Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5 - 1 = a Well for the Institute

This past weekend Metro Baptist Church in Gootlettsville, TN invite Jimmy to preach their mission emphasis Sunday. They flew him up there Friday and he returned last night. 
They were one of the first churches to take us on for support back in 2005 when we started deputation (traveling around church to church raising monthly support). We are very thankful for the relationship we have with them and their faithfulness to support what God is doing here in Petén over the years. 
While there Jimmy gave an update of the work here. At the end of the Sunday morning service they held a business meeting right there in the congregation and voted to send the institute (KBI) $20,000 to dig the well and set up the pump to provide water for all of the families and projects on the KBI land. We are overwhelmed by their generosity and as always marveling at the way God just meets the need when the time comes. That was the next phase we needed to complete to get the institute up and running and we can start on it immediately. This is such a blessing and a testimony of God's hand on the institute. I have 3 other needs that have been met recently regarding the institute that I haven't even posted about yet. God takes care of everything. 

The boys and I held down the fort here... Eden too. Daddy returned home with an entire suitcase dedicated to Christmas presents for the kids, if he can hold out till then. Daddy isn't very good at keeping surprises secret for very long! I already got all of my dark chocolate out of him, so the boys probably won't be far behind me. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lico's Preaching Tonight!

This past week we were invited to Lico's house inside NH to celebrate his 41st birthday. We are invited to birthday's in his family a lot, but this was the first time in years we felt it safe to go. 
 There were more than us there, but people eat at different times, all over the house, so I just caught all of them together for this photo!

Here are the bashful ladies that cooked the birthday meal:
{Elda, her mom, and her daughter Paula}
 Jimmy had the idea to bring Lico's birthday cake and secretly planned it with his daughter, Paula, first when she came to him asking if her dad could have the day off of work to throw him a surprise party. I didn't get a picture of the cake except for the piece that is in Lico's hand below!
{Lico & his son Fredrico}
Traditional Guatemalan cakes are very wet and have fruit as decoration on top, like figs and strawberries. I have taken a liking to them. They are not as sweet as what we would typically make, but very pretty.

Lico made the bench he is sitting on. It is BEAUTIFUL! He said that he is going to make us one too. He gave me some of the leftover mimbre. I need to soak it, so I can start learning to weave with it. 
This photo is of his whole family. If you look closely you can see Jumiley, their youngest, sleeping on the bed in the room behind them! 

We are very thankful for Lico, for his honest character in being in charge of our forever house construction, for his friendship, and for his heart for God. Jimmy has been working with him a little to prepare a sermon for this weekend. I say a little because he has already been through a discipleship class with Jimmy, so he knows how to study his Bible for himself. He is preaching tonight for the first time in our evening service! Please pray for him and rejoice over what God has done in his life over the last 6 years!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Eden Likes Food!

Can you believe this little girl is ready for solid food?! 
I introduced her to solids at 6 months... well I guess you should say "we"! Silas is usually very interested in all things E. Jonah is sweet to her and worries about her if he thinks she is upset or in danger, but isn't entertained by her for very long. 
It seems to be that the consensus is that Eden is a female version of Silas, but I see a lot of Jonah in her too! Like this:
They both have a crazy leg thing going on most of the time. I still think she is a blend of us all. 
Pureeing food for one baby is so easy! With the boys it seemed like I was pureeing something every time I had an ice tray free. With E, I just puree something once a week maybe. 
We started with avocados, but I don't think she was very impressed. 
Here is a clip of her first bite and Silas helping!
So far she has had avocados, carrots, homemade rice cereal, oatmeal, bananas, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, and cheerios. She likes everything but rice and avocados. And she can flat put away some food!
A hard hat and a gun... I'd say she has been accepted into the twin club!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fish, Trees, & a Winch

Jimmy made another trip to Domingo's house to check on his tilapia pond, a trial project for the institute.
The fish weigh a quarter of a pound. 
{Wendel, Domingo's son in charge of the pond}
In 2 months they have doubled in size! At our current growth rate, in 2 more months they should be ready to be sold. There haven't been any major problems yet, so that is a big praise!
Domingo is a great example of what we want for all the pastors. He has been in full-time ministry, paid for all of his kids so far to get a good career education, and has saved money to finally build a house. Before he was living in a rough wood house with dirt floors. His family has been raising turkeys and ducks for a supplementary income in order to one day build this house. We are so happy for him! He is the president of the institute, so it is nice that he understands this half of our goal. We don't know anyone else like him!
The lime and orange trees the Daytona team planted at the institute are still taking root. There has been one leaf cutter ant attack, but it was caught in time!
 Jimmy doesn't let any workers chop/clear the area because he doesn't want to lose any trees. He carefully uses a weed eater to clear out all of the Savannah grass. It takes about several hours each time, but we haven't lost any trees!

