Letter dated Oct. 12, 1994 – Kyrgyzstan

The following letter is the last of this series I found and retyped for my blog audience.  It reveals what I was experiencing 17 years ago while still single but about to get married to a man I met in Almaty, Kazakhstan on May 2, 1993.  It was a long courtship for Ken, but it was a necessary wait and see period for me since I had finally enjoyed being single and LOVED my work I was doing with Fulbright.  But all good things have gotten better for me and Ken, we are in Astana together now, where we are supposed to be.  Hey, it’s better than being in Afghanistan, which the salaries for both of us are very tempting, but no thank you.

Oct. 12, 1994

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15. This verse is what Ken is having inscribed in our wedding bands.  We will get married in several months and have our honeymoon in Israel.

There was a close call with my dad two weeks ago where he had to be hospitalized from some strange intestinal ailment.  It was a three hour long operation and put a scare into my whole family since it happened so suddenly.  Ken was right there beside me by telephone, praying through the difficult times of not knowing what was happening with my Dad.  Fortunately, my dad should be recovered in time to walk me down the aisle on December 24th.

It is right to marry Ken after knowing him for over a year.  I could have missed it, I could have let him go.  I cannot believe that someone could really love me and put up with me for LIFE!!!

It is not unlike my Russian friend, Tatyana, who lives in Almaty and I want her to be one of my bridesmaids. She simply can’t believe that I would fly her to the States to be a part of our wedding.  It means getting a letter of invitation, a visa, her passport in order, plus the plane fare arranged.  I told her in June to make the necessary preparations by writing friends of hers in the States so she could stay with them after the wedding.  It hasn’t happened because of her unbelief and the time for buying airfare tickets is NOW! Because she thinks something could go wrong with her Kazakhstan government not granting an exit visa, she doesn’t want to get her hopes up.  Inertia was winning.  People are still steeped in their old way of thinking.  They have been programmed to think negatively.  Thinking it will not work, it will not happen.

I also want to bring Jyldyz, as a traveling companion for Tatyana. She is a Kyrgyz, 16 year old girl who will play violin and piano at our wedding.  She will fly with Tatyana to New York from Moscow and then into Chicago.  They will take a bus to Minneapolis from there together. The two girls will have an extra week or two to do what they want on their own (while we honeymoon).

Back to reality here in Bishkek, the downside of being the only American English teacher is that I have a heavy teaching load this semester.  It is like giving an essay test to 60 students and returning their results to them each week.  Each student’s assignment takes about 10-15 minutes to grade.  The decision was made by me to give up my Fulbright grant at the end of January, four months early.  That is when Ken and I will get marriage AGAIN in Bishkek for the benefit of my expat, Kyrgyz and Russian friends but mostly for my students.  I will move to where Ken’s job is, either in Almaty or Washington D.C.  We are expecting great things together!!!

Ken and I have two households stored away in the States and two separate ones in Central Asia to put together once married.  We do not need more THINGS!!!  If you feel really compelled to give, I would encourage you to consider New Life Family services as a worthy opportunity.  I really hope to see you on Dec. 24 though I know it is a very busy, family time.  We are coming from the “ends of the earth” to celebrate with you God’s love and grace in bringing two imperfect people together.  Love to all…

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