Friday, July 3, 2015

Catching Up

I am a little behind on updating about our day to day life.  This post will cover the past two weeks.  Week before last Cruz was on a school break.  They were out for 1.5 weeks.  He had missed several days of school when he was sick last month so his teacher sent all of his work home for him to complete over the break.  Needless to say it was not much of a "break" for Cruz.  He had over 30 sheets of make-up work to complete!  Most of it was handwriting which was a lot of fun for both of us- not. ha. The one thing I am not going to miss about Cruz being in national school is the amount of homework he has every.single.day! 

Cruz writing his cursive letter "b" with the vowels

I decided to take advantage of that time also and do a little schooling of my own.  I did a mini VBS with the boys several mornings.  I did an Obedience theme with them.  We studied Daniel, Jonah, Esther, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo.  We learned about how each of them obeyed God.  We read stories about them, sang songs about them, and had coloring sheets for each lesson.  It was a lot of fun and the boys learned a lot. 

Here are the boys coloring sheets from our VBS. 

I also did a science lesson with them.  We went on a  "color walk" around our neighborhood.  I took a box of crayons and the boys had to find something that matched each color.  When we returned home I had them use those crayons to draw what they saw.  Here is Cruz's paper.  I thought he did an excellent job!  They have asked several times since to do it again.  


One day we studied all about owls.  We read stories about them and watched several you tube videos about them.  It was very fun and interesting for the boys.  Afterwards we made this craft.  I ran out of brown paint so we had to use crayons for the wings, ha.

We spent some time also reading and writing for Cruz's phonics homework.  I worked in his school work with ours fun work and that made it more enjoyable.  It was like a small glimpse into our home school future.  

Thursday before last we traveled to Muyurco for Bible study. Rafael, a believer from a nearby village went with us.  He is also David's helper at the Bible study in Nearar.  He did a great job of leading music and encouraging the people there.  We hope to have him join us more in the future. 

Rafael ("Rafa"), David, and Cruz hiking the trail in Muyurco

Little Ben a.k.a. Batman hiking the trail in Muyurco

I shared in another post about our long weekend in Jocotan doing some work training so I'll fast forward to this past Wednesday.  We traveled up the mountain to Tunuco Arriba for our weekly Bible classes in the school there.  Wednesday is a long day for us.  We leave early for the two hour (one-way) drive to the village.  We have two back to back classes in the school, and then travel two hours back down the mountain home.  We are usually exhausted by the time we get back.

some of the children at the  Tunuco Arriba Bible class

Mrs. Diana did a review of the Creation story.  She made a review game for the kids to participate in.  They had to come up and attach the strings from the day to the correct picture of what was created on that day.  It was a lot of fun for the kids.

Creation review game

Here are the boys with Mrs. Diana and Javier in Tunuco Arriba.  Javier travels with us most weeks and does some visitation and prayer walking in the village while we have class.  He is a fluent Chorti speaker and loves the Lord.

When we got down the mountain Mrs. Diana invited us in for lunch.  We gathered around her table with her Chorti Bible translation team and enjoyed a delicious meal together.

Homemade soup and tortillas.  Yum!

We had Bible study again in Muyurco on Thursday afternoon but I did not take a single photo.  We were surprised this week to find about 20 smiling faces waiting for us when we arrived at the creek to park our car.  Most were from a neighboring village.  They hiked the trail with us and joined in on our Bible study time.   We had a great afternoon together.

The rest of my free time this week has been working on my home school room.  Because we have a hotel next door we have decided to turn our spare bedroom into a school room instead of a guest room.  We will definitely get more use out of it that way.   It is coming together nicely and is making me very excited about starting school in just a few short weeks.  Here is a little peek at it so far.  I'll post more pics when I'm done.

I'll leave you with this picture that I snapped on a recent drive into town.  We used to have a different circus come through Chiquimula on a regular basis but it's been seven months now since we have seen one.  Cruz asks me all the time when is the circus coming back.  You can imagine our surprise when we spotted this large group setting up in a field near the center of town.  Cruz and I squealed!  ha  I am not sure if we'll squeeze in a visit over the weekend or not, but I am certain we'll be visiting it in our near future.  I cannot wait.  Our family loves the circus!

