  Love them so much. 
It was a really nice trip.  We also got to see oldtown Pokhara and we found a Catholic church that
has English speaking services every Sunday.  We will try that next Sunday.  I miss worshipping in community so I am looking forward to it.  Although, I do not know how they will react to protestants worshipping there.  I guess we will see.  I am looking forward to it because Nepali people worship loudly and I enjoy it.  God created us all to worship and relate to him differently.  I am excited to see how the kids handle it. 

On a side note, Saturday is Holy Day in Nepal.  It was interesting to see how everyone treated it here.  I would say most went to the Hindu or Bhuddist temples and did the rituals that they always do.  However, I really liked how everyone referred to it as the Holy Day.  It got me thinking how we as Western Christians treat the Sabbath and what we consider Holy.  What do you consider Holy?  Does it make an impact on your life?  Do we treat the Holy like the mundane?  I feel lulled into apathy so many times. However, as I experienced directly tonight, with a  major answer to prayers that have been prayed for a long time the Holy is here.  He is listening, loving, beconing us to Him.  Take some time to think about it.  I know I am. 

We are still trying to settle in and get the things we need. I have found Iodine solution to wash the veggies and we are starting to cook a little for ourselves.  I look forward to more of that and less restaurants.  I think the kids are actually looking forward to it also.  I will be working on cooking Nepali food because we all love it.  The kids miss their friends, but say they are still really glad to be on this adventure.  I am really proud of them and how they have adjusted.  Finding a new normal is not easy, but we are doing well. 

Have a great week to all those out there.  As I mention before, God does answer prayers and He loves to hear from us. 

Blessings!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Simple Thoughts

Well, we have made it just over a week in Nepal now.  There are moments when I think we just may be crazy.  Then there are adrenaline moments of adventure and sweet moments meeting people or watching Sam and David playing together.  I had several sweet moments today that I would like to share. 

As many of you know, Andreas and I are homeschooling the boys here in Nepal.  We have started a little each day.  Today, after eating breakfast on the rooftop, school just happened.  It ended up being Sam and I together.  We went through several subjects, but the last is what became sweet.  My oldest is like me.  He is extroverted and likes to move and be social.  He likes to read, but struggles to calm himself enough to get into a book (he will grow out of this like me).  He loves stories and being read to and making stories up on his own.  Today I was talking to him about books that we are going to read while here in Nepal.  I especially focused on reading about missionaries. 

I began by telling him the beginning of the story of Jim Elliot.  I would like him to read "Through the Gates of Splendor".  He hung on every word, but of course I didn't give the ending away.  He wanted me to tell him so badly, so just maybe I have given him a reason to read.  We also talked about Dr. Livingstone and Amy Carmichael.  (Any suggestions would be appreciated). 

Talking about these missionaries led us into a discussion about faith.  Sam will be 13 this year and it is time that he starts making decisions about his faith.  He will have to decide for himself and not believe just because mom and dad do.  This is a scary, but also exciting, time as a parent.  He answered me very thoughtfully with a little bit of teenage attitude.  As a mom my biggest prayer is that he grows into a man that follows after Christ. It is these sweet moments, I get a glimpse of Samuel's heart. I see a lot of deep thinking and an amazing heart for people.  I can see that being here in Nepal has started him thinking about a lot.  We see Hindu and Bhuddist temples everywhere.  We experience things that has never crossed his radar before and it is all going in to tumble around in his amazing heart.  The sweet moments come when some of that comes out and I see how Jesus has shaped his heart for bigger purposes. I will hold onto these moments as he grows and I continue to pray for him.   Your prayers would also be appreciated. 

This was before he rowed the boat right into a branch with a snake on it.  Needless to say his dad was almost in a panic.  Sam thinks it was hilarious. 

