Georgia (Part 4 – Village Life)

Every time I’m in this part of the world, I love staying in the villages… There’s just something special about staying with the people…Seeing how they live, how they grow their food, how they spend time with their neighbors… We spent time going from house to house visiting with the people, praying for their needs, encouraging them in their relationships with God… They welcomed us into their homes, kissed us on the cheeks, shared their hearts with us… Those are the real treasures of the trip and the treasures of missions…

You definitely are forced out of your comfort zone when you stay in the villages… There’s always the traditional outhouse that’s usually behind or in a barn — yes, the ol’hole in the floor and the throwing away of your toilet paper… Honestly, they don’t even bother me anymore… You’re not at home anymore and one of the most important rules of travel is “be flexible” – even when it comes to toilets! In the village near Zugdidi, my roommate and I were trying to figure out where a shower might be at the house/farm we stayed at… I finally spotted it and pointed it out to Natasha… Sure enough, it was a shower head outside on the side of a barn… No walls, no shower curtain, in plain view of all neighbors and anyone passing by… As strange as it sounds, these are some of the things that make your trip more exciting and completely endearing! And no, we did not use the outdoor shower in case you were wondering!

The village in Zugdidi was quite amazing because each farm let their livestock freely roam… Cows, pigs, horses, chickens, etc. freely walk up and down the street… At night the cows curl up right in front of your front gate and you can literally walk by them and pet their heads if you wanted to. I asked them how they know who’s is who’s and they said “If you have a cow, you know which cow is your’s!” That made me laugh and I decided they must know what they are talking about!

We saw so many different types of fruit trees — lime, apple, peach, pear, plum, pomegranate, etc. You can walk down the street and pick hazelnuts off of the trees nearly everywhere you go… It was so lush you thought you must be in Costa Rica or some beautiful tropical island… Amazing… Truly.

Villages have a special place in my heart… I love everything about them… Such a wonderful simple life — so refreshing…

We also had the opportunity to go to a church in Gori. Gori is where Stalin was born and grew up… I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but we found the church in Gori alive and on fire for God! Such sweet loving people… I wish we could have spent more time there…

The people we met in this beautiful country are forever in my heart… Hoping to see them all again one day… If you ever have the pleasure of visiting Georgia, your life will be all the more richer…

Now… Time to start trip planning for 2014… Keep you posted…
-Haven

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