Our Balcony View of the Mountains

mountain topsmountainsThese photos show the view from our back balcony of the mountains to the south, beyond that is the small country of Kyrgyzstan.  Why I continue to think that mountains should always be in the north and going downhill in Almaty means south, defies any rational explanation.  (Others suffer the same mistaken notion) The reverse is true, going downhill in Almaty is north.  Maybe it is because I come from the flat plains of the Red River Valley in northwestern Minnesota.  When people in Colorado declare what height a certain mountain is in their vista, it means nothing to me.  7,000 feet versus 4,000 feet high has no bearing from one who comes from land that is as flat as a pancake.  I’m not even sure if we are below sea level.  No, what mountains mean to me in the different countries I’ve lived in such as the Philippines or Kyrgyzstan is the promise I take away from Psalm 121.

One day back in 1982 when I was a Peace Corps volunteer near Kalibo, Aklan I was going through a very difficult period.  My teaching job was fine, the students were great but I was lonely.  A song came to me and the refrain of it kept going through my mind as if to pacify my hurting spirit. I used a concordance to look up the precise location of the words which was from Ps. 121:1-2.  Spiritually I KNEW I needed help.  “I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over you will not slumber.”Now THAT is a promise I can hang on to while living in Almaty, Kazakhstan!!!

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