Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Handmade Home #12: The Ugly Door Everyone Uses

I knew that our family would use our side door right off the car port rather than our front door. (One day our carport will have a metal roof on top of it.) What I didn't realize was that everyone else would be using the side door too. This is what it has been looking like:
An ugly muddy mess. In the photo above Silas is telling me, "That's not mud, Mama, that's chicken poop!" It probably is. The boys had been over watching Jimmy put chicken poop on the bottom of the fish pond. Everything gets tracked into my house!

The first day that all of our company was gone we decided to clean up our yard. It had been a little neglected since our furlough. Jimmy planted all 5 of his garden beds. I am very excited about that. And I decided to fix up the ugly side door. Remember our style is rustic... we live in Petén. Any other style besides rustic just gets destroyed.

Jonah and Silas wanted to help so they cleaned the door. 
Eden's job was to just sit around looking cute!
I bought that yellow Dalia off the side of the road the other day on a whim. It was expensive compared to the plants I have bought in the past... even more expensive if that dumb thing ends up dying. I like green plants usually, no flowers, but this door needed all the help it could get. I hope it adjusts to this pot. It has had lots of new buds on it.
In the bucket is a rock we made one week in Sunday School based on John 8:7. It says grace in Spanish.
 Since I do all of my container gardening out here I decided my tools needed a permanent home. There are plenty of old boards in our yard so I put some nails in one and attached a can that I spray painted pink to hold my clippers and spray nozzle. Jimmy was sweet and hung the hose bucket for me! 
 I remember learning to garden with my Grandmother W. One of those spades is one that she gave to me. 
 The curtains in our living room at our old house were made out of burlap. The fabric was sun damaged on one side, so I was planning on just throwing them out. 
Jimmy brought them to our new house by accident, so I decided to go ahead and cut them up to make a wreath. It was the perfect amount of fabric and you can't see the icky side. It turned out to be a happy accident.
The flowers are attached with velcro, so I can change them out for holidays. I'm kind of over making separate wreaths for each season since the rats kept eating all of them. (Not while they were hanging on the door, while they were in storage.) Thank you to my Mom for bringing me a really nice and sturdy wreath form! One day I am going to weld a black hook to the door and get rid of that silver one.

Jimmy bought me this hook and planter when he was in Xela from a metal shop close to our first home in Guatemala. It was a beautiful gift! Eden helped me pick out the pink flowers!
I saw that Jimmy had dug up some Elephant Ears on Becca's land and was feeding them to the pigs. Well I went over there and grabbed them. Did you know that we have 2 pigs? That was not my idea! They have names and everything. Anyway I planted the Elephant Ears in the ground right where the driveway ends. (So, Becca, I owe you some Elephant Ears... or I guess Jimmy does.) Those things will be taller than me soon!

Here is our happy door!
I hope to post another picture in a month or two once everything takes to it's new spot. So other than the Dalia, it was a pretty inexpensive spruce up! 

I made Eden a tutu before she was born. I got it out the other day. She is in love with it. She also likes to wear her brothers' construction hats! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Applications Out!

There were 73 different churches and missions represented the other day when Jimmy formally presented the institute at the Kekchi pastors meeting. Domingo and Manuel, two men very involved in the Institutes' planning, translated everything into Kekchi and made sure all the pastors' questions were answered thoroughly. Each pastor went home with a handbook and application for admissions. 
Please be in prayer for the pastors as they present the institute to their churches, for those applying, and for Jimmy and the rest of the board of directors as they chose the group of men who are in this first class. That "freshman" class will begin Jan 7, 2014!
That was a rough day for Jimmy. I'm sure he didn't think it was funny while it was happening, but looking back it makes me laugh (it did at the time a little bit too), just because many days here are like that. 

He had dropped his handbooks off at a bookstore here in town in plenty of time to be bound. He printed them on nice paper at our house (which is a little more expensive) since often times when you get copies made here they are crooked or the copy machine glass ins't clean. It was very important to him that these books look sharp! Anyway he went by the bookstore on several occasions checking on them, reminding them of his deadline and encouraging them to work on them. Each time they said that they would get them done no problem. Well... that morning came and he went by there at 7:30AM. They still weren't done. He went back at 11:30 and they were taking a lunch break so he had to find someone to let him in. They had 27 of the 80 bound! Jimmy had to staple the rest. He was not happy.