Another sweet moment today was talking with some locals that have a small store (a hole in the wall) just a few doors down from us.  I was looking at lentils (which I have never cooked) and asking them how to cook it.  Now, you have to remember that they can speak some English and I can speak no Nepali.  The woman was laughing as I asked the questions on how to cook it.  She was not laughing to be mean, but in their world it is very strange that I have never cooked them before.  We all travel and think how strange some cultures are compared to our normal.  It is good to be reminded that I am the strange one here.  I don't mind being laughed at a little because I am willing to learn and make mistakes in learning.  For instance, to cook lentils, a pressure cooker (small pressure pot) is used.  A friend told us tonight that you have to be careful because sometimes the pressure nozel gets stuck and you don't realize the pressure is too high.  So now I am quite sure at some point I may blow up my lentils.  I promise to post a picture if this happens!  I hope that I can take some perfectly cooked lentils to them before I leave!

And lastly, we had a friend visit today.  This friend is one that has helped us find our apartment. Andreas actually met him through Air bnb.  We extended our relationship to him after the first earthquake because he was helping the villages that were near the epicenter of the quake.  We raised support to buy rice, clean water, tarps etc.  He has been honest and forthcoming in everything.  He is very nice and has helped us with details in Pokhara even though he was taking exams and sick, while trying to care for his family and run his restaurant (Nepali people are not lazy!).  This friend came today to take Andreas around to find the best places to buy food and other supplies.  He was very kind and I really appreciated it. 

So my heart sings praises to Jesus.  He has cared for me in my stubbornness.  He has ordered our time here and placed many in our path.  I am excited to see what the next months bring.  "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus..."

I will leave you with a few more pictures of the colorful boats in the lake.  Can't get enough of them.  To all my friends in Scandinavia... say no to grey!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Promised pictures #1

Ok here are some of the promised pictures.  It has taken us a while, but my intelligent husband has figured out a way for me to post them.

On the plane to London, I noticed we had a Norwegian celebrity with us. Skavlan was kind enough to take a selfie with Sam and I.  Of course I forced Sam to come with me.  Everyone is kinder when there is a kid there. 

This was the first glimpse of the Himalayas out the window. 


 Sam, seeing his homeland for the first time in 11 years.  It was a happy moment for this mamma, but I think he was really too tired to appreciate it. 


After being awake and traveling for about 24 hours, we crashed.  This is what I woke up to on our first morning in Kathmandu.  My sons are such divas!



David was really interested in the Bhuddist prayer wheels.  You can not see it, but Bobby is behind the wheel teasing David and David is loving every moment of it. 



This is Boudanath Stupa.  It is the biggest in Kathmandu and a holy place for the Bhuddist.  Especially since Nepal has so many Tibetan Bhuddist exhiles.  I have been here a ton of times, but these maybe the best picture I have gotten so far.  There was some sort of festival going on a hundreds of monks and monks in training were there. 































That is all for now because I am frustrated with this program.  I will try to post more tomorrow.  Goodnight from Pokhara Nepal.

Monday, January 09, 2017

The Beginning

Wow, what a few days can bring is amazing.  It hasn't even been a week.  Today is Monday, I think.  We left on Thursday.  It feels like such a long time, but it is only 5 days.  We are worlds away from Scandinavia and we know it with every sense in us.

For those who don't know, we have been to Nepal many times before.  However, this is the first time with our children.  I thought I would be more stressed traveling with them, but it has been really good.  Don't get me wrong, I still worry about things.  For example, when I think they are getting out into the street too far and some vehicle is going to smoosh them, then I get worried.  But most of the time I really enjoy seeing things through their eyes.

So here is what has happened so far.  Andreas took a sabbatical for 6 months, we sold our home in Mysen, took the kids out of school and have been planning for this trip for about a year and a half.  We left from Oslo on January 5, 2017.  We were flying to London, when low and behold, I spotted a Norwegian celebrity on the plane.  Of course I knew I had to get a pic.  So at some point on the flight I made Sam come with me and we took a selfie with Skavlan (this maybe the 2nd selfie I have ever taken).

We landed in London and then on to Muscat in Oman.  We landed late and of course left David's coat on the plane.  However, by God's grace, we got the coat back and made our flight to Kathmandu.  We landed in a warm Nepal, went through all we needed to obtain a visa and then met our friends. Bobby and Prakash took us to the hotel where I finally got some sleep after 24 hours of being awake.  Sadly our hotel, which looked awesome on the internet, was not.  We chose it because it had rooms with 4 beds.   The beds were fine, however, not very clean and we shared a wall with a night club.  Now it has been a long time since I have been in a night club, but I had a great dance party in my bed until 3 in the morning!  Let's just say I was not a happy camper.

