Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Baptismal Service in Lake Itzá

This past Sunday was a very special day. It was the first baptismal service for the new mission in San Pancho. (New works are called "missions" until they are self-supporting and then they are a "church".)  
{A prayer for those who are going to be baptized}
9 people were baptized! 
They were baptized in Lake Itzá and the service was held on the beach.
{Tutor #4's Son #1 & Son #2 helping Silas and Jonah play the keyboard before the service started}

{Tutor #4 leading worship with his wife}
Jimmy and Domingo prayed over each person. Jimmy baptized those who understand Spanish and Domingo baptized those who only speak Kekchi.
{Tutor #4's Daughter & Elsa being baptized}
Besides San Pancho, some were from the village of San José Pinares, the Kekchi village where we are starting another work with Tutor #4. 
{The dad of the family from SJP getting baptized}
These are the first Christians in that village. 

Some were also from SR, the second ex-guerrilla community we had a work in, and one very special one was even from NH, our first ex-guerrilla work.

It was Mateo!!! 
Jimmy had spoken to him about baptism, but he was concerned that he might fail in his Christian walk. He didn't want to let God down after being baptized. Jimmy talked with him some about it. It was really neat to see what a big step this was for him and what it meant to him. He was going to wait, but then he came up during the prayer for those being baptized (standing in front) and tapped Jimmy on the shoulder (seen in photo above.) He decided that morning that he was ready to take that step. He's all in! 
{Mateo after he joined the group}
{Jimmy baptizing Mateo}
I wasn't expecting how emotional that would be to watch. It was a big deal to us since this story started in New Horizon 5 years ago... worth the wait!

Jimmy was especially honored when Tutor #4 asked him to baptize his son and daughter.
{Tutor #4's Son #2 being baptized}
{Jonah and Silas loved playing in the rocks with Samuel and their G-Dawg}
{Walking out of the water}
FYI if you are planning on baptizing in rivers with sharp rocks on a regular basis, you might want to invest in some water shoes... ouch!
It was such a great day! We are praising the Lord for this new church plant and for all the hearts that He is working in. 
{Jeydi, one of the first Kekchi believers in San Pancho}
Please pray for these new believers who took a stand to share with others about their new life in Christ! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Time With G-Dawg & Ma-G!

Two Tuesdays ago, G-Dawg and Ma-G came to meet their first granddaughter... 
AND wrestle with their grandtwins! 
{Jonah is under the blanket/fort}
Jonah and Silas are at such a great age right now (2.5). They have mini conversations and understand ever word wether you really want them to our not. 

We had been calling Grandma "G-Ma" since Grandpa is "G-Dawg". The boys really call him just "G". Right now Silas says a lot of two syllable words backwards, so instead of saying "G-Ma" he called her "Ma-G"... so Ma-G it is!
We spent part of the time with them in Petén and then the rest in Guatemala City. We had some Visa, Passport, and Birth Certificate paperwork to do in the capital along with a doctors appointment. So they got to see our normal life...
{At our forever house in Petén}
and then our every once in a while life.
{Riding a train in a mall in the capital}

{Outside a mall in Guatemala City}

Jonah and Silas are IN LOVE with their grandparents... all 4 of them. 

All of us have worked hard to build these relationships from far away. I think our kids are closer in heart to their grandparents than probably most kids are geographically. Still... saying goodbye, stinks!

We are so thankful that G-Dawg and Ma-G made this trip. The boys (and us too) had a blast! 


On the way to Guatemala City some of our bungee cables that were holding our suitcases onto the roof of our truck broke. Thankfully Jimmy happened to see his suitcase fall off in his rearview mirror AND it hit the road and then tumbled off into the grass, so no one ran over it! I would recommend buying bungee cables Stateside. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Family Traditions #11: Easter 2012

"Family traditions give identity and belonging to each member." - James Dobson

Last year for the boys' first Easter we were on furlough. Both Jonah and Silas were sick that day and other than Easter baskets, I didn't really do anything special. With Eden's birth in March I didn't do much better this year at planning things out. I'm glad we are here and not in the States for Easter though. We aren't bombarded with bunnies and eggs. I feel the same way about the Easter bunny as I do Santa... there are just so many important things that I want my kids to take away from this Holiday, that we don't have time for the other stuff.

