Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Great Week

Pastor Andy and his wife Connie are here this week and we are enjoying spending time with them. Pastor Andy is passionate about Petén! Andy comes down regularly and stays involved in the ministry here. We are thankful that God has allowed our paths to cross. He's our Barnabas!

Currently he is the director for Guatemala for his mission agency. One of their projects is helping the Kekchi radio station. Jimmy is the liaison between them and the Kekchi national missionaries. They are helping with new programing and possibly setting up another repeater in the near future that would reach the East side of Petén. Just in the last month groups from 2 different villages have called in saying that they had accepted Christ as a result of the broadcasts and that they wanted missionaries to come to their village to start Bible studies... and they have!

We are all traveling around a lot this week and since it is Semana Santa, the roads are extra crowded and there is more drinking than normal going on. Please pray for all of our safety!

Both Bible studies went great this week! Jimmy lost power right before his started and everyone came anyway! He backed up the pickup and used the headlights.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What's Going On

So here is some of what has been going on... in New Horizon at least.

Pastor Andy and his wife are here now. We enjoyed lunch with them today and then several hours of just talking. It was really nice and a perfect time for it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Accentuating the Positives!

We are in a rough patch in Guatemala right now. It's not the first and won't be the last. God is always gentle with us as He leads us through. So while we are riding out the storm I am going to focus on our two biggest blessings... guess who!

As of right now...
*He is our Wiggle Worm
*Likes to sleep late
*Favors his right hand
*Prefers the nursery a little on the cooler side
*Has great upper body strength... he was doing baby pushups a month ago
*Finds his pacifier comforting
*Likes to move and touch
*A little on the shy side
*Is a relatively quiet baby... other then the fact that he burps like A man!
*Pretty even keeled, very content, rarely not smiling
*Has his Daddy's long eyelashes and the cutest chin you ever saw!
*If he is upset he won't open his eyes because he knows he will look at us and have to smile!
*Loves to snuggle
*Likes to chew on his brother's hand

As of right now...
*He is our Chatter Box
*He likes to wake up early and chat with mommy while his brother is sleeping
*Favors his left hand
*Prefers the nursery a little on the warmer side
*Has great lower body strength... he likes to dance with Mommy!
*Finds his burp cloth/blanky comforting... which is a good thing since he spits up so much!
* Very visual
*Very outgoing... our little flirt!
*This kid gots some lungs!
*Has definite highs and lows
*Has humongous bright blue eyes!
*Loves being outside
*Loves to sit where he can see your face
*Likes to look at his brother and smile

The best thing in the entire world is when you don't say anything at all, but just catch their eye and smile and it registers with them and they grin back!

Their pediatrician wanted them to gain 2 pounds each this past month and they both did... without any supplements! I have found the most enjoyable diet ever... nursing twins! They will seek out and destroy every ounce of fat on you!

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: I had some 5x7's of J&S printed to hang in their nursery. When we went to pick them up you could tell the photo of Silas had been passed around, it had fingerprints all over it, especially right on his eyes. They told us they liked the photos of our son (they didn't realize they were 2 different babies).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Safety Issues/Prayer Request

Things have been tense in our life and ministry for almost a week now. There are some serious safety issues that have arisen in New Horizon. Please pray for Jimmy as he still has a couple items to get from our old building and will be going there today along with Lico and 2 metal workers to remove our doors and windows. We are seeking wisdom from God for our next move regarding this dark place. As of right now we do not feel safe even going in there. People who carry guns around while the are drunk and high are nothing to mess around with. Thank you to everyone who is faithful to lift us up in prayer. We will update more on this later.
Since everyone in there knows where we live and feels comfortable just showing up at our house we are looking to move to a new rental house in San Francisco (Petén). It will be in a much safer area... and I am praying for a wall! Please pray that we can find a house soon and can somehow in the midst of teams coming and all the outreaches we have planned in the next couple months find time to move. Thanks! We are ready for things to calm down around here!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Drama Day!

When we arrived in Santa Rita Thursday afternoon, kids, teens, and adults were eager to help us get all the props and necessities carried down to the elementary school where we would hold the drama on the basketball court.
From the time that Amy arrived we had 5 days to assign parts, rehearse, paint all the backdrops, gather props, and make/alter the costumes. I would like to add that you can get a lot done when you subtract sleeping from your schedule!
This is Rosalino as Pilate!
There were 6 costumes to be made from scratch and many more to be accessorized. Amy and I threw these together during the boys' nap times. I must say that the secret is jersey fabric=no serging or hemming!
Everyone was so proud once we got them in their costumes... a little nervous, but proud for their friends to come and watch! The soldiers were our favorites but we really liked Eulalio as the pharisee with his awesome beard!
It is dry season, but has been storming lately. We prayed that it wouldn't rain. We felt about 3 drops and God kept the rest back. It was very windy. About midway through our very large tomb literally took flight! We had to pause everything for a minute to wait and see where it would land. A couple of years ago in our gringo minds we would have thought that was a horrible interruption, now we just laugh with the Guatemalans!

