Friday, January 22, 2016

It is amazing to think that this has been the view we have been surrounded by for the past week. It is wonderful to be here. We are in a rural location, with country views on all sides.  So very different from the forest we live in in Georgia.
The conference center is as beautiful as the surrounding mountains. We are all aware that we are on holy ground.  Many years of persecution, prayer, hardship and faithfulness have shaped this small enclave into a place that is truly set apart for God.  This is the only Evangelical conference center/camp in Italy that is staffed year round.  As well as hosting large groups, this center also runs an after-school program for local children with learning disabilities. They have earned a great reputation in the local area.
We are delighting in getting to know some of the local staff.  We have had a few evenings playing volleyball and indoor soccer and hockey with some of them.  Tonight we turned the indoor gym into the dance studio ready for the Incarnate students to arrive on Monday, so the games came inside to our apartment here at the center.
This week the Incarnate staff have been preparing for school to begin. We have been amazed at how easily and quickly we have gone through a huge to-do list, and are all feeling pretty ready for school to start.  There is a great sense of excitement and anticipation among us. Including, Nigel, Ben and I we are 12 staff from 4 different continents. Our unity has been immediate as well. So many many things to be thankful for this week.

Prayers would be welcomed for the 26 students who arrive on Monday. Ben will spend several hours in Rome airport welcoming them and getting them on the right bus. Nigel has been meeting people off the bus in the nearest big town, about 30 minutes away.
The students will be moving straight into orientation week on Tuesday.  Nigel and I both have many commitments during orientation week, and will be gone from the children a lot during the week. They have been great this week as we have been working, but next week will be even longer hours. They are very safe here in the apartment, and we have been completely amazed at how well they are adjusting to a new culture and a new lifestyle. Already they have opened doors to the people here.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

All in a week!

The past week has been a whirlwind of tasks, travel and emotions. There is no way I can describe it all in a short blog. I am so glad I got to live it all though.
As we left America, for these several months in Europe, we felt loved, cared for and blessed. Overwhelmingly so. People stopped by to say goodbye, threw parties, brought meals, cleaned our house and took some of the children shopping for last minute bits.
Fast forward a couple of plane rides later, and we were in England surrounded by family and friends celebrating Nigel's upcoming birthday.  What a good time of seeing people we just have not seen enough of over the last 14 years.
What is it about family, that creates such bonds that even though our kids haven't seen their cousins for over 4 years, they instantly get along again. It was such a highlight to watch them interact with Nigel's family.
Today, we were back at our church in London, drinking in the sights and sounds and renewed friendships.  It is amazing what you notice about a place that was once very familiar, after a long absence. Everything delights in a new and vibrant way.
It was also very sobering to be among people who have faithfully prayed for and supported our family over the years. Our prayers for them felt so inadequate and generic as I heard about the death of a spouse, or the recent cancer treatment or the uncertainty of a future in retirement etc.  What joy now to be allowed into those places in their lives again and be able to pray. Then there were those familiar faces we did not get to see, as they have passed on to glory.
It has been an amazing few days here in England. If this was all we came for, it would seem enough to me.  It is incredible to think there is even more ahead.
On Tuesday we begin our journey down to help staff Incarnate2016, the 12 week long discipleship school for artists. We will be traveling through Belgium, Germany, and either Austria or Switzerland, depending on road conditions as we cross the Alps.  Snow is forecast in those parts of Europe so we will just wait to see. Snow is also forecast for Isola, Italy (our home for the next three months) for the first few days we are there. I hope these Georgia settlers can cope!
We would love your prayers as we travel down in the OM van.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Zip Line Fail

I should have known that when your kids ask you to do something and then reach for the video camera, that something was going to go awry!

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable moment watching my children laugh uncontrollably forever, and then some every time this gets played back!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kissack Family Tragedy

The sudden death of my brother has of course hurt more than I could ever have imagined. This was the brother who raised me as a child. He was the only one of my siblings who had children and who was walking with the Lord. He was the bed-rock of our family. He was special in so many ways and our bond was deep. He did the 'father of the bride speech at my wedding', if that tells you anything. Our kids love each other as cousins should. I hurt for myself, our family and for my brothers family. It will be a long road ahead.

