Thursday, April 1, 2010

First Popsicle

It's April 1st and those of you who know me as a blogger may, ahem, think that it is a joke when I say that I am going to give this a go. Again. I will admit that there are certain things that I am completely sporadic about - journaling, writing things in my day planner, balancing the checkbook (which is why Joel took that over). . . but I WILL TRY. So, instead of trying to tell you everything that has happened so far here in POLAND (did I mention that we are in Poland now!!??!!), I'm going to tell you what's on my heart at the moment.

Let me say that things are different here, which is probably no surprise to you. But, I personally didn't think I would experience "culture shock." Well, I have. Because when something seems "normal" to you, it's hard to step out of your box. So, something that is different here is that people are not as "friendly" with strangers as we are used to. Rarely smiling, making eye contact or chatting on the bus. The exception to this, which I am so very grateful for, is with children. It is perfectly acceptable to be friendly to kids and parents seem to warm up to us because we are kind to their children. I gave a little girl a flower on the bus and her mom and brother repeatedly thanked me; moms on the playground have become very friendly after I have helped their child down from the monkey bars or picked up a fallen toddler. Smiling and making silly faces at babies doesn't just make the babies smile - the parents do too!

It is difficult to communicate well with people when you don't speak their language. But everyone understands the language of kindness. Remember the saying "actions speak louder than words"? Well, I hope our actions glorify the One who is in us. And as for words: we would like to print flyers (in Polish) to hand out to those parents that we meet, inviting them to bring their children to the new children's ministry that we hope to launch mid-May!

Progress in the children's ministry:
1. Puppets are coming later this month!
2. The shell of the puppet stage has been constructed by Joel and Rich; I have to find a place to purchase fabric to make curtains.
3. Curriculum is purchased! It is super-hero themed and we are totally looking forward to using it!

And in case you are wondering at the title and photo at the beginning of this blog, it references a bit of culture shock (really, just a new experience, but with the shock of potential brain freeze) that we provided for a small guest in our home, which she truly enjoyed, her FIRST popsicle! Frozen juice on a stick was a true experience for her. She kept saying "mmmmmm", which by the way, means the same thing in Polish as it does in English :-)