We went grocery shopping soon after we got here and down every isle, someone asked us if we needed help. The pastor told us that it is a requirement for hospitality that even if you are with someone that can help you, they are supposed to ask you if they can help! The Kazakhstan people are very friendly! It is nice to get almost anything here as far as food, and fairly inexpensive, except peanut butter! 🙁
We had a wonderful evening with one of the Kazakh families here that go to the church. They invited us for dinner in their 29th-floor apartment, and we had a meal called Manti. It was really good. It is like a dumpling filled with meat. We have really been blessed by the hospitality of the Kazakh Christians here inviting us over to taste national dishes.
Saturday was a busy day getting the project site cleaned up and garbage hauled away so it was ready for the service on Sunday. The congregation arrived for the first service at 10 AM and was very surprised at all that was done since the last Sunday. The partition wall was totally knocked down, the bathroom removed, and the next step is drywall and painting. They were so excited to see that the team had done so much work and very grateful that the team has come to help them in this way. It was a good thing because we were able to add more seating to the sanctuary and it was full with the extra seating! The first service is done in Russian, Kazakh and English. There is a second service at 12 noon for Russian and Kazakh. This past Sunday, some of the team helped with the children’s church and taught them the Wordless Bracelets. We have communion each Sunday and tea after church. At 2:00 in the afternoon, there is usually a youth service that we attend also and get to know the youth better.
We enjoyed the fellowship of Kostya and his family who help here at the church as well as another gentleman who is a FTM! We made them a traditional American meal of lasagna, green beans, garlic bread and no bake cookies!
As for the rest of the week, we will be going to do the English Camp again on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Wednesday we are invited to another dinner put on by a Bible study group. Thursday we are looking forward to visiting the Expo 2017 and see the exhibits there.
Astana is a unique city! The architecture here is so cool and futuristic and the people are very friendly. We are helping to repair the church and the pastor and his family are very appreciative and friendly. Coming to Kazakhstan has been an amazing experience. Eliana
Once we landed, I was so happy that we were done flying! The first time I went to the church, we found out that we were not going to add a second level. So we are going to fix up the outside and inside. We are living in two apartments. So far the people have been super nice. Hey Meme and Dad, Love you. Mason
Hello, friends and family! Being in Kazakhstan is amazing! There are a lot of nice people here. There are some ladies at the church who offered us tea and cookies. There was another time where a man did his best to talk to me and a couple other girls on the team when he heard my English and Russian. God has been keeping us safe and welcomed. Katie