Did I mention that he woke up that morning to a staple in his tire. He aired it up to take it to the bookstore at 7:30. Then he went to a tire place, waited 20 minutes only to have someone pull up after him and they helped that person instead. Then he left and went to Santa Elena (15 minutes away) hoping to have better results. He did! He made it all the way to Sayaxche where the meeting was on that patched tire with time to spare. All he had left to do was cross the ferry. At this point it looked like his day was turning around. When he pulled up to the river, he was the first vehicle in line. Then a man carrying an orange cone comes out and sticks it right in front of Jimmy's bumper. It was time for their 30 minute lunch break! 

30 minutes later he crosses. He drives to the church but has to pass it because he can hear something else stuck in his tire. He leaves his truck parked at yet another tire shop. It was a large bolt this time in a different tire. He grabs all of his stapled books and briskly walks to the church where the meeting is, hoping not to miss his scheduled time to speak. The meeting was running a little bit behind. Jimmy rushed to get there at 1:30 (30 minutes late)... he didn't speak until 5:00!

He calls his wife to tell her his sad story. She was rushing to get lunch ready for the team and while she catches the humor in it all she fails miserably at being sympathetic... oops!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This is Missions To Me

Right now is probably my favorite time so far in our ministry here. We are working with people from 3 difference communities, two that we weren't sure if we would have the opportunity to continue, and we live close enough to two of them that they are regularly in our home. Plus in the town where our church is currently located we have the freedom to do whatever we want! That's very different from the guerrilla communities. 

Three girls from our church came over the other day to learn how to make an apple pie. Pie isn't really popular here, but most people here I've noticed really like apples. I don't think they find them that often in the market either. For some reason these girls specifically asked for apple pie! 

E1 and E2 are sisters. E1 is still in high school. M is a friend, younger than them both.
Their first pie crust ever was practically perfect in ever way!
We had a good time! They are supposed to come back this week and teach me how to make Kekchi caldo!
All three of these girls, based on their own words have not placed their faith in Christ yet. Please pray for them! 

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for the family in our church that lost their little boy. We have been praying about how we could help. I knew that the mom probably really needed an escape out of her house, away from her thoughts, away from most of the people in the village who have been pointing blame, so Norma and I went and picked up the mom and her 4 other kids for a day of fun. It was when the team was here, so a couple of the girls watched my kiddos for me, so that everyone would fit in my truck. 

We went to Pollo Campero, had lots of girl talk, and then the arcade. 
These are some of the nicest kids you will ever meet. I kept trying to explain to them that they could win tickets and then use those tickets to buy prizes. I think they thought I was nuts at first, but then once they caught on, we had hundreds and hundreds of tickets! They kept giving their tokens to their sibling when he would run out like it was nothing and then the oldest brother used all of his tickets to buy a bracelet for his sister. I love these kids! 

We had a special church service for this family too. Jimmy preached about how we mourn, but how we mourn with hope that we will get to see their sweet little boy again. The mom is a Christian, but she made a prayer of reconciliation to Christ that night. She was right there beside me the next Sunday when we kicked off our ladies meeting! She was a big help. 

Through this whole experience with this family, I have seen God comfort them, specifically the mom, in ways that are a testimony of His faithfulness. I am so thankful for the things that they have shared with us. Through all of this sorrow they have brought glory to God. Please continue to pray for them. Jimmy is going to ask the mom to share her testimony with our church. We will see what happens... The father does not claim to be a Christian. He comes every single week though. Please pray!

Four other teens from our church came over to have dinner with us while Jared and Becca were here. (Becca and her brother stayed 4 days more than the rest of the team.) Hugo and Wendy are Christians, M and her brother E are not. 
Hugo had a birthday this past week. He told me that he turned 14. I knew he had been 12, so I asked about it. He said that he looked at his ID and it had the wrong birth year on it, so legally he's 14! He seemed pretty happy about that discovery!

We taught them Uno before supper and then after supper we played until 10! It was fun!

We watched Karate Kid the other night for our Saturday family movie night... can you tell?!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Heard Around the House #7

There was a day before a team got here that I was trying to get a lot of cooking and other stuff done. The power went out about 6AM I think and then was out until 1PM. I was pretty frustrated since I had something going in the crock pot that got ruined. Anyway I knew I had been pretty impatient with the boys that day so...
Mommy - "I'm sorry Mommy has been so grumpy today, will you please forgive me?"
Silas - "It's ok, Mama, you can try again!"

The other day we were playing a board game with lots of chips. First it was Jonah's turn and he dumped his chips on the floor so we waited, then it was Silas' turn and he dumped his chips on the floor so we waited, then before Silas could finish his turn he dumped his chips on the floor again.
Mommy - "Oh my goodness."
Jonah - "Come ON people!"

