Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 2015 Newsletter

Greetings from Guatemala!   July was a busy month for us.  We were able to lead 14 Bible studies.  Praise the Lord for so many opportunities to teach the Bible!  Our time at the school in Tunuco Arriba came to a close for the school year.  We had a great closing service there with them and have an open door to return again when the new school year starts next January.  Thank you for praying for that weekly Wednesday morning time.  We ask your continued prayers for that village and those precious children that we got to know over the past several months. 

David preached his first funeral in Guatemala recently.  It was for a four month old baby boy in the village of Muyruco named David.  It was one of the hardest things we have been a part of but we are thankful for the opportunity we had to love on and encourage the family.  Please keep this family in your prayers as they mourn the death of their child. 

In between the village of Nearar and Muyurco is the village of Porto Suelo.   There have been many there who have accepted Christ over the last several weeks.  They are attending our Bible study in Muyurco on Thursday afternoons most having to hike over an hour to get there. Pray with us as we try to get a Bible study going in that village for the new believers there.   God is working in this area.  These are three large villages that we are targeting all along the same mountain road.  Pray for the believers in this area to stay strong in their faith and grow daily in their walk with Christ.  This is a very spiritually dark area and it is easy for the new believers to get discouraged.  Pray for us as we teach and disciple them.

We ended the month by hosting a team from First Baptist Church Mount Pleasant, SC.  They spent 2.5 days in the village of Chanco prayer walking, doing door to door evangelism, and working with the children in the school.  They spent one afternoon prayer walking and visiting in the neighboring village of Corral de Piedras.  This is a new village we would like to begin working in and made some good contacts that day.  Pray for our follow up time there to be fruitful.   We had a discipleship teaching time/ service with the believers in the village of Nearar and were able to encourage them and love on them.  We ended the week with a great service in the village of Muyurco.   We had around 50 gathered together outside on a dirt  patio praising the Lord together.  It was a wonderful way to close out our time in the villages with the team. 

Cruz finished up his time in Spanish school recently and we will begin K5 homeschool this month with him.  Pray for us as we embark on this new adventure. Pray for me as I begin this new role as teacher that I would find a good balance between school, ministry, and family life.  It will be a lot to juggle until I find my groove so please lift me up in prayer as we begin.

We will continue our Bible studies this month in the villages of Nearar, Lagunetas, and Muyurco.  We plan to make visits and do follow up in the villages of Chanco, Corral de Piedres, and Churischan.  Pray for us this month as we travel out and share Christ in our work area.  Pray for each of these villages and the precious folks who live there.  Your prayers are making a difference here and you become a vital part of our ministry when you pray. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Weekend

I mentioned in my last post that Friday was Cruz's last day of Spanish school.  His class gave him a "going away" party that day.  They all made him the sweetest and cutest homemade cards and many gave him gifts.  It was almost like a birthday party and it greatly blessed my heart to see them show such love to him.  He had a great last day!
Cruz opening all of his stuff that his classmates gave him.

One friend gave him this basket filled with chocolates and Cruz's name carved out of painted Styrofoam.

Friday afternoon we went into town to purchase supplies for our upcoming team.  My boys think this is such a fun activity and like helping us pick out what they think the team will like.
Ben with a cart full of drinks for our picnic lunches.

We took the supplies home and then went back to town for supper.  We had wanted to try Taco Bell again but the wait was over 30 minutes just to order so instead we went through the drive-thru.  We got our food and carried it inside the mall and ate in the foodcourt so the boys could play on the playland. 
Cruz enjoying a strawberry milkshake with his taco and nachos.

Our contact in Lagunetas called late Friday night to tell us that he needed to cancel our Bible study for Saturday morning.  He said there was going to be a rally (most likely political) in their village that day and thought it best if we didn't come.  We were a little sad about that but a little relieved at the same time to have the day off.  Instead we spent the whole day at home just hanging out.

David had our infant carrier out washing all the parts to get ready to get rid of it.  At one point I walked into the living room to find Cruz sitting in it watching cartoons.  I can remember not too long ago that we were carrying him around in that thing (and his brother too). 

Later that afternoon we walked next door to the hotel to make sure things were ready for the team.  While there the boys and I enjoyed a popsicle.  Afterwards we took a long walk around our neighborhood.  We love evening walks!

On Sunday morning David traveled to Nearar for Bible study and the boys and I were at home.  I spent some time that morning baking desserts for the upcoming week with the team.

