Monday, February 4, 2013

Humpty Dumpty

We had a very unusual opportunity this week.  We were invited to meet with some people that were here in Astana to meet with some government officials.  They were interested in our experiences and our point of view regarding religious freedom.  We were able to share the process that had to be followed to get the church registered here. 

One man was from an organization called the Humpty Dumpty Institute.  They have done humanitarian projects mainly in southeast Asia.  We told them it would be nice if we could find someone to pay shipping costs for clothing containers again.  Many organizations ask if the church is going to send clothing and we have to tell them that the shipping partner has stopped funding that.

There were also representatives from two congressmen's offices.  One from New York and one from Samoa.  Also the chief of staff for Senator Reish of Idaho.  We enjoyed visiting with them and sharing our experiences. 

One of the challenges we face is that when new elders come here, they have to wait for their permission to preach documents to be approved.  That generally takes a month, but we've passed one month for these three elders.  Hopefully, they'll get permission soon.  Also, we're hoping that Almaty will receive official registration soon as well.  They turned their paperwork in the same time that Astana did.

They thought it was pretty amusing that Alan and I don't speak the language, but that we had permission to teach.  I think the government thinks we're not much of a challenge.  The elders said they're going to start finding English speakers for us to teach!

This is the lobby inside the hotel where we met.  Since it was snowing outside, we enjoyed seeing the palm trees.
This is John Sandy, the chief of staff from Senator Reish's (Idaho) office.  We told him we have a son in Idaho, so he offered to send a message to him that he had met us.

The representative from Samoa gave us these coins from the House of Representatives.

This is a view of the jumbo trons across the street from the hotel.


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