Saturday, March 30, 2013

Making Their Faith Known

The Sunday before we left for furlough our church in San Pancho had a baptismal service down at Lake Itzá. It was a beautiful day! 

Of course the first part was messy. Most of our activities start off that way! Jimmy had rented a large school bus to take all of us from our church building in San Pancho to the lake in San Benito. That same company sends a micro to NH and SR to pick them up on Sundays and bring them to San Pancho. Well without us knowing, the owner was offered a higher price for his bus that morning to go a shorter distance (less gas for him) so he gave it to that person. He thought he could just have the 2 micros he normally sends come by San Pancho too and pick those people up and take them to San Benito... without telling us anything. 2 micros is not the same amount of room as a school bus. All of our people didn't fit. Besides there not being enough room and no communication, the micros were an hour apart leaving, so half of our people got to the lake and waited for a long time wondering if anyone else was coming. 
So instead of a nice drive to San Benito with all of our people singing and fellowshipping together on the bus, it was a chaos! If there wasn't any chaos it wouldn't feel normal. 
Once we were all reunited we had a lovely service on the riverbank! Domingo came too. (white shirt in center)
Then we headed to the water. 
{All of our people watching}
Juan baptized Noé and Jimmy baptized Hugo. There isn't anything better than to see someone come to your church, befriend them, watch the Holy Spirit work in their life and draw them, and then rejoice with them when they finally become your brother or sister in Christ! 
No one from either of their immediate families was there. 
There were several others who were wanting to get baptized that day, but they ended up not coming due to pressures from their families. When you are the first Christian in your family it can be very difficult, especially at the beginning. Please pray for them! I have no way to relate to that at all, I am just thankful for their faith and pray that God will strengthen them and encourage them as they grow in their new life with Him. 

 Poor Eden was running a fever that morning. She felt like her face!
Wendi & Mariela were sweet to take care of her while I played for the worship time. 

Afterwards we had pizza for lunch!
 Please keep praying for our church. There are many more who still haven't put their faith in Christ yet and lots of baby Christians eager to grow!
 It's a special place! I miss them while we are here. Juan is leading all of the services while we are gone. Please pray for him too! 

Our grocery store is in Santa Elena right on this same lake. This is the view from the steps leading to the store. Who gets a view like this when they run to the store?!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tire Troubles

We were having some tire issues before we left for furlough. We need to buy new tires, but we have to drive to Belize to do it. The tires there are half the price and better quality. We just have to make the time, so until then...

This happened:
And then it happened again, but obviously we didn't have a spare... and our very kind friend who came to rescue us left his lights on, so his truck died:
Jimmy had to buy 2 used tires after that to get us by for a little while longer and then this happened two days later to one of those:
I left at least a half mile of road gators from that one!

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: The man who sold us the 2 used tires (one of which shredded 2 days later) warned us, "You can't just buy tires anywhere in Guatemala, they sell you junk that they retread with a dremel tool. They'll only last for a week. My tires will last you several months... I mean years!" And there was the Red Flag. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Moving can be overwhelming. We were really looking forward to getting it behind us so that we could just be in San Pancho focusing on the church and the institute. Ministry here doesn't get us down, it is the day to day life things that take your time away from ministry that can wear you down. Well the Thursday night when we were in the middle of all that chaos was the night that our kids choir was scheduled to sing. They sing about once every 5 weeks or so and Jimmy ties in their songs to his sermons and we are all together for a joint service. Unfortunately NH has not been able to come the last couple Thursdays because the guy we were hiring from there (not a member of our church) to bring them arrived a couple weeks ago drunk. We haven't been able to find another option for that price, so we just pay for a micro to go get them on Sundays at twice what we were paying.
{Vilma & Maybelin}
 So the kids there that night were just from San Pancho and SR. 
It was a great message, very clear about the plan of Salvation. 
{A Sermon Illustration}
Jimmy gave an invitation. Maybelin (9) and Hugo (14) said that they were ready to put their faith in Christ! After church we talked with both of them for a while and they both prayed and asked Christ to be their personal Savior. It was beautiful to hear their testimonies in their prayers. 
Please pray for them both. Neither of them attend with their parents, they come on their own... maybe that makes me feel more attached to them. They are both from San Pancho and have been attending faithfully since our church plant began. This made me so happy because I love them both so much! (Shhhh... they're kind of my favorites.)
Someone suggested on here to hang some panels to help with our sound problems. We didn't want to invest in this rental, so we thought that was a great idea. We purchased some cheap styrofoam panels and plugged them up there. It makes a huge difference!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Heard Around the House #5

We moved into our house 2 weeks ago! We also packed for a 2 month furlough and then flew to the States last Thursday. It has been a little hectic. I'm really tired, but grateful. 

