Monday, August 17, 2015

That Time Both Our Vehicles Wrecked the Same Day

No, we didn't run into each other! While my mom was here we had gotten a flat tire on our SUV, a Nissan Patrol. Jimmy took it to get it plugged. He saw them put the tire back on with a gun thingy.

Jimmy's parents had bought plane tickets to fly us all to KS for 2 weeks. We were flying out about a week after she left. Our flight was leaving at 6 AM on Thursday morning. About 4 hours into our Wednesday trip to the capital Jimmy was passing a semi. He wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary, you pass a lot of large trucks on the 2 lane highway. As he merged back into his lane I felt a bump, then it felt like we were kind of fish tailing it. I thought maybe we had a busted tire. I just knew the semi behind us was going to hit us as Jimmy was trying to maintain control while getting us to the shoulder. About the time we were off the road Jimmy said look and I saw our tire rolling down the other side of the road. Awesome!
How does your tire just fall off? If that had been a front tire I wouldn't be typing right now. God really protected us. Somehow the semi didn't hit us. Somehow this happened on a straightaway were there was actually a shoulder on the side of the road, one perfectly the size of our truck. Once you got out of the truck you were in the lane. Due to the mountains in Guatemala, there often times aren't shoulders or straightaways.

But there we were 4 hours from home and about 3 hours from the capital. We don't know anyone there. We started praying that God would help us. 

Jimmy got out of the truck and started walking to find a mechanic. He assumed we did some damage to our vehicle dragging it a ways on its rotor. All the stems that the lugnuts screw onto were sheared  off, but that's ok because all the lugnuts were missing anyway. 
He walked about 2 kilometers and came across an open mechanic shop, but no one was there. He moved on and walked another kilometer. Soon 2 guys drove up along next to him and asked if he owned the truck they saw on the side of the road. They said, "Get in, we will help you!" 

Now in this area of the country guys wear guns on their hips, flashy ones. They also have enough clips going all the way around their belts to be involved in a serious shootout and not lose due to running out of bullets. That's the way these guys were. One owned a mechanic shop and I assume the other was one of his workers. They were 2 of the nicest people we have ever met. They had no reason to be kind to us or help us, but they went out of their way to fix our problems.  
{Silly Jonah waiting in the car}
 Jimmy had told me not to get out of the vehicle, so I didn't. I was worried that due to the small shoulder, that we were going to be hit. People pass like crazy on this highway and drive drunk. We see a lot of messed up stuff and I was just worried for my kiddos' safety. But there we sat. I was praying the entire time! 

The 2 men drove Jimmy back to our truck. I was happy to see them! They looked at our vehicle and told Jimmy they would send another guy in a few minutes to drive Jimmy into town (20 minutes away) to buy the parts that he needed. They left and then sure enough a few minutes later a guy showed up and took Jimmy to find some parts that would work. It was a total of about $10 worth of parts. This guy wouldn't take any money for gas. About an hour later the other 2 guys came back and bending over into the lane of oncoming traffic with our truck jacked up on 2 different jacks, fixed our truck. They wouldn't take any money either. 

So we went from thinking our vehicle was all messed up and we were stuck in the middle of nowhere, probably going to miss our flight, to everything was fixed in about 4 hours for $10. 
 
Our boys asked who those guys were with guns. We said, "These are the people God sent to help us!"
And we were so thankful. It was really neat to see God orchestrate everything right there in front of our kids. There was also another very nice man who was sent by a friend who got there right as they finished up our truck. He had come to pick us up but instead only followed us to the tire repair place after these guys fixed our truck. We had to have the tire that fell off put on our spare rim. He was just listening and watching to make sure everything was ok. Yet another person we will probably never be able to return the favor to.
{Tire shop}
We are so humbled by all the people that God sent our way. How do you repay them? I pray that God sends people as kind in their next time of need.

We got about 2.5 hours of sleep that night in a hotel before getting up to drive to the airport. After our trip to the States before we left the capital to return home we got a car wash while in a parking garage. For some reason the guy had a riveter and fixed our bumper while it was in a parking space. I'm telling you God took care of every single detail of our big ol' mess!

