May 29, 2014
Have you ever wanted to change your name?? Ever wished people called you something different? I have to admit that I have always like my name, so I’ve never thought about changing mine. That is, until a couple of weeks ago when I heard a song by the Nebblett family (a small, Christian family that has recorded a CD). It is a beautiful song that, while being short, contains a very powerful message. I thought I’d share it with you. It says:
I will change your name
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast, lonely or afraid.
I will change your name
Your new name shall be
Confident, Joyfulness, Overcoming One
Faithfulness, Friend of God, One who seeks My Face.
I have always known that God will give each of us a new name on Heaven. But after listening to this song and pondering its meaning, I have come to the conclusion that I’m ready for a name change, as this song refers to our daily Christian walk here on Earth. What a wonderful God we serve that is willing and ready to change our “name” and give us His Name and His qualities!
It’s been another busy couple of weeks here at Familia Feliz. When I last wrote, we had lost Sammy but gained John, so we still had the same number of staff on campus. During these last two weeks, however, that changed. On the Sunday after my last entry, Jonathan and Jancy left for Guayaramerin, Bolivia (on the Brazilian border) to stamp out of the country and complete their necessary visa work to obtain their residency. The process normally takes about 5 days total, including travel time. So we expected them back by last Thursday. However, they encountered some difficulties and their 5 day trip has turned into 12 so far. Then, last Tuesday (two days after Jonathan and Jancy left), Dorca was invited to serve as a missionary in Guyana and provision was made for her flight there. She gladly accepted the offer. The only thing was, the flight was for that Friday, which meanth she had to leave Rurre the following morning to get to Guayara to catch the flight. So we were down to 5 volunteers on campus. And when you have to teach grades 1-9, with 11 subjects for each grade, that can stretch you pretty thin! :) So I’ve been the dean for the older boys, as well as the English, Science and Math teacher for grades 5-8 these last two weeks, as well as helping in the kitchen. Plus, these were the last two weeks of school, so we had final exams this week. It has proved for early mornings and late nights, but God is so Good and all of our needs have been met and we have lacked nothing. Amen!
Little Janet. :)
Sabina, Victoria and Belzabeth helping demolish an old building on campus.
We also advanced a good bit on phase one of our orchard. We now have the first 56 trees planted (orange and tangerine) and I must say, it looks really nice! :) What do you think?
Last Friday, we had a pretty bad storm here in Rurre. Five trees fell on our campus and part of the roof of one of the classrooms was blown off. But we suffered no major damage, Praise God. One of the trees fell within 5 feet of the Big House, but didn’t hit the house. It only knocked down the clothes line. God is Good!
With that storm came a cold front…so the temperature has really fallen this past week. Before it was in the upper 90’s. This week, it has been in the 50’s. And while I must say that that was my favorite temperature when I lived in the States, I have to admit that even I was cold this week! :) I guess living in such a hot and humid environment with hardly any temperatures lower than 75, your body just gets used to the heat and your blood thins and you feel the cold more. Either that or I’m getting old. I personally vote for the first option! :) It has been nice to have some cooler weather though. It has felt more like fall at home.
Warren and Jodi’s daughter, Taylor, also arrived for a visit last week. She’ll be here for a month of so. It’s been nice to catch up with her and have an extra pair of hands helping around. Thanks Tay! :)
The meetings at the army base are still going strong. The young men are still excited about learning more and are “daring” to read the Bible and pray aloud.
The soldiers were cold at our last meeting due to the cold front. They came prepared. :)
I mentioned that this week was finals week. That means that the first semester is ending and most of the kids will be going home for their winter break. They leave tomorrow (May 30th) and won’t return until August 3rd. It’s a longer break than usual, but we have several projects and improvements we need to get done over the break, as well as recruit some more volunteers, so hopefully that will allow us to get everyone done before the second term starts. But I have to say…I am REALLY going to miss these kids while they’re gone! :(
For their end of the term Language exam, they had to write an essay about the most important lesson they have learned this term at Familia Feliz. I thought I’d share a few of them with you.
“The most important thing I have learned this term at Familia Feliz is how to live with other people in harmony. At first it wasn’t easy, but I’ve learned to be patient and to forgive.”
Victoria, age 15
“I have learned that it is wrong to lie. I told a lie to one of the volunteers a few weeks ago and got punished for it. I definitely learned my lesson and will not tell another lie.”
Edwin, age 11
“The most important thing I have learned is that God loves me. I have learned to draw nearer to him and that He wants me to be a missionary. He is always here for me and is preparing a home for all of His children in heaven. I want to be there with Him forever.”
Jose Carlos, age 14
“I learned how to pray and to have my personal devotion. Before coming here, I didn’t know how to pray and never had personal worship. Now, I realize how important it is and do it everyday. I have even learned to pray out loud and in church.”
Omar, age 15
“I have learned many things here at Familia Feliz….how to love, how to forgive, how to work, how to cook, etc. The teachers here are very friendly and always willing to help. Most importantly, I’ve learned to put God first and to obey Him. He wants what is best for us and loves us.”
Belzabeth, age 15
I was deeply touched when I read these and the other responses. That is what it is all about! That’s the reason we are all here. Even though, at times, we may think we are not making a difference or that the kids are not learning what we are trying to teach them, in reality, they are! They are watching, listening and learning. Our goal here is to lead them to Jesus’ feet and to teach them to walk in His Footsteps. May God continue to help us as we strive to meet that goal everyday.
Please continue to pray for us as we work here with the children and the people of Rurrenabaque. Also, please remember the children in your prayers as they go home for vacation. Pray that they will remember all that they have learned here, especially as far as their spiritual life goes. Thanks!
God bless you all!