Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I was so excited! The girls got into teams and had to make a wedding dress out of one roll of toilet paper, and then I chose my favorite..the one on the right. As I´m opening presents you can see i´m so happy. MUSTARD! YOU SHOULDN´T HAVE! Here it´s tradition to give ¨silly gifts¨before getting the ¨real gifts¨, which will be next Tuesday at the shower given by my friends and colleagues at school. But at this shower I got things like a box of matches and one stick of margarine. Thanks girls! Then they dressed me up in a wedding dress made of plastic shopping bags. Randomly put it turned out to fit perfectly the Goodwill bag. It was a lot of fun. And my friend Dani who I live with too made the delicious cake. God is good!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Merry Christmas everybody!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Thank you to all who prayed. We fly in to LA Dec. 20 and will be married the 29th. We get to stay 3 weeks, my Christmas break. Praise the Lord!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Today I volunteered at the last minute to teach the 4th grade sunday school class at church. The teacher didn´t come. I had to ¨wing¨it but i really enjoyed it and volunteered to teach the rest of this quarter as the teacher will be moving in january anyway. I am really excited. I gave the kids a memory verse for the week, which they havnt had awhile.
The women´s REcovery group is also going really well. Last Thursday was a night of testimonies and two women tearfully reconciled after a tense time they´d been having between each other. It was powerful to see forgiveness and repentance between them.
It is always exciting to experience what God is doing.
May you have a blessed week.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Last sunday was also a beautiful day. There I am with my new wonderful friend Daneille after church. Beto and I were by some friends to a water park located just about 20 minutes. We ate whole fried fish and some of them went swimming. Even though it ws sunny at church it was cold, but when we got to the "beach"it was so warm, hence the boots with the tank top. The little girl is the daughter of our friends and the older boy their son, who i had in first grade last year, and the little boy the son of our pastor and his wife. Praise God for wonderful friends! and sun!
The last two days here have been absolutely beautiful, after having thought that the sun had died! I went for a long 2 hour walk in the afternoon up into the mountains and took some pictures.
This week we will have all of the kids come to our school Thursday from the local social work house, where they stay if they've been abandoned, orphaned or just cannot live in their families'house for whatever reason. They will put on a little program and our classes in turn will perform songs/poems for them, and then we will share a 'traditional"thanksgiving dinner /lunch together. All our kids are asked to bring donations of toys, clothes,shoes to give away to them.
Friday night all of us in our apartment complex will have a even more Traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I was going to be the one to bake the turkey but lucky for me we didn't go to the big city to get one. Two of the girls are vegetarians and turkey's are very expensive. We will have at least two other dinners elsewhere anyways. So I will be making something else.
I have been praying a lot lately for the other two girls in our apt. complex that are new to the school this year. One comes from a traditional Jewish background but now is practicing the religion of self. She is a lot of fun though, outspoken, easy to talk to. Today I passed her apt. on my way up to study for my theology class. She stopped me to ask what I was goig to study and it was a God appointment, for sure. We ended up talking for about 40 minutes and I got to share what I believe and why. I pray for more and more chances like that and I ask you to pray with me that she will open her heart to Christ this year.
The öther vegetarian"is having a really hard time. I am afraid she won't come back after Christmas. She teaches English in 3rd through 6th grade. Please pray for her also.
Thank you always for your prayers for the ministry here, and may it grow more and more.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I've learned lately, however, that ministry is a loaded word, and God is showing me so many different ways to minister not only to my students but to all those around me.
First and foremost, prayer. I've noticed that the days I pray for my classes are more difficult days. Just more evidence of our real enemy out to destroy us. But the more I pray the more I love my students as well and see my job as a people job and not just teaching the lessons.
Ministry is listening to them, hugging them when they hurt, and being gentle and patient with them. I've recently taught them the song "This is the day, This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." They sing it so well without me now, and sometimes one of them will start singing it quietly during class and it makes me smile and gives me a peace.
Ministry is how I react when I'm frustrated (which usually only happens in a meeting), how I treat the other teachers, and how I live among the non-Christians in my apt. complex. God has given us opportunities to share our faith in conversations and we are praying for their salvation this year.
It is preparation as Beto and I are preparing to recieve our theology degrees. and making friends in the businesses we frequent.
these are all reasons I love living here in La Esperanza and growing in my faith as God leads. Being in ministry requires me to look at myself too and where I need to change. That's the most difficult part!
