Sunday, April 18, 2010

Time With the Chavos (Teenage Boys)

Last night we had the chavos (teen age boys) over to our house.  We have been having them over once a month while their supervisors go to a singles meeting at church.  This has been a great time for us to connect with them and share with them.  They have fun watching movies and playing games but we always have a time of sharing with them.  They seem to really enjoy it even with our botched up Spanish.

I have no pictures but maybe I can describe what it was like last night to watch Leandro eating his spaghetti.  In the United States, when we eat spaghetti, we just eat spaghetti.  Maybe people put some parmesan cheese on it but would you ever think of putting hot sauce on it, right?  Well, the kids here put hot sauce on their spaghetti, their corn, their cucumbers and their tortilla chips last night.  All the boys were eating and Leandro caught our eyes.  He had put a large amount of hot sauce on his food.  His face was bright red and he had tears welling up in his eyes.  He reached for a napkin and was wiping his face.  He started pacing back and forth, opened the door to breath in some cooler air, paced some more and then came back to eat some more.  We were laughing so hard.  You would think that after that, he would not use so much on his next plate of spaghetti, but we were wrong.  A second plate was poured and more hot sauce went on.  I will tell you that I did not see any of the kids putting hot sauce on their ice cream later in the evening.

We enjoy these times to really be a part of their lives.  It is the reason we are here.  We are watching them grow into mighty men of God, men of respectability.  Jim was able to share what he sees in them and you could tell they were honored to have him share from his heart.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

     I am not sure where the time goes.  Tomorrow will mark one year since we left Oregon.  Wow, at times it seems hard to believe.  I realized that I hadn't updated our blog in almost two weeks, so I thought I would share some pictures from the last week or so.  Last week we had a team here from Wisconsin and another team from Mexico (for 2 days) here so I was very busy.  It seems that it tired out a couple of the youngest children at Esperanza Viva also.  Molly is holding Ximena who is sleeping.  Apparently, Evenlyn was upset and fell asleep also.

Jorge got new glasses recently and now is able to see better.
German liked playing the drum that the group had with them.
The group taught us new game.  They call it Ninja Tag and Jonathan and Erin have really liked it and have been playing it ever since.
The construction on the new dormitory is continuing to move along.  The second floor is going in.

We met some people who have a son Jonathan's age.  Jonathan has a new friend, David, and he enjoys going over to their house to play.  Erin enjoys playing with their new puppy.
David and his three brothers also know how to play Ninja Tag.  This is Jonathan and his friend David.
The medianos (boys ages 8-12) are performing a dance at a despedida for the groups.  It is a farewell program to thank the groups for coming and blessing us.

Raul is the youth pastor of a church in Vera Cruz, Mexico.  He brought a youth team here for two days to minister to the children.  He was such a blessing and a joy to get to know. 
Here is Raul and one of the other leaders, Pedro.  I was very pleased to be able to hold a 30-45 minute conversation all in Spanish with them.  I guess my Spanish is improving.  In fact, during spring break, I was reorganizing my kitchen and labeling some spice jars.  I was labeling "palvo de ajo" and I could not remember what it was in English.  By the way, it is "garlic powder."  That was interesting to me.
     Last Friday, Erin went over to Madison's house, a new friend. She had such a good time and there are plans for her to get together with Madison again this Friday.   I didn't get any pictures of them so I will need to do that and post them later. 
     In less than two weeks, I will be going to a women's retreat for the weekend.  I am really looking forward to this as it is all in English.  Although my Spanish is coming along, to sit and listen to a speaker all in Spanish is still very difficult.  I do understand more but my brain has to work so hard in that type of setting.  LOL!  I have been told that when you are a missionary in another country, it is refreshing to get away for a time of being ministered to in your native language.  I guess we will see.
     Last night we had 15 chavas (teen girls) and their four supervisors over to our house to eat.  We made waffles which they all enjoyed and many of them had never had them before.  It's always fun to serve food that is new to them.  For dessert we made extra waffles and served them with chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup on it.  We also shared some about our time being here, how Jim and I met, and how long we've been married.  We shared about our adult children and grandchildren.  We heard from some of them what they like to do and we talked about how God always needs to be the center of their lives.  Nothing is more important than being in the center of God's will.  It is awesome to see these young girls becoming young women and serving the Lord.  Next Saturday, we look forward to having the chavos (teen boys) over.  We asked Bryan what he would like to eat and he said he likes spaghetti a lot.  So, I think it will be spaghetti for the boys.  Although we will serve ice cream to the boys also.  They always like helado (ice cream).
     Tomorrow we have another team coming in from Pennsylvania.  It is a church that has never been here before.  Jim and I enjoy working with teams very much.  It is wonderful to get to know new people from all over the United States.  It will be a busy week but it is always a joy watch the teams with the kids. 
     I will try to update a little sooner this time.  Blessings to all of  you and may you have a blessed week.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Spring Break Week

     This week is spring break for us.  The kids have been enjoying the free time and I have been spring cleaning.  It is nice to have time to get some deep cleaning done in the house.  There is so much dust here that it doesn't take long for everything to get dusty and dirty.  Unfortunately with homeschooling and going to Esperanza Viva, there isn't a lot of time for deep cleaning.  So, it is quite refreshing to get some of it done this week. 
     On Tuesday we took a trip to Mexico City.  Jonathan's and Erin's passports needed to be renewed so we went to the United States Embassy.  Our appointments were for 9:00 and 9:30 AM.  We had to take a bus and since the bus trip is two hours, we wanted to be sure we left early enough in case there were any delays.  That meant waking up at 3:30 AM and getting out the door by 4:20 to make the 5:00 bus.  We didn't want any delays to cost us our appointments but everything went right on schedule.  From the bus station, we took a taxi and I just kept my eyes closed.  Wow! Taxis in Mexico City are an experience in and of themselves.  We arrived at the Embassy at 7:30 AM, an hour and a half before our appointment time.  Since we had time, we looked for someplace to eat breakfast but there wasn't much open at that time.  So, we went into the Marriot and had a breakfast buffet which was very good.  A little on the pricy side but it was well worth it.  After breakfast we went to the Embassy and began the process of renewing the kids' passports.  It was quite fascinating and was quite amazing how heavily guarded it is.  While we were inside, Erin wanted to look over a ledge at the fountain but wasn't allowed to.  It was prohibited.  She was disappointed but we were able to talk about why there was so much security. 
     You are not allowed to take pictures of the Embassy at all, inside or outside.  So we have no pictures of that for you.  We did do a little sightseeing and got some pictures of La Ángel de la Independencia (The Independence Angel) statue.  There was a group visiting the angel and so we couldn't go up inside.  On any other day, we could have gone to the top and looked out.  Maybe next time.

     Tonight, Jonathan is going over to his friend David's house. He is very excited and really looking forward to it. Then tomorrow night, both Jonathan and Erin will end spring break week by spending the night at our friends, the Nielen's house.
     Tomorrow we are expecting another group in from the states so we will begin to be quite busy again. We have had a short break with no groups and we are refreshed and ready to go again. We always look forward to groups coming in and the kids at the orphange love it when they come also.
     Sunday is Easter and we also turn our clocks forward. The funny thing is that the group coming in has already "sprung forward", so they will gain an hour of sleep their first night here and then lose it again on Saturday night.
     We pray that you all have a wonderful Easter as we remember the sacrifice that our Lord and Savior made for us and that he is risen and gives us life! Happy Easter to all of you.