Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thoughts From the Past Week

I didn't realize that it had been so long since I last updated the blog so I thought I would give an update of the week.

Last week I had the opportunity to go and help one of the supervisors by going over to the the girls home so that she could go with a group of the older girls on a special outing. Erin and I went to play with the girls and it was fun to see them in their house. Usually we only see the girls when they come over to the main area when short term mission teams are here. We were able to eat lunch with them also which was fun. I brought my books with me for the girls to read. They enjoyed them as much as the boys do when I bring them for them to read. Here are few pictures of the girls reading.

Yesterday, we began school. It was a good day and today has been good also. The kids have had really good attitudes about getting their work done. Today we started Biology and we began with creation vs. evolution. They had a hands on project of creating something with clay. In order to make it, they had to create it, they couldn't just throw it in the air and have it become something. They had a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures of their creations.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Erin Began Spanish Tutoring with Sandra Today

Last week, one of the Interns asked if she could begin tutoring Erin in Spanish and in return, Erin would help here with her English. So today she began the time with Sandra and will be meeting with her on Tuesdays and Fridays. Erin said she really enjoyed her time with Sandra and learned a lot.

These two pictures are especially for our dear friends Dan and Susan. This first one is Angelica who very seldom lets me take her picture but her friend talked her into it. (I can't remember her friend's name.)
Maribel, on the other hand, will almost always let me take her picture. The team that is here brought nail polish and so Maribel is getting her nails painted by one of the girls. Can you tell that Angelica and Maribel are sisters?
That's all for today.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Concert with The Hope Project

Tonight we had a concert with a group called The Hope Project. Two of the members of the team are part of this band and they got together with Fernando and our worship team to do a concert tonight. It was a great time of worship. Here is a short video of one of the songs that shows how some of our worship is here. I am also posting a couple of pictures.

Also today, we went downtown and went to one of the big cathedrals there. Here are few pictures from that also.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ice Cream for Everyone

Yesterday, Kate's dad came to the home and brought vanilla ice cream with Hershey's chocolate syrup for everyone in the home. They started with the people who were in the eating area. One of the littler boys was sitting next to me and kept asking me something that I wasn't understanding. Jim finally figured out that he was wondering if I was finished eating because if I was, he would finish my ice cream for me. So, I gave him the ice cream I had left on my plate. A few minutes later, one of the other boys saw the ice cream heading for their dorm and this same boy got up and went running. He ended up getting doubles because I gave him mine. It was a great treat for everyone.

This is the one who got doubles. We can't remember his name but with his headband on, Jim was calling him "Rambo."

I thought this was a great picture of Jim and Jose.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pictures and Other Things

Today, Jonathan woke up with a temp of 97.7. He went the whole day with no fever! He still stayed home today because we wanted him to be on the antibiotics for 24 hours before bringing him into the home. Tomorrow, as long as everything goes well, he will go to Esperanza Viva with us in the afternoon. I am sure his friend Kevin will be excited to see him as will many of the other kids.

This evening, Hector, one of the staff that teaches Jonathan's Sunday school came over to share with him. When Hector was 14, he ran away from home with some friends and went the the United States. From there, his friends went other ways, so he was there by himself, alone with no one. He didn't return to Mexico until he was 28 when he came to attend the La ViƱa School of Ministry. He said it was just as hard returning to Mexico because he was used to the culture in the US. He had lost much of his Spanish to Spanglish and so he was made fun of here and he was sick a lot when he came back. He wanted to go back to the states but he knew that this is where God wanted him, the same as it is where God wants Jonathan. He talked about last Sunday's class and he had asked how many of the kids had a personal relationship with God as their Lord and Savior and only half of them raised their hands. He told Jonathan how the kids watch him and watch how he pays attention in class and they can see that he has a personal relationship with Christ and that the enemy is scared of Jonathan and wants to bring him down. He also said that the same is true of himself and so when he gets sick, he has to be really sick for him not to go on doing what God has called him to. I think it was a very encouraging time for Jonathan. And Hector is right, the enemy is scared of Jonathan because he knows that Jonathan is very sincere about his relationship with the Lord. So, please don't stop praying for him. God has a work for him and for Erin here and they both need your prayers.