Thanks for your prayers. God bless you!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Life is going really well here. The alcolic center is progressing well and last weekend they had a bonfire well into the wee hours of the morning with over 70 men present. The Holy Spirit was there and worked on many of their hearts. A couple of weekends before that the men´s recovery group had a one night retreat where 12 brothers were baptized into Christ.
Last week was the inaugural meeting of the women´s recovery group based on Rick Warren´s ¨Celebrating Recovery¨ Please pray that both these groups continue to thrive and bring many more souls into the kingdom of our loving Heavenly Father.
I Peter 1. 3,4,5
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This year is going a lot better than at first. My kids seemed to have calmed down, a little, having gotten used to me and me to them. We are still having some problems with discipline so come Monday at the beginning of the new term we will be switching 4 kids between the two classes to see if that balances it out a bit.
The other day I had a free period and was in my classroom working while the social studies teacher was giving class in spanish. They were discussing community, how to live together, the Golden Rule, and what we need to successfully and happily live togther. One student called out ¨REspect!¨ ¨Yes!¨, the teacher said, änd what would happen if we didn´t have respect?¨
¨We´d DIE!¨,SHOUTED one boy. I looked up at Ms. Iris and she at me and we both smiled. He was so adament it was hilarious.
The new teachers in the apartments and I we all get along really well. It´s a great year so far. THanks for all your prayers and be sure I am remembering all my Californian friends and family at this time.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Lately things in school are going well, better. My difficult class isn´t so difficult anymore, they are all pretty smart, and they are a lot of fun.
REcently i had a surprise visit from two friends from LA, Laura and Allan Heida. they and I spent about 4 days together and Allan made a video for me which was shown at my church in Long Beach. It turned out really well.
The next weekend my roomate from Tegucigalpa came up to visit me with one of the teen boys she´s raising right now. We three had a lot of fun and it was great to talk and laugh with them.
Thanks for all your prayers.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Yesterday was the Celebration for Dia del Nino, or Children´s Day, which is actually Sept. 10, but to celebrate on a Monday and then come back the next day is too difficult, so we had it Friday and went home at 12.30. The kids brought food, candy, coke, and played games after having a program where each class put on a skit, or sang a song. It was great this year because the high schoolers come and take over each class, having already planned activities and games, and brought candy-prizes. There was also a pinata for each class. That was crazy, for sure.
Each classroom has to put up a mural front and center, mandated by the government exactly how it has to be. A picture of a certain important male figure, like the equivelant of George Washington, in a certain place, and others like the country´s bird, flower, plant, etc. Each class can write the mandated phrase in whatever style they want, but that´s about the only variation. White and blue is everywhere!
My first grade class of challenges is getting better. the other teachers of first grade that teach the other classes are really great and have really good discipline, so that helps me a lot.
I am really excited for this year. I have already gotten the nod to start a saturday Bible study with the families that come to visit in the Alcoholic Rehab center, and also coming soon will be a woman´s group based on Rick Warren´s ¨Celebrating REcovery¨. The men already have started and it is going really well. Beto is in it and he has really grown spiritually and emotionally. It´s kind of like Promise Keepers, is my closest analogy, but they meet twice a week. So us ladies are going to start one soon for us, too.
God is so good and is showing me His love everyday. The other day on the school buss ride home I got the opportunity to talk some to a fellow teacher. She unexpectedly began to pour out some of her heart to me, her struggles with depression and the financial and family problems she´s having. She began to cry and I felt God using me to comfort her if jsut a little bit. I was able, the next day, to loan her Barbara johnson´s ¨Finding Joy in the Cesspools of Life.¨ I pray God will speak to her through it and that she will be drawn to Him. Please pray for her and for more opportunities like this one with her and others.
May you feel God´s immense love for you today!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
School is getting better. Getting in to a routine. My students in First grade A are challenging in their behavior but are getting a little better, or I´m just gettting used to it.
