Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fun With Grandma and G-Dawg!

Jonah and Silas love to listen to G-Dawg's tall tales about Beagles and Schnauzers. They are wide-eyed the whole time. Grandma likes to make up songs about them and they just grin!
They are going to miss their grandparents terribly... but we think they will be back soon! Jonah and Silas have already grown so much since we've been here. There is some new cute thing they do almost every day. We are thankful that our parents are still so supportive of us being on the mission field, even with their new grandsons!

Happy Birthday G-Dawg!

Thursday we celebrated G-Dawg's birthday! We are very thankful to have Jimmy's parents here with us. I know the boys are too!
For dinner Friday evening we went to Pollo Campero in Santa Elena. We had them sing to him! He was surrounded by about 10 waiters... you can tell he was thrilled about it! He did get some free ice cream at least!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy To Be Home!

Jimmy's mom and I traveled to Petén with the boys on Saturday. The boys were absolutely perfect on all 3 flights. We were praying all day long and God made that day so easy on us. Jonah and Silas garnered lots of attention. I figured most people would cringe when they saw two babies boarding their plane, but since they were twins we were greeted with delight! By the way, heads up to introverts who are having twins: Many people, which include complete strangers, will stare at you (evidently the idea of twins is quite entertaining) and the rest will feel compelled to strike up conversations with you. Jonah and Silas are so stinkin' cute, I would stare at them too... but I'm their Mommy!

We flew Continental to Guatemala City. We didn't want to pay one penny extra for baggage, so we called the airline ahead of time to make sure we understood their policies. With the babies we got 2 more extra pieces of luggage plus their double stroller and car seats. Remember we are sleep deprived. Well, somehow we forgot to check Taca's policies which is what we fly on from Guate to Petén. When Melissa and I got to Guatemala City, Taca was telling me they were going to charge me $196 for each extra bag. There was nothing I wanted in Petén bad enough to justify $392 to get it there. So Melissa had the idea to buy one ticket for one boy and then we would get 2 pieces of luggage with that. But the plane was full. Then I tried to cash in our sky miles for free luggage. The lady said you could only do that at one of their offices. This involved a taxi ride and wasn't even a sure thing. So there we were, flat out of ideas and options. About 5 minutes later someone came up behind me. It was the lady from behind the Taca counter. She said, "I talked to my manager and he said that you could take those 2 pieces of luggage for free if you are just flying one-way to Petén." Yay! This NEVER happens with us and airlines, especially in Guate. God just fixed that problem for us. This is what our entire day was like. Thank you to everyone who prayed for our trip.
Looks like the boys are loving their new home!

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: I had breast milk in my carryon in case the boys needed a bottle on the plane. It set off the liquid explosives sensor when we went through airport security in Wichita.

Special Moments in Wichita

4 Generations!
Great Grandma Dinsmore
Great Grandpa Mitchell
Great Grandma Mitchell... who knows about raising twins first-hand!
Her twins with my twins! (Their Grandma is on the right.)
The Boggs happened to be in KS and got to meet the boys. Then Jimmy ran into Larry again in Guate when he was just there.
Christmas morning when we were all opening our cards from his parents. We were laughing because all of our cards said not to tell the others but that we were the favorite!
Jill was so helpful with her new nephews while we were there. The boys are going to miss her.
The last two nights since Jimmy was already gone I would not have been able get things packed without Jill and Robin (Jon's girlfriend, who we love!). Jon and Joe helped get us to the airport too.

Monday, January 25, 2010

An Extra Praise

There is a lot of skin cancer in Jimmy's family and we were concerned about a spot on his arm. He was able to see a dermatologist on Thursday in Guate. He was equally concerned... which made me even more concerned. The doctor removed the spot and sent it to the lab. We just got the news today that everything looked ok. We are so thankful. It was a gentle wake-up call to be more careful with the sun here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

All Packed!

Jimmy and his dad made it to Petén Thursday evening. They have been working very hard. Among other things, they have been getting the vehicles up and running after sitting for 5 months. They have been vacuuming up paint that has fallen from the ceiling and sweeping up all the ickiness left behind from the critters of Petén. A big blessing is that there was no mold, our power was still on and we had a cistern full of water! Our doggies look great and are very happy to have Jimmy home!

Melissa and I leave in a couple hours. Twins on 3 flights is going to be interesting! After all the packing and feedings I got about 2 hours of sleep and Melissa only a little more. Please pray for us today! I cannot wait to be home and introduce our little boys to their new exciting life! And I miss my Jimmy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Wow Moment

So many times already in our short ministry God has done very specific things where it was as though He was telling us, "Yep that's what I want." It usually comes after something that breaks our stride and we think, "What?... That wasn't supposed to happen."

Jimmy got a phone call from Newspring yesterday and found out that someone had anonymously given the rest of the money for our ministry micro bus! They wanted us to know before we left. Now in February we will be able to purchase one and start having CHURCH services at our house.

If you know from previous posts, CHURCH is not a word we are allowed to use in New Horizon. We have been very restricted and the threat of being kicked out has always been held over our heads to keep us and everybody coming to our Bible Studies in fear of saying something wrong. It wasn't unbearable, but it affected every conversation and activity. For over two years we tried to show respect for the community's laws, always getting permission from the town council and never crossing any of the boundaries they set up. That is why we were so shocked when we were falsely accused by one of our 'friends' and kicked out last September without a chance to speak or defend ourselves.