I baked one of my favorite cakes- Cream Cheese Poundcake

and I also made a batch of chess squares.  Cruz loves these!

Our team arrived on late Sunday afternoon.  We got them checked into their rooms and then walked over to the hotel restaurant for supper.

our group waiting on our meal to be brought out

We had pre-ordered everyone grilled chicken plates with a creamy mushroom sauce.  We also had streamed vegetables and mashed potatoes.   It was very delicious.

After our meal everyone walked over to our house for coffee, dessert, and evening devotion.  
having team devotion in our living room

a group photo before dispersing for the night
front- Ben, Sharon, Jenna, Tiffany, Karly, and Cruz
back- Dave, David, Tate, Phil, Erik, Kristen, and me

We anticipate a great week ahead working alongside this fun group from First Baptist Church Mt. Pleasant, SC.  We will spend three days doing door to door evangelism/ visitation and VBS  in the village of Chanco.  On Thursday we plan to be in Nearar that morning doing discipleship training and then in Muyurco that afternoon for our weekly Bible study.  Would you pray God's blessings over us this week as we are out?  Pray for safety of travel, good health, and for many divine appointments to share Christ with those who need to know Him.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Some Things Are Ending And Some Things Are Starting To Begin

We have had a busy week around here but it has been very good.  Tuesday David joined Noe and Obando (both are Ag leaders from Honduras) to make some visits in Lagunetas.   While out he also visited in Churischan and Chanco.   Ben and I spent the morning at home.   We did a little "school" together.  He asks almost daily to "do homeschool".  He notices that his brother has homework and things to do for school and he wants to do the same.  I have started working with him some on his letters and numbers.  

A is for Apple

Cruz came home from school with a note about an upcoming project on water animals.  They were studying water animals at school this week so each student had to pick one to present to their class.  He chose sharks.  The assignment was to make a poster about his animal and be prepared to orally share 4-5 facts about them to his class on Friday.  Here he is painting the ocean on his poster.
He is crazy about sharks!

Here is his poster.  I didn't even notice that I had used the word "sharks" instead of "tiburones" until I had printed it out and glued it onto his poster. I told him he could just use that as an opportunity to teach his class a new word in English.  ha

On Tuesday night we had homemade chili for supper.  While it was cooking I had the idea to fry some French fries and ended up making chili cheese fries.  This was not the healthiest of meals but it was oh so good!

On Wednesday morning we headed up the mountain to Tunuco Arriba to have our clausura (closing ceremony).  It was our last time to meet there for this school year.  We are excited to have an open invitation to return next January and teach there again.  

Here is a little video I took on the drive up.  We had been riding off road almost an hour already when I took this video.  To get the full effect you need to bounce up and down in your seat and rock yourself side to side really forcefully over and over and over again.  ha  Our old bodies take a good beating every week when we travel there.

video

Here is a video of us arriving in the village.  The road we travel ends at the school building.  I love how the kids were out in the road waiting for us to arrive.

video


Some of the kids and parents getting ready for the program to start.   We counted roughly 130 of us there.

 Mrs. Diana recognizing the teachers

This is Lizeth the teacher who initially invited us there.  It has been her hearts desire for years for the kids there to learn the Bible.  She paved the way for us to come and share there.  This village has been very closed to outsiders but now thanks to this teacher God's Word is being planted in the hearts of the children.  Our time there has definitely allowed the people to warm up to us and begin to trust us more.  Our prayer is that these kids will grow up with open hearts to hear the Gospel because they were taught it at a young age.

some of the children presenting Mrs. Diana with roses and thanking her for teaching them

Here is a copy of the Lubeck's recent translation project- the book of Proverbs in Chorti. The students that scored 100 on their Bible quiz received a copy as well as those that had perfect attendance.

Mrs. Diana recognizing the students who had perfect attendance

These precious ones made every class that was taught

Here is a video of everyone singing "This is the Day That the Lord Hath Made" in Chorti
video

The Lubeck's daughter Kathy also joined us that day.  She and her parents sang several songs during the program in English, Spanish, and Chorti. 
Kathy, Mrs. Diana, and Mr. John singing during the program

Mrs. Diana and Mr. John did a puppet show for everyone telling the story of Eve and the serpent.  