During practice on Wednesday, Silas and I went door to door inviting people in the village. Silas was barefoot with shorts and a short sleeve shirt which is unheard of here! Babies are supposed to be wrapped up and melting. A mother at nearly every house told me that my baby was cold. I figured people would come just to bundle up the poor freezing gringo babies! The afternoon of the drama we were setting things up for hours and then once it got dark it seemed as though we turned around and suddenly there was over 200 people just standing there waiting for it to start!
Scene one was set in modern day. Mateo was suppose to knock over his mother's vase of flowers, but the thing just wouldn't fall off the table. Finally he picked it up and threw it on the concrete. Everyone got a good laugh!
Our carpenter made everything larger than the plans that Jimmy had drawn up for him. I'm pretty sure that he thinks we're giants! The lecterns were a foot too tall, so no one really knows who our 4 narrators were! Our cross was too big too. It weighed about 100 lbs... way to big for our preteen soldiers! So Pilate and one of the pharisees had to lift the cross with Jesus on it... Jimmy said that was figurative!
Jimmy rigged real apples with some fishing line for Eve to pull off and eat... another crowd pleaser!
Jonah got to be baby Jesus!
Here is Jesus performing miracles!
There is a large group of Kekchi families in this community. We have noticed that whenever a Kekchi person figures something out they sort of laugh out loud. For the entire performance you could hear sheer delight. All the laughter and ooh's and awe's was rewarding for the actors!
Everyone was crowding in to see Jesus being nailed to the cross. By that time there was an audience on all sides, the stage sort of ended up being in the middle. There were even people sitting on top of the basketball goals looking down onto the performance!

While Jesus was on the cross, Jimmy played a song about Christ's love. Everyone got silent for the first time. It was a beautiful moment!
Christ rising again and exiting the tomb was a big scene too, but I didn't get a photo because the boys were getting loud and I had to take them to the micro.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for this Easter outreach! All 200+ people that came saw and heard a clear plan of Salvation! We are so excited to follow up and experience the impact of this drama. Please pray as we hold our Bible studies next week and that more people will come to find out more about what they saw that night!

We are so thankful for Amy coming down and writing and directing this drama! This was the most unglamorous mission trip ever. She worked so hard the entire time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Tonight!

Please pray for the Easter Drama in Santa Rita tonight. Thanks!
Here are some of our sets.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things Are Hoppin'

Somehow we squeezed in a Bible study yesterday! 3 of the boys on the right are from the Kekchi corner of the village. They had never been before. Ever since the Kekchi part of the community saw us at the wake and that we were accepted by some of them, now we are accepted by all! When Jimmy drove through announcing the Bible study they all came out and waved!
Here is Amy with some of the girls that come.
Who is the fastest painter ever? AMY! Between the construction going on in our yard for the NH Bible study, the twins, and just normal daily interruptions, there is no way we would be able to get everything done if Amy wasn't so committed to this! Jimmy sketched out the basic designs on the tarps, gave Amy a paintbrush, and she ran with it! Here is our Jerusalem scene almost finished.
Practice has been going great! We have a good group who really don't know what a drama is, but want to participate!
Here they are practicing Jesus healing the lame man.
CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: I would say it is 3 Gringos thinking that they could put on a drama in 6 days, making sets, props, costumes from scratch with people who many of whom can barely read and have no idea how to follow a script, but that is normal for us! So here is the real CIOD: This was in the road on the way home last night. It is hard to tell in this picture, but the diameter is that of a baseball bat!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Amy Is Here!

Amy arrived Friday evening! Besides letting Jimmy's parents fill up one of her suitcases with stuff for the boys, she brought down Cheeze-its for Jimmy, several bags of dark chocolate for me, and even bones for our doggies in her other bag... so sweet! We are so thankful that she is here and eager and willing to do whatever!

Yesterday she taped and painted one of the backdrops... that's one down and 2 (maybe 3) to go, so we are very happy about that!
Jimmy went to Jobompiche to pick up some props that we had ordered from our carpenter.
Nothing came back exactly like we had sketched it this time, but we are used to that! We got 2 lecterns for the 4 narrators. We will use these later for our Bible studies. We have been meaning to have these built for a long time.
We got light boxes made since it is going to be at night and a larger cross since this year our Jesus is taller than 4 feet! The scale isn't obvious in this picture, but if the cross was a steeple on the top of... say a building the size of a Super Target... it would totally look to scale. It is humungous! Mahogany is the "cheap" wood here, so everything is beautiful!

We have our first practice this morning at 9AM. Please pray that we get a good start and begin praying now that God will bless this outreach. Thanks!

Friday, March 12, 2010

This Made Me Smile!

You may remember that Mateo accepted Christ a couple days before we left for furlough. Then we just left him for 5 months! We had been friends with him for over 2 years, and during that time he was not interested in God at all... but God was interested in him! He had been working in Mateo's heart all along. When Mateo accepted Christ there was a definite change in him. It was a real decision that he had worked over long and hard.