We spent one full day in Kathmandu.  Bobby spent the day with us and we went to the normal sights to show the kids a few things.  Boudanath stupa was the first stop.  It is a Bhuddist worship place.  There was a big festival going on.  There had to of been hundreds of Bhuddist monks there.  We went over to the Hotel Himalaya.  This was the hotel that we stayed in when we adopted Samuel.  It was so cool to show him this place and a little of the area 11 years later.  We then went to Patan area, ate and saw some of the temples, or the destruction of the temples from the earthquakes.

On a side note, I am incredibly impressed at how much of the rubble is cleared from the earthquakes.  You can still see some the destruction, but it has been blocked off for safety, or the rebuilding has already been taking place.  To be honest, I expected to see a lot more destruction.  There are areas where people have set up tent cities and they still live there.  They lost everything in the earthquakes and they don't have the money to rebuild.  Not an easy life at all.  Over 8000 people died in those earthquakes.  Bobby said that the aftershocks are still happening.  It has been almost 2 years since they happened.

So after Patan we went to the monkey temple.  This temple is both Hindu and Bhuddist.  Some of it was destroyed, but they are rebuilding it.  It has a proper name, but most people know it as the monkey temple because it has a ton of monkeys running around.  Bobby was warning the boys about the monkeys and it scared them a little.  I was okay with that because the last thing we needed was a round of rabies shots.  By the end of all this we were ready to find our hotel and rest.  For those who have not been here it is chaotic.  Especially coming from Scandinavia.  We are used to quiet people and quiet streets. Here there is sound everywhere, they honk like crazy (Sam was not thrilled with this), sounds and smells and color and chaos is everywhere.  I love it!  However, it does make one tired.

Because of the early mentioned dance party we decided to leave one day early and get to Pokhara, which is where "home" will be for the next 5 months.  It was Sam's first flight in a propeller plane.  I think it scared him a little, but these pilots have done this millions of times and we landed safely.  The flight is a beautiful one.  Although we did not have clear skies we still saw some mountains.

We made it to our apartment, which is great!  This will be a good place to call home for a while.  We are now in the process of getting the things we need and settling in.  We have a friend here named Ajit who is helping us.  Tomorrow we will officially start school with the boys.  I think David is really missing routines.

All in all, life is good and this adventure is in full swing.  We are extremely thankful for our family, safety, and the friends that we have here.  I will have to apologize because this post will not include pictures.  It is not easy to get pictures from a Microsoft phone to an Ipad and then use blogger which is google when you have to download everything from a Microsoft one drive.  I know, it is a first world problem, but we are having it. So I will repost this with pictures as soon as we can get it to work.

Now it is time for bed.  So goodnight, no dance party tonight and I am grateful.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Tomorrow

We are on our way tomorrow.  We will leave from Oslo and head for London, then Muscat then Kathmandu.  We would appreciate prayers as emotions and stress can run high during travel.  Pictures will start when we get there.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Start

I know that some of you have this address and are waiting for posts.  Right now we are still in Norway for Christmas.  We will be finishing our move by the 28th of December.  We sell the house on the 2nd of January and we fly out the 5th.

Right now it is a bit stressful.  We have three sick in the house (better now than later),  we are packing up, but still trying to have all the Christmas trimmings.  God has helped in so many ways.  We give praise for Him guiding us as we embark on this adventure.

As we celebrate God becoming man, let us not forget those that struggle with:

Depression
War
Slavery
Sickness
Loneliness
Hunger

We need to remember to pray for them.  For our world that needs the Savior that we celebrate.

Merry Christmas to all.  Time to start a new adventure!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Flying By

I cannot believe it has been a month since I have written here.  All I can think is where has the time gone?  So here is a preview of the things that I am going to try and catch up on.

May 16th....we cannot believe it but it has been two years since David walked into that little office in Urumqi, Ch*na and we were officially his mom and dad.  This little boy has changed so much, as have we.  I am so thankful to have him as our son!  More to come with pics hopefully.

