Monday, June 29, 2009

A Day of Trials, A Day of Victory

Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Last night showed some promise for Jonathan. After so many days of being in pain and not wanting to go anywhere, he wanted to go to Costco and get a soft frozen yogurt. Once we got there, he decided he would try a piece of pizza also. Cutting the pizza into very small bite size pieces, he was able to eat the whole thing except the crust. This was such a praise after several days of hardly eating anything because his mouth and throat hurt so bad. Things were looking up.

This morning though, began a day of trials beginning with Jonathan feeling horrible again and not being able to eat. Then, to top it off, Erin's bunny (Cheddar) died this morning in her hands. We believe Cheddar had been sick since we got him but he was showing progress and seemed to be getting better until this morning. So, I sat with her and tried to comfort her. Jim talked to her on the phone and told her we could see about getting a bird which was another animal she wanted. Well, if anyone knows Erin, they know that she wanted to go right away to get the bird. So, Jim came home and he took the Cheddar away and Erin and I went the a pet store with a friend to picked out a parakeet whose name is now Tweeter. He is a very calm bird and is already allowing her to hold him and take care of him. The thing about this story that is amazing is what happened this afternoon when our Spanish tutor, Juan, came over. Erin told him about Cheddar and made a comment that when something bad happens, sometimes something good can come out of it like the fact that she got a bird. He immediately grabbed on to what she was saying and repeated it saying he would have to remember that. So, we went through our lesson and at the end, Juan asked if I would pray for him. You see, his girlfriend, whom he wanted to marry, broke up with him and he was very hurt by this. He knows we are Christians and so I was able to pray for him. I then invited him to church and he said he would come. Please pray that nothing stands in the way of this. Later on this evening, I was able to share with Erin how God used Cheddar to open a door to minister to Juan. Then tonight when she was praying, she thanked God that he used Cheddar in that way. What a precious moment.

Well, Jonathan continued to get worse as the day went on. He only ate a small bowl of yogurt to day and an even smaller bowl of Sorbet. He said his mouth now has sores on his tongue and on the roof of his mouth. Throughout the day, James 5:14 kept coming to mind which says, "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up." I decided I needed to act on this and called around to some of our friends to see who could come and pray for Jonathan with us. We had two people come and pray over Jonathan with us and more (who couldn't come) praying from their homes. I had really felt that this was a spiritual attack and so had Jim. You know if Satan can't get to the parents, then why not get to the children of the parents. Jonathan hadn't even spoke more than a dozen words today because it hurt too much to talk. One of the things Kate mentioned after she had prayed for Jonathan was that she was seeing this as a spiritual attack. She prayed that God would remove any fear that Jonathan had over the situation. She was seeing the same thing as I was. God is so cool!

After Kate and Marty left, Jonathan began talking. In fact he talked to his friend on the phone for about five minutes. That was more than he had talked all day and he continued to talk after that point. He then sat down with Jim and ate some grapes and within two hours after we prayed for him, he was brave enough to try to remove the tooth that was coming out and causing all the problems. Now the tooth is out and the adult tooth underneath can come up as normal.

Praise the Lord! What a boost of faith for both kids today. What Satan meant for destruction, God turned around and use for building more faith in them. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. We know God is using us here and Satan does not like it. Thank you for all the prayers that have been lifted so far. God is good, all the time!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pictures from Today

We had an awesome day today at the home. It was our day off but there was a team here and they were doing all kinds of fun things with the kids. Erin wanted to go and be part of it so we did. Here are pictures from today's activities.

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Update on Jonathan #2

We are seeing improvement in Jonathan's health. Yea! He has had his second shot of penicillin and it seems that as the infection is going away, so is the swelling. As the swelling diminishes, Jonathan is telling us his cracked tooth is loose. It wasn't even loose in the States when the dentist saw it. We wonder if is was slightly swollen then or if there was already a slight infection not seen yet on x-rays. We are hopeful that as more swelling goes down, the tooth will come out on it's own and we will only need to go to the dentist to be sure all of it is out. We are grateful that Jonathan is feeling better. We are also grateful that the other members of our family are remaining healthy.

We have been very busy with a short term mission team that is here from Wisconsin. Juana, the person who usually helps the groups once they are here, is in Oaxaca with another team as a translator. So, Jim has been doing everything for this group. They are an awesome group and have made our job easy. It is great for Jim to go through the whole process of seeing a team through their entire visit. The team that is here has four or five people that speak Spanish and that is awesome. It means we don't have to come up with translators for them and their time with the kids runs much smoother.