We weren't sure what we would find when we got back. Well Mateo is still different! He has been a huge help this week. He went with Jimmy to SR for the adult Bible study and he has been at our house helping Jimmy get the sets ready for the drama next week.

The part that made me smile though was when we dropped him and Aaron with his costal of corn off in New Horizon Monday night. Aaron is 70 years old and was going to the opposite side of the community as Mateo. As we were driving off I turned around and saw Mateo catch up with Aaron and take the large 50lb+ bag from his back to carry it to his son's house for him!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Well It Happened...

and I am not happy about it. Last night we were at a wake in Santa Rita. It was dark with only a few candles around. For this story we will say that I had Baby A and Jimmy was in charge of Baby B. We were sitting with some of our friends when I turned around and realized one of them was holding Baby B and NURSING him! This may sound humorous if it is not YOUR child, but it is actually pretty dangerous. You can catch all kinds of infectious diseases that way. While our friend looks healthy and has 2 healthy children, I don't know her history... and it is not that she is Guatemalan, it is that she is anyone other than me. Baby B had just been fed, so I am hoping he was only pacifying. He wasn't hungry. Our boys get held a lot in Santa Rita. The indigenous believe that if you look at a baby and don't touch and hold it you could give them the "evil eye"... plus Jonah and Silas are completely adorable! Before I hand any woman my child I always think, "do you make milk?" because I knew this could be a possibility. Well Jimmy did not think anyone would ever do that. He was sitting right beside her, but to his defense a representative from the family had come to talk to him about trying to get the son's body back to SR for burial (story here) so he was distracted. Jimmy called our pediatrician in Guatemala City last night, which is a different world from here by the way, and his first response was, "Why did she DO that?!" He said there is a small chance that he could have caught something and to keep an eye on him and her.

So that is a piece of what life is like raising children here. PLEASE pray that God will protect Baby B and that he did not catch anything. And you should probably pray for Jimmy too since he is a very good daddy, but is living with the wrath of a very protective mommy right now... last night wasn't pretty.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Amy's Coming!

Amy from our home church in KS came down in Dec '07 to direct a Christmas drama in New Horizon. Friday she is coming back! This time it is for an Easter play in Santa Rita. She has already had a big impact on our ministry and we are excited about what God is going to use her to do in Santa Rita! Quincho is fruit from her last trip.
We have sets to paint and costumes to make. Please pray that somehow we get everything done!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Poor Martha

I do not have any photos from the Adult Bible study since I am not attending with the boys for a while, but it went well. They are so passionate about the study. It is not a casual thing for them. They ALL bring their Bibles and participate.

Please pray for a couple that had been attending before we left. We do not know the entire story, but their son and another child that they had been taking care of were in an automobile accident. It happened the first of January while we were gone. They were slung from the back of someone's pickup that was driving drunk... who by the way did not end up going to jail. Both died. Please pray for this family. Please pray that the Lord will comfort them and that we can reach out to them as well. We are still not sure if it was an older son or the younger one, so I do not know if they attended my Bible study or not. I do not feel comfortable posting pictures of this family, just because I think this is extremely private.

As a follow up of the post about last week's craft I thought I would talk about this week's. It was very involved... even more involved when Jimmy and I have a 4 month old (really 2 month old) strapped to us trying to help everyone. Our lesson was on Mary and Martha. They were to construct a house where you could look inside and see Mary, Martha, and Jesus. This photo angle did not lend itself to You seeing them, but they are in there!
Well the kids did a fabulous job! Jimmy successfully commandeered this entire table of rambunctious boys all by himself!

By the way, I think Martha gets a bad rap. The point to this story is a beautiful one, our relationship with God is the most important thing. Service to Him comes as a byproduct of our relationship with Him, not as a replacement for one. Yes, on this day, Martha's priorities were off. But, it looks to me that she was the one that invited Jesus to their house in the first place. Plus after their brother died, Martha was the one that knew it still wasn't too late (John 11:21,22), because she had faith... more evidence of a relationship. With the amount of spiritual talk in comparison to the amount of action taken I think this is more of a "Mary poser" world than a "Martha" one. I appreciate Martha's passion!

Silas was a little ham this week! He loves all the attention. Jonah does too, but he seems to be more affected by the heat. Silas prefers warmer temps.

Jimmy's Blog

Jimmy has his own blog, Sweaty Petén, and has started it up again since we have been back. He updates it ever other day. My blog is about ministry and family and Jimmy's is more about day to day life in a different culture. We haven't duplicated anything yet. He is very honest, which I appreciate! His latest blog is part 1 of the windshield story that I included in the Funny section of our February Update. He has also blogged about his new container garden which is part food for us and part research for the Kekchi Institute. My favorite thing about his blog are the labels for each post. One of them is "I don't know" and another one is "Nobody knows"... those made me laugh! I told him that he needs a "Crazy projects that I do for my wife" label!
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