Before our 7 hour drive home we got it checked out at a mechanic shop just in case. We found out our brakes pads were worn, so that was another positive since we wouldn't have known otherwise. We replaced those before coming down out of the mountains. Everything else looked great!

Now as for the other vehicle. The same day we were sitting on the shoulder missing a tire, Jimmy had left his pickup at the farm so that they could still run and pick up chicken feed and other necessities over the 2 weeks and also pick up the teens from Santa Rita to come to youth group Wednesday nights. Well while they were turning left into the village to pick up the teens someone tried to pass them on the left. This is a common problem here due to a "turn single" meaning multiple things like "pass me" and "I'm turning". Anyway they got t-boned. Thankfully the next day they went back with the police and the other driver paid for most of the repairs. They called to tell us what had happened but decided to save it for another day due to us being broken down at the time ourselves. Haha! God knows how much you can handle at one time! Thankfully no one was hurt in that incident either!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Our Time with Kiki!

My mom was with us for a month beginning mid-June. We had a wonderful time! It got off to a rough start though. My mom's first plane left late which made her miss her final flight from Guatemala City to Petén. The hotel we work with in Guatemala City was all booked up of course. We didn't want to leave my mom outside the airport, not speaking any Spanish, looking for a taxi we know but she doesn't, so Jimmy drove to Guatemala City and back in one day to pick her up, 15 hours round trip! I'm really thankful that they made it safely!

We also finally poured the concrete for the kiddos bathtub. They haven't had a bathtub before. They said it is "just like a hotel!" Haha! Anyway right before my mom got here we filled it with water and unknowingly used the last bit of water in our cistern. The mayor didn't pay the pump's electric bill again, so the first week my mom was here we were on water rations because Jimmy had to haul everything we used.

Oh, and we also didn't realize that right when my mom got here a power line repair worker put in the wrong size fuse, so we went several days without power. Petén always has a way of welcoming our guests. Anytime people are staying with us I worry about them being comfortable in a foreign place and then with all the added mess that Petén was making at the time this caused me to get shingles for the 3rd time. In spite of it ALL we had a wonderful time with Kiki! Nothing can stop that!

Here are some photos from our time with her:
She helped me get my new curriculum ready for next year and finish up some projects in the school room to make it special when we begin kindergarten. We are starting our new school year this Monday!
Jimmy and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary and she watched the kiddos while we went on a date!
There was lots of story reading 

  and cookie making!
I finally learned how to make my mom's Christmas cookies. Whenever she visits she always brings me those cookies and she did this time too. (I don't like sharing those cookies, ask my kiddos!) I hope my children miss something I make one day. 
 
We celebrated Father's Day and
built lots of forts!
We played tons of games!
  
My mom got to meet all the students and attend our church!
{Youth Group}
Eden got lots of "ping" time. 
We had several suppers on the back porch!
Kiki was also here for the 4th of July!
We had lots of special guests that day!
We also might have made several ice cream runs to Sarita... yum!
Kiki and I went and had lunch together one day just us too! 
Of course we had chocolate mousse!
My mom just fuels my project problem. We had 5 projects going at any given time! Here are some of them:
We made curtains for the kids' new rooms. 
My mom refinished our deep freezer. It was all rusty. Now it is a color Eden would approve! I'll have to post my finished pantry soon. It's very different now.
My mom sent me a picture of an outfit she had gotten me before she came. I told her to go back and get her one too so that we could be twins. She did! I love it!
We had a wonderful time with our Kiki! The only thing that could have made it better is if Papa could have come too. We are all very blessed with the family God has given us!
Thank you Kiki for spending your vacation time with us and thank you Papa for trying to survive without her for 4 weeks!
{Saying Goodbye}
{The note we found after dropping Kiki off at the airport!}

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Girl Time

My mom was here for a month! It went by so fast. Me and my mom always have a bajillion things we want to work on together. We hop from one project to the next at rapid speed, which makes the time seem like it is going by even faster. The first week she was here we planned a little ladies day for the wives at the farm. 