Apart from this loss, our family is in the middle of another desperate situation. My father was diagnosed with late stage Parkinson's at the end of last year and had to be moved into a nursing home. He has been rapidly deteriorating over the past several weeks. My brother traveled over to the Isle of Man to see him last weekend. He has not been eating or drinking much of anything for the past couple of weeks.

My dad's words on learning that his son had died were “now I have got no-one”. Whilst this is not really true as my sister has been there for him everyday and my other brother has visited him, I think it is telling on how he is feeling. His mind and his body are slowly loosing their ability and I am sure he is feeling lonely and afraid.

So I find myself in a dilemma . I want to be there for my family at this time and also for my dad as he faces the next few weeks. He is not able to travel to England for the funeral of his son; he is not able to eat; he is not able to do very much of anything for himself anymore.

On the other hand, I have a family here who needs me to. As nice as you all are, I don't feel like I could leave the children to be looked after for more than a couple of weeks.

We could all go to the Isle of Man for the duration of the summer, but would even that be enough? I don't know if I could handle my dad, my sister, the children, my grief, their grief, all on my own for a long period of time. And I just don't know that I am now capable of making a decision like that.

So I ask for prayer. Prayer to have hope, and light for the times ahead for my family. Pray too that I will know without a doubt what the right thing to do is, and then have courage to do it.

Needless to say, we do not have the finances to all go home, so that might be our determining factor, but we have also been in this situation before and God has provided what we needed, so I am not ruling it out just yet.

Today is Saturday.. We do not know when the funeral will be as there will have to be an autopsy to determine actual cause of death. I assume it will be the end of next week or the beginning of the following week. I do feel the need to be at home for the funeral, even if it is just by myself.

All of this has made me feel somewhat set adrift now. It is at times like this that you need family, but my reality is that my family now need me. You have all become the support that I need at this time, and I can not tell you have valuable that is to me. Thank you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Inside the Prayer Room in Malta
The island of Malta, located right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, is a mixture of all things in the area. The architecture and much of the culture is North African in style, yet the religious culture is heavily Roman Catholic. As we have been Worshiping the Lord, we have been praying for Malta in its significant location, to be like a lighthouse for the region's revival. The evangelical community is small, but several have been meeting with us in the Prayer House each day.

We have been staying with Ben & Eve Passmore, who run the Malta House of Prayer with a vision to see all the evangelical Christians coming together in prayer for the island and its neighbors.

We were blessed to use a vehicle to make the perilous journey into Valletta, once we were able to remember the confusing route! Other times we used the bus system, which is very cheep, but just as perilous - some of the buses that almost 50 years old!

In a typical day, we would get to the prayer room at around lunchtime, and pray in the afternoon with the OM team. We were anything from about 5 to 16 in number, as people came and went at different times. The evening meetings usually included local believers, and was often larger, and we had music. A few time, Jo and Nigel stayed for the night with others, praying for the needs of the Transform 2010 teams around the Mediterranean sea.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Harmans Heading for Malta for Transform 2010

On the 28th July, the Harman family will fly to Malta to participate in Transform 2010. An initiative to let the Gospel of Jesus be known in the 21 nations surrounding the Mediterranean sea.

We will be part of a small team that will be worshipping and praying for the teams form this central location right in the center of the Mediterranean.

It appears that God has made it clear that we should be there, and we invite you to pray for us and the events going on that are part of Transform 2010.

The cross shown on the right is the 'Maltese Cross', and has been a sign of protection and courage from the very beginning hundreds of years ago and is still seen in the same light today. We pray this for us and for the people involved in outreaches this summer.

The eight points are said to symbolize the eight points of courage:
  • Loyalty
  • Piety
  • Generosity
  • Bravery
  • Glory and honor
  • Contempt of death
  • Helpfulness towards the poor and the sick
  • Respect for the church

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nigel Helps Build Beds for Haiti Victims

As OM USA seeks to assist the people of Haiti in their recovery from the eathquake, custom crates were designed by an OMer, that can be converted to a bunk bed once it reaces its destination. A total of 25 crates/bunk beds were made at OM, and assemled by various volunteers, including Nigel (in picture) . They were sent full of supplies to help the victims at an orphanage that suffered severely from the disaster.