He’s finally here! Yes, he took his time, and yes, the labor was intense, but the wait is over and we are praising God for the gift of Noah Keith Burris, born July 16, 2013 at 9:50am, weighing 7.9lbs and measuring 22 inches in length! He is a very alert and expressive little guy and we just love him! We want to thank everyone for their prayers during the labor as it was pretty drawn out and difficult. We know God was protecting both Abby and Noah and we thank you for taking the time to lift us up to Him.
There is some baby commercial on TV that uses the slogan “Having a Baby changes everything” and they are so right! After several days of exhaustion adjusting to no sleep and realizing we now have to take care of this thing we brought home from the hospital, we are starting to catch up on sleep and getting into a sort of routine with Noah. The paperwork for a baby visa in this country is proving to be way more complicated than we thought and Nathan has been very busy tracking down the right people who need to sign the right papers in order for us to make the trip to Jakarta to get Noah’s visa made. We would appreciate prayer in this as sometimes a simple thing like getting a signature can take days at a time simply because an office worker doesn’t feel like doing his job that day. It can be really frustrating and we could use supernatural patience! Nathan has been back in language school this month as well, which adds to his exhaustion each day. He is trying to stay caught up with classes and homework as best he can, but with preparations for the trip to Jakarta and so many other weekly things to keep up with, he is tired. Abby has this month off of language school but hopes to resume classes in August. It’s hard for her to imagine getting back into the swing of language learning full time with a new baby so she could use your prayers as she tries to make time for both being a new Mom and continuing her language and culture studies.
In this culture when you have a new baby its customary to send boxes of sweet breads or a small meal of chicken, veggies and rice to all the neighbors in your village. The box has a birth announcement and picture of the baby on top. Once a neighbor receives a box, it’s basically an invitation to come see the new baby! We are in the middle of preparing boxes for all our neighbors and will be expecting many visitors in the next few days/weeks! We have already had several friends and neighbors stop by to meet Noah and give us gifts.
This month on the Islamic calendar is the most special month of the year for Muslims. It is the month of Ramadan. This means most of our neighbors are participating in “puasa” which is fasting from about 3am until 6pm. During the night there is a lot of celebrating with fireworks, eating and reading of the Quran from the Mosque. Ramadan celebrates the month that the Quran was revealed to Mohammed the prophet and is a special time for Muslims to cleanse themselves. Because most of the city is fasting, restaurants that are still open during the day will put curtains up in the windows in order to not offend the ones who are fasting by seeing others eating during the day. We have been careful not to eat out on our porch or in public as well. Ramadan is a month where many rewards in Surga (heaven) can be obtained if you follow the rules of fasting and keep your mind on pure things. We pray that one day these people will understand the true free gift of salvation and accept that the perfect work of Christ has already been done on their behalf!
Continue to keep up in your prayers; we know they make a difference!