Friday, August 29, 2008

Ch Ga part II

When we were in Yerevan I wrote what I thought was a pretty extensive
list of things that were not available. Things like the gas being
turned off, the water being rationed a few hours each day, internet
not working sometimes, and the electricity being shut off for unknown
periods of time. After three months in the village my understanding
of "ch ga" (don't have) has greatly increased. Not only are the above
mentioned things periodically turned off, but there is a whole host of
other things that now not available.
This particular blog was inspired by the current absence of gasoline,
in the whole country! This is something particularly difficult to
fathom after living in America our whole lives. Sunday after church
in Gyumri I pulled into a gas station to fill up one gallon (4 liters)
to make it back to the village, and was surprised that they didn't
have any. Why you ask only one gallon? Our car was broken into after
only one month in the village and with the front seat headrests, the
radio and speakers, one windshield wiper blade, and $30 worth of fuel
was stolen. This lead me to buy a locking gas cap, but then when the
thievery continued three more times by breaking the lock on the gas
cap, I resolved to keep the car as empty as possible to prevent future
loss. I would keep about an old juice bottle full of benzine
(gasoline), in case the empty gas tank didn't get us to our next
destination. So I had used up the bottled benzine to get to church
thinking for sure I could just fill up both the car and the bottle and
return home. When the second gas station in Gyumri was also out of
benzine, I began to worry. At the third gas station, I just had to
ask what happened and where I could get gas.
The attendant explained that there was no gas in the whole town,
(Armenia's second largest town), this blew my mind, as I have never
experienced this before in my life. Next we decided to pray, as for
sure we didn't have enough fuel to even get home. In faith we decided
to try and see in what way God would provide. So just before leaving
the city limits, I spotted a sign in Russian that said "Benzine" not
that I read Russian, but after 6 months I've learned to recognize it.
There was a stack of gas canisters (not American red, but Russian
green), and God answered our prayer with us buying the last gallon of
gas that the old man had, for $6! I was more than happy to pay the
inflated rate just to get home. Asking again what happened to all the
gas, he explained that the rail line coming to Armenia from Russia
through Georgia, was blown up. Workers fixed the line in a few days
and then it was blown up once again.
Now we are "stuck" in the village, with just enough benzine to make
it back to the city to refill once the trains make it in. Not only is
Gyumri out of gas, so is Yerevan the capital city of this small
country, and every other city. The only cars on the road are the ones
that are fueled by natural gas. This has brought about a whole host
of other problems.
Since it is nearing the end of the month, the cash I withdrew for
this month is nearing it's end, and it's not like we can just hit the
"village ATM" to get some more cash, or use our Visa card at the
village store to buy food. So add to the list "pogh ch ga" (don't
have money). Jonelle can't go to Gyumri to teach her bible study
class, or shop for the items that just are not available in the
village. We don't have a T.V. or satellite dish like many other
people, no news paper either, so we don't have any idea what is going
on in the world.
Just recently our closest friends in the village turned their back on
us, after their mother slapped two children that she thought hurt her
grandchildren in our daily summer school at our house. Refusing to
apologize to us or the children who she slapped, we have had to ban
her grandchildren from our house. Needless to say this has negatively
affected our fellowship with our believing neighbors. So add to the
list "ungerner ch ga" (don't have friends). There are other people in
the village we know but by far we have invested the most time with
this family. This has also lead to unstable mental health as we
ponder these issues, and a general lack of freedom as we are stuck
here with neighbors that apparently don't want anything to do with us.
As you may also know, we were never able to get internet in the
village so by the time you read this the benzine situation should be
resolved, but remember it is Armenia so you never know.
Please pray for us that we finish our last month here in Armenia
well, that we continue to be living examples of Christ's love, as he
continues to streach us and teach us more about complete dependence on


Kenj said...

LOVE YOU GUY!!! Big, huge, hugs from here that I hope you can feel.

The Fletchers are faithfully praying for the Kazarians!

Kenj said...

That would be "guyS". Off to take a nap.

Quinne said...

Hi :) I am a friend from Kendra's PNP journal. My family and I are prayig with you and our church family will be as well. Blessings, Q

heather said...

Jonelle, I got your link from Preschoolers and Peace (of which I am a faithful reader! :-) ) I thought when I saw your picture that I recognized you and I do! Zachary and Peter were at Westminster together 2 years ago. I will be praying for your family daily and trust that God is going to shower your family with blessings. I am in awe of how God is using your family and I am so proud of you all for faithfully following His lead!