Thursday, April 2, 2009

Email Update- April 2, 2009

Update- April 1, 2009

(For facebook friends - see this update and a few other short notes on my blog:
http://www.elizabethstories.blogspot.com/ )

Short Version:- The headlines…
1. “In the past 6-7 years I’ve been here, no one has ever told me that…” – Taking time to appreciate people and not just the work they do…
2. “Please don’t share my personal thing with anyone…” – Being a foreigner has it’s limitations, but also makes you someone safe to talk to.
3. Last week, there was one day, where I thought: I think I might cry when I leave here…and yet, I’d still give anything to go home right now… - The continual paradox of being fully content where I am and yet fully missing where I came from.

Longer Version: The full story…
1. “In the past 6-7 years I’ve been here, no one has ever told me that…”
Last week, Sam, Manny and I worked really hard- three teams were here during the week. We worked hard to discuss with them the consultant notes on their stories. Near the end of the week, we also moved our office to a room downstairs in the building we work in. This room is much nicer, and a bit cooler since it doesn’t g et the hot afternoon sun (yeah, it’s already maybe 85-90 here during the day). Anyway, at the end of the week, I expressed to those I work with how much I appreciated, not just their work, but also their friendship and just being able to enjoy working together. One of them said, “In the past 6-7 years I’ve been here, no one has ever told me that…they’ve always told me how they appreciate my work, but never just appreciate me” - It was a good reminder that it’s not always about the work to be done, or the final outcome. It is very much about the people involved and the process through which we may (or sometimes may not!) reach the final goal.

2. “Please don’t share my personal thing with anyone…”
A few of the women at the hostel where I live have taken to sharing their personal lives with me. It’s a great encouragement to me to hear their stories and spend a short time almost every evening talking with especially one of them (I’ll call her Helen). I often wonder how much insight I can bring to the situations Helen shares with me, since I am not from her culture.

(Picture: Helen – last week she came in and stated: “I’m cleaning your room today!” She then swept my entire room with a hand-brush!!)

Last week, Helen shared something with me, and then told, me, ‘please don’t share my personal thing with anyone…’ I assured her I wouldn’t. I realized last week that more than anything else, I am just someone who can listen, and who won’t tell anyone else. She appreciates that more than any wisdom I could give! A good reminder to be a good listener!

3. I think I might cry when I leave here…and yet, I’d still give anything to go home right now…
When passing through the capitol city in January, I stopped by to see a family who I knew from various One-Story trainings. I shared some frustrations with the mother of the family. She told me before I left, “I hope you are able to develop some friendships that make you cry when you leave…” I had my doubts, just because I had so much work to do, and no time for relationships with people. And yet, last week, I really did think, ‘if I were to leave right now, I think I would cry leaving some of these people…’ But in the same breath, I thought, ‘But, if I had the opportunity to leave right now, I would!’ And so continues the paradox of being fully content where I am and yet fully missing where I came from.

P&P
- Praise for Blizzard team: the man whose wife has cancer is in the hospital receiving treatment, but doing okay.
- Praise for Blizzard team’s father who was very sick. He is also doing better. Amazing story- the team member whose father was sick, actually was in a bus accident on his way to Pan Town last week. They hit an Indian version of a tractor trailer – not a good combination, but a frequent occurrence. He hurt his leg, and was limping for a while, but he is doing better now.
- Praise for friendships with people here, and for having more days where I think this project will be accomplished than days where I think it won’t!!
- Praise for some special help with listening to translations, and typing up stories- including my mother, cousin, and my Indian friends!!!
- I will be in Thailand for two weeks starting mid-April. I will be coaching another trainer in the first training for One-Story. Pray for a restful time, and also a productive training session.
- Pray that Manny and Sam are able to learn what they need to learn in order to “run” things temporarily while I’m gone!!!
- Pray for the next 4 months of this project. There is so much to be done…but I know the One who is in control of it all, and who can make it happen!!!

Thank you for your faithful support, it’s not possible without you!

~ Elizabeth
P.S. I’m still on track with reading through the Book chronologically in half a year, I should finish by around mid-June, maybe before. Last week, my assignment for a day or two were the first few chapters from Isaiah.
In light of the coming summer heat here…I’m reflecting on this promise I read in chapter 4:
“Then the LORD will provide shade for Jerusalem and all who assemble there. There will be a canopy of smoke and cloud throughout the day and clouds of fire at night, covering the glorious land. It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.” Isaiah 4:5-6 (NLT)

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