Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. — Psalm 117
The Lord has not left us on this journey to serve with SAT-7 and He is still with us here. Today, we’ve been in Cyprus for five weeks. Dan has been serving with SAT-7 for four weeks and he sees how the Lord has prepared him to fit into this organization. Since we’ve been here, the needs of the people in the Middle East to hear the Good News has intensified. There have been government elections in Lebanon and in Iran. The streets are not calm in Iran following the election and the government is now blocking cell phone usage, Facebook, internet and other forms of media. SAT-7 broadcasts are more important than ever in this nation, as people are yearning for hope amidst the chaos.
On a personal note, we have been doing very well coping the last five weeks. We’ve experienced days where the culture shock seems to be overwhelming, but at those times we seek the shelter of our bedroom at our friend’s home and we get through it. The children have enjoyed many hours in the pool, as the heat has already been oppressive here. We purchased a pass to the Nicosia Municipal pool and we are so glad to have a way to escape the heat many days throughout the week. Twice, we’ve been to a beach on the northern side of Cyprus and yesterday we toured the Troodos Mountains in central Cyprus and visited Kykkos Monastery. God has blessed us with some wonderful times as a family, which we appreciate after having a very busy two years getting here without a lot of quality family time.
Sarah has been coping with the heat as well as any pregnant woman in her last trimester can. She is 34 weeks along in her pregnancy and this week a c-section will be scheduled with the doctor. Please keep her in prayer at the end of July, when the baby will be born. This is her third c-section and the recovery of the surgery can be challenging. Calvin and Elisa are looking forward to meeting their baby sister. They are seeing and feeling the baby move. In fact, a few times we’ve been able to make out a foot or knee – the kids are amazed at this.
What are some of our biggest shocks here? Well, we are still not used to the price of groceries. The price of a gallon of milk is approximately $7, which seems outrageous. A loaf of bread is over $3. There isn’t any food item that is cheaper here than in the states, so we are very careful shoppers. Also, the packaging of food is in much smaller containers, so you end up buying less and eating less.
Life in general is slower-paced here. The stores all close by 7:30pm, except on Wednesday when they close early at 1pm. There have been a few times that we have not planned very well and we get caught by the early store closings on Wednesday. Regular bank hours are 8am until 1pm, Monday through Friday. A common term here is “siga, siga”, which means slowly, slowly. Things get done here, but not with the efficiency that we come to demand in the states.
God answered our prayers about the work visa, and we were granted a one-year, family visa. That is a huge blessing, as work visas for non-EU citizens and becoming more difficult to obtain. We have been in contact with several who have had to leave Cyprus because of this.
On Monday we move into our new home!!! Words cannot express how happy we will be to move in. While we have enjoyed living with family and friends the last three months, there is nothing like “going home”. Sarah’s parents are planning to visit for the baby’s birth in only four weeks. We look forward to other visitors too! Please come if you can!!!