Last week our team took a break from the busyness of spring and gathered in Bamiyan for our family conference. This is the first time this team has all been in one place at the same time. For the past year, we have been scattered with some in the states and then in Tajikistan. Others like our family have been in Kabul for the year. Our conference was a great time to reconnect, rest, and recoup. We all stayed in a relatively new hotel in Bamiyan taking up almost two whole floors.
Our speakers were a husband and wife team, Steve and Kathi Craig, who worked many years for Serve in Pakistan and then Afghanistan. We talked about what home is, how to relate better to our national workers, and about the seasons of ministry. I really liked hearing the Craig’s story. They were here through open and closed seasons and through easier and harder times. Even in our short time here, we have seen the seasons change in the size of our team, in the security situation, and in the ability to be more open with our faith. We don’t know what this next season holds. Only God does. It is important to be faithful no matter the season. Hearing the Craig’s story was encouragement that God works in all seasons just in different ways.
Each session opened up with a time of worship. One of our ladies and her son led the songs. As we sang, we looked out the windows to the mountains and where the Buddhas used to be. As our voices joined together, we could feel the tension of the last few months with rotations and changes slowly fade away.
During our adult sessions, the kids met for a VBS type program. It was one that had to do with Mt. Everest. A couple from Idaho came in to lead the program. Winter, David, and another girl helped with the kids and filling in the gaps. Even though they spent part of their conference working, Winter and David had a good time serving and then later in the evenings hanging out with the couple who came from Idaho. David wasn’t ready to come back home and finish up school.
It was great as a team to have time to explore Bamiyan especially since we now have four families living there with the next one to move there this week. We spent a day at Bandarmere lake and another afternoon hiking in the Red City. Bamiyan is a great place to unwind and spend time outside. The security is good so there are less restrictions. There will be some adjustment for the new families. Bamiyan is more like a town where Kabul is more like a city. Going to the bazaar is different as well as the electricity situation. Those who have moved are really enjoying their new home even with the new challenges. One afternoon I was able to walk to a ladies only cafe with one of our ladies who lives in Bamiyan. We sat and drank some tea as her little girl played on a small playground just outside the cafe. We pray that these families will adjust well and be able to make good relationships with their new neighbors.
After four days, the Kabulites flew back home while those living in Bamiyan headed to their houses. All the moms have been homeschooling this last semester so we are busy trying to finish out the school year strong. It was good to be away, but it was also good to be back home.
Continue to pray for our flight permissions for the next few months. Blessings, TJ