Mr. Ken is still very sick with horrible back pain. He and Beverly havn´t slept much in the last 2 weeks. His Hep. A is pretty much gone but he´s got lower back pain they don´t know what to do with. The treatment is unknown, as is the root problem, and they aren´t sure how they would pay for whatever he may need. He can´t take meds for about one month because of the Hep. A. Please pray for them. Beto and I went up 2 times and prayed, read scripture, and laid hands on him. Another day our pastor and Beto went up to pray for about 20 minutes, and after the pastor left, Beto stayed another hour or so and prayed. That night and the next day, yesterday, he did really well. He slept good and didn´t have as much pain, but today Dr. Troy took him back to the hospital in the bigger city about an hour away. Please pray for them and for wisdom in this situation.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
today they nearly mauled two scrawny, helpless street dogs and left them squeeling like little piggies. But the worst was when they ran ahead of me around a corner and i heard squawking, and stopped at the intersection was a man on his bike watchin, so i knew it was bad, but i thought it was another dog. Well, when I turned the corner, each one had one end of a chicken in her mouth! I sprinted after them, screaming, waking neighbors, and grabbing their necks while all the while thier mouths are filled with feathers! The poor creature had just enough time to hobble away, probably to die peacefully at home, if not from body wounds, then froma heart attack. As we walked away, i saw a lady standing outside her door. I felt like saying, [All right, everybody back inside. There isnt anything to see her. Right then we came upon a man walking his dog. I told him what had just happened and he said, Oh, my dog is well educated and polite.
Well, good for you, i thought.
my rude and poorly educated dogs will be incarcerated for the next 5 to 7 days, depending on their behavior.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I’m beginning to see that my first grade class for which I’m the homeroom teacher is going to be a big challenge. I teach English and Math to them in the morning and the same subjects to the other 1st graders in the afternoon. I think I’m going to get some gray hairs over about 5 of them, out of 20. One of them has a muscular disorder that causes him to fall or accidentally hit other kids, but he is smart and pretty obedient, when he chooses to listen.
Please pray for me that I will show Jesus’ love and patience to all the children in my classes this year and to have God’s wisdom especially with these challenging ones.
This morning we got to school around 8:45 instead of before 8. There was what one might call a “traffic jam” on the last hill up to the school because of all the mud from the rain. The busses wouldn’t go up full of kids for fear of fishtailing into someone’s corn field, or worse yet, a parent’s car, so we waited in the bus for about 45 minutes. One bus let all the passengers out and they had to walk up the hill, some little preschoolers with backpacks bigger than them. Our buss driver, the same from last year, is the best, and he waited until everyone was cleared out, almost, and then sped his fastest and let us out at our normal drop off in front of the school. I white-knuckled it and closed my eyes because I could feel the bus skidding. One of the new teachers turned to me if this was normal. “Well”, I said. “It’s not normal to have to wait like this because of mud, but it is normal in the fact that something exciting is happening the majority of the time like this.”
For instance, it’s not normal to have ugly, skinny, mangy, dirty, stray dogs running around a school, but today I saw one of my petite first grade girls run one off from the playground.
Today was very hectic at times. We don’t have our completed schedules yet, so I was with one class the whole time instead of rotating to the other first grade. I’m not really able to teach much yet. All of the students have to bring all of their own supplies, including things like a hand towel, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and a toothbrush. I have to go through a list of what seems like 1,000 things and check off for all 20 or so students that they brought it all. Some of them don’t even know what some things are when I say it in Spanish, so I have to go through their bags and help them. Meanwhile the boys are playing sword fights with their rolled up poster paper and no one can hear me asking them to put their supplies in a certain place, etc. Tomorrow I will have more help and maybe get to rotate to the other room. I seem to have some mighty challenging students. I was going crazy so they got to play a lot today. I just couldn’t finish checking the supply list even though I just wanted to get it over with.
Please continue to pray for all of us as Hepatitis A is going around. Today a family owned pharmacy brought in someone to give injections to anyone who wanted them, so I got one. Mr. Ken is doing a little better but has beeen suffering with back pain and is slow to get better. Thanks.
