November 30, 2013
Happy Sabbath! As soon as I awoke this morning, I knew it was going to be another hot day. The air was thick and heavy. And that it was! In church, we were all “sweating like pigs”! But that didn’t stop us from enjoying the service and receiving a big blessing from studying God’s Word! :)
After church, we got lunch ready and enjoyed a delicious meal. Then, a few of us loaded up on the truck to head to town to visit the soldier in the hospital. We prepared two meals for him, as sometimes the hospitals don’t provide meals. Before we could leave, though, the truck had problems. Sam had to work on it and, about an hour later, we were heading out again. This time, with a special blessing....rain!! Clouds quickly formed, it started thundering and a gently rain started falling. It was lovely! As we were riding in the back of the truck, by the time we got to the hospital, we were drenched. But at least it was by the rain and not our perspiration! :) And it felt wonderful after such heat this week.
We spent about 15 minutes with Marco Antonio. His chin was bandaged and a couple of his teeth were literally knocked out of place in the accident. He showed us the x-rays. They’re going to pull a couple of them on Monday. :( But he said that he was feeling better now, although still sore. We talked, read some Scripture, took some pictures and prayed with him. We also visited a bit with the man in the next bed. He was a young man who, evidently had just had a toe amputated, as evident from the bloody bandage on his foot. Please keep both of these men in your prayers. We said our goodbyes and headed back home.
When we arrived, Juan came over and spent some time with me at my house. Then, I read for about an hour. That was nice. We closed Sabbath as usual and had a nice little service, expressing those things for which we are thankful. Then, I helped make supper. Overall, not a bad day at all! :)
Hasta mañana! God bless!
December 1, 2013
I cannot believe it’s December already! Where has the year gone?!
We spent all of this morning working on the house, finishing prepping it for when the soldiers get here tomorrow. We started at 6:00 and ended around 11:30. I got to help take down the thatch roof. That was fun! Demolishing always is, isn’t it?! :) I was very amazed, though, at how many roaches, spiders, bugs and even bats came out of the thatch, though. But thankfully there were no snakes (as there often are so I’m told). I had hoped the rain from yesterday would linger a bit and provide a cooler day today, but the heat returned with a vengeance.
After lunch, we all headed into town. We took the kids again too. Juan asked if he could be with me in town, so I had my little sidekick again. We did some shopping, got some juice and walked around the market. I bought some new shoes for the three boys (Juan, Miguel and Moises), as well as some new underwear. They were very happy and appreciative. Hopefully they’ll last a bit longer than the last ones. :) I went back to the hospital to see the soldier, but he had already been dismissed. I’ll try to check on him at the base this week. We got supper in town and returned home around 7:30.
Now, it’s off to bed. This heat really has a way of tiring you out! Blessings to you all!
December 2, 2013
Warren, Jodi and I headed to town at 8:00 this morning. We had to pick up the soldiers (10 of them) who will be helping with the remodeling of the boys’ dorm (God is GOOD!). I met with the Colonel for a few minutes, then Warren and the soldiers headed back to Familia Feliz while Jodi and I headed to the Ministry’s office (yet again....beginning to feel like we spend more time there than at the orphanage!). Things didn’t go as we hoped...more stuff we need to do. Then, we ran a couple of more errands in town before heading back to Familia Feliz. The local pastor and his family just happened to be heading our way, so they gave us a ride and spent some time with us when we returned. We had a nice visit.
In the afternoon, I worked on the boys’ dorm some, then continued work for the Ministry. At 5:30, we headed to take the soldiers back to the base. A few of us went, as each needed to either pick up something from town, run an errand, etc. I had to download a new program for the Ministry. We had a flat tire on the truck too, so that put us later getting home than we planned. But c’est la vie. There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure! :)
December 3, 2013
Work continued on the boys’ dorm today. The soldiers are a huge help! The old roof is completely off now and we’ve almost got the entire second floor framed. It’s still hot, but God is Gracious and is helping everyone to work through it.
I spent most of the day working on school records and inputting the last term grades into a spreadsheet. Part of the file for the new grade system was corrupt, so I cannot input them into the official system yet...gotta head back to the Ministry tomorrow to try to get the complete file. Hopefully I can finish all of the grades this week. Fingers crossed.
