Thursday, March 29, 2012

This week started with a bang... a lot of fun and a lot of busyness. Garry has been busy with his aviation safety responsibilities. We have enjoyed seeing many friends again, catching up on their lives and the "God story" going on here at our NTM aviation headquarters. It's amazing how God is at work in both the best and the worst circumstances, how His love transcends our current perceptions, challenges, and realities. What a blessing to always know we are in His loving, perfect hands!

This photo is from the Prima Pasta tournament in Manila, but I thought it was good enough to share. We're pretty proud of Kevin and his excellence in badminton. Last weekend we had the opportunity to play another tournament, which we enjoyed doing. We met some great people and enjoyed the play. Then on Wednesday some friends invited us to try some racquetball with them, another fun sporting experience.

I went shopping again this week... I'm not sure what it is about stores that usually drives me to tears, or nearly so. Maybe it's the number of choices in the "average" store in this country, maybe the cultural experience that shopping is, or maybe it's simply the reminder that I no longer know how to survive in this environment. I feel an outsider so often (which is no reflection on my many amazing friends, but on the realities of daily living between continents).

Another new experience for me today was being invited to a "ladies night" complete with "adult prizes", bull riding, and cheap drinks. My heart broke with the realization that this is people's reality, a world without hope and cheap substitutes for the real life God offers.

Next time I'll try to give a better ministry update, but at the moment so much of what we're involved in relates to people's lives in ways that we are not free to share. While our story intersects so many others, these are not our stories to share, because they do not belong only to us.


Java with the Johnsons said...

hey...i'd been wondering how you guys were doing... surviving reverse culture shock?!? :) Brian & I have been talking about that in reguards to our furlough...which is still 1 1/2 years away...cuz we know it's coming... i tend to have worse culture shock going back "home" than when i move to another country. :) miss you guys!

Garry and Cynthia Barkman said...

Thanks, Brooke! We're surviving reverse culture shock, but I'm with you-- I'd far rather work through shock as a foreigner than as an apparent "insider"! Miss you guys too... loved your Sunday photo on fb! Have a great day!

Benno said...

Wow, great photo of Kevin. I am keeping our athletic director apprised of Kevin's on-court exploits and prowess. Hope you can visit Redeemer in the near future.

Garry and Cynthia Barkman said...

Thanks, Benno! We are looking forward to visiting there. It will have to be after we get back to North America in September or so:). Looking forward to seeing you all... and Kevin's really looking forward to checking things out there!