Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Trip Down the Trail of a Rabbit

So last night 3 of the 4 new teenagers from two weeks ago came back to the adult Bible study in Santa Rita. I am teaching a 5 week series on the 10 commandments and what Jesus had to say about them. Last night was Don't Commit Adultery and Don't Steal.

In the middle of talking about adultery somebody asked me about Hades. This took us on a 15 minute question and answer session about heaven and hell where we talked about everything from "absent from the body is present with the Lord" and the rich man and Lazarus, to the Great White Throne Judgement. It is these rabbit trails where people are most involved in the discussion and seem the most interested. It keeps me on my toes because I don't teach anything that I can't read first to them from the Bible, so I have to know where everything is or not bring it up.

Then Bernabé (a 72 yr old lady who comes every week) asked if you could go to heaven if you had fallen in adultery. This was perfect timing because it was right before I started talking about Jesus and the woman brought to him who had been caught. This was also a good lesson because I got to talk about the guys about not giving inappropriate attention to girls and to the girls about not inviting it.

Last week we were talking about honoring your parents and the promise that goes with that commandment. I wanted to prove a point, so I asked Aaron, an older man, if he had honored his parents. "Well, I'm an orphan and never met my parents," he responded.

"Oh, then Fabio, did you honor your parents?" "My parents died when I was really young so I don't remember anything about them."

" Bernabé, did you honor your parents?" "Well, my parents weren't good examples of parents, especially my father who was involved in really bad things so I ran away when I was young."

I stopped asking at that point and continued on with Don't Kill.

Last night we also started taking suggestions for a name for the Bible Study. Some people started suggesting names from churches they had passed on the road. I won't let anything be considered for the vote though, unless they can explain to me what it means or who they are. Some names that did not make the cut last night: Calvary, Saint Peter, Saint Luke, Saint James... The candiates right now are Hope and New Life. In a couple weeks we'll have a vote and everything will be oficial.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Best Room in the House

First, what's a room redo without a good BEFORE photo, so here it is:
Our lovely laundry room/closet
We had fun creating a place together for our boys. It is really a sanctuary, free from dirt and lizard poop. We keep the window closed, the window unit on, our shoes off, and the dogs out. It is very different from the rest of our house... by about 20 degrees!

We wanted to incorporate pieces of Guatemala. The textures in the world around us are beautiful! We are lucky because we can think up something in our heads and either find the supplies to make it ourselves or have someone else make it for us for cheap. We tried to choose things for their nursery that could be used in either their room when they get older or in other parts of our house later on. So here it is... finally finished!
Jimmy made the boys two beautiful cribs out of Spanish Plum. They are solid!! I absolutely love them! He also found the fisherman's net in the market one day and surprised me.

We made several attempts at a homemade mobile, and then finally ordered this one. It is balanced (unlike ours which just hung stagnant in the air), so the school of fish are in perpetual motion. They really look like they are swimming! There is a worm on a hook in the middle. The boys are fascinated by it... almost as much as their parents. It sort of hypnotizes ya.
We had a carpenter make the rest of the furniture out of mahogany from drawings we gave him. It's the cheap wood here. He even made the mirror which the boys enjoy making faces in! I made the curtains out of white linen woven here. The bucket hats are courtesy of their Grandma Kiki!

Like most houses here, ours doesn't have closets... or does it?
This is a branch that fell off a tree in our yard. Jimmy chopped it down to size in true Guatemalan fashion with a machete!

Here is where we store their toys:
We found this round rug in Guatemala city. We spend a lot of time on that thing, reading books and playing. It has a high pile, so it's a cozy spot amongst the hard tile.
The little wooden horse is from my childhood.

We love maps, plus they are educational... right?!
We used our projector and sketched the outline on the wall and then hot glued rope over it. There are many plusses to concrete walls! The rope that the boys can reach from their cribs or the floor is in short sections so that if they pull it off the wall somehow (it's stuck on good) it is not long enough to strangle them.

I told Jimmy I wanted a kayak for their nursery... honestly I never thought he'd find one. Well, Jimmy got in touch with the guy who makes them for the hotels on Flores. They use them as planters. He carved one out of a tree just for Jonah and Silas! You know their mama is going to put plants in that one day!
I begged Jimmy to take me to the market in zone 1 when we were in Guatemala City last year. It is full of beautiful things made by the locals. It has a reputation for being a violent place, so Jimmy made me shop fast! I found these baskets that we used for the light fixture and then covered the cords with burlap. I want to go back!!! Jonah and Silas enjoy these as much as their mobile. We lift them up and they smack the lights and make them swing.
Jimmy's parents helped us purchase these chairs... as in they went in over half! They are microfiber (which is good since they are puked on regularly), shipped from the States. These rockers are the glue that hold this circus together! A couple weeks ago when both of us got the flu at the same time we each grabbed a boy and pretty much slept in those things the entire weekend. We also sleep there when the power is off and we can't use our monitor. (Honestly some weeks we sleep in those things more than our bed because we just accidentally fall asleep in them!) Needless to say, we are very thankful for these comfy things. With twins I would highly recommend having family within a thousand miles to help, but if that is not possible, these would be the next best thing!

