Monday, November 23, 2015

LifePark Mission Team November 2015

Back in June we hosted a vision team from The Church at LifePark in Mount Pleasant, SC.  This is a church plant of First Baptist in Mount Pleasant, one of our partner churches.  For the past several years they have been sending joint mission teams down to work in our area.  LifePark has since grown to the point that they are ready to form their own partnership with us and send teams on their own.  Last week we hosted their first team and they have plans to send three teams in 2016.  These two churches love our work area and it shows through their faithfulness to come and work alongside us. 

They arrived in Chiquimula on Monday evening.  We got them checked into the hotel and then joined them for supper at the hotel restaurant.  Afterwards they walked over to our house for chocolate chess pie, devotion, fellowship, football, and a round of Phase 10.

the team at our house on Monday night
Ken, Ben, Hilary, Anne, David, Cruz, me, and Charlie
This was Hilary and Charlie's second trip down this year and Anne's third.  Ken's son Ben was on the June vision team and his wife has plans to come on the February 2016 team.  All of that just blesses our hearts!

The goal of the week was to make visits in many of the villages we are currently targeting.  Our first stop on Tuesday morning was the village of Lagunetas.  We had a time of sharing in the home of the family that hosts us for Bible study.  Afterwards we had a time of prayer for them.

the team praying for Leonardo, Dionicia, and their 8 children

We have not been able to do Bible study in that village for a while.  I was excited to get to talk to them about starting it back up.  We made plans for us to return on Saturday, Dec. 5 to have a Bible study.  I am very excited and already making plans about how I will share the Christmas story with them that day.  Our goal is to get our Bible study there back up and going on a regular basis the first of the year.  Would you pray for that?

 Leonardo and Charlie in Lagunetas

Playing games with a few kids in Lagunetas

At one point some of the kids brought us flowers.  Here are Anne, Hilary, and me holding our flowers.

Our next stop was in the village of Churischan.  Here is the team getting ready to hike down the hill to make a visit.

We had a great encouragement visit with Maria Luz.  Her husband was away working.  They are the family of believers in that village that we are working with.  We would love to start a Bible study in their home but so far it has not happened.  Would you pray for that?

Before we left she shared several bananas with us to snack on.  Here is Ken enjoying his.

hiking in Churischan

Cruz smiling big because he got to ride in the truck with the team

After a roadside picnic lunch we headed to the village of Tarchaja to make a visit.  While there we got invited to a birthday party in late December.  We are making plans to attend because it will give us a great opportunity to meet others from that village and let them know our family.

Anne and Ken on the trail in Tarchaja

my boys taking a break from the hiking

Miguel, from Chanco, was with us all week.  He was our team driver and helped with translating.  He had two other visits he wanted us to make that afternoon.  We let him lead out for most of the week and he did a wonderful job.  He is really growing in the Lord and is a wonderful ministry partner to us.

Later that night a few of us became sick with a stomach flu/ food poison illness that pretty much took me out the rest of the week.  I missed being with the team but was able to borrow a few of their photos from the rest of their visits to share. 

On Wednesday they made a visit in the village of La Libertad near the Honduras border to encourage a few believers there. 

They also visited with Pastor Elias at the Baptist church in Chiquimula that we attend from time to time on Sunday mornings when David is not teaching in the village.  It was good to be able to encourage him and pray for his work.  Here are Bro. Elias, Anne, David, and Miguel.

beautiful mountain view

On Thursday they made some visits in Nearar and Porto Suelo before heading to our Bible study in Muyurco.
arriving and crossing the creek in Muyurco

Miguel singing songs with the children

They did a separate children's Bible study before our regular Bible study time.  Here is Anne sharing the story of Joseph with the kids.

Cruz at Bible study in Muyurco

supper in Guatemala City on Friday night

We traveled back into Guatemala City on Friday and were there overnight with the team. They did some shopping at the market and then we had a delicious meal together that night.  In spite of some sickness, this group had a great week.  We know that some good things are going to come from the visits that were made.  We could see God working in the hearts of the people and it encouraged our hearts to know that we are making a difference.  

We are looking forward to 2016 and the teams that are being put together to work with us.  In addition to the three that LifePark will send we will host four from First Baptist.  We also have a vision team from Tennessee scheduled for March.  That makes eight teams already for next year.   It's going to be some busy days but some fruitful ones as well.  We just know it!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

We've Been Rocking and Rolling

I had plans to do this post last week but between hosting a team and coming down with a severe case of stomach flu/ food poison I've spent very little time on the internet lately.  So I'm going back a little over a week to start catching up.  This will be a long post because we packed a lot into last weekend.

We drove into Guatemala City on Friday afternoon thinking we had reservations at our mission house.  Well, we didn't and it was full for the night.  Instead we found ourselves out in the middle of 5:00 Friday afternoon Guatemala City traffic trying to find a hotel to sleep in.  The first two places we checked were booked solid so our next stop was the Holiday Inn downtown.  It was a little nicer than we had planned to stay but to be honest I was not concerned at the moment.  After fighting traffic for three long rainy hours to get to the city and it being our fourth place to check on I was ready to stay anywhere.   What started out as a stressful situation ended up being a very memorable time for our family.  The boys LOVED the big hotel.  We had a wonderful overnight stay!!!

Right across the street from the hotel was a Hard Rock Cafe.  I didn't even know we had one in Guatemala.  That shows you how much time we spend downtown. ha. We got checked in and walked over for supper.

My little guys at the Hard Rock Cafe in Guatemala City.  They loved all of the guitars hanging on the walls and the English rock 'n roll music.  They were dancing up a storm.

me and David

my sweet (but often rowdy) boys

David's mom is a big Elvis fan so we took this picture for her.

Our supper- grilled chicken nachos.  YUM YUM YUM!!!

