Our church supports this missionary family, and this weekend Jay and I had the opportunity to meet them for the first time. Saturday afternoon, we started out with lasagne at our friend's house (she's sitting next to Jay), and Mark and Becky are to her left and another good friend is at their left.
Xuse the backlighting, but there's more...be patient.
Next photo please. Whoops, that AZ sun is wrecking our photos!
Is this what happens to a missionary man after being in the field for ten years? No one, I mean NO ONE takes me seriously when I say "smile" for this photo. After dinner, we motored on over to our house to host several other couples and to hear about Mindek's work in Bitole. It was a wonderful evening in our home--so good, I forgot to snap photos.
Here we are at church on Sunday morning. This is the Macedonian artifacts table with dolls wearing the traditional clothing of "ancient" Macedonia (they dress western-style nowadays).
A close-up of the dolls and the jar of Ajvar, which contents we got to sample. Ajvar is a traditional pepper relish the families in Macedonia get together to make like we might gather with family to put up canned goods. They make a festive day of cooking, using all fresh ingredients, the main one being beautiful large shiny red peppers. It's served on french bread and topped with cheese...yummmm.
Check out this link for "a" recipe for this relish...recipes would vary from tradition to tradition, but I liked this one as it seemed to include the same ingredients we saw go into the process of making it the sauce in photos presented by Mindeks.
This is "Biljana," a young Macedonian women modeling the traditional costume. A beautiful dark green embroidered vest should have topped off this outfit, but it was too small for this "doll" to get on. BTW, I didn't want to give the boots back. They were classy and comfortable.
A close-up of Becky and Biljana. Am I blessed or what?
Here's Mark doing his power-point presentation at the Douglas's house on Monday night. We had a lot of questions and learned a few facts about the people and the culture Mindeks work with. Before CMA's go to a mission field, they are required to learn the language and customs, which help them to adjust and fit in better, and to more effectively come alongside their new friends. They minister not only to the Macedonian people, but also bring the Good News of grace to the Albanian and Gypsy cultures by mentoring their leaders and pastors in the Evangelical Church in Bitole. They shared so many wonderful stories with us, but so many more they could tell if they'd and we'd had more time.
(There is NO TIME!--family joke)
The evening ended all too soon and we were forced to say goodnight and goodbye until we meet the next time--maybe in Macedonia? Well that's up to the Lord.
Goodbye for now Mindeks! We love you bunches and count it a privilege to have spent these quality times with you here in AZ!