So thanks for visiting our home! Come over anytime... we will probably be in the nursery!

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: This is so common here that it is hard to even notice stuff like this anymore and think "I should take a picture".

Friday, April 23, 2010

There's a Reason...

people behave the way they do, not an excuse, just a reason. Many times I forget that I don't know someone's STORY... everything that has contributed to the way they are behaving in the moment or the kind of person they are every day.

We have been frustrated with Mateo, Gerardo, Marcela, Maruca, and Choki's dad in the past for different things. The main thing is that the times we have hired one of his kids to do something for us, he usually takes their pay and drinks it away. The other day we got to hear some of his STORY... at least through the eyes of one of his sons (Mateo).
(Gerardo with his dad)
During the war Mateo's dad had an 18 acre farm. They lived in a nice house and had plenty of food to eat. One day the guerrillas showed up and explained that it was now going to be Mateo's family's responsibility to feed them. They stole his entire harvest and told him that if he fought with them, then after the war he would be farming again, but this time with tractors. He felt like he had no other option. Now he has 2 acres and not enough room to do crop rotation, so his land produces less and less every year. They live in New Horizon where they are greatly discriminated against because they are Kekchi (even though the guerrillas were supposedly fighting for indigenous rights.) Mateo said, "If it wasn't for us, they (meaning the guerrillas in NH) would have starved, look at how they treat us now." His father lost everything and without the Lord, no wonder he drinks.

Please pray for Mateo's dad. We are no longer "allowed" in New Horizon, but God still is working in there. We have remained very close with this family. Please pray that Mateo's dad will one day come to know the Lord.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Trip to Guate With a Couple of 6 Month Olds!

We took the boys to Guatemala City (this time it was an 8 hr drive) last week for their 6M shots... yes, we have 2, 6 month olds... crazy! Even though they entered the world 2 months early, they are catching up fast to the size of a normal 6 month old. I have packed away most of their 0-3 month old clothes already because they are so tall! Since exiting the NICU we have enjoyed 5 months of perfect health... other than pink eye that we keep passing back and forth. We are so blessed!

Silas ready for the jungle:
"Wait a minute... I live where?!"
Jonah in the hammock:

Their doctor wants us to begin introducing solids, but we are not sure. I want their GI tracts to be good and ready (since they are somewhere in between 4 and 6 months developmentally), so we might wait another month. We are having fun planning their first meals. We are going to make all their baby food fresh. Hopefully this will help them grow up being veggie lovers... don't scoff at my optimism! We can't decide if we are going to make our own rice cereal or just start with avocados. It's all an adventure!

I took this photo at our doctor's office. Do you see anything funny about it?
They translated the Spanish name of the movie back to English and then printed it. I don't think this is an official Pixar product! We see stuff like this a lot.

The Boggs happened to be in the city at the same time, so we got to visit with them. Never thought we would live this far away from them (10 hrs).

We got to do several other errands while we were in the city, like grocery shopping and extending our visas.

What do missionaries like us get excited about when going to the "big city"?...
14.5 lbs Bisquik (because it's nice not to have to make everything from scratch once in a while)
12.5 lbs Cascade (same price as 2.5 lbs in Petén)
1008 wipes (1/4 of the price in Petén)
624 diapers (1/2 of the price in Petén, 1/4 of the price in the States... yes, all parents of twins should be missionaries!)
4 6'x4' metal shelves (since we live in a house without closets, not sure why we didn't buy these 2 years ago)
90 pop tarts (guilty pleasure)
24 cans green beans (to hold us over until Jimmy's garden starts producing more... his are better)
15 Bibles (these were double their normal price for some reason... they said that we had been buying them on sale for the past 3 years... it was a little shady)

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: The other morning I left the boys playing in their crib to go put in a load of laundry. When I came back, this is what I found!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Day In Our Life

None of our days are typical really. I just decided this morning I would pick today to take a "snapshot" so that you could see what one was like... actually I wish I had taken more snapshots of this day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

4:00 - I wake up to feed the boys.

5:00 - Lucha sees a scorpion crawling down the hall and tells us about it.