So this year, basically at the last minute, I tried to decide what was the most important thing I wanted to accomplish and just to focus on that. I wanted the boys to be introduced to the Easter story, so that it would begin becoming familiar over time. This is how we did that:

1: Incorporating the Easter Story Into Their Routines: Before nap time each day the boys and I have a little devotional together and then sing the traditional kids' SS songs. The week leading up to Easter we read this book each day for our devo. By the end of the week they started pointing at pictures in the book and telling me the parts of the story that really stuck out to them.
For our night night routine we sung resurrection hymns and choruses out of the hymnal.

2. Easter Manipulatives:
Here is a printable Easter set that I found via Pinterest. The boys colored it and then I cut it out and taped it together.
They had already been practicing telling the story back to me with a flannel graph set that I have. I made a flannel board for them at Christmas time and they really enjoy it. We use it to review their shapes and colors on a normal day, but for holidays we do something special!
I love hearing the specific things that they remember the most from the story. Jonah always put the rock to the side of the tomb and Silas made a point to say that it was empty!

The paper set was just another way to reiterate the message. I love this age because they can really start to digest things now!
{Jonah telling me about the angels}
They liked moving the rock and putting Jesus inside the tomb and then removing Him when He arose.
Here is Silas telling me about the cross. He has a helmet on because when we started talking about the soldiers guarding the tomb he decided that he and Jonah needed to dress up like them!
I was really surprised at how much of the story they retained and I pray that over the years they will come to cherish its message so that it can change their lives like it did their parents'.

3: Decorations: I like decorations because they let the boys know that we are celebrating something special. This year all I got done was a wreath for our door, but it is at least a start.
I hope that you and your families had a wonderful Easter celebrating Christ's victory as well!

CUTE ITEM OF THE DAY: The other day while I was filling up the bucket in the kitchen that Jonah and Silas take a bath in, Jonah put all the bottles of bubble bath and soap on the counter for me. This is how he very neatly arranged them...
he is definitely my boy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Devil Tried to Keep God Out But...

There is a large Kekchi community inside Santa Rita, the ex-guerrilla community we were kicked out of in March of last year. For some reason there is some type of bond there between us and them. Many of them stuck up for us and we appreciated it. We were not ready to stop working with them when we had to leave.

Jimmy wanted to give them the opportunity to attend the new Kekchi church plant in San Pancho. It is about 15 minutes away by car. He planned on hiring a micro bus each week to go by and pick them up. We were really looking forward to going back into this community and inviting everyone ourselves.

Marcos came by our house one day and told Jimmy that he didn't think it would be safe for us to go in. Beyond that they didn't want those responsible for getting us kicked out to know that the Kekchi were attending church... especially "Jimmy's church". So we didn't get to go invite them ourselves, but Marcos did. He told everyone! They asked us to send 2 micros in order to fit everyone, but we didn't believe that many would come. We sent 2 anyway.

We were so surprised Easter Sunday morning! 28 Kekchi adults from Santa Rita came, plus a slew of kids, plus 12 adults from another guerrilla community close by that also wanted to come.
I was in the kids part, so I didn't get hardly any pictures. There were so many familiar faces!!
{Our cupcake tombs for Easter}
{This is what Jonah and Silas do during the lesson. They are old enough now to participate during the craft time. There are plenty of adult volunteers to hold Eden... haha!}

I cannot express the thankfulness we feel to be with these people again. So many of them have not accepted Christ yet and others are very new believers. We got a second chance!! They came back last week too!
We were supposed to be out of their lives forever, but God worked it out. We bought land in San Pancho for our forever house and were planning on starting this Kekchi church long before we ever had a hint of anything going wrong in Santa Rita. I guess it was all part of His plan to make a way.
Our old friend Mateo from New Horizon, our first ex-guerrilla community, lives in San Pancho now, so he started coming!