Jim and Erin are at the youth home right now and I will be going over as soon as I am finished writing. I needed to stay home and bake brownies for the group that is here. We have what is called the Angel Program here where someone blesses the team by dropping off words of encouragement and sometimes treats, like brownies. The teams do not know who is dropping things off each day because it is just signed, "From your daily angel." We have gotten wonderful responses about it from the teams. Even though the teams come here to bless us, we want them to be blessed also.

Well, that's all for now. I will try to get some pictures up again soon. Thank you to all of you who are praying for us. We are so grateful!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Update on Jonathan

We took Jonathan to the doctor today and he has an infection in his throat. Since we were hearing everything in Spanish I am not sure if it is strep throat or not but it is certainly an infection. The doctor also pointed out a tooth that was cracked which is infected. We knew it was cracked before we left Oregon but since it is a baby tooth, we chose to let it fall out on its own. Well, it is being stubborn and it seems that in the process it has become infected. That infection seems to have worn down his immune system which is most likely why he got strep. So, we left with a prescription for two shots which we picked up from the pharmacy. Boy are things done differently down here. Fortunately, one of our missionary friends here is a nurse and so she gave Jonathan the first shot today and he will get the second one tomorrow. Ouch! Tonight, Jonathan still had a fever even with Ibuprofen and Tylenol. I felt so bad for him when he asked me to bring a bowl up to him in bed so he could spit in it instead of swallowing. We are praying that he is much better in the morning. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. Please also keep the rest of us in your prayers that we would remain healthy.

There is a lot of sickness going on down here. Several missionaries are sick as well as several kids in the home. Don't worry, it's not the swine flu. But please keep the whole ministry in your prayers. We also have a sixteen member team here from Wisconsin. So far, they are all remaining healthy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jonathan is Sick Again

Please keep Jonathan in your prayers. He is sick again and running 101.6 tonight. He has a sore throat also. It is hard on him and the family. It means he can't go over to the home and we won't leave him at home for long periods of time either. So, it is trying on all of us.

On another note, I ventured out today by myself and went to Costco and to Superama to do the grocery shopping. It is the first time I have gone out only by myself. It was nice and the kids enjoyed not having to go.

After that, we rode our bikes to the home. That's when Jonathan started not feeling well. After being there just a short time, we rode our bikes back home. Then I went with Jim to the orientation of the group that arrived today. If you would like to see what other groups are like here, you can follow their blog at This particular group is the River of God church and they are the home church for two missionary families here. Having the groups here is really neat and we enjoy them so much. We are looking forward to our own church's team coming in September.

Erin discovered today that bunnies like yogurt. She kept putting little bits on her nose and Cheddar would like it off. It was pretty cute!

That's all for tonight.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A New Addition to Our Family

Erin has been saving her money to buy a bunny. The adoption place where we bought our dog, Nacho, had two bunnies. The one she bought is an Albino Rabbit and she is a baby. Our friend's, the Madsens, let Erin borrow a cage until she gets one of her own which should be pretty soon. She has also been reading up on what they eat and how to take care of them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jonathan Gets A New Look (and other stuff I want to share)

Jonathan has needed a hair cut for while but we haven't gotten him into the barber. The other night, when we were at a friend's house, they offered to loan us their hair clippers and I gave Jonathan a hair cut. Here are the before, during and after pictures.




Isn't he handsome? He got many compliments today at church. Of course, since I gave him the haircut it made me feel good.

After giving Jonathan his haircut, we went downtown to look for bikes. We had been talking about getting them for a while. So after going into almost every bike shop we saw, and then having lunch, we bought four bikes and four helmets. Today, we went for a ride on them over to a friend's house. We had a great ride and if the clouds had not been so dark, we may have ridden for longer.

The following pictures are what happens when it rains here. Unlike in Oregon where it rains all day long, they like to consolidate a whole days worth of rain into about an hour. When it rains that hard, the following pictures are what you see.

There was a man on the other side of this bus walking when it made a splash like this. The poor guy was drenched.

