Friday, November 29, 2013

Summer 2013 :: Review

Our summer was most definitely a busy time!  The kids and I spent most of the summer trying to finish up the 2012/2013 school year.  We had gotten terribly behind during our time of deputation and then our transition back to the field.

In the beginning of June, in addition to our regular church duties (church at two locations on Sunday, visiting on Tuesdays, Bible studies on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, we (Michael) started Bible Institute classes on Saturdays.

There were about 15 students that attended between the four classes.  The classes we offered: Elements of Music, Fundamentals of the Faith, Christian Orientation, and New Testament Survey.

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We celebrated Father's Day on June 16th.  Since we had given the mother's a little gift at church for their special day, we decided to do a little something for the father's as well.  We found coffee mugs that had various Father's Day sayings in English on them and then we filled them with a candy bar.

I love my family (although they don't look impressed with me in this pic)!  This is our "it's-been-a-long-hot-Sunday-morning-at-church-and-now-I'm-tired-and-hungry" look!  =)

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Parker (3 yrs.), came in from playing outside one day with his hands looking like this...

Ouch! We couldn't figure out what was wrong, so we finally took him to see a pediatrician.  The doctor, upon seeing his hand, immediately knew the problem.  Apparently Parker had touched the sap from a certain type of tree which caused a chemical burn reaction on his hands.  We applied a cream for awhile and then over time, it has gradually healed.

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I also tried my hand at container gardening this past summer.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a success.  Between iguanas eating the plants, Parker uprooting the plants, not being able to find a sunny enough place, and then rainy season...yep, it was a no-go.  But I tried.  =)  I got one nice looking green bean and then the plant wilted.  The squash plant would flower and then die off.  Oh well, maybe another time, another place!

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The end of July we celebrated Kyle's 8th birthday!  I can't believe how fast these kids are growing!  And since y'all have read my cake making tribulations, we decided to keep. it. simple.  Yep, I bought mini cupcakes.  And it worked grand!

We have a tennis court near our house, so Kyle was so excited to receive a tennis racket for his birthday!

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A big church project that happened in August,..we were finally able to buy a combi (like a van taxi).  Some of you may remember us talking about this at your church during deputation.  And some of you gave to this project.  Thank you so much!  What a blessing this is to our church!

This is a great help in trying to make our church self-supporting.  It also helps by employing a few men from our church, and it's great for picking people up for church!  The combi has had a few rough spots since its initiation (due to the MX economy), but we're trusting the Lord to continue to make it a blessing!

And that pretty much wraps up the highlights from summer.  Now I guess it's on to see if I need to do a Fall Review!  And since we've been more than tardy in publishing a newsletter this year, it looks like I might have to do a Year-In-Review type of newsletter, like ASAP!  For whatever reason, writing newsletters seems to be our "woe" of missionary life.  It's so easy to get caught up with life, especially when it's so busy, and forget that there are supporters and friends who also want to know and see what's going on.  I'll try to do better - pray for me!  =)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Campaña 2013

Wow!  This past weekend was wonderful...and busy!  Our church here in Tapachula held a weekend camp meeting.  We had a full house every service and Bro. Sidney Grant did a fabulous job preaching on the subject of holiness.

On Sunday, we held our regular morning service, ate lunch together, then had a multiple children's dedication service, and then went to the river for a baptismal.  God has been helping and moving here and it is a privilege to see individuals, couples, and families following God and being discipled!

Below are some pics for you to enjoy!

 ( Saturday night )

We were missing a few of our own, but we were thankful a group
from the Motozintla church came to help support the camp meeting.

( Sunday morning - we were packed out! ) 

( Michael and I did the singing for the services )

While we were singing the first evening, I noticed that I seem to have trouble reading Spanish words and music when I'm playing the piano.  Either the type is too small and too far from my eyes, or the light is too dim.  Anyway, I got smart the second night and used an iPad that has it's own backlight.  It worked much better!  =)

( Bro. Grant ) 

Like I said earlier, he did a wonderful job.  We were also privileged to have him in our home.  I'm not sure how much sleep the poor man got though!  He and Michael had way too much fun staying up late "chatting!"

( The children's dedication service )

It was so neat to watch as 12 sets of parents came forward to dedicate their children to God.  What an awesome way to change the next generation to be an influence of holiness in their world!

( "Down by the river..." ) 

The location of this river is beautiful and the water wasn't as muddy as it is sometimes, but the current sure was fuerte (strong)!

( Arnoldo )

He got saved about 6 months ago and the Lord has made a radical change in his life!

( Arnoldo's wife, Julbia )

She got saved around the same time as her husband.  It's been such a delight to watch how the Lord is working in their family!  Although they have been together for many years, they only recently got married in October (more on that in my Fall Review coming soon).

 ( With their family )

Keep this family in your prayers.  The Lord is using them to be a light to their other family members.  Arnoldo's sister recently got saved in one of our Bible studies.  We're also praying for his other brothers  to make a decision to serve the Lord.  "...but with God all things are possible."  - Matthew 19:26

*I'm almost finished with the Summer 2013 Review.  I hope to get it up here soon!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

May 2013 :: Review

So I'm finally getting around to my May review!  It was a busy, but good month.

We celebrated Mother's Day...

(I love my munchkins!)

...And at church, we gifted the mother's with a kitchen towel, a spatula, a packet of American taco seasoning, and a candy bar!

The middle of May brought us a wonderful team of people from Central PA.  They came primarily to help build a wall and some bathrooms at the church in Motozintla, but they also participated in our services here in Tapachula and Santo Domingo and were an encouragement to us as a family.

(The team in Motozintla)

Working, working...

The team was also kind and brought us a special fan for our truck so we could get our air conditioning working again!  What a blessing!  =)

Bro. Brandon and Jeremy trying some
"mentiras" - a thin, rice wafer that melts in your mouth.

 Torrey and Arlene sipping some coconut water.

We sang a special song at our church in Tapachula.

We enjoyed a special meal of mole con pollo (chicken) with rice after our morning service.

The team outside our Santo Domingo church in the mountains.

Bro. Brandon preached a good message there.

We also celebrated Taylor's 6th birthday at church on the Sunday that the team was with us (May 19th).  And if you've followed this blog for any length of time, I have another cake story!**  =)  With the busyness of having the team stay with us, I didn't have time to make a cake.  So we ordered one at our local Sam's Club bakery.  And this is what it looked like when we picked it up...

Crooked borders and "interesting" writing.  Really, it was quite unattractive and not the quality that was advertised!  We spoke to management and they offered their regrets and gave it to us for half off!  Oh well, at that point, we didn't have any other options but to use/serve it!


**And if you need more entertaining reading, you can read the following blog posts about some of my cake stories!  (Taylor's 4th, Kyle's 6th, and/or Taylor's 1st)

Keep watching, the Summer 2013 review is coming up next...