We are excited about the holiday weekend.  We do not have a whole lot planned but we will take some time to cookout and celebrate America. More than anything else I plan to spend a lot of time over the weekend specifically praying for America.  I feel like what America needs most right now is prayer.  Would you join me in taking time out of your celebration to spend some time in prayer for our Country?  Have a safe and enjoyable weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 2015 Newsletter


Greetings from Guatemala!  We began the month of June at a Prayer Retreat with a few other IMB missionary families.  It was a great time of fellowship and refreshing for us all.  Soon afterward we hosted a vision team from LifePark Church in Mount Pleasant, SC.  We spent our time together visiting in each of the villages that we are currently targeting with the hopes of them catching a vision to help us reach the lost in those areas.   We had a great week together and as a result we have entered into a partnership with them.  They will be sending their first team down to work with us in November and they have three teams scheduled already for 2016.  We look forward to seeing how the Lord is going to work through us all in the months ahead.  We took some time off to celebrate Father's Day and then ended the month attending a training conference that was held in our work area by some fellow IMB colleagues.  We were learning about working with and partnering with our U.S. Southern Baptist churches.  It was a great time of fellowship and growing together as a mission family.

We continued with our regular Bible studies during the month of June and have a full schedule of study times lined up for July.  We begin the month with our regular Wednesday study today in the village of Tunuco Arriba.  
If you would like to pray for our Bible study times on a weekly basis here is a look at our typical schedule:
Sunday- pray for Bible study in Nearar
Wednesday- pray for Bible study in Tunuco Arriba
Thursday- pray for Bible study in Muyurco
Saturday- pray for Bible study in Lagunetas
On Tuesdays David generally tries to make visits both in the areas that we are currently targeting and in new areas also.  Pray for him as he is out encouraging and trying to get open doors into new places.
On Monday and Friday you can pray for Chanco, Churischan, and Tarshaja.  These are villages that we are targeting but currently have no on-going Bible studies lined up.
Your prayers would be greatly appreciated for us as we travel and teach and for the hearts of the people that we share with on a regular basis.

We will end the month by hosting a team from First Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant, SC.  They will be working with us in the village of Chanco.  Begin praying now that God would do a great work through us all that week.

The work here is slow but we are continuing to do our part to plant seeds and share the Gospel. We know that in God's perfect timing a great harvest will take place here.  Would you join us in praying for the people of Eastern Guatemala?  Your prayers could be the difference in someones life here being changed for eternity.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Connecting

We spent the past several days in the town of Jocotan with some other IMB missionary families attending a training conference.  Our colleagues Marty and Melissa Childers traveled down to lead the training.  They have just moved into the role of Affinity Connection Strategists for the American Peoples.  That means they will be in charge of working with and training the U.S. churches that come down to volunteer.  They will also be responsible for connecting U.S. churches to work with those of us on the field in this part of the world. 

Most of our time together was spent going over the material they will be teaching to the churches and learning how we too can incorporate this training into those we are already working with.  It was a lot of great information and was very informative. 

We want our Southern Baptist churches to know our IMB missionaries and get involved with the works that we are doing around the world.  If you would like to know more about how you or your church could be partnering with our IMB personnel to reach the lost around the world let us know and we can put you in touch with the right people to help you. 

In addition to our session times we also took some time to go out and show them our work area.  On Saturday afternoon we traveled to some of the villages where we are currently working.  We stopped in a few of them to pray on site for the people living in those areas. 

Some of our group hearing about the work in the village of Chanco and getting ready to pray there.

On Sunday morning we all got to be a part of the regular Bible study that David does in the village of Nearar.  Thankfully though we did not have to hike down the mountain to the house where we normally meet.  Instead the locals came up to us and we met in an open field near the road.  We invited the ones who attend our Thursday afternoon Bible study in the neighboring village of Muyurco to attend as well.  We had a good turnout and the service went great.  We were all happy to see the locals be involved in the service and they were all happy to have us there to encourage them.  It was a win-win for everyone.

