Akuna Matata it is not. Merle and I are adjusting to a new place, which includes a different currency (the Kuna 6.7=$1, and the cents are called Lipa) and a variation on the speed of delivery, accent, and some completely different words or phrases in Croatian. We moved to Trogir, Croatia for the fall to work with two couples who are already involved in similar ministries as well as for visa reasons for Jenny (only Merle has a continuous visa in Bosnia). The place is small and easy to walk around for exercise or shop for groceries, since we don't have a vehicle here. Also, we don't know many people so it allows us to focus on our work. Merle is doing research, writing a proposal and designing ministry plans, and Jenny is studying additional language by reading books in the Croatian New Testament and studying words she doesn't already know. Studying is challenging and fun, since she now has more freedom and time with an empty nest. She also continues to write her book about our lives, and keeps up with our children and these newsletters to keep you in the know!
Zejnil drove us to Trogir and dropped us off with all our luggage and extras. Cheri arranged an excellent little apartment very close to them. It is a one-bedroom, and has everything we need, though we did bring some extra items she recommended, like bedding, our own towels, a few good knives, and a fan. I always like some extra kitchen utensils, like spatulas and a good peeler from the States. It has been lovely weather, only requiring air conditioning the first day to cool the apartment. Kent and Cheri took us out to dinner our first night which was a blessing, as we didn't have groceries yet and were new to town.
Old Town Trogir is a very picturesque ancient town. There are lots of yachts, sailboats, and catamarans, as well as small fishing and tourist boats, coming in and out of town, as well as lots of visitors, at least for Sept., and Oct., I think. November will be getting cold with the Bura wind blowing and the temperatures dropping. We will return to Sarajevo to send our shipment and fly back to Atlanta just in time for Thanksgiving! I am so thrilled that we will be able to be in Atlanta for the month of December and celebrate the holidays with family and friends and our wonderful church home! I missed all that last year - heartbreaking for me.
We attend the local church which is held in the ground floor of the next building, where our friends, Cheri and Kent, host an International Church in both English and Croatian, which is very similar to Bosnian. There was an excellent crowd that filled the place, maybe 30 adults and ten kids. Kent said half were visitors, but there were a few locals, as well as missionaries. We sang in both languages, but the tunes and words were different in Croatian than the Bosnian versions we know. The second week was a very small crowd, but the other couple there took us with them after church for pizza and to swim at a beach about 25 min. away for the afternoon. It was wonderful to get to know them and their three little girls.
Our third Sunday, there was a Discipleship Training School (DTS with YWAM) of young people after their initial 3 months of training in Switzerland, to do outreach here locally for a month, and then spend a month in Banja Luka, Bosnia. It is fun to get to know them, as they are from literally all over the world and have a great desire to serve the Lord! The picture below of a father with his son has such a sweet story behind it. The little boy was searching through all the people calling "Daddy!" He had this look of concern since he couldn't locate him, then when he spotted him over on the other side of the room, he wove his way through the crowd as quickly as possible and his father scooped him up in his arms. It reminded me of what it is like before we know the Lord, how we look and search and are not at peace. Then when we find Him, He holds us and protects us in His strong arms! The last two pictures are of a conference at the Baptist Church in Split last Saturday, called Re-launch, taught by John Hastings from Clemson, SC. It was really helpful to hear the Croatian translation as the girl below, Antonella, was excellent. She was extremely articulate and clear, very expressive, and easy for me to understand! I can't say that about most translators as they often speak too fast for me to grasp all the words.
It takes a bit of time to learn a new area, and since we have to walk everywhere as we don't have a vehicle here, takes more time, too. But we need the exercise and are enjoying exploring the area. Unfortunately, Merle and I have both had some medical concerns and are trying to conquer those as well. My rather severe scoliosis doesn't particularly like walking, and I found I had to sit and rest quite regularly. I then bought a wide elastic band support that fits around my mid-section at the apoteka/phamacy. I have found that when I wear it, I am able to walk a long time without any problems, and my endurance is increasing. Swimming is the best exercise, but there isn't a good swim area nearby and the weather has already turned a bit cool. I swam a few times near a bunch of boats and then my hearing was affected, but cleared up with ear drops. I also had strange vision in one eye one morning. I rested and then it seemed to be normal again. I have discovered I have acid re flux, causing me to cough, which is motivating some changes to our diet. Please pray for our health! It is hard enough to learn new people and area, without health concerns and its subsequent expenses!
Lydia decided to color her hair again and turns 20 on October 6th! If you want to send her a Birthday card, here is her address: Lydia Jones, c/o Paradise Mountain Ministries, 78 Paradise Drive, Toccoa, GA 30577. Please drop her some encouragement, as she is in a new school, Toccoa Falls College, for her sophomore year. It is not easy to make new friends, especially for a Third Culture Kid (TCK). Allan, and Hannah's colorful purple hair! Love those smiles!
We decided to send our shipment in November so that Merle could be in Sarajevo to load the container, and it should arrive about mid-December, so he will be in the States to receive and unload it. I trust him more than any one else! To save money, we will probably pick it up at the coast and drive it to our storage, except that the piano will be kept indoors at the Temples home. We still need funds for our shipment. Thanks for any extra you can contribute (button at top for giving) to cover these expenses. May God multiply your blessings, as I know He will! He is a generous and loving God! Just like you!