Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Now that I am in the US, I feel free to write more and free to say the things that I had to be more careful not to talk about, like religion and Christianity. It has been so nice to be back in the Bible Belt in Southern Alabama. It is like a polar opposite from Saudi Arabia. Within a 30 minute drive, I counted 7 churches. There are also as many Christian radio stations as non-Christian ones. Now that it is summer time, Vacation Bible School is being offered at almost every church. It is just wonderful.

In Saudi Arabia, it is against the law to publicly practice (or even discuss) anything other than Islam. Before I went there, I was aware that there were countries where sharing one's belief in Christianity was not always welcomed. I had been to some of those countries. However, in Saudi Arabia, it was not allowed. It is so hard to explain this concept because in any other country in the world, people can freely follow a religion or not. Freedom to believe "whatever" is possible.

I will never forget the moment I joined a "Christians in Saudi Arabia" facebook group. I asked in code words if there were any "meeting places for other believers." I received a few responses saying, "How could you come here and expect to go to church....don't you know that you can't meet with other Christians here-this is a Muslim country....you should just practice your religion in the privacy of your own home-for your own safety and for the safety of your family." Stunned-that's how I felt. Bewildered- that other Christians were too afraid to meet with another. Amazed-that my pursuit of simply meeting other believers would probably not happen.

And it was true. I never did find any church to meet with. I did hear of individuals who met in a small group and I did meet a few Phillipino's who asked me my religion and I told them and they responded that they too had the same beliefs. But that was it-it was just not enough. Having no support group was just no way to live there. I am sure that others have better stories and I hope they do, but this is my story and unfortunately things did not work out the way that I had planned.

I feel truly blessed. God took me through many trials and I did not go crazy (well, maybe once or twice). I hung on for as long as I could and God gave me a way out-safely. I feel like this little bitty town is heaven on Earth! Thanks for reading my ranting and ramblings! What do you think? -Andrea

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sweeeet Home Alabama!

Nearly two weeks ago, my family left Saudi Arabia. Our adventure was cut short due to problems that had been developing for months with our employers, the countries newly enforced laws and our safety. Although it was sad to say goodbye to our close family members and friends, it was necessary.

Ideally, I would have waited until July, however, I realized that there was no need for me to continue looking for confirmations. I had confirmations and needed to just do it-and I did. I can't argue with God's timing. I have no regrets! Being back in America is absolutely amazing!.

While we were still in Saudi Arabia, everything back in the US just fell into perfect place. A house came onto the market, just weeks before....and it was nearby my parents! This house is just perfect, I must say-it's like it was tailor made just for us. It came with a dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, nice carpet and perfectly chosen painted walls in each room! We have a huge back yard, front yard and empty lot to the side of us. Most people in the US do have most of the above, but to me, I now think of them as luxuries and blessings! In Saudi Arabia, I washed all the dishes by hand, I hung all the clothes to dry and we had no yard or patch of grass anywhere close to our home!

Just yesterday, we got a new SUV....well, its older than my 2nd and 3rd child....but it looks new! It has new tires, leather interior and is just perfect for us!

This past week, the kids went to VBS and they all made good friends and are so excited to start school with them in the Fall!

We also just adopted 4 cute little orange kittens. They are so tiny and just 5-6 weeks old, so the kids are learning to take care of them and they are giving them so much love. They stay outside and have so much room to play!

I set up our cable, internet, car insurance and other necessary bills. I changed our address and phone number as staying in Alabama will most likely become long term. The kids love it here and appreciate it so much more than I did when I was a child. I am so impressed at how well they have adapted and made new friends so quickly. As a said, everything has fallen into perfect place!