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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Lithuania is the Place to Be (Green Acres)

Posted by admin in July 21st, 2010
Published in Uncategorized

We leave in five weeks. FIVE WEEKS! Penkias savaites! (Uh…that’s Lithuanian for five weeks.) Honestly, I can’t believe it. We’re heading to Klaipeda. Klaipeda of all places. Klaipeda, Lithuania. We leave August 26th. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to get in the classroom and meet my students and get into the culture and learn new things. But, and this is a pretty big but, there’s a whole lot to do before August 26th. Please be praying for Daryl and me. We want to sell our house, but don’t have enough time to get everything clean, cleared and fixed before we go. We need to raise some mula, but need to go ahead and start classes before the cash arrives. (Is this faith?) There are doctors’ appointments (Lithuania needs to see a clean bill of health before we join their socialized medical system). There are dinners and lunches with good friends to say good bye. There’s outfitting to do ‘cause Klaipeda’s got some very cold winters and I haven’t owned a winter coat for years! We have checklists and details and mail holds and paper cancelations and so much stuff zooming through our heads that I actually fear mine might explode. Do heads really explode? Maybe. Mine could.

And in the midst of all this I don’t want to lose the joy and excitement of this missional call. He Who called us is faithful and He will do it. Isn’t that what the Bible says? We had to buy two new suitcases yesterday. We always go to Walmart and buy $39.99 suitcases that last about three or four trips. Daryl said we needed to get better ones. So, we went to Macy’s ‘cause they were having a sale on luggage. We found two good ones that were a bit pricey, but they were 50 percent off. When the sales lady saw us struggling to make a decision and hearing our discussion, she brought over a coupon for an additional 15 percent off and said, “Will this make your decision any easier? I’m not really supposed to do this, but I want to help you folks out.” And she did and it saved us a lot. I hate spending money, but God provided that. He provided through that nice sales lady at Macy’s. Thank you nice sales lady!

What about our cars? The lawn being mowed? What if pipes freeze or things break or a tornado hits or or or or …these are the small things that can really bug me and rob me of my joy. But there are other things, the big things, which keep me up at night and rob me of peace.

My Dad. What’s going to happen to my Dad and what if he passes while I’m gone? Our grandkids? We have a brand new baby granddaughter born June 11th and two amazing little grandsons, Jack, 3, and Kempis, 2. What about our loved ones who will celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and milestones in their lives and we won’t be here for those events? What about those things?

Jesus said, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will…inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). I want to inherit eternal life yes, but I also want to give my life to those who have never understood the message of Jesus. I want to be His hands and His feet and His arms. I want to invest in the lives of students who have said to me, “I feel so hollow inside.” Our kids know Jesus. They are following Him (thankfully). They are committed to their churches and to the Gospel message. Our families are followers of Christ and yet there are those in Lithuania that don’t know Him, not personally, not in the way we should know Him. Students in Klaipeda are atheists by default. The years of reign by the Soviet Union robbed this country of its faith. Generations were taught there is no God and now 20 years after the collapse of communism the small nation of Lithuania suffers from the highest suicide rate in the world. There is pandemic drug abuse and alcoholism. A news report by Justin Webber states, “Lithuania has the highest suicide rate in the world. It’s doubled in the last 10 years, overtaking former record holders such as Hungary, and leaving other Baltic States behind.”

In fact it’s epidemic. Fifteen hundred (1500) people commit suicide each year in Lithuania. That’s 30 lives a week in a country with a population of only 3.7 million. Dr. Darius Puras an MD fighting for the lives of fellow citizens says, “There is a lot of cynical thinking in Eastern block [sic] countries. That it is maybe better to let the weak die.”

“Let the weak die.” Isn’t that pure Darwinism? Survival of the fittest? Who says teaching evolution theory doesn’t have consequences? Natural selection becomes a rationalization for suicide and no one values the human life.

