During my tryst with our Lord this early Saturday morning as a refreshing shower softly falls over the city and country-side, I greet you, dearest family and friends. We are so blessed by you and thank God for your fellowship in our ministry to the tiny, yet lovely nation of Georgia. Your prayers and donations, along with your words of encouragement have helped to bring forth a fantastic harvest this spring. Only in eternity will we know the full extent of the increase.
A Bit of News:
- Yesterday was the last day of the school year and the closing of a very busy week for the staff and us. We had two days of teacher training and a Bible study for our wonderful teaching staff.
- The Georgian government is trying hard to improve the educational system here. With that have come many requirements for all schools, public and private alike. Government people were hired to test our High School seniors. All of our students scored high in all subjects. One lady who came for the two weeks of testing told us that she thought our school would be very “uppity” and asked not to be sent to a private school. After several days working with the students and our staff, she had totally changed her mind and was hoping that in the future she could send her own children to our school!
- For many years, our school was the only private school in Georgia. Now, we hear that there are over 500 private schools here in Tbilisi. Earlier, our enrollment for next year was down, but recently there have been a number of new students coming to enroll in the SOT. We are grateful for each precious and chosen child or young person that will be attending the School of Tomorrow in the fall.
- Tamuna, one of our graduates of both the Georgian and English side of our program, came to school last week to share with High School students her experiences as a freshman in a big Ivy League university. She obtained a complete four-year scholarship to Yale and is a remarkable representative for the SOT and Yale, as well.
- Our eldest son, David and wife, Heka, were well on their way to adopting two of Heka’s nieces (Nitolia and Lilia) when all was stopped by regulations for the adoption of children in India. As you can guess, we were all terribly disappointed at this. I asked David and Heka to tell the girls that they will always be “Treats” to us and to God. Also, that we will always care for them in our hearts.
- In June, we celebrated our 46th anniversary with a short road trip to a beautiful ancient monastery last week. In the photo below we are getting ready to eat shwade (barbecued pork cooked over an open fire on a stick like a skewer) and other authentic and delicious Georgian dishes. It was a fun day, although somewhat stressful as people drive so fast and careless here. We often find ourselves thanking God for His protection on the roads and praying that He doesn’t quit watching out for us. (Daily, we experience “miracles of protection” from accidents. Some say the driving here is worse than it has ever been!) I often wonder at how He continually provides safety and security for so many people. Earl says that there are more angels in Georgia than anywhere in the world. It is often that we are inches from collisions with other very fast moving vehicles!
- We will be traveling back to Colorado on Tuesday. This is the longest day on the calendar year, but even if it wasn’t, it would be the longest day of the year for us. We are trusting God for travel mercies as well as chances to talk with people who have open hearts.
- After many years of writing letters, talking to authorities, and being given many false promises, the city of Tbilisi is at last making a good paved road down to our school. It will be completed this summer and will be a wonderful asset to our campus. (photo)
- The manuscript to “Following the Shepherd” is at Westbow Press. A “design committee” is putting it together. I trust that soon it will be published and I can let you know how you might obtain it. Would you like a sneak preview? The following may go on the cover:
After years of learning to listen to the still, small voice of God and writing down what He revealed to me through the Holy Spirit, I felt led to write, in book form, some of the lessons I’ve learned from my fellowship with the Lord. All of the stories and poems are written down to help others experience joy through a close relationship with Him. May we all, as fellow pilgrims on this life’s journey, gain sweet intimacy with the Shepherd as we follow Him.
“Following the Shepherd” was written for the purpose of shining light into the dark places of the readers’ hearts. The poems and stories I humbly share with you whisper treasures of truth which I have learned through my desire to closely follow the Shepherd and as He led me into His green pastures and beside the still waters of His presence. I share with you this little poem that you may join with me as we practice the art of listening each day.
Quiet your heart
Wait and then start
Find a peaceful place
No noise in this space
He waits there for you
Every word He speaks is true
...won't you listen?
Love whispers soft
...shush, now listen.
It comes without cost
...only we must listen.
He says to forgive all
...when you listen.
Anger creates stress - hear Him call
... draw near
And… Listen. June 4, 2011