I'm so happy for my husband, he finally got to use his winch in Guatemala! Up to this point he had only used it to straighten a neighbors tilting tree. He was right, it is a very valuable tool to have here!

On the way to Domingo's house (4 hours from our house) Jimmy got stopped behind a coaster that was stuck in the mud on a rock. Other trucks who had been waiting behind the coaster a while were turning around thinking he would be there all day. To back up and go a different road would have cost an hour and a half. 
Jimmy pulled right up and offered to use his wench. The driver didn't know what it was, but was willing to try it. 
It worked! Everyone in the coaster was happy and I know my husband was very happy with himself, haha!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Our Church"

Ever since we have been back from the States, Jonah and Silas call Iglesia Bautista San Pancho "our church"! The were not fans of being left in the nursery. In fact for weeks after that whenever we would pull up somewhere that had a swing set outside like "Kiki's church" they would start crying, "No church me!" Thankfully they still love their church home. 
I was worried since we missed 2 Sundays and had some of our Kekchi pastor friends fill in (who I'm sure did a great job) that we would lose some people, but we are still growing! 
 These are some of the teens that are too cool to sit inside. They listen from the door. That is one thing that we really want to focus on over the next couple weeks, planning some teen activities and outreaches. It's just us 2, so pray we get it done. We can't wait till Juan gets here to help out!
 This is the kids time during the evening service. I noticed after looking at this photo that the 3 sets of tables are divided by towns. The closet table is San Pancho, the middle SR, and the furthest is NH! We will have to work on them intermingling too!
Please keep praying for our church! 

It's wintertime again here in the Dinsmore home! Bits of our ceiling snow on our things during the middle of rainy season. The worst parts are over my closet in the laundry room and over our dining room table. At least we get to enjoy 4 seasons in this house as opposed to the rest of Guatemala! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Heard Around the House #1

Now that my boys are talking more I thought it would be fun to share some of the things they come up with here on the blog. Thanks, Genesis, for the idea!

Mommy: "What do you want for supper?"
Silas: "Pie pop!"
(He loves pot pie!)

Due to where we live there are always bugs in our house, which is great for little boys. Jonah and Silas run and get their shoes to kill them. 
One night during supper...
Mommy: "There's a bug on the ceiling. Are ya'll going to get your shoes?"
Silas: "No, we need God."

For the last 2 weeks we have kept a pig on the table. Whoever does something rude at the table gets the pig and if you have it at the end of a meal you don't get a popsicle.
Just to let you know what I'm dealing with, that pig gets passed around a LOT!
Silas does something rude during dinner...
Mommy: "Silas gets the pig."
Jonah passes the pig to Silas
Silas: "Thank you"
(At least he's polite in some ways!)

20 minutes into our drive home from church...
Jonah: Looking at the empty seat next to him for the first time, "MAMMA!!!.... BABY!!!!
Mommy: "She's up here with me."
(He thought we forgot her at church!)

After hearing a loud noise from outside...
Silas: "Big car!"
Mommy: "No, that was thunder."
Jonah: "Oh... God."

The day after watching a youtube video of the hulk and superman with Daddy to explain what the superheros were on their new pj's.
Silas: "Me fly"
and then this happened:
Side view:

One morning...
Silas: "Can't fly, me sick."
(Silas has had a horrible cold and a stomach bug. Evidently that has taken its toll on his superpowers.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

First Test Harvest Project for KBI Complete!

A few months ago we were advised by a friend of ours, James Yoder, to clear a wide path between the Institute land and the village next door that was stealing our trees. That way it would be harder for them to sneak onto our land and steal wood. Instead of just letting that land sit there, we decided to plant some corn.
 The total area ended up being around 10 acres. We paid some men to plant the corn by hand and decided that on our first time through we wouldn't spend the money on expensive fertilizers.
The corn looked really good, but we weren't sure what problems might arise, whether from worms, grasshoppers, or parrots... Once the corn had matured, we paid somebody else to fold over all of the stalks so that the corn would dry in the field upside down. It needs to be upside down or flocks of little green parrots will come and eat all of your corn.
Finally this past week it was time to harvest. Anybody can come and work, and they get paid by the sackful. Each sack weighs around 125 lbs. Kids are out of school right now, so entire families came out together to pick corn. Most of these families were from the village next to us.
To get paid they had to bring the sacks to a house on the property we are using as a temporary barn. The women couldn't carry the whole 125 lbs, so they would bring it in smaller batches and our guard, Tony, would fill up the sacks for them. (He is in the center in the above photo.)
 The first day we filled up 50 sacks and the second day 90 more were filled.
At 125 pounds each, that's around 17,500 pounds. From each of these sacks there should be around 110 pounds of kernels (which is the only way you can sell it) for 15,400 pounds of corn. A 100 pound sack will feed a family of 4-5 for a month. 
 The purpose of planting this corn is three-fold. One, it generates some income for the Institute and provides jobs for our neighbors, (which helps with the ever going struggle we have with them). After everybody gets paid, we should net around $2,000. That's $2,000 more than if we had just let it sit there. 

