Friday, October 31, 2014

On Mission In Chanco

I've been a little MIA with the blog this week. We had a team arrive last Saturday and I've just not gotten around to updating since then. It's been a great week and we have loved getting to work alongside this sweet group of folks.  They represent First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC and have been working in our area for a few years with another IMB couple.  That couple is transitioning to focus on another area of Guatemala and we are taking over the partnership.  They send teams down 4 times a year to specifically target the village of Chanco.  We have visited with some of their teams in the past but this was our first time to work with them on our own.  We had a great time and look forward to seeing them again in the future.  Here is an overview of our week-
David, Ben, Renee, Jennifer, Dave, Cruz, me, Larry, Stewart, and Josh

We left Guatemala City on Sunday morning heading East.  After a lunch stop in Chiquimula the team headed straight to the village to do some prayer walking.  They spent a few hours there canvassing the village before heading to their hotel in Jocotan for the night.
one of the prayer walking groups in the village of Chanco

Most of Monday was spent doing door to door visitation in the village and sharing the Gospel in the homes.  They had children's activities in the afternoon.

Here are Larry and Stewart visiting with this man in his home.

Tuesday was a special day in the village.  It began with a soccer game.  We then all headed into the school for their graduation program and also a birthday celebration for one of the teachers/ village leaders.  In the afternoon they had a dedication service for a portion of the road they had recently paved.  It was a full day and the team enjoyed getting to experience these cultural events.  

my boys watching some of the soccer game

The school's graduation decorations.  I thought they looked cute.

Here's the team giving greetings and getting ready to sing a song for the crowd.

the birthday boy (he turned 71) and two of the graduates

just a few of the many cakes they served to everyone that day

Wednesday was like Monday- door to door visitation in the mornings and kids activities in the afternoon.  The boys and I stayed home and David forgot the camera so I am limited on photos.

The team spent Thursday morning back in the village before returning to Guatemala City in the afternoon.  While one group went visiting the rest of us shared a Bible story with the kids and played several games with them.  The kids also blew bubbles, painted fingernails, and got to ride a horse. 

jump rope

playing "jump the river"

look at that boy go!!!

my boys with Miss Jennifer
she was so sweet to them this week

Do you think he liked getting to ride a horse???  You bet!

Ben loved riding too!

Here's a little video of the boys riding a horse in the village of Chanco.  How fun!

a few of the boys in their shark hats

me and my sweet little Ben

Wrapping up our time there with some photos.

Relationships were formed this week.  The Gospel was shared in several homes.  Seeds of salvation were planted in the hearts of many.   It was a good week.  Thank you for praying for all of us.  We felt your prayers.  We'll continue to do some follow-up over the next few months and then be back there again with another team from this church in January doing a medical/dental clinic.  Please pray for the village of Chanco and the many there who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Your prayers can make a huge difference in their lives!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Snapshots Of Our Week

Remember that green pumpkin that we got in the village recently? 
Well I baked it, pureed it, and have used it this week to make some delicious treats.

We have had pumpkin pancakes twice already.  They are my favorite!  I just add 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin, some cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and a pinch of sugar to my regular pancake batter. Yummy!  Add a little whipped cream on top and it's perfection.

I baked three loaves of pumpkin bread with chocolate chips and walnuts.  We love it!  I had enough puree left over to make a pie but I ran out of time so I put it in the freezer for another day. 

On Wednesday Cruz had a field trip with his school.  It was a long day and will require a separate post.  I'll try to get around to that next week. Here he is with some schoolmates at Domino's Pizza in Chiquimula.  It was a fun day!

Thursday was his last day of school so I made pumpkin pancakes again.  One of his favorite foods is pancakes.  I shaped his like a monster face.  He loved it!

