Monday, January 25, 2010

...Thou Art With Me


Today was Sabbath. It’s funny because normally when I am at school I drink in the Sabbath and get my long-awaited rest, but this week wasn’t so exhausting and demanding so Sabbath was just a nice reminder. Church here starts at 2. I haven’t had to get up early the whole time I’ve been here in Kazakhstan. Church was long, but I really enjoyed it. After church we all got together and decided to have an American experience....Pizza Hut! (Yes, Steve, I made sure to grab you a menu) Even though its only been a week since we got here, I started to miss familiar tastes really quick. Pizza Hut was, like anywhere outside the US, really fancy. I got a menu for my brother who manages Pizza Huts back in the states. That was exciting. When it came time to go our separate ways, we all had a different direction to go. Steven and I walk to work every day and have only ridden the buses a few times so it’s fair to say that we are still learning our way around. We saw the number 65 bus coming on the other side of the street so we ran over and caught it. I asked the lady “Ziloni Bazaar?” (Which is a huge market that we live very close to) and she said “Niet, niet (which means NO in Russian) and then kept saying a bunch of stuff we couldn’t understand. Finally she pointed the opposite way that we were going and Steven and I realized that you shouldn’t cross the street to find your bus. So she let us off without charging us and we walked back to our bus stop. We got on and after spending about 10 minutes on the bus the conductor shouted out “Ziloni Bazaar!” along with a bunch of other Russian words that I couldn’t understand. I looked at Steven and wondered if this is where we were to get off, but everything looked so unfamiliar. Before I could act on anything the bus started moving. I went to the conductor and asked “Ziloni Bazaar?” and he looked angrily at me and started speaking Russian. I could tell he was saying, “You moron! I just said Ziloni Bazaar! Now its behind you.” So we got off at Siahat (all my spelling of these places is relative). I remembered people talking about Siahat. How it was downhill from Green Market (Ziloni Bazaar) and a major bus station. Steven and I didn’t have a clue where we were. I remembered seeing it on a map and was pretty confident I could get us back to our apartment, but the thing is, it seems the further “down the hill” you go in Almaty the worse the area gets. Steven and I were walking at night, in an unfamiliar place, dressed in our church clothes. I felt like I was in the perfect situation to get mugged. But, I told Steven to stop speaking in English and we continued to walk. (When you speak English it is very easy to tell that you are a foreigner). So we did our best to blend in and navigate through the eerie streets of Almaty. The whole time I was praying, I didn’t know what to pray exactly, but I was praying. I was very careful to avoid certain groups of people and stick to lighted, main roads. It really brought the Psalm to life, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” As we got to Ziloni Bazaar I breathed a sigh of relief, but we weren’t home safe yet. I thought it best to stick to where people are so we took a certain route. I realized that those people were in trouble with the police. I didn’t want to have another encounter with the police! So we shut up and walked around as nonchalantly as we could. Anyways, we ended up getting home. We ended up feeling God’s grace and protection. We probably were never in any real danger but it sure was an experience and livened up our story. God is good all the time...All the time, God is good. Don’t forget, He is with you even in the darkest, craziest looking places, He is with you.

1 comment:

  1. He is good all the time. No exceptions. Great story Ky. I'm really enjoying reading this so far.