May 17th...we celebrated our first National Day in Norway.  These Norwegians love their country, that is for sure!  It was a lot of fun and will be looking forward to their 200th year next May.

May 20-21...Farmor and Farfar were able to get tickets to Liseberg for the whole family.  This included all day passes for all the rides.  We were able to get to Gothenburg and had a wonderful day with cousins, Aunt and Uncle, and grandparents.

May 25th...a years since we had arrived home with David.

June 2nd...David is starting pre-school and I am working up to letting him be alone there.  He is doing beautifully and although this is hard at times, I believe will be really good for him.

June 7th...We had Andreas' 20 year high school reunion.  Can it really be that we have been out of high school that long?  Although I am thoroughly glad...it was not the best of times for me.  However, it was really good to meet up with his old friends and see what was going on in everyones lives.

June 8th... a years since Morfar died and our Board meeting for the non-profit in Sweden.  As we remembered the wonderful man that Morfar was and how much he added to all our lives, we dove head first into our desire to help with Nepal.  It was a great meeting that really showed us that the Board cares about what is going on.

We would really appreciate your prayers right now with Nepal.  We sent money for their monthly expenses about two weeks ago and they still have not received them in Nepal.  Please pray that we can work this out with the bank quickly...as they need the money in Nepal!

Hopefully, I will get time to put some pics up and share with you how God has sustained us through all of this.  I am also working on getting my CV together and finding a job.  That is another one that could use a lot of prayer.

Praying for so many of you.  If you have a prayer request, please feel free to share it.  Would really love to pray for those who have always lurked.

Blessings,
Laurie

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

Well, it was American mother's day on Sunday...and yes, I am American and I am a mother.  However, my husband had a fever and sore throat and it isn't mother's day in Norway so the kids had no idea.  Even so, I am very thankful and blessed to be the mother to my beautiful boys!


 

One exciting thing that happened was since my husband couldn't get out of bed, I did church for him.  (never thought that would happen)  No, I didn't preach, but we had a family table discussion on the Spirit of Adoption, being a  part of God's family...Jesus our brother and God our Father.  We talked about our image of God and how that was formed, what it actually means to be a family in church, and what that means in real life.  It was good, made me think at least, and pray more.

Blessings,
Laurie


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Is the Lord Calling?

I know...these post seem fewer and fewer and my time is less and less to make them, but I have a quick one!

I have received emails about a disruption in the States of a 12 year old Asian boy.  He needs a family NOW, so he can have permanency and healing.  I cannot give details and of course no pics, but if you are interested in all that please contact Lynne at LynneM@wacap.org

(just for the record....there is nothing wrong with this child, disruptions happen for many reason...please do not be hasty to judge or discount this child or the parents disrupting, but in all things pray the peace and grace of God abounds!)

Blessings,
Laurie

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Finally...my turn!

Today was David's 5th birthday.  He has been asking for about 8 months when it was his turn to get a birthday.  He doesn't remember his 4th birthday or at least didn't understand enough to know it was a birthday.  

We picked David up in China a little after his third birthday.  He had received two major surgeries for his cleft lip/palate and could not manipulate his upper lip very well as well as his palate.  Even though he understood Mandarin, he could not speak it. As a three year old he had to get use to new food, new people, new country, show his independence, learn two languages and a million other things.  It is not surprising that when he turned 4, he still did not understand what a birthday was all about.  

He really started noticing that people had birthdays as he saw some of his friends receive gifts from us and have parties.  Then, last September, when Samuel had his 8th birthday the questions started to come.  ''When do I get a birthday?''  So it was then that the countdown began and this weekend came to fruition.  

Now David is, in many ways, the exact opposite to Samuel.  Where Samuel would eat up the attention, David struggled with being the center of it.  Hence the picture below when it was time for him to open presents...he hid.



I finally got him to take a picture with me and the gifts, but he still had a hard time looking at the camera and keeping his had off of his face.


However, my little shy guy loved having a birthday.  We celebrated with Farmor/far yesterday and had several cakes made for him from the church today....he really struggled with them singing to him.   So as his shyness grows stronger we are working out ways to help him enjoy the day and still hide in our chests when he needs too.  He will also have a kids birthday party later this week (5 is a big deal!)