This afternoon, since school let out early, I went shopping for some necessities, like a hairbrush, which I forgot in Long Beach. Beto accompanied me and after shopping for about 2 hours, we were both tired and hungry, so we went to the only fast food place, Mike’s fried chicken. Fried being the understatement of the year. Singed is more accurate. Anyways, as we were eating there were two young girls just staring at us straight on through the window as we ate. Whether they were trying to make me uncomfortable or not, I did and so we bought them some food and began talking with them. They are sisters (2 of 4 kids) and one is 10, the other 8. Their clothes looked like they needed a real good washing, their hair needing some care, and they shouldn’t have been out alone at night. They said they weren’t waiting for anyone or anything and weren’t on their way anywhere. They live nearby, go to school and help their mom in the market selling tortillas, mostly on the weekends. The older one makes about $10 a month with whatever work she can find. Their dad lives in the States, which is so common here, but doesn’t help them. Like so many children, even those more wealthy, they live with their grandparents, or someone besides their birthparents, because their parents are in the States working and have been for many years. We talked to them a lot about Jesus’ love for them, that He is always with them and that the most important thing they can do in or with their lives is to follow Him and give to him their lives. We hope to see them in the market on Saturdays and we invited them to church with us this Sunday. Please pray that the words spoken to them with grow in their hearts. May you feel God’s love surround you today.
I had a great trip. I fell asleep before the plane even took off, and didn’t open my eyes until after the movie when “Smallville” was playing. Also, a bag of chips had magically appeared on my tray table, but I quickly went back to sleep. I opened my eyes a couple of house later and moved around some. The lady to my right didn’t waste anytime getting my attention and looked right at me and asked me if she could get out to go to the bathroom. From the sound of desperation in her voice I guessed that she’d been patiently waiting for me to wake up and move my feet out of the aisle for quite a long time.
I stood in line too and not 3 minutes later did they say over the intercom, “Please take your seats, we are getting ready to land.” I felt so bad for her!
I thought Amber was out of town but she surprised me and came to pick me up, so we sat in Dunkin donuts and talked for a couple of hours before she took me to the bus station. One home I had an apartment to unpack. It was going to get painted during the summer, so when my mom and aunt were here we took everything off the walls and shelves and covered it up: on my bed, on my kitchen table, and on and inside the stove/oven. I was so dreading having to clean my apt., unpack, and go shopping for food, but it didn’t take very long at all. With all the sleep I did during traveling I wasn’t too tired, and even got to bed at a decent hour, so today wasn’t nearly as exhausting as I’d expected.
Today was a great day! First day back. It was pouring rain this morning when we got on the bus. It stopped around 8:30 but supposedly we’re going to get a lot of rain this week from the Hurricane that’s in the Yucatan Peninsula right now. It took us about an hour to get started this morning as busses were late, causing the secretary, who had my room key, to be late. But it gave me a good chance to talk to the parents more and get to know some names of my students.
I’m really excited about this year and my students. They seem like they’re going to be a good class. Today all I did was try to get their supplies organized, labeled, and checked off, but since that leaves them nothing to do, I’ll probably be spending after school hours on that.
Please be in prayer for our health. Mr. Ken and Ms. Corita already have Hepatitis A and it is going around, I know some kids have it too. The administration was going to pay for all the teachers to get vaccinated this afternoon but the clinic misinformed. They only have the Hep. B vaccination, which most of the foreigners like myself have already had, and doesn’t help the others much anyways since that’s not the virus that people have.
Thanks always for your prayers. I’m so hopeful this is going to be an even better year
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Today I was hardly half awake, let alone thinking with my conscious mind, when I wickedly banged my right foot on the metal track while exiting the tub.
Not only did my mom hear me scream from where I was in the back to where she was in the front of the house, but she first heard the thud of my foot hitting the tub.
It made me think(because by then I was awake!) how fleeting life is. Now, I know this is no big deal compared to what so many people are going through today, but it did make me think that we never know what can happen to us. We go through life, years sometimes without any major accidents, and then out of nowhere something happens to alter our lives dramatically all of a sudden, without warning.
It's a wake up call of sorts, and today for me a tiny reminder, that I shouldn't take anything in life for granted, and that I also have nothing to complain about.
and of course, a simple reminder to lift my foot up extra high.
May you be accident free for many years to come!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
First of all, just being in Wal Mart is difficult enough. I confess, I'm more of a Target girl.
Anywho, now that I've stepped on some toes, I'll try to gracefully finish my story.
I was just trying to pick out some toothpaste. OH MY GOODNESS! How many choices does a person really need?! In my town I always buy the same thing: the only paste that is approved by the "American Dental Association" out of the other 5 pastes. I don't even browse; I go to the one 3' x 5' shelf in the corner, find my box, and that's it. There's no new choices, ever. There arent' any that whiten, or have baking soda, or floride, or all kinds of protection against any possible disease that could possibly, someday, take up residence in your mouth.