5:05 - Jimmy wakes up and kills the scorpion. (FYI: A scorpion killing kit is the same as a spider killing kit, just change the flipflop to a larger shoe.)

Lucha proudly standing in front of the squashed scorpion!

5:10 - I work on and finish my first set of Bible story finger puppets for the boys. This one was the story of Zacchaeus. I am seriously considering selling some of these sets on etsy, but that's another post. I am having too much fun creating them. / Hang some laundry on the line.

Here's Zacchaeus

5:15 - Our neighbor starts revving his truck engine right outside the boys' nursery window... I spend the next 5 minutes trying to figure out WHY he does this EVERY weekday morning and if there is any way this could possibly be benificial to his vehicle. I decide that it doesn't matter and that I need to work on the whole loving your neighbor thing. The boys stir, but don't waken.

7:00 - Jonah and Silas wake up for their second feeding of the day (Side Note: It just happened to be 3 hrs later, I do not believe in the whole making your baby wait 3 hrs thing.)

7:40 - Playtime with boys! We sing and play with finger puppets. They have tummy time in Jonah's crib together. They grab each other's hand and smile at each other a lot now. I enjoy watching them interact.

Silas and his baby pushup!

Jonah and his baby pushup!

9:00 - Jimmy works in his garden. / Boys go back to sleep.

A beautiful okra flower in Jimmy's garden!

10:00 - We wake up the boys and leave the house to drive to Santa Elena (the "big city" in Petén about 40 minutes or so from our house.)

11:00 - We drop off our micro to get an oil change and to fix a patched leaky tire. They say it is going to take an 1.5hr. Thus begins the "1.5" jokes. In Latin America you take whatever estimated time frame you are given and multiply it by a "distance from reality factor"! Petén's distance factor is a pretty large number.

11:10 - Abel meets us at the mechanic shop to pick up the title to the Blazer that Luis needed us to sign over and then drops us off at the Pizza Hut.

11:15 - Our plan is to wait in Pizza Hut until the micro is finished since there is no way the 4 of us can fit in a tuktuk. We chose the Pizza Hut because it is air conditioned, has a large booth big enough for us all to fit in and I can feed the boys without an audience. Plus they serve delicious coffee! (Side Note: I'm not sure if it is the same in the States, but PH has THE BEST hot wing sauce. Jimmy ruined it for me though because he told me that the hot wings were 60 cents a piece. So now I just buy a little cup of the sauce and dip my pizza into it. Honestly it is THE BEST hot sauce I have tasted. I wish I could buy a large bottle of it. I would dip everything in it!

Our normal booth that we fit in with both carriers (old photo).

11:16 - The waitress tells us that the section that has our booth in it is closed right now, so we have to squeeze into a little one by the entrance.... oh well. (Another Side Note: We usually skype in Pizza Hut on our laptops with our parents so that they can see the boys. The internet in our town is too slow. It was too noisy around this booth, so no grandparents time today.)

11:30 - Our pizza comes, but the waitress forgot my hot sauce.

11:45 - Waitress comes back with hot sauce, Silas makes a humongous diaper!

11:55 - Back from changing diaper, eat my cold but deliciously spicy pizza.

12:15 - Jimmy calls mechanic. They say that it will be another 45 minutes, but that they're "almost done". We enjoy our time just chatting together and playing with the boys.

1:00 - Jimmy calls mechanic. This time they say, "Hey, your tire has 10 holes in it. You need to buy a new one." Jimmy says that's fine, we'll buy 2.

1:05 - We leave Pizza Hut and decide to kill time at the Maxi Bodega and dollar store... or at least what I call the dollar store. I find some alphabet magnets for the boys! Silas makes another humongous diaper... this one's a change your outfit one.

1:30 - Jimmy calls mechanic. They say, "Fijese, we don't have any tires this size, but we will start calling some friends to see if they do."

2:15 - The boys need to eat again, so we decide to try and find another cool secluded place... like an ice cream store... right?

Saritas (on right) has delicious ice cream. This is at a new shopping center across from the airport. It is the most modern "looking" area within hours.

2:16 - After walking in we realize that there is NO air and it seriously smells like the outhouses in Santa Rita, but figured there weren't any better options, so we sit down.

2:17 - We feel bad sitting in there without ordering anything so Jimmy gets a small sundae and I get a Mirinda.

2:18 - I realize that I have had 3 coffees and a Mirinda to drink all day and wonder how my body even makes milk.

2:35 - I feel bad changing Jonah inside the ice cream shop even though no one could smell him over the stench already there, so I take him outside to change him on a bench.

2:40 - I come back inside and tell Jimmy that it is actually cooler outside, so we leave.