We took the soldiers back to the base around 6pm. They are excited about helping. Afterwards, I had to go to the store, check on the tire we left to be patched and try to contact one of the parents. Then, we headed back home. Rain clouds were forming and the sky was lit with lightening as we made our journey back. How wonderful it felt as I rode in the back of the truck, feeling the cool wind blow!! A blessing indeed!
Tomorrow’s another day. No worries, though...God is already there! :)
December 4, 2013
We didn’t get the soldiers today. We have a meeting with the local social services department (DEFACS) after lunch today. They have 4 children that they are looking for a place for and have come to us to see if we can help them. Not sure if we’ll be able to with all of them or not...three are under 4 years old (one is 11 months old) and we really don’t have the staff to provide constant care for babies and toddlers. But we’ll see. God is in control and if He works things out, we’ll more than happy help all we can. But since we have that meeting, we decided to give the soldiers the day off. The staff here still worked on the roof this morning. I spent most of the morning finishing inputting the grades into the spreadsheet. I’ve just finished ALL grades, except for one class. That teacher is getting me his grades today, so I should finish with our spreadsheet tomorrow morning. Then, all that will be left to do is to input the grades into the Ministry’s system and print report cards. Lord willing and all goes well, I hope to finish everything by Friday. Again, fingers crossed.
Okay....about to head to the meeting with DFACS. I’ll keep you posted.
I’m back from the meeting. It went really well. We met with three DFACS members (one being the supervisor), as well as the Director from the mayor’s office. They wanted to see if we would provide temporary care for displaced children from the community, as the need arises. We spoke about the legalities of it, the conditions, etc. and came up with a verbal agreement. DFACS is going to write that agreement out and we will meet to sign it with them, as well as the mayor. We will be accepting up to 10 children from DFACS, assuming we have the staff to provide the proper care for them. They currently have 4 children waiting for temporary care. Three of those, as I mentioned before, are under 4 years old. So we’re going to have to see how we work things out to have someone to care for these young ones, especially if we have them when school starts. I’ll keep you posted.
God bless! Maranatha!
December 5, 2013
Happy Birthday Warren! :) Today our beloved director turns 49. (I’m sure he appreciates me posting his age online like this, but....:) ). The girls made cake and we shared the moment with the soldiers that were here. It was nice.
As I mentioned, the soldiers were back today helping with the house. It’s coming along nicely. The heat is still intense, but we’re working through it. We’re very thankful for the clouds that occasionally block the sun’s rays.
Oriel and Amber, having fun while working
Little Janet giving us a little smile while we work.
Gerald and Janet are getting along great! He says they're best friends now. :)
When we took the soldiers back to the base, a few of us went to town. Jodi and Warren went have supper together for his birthday. I had to go by the Ministry and make some phone calls to parents, as well as pick up a few things. (I’m usually the gopher. :) ). I found out we have two meetings with the Ministry tomorrow. I ate supper in town and we headed back home around 7:00. It cooled down a good bit after sunset, so the ride back home in the back of the truck was very refreshing and enjoyable!
I hope you had a great day too. Take time to thank God today for the little things in life, the things we usually take for granted. I did.
December 6, 2013
Today was an interesting day. We had a scheduled meeting with the parents to let them know if their child was accepted as an dorm student next year. Warren and Nickisha were going into town when we went to get the soldiers so that they could go to the two meetings at the Ministry, while Jodi and I stayed to meet with the parents and finish inputting final grades in the system. Just before they left for town, though, as I was getting ready for the parents’ meeting, Warren came and told me that one of Jodi’s tooth had broken and she had to go into town with him to go to the dentist. So I had to lead out the parent meeting by myself. It went pretty well, just busy. About two hours later, Jodi returned...the dentist was closed! So she has to wait until Monday to see about her tooth. :( I feel so sorry for her...I know how painful that is.
After the meeting, I spent the next 6 hours almost working on putting the grades in the system. :( Talk about frustrating! It turns out that the government requires you to put a comment beside every student’s grade in each individual class for each trimester! That calculated out to almost 1600 comments! :( I finally finished with the grades, only to see that our student demographic information was missing for all the students. Double :( ! There was no way I could finish it before heading to town for the Bible study, so I’ll have to work on it on Sunday and turn everything in on Monday.
