Yesterday Josh put together a brief video about our situation here. You can read it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly-FPeJudHM, I hope. I can't get the hyperlink to work, so you can copy and paste. It's a sketchy view, but should give a good picture of our space here and our outdoor surroundings. Be sure the sound is on, especially for the beginning.
Kinley is an integral part of our team. She helps prepare party invitations and nametags and jumps at the chance to help in other ways. She loves to go to the 7/11 below us and get some little treat for Knox with her own money. Today she brought me a treat--mango TicTacs. She knows I love the fresh mango here, so that was a thoughtful choice from her to me.
Tonight the theme of our party is Independence Day and we have tons of red, white, and blue decorations to put up between 6 and 7. Last week Josh's reader Steven came early to help decorate and is returning this week. We really enjoy that interaction with our readers. Our first party had 56 attendees, so we hope to at least match that.
Rain halts just about everything here. A thunderstorm, especially, prompts calls to cancel sessions because of the rain. This was a mystery to us until one of Gina's readers told her there is a strong taboo against wet hair. (I guess anyone seeing you with wet hair--not sure, because hair here is always clean.) The reader said that women aren't allowed to wash their hair for a month after giving birth. So obviously there are still many unusual cultural differences here.
Wai Chan wanted to know who helped Mary have her baby in the barn--just Joseph? I'd never given that much thought, but I guess that was it. Then she wanted to know where the cows ate while Jesus was using the manger. So even though some questions are deep and probing, many are more practical!
Sometimes I ask why all the rooms in Bethlehem were full. Some readers finally come up with an answer, but the quickest--that everyone was in town to register because of Augustus Caesar's order--came from a hotel management major. I told him he was in the right field, to be thinking that way.
All our readers are precious to us. We're hoping for good follow-up with them when we leave. After all, we are only the planters. God needs waterers in order to give the increase.