A group photo on Sunday morning before leaving the hotel in Jocotan to travel to the village of Nearar.  In addition to our family we had (left to right) Jeff and Karen Thomas, Jerry and Gini Cadenhead, Gary and Lily Stone, Marty and Melissa Childers, and David and Glynis Miller.  All but the Childers serve here in Guatemala.

Here are some photos I took while in the village that morning.
Melissa, Gini, and Lily before the service

Marty playing with our boys before the service

 Jeff and Ben

 Gary, Jeff, and Karen

 Jerry and Gini greeting some of the young girls who were there

David getting the order of service worked out with our national leaders there

We invited Miguel (from the village of Chanco) to go with us.  Here he is with the boys.  They love him!  We are excited to have Miguel as a ministry partner and look forward to having him be on mission with us in the future.  

Our worship leader Cloromiro

 Cruz and Jeff
This picture makes me smile.

Glynis, David, Marty, and Melissa

David with the leaders in Nearar- Cloromiro, Rafael, and Reyes.  Pray for these men as they not only grow in their faith but with boldness share their faith with others in their village and surrounding areas.

Reyes, Rafael, and Gary 

some of us during the service

sweet smiles

Each IMB missionary family had a time to introduce themselves and tell about the work they are doing among their people groups.  It was a good encouragement for the locals there to hear about how God is working in other parts of this country.  Jeff Thomas, for example, spoke some in Pokomchi and taught us all how to say a greeting in that language.  The locals thought that was fun.  Here are Gary and Lily singing a song during the service.  They work with the Mam people group.

Here is Marty leading the devotion.

It was a great morning and I loved how the people there were able to hear that they are not alone in their journey.  There are others all over this country and around the world just like them.  Sometimes especially in a village setting when someone decides to leave tradition and follow Christ it can be lonely and isolating.  At times just knowing you are not alone is all you need to keep growing and serving.  We pray that the hearts of the people there were encouraged that day and that good things will come of it in the future.

We are excited about what the future holds for our IMB personnel and the churches in the States that support us.  We too need to know that we are not alone and we have the backing of our stateside brothers and sisters in Christ.  Is God calling you to get more involved in missions?  Would you like to walk alongside us and see how God is working here among our people group or other groups around the world?  Let us know and we'll do our best to help get that started.  Or, you can always visit www.imb.org to learn more. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Father's Day 2015

A few years ago we started a tradition of spending Father's Day at a hotel/ water park that is less than an hour from where we live.  Hotel Longarone holds a lot of memories for many of the missionaries that served before us.  Many of them talk fondly of family visits there and how much their children enjoyed going there.  I thought it would be a fun place to go each year so our boys would also have those memories so we began making it an annual tradition.  Here are some photos from our time there this year.

Father's Day morning began by giving David the cards the boys made him and the things Cruz made for him at school. 

We always do homemade cards for Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Cruz's questionnaire about his dad.

My boys on Father's Day morning.

Just like with all other holidays and special occasions we took a family photo.  This is us on Father's Day 2015.  We try to stand in the same spot each year.

here are the boys ready for some fun in the sun

We spent time jumping off the diving boards.




video


We spent time going down the slides.



video


the "big slide" at Hotel Longarone

fun times!

video


We spent time eating.  Here are David and the boys enjoying a poolside picnic lunch on Father's Day.

David and Ben

me and Cruz

David and the boys ready for another swim 





silly Cruz


The boys loved riding their bikes around the property.

They also loved the playgrounds.


What we loved most of all was just being together laughing, playing, and making fun memories.  It was a fun day despite our old bodies being exhausted from going up and down the waterslide steps and doing funny things off the diving boards.  It takes a lot to keep up with these two little ones but it sure was fun!  Parenthood is the hardest job ever so it's nice to have a day set aside to say thanks and show honor.  David is a wonderful dad to our boys and I hope we made him feel extra loved all day long.
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