The third purpose though was to test one of our projects. Each student will have 2 acres to farm and I make the case that he only needs to plant corn on 1/3 of that to have enough corn to eat. The other 2/3 will be used for other crops like tomatoes, chiles, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and a fish pond. Also, by only planting 1/3 with corn, each time they can plant a different section of their field with corn and have an 18 month rotation. I could go on and on, but let's just say there are lots of benefits. Our students will have lots of fertilizer from the chicken projects and the fish projects, but what we saw this first time was that with no fertilizer, only 1/4 of the land our students will have to farm supplied enough corn for our first 20 students and their families to last 7.5 months! At two harvests per year we have more than enough. 
 At the end of the day, there was one lady left at the back of our property with 8 sacks full, but was afraid she wouldn't get it all to the barn before it rained, so thankfully I was there cutting grass around our lime trees and could haul her corn for her. What we pay for 8 sacks of corn is more than a block mason makes in a day, so this is a good job for people during the harvest season.
{Her and one of her daughters}

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Culture Shock in the Medium Size City

Two Sundays ago was the day before the holiday, Dia del Niño. We celebrated it in the evening service. It would have been a beautiful time to take photos, but I have nothing. I was kind of off that night. This holiday is like a mother's day or a father's day for kids. Schools have parties, businesses have parties, churches have parties... children just run from place to place getting free candy and prizes. It's almost like halloween in the States minus the costumes... at least this is what I realized this year.  

Jimmy prepared a special message directed at kids and we didn't split off that night from the adults. I had made about 30 candy bags as a special treat for the children that faithfully attend our church. Well that night kids starting showing up from everywhere, ones we had never seen before. They came for their candy. This was our first Dia del Niño service in a larger town. I guess we just weren't ready for it. We aren't really comfortable mixing gimmicks and promises of free stuff with church. Outreaches and activities that build relationships are great, but a bribe to attend a service really cheapens it for me. Well there I was with my 30 bags of candy. I felt ridiculous. 

It ended up being a really great service in spite of my awkwardness. After Jimmy's message he presented the plan of Salvation using different colored balloons. He created a large Gospel flower with them. It went over really well with both the kids and the adults. We sang kids songs with motions... even the adults, they loved it all. Jonah and Silas shared a song on the microphone (big deal to them) in English. We celebrated kids! They are very special to God and 3 in particular are extra special to me! Afterwards we all fellowshipped together over some sweet bread and cold pop. AND I passed out my bags of candy. I found all of our regulars first and then let the rest share between their siblings. 

Everyone who came heard Truth, so that is a positive out of it. Two little brothers returned this past Sunday... so what does my awkwardness think about that?! Anyway, so now we know what to expect. I think this was a little culture shock from working for the first time in a big city (pop: 7,000 people). Maybe next year we can host a carnival on the Saturday before the holiday.

This photo is from this past Sunday. We got to experience something we are very familiar with... sweeping water! There was about 2 inches worth of water in our building when we got there. Not sure if there is a leak in the roof or just really hard rains that blow it in from the porch. As you know, tile is very slippery when wet and even after sweeping and mopping we had little kids wipe out a couple times. Jimmy is working on figuring this one out...

Monday, October 8, 2012

BIG Choo Choo!!!!

Trains were a big part of my childhood. My dad had a model train set that filled our entire garage. It went up this cool mountain helix and then around the ceiling. I remember train watching with him too. He knew all the good spots to catch trains. I wasn't a train buff, but I loved spending time with my dad. 

There aren't any trains in Guatemala, so Jonah and Silas hadn't ever seen a real one. Papa had the idea to take the boys to Fulkston, GA to see their first "BIG Choo Choo!" (You have to shout the "BIG" part to say it like the boys!
{It says it on the sign, "Train Watching at its Best"!}

There is no way you can travel to Georgia without getting peaches and boiled peanuts, so that is what we had for lunch... and it was good!
{Boiled peanuts!}
{Enjoying the peaches!}
Even Eden loved the peaches! 
She worked on one for a long time!
Next to the railroad track there was a large covered platform just for train watchers! It was full of people who had come long distances to see the trains pass by. We had timed it perfectly because we didn't have to wait long for the first one. 

 Jonah and Silas were very excited. They would giggle and then point down the track with anticipation and yell, "BIG Choo Choo!!!"
Three trains passed while we were there. 
They were VERY loud that close, which made it even more thrilling! Everyone kept telling us to cover E's ears... I think it's silly, no one ever covered mine and they're fine!

 For the rest of our trip the boys were talking about this day and how they wanted to see more BIG Choo Choos! 
 This day was a very special one for all of us!
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