The students are at the farm for 3 years. You grow pretty close during that time. We see an extra strong bond between the first year students. Some of them didn't start off as easy friendships, just because of the differences in personalities, but they have each others' backs now. We have become a farm family. We are constantly trying to foster strong relationships so that we can all be a part of a community that encourages each other for the years of ministry ahead. Once the first group graduates we plan on having bi-annual get-togethers just to exchange ideas, resources, and wisdom. 

I love having ladies at the farm this year! Our first 7 years here were more around Kekchi people who lived in Spanish environments, now we are around village Kekchi (pure Kekchi) so I am constantly learning things about village Kekchi culture. Out of all the different cultures that are blended together in this little country, village Kekchi is our favorite. 

Woman from rural villages usually don't speak much if any Spanish if they didn't get to go to school. We are really thankful that all the wives at the farm have had some education. I think this will allow them to really help their husbands more in ministry. They can read and study the Bible for themselves. Two of the wives are really shy about their Spanish, but they attend class in Spanish and study hard. (There are no study tools or materials available in Kekchi so you have to be able to read Spanish). The third wife is very fluent in Spanish. She isn't shy with me at all. She helps me connect with the other two. The two fiancés (one has since broken off the engagement, but it was the best decision for both) are very fluent. 
 
 So, I invited all of them over to our house for some food and activities. The guys played it up big like they were really upset that they weren't allowed to come! We rubbed it in a lot too. 
 
Anyway, I had saved a bunch of egg crates because I saw some beautiful wreaths on pinterest made out of egg cartons. Only thing is, they only use wreaths for graves here... not really a light hearted  craft for ladies day. 
So me and my mom thought we could make mirrors with the same idea. My mom and I spent all day one day cutting out flowers. We found some cheap Princess Sofia mirrors and popped the backs off and glued them on cardboard. I thought it looked happy and colorful!
 
I found these crepe paper flowers in the basement in the market in zone 1 in the capital (one of my very favorite places). They are for Eden's new room. I used them for this party though too as decorations.
  I have made food for them a couple times, so I know what they do and don't like, haha! I only had food I knew they would enjoy.
 Fruit is pretty expensive for them and hard to find here close. So I got some apples, grapes and strawberries from Santa Elena. They are not that expensive there compared to other fruits. They also like chocolate cake and buttered popcorn! It was all super easy stuff.
 Buffets don't really exist here. If you eat at a Kekchi event or home you are handed a plate of food, I mean you wouldn't make your own plate. I wanted them to be able to choose what and how much they wanted to eat, so buffet style it was! 

They came in real shy. They looked at the food and smiled and giggled. I tried to encourage them to start eating. There were 5 stools in front of the counter, so they all pulled up a stool and sat down at the buffet. That's exactly what it looked like you should do! They still wouldn't grab anything. I kept encouraging them to take a plate and load it up. They said, "How much?" I said, "Over the next 3 hours we are going to eat all of this food, it is only for you, so eat up!" I knew if I could get Eu to eat, I could get everyone else to. Sure enough, that's what happened. Once I got a plate in her hand, everyone got involved! And we did eat ALL of the food!
 I should get them to start a blog and post all of my cultural confusions, haha! I know they have loads of funny stories they could tell. They asked each other in Kekchi if you were supposed to eat the "flowers" on the strawberries. I told them no. Someone else decided you weren't supposed to eat the skin on the grapes, so after that they peeled the rest. Different people like different things, so I didn't mess with that.
 So we painted and talked and laughed and ate. It was a nice relaxing day! Ni was very relaxed!
  
I'm really thankful that my mom was here to meet them. With her help it wasn't as much work to get everything ready, we had a blast setting stuff up. 
 The cupcakes had pink icing because the day before P and N went to the doctor and found out they are having a girl! (We encourage them to get checkups, but I was surprised they went ahead and found out. I was glad though!)
 I love these ladies and I am so thankful for their desire to serve the Lord. Please pray for them! Pray for all of us, as we grow in the Lord together and endeavor to reach Petén with the Good News!
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