So would you please leave a message saying happy birthday to my wonderful 5 year old.  I think he would appreciate it over the computer much more than singing to him in person.

Blessings,
Laurie


Monday, April 08, 2013

FAMILY

As I finally get back on the computer, I wanted to share about family.  

As we all know, our family has been grown by adoption.  The Lord has blessed us with two wonderful boys who drive us crazy, keep us on our toes, and giggle and scream as much as possible.  It is amazing to me when I am reminded that our family doesn't look like others.  To me, it all looks just as it should.  

Those reminders come in the form of odd looks every once in a while, someone asking if these are my children, or one of the kids realizing something new about themselves or our family.  They don't necessarily take me off guard, but make me stop and think for a moment.  Normally, they make me smile as I can look at the person giving me that odd look and say an absolute ''YES'' these are my children, or explain how they are wonderfully made and came to be my children.  

But I have to admit that the times I actually get choked up about it is when I look at family pics and see just how much my children are loved by so many.  I was reminded again at Easter when we spent some time with Farmor and Farfar, Aunt and Uncle Kjernald and the cousins.  

The Lord has placed them....as he does place the lonely in families.  


And I noticed Farmor introducing her grandchildren to someone...''YES...these are my grandkids''.  Two boys from two different lands with two different stories are now family, brothers, children, grandchildren, cousins, nephews.

This leads me to think of the family that God has made with ''brothers'' and ''sisters'' all around the world, from all walks of life.

Andreas told me that when we were in Nepal and the children were calling us Brother Eas and Sister La La, it was the first time that he actually felt like it meant something.  So often it is said in Christian circles, but do we really heed it?  Would we really treat that other person as family?

To be honest, I can think of many times that I have not, nor even considered doing so.  But if we are really looking at what Jesus has said and acted out, they are family.  Just as he sees me as a daughter of God and sister to Jesus...not to mention how hard that one is to grasp at times.

Jesus blessed us by placing two boys who don't ''look'' like us in our family...to be full sons.  Not just some children that I take care of.  God also allowed me, someone I am sure doesn't ''look'' like him many days, to be a full daughter in His family.  Not just someone to take care of or put up with.  To Him it looks just as it should.

REDEMPTION

ADOPTION

FAMILY

Three words that we hear quite a lot in Christian circles...but take another look.  Dig deeper, see what it means to you, see what it means to Jesus.  I know every time I revisit these words, and meet new people and listen to Jesus...they seem to take on new meaning.  Not a full new meaning, but building blocks that just keep stacking.




Just as my two amazing boys are loved by many and keep growing.

Blessings,
Laurie

Monday, April 01, 2013

Glad Påsk!

First of all Glad Påsk or Happy Easter...and it really is HAPPY and JOYOUS!  

To think that the God of the universe loved us enough to come, walk, be, and experience normal life with us, to die an excruciating death...not because he couldn't get himself off that cross...but because he wanted to give us salvation.  Then to rise again and be ALIVE.  No folks our God is not dead, but fully alive and alert and wants to be involved in every detail of our lives.

Now that is HOPE!

That is our SALVATION!

That is a God who truly wants a relationship with US! (which still blows my mind)

And....

He didn't stop there.  He continues to redeem and renew.  How much more I see that as so many once-orphaned children are placed in families, just as HE has room in his family for us. WE actually become sons and daughters of GOD!

As we have been placed in his family, can you help some that need to be placed in a family?
If you would like to help redeem some precious orphans that are waiting to be a part of a summer host program please link over too http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.no/2013/03/cant-leave-home-no-problem.html  Here you can learn how to be a summer host family and change the lives of one or more orphans forever (unfortunately, I believe this is only available in the United States)!

I pray that your Easter included this amazing, loving, and active God... not only included, but that He was at the center of it.  

Blessings,
Laurie


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yep, It's True!

It is true that I turned 39 today.  The cool thing about today is that we also have two other people in our church that have the same birthday.  So I threw a big birthday dinner for the birthday three.