We own some chickens that are in a coup on the property next to our house. Each morning since we've moved in one boy goes over with daddy to get fresh eggs for our breakfast. It is really nice!
 Unfortunately we are selling our chickens now since our neighbors are stealing them and our feed. (I'm more sad that I know who is stealing them than that I lost my chickens. I was really looking forward to having a close relationship with those neighbors. Hopefully we will find some ways to reach out to them, but I feel funny about having them inside my home now... just being honest.) Once we have a more secure place to have a coup we hope to own hens again. The boys loved it while it lasted. 
 Silas went with Daddy the first morning, as he was leaving the coup he turned back and said, "Thank you chickens for my eggs!"
The next morning Daddy took Jonah. Jimmy told him to pick up the eggs, but the hen was still sitting on them. Jonah said, "No, that chicken will get me!"
 So Daddy moved the hen. As Jonah leaned down to gather the eggs the hen squawked at him from across the pen.
 Jonah said, "That chicken is mad!!!"
I have a lot of counter space in my new kitchen, so my boys have helped me with almost every meal since moving in. 
 I don't have drawers yet under my countertops, so that is why it looks a little cluttered in there. I wanted to use the kitchen a little while before I decided the size and placement of my drawers.
 They love cracking the eggs and they have gotten pretty good at it.
{I don't know why I had Jimmy's over easy eggs in separate pans.}
My stovetop is fabulous! It is level and all the burners cook evenly. I just turn the knob with one hand it it lights... one hand! Unless the wind is blowing of course, and it is really nice to have that wind blowing! My kitchen is literally 20 degrees cooler than our rental house. I don't think anyone would believe how hot my other kitchen was unless they had been in there while I was cooking. 

The other day while I was snuggling with Silas I asked him  - "Will you be my baby forever?"
Silas - "No, me be BIG Jimmy." 

We don't have screens on the windows in our new house yet, so we have been telling the boys to sleep with covers over them, especially Silas since the bugs love him. Well Jonah hates sleeping under any covers. Last Wednesday night when they were sharing a bed in the hotel room in Guatemala City they were having an argument about the covers. 
Finally Silas yells while yanking the covers up over himself - "No, Jonah, bees get my knees!"
Jonah and Silas were very excited about the plane ride. 
They told me - "We're going to wear 'hatphones'!"

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Family Traditions #18: Valentine's Day 2013

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

This Valentine's Day was kind of off. I feel like we are living in disorder and limbo until we move. We are kind of half in San Pancho and half in El Chal. Hopefully we will move this Tuesday and I can get organized again!
 We all were sick the 14th with some type of stomach bug too. On top of that it fell on a church night, so we were kind of rushed. So I have pretty pictures and there were bright spots here and there, but as a whole it was pretty icky. We do all love each other very much and that was what we celebrated!  

The boys thought the day was great! They got Valentine's from their Grandmas!
 We had pink heart pancakes for breakfast!
The boys had made Valentine's for their Grandmas back in January and I think they both arrived right on the 14th!
{Jonah having fun painting his hand. He said it tickled!}
This year I made sure they made an extra one for their mommy to keep!
After breakfast we drove to the island of Flores for lunch. We ordered our shish-kabobs and then got on a boat to take us around lake Itzá while we waited... roughing it I know! 
{Me and E waiting for the boat}
 Jonah and Silas had been looking forward to the boat ride for days! They enjoy them too.
Silas, my little ham, thinks tummy shots are funny... so do we!

The boat ride was a bright spot! Our meal was delicious as always.

It's a tradition for the boys to feed their leftover tortillas to the fish!
 We had some other things planned, but there were some stomach issues by that time, so we headed home. 

Before we left for church, I gave the boys their big chocolate chip cookies, which is a recipe from Jimmy's Grandma. Daddy got one too this year!
Jonah and Silas love anything with their name on it!
I was going to make pretty cookies for church, but I got over it and just picked up 2 cakes from the bakery. They were really cute! 
I am SO thankful that the lady at the bakery convinced me to get two because we ran out and the last couple of people had to share a piece. We had a great turnout that night for our midweek service. 

Being with our people was another bright spot!

This was the first night that we started splitting the adults into 2 groups on Thursdays. All the singles meet with Juan on the patio and the married couples are inside with Jimmy. They are teaching on some very important topics specific to those groups. This was a great night to kick it off. 
We have been having kids choir on Thursday nights too!

It was a good day I guess. Stomach bugs just aren't very romantic! Jimmy and I did some evaluating of our quality couple time too like we do each year. Eden's crib has been in our bedroom since her birth last March which isn't very romantic either. Once we move she will have her own space, Jimmy and I definitely need ours! We haven't done a couples devotional together since she was born. We found a new one last week! Balancing children, ministry, and together time is very delicate. You just have to be intentional I guess. We are intentionally working on that now!
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