Friday, 13 March 2009

Shaken, not stirred
I went to Naomi's church on Saturday and met with God in a strong way. I was very surprised. At first I was having trouble worshiping, I just didn't feel like it. I was upset at this as it was a great worship band. I felt i as at a cross-roads and had a decision to make. I could either continue plodding along or take another direction which would be challenging but would make me grow. I chose the challenging direction - I have my seatbelt already tightened. I recommitted my life to God and submitted my future again. I have been struggling with still being single at my age the last little while and have now it go. Not in a way that I don't want to get married but in a calming way that I can move on and be more prayerful about it. There was so much more - I won't write too much as some of it I'm still praying about.
Oh, so many prayers are being answered. But not just answered - they're being answered on a much higher level. This is so encouraging that I'm changing the way I'm praying. I've been reading lots of books on prayer since I've been here and have realised that sometimes I've been praying answers (Lord, please do this...etc) instead of requests. I've also started to pray specifically. I think the most important thing I've had revealed to me is to pray for me. I pray lots for other people but hardly for me. It's difficult for me to think of prayer requests at times but I'm making myself think as we can all do with prayer.
I've certainly had a change of attitude. I don't know if it's because time here is getting shorter or if something else has happened. But I definitely feel different. More positive and upbeat and excited. Watch this space . . . .
I'm still missing friends and family lots but I don't think that's going to change much (well, maybe settle a little) but it's 3 weeks until back in the UK so not too long to go until then.

Another Farewell
Wednesday 4th March
I had some bad news late last Saturday (28th February). One of my friends here (Katarina), one of the ladies I was discipling, died suddenly. I couldn't believe it. She was 63 with some health problems but no indication she was going to die. Katarina and I had arranged to meet after Church on Sunday for a cheese fondue with her husband. We were both (maybe all three of us) were really looking forward to it. When we were arranging the lunch in her texts to me she kept asking if I could be patient for the cheese to melt. Little did I know I would have to wait until I am brought home or Jesus returns. She sent me a strange text “did I know I was a very special person? Well you do now and you are” - it seemed strange as it was in the middle of the texts making arrangements. I shall always remember her saying “When shall we three meet again” when Natasha, Katarina and myself were making arrangements. It really made her laugh. I know the answer to that one.
God has certainly been working in this situation. Her husband, Vito, is a Serbian Orthodox Christian (I'm unsure if he is practicing or the usual Serbian response to being asked if you're a Christian). It was Katarina who came to church. They are not having a Orthodox funeral and have asked Vlada to do the talk and the meal is being held at the church building. Hopefully hearts will be opened today in ways they didn't think possible.
I am so glad I had a change of heart meeting with Katarina. I was a little scared to get close to her as it would be difficult at the end of my stay here. I would have regretted not getting close to her – and looking back at the support we gave each other wouldn't have happened.
Wow, I managed to buy a return ticket to Novi Sad. I tried to ask but the lady realised I was reading from a piece of paper and asked for the paper. Was I really that bad? We managed to communicate somehow.
I'm sitting by myself (first time) in MacDonalds. I haven't had breakfast and thought I may not be able to eat until gone 5pm so thought I had better eat something before the funeral. I'm really not looking forward to it but really feel I need to go as we were close. I'm surprised how relaxed I feel sitting on a table by myself. Part of the reason is because I'm able to write in here and look busy. I think I can handle sitting in a cafe (preferably an internet cafe) by myself and catching up with emails and blog, etc.

Well, I managed to get through the funeral. I'm so glad that is over with. I found it extremely distressing.  The meal was back at the church and it was a great opportunity for people to meet us and see the building.
I'm off to pack my suitcase as tomorrow I'm off to see Naomi in Novi Sad. It'll be good to catch up. So glad she's here.