Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Odd World

Today they "patched" a part of the paved road with dirt.

No wonder the roads get terrible after it rains!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Better by Far

Oh, Father God, I’m dying—but wish instead I were dead,
Oh to be with thee, not crying, here on my lonely bed,
The silence is cold and it echoes the hollow hymn of pain.
Unfilled with the songs of the angels, oh to die would be gain!

That sorrow and sin be washed away—oh! Beauty to behold,
That crowns at my Lord’s feet will lay, a massive pile of gold.
But pearly gates and glittered roads are not what I want most
For next to my most gracious God these treasures cannot boast.

Of what worth are rubies when placed beside His bloody feet?
What will you pay for a diamond when dozens litter the street?
What value is there in a pearl when you are one in His eyes?
And sapphires haven’t a chance when matched with the heavenly skies.

When weariness and struggles shall be past and the battle done
How great the rest and how grand the feast, when the race is run.
When aching hearts and uncertain fears will all be laid to rest,
When upon that glorious day I will have passed the test.

But only by my Jesus’ blood, grace, and unstrained mercy
Have I this hope, this sure command, and I need not worry.
For in his life, he lived to prove God’s vast love and power.
And dying for me he drank that cup—such a bitter hour!

The greatest gift my Lord could give would be the greatest thing
That to this earth he gave himself although he was a king
That might and splendor could become a weak and tiny child
A mystery of love intense and full of something wild.

For one might die for a good man, but die for evil not.
But who would die for a traitor? We’d let our enemies rot!
But my Lord loved while I hated… and cared while I ignored!
He battled Death for my soul and fought with a two-edged sword.

And so I ache to be with Him, my lover, Lord, and life.
I yearn to leave the confines of this world that is so full of strife.
I wait for the day when the glimmers of heaven’ll be mine.
And crave the taste on my tongue of angelic songs divine.

I long for His words in my ears that I may truly hear,
And sweetness of his breath to smell whenever I draw near.
Then I breathe the perfumed pleasantness all so softly spiced
And so I am still reminded here that to live is Christ.

The Funny Things

My recent lack of postings has had many reasons. First of all, time seems to be absent, second, internet has been abseng. And finally, my typing has been limited due to tendonitis in my left hand. So, the following has been borrowed with permission from a 15 year old girl named Pauli whose family has joined us out here in the Middle East this semester. Be entertained... I was there when the following incident happened.

So Saturday we went to the school for teacher-training. The teachers in the school have to go to a “once-a-month” teacher training session...1)because they are Kurdish, therefore English is their second language, it’s quite difficult to teach kids a language you barely know. 2) The public schools here deal with discipline and teaching completely differently. For example- ear pulling, screaming, anything like that. As for the teaching, one of the teachers had each of the 30 students stand in the corner of the room and read the same 2 paragraphs for the entire class time. They were taught that repition is the key. The session helped show them how to “really” teach.
One of the most interesting parts was the fire drill. Jeremiah made out a plan so they could have a fire-escape plan…which had never been thought through before. As a lot of you know there was a fire a few months ago in the school building in the middle of the night. Now- houses and buildings here just do not catch on fire. Every building in concrete. Nothing is there for it to actually catch onto. So a lot of the people think someone probably set the school on fire. So when Jeremiah came up and said, “We are going to have a fire drill” everyone’s first impression was, “We have an enemy…someone is going to set the school on fire” they all said it too. See, fire drills are un-heard of here. No one does them…like as I said, nothing catches on fire here, so why have a fire drill unless we had threats against the school. So it was funny trying to explain to them that no, we don’t have someone that is going to blow the school up!
So Jeremiah went over the things that they are suppose to do in a fire…the basics that you learn in kindergarten but they were never taught it. One of the things was, “Stay and hold the door open while all your kids get out of the class then follow them” one of the teachers said, “Honestly, if there is a fire…I’m going to leave my kids and get out of the school” my mom and I just looked at each other thinking, how can this teacher leave thirty 2nd graders and run out the door. My mom turned the teacher next to her and said, “Would she really do that??” and she said, “Of course, she is much more important than the children, she has a husband and a family”
It was an amazing opportunity for Jeremiah to open up in discussion. He was saying that this is exactly what’s wrong with this culture. This is why we don’t have electricity- this is why we have limited water- this is why there is trash all over the ground- and that they don’t clean up anything- this is why all the government officials stuff the money in their pockets. The only thing that anyone is concerned with in this culture is themselves. The teacher then went on to say, “I’m way more important than the kids”…this is what happens to everyone, they grow up thinking that they are more important than anyone else. That’s why there is a school in the first place. Believe it or not, but these kids have never ever been taught to clean up. Ever. Everyone just throws their trash out the window. So for the first time- these kids are being taught to pick up their trash. To clean up- to respect others- to help. It’s a completely new concept to them. What we are hoping is that these kids will be future leaders of Iraq.