Here are some pictures of Erin today helping Evelyn with the activities.

It was so cute seeing Erin counting with Evelyn in Spanish. They were counting how many bottles of bubbles Evelyn had. Uno, dos, tres, cuatro...

Last Sunday we took a drive out to the land of the future Living Hope Communtiy to see the progress. The short term mission groups that have come down recently have been putting in sidewalks. Here are some pictures of the progress being made.

The sidewalks that the teams have been pouring.

This will be a corner post for one of the walls.
This will be an entrance with a security booth where the white chalk lines are.

I think that's all for now. Blessings to everyone!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Update on Life

Today has been a very good day. We have a short term mission team coming in late tonight and I was able to do the grocery shopping for them this morning. I had someone ask where the money came from for the food for the teams. Good question... Each team that comes down pays a room and board fee and some of that that is used to buy their groceries. I make up the menu for the week and then do the grocery shopping for them. For the first night, I also make ham and cheese tortas (sandwiches) on wheat rolls. Erin has been helping me with this and it is a great ministry for the two of us to do together. It is good to see the kids taking part in ministries.

This afternoon, Erin and I went into the home and had lunch with Jim. It was the first time we have been able to do that in over a week since both kids were sick all last week. The little boys were excited that I brought my books in. They really enjoy that.

Jonathan was feeling a little better this morning which is good. It is the first day in nine days that he has woken up in the morning without at least a low grade temperature. He still was not back to normal and we brought him to the doctor this afternoon. Dr. Elias said that Jonathan had an infection and told us that he also had some alergies. We asked what he was alergic to and he said "beetles." We didn't think we heard right so we asked again and he said it again. Then we asked what it was in Spanish and he said it again. We then found out that the word started with a "v" which sounds like a "b" in Spanish. We finally understood what he was saying - "virus." The pronunciation sounded like beetles. So, he was not allergic to beetles but there are many viruses here in Puebla and that is what he was trying to tell us. It was really rather comical. Dr. Elias was pretty funny at the end. He said his English wasn't very good but that his Spanish was great. Hmmmm... I wonder why? So, we left the office with one medicine that the doctor gave us and had to fill two more medicines at the pharmacy. Hopefully in a couple of days, Jonathan will be back to his normal self.

On the way home, we were stopped at a traffic light and the cutest little boy came up to our car asking if we wanted to buy chiklets (gum). We don't normally drive with out windows down but this particular time we had them down. Jim told him no, that we didn't want any and he looked at the kids in the back seat and started saying that they would like some. Erin then handed us a new package of Ritz crackers she had bought and told us to give it to him. We did and he just lit up and the biggest smile you can imagine formed on his face. He hugged them and then went to put them in his bag. We see kids all the time selling things on the streets but this little boy was all by himself. We believe he was around ten years old or less. We don't buy things from them because it encourages them to be out there more and it is dangerous for them. I don't think they often get things from the people they are trying to sell to. What a blessing it was for us to see Erin have such compassion and such a giving spirit.

God is so good! We look forward to all He is going to do this week with the team here from Wisconsin. Thank you for all your prayers during these past couple of weeks. We certainly have felt them and they have gotten us through some difficult times.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Rejoicing in Suffering

The kids have been sick all week long. Jonathan has had a fever every day since last Sunday and Erin has also run a fever this week although not every day. Once the fever went away for Erin, she had a sore red throat with what looked like pimples on the back it. Jonathan now has a sore throat also with white patches on the back. We really feel like we are being attacked by the enemy. He doesn't want us here, he doesn't want us following through because he knows that God has a plan for us here. God has called us here. Have we been discouraged? Yes! But, even the kids are praying and recognizing it for what it is and praying for us not to be discouraged. They see Satan trying to get us to pack up and leave.

Romans 5:1-5 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance; perserverance , character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Having your kids sick everyday for a parent is certainly suffering, but we know that God uses that to produce perserverance, character and hope in us that might not otherwise come. Is it hard? Oh yes, I have felt very unuseful this week but I know that God is building something bigger in me - a determination to continue on in spite of adversity. I can't imagine this week without all the prayers that I know have been raised on our behalf. Thank you so much for those prayers. They are needed every day.

