Loco LL

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Winter Sort of Thing

We went to see an amazing show by some amazing friends of ours on Saturday night. We have some incredibly talented and creative folks around here. It was called a "Winter Sort of Thing." I honestly thought it would be a cheezy play about snow and what not. Well, I was so wrong. We loved it and the kids loved it. It was about snow but it wasn't cheezy AT ALL! It was about these kids that were all psyched about snow days, no school, sledding, and hot chocolate until it just never stopped snowing. So they were on an adventure to find "greener pastures" so to speak.

We have some friends in Tajikistan who really are living this. It isn't so laugh out loud funny like Saturday night was either. Laura just delivered her 4th child at home with no medical care what so ever and then a week or so later the cold set in. They really need it to warm up in the worst way and they are the lucky ones. Please read their letter and say a prayer for the Tajik people.

Dear Friends and Family,

Just another quick update to let you know how we are doing in the current weather crisis. All of Tajikistan is basically frozen. We have received news from co-workers in the north that the situation there is much the same. We are in our third week of a deep freeze with the latest news being that this is the worst winter since 1936! More people have run out of fuel (coal or wood) and are cutting trees to warm themselves and cook with (esp. in the village). The other source of fuel is cow dung mixed with straw, but it is impossible to mix and dry in this weather. Now the water in the canals and rivers are becoming so frozen that there is barely any electricity being generated at the hydro-electric power stations, they estimate if the weather doesn’t warm up soon, the entire country will be without any electricity by Feb. 4th.

We continue to find ways to stay warm, but it is costly to say the least. Propane heaters are the biggest blessing for us right now, along with our generator since our village (along with most others) now have zero electricity. Would you believe one of our biggest ministries right now is charging our neighbors cell phones for them! Many elderly and babies are dying from the stress of the cold. Two very good friends of mine have grandmothers that may pass away any day. We saw a group of men walking to the graveyard carrying the body of a tiny baby wrapped in a blanket on Wednesday. One of our closest and most beloved neighbors died on Tuesday. His family is having to do all the funeral rituals without electricity and limited firewood for cooking the huge meals they must provide for guests coming to mourn (guests numbering into the hundreds over a period of a week). This particular neighbor was a voice of reason and stability in our community, his influence will be greatly missed.

(A note: I typed this yesterday—today was supposed to be warmer, but it is actually the coldest day yet. We heard news last night that in our friend’s village on the other side of the city many people have also died from cold related things. A baby died in our old apartment complex from the cold and the parents carried the baby’s body to the government offices to register a complaint about the cold and lack of gas and electric to keep the cement apartments warm. Last night a cart pusher from the bazaar crawled into a tandoor (brick bread oven like I have) to stay warm and froze to death there. They found his body this morning and had to break the tandoor apart to get his frozen body out. It is not that 5 or 10 degrees F is that cold, it is that we do not have the resources to handle it here.)

We are so thankful, that though we have not had running water for almost three weeks, our outdoor hand pump continues to work and provide water for more and more people. Also our sewage pipes have not burst. This is a real blessing as others have had their sewage pipes freeze and often burst. Many of the apartments are without sewage as the pipes have frozen and the sewage has backed up into many homes. In the local Turkish school, one worker said they could hear the water and sewage pipes bursting at one end of the building at the same time workers were trying to repair pipes on the other end!!!

Today’s task is giving all the children good baths. So school is not the priority today as I pump and try to heat water to wash the girls. Trinity is suffering from a painful rash on her back and arm and we hope a good scrubbing will slow it down a bit! Please pray for her healing as she is really uncomfortable.

We know that everyone is starting to get really warn out from the cold and the extra problems it brings. The extra time it is taking to keep the house warm, food cooked and clothes and people washed is amazing. J continues to keep up with the meetings and discipleship, as well as try to keep the office going, with all the extra work January always poses. He amazes me as I see him take the present stresses on with grace and joy. I know the Father’s hand is really on our home right now because we are always finding something to laugh about and are keeping our sense of humor in the midst of everything. Having Him as the centre of our home is what makes all the difference.

So keep praying for us and for the whole country. We know when the thaw does come it will be many weeks to get everything back to normal. Pray we can find a good person to fix our pipes quickly. We don’t know if our electric pump needs to be replaced or not, but we hope not. We also don’t know if our pipes are broken in only two places, or if there are places we don’t know about. It is a good time to be a welder/plumber in Tajikistan! J The vegetables that are the staple here have mostly frozen, the potatoes are like water balloons, we hope new produce becomes available after the freeze, since everything seems pretty much ruined by the cold. We live in a land that doesn’t usually need cold-resistant varieties of anything.

A side note---besides the prayer we need for the present situation, would you please pray for the Lord to bring us a good homeschool teacher. We could really use one and it would be such a blessing for the girls and me. We are managing to keep up with the basics, but it would be a great ministry to our family to have a teacher.

Okay, thanks for listening to me whine J, we really are all doing okay…and we know it is because of your prayers. I still feel like I am living in the movie “ The Day After Tomorrow”—but hopefully this will all change soon and I will feel like we are living in the movie “Every Day is a Sunny Day in Tajikistan” (which is what it usually is).

Bless you all,

We Rejoice in His Faithfulness,

Laura for all


At 7:58 PM, Blogger MeesheMama said...

Good gracious. I feel guilty having my heat on 67.


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