2:41 - Jimmy calls mechanic. They say that a friend has tires, told us the price, and that it would be 45 min.

2:42 - I realize the cake shop next door has air conditioning, so we move in there. These cakes are very pretty, but very Chapin (Guatemalan), and since they don't serve any drinks we didn't buy anything. The lady was very nice and loved playing with the boys, so she let us just sit in there.

Before Jonah really let loose on Daddy! His spare shirt was in the micro!

3:24 - The micro's ready. Jimmy takes a tuk tuk to go pick it up. (It took 4.5hrs to get an oil change and fix the tire.)

We have a rearview mirror again! Ever since the whole windshield incident Jimmy couldn't get the old glass off to be able to glue on the new one... he was happy.

3:45 - We go by market to pick up a Kekchi couple from New Horizon. They are longtime friends and the lady has been very sick. She kept going to a witch doctor and finally we convinced her to let us take her to a real doctor. She was very nervous about this, but in so much pain, finally willing to try it.

3:50 - Dr. Aragon (my Petén OB) sees her. He is very patient with her. I was going to go in with her, but since her husband was there I figured that he would instead. I stayed in the micro with the boys, and somehow Jimmy ended up in there with both of them! She was too shy to talk to the doctor. She told Jimmy, "He doesn't speak Kekchi, so I will talk to you and you can tell him what I say." The thing is, Jimmy doesn't speak Kekchi either, he is just used to her broken Spanish... I thought it was cute!

4:10 - After an ultrasound and examination, we leave the doctor's office with a diagnosis and some pills... everyone's happy.

4:20 - The 6 of us stop by my eye doctor. I have had an eye infection for 3 weeks now and can't get rid of it. My doctor was supposed to give me the all clear to wear my contacts again, but she wasn't there. She's in Honduras... oh well.

4:25 - We stop by the post office to check our PO box. (We can get bubble mailers from the States for somewhat reasonable prices... really unreasonable, but the Grandmas like sending stuff!)

We had 2 from my mom waiting on us! These had clothes for the boys and food for us!

5:00 - We drop off the couple at the gate to New Horizon and pick up Mateo.

5:15 - We make it home and realize that 2 pieces of our left over pizza fell out of the box in the micro. Fije and Lucha are very happy about that.

5:16 - In her typical "you'd have to have lived on the streets to have skills like this" fashion, Fije stole half of Luchas'.

5:17 - Feeling sorry for Lucha, I tore off half of one of my remaining good pieces to give to her.

5: 20 - Jimmy cleaned up for the adult Bible study in Santa Rita. / I cleaned Mateo's finger he had sliced with a machete and got him a new bandaid.

5:30 - Jimmy and Mateo leave for Santa Rita. / I feed the boys. Afterwards we read a lot of books and sing.

6:15 - They make it to Santa Rita.

6:30 - Adult Bible study starts. It ended up being the biggest turnout yet! 4 new teenagers came too and participated.

7:45 - Jimmy and Mateo leave Santa Rita. / I laugh at Lucha for following me around like a cat because of the loud thunder. She blocks the doorway while I read to the boys so that I can't shut the nursery door... scaredy cat! I let her because she's cute.

8:25 - Jonah and Silas fall asleep.

8:45 - Jimmy's home! (It took an hour because he stopped by an ATM.) Jimmy tells me about what I missed at the Bible study and I tell him about what adorable things our boys did while he was gone.

9:0o - We heat up some yummy soup Jimmy had made in the crock pot the day before. He's a crock pot master. We continue watching a Doris Day movie that Jimmy had DVR'd for me.

9:15 - We pause movie because of a thud we both hear.

9:16 - We discover it was another very large scorpion. It had fallen out of a plant that was on the wall (very close to Jimmy's head) and had landed on the tile.

I know... I need to sweep up the ceiling flakes/wall flakes/lizard poop/dust under my end table. Our windows are always open, so you get over it.

9:18 - Jimmy kills scorpion.

9:20 - We eat some yellow Peeps that came in the bubble mailers and then just talk and spend time together.

10:30 - We decide at least one of us needed to go to sleep. Jimmy stays up to work on translating class outlines for the Kekchi Institute module next month.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Salvation Visuals

I have been trying to come up with as many ways as possible to explain and visualize the Gospel. I don't want the plan of Salvation to be rote memory to any of our people. To me just spouting off something memorized can make it a religion rather than a beautiful understanding that actually changes your life. Plus you never know what is going to make something click in someone's mind, thus the variety.

