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! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Busy Season

So this has been a pretty busy season in our life, somewhere right behind the first couple months with preemie twins. 
 We celebrated several milestones this month, like 10 years of marriage and 8 years in Guatemala. We had lots of visitors and our church and youth group is growing, along with projects at the institute! The best news though is those two precious twins put their faith in Jesus this month! (Post coming soon.)
 We made new missionary friends this past month or so too. It is really great for missionary kids to get to be around other missionary kids once in a while!  
{Celebrating July 4th}
 We also had interns with us for 3 weeks, 
followed by an awesome youth team... the next day, haha! 
Then after that team flew out we had a sweet family fly in that will be staying with us for about a week and a half. 
{Working on hymnals}
We are really blessed to have so many people wanting to make an investment into the work here in Guatemala!
So there are lost of stories and victories to share. And since my power just came back on, also lots of laundry to do! 

There have been some sad moments too. We said goodbye to my beautiful Labrador, Fijese, who has been with us since we got here. An irreplaceable, gift from God. Jimmy already picked us out another puppy, guard dog in the making... I think he was sad too. I really want to dislike her, but she's ok, no Fije, but ok.
{Skyping with Kiki and Papa right after she was delivered.}
Another milestone - 
our garage door that has been broken for the past 14 months finally got fixed! I can't open it myself when the opener is broken, so it is a big deal for me and the kiddos getting around. Jimmy called the welder several times a week for the last year... that's just how things work here. He is a really good welder!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Heard Around the House #13

 The kids' 2 bedrooms are going to be finished in the next couple of twelve months. The boys sleep in what will be my parents room when they move here (Yay!) and Eden sleeps in our closet. We were discussing who would sleep in which room. Silas felt bad for Eden because she would be alone in her room. (I predict she will end up sleeping in the boys' room for the first couple of months.)
Dada - "Well Eden isn't a twin."
Jonah - "Yeah, me and Silas are twins, he takes care of me and I take care of him."
Beautiful definition of twins!
Eden is VERY independent. Much more than even the boys are now. It started with her pushing us away so she could do it herself and she would yell "Got it!" Now it has evolved into her saying, "I do it!!!" She gets so disgusted with me if I try to help her... with her shoes, getting into the car, filling up her water cup, anything really. She always wants to help ME though, so I don't feel completely rejected!
{We were trying to make cupcakes that looked like the ones in Eden's book.}
{"No Mama, I'm an angel I would never eat another cupcake if you told me not to!"}
Eden wouldn't let us help her potty train either. I explained it to her and she did not like the idea at all at first. She fussed at me when I put cute little pink panties on her. Then I said big girls use a potty and that only big girls could help me in the kitchen. (That is our thing. She sits on the counter and helps me with nearly every meal.) That rule broke my heart, but it only took a couple days. Soon she started asking for panties. The first time she used the potty (she wouldn't use it with either one of us in there helping her... HARD-HEADED!)
I was in the laundry room and I heard her start to cry, not a painful cry, but an angry one. Then she yelled, "Mama, bop!" Sure enough she had bopped in the potty and she was not happy about that being what she was expected to do now. Then she said, "Candy?!" Soon after that she started waking up, taking off her diaper and putting on panties herself. She goes on her own now and gets her own candy afterwards. She doesn't use diapers for naptime but I'm waiting till she gets her big girl bed until we try all night. Killin me! She is a year ahead of when the boys were finally potty trained. I'm grateful about how ridiculously easy this was compared to them, but I am SO sad that she is so big.
Jonah came up to me the other day very serious and kind of whispered - "Mama, I'm growing right now." I guess sometimes you can feel it, lol! 
{Like feeding a bunch of monkeys}
Silas doesn't have a lot of patience with Jonah in the mornings. He really wants to play, but his internal clock is about 2 hours ahead of Jonah. Even if Jonah wakes up with everyone else, that doesn't mean he is functional yet. Silas was just fussing at him for every little thing one morning.
Mama - "Silas, you worry about Silas."
Silas - "Mama, if I worry about Silas then that means that I don't believe in God."
{Silas' depiction of our family... I love Dada's big head! Silas and Dada are also carrying backpacks.}
The kids were squished in the back of the pickup the other day and Silas was stating that he didn't have room to sit. 
Jonah - "Just deal with it!"
MaG was thinking about flying here and picking up the grandkids to spend a week in the States with her and G. I was worried about Eden missing us. Very excited about the idea, Jonah and Silas immediately started reassuring me that they would all be ok and not miss us. Silas took it a little far and said -"Mama, I won't miss you AT ALL!" That got Mama really upset. Jonah caught on immediately and was very diplomatic about the whole thing. Finally he was tired of me and Silas going back and forth and said very frustratedly - "Come on Silas! Just say you will miss Mama!"
Jonah came into our room one morning to snuggle. His head was on my tummy and he must have heard something. He looked up at me and said, "Mama, God is talking to your heart. I don't know what He is saying, but He is saying something."
{Snuggling on the bed with a pile of books!}
One night after our night-night routine, Jonah got all worked up about something. He was crying and getting more worked up by the second. I went into their room and said very seriously - "You need to stop this Boobooing!" I meant to say boohooing, but once it left my mouth, Jonah immediately started cracking up laughing! Now whenever anyone is having a bad attitude, which we all suffer from once in a while, we say, "Stop your Boobooing" and it helps lighten the mood.
{We love board games in this house!}
Lucha, Jimmy's boxer keeps tearing up the rat screen on our back door trying to get inside the house whenever she hears fireworks. (Which happens multiple times a day here.) Jimmy has fixed it dozens of times. One night he was really upset with her and saying he was going to do anything from putting her down, to taking her out into a field and just letting her go. Silas was upset about it. It was his turn to pray that night as part of their night-night routine. He prayed, "God, please help Lucha be good and please help Dada fix his attitude!"
{Popsicle too!}
I was sitting in the living room having a very serious conversation with Silas. I was thinking, this is great, he is really getting what I am trying to explain to him. Then he leans over and whispers with a grin in my ear, "Mama, I just tooted on the couch two times."
{Silas' first sight word... thank you, Dada!}
Eden AND Silas were on the bed one morning with us and Silas said, "Shhhh, I hear something!" Eden looked at me and whispered, "Bad guys." I think she plays pretend with her brothers a lot! 
{Dada got us pop for movie night!}
Jimmy was sharing with the kids a verse from Proverbs. He was explaining was a hypocrite was. He gave them all superhero mask and then explained that who you are is what you are when you take your mask off.
Dada - "Silas, right now you look like iron man. Take your mask off. Now, who are you really?"
Silas - "Batman".
{How Jonah brushes his teeth!}
Out of nowhere one day.
Silas - "Mama, I love you more than catching... I don't really like catching at all." (Nice!)
Mama - "Catching what?"
Silas - "You know, catching balls, catching fish." 
{So thankful for these guys!}
Silas is very serious about pie... any type of pie. Dada promised Silas a piece of pumpkin pie after church one night, so he had been waiting a while only to find this:
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