I eventually caught up to my mom, exhausted, having not picked out anything. I couldn't do it. I didn't have enough hours to contemplate and read the 100's of different boxes in able to make an informed purchase. By that time, the high shelves, heat, music, crowds, and merchandise was beginning to make me a little light headed. I was happy to get back out to the great outdoors of Lakewood, CA!
So while I love Long Beach and visiting, I'm looking forward to getting back to my one grocery store with its 5 boxes of toothpaste. Although there I can't find the same people I love seeing here.
That experience just makes spending time with my family and friends that much more enjoyable. I have been so blessed with, given, wonderful people by God. I couldn't have chosen better if I'd had to choose my loved ones among 100's of people. All are unique, special, and talented in their own ways, and are encouraging and blessings to me in different ways, but all together complete the mosaic of loved ones in my life.
I wouldn't trade my hometown and not one family member or friend for anything. I am so thankful to God for the wonderful family he's given to me.
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives."
Monday, August 06, 2007
Lately I've been spending a lot of time with my family and it's been really great.
Last week Shelby spent at my parent's house and we had a lot of fun. Saturday she got up early with me to hunt used books at yard sales. I rewarded her with a sugary fruit drink from Starbucks, but she had all day to work it off, so all was good.
I have enjoyed seeing my brother in law and sister, but i'm sad that he left for 3 weeks because of his job so I won't get to see him till December.
This morning on the way to It's a Grind I saw two friends who worked with me in Watts. They were driving next to us, and I knew they were going to their usual spot...Starbucks, so we ended up going there instead to visit with them a few minutes.
I love when God puts people in your path like that and does "little" things to bless us and remind us of His presence and love.
May you feel that today!
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
So far my time at home has been really nice, a good balance of rest, play, and, well,,, no work! Yes , quite the perfect balance!
One of the things I look forward to when I come to visit is FOOD! Not that we don't have that in La Esperanza, but many of you probably have guessed by now that there's just not the best selection there.
I enjoy the conveniences here...bagged salad, already cut up fruits and veggies, healthy frozen foods, etc.
I have a juicer at home, but of course, to buy it already made is so divine. But alas, I realize that convenient doesn't equal perfect! Here's my friend, Vanna Heida, nicely modeling why I couldn't (sigh) drink my carrot juice when I so wanted to! It must've sat in the sun too long on the truck or something, because it was a thick, slimy, smelly thing! Just a reminder that there's nothing like the real thing, baby.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Then my mom and I were off to run a crazy amount of errands! First stop...DENTIST! It wasn't so bad. I actually like it. She's really gentle, and today I think she was really hungry because the visit was really short and to the point (and I could hear her stomach growling!) I will have to remember to go just before lunch time from now on!
Then we visited my aunt romaine and uncle bruce and their adorable new dog ivory. She's jsut a big violent beast! quite the opposite, really. Despues, we went to the post office and next door was a used book store where i bought about 23.5 books for less than $13! I'm going to sell them in my bookstore(God-willing) in Honduras.
By that time we were both hungry and went to eat at Pick Up Sticks by the Lakewood mall, but they officially open tomorrow and it was by invite only today. My mom told them I live in Honduras now and REALLY NEEDED to eat there, but they didn't get the hint, so we went next door to the Corner Bakery. Mmm.Mmm!
Finally we went to Bed Bath and Beyond. Oh my word! That should be a prize on Wheel of Fortune or something....30 min. get all you want. Well, we got some much needed stuff for my apt. in Honduras, like a Pineapple decorer/slicer, but I decided to pass on the talking bottle opener. I already bought like 5 of them in La Esperanza. They're really popular there. We saw Linda Cron there. Hi Linda!
It's great to be here!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Us ladies in the smallest taxi in the world, with all of our luggage (3 big suitcases, 2 backpacks, and 3 other types of bags.)
Beto taking a picture of A.Glenda taking a picture of our room in La esperanza.
Just call me "Mama's Mule". Just Kidding. I love to help!
2 real mules...a popular mode of transport. Mom, Beto, and A. Glenda waiting for our bus to take us to Teguc. to go to the States the next day.
Notice the lady with the basket on her head. Totally normal. I plan on learning that soon.
In the blue truck...cheese, anyone?
and another ox cart parked by a valet.
Grandma with her favorite East Coast Gangstas!