It was a great program and everyone there seemed happy to have us.  Coffee and sweet bread was served before we left.  We look forward to having another opportunity to return and share more in the future.  Keep praying for this village and the hearts of those precious children that we have had the privilege to work with.

 If there is an animal around Ben is most always sure to find it.  Here he is playing with a baby chick. 

Here are the boys trying to feed sweet bread to the baby chick in Tunuco Arriba.  They are so funny!

We returned down the mountain in time for lunch at the Lubeck's.  It is always good to sit around their table and enjoy a meal.  She served apple pie for dessert but had cupcakes for the boys- red icing cupcakes!

Do you think they were excited?

Ben after eating his cupcake, ha 

Thursday afternoon we had Bible study in Muyurco.  It is always a highlight of our week.  This week we picked up Reyes and his son to join us.  They are from the village of Nearar.  I love how our work here is more like a community effort.  Encouraging our nationals to work alongside us, having partnerships with Stateside churches, and having folks like the Lubeck's to partner with is a great blessing to us and our ministry. 

David, the boys, Reyes, and his son on the trail in Muyurco.  My boys were racing to see who could get to me first.  Unfortunately Cruz won and it did not settle well with Ben.  He cried (very loudly) for the rest of our hike there.  Some days it's hard y'all! hard!

We had a great service there.  We have been having a group from the neighboring village of Porto Suelo join us.  The believers in Nearar and Muyurco have been visiting in this village and many are accepting Christ there.  Almost on a weekly basis we are hearing of new believers in that village.  How exciting is that!  They are hiking a long way each Thursday to be a part of our Bible study.   There are enough now to consider having a separate home Bible study with them in their village but we are praying about who will lead it.  We would be happy to do it but would love for one of the leaders from Nearar to take ownership of it and do it.  Pray that God would call one of them out to disciple these precious folks.  Pray for us to encourage them and assist them. Also begin praying for this new village that we are adding to our list of "villages we are targeting".  God is up to something good there!

At the end of our service yesterday this young man gave his heart to Christ.  Hallelujah!   Pray for him.  He is from the village of Porto Suelo.

This young man accepted Christ last week and the two young girls are new believers also.  The girls led a few songs during our service time.  That blessed my heart!  We might have a youth group started there before long, ha.

It is now Friday morning and we are tired and dragging.  We sent Cruz off to school for his last day of class.  I'll admit that I am a little sad about that.  The decision to leave him in Spanish school or pull him out for homeschool has been difficult for me to make. I have a peace about it now and my new role as his teacher.   It is not going to be easy but I know it is what I need to do.

 Cruz with his shark poster before leaving for his last day of Spanish school.

His first and last day of school

and he's off!!! When did he get so big??? sniff sniff

We are working today to get things ready for our upcoming team.  We are very excited about hosting another group next week.  They will arrive here in Chiquimula late Sunday afternoon.  Before they come though we'll be doing a Bible study in Lagunetas on Saturday morning and one in Nearar on Sunday morning.  Pray for us.  These are busy days, but we are so thrilled to be seeing some fruit from our hard labor.  God is Good in allowing us to see how He is working and it's just enough to encourage us to keep on keeping on.  Your prayers are having a huge impact on the work here.  Keep them coming!!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

This One Might Make You Hungry

Good Monday morning everyone!  Hope yours is getting off to a great start.  Here is a look at how we spent the weekend.  It was a fun one!

We began by running some errands in town on Friday morning while Cruz was at school.  One of those errands was to pick up some chairs that we ordered for our homeschool room. The office supply store sells the chairs in many colors but only had one of each color on display.  Cruz always picks red when given a choice but Ben is random in his color choosing.  We picked out the red chair for Cruz and asked Ben what color he wanted.  What do you think he picked?  RED!  I tried hard to persuade him to get another color but he insisted on red.  So, that meant we had to make a special order.  In the end it will probably be best that they both have the same color chair.  Maybe that will prevent any future fighting. 

Ben at the office supply store.  We bought two chairs just like these except both red.

We ended up eating at the new Taco Bell for lunch but ran out of time to go inside and eat.  We went through the drive-thru instead.  We drove to Cruz's school and had a picnic in the car under a shade tree in the school parking lot while we waited for him to get out. We are so excited to have this new option in our town.
my Taco Bell lunch

Ben enjoying his taco in the car

When we picked Cruz up we headed over to Honduras for the night.  There was a time when we were back and forth to Honduras on a regular basis but we realized it has been eight months since we have been there.  That was hard to believe when we thought about it.