I made these in the States, bent over my parents' kitchen table while I was unknowingly in labor... ha! I was hoping to get them laminated there before we came back, so that was the rush. I spent hours on them and when I got them back they looked like they had been saran wrapped. I was sick about it to say the least. My mom and I tried to repair them, but you know I am just going to make them from scratch again... one day... when I have free time again... 18 years from now! I have used all of them several times already and they have been well received. The ones without words or with just a few words are especially helpful since they can be used in Kekchi.

1. The Salvation Cross: This one opens up into a cross as you explain it and then the last page talks about being a Child of God.

2. As Easy As 123...: This one is 1-God loves you and wants you to go to Heaven to be with Him, 2-But we are sinners, 3-God made a way, 4-The decision is yours. I go through each number and flip it around as we talk about it.

3. Colors: Basically the same as the wordless book, but related to something they recognize and love... crayons!

4. Poster Tract: The cross velcros on to cover "sin". I am planning on making other things to velcro on that people think will get them to heaven, like "being a good person" and having it be too short (since the cross reaches all the way to God).

5. Velcro Glove: I found this glove before Jonah and Silas were born. I bought an Old McDonald set to go with it. I use it when I sing with the boys and they love it. Then I thought why not use it to explain the Gospel. So I made these little figures out of felt. They have velcro sewn on the back. It is a red heart-God loves us, broken heart-sin, cross-Christ died and rose again, present-free gift, Bible-relationship with God. Now I am having way too much fun with this thing, the possibilities are endless. I am making more stories and songs for the boys. That's for another post!
I am posting this so that maybe others can use these ideas AND in hopes that maybe you will share any of your ideas with me! I want as many as possible! I am planning on making some for the Kekchi institute which is having a session next month to give as door prizes to the Kekchi pastors.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Resurrection Sunday

Jimmy did a post about Easter here. Basically it is similar to Spring Break in the States. Petén is like a foreign country to the rest of Guatemala, so we have lots of in-country tourists. There is more drinking going on than normal, so my goal Monday through Friday is to go as few places as possible which should increase my chances of NOT getting killed by a drunk driver here.

When we lived in Xela, there were lots of decorations and beautiful sawdust carpets to go see. Here everything looks the same as any other week, just more crowded. By Saturday and Sunday things are back to normal, the tourists have returned home ready to start another work week or head back to school. Resurrection Sunday is not celebrated here. It is omitted completely.

Since we no longer hold services in New Horizon on Sundays, we were planning on listening to a service from our home church Sunday morning. Saturday night our friend Stephen called and invited us to his church. He is a the pastor of the Mennonite church here in our town.
There is a small Mennonite population here in our town. They are always very kind to us. We know about 3 different families. We don't spend a lot of time with them but we borrow things from each other or help out when something is needed. Stephen and his wife Brenda always go out of their way to make us feel comfortable and accepted. It was interesting to see how other people worship. They had a choir group visiting from a college in the States, so we actually got to hear a couple songs in English! It was a nice way to celebrate Resurrection Sunday!
Yesterday we had a Resurrection party in Santa Rita with the kids! We made edible "empty" tombs!
I was so proud of my kids as we talked about the significance of this special day. They have learned so much during our time with them!
Jimmy's adult Bible study went great last night too! I cannot wait until the boys are old enough for me to start going with him again!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Divine Intuition

New Horizon has been crazy before, but this time it was Jimmy's reaction that was different to me. I knew he saw something that I didn't. Well he was right. Lico just called and said that there was a town meeting last Saturday and that Ofelia... yes you have heard of her before, but as one of our "friends"... was complaining about Jimmy coming into the town. She is just mad because Jimmy took SOME of what was ours from the building we had been using and she wanted her son to be able to keep ALL of it for free, even though letting us use it was a very advantageous arrangement for him, especially since he kicked us out 3 years early.

According to the letter we received from the town council and per Jimmy's conversation with the town council president the next day, only our Bible study was kicked out, not us. In the meeting when Ofelia asked about us, they said that WE had been kicked out... as are no longer allowed to step foot past the gate. The president said that the town council could not grab Jimmy if he walked in, but those in the community could and should.

So Lico called to warn us because he still IS our friend. You see he was one of the ones who accepted Christ during what has turned out to be our small window of opportunity to tell them about Christ. He and the others like him made it worth it.

We thought we might be waiting for our whale, but it looks as though since they have all heard they are without excuse now. This might be a permanent closing of the door. I have never before seen evil displayed like this with my own eyes. Like I said in our news letter, it is hard to understand a place the kicks out the missionary, but lets the drug dealers and child molesters stay.
There are plenty more as the Kekchi say, "white fields" here in Petén. As for now I'm thankful for God's protection and for a husband sensitive to His leading!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...