This next week, we have another group coming which presents more challenges. If the kids are still sick, I really need to be with them but I also have jobs that need to be done with the groups. So, I will do what I can with the groups, and seek help from others for the things that I can't do. We will get through this.

Romans 8:37 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wonderful Testimony from a Recent Group

Recently, Word of Grace Community Church from Wisconsin came to Esperanza Viva as a short term mission group. We had a wonderful time with this group and today we received a link to their church's website.

Click here to go to their webist and then click on Mexico Recap. On that page you can click on the link to watch the recap of their trip. It is an amazing testimony of their time here.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Please Pray for us and Jonathan

At 5:00 this morning Jonathan came into our room saying he didn't feel good. This was quite a bummer because he was finally feeling better. Sure enough, he had a 102.6 temperature. He said his body ached all over, so here we go again. His comment about it was that he was bummed because he was really looking forward to going to the home today and playing with the kids which he hasn't been able to do much in the past couple of weeks. It is getting pretty discouraging but we are praying against whatever Satan is trying to do with this. Please join us in prayer against sickness and other things.

Today we all have to take another parasite pill. We took one last week and it made Jim, Jonathan and Erin sick. but Jonathan was the sickest from it with stomach pains after he ate and a headache. Everyone at the home does these treatments once every six months. We haven't been here six months yet, but because lot of the kids and staff at the home are also getting sick, they decided to do the treatment on all of us. We were told that the second pill, which we take today, would not make us as sick. They also said that if you have a parasite, you would get sicker and it would take longer to get over it after the first pill. That kind of fits Jonathan, but this fever is different - not the same kind of sick. You don't get a fever with the parasite treatment - at least I don't think you do. So, the kids are a bit leary of taking the next pill today but we are going to take them anyway.

This past week has been a bit emotional with missing our family and friends from home. Bill Keiselhorst, one of the leaders on our mission leadership team at our church, told us to expect to hit a down time and the timing fits perfect. We have been here in Mexico almost three months but away from Oregon almost four months. We are very grateful for the words prior to leaving which prepared us for knowing what this is. Susy warned us also, down here, that we would hit the "wall" at some point. I think after a very busy week and having almost all the Americans missionaries gone it is harder and we have come to that point. They are all in the states for their two week vacations.

I realized recently that I haven't been blogging as much. I sometimes think that I need to have pictures in order to blog but that is not the case. The pictures are nice but I think it is good for everyone to know what is going on even if there are no pictures. So, I will try to blog more often here in the future.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Pictures and Thoughts from This Week

This has been a very long and hard week for us on several accounts. We had a team here and it was my first time doing the shopping and activities for groups. It proved to be a good experience but a bit time consuming. This week was also the week that many of the Americans left to go to the states so we are the only full American family here. We still have Molly, one of the single supervisors and Kate who is married to Rene, who is a national. We are thankful for that.

We are approaching three months here in Mexico but four months away from friends and family in Oregon. We knew ahead of time that we would approach a time when it would get very hard emotionally and I believe we are hitting it. Ever since Jim's 50th birthday it has been harder. I think the fact that if we had been at home, we would have had a big party for him with lots of friends and family made it harder. The kids are going through some adjustments also. Attitudes are arising and we are trying to see them for what they could be, which is more adjusting to everything. Please keep us in your prayers as we go through these adjustments.

The team that we here this week took these pictures of Jim and me. We haven't had any taken of just the two of us in a while.

The team that was here made scrapbooks with the kids. Here are some pictures of the kids making their scrapbooks.

This picture is priceless! I love the eyes.

This is the book of one of the teen girls.

Stickers don't just belong in books, do they?
The group got Erin to participate in their song. One of the girls on the team is 12 and the other is almost 14. Erin got along very well with both of them.

I like the way Chichu cut out his picture.
Maribel made sure she got one of our pictures so I took a picture of her with it.
Kevin wanted a picture with it also.

Jonathan got out there and played a little basket ball with the boys.
He made a basket too!
The group did their song and dance one last time before they left.
Erin and Evelyn eating oranges with chili lemon powder on them.