I was teaching the boys the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. I was trying to help them understand the concept of gravity and how Jesus created the laws of the universe, so He can break them... probably too deep for 3 and a half, but I was trying.
Mommy - "What's going to happen when I drop this pencil?"
Jonah - "It's going to turn into a snake!"
Wrong Bible story, lol! My boys love Moses stories.

Jimmy was pushing the boys in the swings Sunday afternoon and Lucha our Boxer was close by.
Daddy - "You think Lucha wants to swing?"
Silas - "Lucha can't swing, she doesn't have a popo!"
I always tell them to make sure their popo's are in the seats good so that they don't fall out! Poor Lucha!

One of my boys had just done something extra naughty one day before we left for town. Well once we were in town he wanted to stop and play at the fair again.
Daddy - "Well if you had obeyed, good things would have happened, but since you didn't I can't reward you for doing wrong."
Jonah - "Dada, I was thinking that I would be good later."

I cut a flower out of our yard and had it on the table. It looked kind of like a Bird of Paradise but with little green balls inside the petals.
Jonah - "Look, that flower had peas on it!"
Mommy - "Yeah, those look like peas don't they, but we can't eat them. God made a cool flower, huh?"
Jonah - "Yes Mommy, God made that flower for you!"

The chain on our garage door broke right when the team got here, so he hasn't had time to fix it. It is stinking heavy to try and slide yourself. Whenever Jimmy opens it he tells the boys that he uses his bare hands to open the door. Well Silas thinks that means "bear" hands. He is always talking about how he and Daddy use their bear hands to get things done. The other day I was leaving the house with just me and the kids, so I had to open the door myself. The boys were watching me, I guess thinking that we wouldn't be able to get out!
Jonah - "Mama, you don't have bear hands, how did you get that open!"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lots of Hard Work

We had a construction team arrive Monday a week ago. They spent 4 days working on student houses at the institute. 

Jimmy had to leave one day for a meeting with the Kekchi pastors and another day to take part of the team for a separate outreach. I will share about both of those days later, but since he wasn't there every day to mix concrete he was really hoping to borrow a cement mixer to help the team out. Thank you to the mennonite mission in El Chal for the use of your mixer! During those 4 days the team was working they poured 2 floors, boarded up 1 house and moved 10 tons of clay to level out the floors of 2 other houses to prep for floors. 
Each day they came over to our house for lunch.
They had great attitudes working in that heat!
They were very sweet to our kids too!
Thursday night they attended our midweek service. 
They shared some songs they had learned in Spanish.
And Becca had prepared a special lesson for the kids time. 
My boys liked hearing the lesson in English as it was being translated! They especially liked that it was about Jonah and the whale!
The church kids seemed to really enjoy it too!
Can you tell why Jonah and Silas really look forward to teams coming to visit!

Monday, August 5, 2013

So Many People Hurting

Our church family needs a lot of prayer today. Yesterday afternoon, a one year old little boy of a family who has been attending our church drowned. This is a family who already lost their mom. This was their stepmom's baby with their father. The entire family comes to our church and God has been working in their lives. As far as we know, none of them have claimed to have put their faith in Christ yet, but they were coming every week seeking. Due to them being from NH, we are very concerned for them as they mourn. That community loves to destroy families. They are going to try and place blame and tear them apart, it has already started. Jimmy missed the service last night to be with this family and Juan preached. The father had asked Jimmy to come. Jimmy had to leave once the drunks started coming out due to being forbidden to be inside that place anyway and there being so much hostility. After church Juan, Nick, and Norma went to be with the family as well. 

The mayor of the town close by donated a casket. They washed the little boy and placed him inside with it left open. Everyone just sits quietly in a room with him while children walk up and look and touch the dead body.  It is all so sad. Jimmy did get to talk to the father a lot, but I am very worried about the mother. She isn't from there and I know she is completely alone.

We have the promise that sweet little Estephen is in the presence of God, but we still mourn. Please, please lift up this family in prayer. Please pray that this tragedy doesn't tear them apart. Please pray that somehow this will draw them to the Lord. Estephen had 3 brothers and 1 sister who loved him very much. Please pray for them all!

We had a 13 year old Christian teen who attends our church show up at our house this morning. His parents are drunk and kicked him out telling him that they hope that he dies on the street. Obviously he was in tears. There are so many people hurting! 
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