Please keep praying for this new mission as it grows! And please praise the Lord with us for this opportunity!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Forever House #9

...our journey to rent free living, all the entertainment minus the headaches.

I haven't updated about our forever house since November. I cannot wait to live in a house with large windows to get some breeze in! I am so excited about having clean water coming out of the faucets and water pressure and enough power to actually get in the shower without flipping the breaker. I'm thankful about not having to pour money into a poorly built rental and then being at the owners' mercy for when they want their fixed up house back!

I was really excited to get to show my mom our progress. Here we are standing on our future front porch. The great room is behind us and you can see our backyard from the front door.
Besides the surround that will be laid for this front porch, all the other block for our house is complete!!! All that is left is... well... a lot! First there is the roof.

Before Christmas a third of our roof went up. Our house has a squarish great room in the center and then 2 rectangles on either side. One roof line is over one rectangle and the other is over the great room and the other rectangle. The larger roof line is being poured next week... I hope.
This is our great room with all the supports holding up the forms (in process) for the columns that will support our roof.

Jimmy researched a lot about roofs trying to decide what would fit our needs the best here. We wanted something secure, long-lasting, insulated and something that would work with our attic fans. Jimmy decided on an insulated pitched concrete roof with a wooden false ceiling so that we would have an attic. I am thrilled about having a rustic wood plank ceiling... even more thrilled about how cool the first roofed section of our house is feeling.
First the workers have to take the styrofoam in steel mesh panels pictured above laying in our great room and prop them up on sticks. (photo taken from back porch)
Here are the sticks!
Jimmy told the workers to look around for someone who had just poured a roof, so we could get a good deal on used sticks and they found these.
This is what the inside of our house looked like for a long time. They pour concrete over the panels and you have to have supports underneath them for 28 days while the concrete dries.
The workers build many of their own tools. They built this awesome ramps to carry the buckets of concrete up onto the roof.
I thought they were very brave... those buckets are heavy! They just ran up and down this ramp like it was nothing. They do it all the time I guess.
Then they smooth out the concrete.
This is one of the holes for our attic fans. We were fortunate enough to find some in Guatemala City so that we didn't have to have them shipped from somewhere else. This is the second hole for one of the fans. The first hole, after being marked while Jimmy was standing there watching, still ended up being cut in the wrong place... so it goes.
They even put a smooth coat underneath. This layer seems silly since you will only see it if you are in the attic, but its purpose is not an aesthetic one, but one of function. It protects the panels.
You will see the overhangs from the outside.
The first 2 weeks we were back from Guatemala City it was over 100 degrees most days... the hottest time of year. We visited our forever house several times during those 2 weeks and the inside of the roofed side of our house was very comfortable, like you were sitting in the shade on a nice day. The insulated panels make a big difference.

Remember our grass plugs back in November?!
This is what they look like now:
Jimmy bought our first lawn mower while we were in Guatemala City. We have such a pretty, flat yard perfect for little boys to play in. I am so thankful!

We had a sample window put it. We liked it, so it is staying.
Except for in the bedrooms our windows will just have screens. The windows in the bedrooms will have glass panels on the inside that you can close on the crazy hot nights we want to use a window unit.
The photo above is of our back porch. I think we will probably eat most of our dinners on that porch!

They poured a lid for our septic tank. (old picture)
Jimmy set up a wood shop in the back corner of our yard. He finally got to move all his tools out of the storage shed! (old picture)
He was still in the process of setting everything up when I took this photo. He will be building all of our closets, shelves, and the plank wood ceiling, so this shop will come in handy.
CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: One of our masons wired Jimmy's shop for him to save him some time. While he is a very skilled mason, an electrician he is not! All this and the switch was broken!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...