I'm glad that I do not live in a big city but I love to visit. After supper we walked around a few blocks taking in all the sights and sounds.  It was quite lively and we loved it.  

We then returned to the hotel for a late night swim.  The hotel had an outdoor heated pool.  We had not planned to stay somewhere to swim so we didn't pack any swimwear.  Do you think that stopped us?  No.  We stripped the boys to their shorts and underwear and let them go.  It was already past their bedtime but we didn't care.  We stayed up extra late and took advantage of our time there.  It turned out to be a fun evening.

The next morning we walked down the street to have breakfast at McDonald's.  We then checked out and spent the morning running around buying supplies.  We had lunch with Gary and Lily Stone at Pizza Hut and spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with them and watching football (MSU vs Alabama).

That evening we attended a retirement party for four more couples that are retiring next month.  These couples are taking the VRI (voluntary early retirement incentive) that the IMB is offering.  The party was held at a restaurant in Guatemala City. 

Our Guatemala mission family gathered around the table having fellowship while we waited on our meal.

The next few photos are of the retiring couples-
Richard and Sharon Cook have 35 years of service with the IMB

Mark and Debby Fricke have 22 years of service with the IMB

Gary and Lily Stone have 30 years of service with the IMB
Gary has been our supervisor for most of our years on the field.  He has been a wonderful mentor, listener, and friend.  We will miss the Stones greatly!

Jerry and Gini Cadenhead have 22 years of service with the IMB

the older MK's

my boys with Mark

Each family was presented a plaque and gift.  They were also each prayed over by the mission family.

By the end of December there will only be five IMB families left in Guatemala.  That is hard to imagine considering there were around 25 families here when we arrived just 9 years ago.  Times are definitely changing!

We left Guatemala City on Sunday morning heading home.  We had planned to be home before lunch and David had a 2:00 service to attend in the village.  Well, the normal three hour drive took six hours that day due to some rock slides all over the highway.  We sat parked in the road for two solid hours waiting for the roads to be cleared so we could pass.  Do you think that was fun with little ones in the car?  NOT!  ha  

our view for two hours on the trip back home to Chiquimula

We made it home safely mid-afternoon.  We began to unpack and refocus our attention to the team we had arriving the next day.  We still had some things to get done before they arrived.  My next post will be of our time together with them.  Team weeks are a lot of work but they are some of the most encouraging weeks of our year!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Letters S and T

Some weeks of school end up being more fun than others.  Last week was one of those fun weeks.  We were learning letters S and T and there are just a lot of fun themes that go with those letters.  Here is a look at last week.

We began the week by learning that S is for Sun.  When getting my craft supplies ready for the day I somehow forgot to get out yellow paint.  We had finished the craft before I realized that we were supposed to paint our plates yellow first.  Oh well.

my silly boys with their sun masks

For lunch we had these strawberry sunshine sandwiches.  

My boys have been asking me for weeks when we were going to learn about snakes.  If you know me at all then you know that I have a phobia of snakes.  It's bad!  I had planned our snake day for Tuesday and had David ready to jump in to read and show videos to the boys.  Well, David ended up going to the village on Tuesday and was gone all day long.  That meant I had to suck it up and be a good teacher, ha.   So, in spite of my dislike for the subject we covered it well.

We started the day with these snake/ letter S shaped pumpkin pancakes.  Cruz said they looked more like the number 5.  I told him to use his imagination.

our snake craft

our snake themed snack

Last week we also learned about sailboats, stingrays, and seals.  I use the Abeka Art for K5 book.  One of the worksheets was to draw a sailboat.  I drew one step by step on the dry erase board and Cruz had to follow what I was doing.  I thought his drawing turned out great!

Cruz's sailboat

our sailboat snack

On Wednesday we learned about tails and turtles

Thursday was all about tigers (my boys favorite animal of all)

Ben growling like a tiger

We also learned about tractors on Thursday.  That was a fun theme!

Friday was our turkey day and we began with this turkey themed breakfast.

the boys painting toilet paper rolls for a turkey craft

their turkeys

I love these hand print turkeys we made!

We learned "I'm a Little Teapot" and made these booklets.  We also sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star".

In math last week we focused on counting and writing to 20 and began skip counting by two.  Here is Cruz skip counting with our flashcards.

Cruz doing a math worksheet

Science was fun.  We learned about clouds.  Our main idea was that clouds are made from water vapor.  We did an experiment called "Cloud In A Bag" to discover how clouds form.  Cruz really liked it.

David and Cruz getting the experiment ready.  We had to collect soil and small plants and put them in a plastic resealable bag.  We added a few spoons of water to it and taped it to our school room window.

David and Cruz with our science experiment

the boys watching our experiment in the window

After a while the sun heated the water and a cloud formed in our bag.  That was very cool for little boys to see.

Then later we had our own mini rainstorm.  They were able to thump the bag and see the water "rain" fall down. 

We went on a nature walk to observe the clouds.  Another day we spread a tarp in our backyard and laid down to watch the clouds.  We were looking for different shapes that the clouds formed. 

Our view of the clouds from where we were laying.

Later we did a Fluffy Clouds project.  Cruz had to paint a page in his workbook sky blue and then take cotton balls to form cloud shapes that he saw.  Here is his page. 

We finished up the story of Joseph in Bible.  Our memory verse was Exodus 20:12 "Honor thy father and thy mother".  Here is Cruz saying it-

In addition to all of this we began a study on Thanksgiving.  So far it has been a lot of fun.  Because this post is already extremely long I'll just do a separate post later on our Thanksgiving themed stuff.  My boys are learning so much and I am learning right along with them.  I cannot believe we are almost half way through our kindergarten year.  It is going by fast!  And, I never dreamed it would be so much fun!
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