This could be a long one. What can happen in a week? It seems we are getting a new understanding of what is possible, what the Lord can do and how He can prepare us for situations in advance. He really has plans and a future for His people. If you learn nothing else from this blog, please understand that He is a God of love and cares deeply for you.
We arrived a week ago last Sunday. The flights went very well. The kids were excited and yet very patient once the initial novelty of flying wore off. Our flights took us from Washington D.C. to Vienna, Austria to Larnaca, Cyprus. What a sight it was as we were about to land! Looking down to see the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea; knowing this was to be our home for the foreseeable future. “There it is”, cried Calvin, a smile spread from ear to ear. We exited the plane to a gentle warm breeze and the aroma of a certainly new place.
After proceeding easily through Customs, we left the airport to meet David Harder with whom we are staying. He drove us to the beach so the kids could touch the Med. Then, we were wonderfully invited to the home of some friends in Larnaca. We had bite to eat, some dessert and a chance to relax and chat. Then, it was on to the Harder home and hopefully some sleep. The kids had slept a few solid hours on the flights. Mom and Dad did not fair so well in the sleep department. By the time we arrived, we were ready to crash. You would think that a full 24 hours of little sleep would induce a good night’s sleep. Not so when traveling seven time zones forward. At 12:40am the entire family awoke, ready for some dinner. We knew to expect this, but hoped for better. We enjoyed a bite then tried to gain a few more hours sleep before the sun rose.
The next day consisted mainly of rest, getting accustomed on how to work simple things like plumbing and the oven. We managed very quickly to get the attention of some realtors. News travels fast in Cyprus….not sure much else does…well, except for traffic. We quickly got busy looking at places to rent for a home. After a few days and some long hot hours in the car, we were able to find a home on Friday. Also, we were able to begin the arduous task of becoming official “aliens” in Cyprus. The Lord also provided a car for us, via some new friends here who are moving to Finland soon. This was good, but also a little scary. Learning to drive on the left side of the road was like suddenly deciding to be left-handed but with the added benefit of great danger. No accidents, but a few laughs and mildly tense moments, for sure.
We have to tell you that the Lord has His people here in Cyprus! Just as we were sent so wonderfully by His people in the west, we have been welcomed and cared for by His people here. We have experienced generosity, love and caring with a tenacity that is only driven by the greatest commandments. We have driven a car for several days that wasn’t our own, live in a house that belongs to another family and are still using a cell phone that isn’t our own. On Saturday, we also had a chance to visit with some new friends in their home. It was a wonderful day of relaxing, laughing, swimming (for the kids) and simply sharing life with people. Without the Lord’s people in Cyprus, we wouldn’t have been able to survive this first week very well. Thanks, God!
Our Sunday worship was an awesome experience. After a week of amazing provision, it was awesome to worship the King. The church we attended expresses it’s love and adoration for the Lord with a freedom that I have never seen. It was beautiful. There was dancing, singing, bowing, jumping, laughing and crying – all in response to the Lord of Lords. There were people from many different countries and people groups joining their praise together. Yes, this is what worship is!
We hit a little turbulence in our journey this week. Just yesterday and today (Mon/Tues) we got the first hints of what must be “culture shock”. Perhaps it is because our minds are being inundated with so much new information just to do basic things. There are new relationships, languages, rules, obstacles, food…the list could go on. My brain began to refuse new information just for a short time yesterday. Today, the whole family had a distinct craving for something American. It’s clear that our journey here in Cyprus is just beginning. We certainly need your prayers as we continue to process and adapt.
In the next post, I hope to share a bit about our ministry here. Lately, we have talked much about our family and our lives. I think it is time to focus on the people that the Lord has called us to serve. Please stay with us as the journey continues.