Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Day in the City

After a day of riding in taxis with the window down, my contacts are coated in diesel fumes. I am very thankful for my new hometown in Quetzal, the air is much cleaner there. I thought it would be easier to find things in Guate, but it is not. If you do find what you are looking for it is a whole lot more expensive than it should be and a lot poorer quality.
We thought the City would be similar to the States, until Jimmy saw a heard of goats crossing a 4 lane road. A man was selling fresh milk for 5 queztals...as fresh as you can get.
While we were in Guate we did get started on the paperwork for our residence visas.
We also were able to get an extension on Jimmy’s truck. Please pray that we get our residence visas soon, so that we do not have to leave the country for 3 days every 3 months. That really eats up a lot of time and money. As soon as we get our visas we can bring in Jimmy’s truck tax free. We still will have to pay to register it, but that will save us several thousand dollars.
Getting the extension... doesn’t this look official!
Thank you for praying for us. We definitely sense God’s presence. Things are difficult sometimes while we are adapting, but our Heavenly Father is always faithful to encourage us. Everyday we are growing closer to each other and to Him.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We Are Thankful For Our Country and Its Leaders

“Americans united in prayer, came to the aid of neighbors in need, and resolved that our enemies would not have the last word. The spirit of our people is the source of America's strength. And we go forward with trust in that spirit, confidence in our purpose, and faith in a loving God who made us to be free.”
- President George W. Bush

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Traveling Again

Updated by Jimmy:
Today we had to drive to Guatemala City. There are a lot of things we need to get done in the next two days. Our main purpose for coming was to start the paperwork on obtaining our resident visas. Once we have those, we will be able to bring in whatever we want into the country duty free one time. We will use that on my truck, which will save us about $4,000. That will also mean we are residents of Guatemala and won’t need to leave the country.
We thought that after our trip to Guate (the short name for Guatemala City) we would have to drive to the border because the 45 day permission on my truck expires Thursday. Thankfully, we found out that we could renew the permission in Guatemala City while we are here, saving us a lot of time and money. It should be so much easier to just do this as well.
The third thing we hope to accomplish is to buy some things we have been looking for the last month. Every time we set out to find something important, we spend lots of time only to finally be told that we can only find that thing in Guate... Well, finally our list is long enough and we have another reason to drive the 4 hours, so we will be trying to cross some things off our list as well.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Missions Conference

Updated by Jimmy:
Today the Missions conference started and everybody was really excited. Of course, we didn’t get the day off school...David Lott, a missionary in Guatemala City and Paul Martin’s brother in law (for those of you who know him) was asked to be the main speaker.
We got there early because the conference was supposed to last 5 hours and we wanted one of the plastic chairs that don’t hurt after 15 minutes!
After only three weeks of language school, Shelley was asked to teach the memory verse to the kids. She was nervous, but we all knew she would do good. Well, she exceeded our expectations! She did so good and looked so comfortable with the kids. I was so proud of her. Thanks so much for praying for Shelley, she really appreciates it, and God really helped her do so well.
Tomorrow is another day of Missions Conference. It is really exciting to meet several national pastors from this area (within 3 hours) and be able to expand our network of Guatemalan Christians that can help us. Please also pray for the conference, that Guatemalans will be called into the ministry.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Getting Involved

Tonight Jimmy got to be a clown for the kids at our church. We go to Iglesia Bautista Cristo Salva, or Christ Saves Baptist Church. Jimmy spoke on the story of Jonah, using balloons. The children loved it! We are really excited about being able to get involved in this church over the next couple of months.
This Friday and Saturday is Missions Conference. Several churches near by get together to have one joint conference. What?! Baptist churches working together?! Please pray that God will bless this Missions Conference.
Claire is teaching the children’s lesson for the conference and asked me to teach the memory verse. I am very excited. Ok, I have to put a picture of my verse. My grandmother gave me a message board with pockets in it, a couple years ago. I used some 3x5 cards that we brought with us to write the verse out on. Now I can take it wherever and reuse it with other verses and I don’t have to worry about having a dry erase board or chalkboard.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Jimmy's First Sermon

Jimmy preached his first sermon this morning in chapel. He did so well! He led the music too. I am so proud of him. Everyone said that it was clear. His Spanish teacher said that he did a good job too! Thank you so much for praying for him. I am very excited about our future here. Each day we are learning how to minister more effectively.

