Saturday, September 13, 2014

If You're An Intern

If you're an intern in Petén you get to do all kinds of cool things like...
be brave and kill scorpions.
stay up till midnight playing Monopoly in Spanish. 
climb mountains. 
cross really high bridges.
be forced to take way too many family photos for us... I mean a lot. 
be forced to do all the jobs the missionary has put off doing because he knew interns were coming.
sit through lots of services you don't understand. 
have loads of conversations in a language you don't speak. 
 try to rig our backdoor to keep the rats out,
 then sit on our couch for 45 minutes before you realize there is a rat already inside the house... inside the couch you are sitting on.
come up with games for our youth group to go with what we are studying... 
and explain them in Spanish!
share your testimony.
host an awesome youth outreach.
makes lots of kids' crafts.
spend days and days... and days building an epic turkey coup. And yes there are finally turkeys in it...
or on it.
and make an eternal investment!
Personally I think it is a pretty great way to spend a month of your summer. I hope they thought so too!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"I'm a Christian!"

 We had a baptismal service recently at our church. The boys have been to services like these before, but this time they paid closer attention. More so I think because of their age and also they have become closer to some of the kids at church and 2 of their friends were baptized.
Our boys know and I believe have understood the plan of Salvation for a while. We have been waiting for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts and reveal it to them personally. Silas was talking with Jimmy about how all the people that were getting baptized were telling everyone that they were Christians now. Silas said, "Yeah, Christians like me." Jimmy replied, "No you're not, you aren't a Christian until you personally decide to ask Jesus to save you." Silas was surprised and kind of disturbed. He said, "What?! but I go to church."

 He kept talking with Jimmy about how he wanted to be a Christian too. In our kids SS class that evening in church, I had my big Salvation cross, where we go through God's plan. Silas paid extra attention and asked if we could talk about that cross in English when we got home. 
That night we talked with him some more and he said that he really wanted to ask Jesus to come into his heart and save him from his sins. He was so urgent. Well he did! Now I believe you become a Christian whenever you put your faith in Jesus' death and resurrection. Could Silas have already been at that point for some time? Absolutely, but I'm glad that he has this specific time where he verbalized that he personally decided that he wanted to be a Christ follower. 
Then all day Monday Silas kept telling Jonah that he needed to ask Jesus to save him! I think it was a Andrew going to tell Peter thing! I loved that. If it is real for you than of course you want your brother in on it too! Well, no one rushes Jonah to do anything. (He is our strong willed child, and I love his passionate personality.) Jonah said that when he was ready he would. 

So that night, during our night night routine, it was Jonah's turn to lead the prayer. He didn't tell anyone he was going to, but he asked Jesus to save him too, out loud, in front of everyone (which isn't like Jonah)! He was so happy when he opened his eyes. 
 I love his little face! We all got SO excited!  

Then we called the grandparents. Silas got on the phone and says, "Hey MaG, I'm a Christian!" Jonah and Silas were both eager to tell their grandparents the news. The funniest part though was when Silas was talking to G. He said, "G, I'm going to heaven... well not now, but one day. And I'll see Zoe!" That was G's dog that recently passed away. 
We have spent a lot of time talking about how the Holy Spirit lives inside them, which is really neat now, because I see Him at work in their hearts. They are very present and real about things having to do with God, which helps me understand better the works of the Spirit that usually get described abstractly. I want to stay as sensitive as my boys.  

I am so thankful for our Savior who has given all of us hope. He has given us a present and a future.  and so much to rejoice over together!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Field Day 2014

 God has been bringing so many young people across our path, so many that are searching. God clearly laid a youth ministry on our hearts several months ago. With Grupo VIPs, the age group we are focusing on is 15-25. They are becoming independent of their family, ready to make their own decisions about life... ones that will affect the rest of it. What a great time to meet Jesus! We love seeing God work in their lives and seeing them form friendships with others who want to serve the Lord. Youth ministry can be addicting!
  Josh and Jared were with us for 3 weeks. This was both of their second times coming down. Josh feels like God is leading him into full time missions possibly in Petén and Jared is Becca's brother. Becca just finished her Masters and is raising funds to start a deaf school in Petén. Jared wants to help his sister on the non profit end from the States. So, that was a quick summary. They came down with plans to help our youth group as their main focus. Among helping out with our youth services each week, their big outreach was a field day. They planned it all out really well! 
 Jimmy, Josh, and Jared went from school to school, many times from classroom to classroom, inviting the students to our field day activity.
{Ready to pass out invitations}
Our town has a large square in the center and then another one kind of next to it that has a community center in the middle of it. Our church is right off that secondary town square. We hosted the field day there and then could walk to our church for pizza afterwards.   
The nice store we set up in front of let us use their power to hook up our speakers.  
{Community Center behind our early arrivers}
As people arrived they were assigned to a team. Here is the yellow team:
Each team had someone from our core group as the team leader.
 Everyone was calm in the beginning... but then they got vicious (in a good way)!
They fought to win! 
Jared and Josh had 4 games planned: Dodge Ball, Body Part Bingo, Barbarian, & Tag-a-Lot . They played each one for about half an hour. I was on the green team playing, so I didn't get pictures of all the games.
 I think everyone had a really good time! 
  We met over a dozen new young people from our town!
  Those who were already members of our youth group were proud to wear our t-shirts with our logo on them!
  I am so thankful for the youth that we get to work with!
 I'm also thankful for how kind they are to my children. Here is princess E getting all fussed over:
It was a hot day! We were praying for no rain. It was really perfect.
 There are two brothers that are a part of a family that just accepted Christ and started coming to our church. They have become best of friends with my boys! I am SO grateful to God for providing Christian friendships for my kiddos.
{Jonah & Geronimo}
Josh and Jared were really prepared and did such a great job planning this all out. That makes the difference.
Just in the few weeks since this activity, 4 teens have put their faith in Christ. I believe that number will continue to grow! So many seeds have been planted!
After it was over, the winning team got pizza at our church! The red team:
The team captain of this red team, Jose, was the first teenager we met from San Pancho when we started this youth group just a couple months ago. He is a Christian and wanted to have Christian friends. Well he keeps bringing friends to our youth group. Please pray that they will all come to put their faith in Christ very soon! At least Jose knows now that there are others like him that want to live for Christ!

The winning ladies:
 Josh and Jared ended up getting enough pizza so that all the teams could come to the church afterwards and eat. The red team did get all they could eat though, so there was something special about winning.
 It was a wonderful day!
 Thank you to Jared and Josh for hosting it!
 Please pray for Grupo VIPs, that God will use it to work in the lives of the youth of San Pancho and the surrounding villages! 
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