When we first arrived, it was February 17, 1992. We had been told it would be starting to get warmer here, but as we stepped off the plane a freezing cold wind nearly blew me down the steps as I came down off the first chartered plane to come into Tbilisi since the war. There was no one to pick us up as the city was still under a curfew. (No one could be on the streets until after six in the morning and after six at night.) We waited on old benches that were set near a little kerosene heater. Dusty was 11 and Dathan was 15 (the youngest 2 of our 5 boys); both fell asleep on the benches as we waited for the man that would be over us for the next two years. When we arrived there were only thirteen Americans in Georgia, and we were four of them! We could hear gun shots in the distance, the wind was whining through the windows, and it felt very dark and desolate here in Tbilisi! We knew that we were facing what would be an impossible task without the Lord, but that with God all things are possible. Armed with that knowledge, we felt excited and certain that He would protect, lead, and bring Lght through us all! Oh, He has done all these things and so much more! If I had a week of writing, I could not translate to you how our God has proved Himself faithful to us over and over and over again!
Now, to try to tell you the difference that we find in this unique and beautiful country in two short paragraphs. When we arrived in Georgia spring 2007, we were so surprised to enter a beautiful, modern, up-to-date airport with smiling faces to welcome us! All of our luggage came quickly on the carousel, there were no armed guards or curious stares, and it was warm! Our friends were there to greet us, and we were overwhelmed with the blessedness of clean restrooms and all the cleanliness and light!
When we came to Georgia we knew that we were to bring the Light of Jesus and truly, this is the difference! The people's faces show hope where there was once dispair, love instead of hatred, peace where there was once distrust and fear! It is impossible for me in ten short minutes to express to you this extreme difference, but we know that just to have had a little part in bring Jesus, the Light of the World, to Georgia has been an exciting, sometimes painful, joyous and rewarding experience and we give ALL the glory to Him for using us a little in what He is doing for the beautiful people of Georgia!