Monday, September 4, 2006


Many people have asked us if there are any Americans close that we can fellowship with. We hope for our closes relationships to be with Guatemalans. They are why we are here. Tonight we had a wonderful time of fellowship with our Pastor and his wife. I am sure I have said this before, but they are our Spanish tutors as well. We are thankful for their friendship. Both of them have a great sense of humor! We asked them why they didn’t smile in the picture. They said that it is a custom for them to be serious in photos. We do not want to turn them into Americans, but maybe next time we can get them to crack a smile!

Tomorrow Jimmy is preaching for the first time in chapel. Thank you to all who are praying!

Sunday, September 3, 2006

My Conversations Are Growing

First, thank you to all of those who have already voted in our photo contest! It is really an encouragement to all of us here to know how many people are keeping up with us. This weekend we went to Solola again to meet a couple who came down to visit their daughter whom they are adopting from the Boggs. They are from a church in Topeka who bring teams to Guatemala. We hope one day they can come help us when we begin working in a village. While in Solola, we also got to celebrate the Boggs’ birthdays. Larry’s was last Thursday and Claire’s is tomorrow. We made then some no-bake cookies!
These pictures are a little rough, but they are of some boys whom we bought pens from. The pens are woven in bright colors and say “Guatemala” on them. They are for Miss Wankel’s Class at Trinity Christian Academy in Jax, FL. They adopted us again as their class missionaries. While we were waiting on them to finish making the pens I started talking to them in Spanish. I am the blob in the picture. I found out that two of them are brothers and the other one is a cousin. They do go to school during the week (I was very concerned about that!) They asked if I was from the States (I thought, “Hello... do I not look like a Gringo?”) I told them that my new home is in Guatemala and my house is in Quetzaltenango. I love talking to kids, eventually I will work my way up to adults. For 8 days of language school, this conversation was not all that bad! Thanks for praying for my Spanish. Jimmy told them later that since they already sold so many pens today that they can go home and play. They just smiled and went back to work.
For some reason when we talk in English now, stuff comes out weird. Words get replaced with other ones that don’t make any sense and then sometimes we say them in the wrong order. That is ok for Jimmy, but if my English keeps getting worse and I don’t hurry up and learn Spanish, I will soon just be mute!
Jimmy is such a sweetheart! He found a juicer for me. It is wonderful! He is so thoughtful. It is very difficult to find things here, so I was very surprised and delighted!

Friday, September 1, 2006

Language School

Our language school is going very well. Last week was a little discouraging, but this week I am
very encouraged by what I am learning. We are studying very hard. We pray hard and drink a lot of coffee!
Our teachers (Wilder & Helen) are a lot of fun. Sometimes we try to talk a lot towards the end of class so that maybe they will run out of time to assign homework. This does not always work so well (at least for one of us).
My vocab homework for this week is the pile on the right... Jimmy’s is the one on the left. Does this look fair? He does help me study every night. I guess it all works out in the end because Jimmy has to prepare a sermon for chapel on Tuesday! He is very nervous. Please pray for him. This will be his first time preaching in Guatemala.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Our Weekend In Solola

This weekend we went to visit Larry & Claire in Solola.
We also got to go to Panajachel. I love it there because it is very artsy. We got to go to a coffee shop owned by a christian American, that is what the pictures are of. While we were in Pana we fellowshiped with other Americans who minister in various capacities in that area.
Some knew of surrounding villages that have no gospel message and promised to take us on our next trip. Everything is by word of mouth here, so the more people you know, the easier it is to find the places with the greatest needs. Please pray that God will continue to show us these places!
“I have strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation…to whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.”

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Photo Contest: Pick Your Favorite!

On our survey trip to the Petén, Larry, Claire, Jim, and I decided to have a photo contest just for fun. We need your help! We have all submitted 6 photos each and need you to email us with which one you think is the best. They are all anonymous. We will let you know in a couple weeks who the winner is. We are not very competitive or anything!!!!! To see our entries, click on the “Photo Contest” page at the top.

Prayer Request

Last night we went to Helen’s graduation (one of our Spanish tutors). She got her license in economics. A license, we think, is similar to a Master’s degree in the States. She is now qualified to teach at the university. When she started, there were 450 people in her class. She is the only one who graduated. Very few Guatemalans ever finish school.
Afterwards there was a party for her at the Seminary. She has several family members who are not saved, so she asked Larry to preach. Everyone who was there heard the plan of Salvation. Please pray that God will use that to work in their hearts.
On Sunday we drove past the football stadium and saw all these Guatemalans in the trees. They got to watch the game for free!
I thought this was cute! These are some of Claire’s babies at the children’s home. They were all downstairs for awhile on fumigation day.
We met this man in the Petén. He is 84 years old and has a 34 year old wife and a 1 year old baby.

