Thursday, July 30, 2009

Big News & Big Needs

My mom recently made the long journey to Amsterdam for a 2-week visit. It was her first time out of the United States! She braved the airports and flights and customs checks all by herself, to be here with me, tour around the Netherlands, and play a special role in a special event - my wedding! For those of you who don't know, I got married last week. His name is Ghaith and we met in March of 2008 when I was here in Amsterdam scouting potential ministries to get involved with. God had more in store for me than I knew at the time… and what a gift Ghaith is in my life! God has been doing an amazing work for us as a couple, and I am excited to share more about our story here on this blog in the coming weeks as I have time to write and post.

Take a look below, and you will find a slideshow of some of our wedding photos. Our friend’s talented photographer nephew generously offered to do a photo shoot with us, for an incredibly low price. Ghaith’s seamstress mom made my dress (by my design and Ghaith’s measurements) and sent it to us in the mail. To our amazement it fit perfectly! Those are just two of the wonderful blessings the Lord gave us in preparation for our special day.

Considering all that the Lord has done to make our relationship and marriage possible, we trust that He will get us through our next set of challenges. Ghaith is here as a refugee from Iraq. I am here as a missionary, still volunteering with the Scharlaken Koord, a prostitution outreach ministry and re-integration program. Neither of us have permission to obtain a residence permit in this country, and therefore are not allowed to hold jobs. We have been living, eating, and getting by thanks to the grace of God, but we are in serious need of help at this point. I have applied for a visa for Ghaith to immigrate to the U.S. The process is long and complex. We have an attorney who is working on our behalf in the states, and we are now waiting for Ghaith to receive an interview with the American Consulate here in Amsterdam. As far as we know, we could be waiting for another 3-4 months, or longer if complications arise.

We need your support during this time of waiting. We have been looking for odd jobs and ways to earn a little money here and there – not easy thus far. We have assistance from an organization here in the city. They are helping us to have groceries each week, thank God! Still, we have rent to pay and I have bills back home, which I have managed to reduce to a monthly total of $200. Somehow, God has made sure they’ve been paid each month this year. Now that I am needing to stay a bit longer in Amsterdam than expected, I don’t know how these bills will be paid.

We need your prayers and those of you who are willing/able to make a financial contribution, please let me know. There is information below about options for making donations.

Please pray that the Lord will:
*Provide for all our needs here
*Make a way for my bills back home to be paid
*Make a way for me to stay here legally for the next few months
*Open the doors for Ghaith to immigrate to the U.S.

Thank you all for your support,
Tiffany & Ghaith

Mom visits Holland!

Mom's visit to Holland

Financial gifts

This is a reminder for those interested in making a financial donation to me while volunteering here in Amsterdam. You have several options:

1. Send a check written to Tiffany George to my P.O. Box in Portland, and my mother will deposit it into my bank account. Address:
P.O. Box 90143
Portland, OR 97290

2. Go to any OnPoint Community Credit Union and make a deposit by giving them my name and account number. Just email me for the account number (

3. Make a paypal deposit using my email address ( from your paypal account to mine. This is quick, secure and easy and can be done at .

Sunday, July 5, 2009

June '09

God is so good

I have been really sick for the past 3 days. I’ve had a fever on and off, migraine-like headaches, chills, achy muscles, stomach cramping and other such nasty, painful symptoms, all while my body was somehow unable to sweat or cool down without a cold shower or damp rags. I have no medical insurance, or money in the bank, so I had been hoping I could ride whatever this was out, but when day 3 came and I was still in a feverish condition, and the headache at its worst, Ghaith and I decided it was time to go to the hospital. We looked for one on our detailed Amsterdam map. The only way for us to get there was to ride our bikes.

So, fever and all, I weakly mounted my bike and we began the slow journey to St. Lucas Hospital. I was worried about money. An uninsured emergency room visit can be very expensive. As I pedaled I prayed, God please make a way. Please let them have mercy on me in my situation and please provide a way for this to be paid for.

In the emergency room we were told, “We’d like to see you, but we cannot help you if you have no money.” We weren’t giving up that easily. I called Ghaith’s social worker and she spoke with the emergency room receptionist. While they spoke, I went to sit down on one of their stiff waiting room chairs. Ghaith sat next to me and a young Brazilian couple, also waiting, came to ask us how much money the hospital wanted from us. We told them, and they offered to pay the entire fee! Just then, the receptionist came and said the hospital would cover the fee, and the doctor would be with us shortly. Praise God! We told the young couple that we wouldn’t need their help, and thanked them for their kindness.

We had to wait quite a bit longer, and while we were waiting another couple, this time Iraqi, asked Ghaith about our situation and offered money if we were in need. We humbly and thankfully declined their offer too. There was another Arab family waiting later, who had two young children. The younger one, a boy of about 4 years, was playing with some toys on the floor, but he seemed more concerned about me than his toys. He kept giving me these curious, worried, empathetic looks. He was so sweet. After that, Ghaith’s cell phone rang. It was his mom calling from Iraq. She asked if everything was ok, saying she had a strange feeling about us. When I heard that, I realized just how much God was watching out for me, and I felt so loved and cared for. I couldn’t help letting a few tears roll.

It turns out I was first hit by heat exhaustion, and then food poisoning. I had been out walking the streets of Amsterdam all day with a few friends who’d come to town for the day. It was the hottest day so far this year. I didn’t wear sunblock or a hat, and we walked around most of the day, stopping little for water or nourishing food. (That’s how I got the heat exhaustion.) We finally stopped for dinner in the evening. I ordered salmon. It had a strange texture, like maybe it was bad or undercooked, but I was so exhausted and hungry that I ate it anyway. (That’s how I got the food poisoning.)

I write this not for sympathy, but to show how good God is. I don’t presently have the funds for health insurance, but God always makes a way. He always cares for me, as I faithfully seek him for everything I need. Alla karim (God provides).