One of the things that I have realized over the years is that I really like to cook and try new things.  Tonight was no exception.  I had a venison leg in my freezer (thanks to some hunting friends in Alingsås) and so I roasted that in the crock pot.  Then I made garlic mash potatoes and to top it all off, I tried my hand at ratatouille. Yes, the ratatouille recipe from the Disney movie about the rat.

Amazingly enough it looked and tasted great.  My eight year old (who hates vegetables) even came back for seconds!  I would make it again for that reason alone.  It wasn't that hard (because I have a machine that can cut the slices and then you just put it together.  Not to mention it made from fresh vegetables and herbs that are really good for you.  I have heard a lot of people give different ideas for how to eat it and even for breakfast with an egg on top...Sounds good to me.


This was before it was cooked, sorry no pics of after...but it looked almost the same.  

To top it all off, I made a carrot cake in the double American layer style...after all it was a birthday party! (sorry no pic).  So dinner was a success and really fun to make...win, win.

It was a lot of fun to have the Tromborgs and the Kopperuds here and to celebrate with them.  Thanks for making the day special!  So to all of us...Gratulerar, Happy Birthday and/or Grattis.

Blessings,
Laurie
Jostein, Me, Lars Kristian...I think Lars was a little embarrassed by us ''old'' people!

Kaisa, Solrun, Me
You can see the half eaten cake in the middle of the table.  I have really enjoyed getting to know and becoming a part of this church family.  Thankful for these families!





















Wednesday, March 13, 2013

That Yucky Feeling

I adore my boys.  They make me laugh, cry, and all the emotions in between.  Then, there are the times that they absolutely drive me mad.  I think we all know what I am talking about.  


Now in my 7 1/2 years of motherhood, I have had to face just how selfish I am, how to deal with things that I fear, how to deal with LOTS of noise (my boys are really loud), how to answer questions that I simple don't know the answers too, how to come up with appropriate and creative consequences (whether good or bad), and how to deal with my boys growing up faster than I can say boo!

Through all of this there is one thing that will get me annoyed in an instant (yet it is a perfectly normal part of siblings and I am thrilled that the boys are actually bonded and at this point), it is when the boys start picking at each other on purpose and fighting.  Before we left for Nepal they were doing really well.  We had been working on attitude and accepting the other person (with all their personality) and learning to love them through it (not an easy lesson for an adult...).  Our goal is always to build each other up and not tear each other apart.  Even while we were gone Andreas' parent said they did wonderfully.  Sure there were times that they bickered a little, but overall they were really good to each other.

Then enters mom and dad again!

David, (who is our over-sensitive one), became extra over-sensitive. And Samuel, (our independent, wants to always be in charge one), became extra annoyed when things didn't go exactly how he wanted.  I was not surprised by this.  We had never left the boys for that long before (it was really hard on me and I missed them greatly). However, when all those emotions are flying around they tend to crash into one another and create a yucky feeling in the house.  There was constant bickering between the two boys.  They were fighting for silly or no reason at all.

About a week ago I drew the LINE!  NO MORE!

I really can't stand it when your home becomes one of negativity and fights.  It is no longer a place of calm family fun...(well not so calm with my boys...but fun).  So I prayed, HELP!  I sat down with the boys and talked about what was happening and what needed to happen and that there would be NO tolerance for tearing each other down.  We talked about how people tore each other down in the Bible and how Jesus wants us to act and react to one another.

And I have PRAYED! And we PRAYED!

Now I can't say that we are at 100% perfect performance, but I can say that things are getting better.  The home feels a little more calm (the emotions have also calmed to an extent).  But I also see Sam bringing home attitudes and tones from school that I don't like and David picks them up way too quickly.

Is anyone out there in the same position?
Does anyone have ideas on the way they deal with it?

Just wondering as we try to navigate these beautiful boys through life.

Blessings,
Laurie

Monday, March 04, 2013

Making a New Normal

We have been home for about a week now from N*pal and working on remembering all the details. Sometimes it is so easy just to fall back into the old patterns and routines...but that is not what we want.  We go through the pictures and see the faces that are so easy to love and remember why we made the journey in the first place.  We want to make a new normal in this family, by adding all these beautiful people into our daily discussions, prayers and thoughts.  We want them to effect the way we see the world, the way we spend our money, and the way we see others.  