Here's a car helping a taxi loaded down with people that stalled from the water.
This is just down the street from our house. There are speed bumps where the cars are but you can't see them because the water is covering them.
This is the third rain like this since Friday. It is quite amazing. I hope we won't be riding our bikes in this.

That's about it. I'll try to write more later.
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mangos, Ants, Rain and Groups

One of the big helps for the ministry here are the donations of fruits, vegetables, and bread that they get from the market. We always know when they have come back with donations because we see kids walking around eating mangoes. They bite the tip of the mango and then peal them with their teeth. Other donations are things like the onions, pineapples, peas, and tomatoes seen in the pictures below.

One of the boys was showing off his pet that he found in the garden. This is an ant, believe it or not. It was huge!! We're not sure if it was still alive. We tried to get it to move and we couldn't but the kids said it was sleeping.
We had quite the rain storm tonight. It rained so hard that the rain was leaking into the inside track of our window. This is in our laundry room where half of it would be outside except for the corrugated awning that is covering it. The awning has no caulking between it and the wall so you can see the water just flowing down the window. I wish I had my camera with me when I picked Jim up because the street right outside the orphanage looked more like a river.
This is a picture of our back yard. I don't think we need to water the grass today. The big stream of water is the overflow for our water tank. When we fill the tank we know it is full when the water flows from the roof. It is also helpful in rain like this though since then the roof doesn't have standing water on it for too long.
We had another group from the US arrive last night. They are called the Special Forces. They are prepared for hard mission work. Next week they will be going up into the mountain villages of Oaxaca (Wa-ha-ca). They will be ministering in places that most people will not go into. They will be ministering to some of the churches that Jerry and Susie ministered to when they were in Oaxaca. It is great to have teams prepared to do this kind of work.
Update: The woman who hurt her foot last night did not break her foot but instead tore a ligament and something else. Please keep her and the team in prayer as they will be leaving for home on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Reading Books and Playing Games

Many days when we go to the youth home, I bring some Spanish kids books with me. The kids love looking at them and reading them. Today, Chucho was reading one of the books and I noticed he was holding the book very close to his eyes in order to read it. I told Jim about it and he took his glasses off and let Chucho use them. He got a big smile on his face and held the book further back. I later asked another staff member about it and she said that Chucho had glasses but another child got hold of them and they got broken. So he hasn't had them for a while. We hope he is able to get some glasses again soon so it is easier for him to read.

This picture doesn't show him looking as close as he was at the first book. In this book, he was looking at pictures and not words like the other book. The book he was reading at first he held just about two inches from his face.

This is the book he was looking at when I first noticed the way he was reading it.

The look on his face was priceless.

Here are two of the other kids reading books.

The last few days I haven't gotten any pictures of Jonathan on here because he was sick but today he was feeling better and had gone more than 24 hours without a fever so we all went into the home today. Here are a couple of pictures that have Jonathan in them.

Tonight was another awesome worship service. It got started a bit late though because when the group that is here arrived, one of the ladies hurt her foot when she was stepping out of the van. It is possible that she broke it so while the rest of the group was in the service, several of the ladies went with her to the hospital to get it x-rayed and see what the doctor says. Please keep her and the group in your prayers as this is hard on the group when something like this happens.

We are now at the end of another very good day. Tomorrow, Erin begins her Spanish tutoring. Please keep that in your prayers also that Juan, the tutor, will be able to teach her well and that Erin would learn quickly.

Thank you for all your prayers. We can feel their effects.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Making Masks and Other Things

Today the team that is here from Michigan made masks with the kids. They could choose from butterflies (las mariposas) or frogs (las ranas). The kids had fun with it.
Kevin made a frog. He seemed to enjoy the project. He then let me take a picture with the mask on his face.

Here's Erin coloring her frog.
Dan & Susan, if you are reading this, the next two pictures are for you. I get better pictures of Angelica because she has made friends with Erin. Maribel is not around me as much.

The girls are not wanting their pictures taken as much so I took Maribel's from a distance. As you can see, she is using her MP3 player that you sent down.
Angelica and Maribel are the two girls that Dan & Susan sponsor. The children at EV are financially taken care of by people sponsoring them with $25.00 per month. We try to have four or five sponsors per child. When you sponsor a child, that child will write to you about four times per year. You can also write to them or send e-mails to them. We sponsored three children for the five years we were involved with EV prior to moving here. You can also visit your sponsored child as we did every year we came down with a team. Almost every team member who comes here on a mission trip falls in love with a child and ends up sponsoring them. It is such a neat thing to be able to see your child in person.