It was discouraging to think that we had invested the time, energy and resources into something, only for everything to abruptly come to an end. We tried to look at the positive aspects in our personal lives of no longer having to minister in such a dark, oppressive place, but with that our hearts broke to think of the victories God had given us and the many people there that are so close to making a decision for Christ.

We believed God had given us the vision to invest in a Micro and we understood all the benefits of meeting at our house, but $15,000 is a lot of money. Very quickly NewSpring responded, providing half of the money. Even though God had provided half in only two days, we still had thoughts that it might take us all year to get the rest to actually be able to minister again.

So we weren't expecting the phone call yesterday. It was one of those moments where you get chills realizing God's perfect timing. It was assurance that we are on the right track and that God will provide for everything He has called us to. We also received the peace that God wasn't done with New Horizon just yet. He hadn't closed the door to work there; He was expanding our ministry and squashing opposition at the same time.

We will start with a core group of those who have accepted Christ. We will study again the fundamental doctrines of the Bible and conclude this study with a Baptismal service to form the church. Then we will open it up to visitors. If we start by inviting everybody who wants to come, we will have a Micro full of people who want a free ride to our town to go shopping and a free ride home, but nobody who will attend our services. With the core group we can be specific and without too many distractions.

So now we go MicroBus shopping. Pray for wisdom. We have a close friend who knows a lot about them and evaluating their working condition. We've never had a diesel and we both have rusty manual transmission skills. In addition to serving as a CHURCH (love that word!) bus on Sundays, the Micro will be a safe family vehicle with room for car seats and friends for ministry in Santa Rita, a team vehicle for our 7 teams this year, and save us $1.50/gallon in fuel costs.

We hope that the Anonymous Blesser along with everyone else who has given reads our Blog. We are so thankful for your gifts of love and investment in our ministry. Every victory from the CHURCH in New Horizon will be because of your sacrifices.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Open House

Invitations had already been sent out for a shower for us back in September when my doctor told me I was not going to be able to travel to KS (little did we know he was right). So Melissa had an open house for everyone to come meet Jonah and Silas before we left this past weekend.
Pretty Food!
There were many people who came that have been so supportive of us and our ministry in Guatemala. We are so thankful for them!
Leslie came down with the Newspring team to Guatemala. She found out that her and her husband were pregnant soon after we did... and with a boy!! She has a brilliantly creative mind, I love keeping in touch with her and seeing all of her creations.
She and her mom tie-dyed t-shirts for the boys all the way up through 12 months in wonderfully vivid colors. They even made a shirt for me!
I loved this photo because we were all enjoying the boys!

Thank you to everyone who came!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

All Smiles

Jonah started smiling yesterday! His smiles could entertain for hours. I can't get enough!

Since they were 2 months early we aren't sure when their normal milestones will be. I guess this usually happens at around 6 weeks. We had to wait a little longer for it, but technically he is only 4.5 weeks past his due date. Silas has smiled at Daddy, but it doesn't count until it's at Mommy!

Tickets Are Bought

We have received Silas and Jonah's passports and have purchased our plane tickets. Jimmy and his dad are flying back next Wednesday. They are going to make sure everything is functional for when the boys get there, like vehicles, power, and water, and that all the bugs inside our house are dead. Then his mom and I will fly with the boys on Saturday. Home is so close I can taste it! I cannot wait to see my doggies!!

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: Getting passports for the boys was an ordeal. We had everything that the passport application form said we needed before we left for the post office (in the ice and snow) with our boys. Well when we arrived there was a sign on the door that said we needed a photocopy of the passport customer's ID and that they do not make copies there. So we soon returned (in the ice and snow) with our boys and with photocopies of their birth certificates. This time we made it to the counter, but the lady did not like the photos Walgreens had taken of them. So we soon returned a third time (in the ice and snow) with our boys and improved photos. This time the lady behind the counter said, "A birth certificate is not a form of ID." Jimmy said, "Well is there ID you can get for a baby?" And here is my favorite part that reminded me this was run by our extremely efficient and competent government. "Yes," she replied, "... a passport!"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Special Time of Dedication

Newspring has one special service each year when they do baby dedications. Since we will be in Guatemala, pastor Hoover had a special prayer of dedication for them Wednesday night. It was a beautiful moment. He spent some time explaining the Biblical basis behind this and then asked for us and our family to come up on stage. Even Jimmy's Grandparents were there to pray with us. It was not a dedication of the boys as much as it was a dedication of us as parents to raise our boys to be Christ followers.

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: Jimmy picked up some baby wipe refills from the store, only thing is he left them in the van over night. They were frozen solid the next morning. We thawed them out on the floor vents. Thankfully we will not have this problem in Petén!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ministry Micro

You all are aware that we have been “kicked out” of New Horizon, one of the ex-guerrilla communities in which we have been working for the last 2 years. The process to get back in will take anywhere from 6-10 months and is not a definite one, so in the meantime we want to continue working with the people in this community.

Our solution is to buy a used Micro-bus. With this we would be able to pick the people of New Horizon up on the highway, outside of the community, and nobody in the community would have any authority. We would bring the group to our house to have services. Doing this would also allow us to baptize and form a church, rather than just the Bible Study as it has been.

This “Micro” would also serve our teams, thus reducing the cost and eliminating the need to hire a driver. After selling our unreliable SUV, a used one will cost us around $15,000.

We mentioned this need in our latest update. Since then our home church in KS has already sent us half of the amount needed and other individuals have given as well. We are so thankful! I posted a thermometer on the side of the blog to keep track of funds we have received. Please be in prayer with us for this need so that we can soon find and purchase this ministry vehicle.
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