And so we go. And we pray that we’ll be effective. We pray that we’ll be the fragrance of Jesus and that we can share His hope and love with a nation that is struggling to find the meaning of life. We’ll build relationships with students and hopefully their families, our neighbors, colleagues and we’ll ask our loving Savior to touch their lives and to transform them just as He has touched our lives and transformed us. We go because we want to be obedient and we’re finding that there is a joy unspeakable and a peace that passes understanding in the going. Do we leave precious ones behind? Yes. But we are believing that God will perfect the things concerning them as we seek Him and His way for a hurt and dying land. Please pray for us. Please pray for our families. Please pray for Lithuania.

Got questions or concerns? Please feel free to email me: teri@iics.com or call me at 913.486.0954. Some friends are asking, “What will Daryl do?” He’ll run IICS just like always only this time he’ll do it a little more “high tech”. He’ll Skype the office for regular meetings. He’ll come back to the States every six weeks to meet donors and help with recruiting. My prayer is that he’ll find time to write two books that have been burning in his soul for five or six years. I’d love to hear him preach at the International Church in Klaipeda on occasion. He also has a strong desire to start an IICS Europe. The IICS staff in Kansas City is pretty self-sufficient and everyone at the home office loves God, believes in the work and does their jobs well. We’re thankful for that.

We’re coming home for Christmas. Not highly recommended for folks trying to bond with their new culture, but necessary for us in order to make the transition work. We’ll also come back to the States for summer next year. By then we’ll know more about what we need to do to get the house ready to sell and prepare for a longer term overseas. Again with the details! Throughout all of the processes, conversations, prayers and questions there has been one thing leading and guiding us and that’s been God’s peace. We truly believe that this is His will for our lives and we go in His name and in His peace. Peace.

8 users Responded In This Post

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429. pam said,
July 21st, 2010 at 9:13 am

Wow, so exciting. I know so little about you but know our God…where He calls He equips is such a comfort. Praying your abiding with Him is sweet…that He multiples His grace to your days to accomplish what really needs done. how cool

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430. admin said,
July 21st, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Oh Pam! Thank you so much. What an encouraging word to hear today.

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431. Texas sister said,
July 22nd, 2010 at 8:11 am

praying for sure, you can count on me, every time you guys come to mind

and even when you don’t I will be lifting you both, all of you before our Father. He is a lover of detail apparently, just look at our measly human bodies, the brain alone is magnificent!
Remember; ONE DAY AT A TIME

There seems to me that Jesus said something about that 🙂

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432. Laura Savage-Rains said,
July 22nd, 2010 at 11:14 pm

This is so right, Teri! What better way to “sell” what you’ve been asking others to do all these years than to do it yourself!? You will love it. The students will adore you–and they’ll meet Jesus for the first time! And, yeah, it’s a little farther away from those grandbabies, but the global neighborhood is sure a lot smaller than it used to be. Christmas will be here next week . . . believe me!!! I’m so proud of you and for that university! It was great to see you last week. I’m celebrating for both of us! 🙂

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433. Barbie Buckner said,
July 23rd, 2010 at 12:43 am

So…what is the best way to send financial support?

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434. admin said,
July 23rd, 2010 at 6:33 am

Barb! I’m crying like a baby right now. Thanks for asking this. I have an account with IICS (tax-deduction via IICS for you). Financial support can be sent to the office: IICS, 10100 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kansas, 66212 with Teri McCarthy written on the check/money order. Or you can give online by going to the IICS website: http://www.iics.com.

Thanks Barb. You blessed me today.

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436. .kathyandbob said,
July 27th, 2010 at 10:05 am

Teri,
Carolyn Sparks forwarded you blog to us because we spent one semester in Klaipeda in Fall 2004. We were changed by the experience. Bob taught Psychology and I spent the time learning to trust God to use me as He saw fit. The time was a turning point for us as we learned to rely on God and on one another. We learned to live more simply, to be more spontaneous. We loved the people, the students. We will be praying for you as you make this adjustment for the forseeable future. God is so good to take us on these adventures where we gain so much more than we give. I know He will bless you and your students through you.
Kathy and Bob Wood

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452. bogol said,
September 24th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

“Let the weak die.” Isn’t that pure Darwinism?

No, it is not. Stop insulting people who accept evolution as the fact it is as heartless killers who don’t value human life.

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