Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What we do on Christmas Eve

video


Don't mess with me and my chocolate!

My daughter, Jewel, takes on her brother and cousins in defense of her chocolate.

Update: to see the Bloopers and the final Director's Cut, check out Yekwana Man

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What Christmas Means to Me

Christmas is a day we remember the birth of Christ. Was he born on December 25th? Does it really matter?

On this day we remember His birth, we include Him in that celebration. Even when many try to keep Him out of it, He is remembered! It may only be in the words of a Christmas carol sung around the tree, but many people all around the globe will be celebrating the historical fact of the birth that changed the world!

I try and overcome all the commercialism and paganism involved in the tradition of Christmas by using the opportunity to focus on Christ! Put Him first! Lift Him up! Make Him the reason for the Season! Exalt HIM!

After all, He is the Greatest Gift ever given! His birth was for a purpose. He was born to be our Saviour! He was born to save us from our sin, from the penalty of our sin, from the guilt of living a life of sin.

For God so loved the world He gave His only son! Paul calls this the Unspeakable Gift!

It is a gift, freely given to all men. Have you accepted this gift? We are all in need of this gift as we are all born into the human race with a sin debt.

Our debt;

"Because all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God." Romans 3:23.

His gift:

"The wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life through JESUS CHRIST our Lord." Romans 6:23.

Christmas would be a wonderful time to accept this Gift of God!

Receive His forgiveness! He was born, God in the flesh, for our redemption. He was sacrificed and died for our atonement, and He rose again to provide a way for all to have forgiveness if we but repent. It is a gift given to us freely, but a gift that came with a high price!

The True Cost Of Christmas

( by Chyrll's Corner)

~
It cost Mary and Joseph the comforts of home during a long period of exile in Egypt to protect the little Babe.
~
It cost mothers, in and around Bethlehem, the massacre of their babies by the cruel order of Herod.
~
It cost the shepherds the complacency of their shepherd's life, with the call of the manger and to tell the Good News.
~
It cost the wise men a long journey and expensive gifts and changed lives.
~
It cost the early Apostles and the early church persecution and sometimes death.
~
It cost missionaries of Christ untold suffering and privation to spread the Good News.
~
It cost Christian martyrs in all ages their lives for Christ's sake.
~
More than all this, it cost God the Father His own Son-He sent Him to the earth to save men.
~
It cost Jesus a life of sacrifice and service, a death cruel and unmatched in history.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Guess What?


It's official !





My son, Joshua, put an engagement ring on Naomy's finger!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mí Anhelo Hoy

A mirar a tí, Señor!
Y no mirar atras!

A caminar contigo, Señor!
Sin desmayar!

A postrar ante de tu altar, Señor!
Y no lamentar!

Solo a tí Señor,
Quiero amarte mas y mas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Family Favorite

"THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS"
(Spanglish Version)

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,

Not a creature was stirring -- Caramba! Que pasa?

Los niños were tucked away in their camas,

Some in long underwear, some in pijamas,

While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado

In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado

To bring all children, both buenos and malos,

A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.

Outside in the yard there arose such a grito

That I jumped to my feet like a fightened cabrito.

I ran to the window and looked out afuera,

And who in the world do you think that it era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero

Came dashing along like a crazy bombero.

And pulling his sleigh instead of venados

Were eight little burros approaching volados.

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre

Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:

"Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,

Ay Chato, ay Chopo, Macuco, y Nieto!"

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho

He flew to the top of our very own techo.

With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,

He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea,

Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,

With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,

He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos --

For none of the niños had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,

He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.

And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad,

Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!


Jim and Nita Lee (Dec. 1972)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas in the Jungle

The manger





Elementary Choir








Pastor Victor tells the old, old story.




Mary was GREAT with Child!




Mary and Joseph at the Manger




The Wise men Worship the Newborn King!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Merry Christmas, My Friend

by Corporal James M. Schmidt, former U.S. Marine
First published in "Leatherneck Magazine", December 1991


'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live.

