September 4, 2012

E’s Update: Busy & Thankful

One of our own, E, serves in Central Asia. We support his work as a community developer, English teacher, cycling advocate, and Jesus follower as he lives and shares the gospel to his friends.

Wow, what a busy week it has been here in the capital. Here are some of the things that happened work-wise:

  • got the chance to work alongside my “remote supervisor,” the Canadian Persian Lit. PhD who started the books dept of the NGO and was visiting until yesterday
  • negotiated nationwide book distribution deals in Dari (yikes!)
  • my colleagues appeared on the Central Asian equivalent of “Good Morning America” talking about our books, reading culture, leadership, etc. for two hours
  • helped set up and filmed a three-day leadership seminar for young adults based on our leadership books
  • conducted four video interviews from the seminar students re: benefits of the book and seminar, for use in a promotional video I am starting work on to help fundraise and recruit for our literature department (two of the interviewees were guys, two were girls — very cool to have that opportunity in this land)
  • finished editing the text of the new edition of the leadership book and am started editing on a new values-based novel to be printed next year
  • was a lunch guest at the weekend home of the Head Minister of Radio Television [Central Asia], which is the equivalent of BBC here, because I am editing the new edition of a book of memoirs of his that we print … next month I will get interviews of him for the video, and he wants to interview me about our dept. on national TV — we hit it off very well and it is great to have this kind of contact inside the Ministry of Culture, which censors everything that gets printed here

In addition to those and other work things, I also got the chance to spend some great time last night at a local like-minded friend’s house. We stayed up late talking, reading the Qu’ran (for our own education) and drinking tea. Today we woke up and ate breakfast with two other likeminded folks — hot naan and hot green tea loaded up with sugar. It is so much fun to speak and pray in a second language with people who feel like family, and to be ministered to in ways and locations I never thought I’d find that kind of enrichment and support. Thanks be to God.

In two weeks, four friends will be visiting me from my home community in the States:

  • my pastor and bicycle mentor
  • a top-notch web designer who opened his house to me for over six months in 2011 so that I could have a place to stay before coming back here
  • a Hindi-fluent genius who grew up on this side of the world and has been a great encourager when I’ve almost lost my mind here
  • and an Apple Genius back in Texas and wants to support me and this work.

Going back to my hometown today, I have a few other things on the horizon:

  • continuing the weekly books-based discussion group I’ve formed in a village close to town and seeing those relationships move forward
  • continuing relationships with booksellers in town
  • continuing other work things — doing Excel research to build capacity for our distributor and his inventory/sales systems; figuring out a good way to manage sales profit for an e-book of the Radio Television Director’s memoirs that both he and I want to publish; getting free copyright permission from Max Lucado to translate and print two of his short stories here in Central Asia; selling our books to other NGOs; etc
  • deepening relationships with local neighbors and friends
  • making more time to show tangible acts of love to people, even people who are hard to love

Please join with me in giving thanks for all of this great stuff, and praying for more success where success has ultimate significance. Pray for an undivided heart, especially as my time in the West nears. Help me to love the East and the West, to love my friends there and here, to fully engage in lives here even while I miss others back home all the time. Basically all I’m trying to do is love people … I trust that fruit will be found on its own, just as “all by itself the soil produces grain” (Mark 4).


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