Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Concerned Ones,

We finally have our internet restored and I figured it was time to address the {lovingly stated} comments and messages of concerns about our situation in the Middle East.

First of all, we're fine.

We're safe, happy, and in a peaceful situation.

Praise be to God.

Most of you have figured out where we live, though I don't specifically state where that is. In the last four days, our peaceful little country has begun to see touches of unrest that have infiltrated much of the Middle East already.

Ours is slightly different though, since the people are not calling for a total overhaul and reform. Simply put, an estimated 50-60% of adults under 30 are unemployed. They need jobs. They have no way to make an income. And since weddings here are on the financial shoulders of the groom to be, costing upwards of 28,000 US dollars for the dowry, gifts, and wedding itself, you have a whole generation of young men that are unable to wed and move on with their lives. So, they are asking for the creation of jobs, unemployment benefits, etc.

They are also asking for the country, which is run by a King (kind of,) to make some reforms to the parliamentary body, a kind of advisory council. Currently the members are not voted in and do not have much power. The people want the parliament to be voted in while also increasing their responsibilities and power. The people are not calling for the removal of the King. As much as I can tell, as an outsider, they still love him and do not want necessarily to have the right to vote in their leader- as much as that might blow our "freedom for choice," and "right to vote," western minds.

The majority of the gatherings and "protests," have been peaceful- some have been even compared to a tailgate, with groups of 4-5 men standing around talking as they await news and word from the government. A wave of "yays," {only the Arabic equivalent,} are heard and then the crowd disperses.

There have been some non-peaceful gatherings, with the major one ending in the death of an individual and several other wounded. The causes for these incidences have not yet been revealed, though I have my suspicions that these were out of line protesters.

The repercussion for this one city's protests is that the rest of us may face gas shortages, as the gasoline is trucked in from the other port city. We've stocked up and will not let the car reach "empty," again, just in case.

Much like you would do when a hurricane approaches. Except I don't have to board up my windows or stock up on food.

Comically enough, our biggest concern is that our import store (over an hour away, by the way,) was looted and burned, so where, oh where, will I be able to buy my cream cheese frosting or frozen bagels?

To that, I do not have an answer.

We keep rolling our eyes and going "why did they have to loot the store?!" It won't open again until the company is sure everything is calmed down. Boo.

I do want to thank everyone for their concern for the situation in the Middle East.

Some deal with their love for us by not realizing how large this region is, geographically speaking, and by overgeneralizing one problem to the whole region. Much like saying "oh my gosh, there was a tornado in Kansas, are you okay in Florida?!"

To those who want to know our plan of action, it is this: Be wise, have open ears and eyes, and keep our family updated and calm in the States.

If anything were to escalate, you can probably expect a few less blog posts as we would go ahead and go across the border. I am, after all, almost 35 weeks pregnant and our hospital is on the other side of the border, in a still completely peaceful country.

I will be honest with you, my mind does go to the If and What Then questions quite often. It's not like the imagination of my childhood, where I ceaselessly pretended to be an orphan on the street or in a war torn country, living in the woods. Instead, it's me going over mental lists of what I would pack, how long it would take to do a visa/border run, and where we would stay on the other side.

At this time, I truly don't believe it will even come close to that. But, I am human, and am an outsider in a foreign culture. I won't pretend to understand all of the dynamics of things here.

We greatly appreciate your prayers for us, other friends, and for the people of the Middle East.

Remember, any people group can not know true Peace until they know the Prince of Peace.

Expecting anything else is relying solely on the power of human nature and discourse, which is faulty and sin filled at best.

All is possible through Him.


(Ian and baby Grace, as well!)


Amanda said...

so glad to hear you all are doing well and are safe! thinking of you and praying for you! hope you have a great week!!! :)

Kaylyn said...

friend, we are praying over you and the ones you are ministering too. God is good, and I am thankful that you have a heart that loves Him and that he is giving you peace. Be encouraged, you have several people over here in the states that love you and are amazed by you! :)

Anonymous said...

So, So thankful that you are all safe and sound. I love you so much and will continue to lift you all up in prayer. The lack of cream cheese frosting seriously is worrisome ..... ;-) I love you my Britty Britt!!!! xoxoxoxo

Michal Renee said...

I am so glad that God is the one who is always in control and it is so obvious that y'all are doing everything possible to follow him. I am sure that He will continue to bless and protect you! I will be praying for y'alls safety and for the Middle East!

Amanda said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now, but can't recall if I've ever commented. I've loved reading along because I studied in "your" country for a month in college and fell quite in love. I'm glad to hear you are doing well...it never really ceases to amaze me how people/the media generalize the region. No two countries are the same! :)

Lyndsey said...

We got our high chair from Target - it's Eddie Bauer brand. It's so cute!