Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back in Kosovo

We're finally back in Kosovo after a thirteen month absence.  It's amazing how much changes in a year! 

Yesterday we got our Internet service set up and I was surprised at how simple the process was.  I went to a local reseller and filled out a form.  They gave me a window of time during which the installers would come.  The following day they came, only a half hour after the window they gave.  They set us up and now we have a 2MB connection for about $33 per month.  That's pretty cheap compared to US prices.

Another thing that's changed since we left is the water situation.  Because of the amazing lack of rain over the last year, and the even more amazing lack of snow over the winter, there is a severe drought in Kosovo right now.  Water rationing is in effect and our water is out for 24 hour periods.  Supposedly our neighborhood loses water for 24 hours (roughly) twice a week.  We're grateful however, for how "good" our water is.  Our landlord's sister went 23 straight days without water!  None the less, it's a bit challenging to bathe when it's in the nineties, flush the toilets and wash clothes.

But God's doing good things.  Last night I had the great joy of attending our Bible Study and saw some of my good Albanian friends for the first time.  I also met four people at the study whom I'd never met.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Once we point to the transcendent, now we point to our loss.

Wired Magazine has an interesting write up on the new stained-glass windows at Germany's Cologne Cathedral. 

Blood-spurting martyrs, biblical parables, ascendant doves — most church windows feature the same preachy images that have awed parishioners for centuries. But a new stained-glass window in Germany's Cologne Cathedral, to be completed in August, evokes technology and science, not religion and the divine.

Stained glass windows used to present biblical narratives and church lessons to help instruct the illiterate and remind people of God.  Now, in Germany, they're being used to point people to technology.

Where once they pointed people to transcendent, eternal realities, now they point people to time-based technologies that may be obsolete before the glass is even completed.  It's pretty sad, but this has always been humanity's tendency: to replace the Creator with the Created.  One might hope, however, that it is not the church that is leading the way.