Sunday, April 27, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

Since that fun day our family has been busy - maybe too busy. Over the last week my body told me it was through! I crashed this week and finally on Thursday I intentionally slowed down, stopped answering the phone, left my computer behind and picked up a good book. And wouldn't you know it - the Lord had a plan to show me something in those sweet pages.

I've been reading a book called "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. The book is about one of the author's - Mortenson - who was a mountain climber that ended up in a remote Muslim "town" of Pakistan, called Korphe, due to a failed attempt to climb K2. Mortenson promises the native, Muslim people who took such great care of him that he would come back and build a school. He indeed does that and so much more, but not without tremendous effort and time. I do not know if Mortenson is a believer (though I haven't finished the book, so maybe I'll be surprised by the end). But God has used so much of Mortenson's story to speak to my heart about our time with the Somali people.

As I read this book I was gently reminded by Jesus to stop making my own plans and follow his lead in simply building relationships with people.

In "Three Cups of Tea" it takes Mortenson several years to get the first school built. There are many reasons, but mainly the people were slow by American standards in getting the project done. When Mortenson tries to control the situation and push the people to finish the school, the main elder (Haji Ali) pulls Mortenson aside and says, "If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways. ... The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die. Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time."

Greg Mortenson goes on to say, "That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned in my life. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills...Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them."

Mortenson HAD spent time getting to know the people. The project to build the school was taking years longer than expected. He probably had hundreds of cups of tea. But somehow, the community still wanted more relationship from him than service.

Mortenson came to the people of Korphe and won their hearts because he loved them and let them teach him. Obviously, in the end, they need more than our love, but I believe our love will lead to the "more". Let love lead! When questions about Jesus or our faith come up we don't hesitate to answer and teach - but we need to remember that when the questions do not come it is okay to let them teach us. I think if we're all honest with ourselves - that takes more humility and change of thinking than we want to admit.

Here are some other family fun details in pics:

Libby and Daddy on Fiesta Parade Day: Libby is turning into a jokester - every time I counted to 3 to take this picture she would do a funny face. I was lucky to get this smile rather than eyes rolled back into her head with gaping mouth!

Libby with her class at the parade with crazy hats and shakers (turned into drums for Libby).

A few of Libby's Chinese friends met for breakfast. The moms behind me must have been making some crazy noises and faces bc each of the girls' faces is saying, (with teenage sass and a valley girl accent, of course) "Oh-My-Gosh... that is NOT my mom acting that way in public. How embarassing."

Foote and Martine girls are so cute together!

So - I'll have to explain this one: Libby loves to get into mommy's bathroom drawer. She gets spanked every time, but still she plunders. The other day I noticed it was quiet so I went to my bathroom to see if she was there. Sure enough, she was. But I could hide my laughter. Libby discovered mascara in my drawer (which I didn't know was there!) and she even knew where to put it - well, kinda.

Libby picked out one of her Chinese dresses to wear to a dinner party. Isn't she a doll!!
The other thing Libby finds in momma's bathroom drawer is floss - and she loves to suck on it. Is that weird?
We had a family day at the zoo last week. Libby discovered butterflies in the rare butterfly exhibit. She enjoyed blowing on them to see them fly.
In adoption news - no news. Just waiting on the I-171H. Visit to follow the journey.
Love and Blessings,


Katie said...

Hey Cindy! I love that story. Any by the way...Libs is getting so big! I miss you guys!

Jenn said...

What GREAT pictures!! Love them all! Libby is just too darn cute!

I also love what you learned from your most recent book. It really is quite profound. Why do we so often forget that loving people for who they are and where they are is what Christ wants us to do? It's what He did for us! It was His extreme act of love that caused ME to believe. Who am I to think I need to witness differently? I am ashamed to say that I all too often forget this. sigh. Loving people. No. Matter. What.

I'm praying today for you and the Somalis!!


Wendy said...

God never give us more then we can handle!!! Great pictures.

Enjoy your day

Alli said...

I love you girl and I enjoyed reading your post. I'm praying for you. Oh, and Ava Love is just like Libby in that she always goes for the flavored floss! She loves to suck on it. :)

Shannon said...

I am a a friend of your sister Becky. I enjoy following your blog. It sounds like your Libby needs to meet my Colson (ask Becky:-)
Your family is beautiful and I absolutely love reading all that the Lord is doing in your family and your ministries.
Shannon Gregg

CrownLaidDown said...

Praying for you guys!

Oh, I will be in SA in August for a Beth Moore conference. Are you going? Perhaps we could meet for coffee or something. I'll be there from Aug. 21-24.

Wendy said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Enjoy your day