One of the things that we talked about with the Director (daddy, KB) of the home was the religious climate that is in N*pal.  KB has letters from Hindus that state they would be willing to support them and give them money if they would renounce their belief in Jesus.  He has lost supporters over the fact that he teaches and lives Christianity with the children in a Hindu/Bhuddist country.  Yet, his faith is strong and they are thriving even without the money that we Westerners believe that we ''need''.  

Kathmandu
Kathmandu is a rather large city.  It is really hard to get a true picture of it while you are in it, but easier from higher view points.  I have not met one person that lives in Kathmandu that actually says they like it there.  Don't get me wrong...they all love their country and think it is amazingly beautiful, but they are not referring to Kathmandu when they are speaking like that.  It is a cacophony of smells which include incense, sewage, car fumes, pollution, trash, cows, dust and sweat.  It is a cacophony of  sounds which include horns, chanting, bells, loud music, normal city noise, cows, monkeys, dogs, etc.  It is a cacophony of sights (which include a lot of what I have already mentioned) and temples both Bhuddist and Hindu, colorful buildings, amazingly beautiful people, trash, trash, and more trash,  and spectacular mountains, etc.  I think you maybe starting to get the picture.

This is known as the Swayambhunath or more commonly known as The Monkey Temple (because there happens to be monkeys all around). It is a Bhuddist stupa...with a small Hindu temple on the side.  (notice the dark spindle looking objects...that will be explained later)
We visited some of the sites in Kathmandu that Andreas had not seen before.  It is amazing to watch people of different beliefs and how they (me included) have a sort of sub-culture.  For those of us who are Christians the Hindu and Bhuddist beliefs are straight out of the Old Testament.

The statue of Bhudda at the stupa.  This is the N*pali Bhudda...not the laughing Bhudda that you find in other parts of Asia.  The Bhudda was born in N*pal...interestingly enough he stated that he was not a god and did not want to be worshipped...guess no one listened.  

This is a stone...that some people were worshipping like a god.  

This is a bell, when you go to the temple you ring it...some say to make sure the god is awake, others say to seal the deal (so to speak).  

This is another part of the Monkey Temple, the flags are Bhuddist prayer flags.  Here is where I will explain the spindle objects in the picture above.  Each flag has a prescribed written prayer or prayers on them.  When the wind blows it is suppose to take the prayers with it.  The spindles objects are actually prayer wheels.  They hold paper in them that has the same prayers on them as the flags.  The people walk around clockwise and spin the wheels to release the prayers.  As they walk around they also carry beads to count how many times they spin the wheels...I think they are suppose to do it a prescribed amount of time.  Then there are huge wheels that they also walk around and spin.  

This is a stone, carved like a little man and dressed that was being worshipped.  I'll be honest...it gave me the creeps.  

This is the rat god, I really don't know what he is suppose to do...but he is obviously popular.  

This is the Pashupatinath Temple.  Considered to be the most holy temple for the Hindu god Shiva. It is on the Bagmati river (which the people say is the most polluted river in the world), and it is where most of the funerals are held in Kathmandu.  The smoke you see is from the cremation of the deceased.  The ashes are then put into the river.  It is not a site for the light of heart and makes me sad every time I am there.  Yes, there is a boy in the river collecting the firewood that did not totally burn up.  On the other side of the river was a girl wading in to try to find valuables from the bodies...every part of me wanted to scream...get out of the water...but I refrained. 
These scenes echo all over Kathmandu with small temples everywhere, or a rocks for that matter.  It really does make you think about belief.  Hindus believe in anywhere from 35,000 to 38,000 gods.  I personally think it would be exhausting trying to please all of them.

So now maybe you have a little better picture of the people that we have long loved and the culture that is almost totally opposite to our own.  We will be planning within the next two weeks and working on getting the non-profit registered in Sweden.  We have a non-profit in the States that will allow us to use them as an umbrella until we can see if we need to begin our own there and in Norway we can receive donations through our church. We also have paypal.

If you are interested in joining us on this adventure please let us know.  You can contact us through this blog or the becauseoftwo.blogspot.com   We will be getting specific needs out soon.

Blessings,
Laurie