Cruz on his last morning of school

Here's Ben wanting me to take his picture too

Because it was his last day of school I let him wear whatever he wanted.  Lightning McQueen was dirty so instead he chose his soccer jersey and as always "long blue pants".  He loves those black tennis shoes and he insisted on wearing a pair of pirate knee socks that he got while in the States.  The only problem was he wanted to wear his socks over his jeans.  Much to my dislike he won out and I let him go like that.  It's not that big of a deal, right?  He said, "mama, my friends will think I look cool".  I sure hope they did. ha

When school ended we picked him up and drove into Chiquimula.  We stopped there for lunch on our way to Guatemala City. 
my boys playing at McDonald's in Chiquimula  (look at those socks!!!!!)
We arrived late in the afternoon just in time to unpack and get settled in before our colleagues David and Glynis Miller arrived to join us for supper.  They brought food to us and we ate at the mission house together.  Afterwards we had a little team meeting to discuss work.  I didn't get a picture with them but we had a great time together.

Despite going to bed much later than normal Cruz was up at 5:15 on Friday morning.  The sun was not even up yet!  It gave us plenty of time to eat, get dressed, and head out the door for the morning.  Our first stop was at the dentist for him to get a filling.  It was his first time to have to get a shot and as you can imagine it was not a very pleasant experience- for any of us. 
Here he is getting loved on by his little brother after seeing the dentist. 
So, you can imagine his response after we left the dentist and he asks "where are we going now" and we have to tell him "back to another clinic to get a flu shot".   Yes, let's just have a moment of silence to make up for the lack of silence that I was hearing from our car at that time.  ha  It was not pretty. 
David and Ben at the clinic getting ready to get a flu shot.

Me getting my flu shot (and trying to look brave for Cruz).  I do not like shots!

And here's Cruz having to be restrained by David to get his.  He fought with all he had to keep from getting his shot.  Those little feet you see up in the air- they were kicking all over the place.  He survived, but I think we were all a little stressed out by the process. 

We stopped for an early lunch and let them play a while before heading back for naps.  We were all needing one.

We took this family photo that afternoon at the mission house before heading out again.

Just look at that sweet smile.  He's a mess y'all!
We made a run to Pricesmart to pick up some supplies.  We take our boys with us everywhere we go.  When there's no one to leave them with that's just what you have to do.  But, if I've ever made it look easy let me just assure you IT'S NOT!  There are days when I feel that my stress level just can't get any higher.  One of those days was yesterday.

They're smiling and having fun and I'm doing all I can to get finished so I can get them strapped back in the car.  ha

After shopping we stopped by TGI Friday's for supper.  It was kind of a little celebration for us.  Yesterday was our 8 year anniversary of working with the IMB.  We celebrate that every year and this year we just happened to be in the Capital and chose to eat there because it has always been one of our favorite places.  It has been an awesome 8 years and we love looking back at how God has worked in our lives and the lives of those around us.  We pray that He allows us many more years to serve him together as a couple and as a family.

I'll end this long post with this picture of my little pumpkin before bed time on Friday night. 
He is becoming such a big boy! 

It's now Saturday morning and we are getting ready to pick up a mission team from FBC Mt. Pleasant, SC that will be arriving shortly.  We are looking forward to a week of serving together with them.  We covet your prayers for us over the next few days as we share Christ in the village of Chanco.  Thanks!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Fall Boys 2014

You already know that I am a little crazy about taking holiday/ seasonal/ special occasion pictures of my boys.  I love having them and looking back to see how they have grown and changed over the years.  Some of my favorites to take are their fall photos.  We usually take a trip home to the States during the fall so I would take them while there.  But, when you can't go home to fall you have to create fall where you are.  So, here are our fall photos for 2014.  I think they turned out really cute.

This is the green pumpkin we were given in the village.

And here are my boys over the past few years.  My oh my they are growing up fast!

One of my favorites from 2012.  Ben was just 6 months old.  It was his first fall and first trip to the States.

 My sweet little Ben over the years

he is precious to my soul!

my big boy Cruz

He just lights up my life in so many ways!  

There's a saying that goes "Thank Heaven for Little Boys" and believe me I do that every day. 
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