This is a familiar sight around the border.  You'll see many truckers resting in hammocks hung under their trucks.  It's a little funny to see but a great idea. 

Once across the border and checked in to the hotel we headed out to visit Cafe Welchez.  No trip to Copan would be complete without a stop there.
My boys waiting on our order to be brought out.  Cruz propped his leg up on the table so guess what Ben did?  The same thing.

Our family at Cafe Welchez in Copan, Honduras

my boys enjoying banana milk shakes

I ordered my regular- a Maya Frozen.  I am not sure of all the ingredients but I know it has coffee, crushed Oreo's, and lots of whipped cream.  I LOVE them!

One of the main reasons I like to visit this coffee shop is to eat their carrot cake.  It's my favorite.  But, this time they had a new cake- Snicker's.  I couldn't resist giving it a try.  It was pretty good too.  That flavor seems to be catching on around here.  I need to learn how to make one myself.

That afternoon we took the boys for a swim.
Cruz getting ready to jump in the pool.

He spent a lot of time jumping through his ring. 

David and Ben

We ended the day with a visit to Jim's Pizza.  Another must on our list of places to visit while in Copan.

The place we like to stay at has started serving breakfast.  That was nice and it kept us from having to go out and find a place to eat.  Their typical breakfast plate they served consisted of scrambled eggs, refried red beans (we eat black beans in Guatemala), fried platanos, cream, a slice of cheese, a slice of avocado, and a small hot dog.  Coffee and orange juice was also served. 

That morning we visited with Bro. Nahum at his church in town.  Here he is with a few of his members beginning the building of a new kitchen for his church.  They were excited about their project.  Our goal in this visit was to set a date for a men's retreat that we want to do for key men in each of the villages we are currently working in.  Bro. Nahum will be doing the teaching/ discipleship training at the retreat.  We plan to host it in Jocotan and will have the men from the villages come down the mountain and meet there.  It will be a neutral place for all of them.  In addition to some teaching time we want them to have a time to share and encourage each other.  Please begin praying for this time of refreshment for them.  The dates we have chosen to do the first one is August 15- 16.  We would like to begin doing a few of these each year.

my boys enjoying a bird while in Copan

For lunch we visited another favorite place- Cafe San Rafael.  It is a coffee/sandwich shop.  They specialize in gourmet cheeses.  We had sandwiches for lunch.  Mine was a mozzarella with a basil pesto sauce and sliced tomatoes.  Yummy!  We also enjoyed this fruit and yogurt plate. Our family loves fruit!  It was served with a bowl of their homemade granola that was oh so good!  We liked it so much that we bought a bag to take home. 

my boys at Cafe San Rafael in Copan, Honduras
here is a comparison photo of my boys now and on our last trip to Cafe San Rafael back in November 2014

and here they are making "funny faces"

We returned home after lunch.  On Sunday morning David headed to the village of Nearar to lead Bible study.  They had an extra long service so he was later than normal returning home.  I spent the morning cooking and the boys played.  For our lunch we had chicken and rice, carrot souffle, English peas, jello, and a chocolate chess pie.  Afterwards we enjoyed long afternoon naps.

The boys spent a lot of time playing in our homeschool room.  They emptied the book shelves of books and took several toys from their room in there.  Before it was over you could barely see the floor.  They were quiet and were playing together so well that I just ignored the mess and let them go.  At one point they lined the floor with books and pretended it was roads for their cars.  I love the imaginations of little kids.

Ben woke us up around 4:00 this morning and although he was able to go back to sleep I couldn't.  Ugh!  I am doubling up my intake of caffeine this morning hoping it will get me through the day, ha.  I just loaded my second load of laundry in the machine and hung my first load on the clothesline.  I sadly sent Cruz off this morning to begin his last week of Spanish school.   He will finish up on Friday and then have a two week break before we begin homeschooling K5.  I am a little sad to think that he is now old enough to be starting kindergarten.  The years really do fly by.

Our week will consist of David making visits with Noe on Tuesday, Bible class closing service in Tunuco Arriba on Wednesday, Bible study in Muyruco on Thursday, Bible study in Lagunetas on Saturday, Bible study in Nearar on Sunday morning and a team arriving on Sunday afternoon.  Whew!  I'm tired just thinking about it but excited at the same time.  Would you pray for us this week?  We would appreciate it.
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