Friday, November 19, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
This is a picture of some of the ladies from Africa and some Burmese students in the background.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
We got the key to the apartment and started cleaning as soon as we could. At first, I just felt disgusted and wondered if I would ever dare to take my shoes off in this place. (those of you who know my Mom, know that she is a bit of a clean freak. I am no where close to her level, but she has worn off a little on me.) I worked and worked on the toilet and bathtub. I got the toilet looking good, but could not get the bathtub clean. I gave up after a while. (Luckily Jordan Tardy came over and cleaned it until it shined!)
I decided to move on to the kitchen floor. I swept a few times and then began the first of many moppings. The water had to be changed every few feet and I kept wondering who lets a place get this bad and why. As I mopped something crazy began to happen in my heart. I started to fall in love with this kitchen and this house. I wanted so badly for it to be clean and different than it was when we found it. Then I began to be reminded of how we all come to Jesus like this; nasty, dirty, and smelly and we need someone to clean us. We have no idea how dirty we are and we have no idea how to clean ourselves. I never really understand why God loves us or cleans us when we are so nasty...but then I thought about this apartment and how I cleaned it because it was mine and as I cleaned it my love for it grew. I think God is like that, because we are his he cleans us of our nastiness and he loves us with a great love. This love is so great, he sent Jesus to be the one to ultimately cleanse us for good!
If some of you came to visit our apartment(esp my Mom) you could probably still find a lot of areas that need more cleaning and might even say it is not that great of a place.(still has a dog odor because our neighbor has TONS of dogs). BUT, I know what is was before it was cleaned, I know how far it has come and that is a LONG way. If we could see people the way God sees them/us, how dirty they/we are before being cleaned and how far they/we have come as far as cleansing, we might have a lot more grace and love for one another.
These are just some random thoughts about a nasty apartment, hopefully you didn't get bored in this extremely long post. I just wanted to share and I am so thankful that my disgust for a nasty apartment began to remind me of Jesus' love for me/us and how wonderfully he has cleansed me/us.
While living in Austin, we were able to live in an apartment complex where many refugees are resettled. We LOVED living in these apartments and loved the people we lived with. Ryan and I both feel strongly that as followers of Jesus we are called to love refugees. This is one of the reasons why we feel in love with one another so quickly :)
Anyway, this is a picture of Ryan with our friends Lily Pa and Pai Lai. This picture was taken on the day we were moving out of our apartment. Lily Pa and Pai Lai are brother and sister. They are Burmese, but have never lived or even visited Burma. Their parents had to flee Burma and lived in a refugee camp in Thailand(where they were born.) After many years, they were able to come to the USA. Every year the USA decides how many refugees they will allow from each country and then they usually partner with non-profit or state agencies to resettle these refugees. In Austin there are a few of these resettlement organizations. The one we know the most about and worked with is Refugee Services of Texas. RST settled many refugees in our apartment complex. They were mostly from Burma, Burundi, Iraq, Nepal, and Somalia. If you ever have a chance to hang out with refugees they will inspire you. They all have such amazing stories of pain and loss mixed with perseverance and hope.
Pai Lai is one of our favorites. He spent more time at our apartment than any of the other kids. He loves Ryan and loves being around him. He always wanted to come over and watch Spider Man on our computer or color in our coloring books. He is a really smart little kid and one of the reasons leaving Austin was so hard.
I am so thankful we were able to spend our first year of marriage living with people like this!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
will throw a feast for all the people of the world,
A feast of the finest foods, a feast with vintage wines,
a feast of seven courses, a feast lavish with gourmet desserts.
And here on this mountain, God will banish
the pall of doom hanging over all peoples,
The shadow of doom darkening all nations.
Yes, he'll banish death forever.
And God will wipe the tears from every face.
He'll remove every sign of disgrace
From his people, wherever they are.
Yes! God says so!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
We have decided that a blog is the perfect way to share all the new things we are learning and experiencing right now. We believe that God has been and continues to write a beautiful story of bringing us out of captivity and death and into life. Our story is just a very small part of this beautiful script that has been written since creation. We hope you enjoy it :)
Kristin: While living in Greece, I became really close with a couple (about my parents age...YOUNG!) Tracy and Mary Marks. They were my family away from home. During the summer of 07 their daughter Amy came to Greece to visit for a few weeks. One night we were talking about boys (of course!) and Amy said, "Mom, do you know who would be so perfect for Kristin?.....Ryan Hartsfield!" Mary said, "YEAH!" So Ryan and I became friends on facebook; however, I didn't even think twice about it because I thought there was no possible way I would ever really meet this guy.
After moving back to Texas from Greece and a lot of crazy decisions that didn't make any sense, I ended up moving to Austin, Tx. I loved Austin and knew there were refugees there so I moved! On November 25, 2008, Amy Marks was in Austin and invited me to go out to eat. I thought it was going to be just me and her; however, she had invited quite a few other people. One of those people happened to be Ryan Hartsfield. Because of my experience in Greece I have a really huge passion for refugees and Ryan just happened to live in apartments with refugees. So funny how that works out! That night we talked mostly about refugees in Austin. A few days after meeting, I sent Ryan a facebook message asking him if they were doing English classes or anything with the refugees. He responded by answering my questions and asking me to go have coffee/tea with him. We began to teach together and drink together and quickly fell in love!!!