"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Sunday, January 3, 2010

To Asia...

It was a great surprise to see a comment from my dear friend, Asia at the end of my last post. 
And here's why...

I met Asia in her hometown of Gdansk, Poland in the summer of 2005. My son, Alex, and I were privileged to join a missions trip with our church youth group and leaders.  We worked at a church there loving on the neighborhood children doing a Bible school outreach.  Without even closing my eyes I can still see the faces of several children that stole my heart that trip. 

( this sweet thing was about the same age that Emma was at the time...looked like her, too!)

(This little boy haunts my memories sometimes...there was something so sad about him....he made a mark)

(I didn't understand his language, but I totally understood this kid was FULL of spunk!  He didn't understand me, either, but was proud to tell me the only English word he knew....but it's not one I've ever used myself and wouldn't dare type it here!)

Some of their home conditions were very difficult, but they came to the church that week and laughed and played and heard about Jesus.  Our Polish vocabulary was VERY limited, so each of us were attached to a national who would be our translator for the week.  Asia was my translator.

From the first day we were friends.  I depended on her to be my voice and along the way we learned alot about each other.  We shared our favorite candy bars with each other, our life stories and our cultures.  Our lives were very different, but we both love Jesus and it became our starting point. 

Asia playing and singing during a time of worship

It was a pleasure spending time with my new friend. She got to tour Auschwitz with us for the first time.  I listened with interest to the story of her recent discovery of her Jewish roots....and was touched watching her walk the compound with much emotion and reverence.

There were funny moments too...Asia, do you remember the van ride to Warsaw???  It's one I will never forget!  The most dangerous ride I've ever been on...I'm telling you, we only made it in one piece because while everyone else was sleeping through it, I was praying like crazy that we'd make it without dying!

This is the way my family looked the day Alex and I left for Poland...check out Alex's head full of curls!

And this is how they look now....much taller and grown up.
 (Asia, that's Alex on the right - WITHOUT the curls!)

The last time I saw Asia was at the airport in Warsaw as we hugged goodbye - possibly for the last time here on this earth.  It was a sad occasion, knowing we would soon be worlds apart.  But, we never lost touch, finding ways to text and email, and then recently here in the blog world.  Asia has since gotten married and started a new life in a new city.  But her heart still belongs to Jesus and her faith continues to grow. 

There are hundreds of miles between us, but Something far bigger that connects us into eternity.  We'll meet again, my friend...if not here...then forever!


lindsey said...

Fantastic post Terri! Yes it is amazing how God knits hearts together even when we are miles apart and from totally different cultures. Your trip looked life changing, your family is beautiful and I pray that God will continue to bless and use you all for His Kingdom.

Consume me... said...

Thank you, Lindsey! Poland was the first overseas missions trip we've taken. My middle son and I spent a week in Gabon, Africa this summer. Totally life-changing trips for all of us. My hope is to take my daughter next! Thanks for your kind words...

jabi said...

OMG!! Terri what an amazing post! All memories came back :) It was such a joy to be your translator :) I miss this time so much! But I do have hope to see you again here ;) As I said earlier - come and see my blog too: http://homescrap.blogspot.com/ I need to find more time to put there my new photos :)
love you!

Consume me... said...

Hi, ASIA!!! I have been to your blog! love the pics! I had lots of memories come flooding back as I was typing and looking through pics, too. Awesome time!!
Love you!

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