We headed to town to take the soldiers back. I’ve been asked to help respond to all of the Spanish applications for our mission organization (Gospel Ministry International), so I spent some time answering those. Then, Gerald and I went and got something to eat before meeting everyone for the Bible study. Since today was the last Bible study of this year, most of the Familia Feliz staff went.
We had a very nice study. There were over 50 soldiers there. It always warms my heart to see so many. We sang our theme songs (I REALLY wish you could hear how loud they sing!) and then Jodi, Wanetta, Amber, Abigail and Samuel had special music. The soldiers really enjoyed that. Then it was time for the student. Tonight we talked about God’s calling and how we should respond. It was a very good meeting. I was a bit nervous because I really felt like I needed to make an appeal...for them to respond to the Holy Spirit’s call. But I’ve never done that before. I wasn’t sure what I’d say, etc. So I just prayed about it and asked the Lord to speak through me. It’s so interesting to see just how He does that. The words just...flowed. No nervousness, shyness, etc. And even more amazing was that over 40 of them stood up to make a decision for Christ! Many requested baptism. Isn’t God just....AMAZING?! It is truly so very humbling to see how He works...in ways beyond our imagination to achieve His results. All I can say is “Amen!” I’m going to get with the local pastor and see about arranging another baptism since there are more interested. We are planning another visit closer to Christmas because we have a small gift for the soldiers....a dvd we’re having made with the sermons from our week of prayer in August, all the pictures we’ve taken with them, the songs we’ve sang, etc. Maybe we can coordinate everything for that day. We’ll see. As always, I’ll keep you posted.
Singing our theme song, "Jesus is my Captain." :)
The soldiers LOVE to have their pictures taken.
At the end of every meeting, we close with prayer in small groups.
As this was the last Bible study, some of us decided to take a "funny" picture. Boy, was that....FUN! :)
It was a WONDERFUL start to the holy Sabbath day! God is indeed Good and Faithful! I pray you are enjoying the start of this special day as well. May God bless each of you in a special way!
December 7, 2013
We stayed on campus for church today and had a really good service. Warren spoke (and I translated) on the sanctuary, it’s history, meaning and how it relates to us in this time of the end and our mission. Very good! We had a special visitor today as well. Sergio, the owner of our favorite restaurant in town, Narguila’s, came out to spend the morning with us. He had never been to Familia Feliz before. He got here about an hour before church, so we got him breakfast and then showed him around the property.
After church, we had lunch together and fellowshipped. Then, Sam and Hunter drove Sergio back to town. It was very nice to spend the time with him. Once again, God amazed me with His ways. While looking at our kitchen, Sergio asked where our refrigerator was. I told him we didn’t have one. He then told me that he is about to purchase a new refrigerator for his restaurant and that he wants to give us his current one! He said he’d let us know as soon as the new one arrives so that we can go and pick up his current one. I’ve seen his current one. It is in great shape and really nice refrigerator. Isn’t God GREAT??!! I mean, a “new” refrigerator for free?! Praise God! Yet more proof that He always does meet the needs of His children. Can I get an “Amen!”? :)
In the afternoon, I headed home and did some reading. Then, I took a nap. The heat was very intense today and the air just felt really heavy. At vespers, I had worship. We sang several hymns together, had our devotional thought and closed out as usual, greeting each other as the new week starts.
After worship, Shondell, Abigail and I made supper. Then we had a short staff meeting to discuss tomorrow. We decided that we would forfeit our day off tomorrow to spend all day working on the house and roof. We need to go to Santa Cruz this week for visa work, but we have to finish the house first, so that is our priority. We’ll be able to go to town during the week in the evening when we take the soldiers back to the base.
Well we’ve got to be at work at 6 in the morning, so it’s off to bed now! Good night, my friends. Blessings to you all.
December 8, 2013
Today was a long, hot day! We were up and at the house working at by 6:00 and worked until 4:30 pm. We should be ready to put the zinc roof on by Tuesday. Tomorrow we should start putting the wall boards us. It’s really nice to see the second floor taking shape.
After work, we got ready for supper and then separated to our different homes, as the work in the heat today really tired us out. But we’re much closer to our goal of finishing the house! God is Good!
Good night! God bless.