Our New Home

This has been a really busy week with all of the normal frustrations associated with moving into a new place and beginning to learn a new language (at the same time!) Thank you for praying for us. We need it so that our brains do not explode. Every single task is a learning experience. It is the little victories throughout our day that we get excited about... like when Jimmy finally learned how to order pizza (after he called a chicken place and McDonald’s first), when it only took us 5 hardware stores this time to find the right screws we needed, turning to the right chapter in church, reading a street sign, remembering which street has the right-of-way at an intersection, or finding L’Oreal shampoo at Paiz. We’re adapting little by little! Everytime I walk outside my apartment I have to tell myself, “This is my street,” for some reason I am always surprised. It is sort of funny to look at something so foreign and think that one day it will be familiar.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Our Container

Thank you so much for your prayers for our container. It was suppose to arrive yesterday at 8:00, so we all got up around 5:30 to load up the Boggs’ belongings, for them to move to Solola. 8:30 we got a call saying that our container would not be delivered until tomorrow. After a couple a phone calls from Jimmy to the moving company, our container finally arrived at 3:30.
Our stuff did not arrive in the same container in which we loaded it in Jacksonville, it was all thrown into a much smaller one and my truck was driven separately from Guatemala City. Just the fact that my tuck made that drive safely is a blessing in and of itself! So far only a couple things were damaged and nothing was stolen that we know of, so that is a big praise! It all smells really gross though, especially the inside of my truck! I am sure that will eventually go away. You just have to learn not to expect anything to go as planned, it is more interesting that way anyway! I love our apartment. My 2 favorite things are that you can flush the toilet paper and we have closets! (By the time I remember not to flush toilet paper, not to turn right on red, not to yield on green when turning left, and not to rinse my toothbrush with water from the faucet, it will probably be time for a furlough.)
I drove my truck to our first day of language school. (Later we found out that we are not allowed to drive it yet... that’s not our first mistake here!) It is so nice to have somewhat of a schedule again, we haven’t had that since last September. I am so excited about finally learning the language, especially the correct pronunciation. One of my books looks like one I use to have in kindergarten... it’s a good thing, because I am starting from scratch! Our teachers are wonderful. Mine doesn’t speak any English from what I can tell and Jimmy’s understands English pretty good, but does not like to speak it, even though he is probably really good at it... so it is sink or swim for us!
Here is something that is not very missionaryish. Before we started school this morning all the seminary students had to go to chapel. My first thought was - I didn’t sign up for chapel. The only word I understood the entire 45 minutes was “milk.” I guess they have it twice a week. God must have decided that I needed more motivation to learn Spanish faster! I cannot wait until I can finally understand sermons again. Anyway, we still love it here and are enjoying our new way of life! Thanks for reading our blog and for your prayers.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Back In Xela!

Xela is the Indian name for Quetzaltenango. Last night we got back from Guatemala City. Over the last week we have gone from nearly 9,000 ft to around 300 ft, back to 9,000 ft... your body really feels that. At first I thought I had the flu! You really notice it when you try to take a deep breath.
Claire gave me a crash course in oil painting. I was so surprised with the finished project. I am not artistic at all so Claire must be a really good teacher (even though she laughed at my red boat)!

Tonight Nery and Xiomara came over to Larry & Claire’s for dinner. They wanted to talk about their future plans. Please pray that God would show them where He would have them after Nery graduates from seminary next year. It is very difficult for national pastors when they are starting out in a new city or village because many times there are not jobs available so that they can support their families while there church is growing. They make such big sacrifices.

Wilder and Helen came over later too. They are our language instructors. They are in the center in the picture below.
Our container is scheduled to be delivered on Monday. I am trying not to get excited just in case. They made us pay more money, but our moving company State side is trying to get it back for us.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Long and Winding Road

The Petén is the hottest place we have ever been. There are no places to go and cool off! We have learned so much these last few days. We would have never been able to take this trip if our container would not have been late, so that was a big blessing in disguise. We also really appreciate the Boggs planning all the logistics of this trip and being willing to take us! It is more difficult to find the remote villages of unreached people groups than we expected (that’s why they are referred to as remote)! From what we hear it is a couple hours drive on a dirt road and then probably a couple hours hike on a small path. There are many of them, but they are spread out (you can’t go buy a map). We are very excited about our next few survey trips!
We went to a hardware store today to try to find a juice squeezer (I’m not sure what you call it). That is the one thing I wished I had brought with me. I hate squeezing limes!
I was planning on getting some gold teeth before we left Flores, but we just ran out of time!

Also, please pray for our container. We already payed and now they want more money. The longer you discuss the price the more days you have to pay for storage. It is just a big racket.
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