Jonathan was still sick today although he seems to be much better. He did not run a fever at all today so we are hopeful that tomorrow he will be able to go to EV in the afternoon. Although we may go in the morning because I found out today that one of the women is cutting hair. I think I am going to get my hair trimmed. Yea! I would really like my bangs out of my eyes.

We had a great worship time with the group tonight. The staff women also prayed over the group. The whole time was an awesome time. We are so blessed by them being here and I know that they have been blessed also. I love the times of worship here.

I drove for the first time at night tonight. I needed an hour out by myself so I called one of the other women and she and I went to the mall. I bought fabric for our bedroom curtains and then picked up a few things at the grocery store. It was nice to have a little time away.

Well, it is getting late and it is time to call it a night. I will try to post more tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pictures From Today

Here are some pictures from our time at the home today. There are no pictures of Jonathan because he was at home. He was still sick today. We sure hope he feels better tomorrow and does not have a fever at all. I am sure he is getting tired of being housebound. Please continue to keep him in your prayers and also that the rest of us will remain healthy.

The group that is down here right now brought down frisbees. Erin had a blast playing with the group and the other kids with them.

Here are some of the kids playing soccer. Can you tell which is an American?
Here's Erin again waiting for someone to throw her the frisbee.
This is Lalo. He is such a sweet boy with such a great personality. I enjoy playing with him.
Malu is a girl we sponsored for five years. She has grown up so much in those years. She was only three when we started.
This is Molly with her daughter Kaziah and also with Lalo. I've enjoyed getting to know her and developing a friendship with her. Our kids enjoy playing with their kids also.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Time for a Change

Today is Sunday and it has not been a normal Sunday for me. Jonathan and I stayed home from church this morning because he is sick. We did good making it a month before anyone got sick. So, I decided to make some changes to our blog. I figured it had been a long time since I updated it's look. Hope you like the changes.

We have a new group here at Esperanza Viva. It is a group of 12 women from Michigan. They have had quite the ordeal getting here. They were due to arrive on Friday night but changes in their flight that they were unaware of caused them to arrive at the guest house at 2:30 this morning. I was amazed when Jim said they were at church this morning. We look forward to working with them and seeing how this all works from the other side. We have led four teams here and been on that side. Now we are on the staff side.

The kids at the home are very good at soccer and kicking a soccer ball around. It is amazing some of the tricks they can do. So, Erin started practicing at home. Who knows, maybe she'll be able to do as good as some of the kids at the youth home soon. Here are some pictures of her.

Nacho is really growing. He has filled out nicely.

I will try to get more pictures on this week. I will bring my camera to the home to take pictures of all the kids. When groups are here, the kids all come over to do crafts. We look forward to this and so do the kids. The missionary kids are allowed to participate in the craft times also. Erin will really like that.

Other than that, things are going pretty good. I will be glad when Jonathan is better and we can get back to a normal life. Please keep us in your prayers, that the rest of us would stay healthy and that Jonathan would be well soon.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What Do You Take for Granted?

In the United States, there are a lot of comforts that we take for granted. When you go to use your telephone, you expect to pick up the phone and hear a dial tone, right? When you go to your computer, you expect to be able to sign on to the Internet, right? When you fill your washing machine with water, you expect it to happen in a certain time frame - usually pretty quickly, right? Well, these are three things that I certainly took for granted while in the US. In the last week or two, we have gone hours without Internet or telephone. It has actually been most of the day on some of those days. As for the washing machine? There are times when the water trickles in the fill it up. One night it took over three hours to do one wash load. Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for a washing machine and the fact that I don't have to do my laundry on a wash board. It is rather funny though when you have to fill buckets of water to fill the washing machine. We have most of the modern conveniences that we had in the states, they just work a little differently. I am also very grateful for having any Internet at all. Many missionaries go out to places where there is no Internet or phone service so when we don't have it for a few days, it is just an inconvenience.

I am learning to be content in all circumstances. God brought us here with a calling and a purpose. We are happy here and you know, even with those minor inconveniences, we wouldn't trade it because we know we are in the center of His will for our lives. The main thing to remember is that God is good. No matter what circumstances we find our selves in, He is faithful.

1 Timothy 6:8 "But is we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."