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home. ,

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

The "BLOGGING Baby Shower"

One of the very first things I did in Paraguay was deliver all the gifts many of you had sent to my daughter for the baby, Abby.

Debbie at ~~~Apples of Gold~~~~had the wonderful idea which she coordinated with my sister, Pam ,at Midnight Musings. Many different bloggers sent gifts or money, so that I could carry it down to my daughter , Jackie, at Faithful in the few Things as a great surprise!

I had intended to put it all out and take photos , but, we arrived at the house at midnight and we were all so excited, I just started pulling things out and saying, "pen of jen sent this package with the cute matching dresses for you three and the cow doll for Elena! OH! And the cute farm animal purse!!! And cook books!"

"Debbie and Susan at, both sent checks, so we combined their money to get this Baby Album scrapbook you had asked for!"

Webutante also sent a check and wanted a gift for each of the girls and Jackie some shoes. So we purchased 2 pairs of summer sandals for Jackie and matching Christmas dresses for the two girls!

Pat sent teething meds and the folks at Smyrna Baptist Church and Missie, The Crownie's Mom all sent hair bows, candles, jewelry, and even gourmet coffees and a grinder for Brian!

Tiany at Less Of Me~More Of Him- Homeschoolblogger.com sent a package of gifts Jackie had admired as a give away Tiany had done at her blog awhile back.

Of course. Pam sent her annual engraved ornament and ginger bread men ornaments for Elena to decorate and put on the tree. Which she did!

We had such a blast, I never got the pictures taken. OOPS! I really meant too!!! I wish you all could have been there and seen all the excitement! Especially, since my family teases me about all my imaginary friends in the blogashere! You all sent REAL gifts, so you can not be just imaginary friends, right????

RIGHT????

Thursday, December 06, 2007

In Miami

Almost home again. We left Paraguay yesterday morning and will make it back home this afternoon.

I miss Elena and Abbie already! I will post pictures of our trip in a few days.

I just checked in on the Chavez agenda...he is already using language I can not, will not, use here at my blog! The man is mad and will continue the reforms. He had a row of military men behind him as he cursed the opposition and promised that he had not changed one bit At the end of the speech, he had the military men stand and chant for him, like a group of cheer leaders. Despicable show.

I will post all about what we did and who we met while in Paraguay soon.

Well, I'm off again!!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Venezuela...Now or Never

If you wish to follow the blog of a Venezuelan
regarding todays elections,
read Daniel's blog for his updates.

PS: Any of my Venezuelan commenters, feel free to comment on your observations!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Venezuela, te amo!

I have sat here trying to place words in order, trying to make sense of my own prayers. I can't. I want a change in the country...but at what cost? I want the regime to fall, but...how many will have to die? I want my friends to be safe, but...someone must have the courage to resist the evil! I want a change! I want it now! But, is this a necessary step the country of Venezuela must go though in order to understand and cherish their freedom?

I do not have answers, but God does! May He hold them in His love and give each one the strength to do what they must! May those who know Him declare His love and glory to those who do not. May all false gods be brought low and humbled before Him. May the future be better than the past!

Venezuela, querida mia! Pensar en ti, me hace llorar!

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Personal Request

Wednesday I received a call from my sister letting me know that my mother, in Florida, had fallen. She broke her arm and also cut herself in the fall requiring many stitches. She is mending fine, but it will be difficult for her to be down with a broken arm during the Christmas season.Please pray for her to have as little pain as possible and for my father as he deals with caring for her and the house.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Making Room in my Heart for More Love

I have been trying to comprehend my feelings of love. Emotions of love I have for more than one country. Perhaps you think that I can not love many places equally, or that in loving one, I love the other less. But that is not the case for me.

As a mother, I love each of my four children equally. But differently. Each occupies a place in my heart that no other can fill.

My first born daughter, Jackie, was born a very independent child. She was mature and handled everything easily. She was quickly to become my friend. My best friend. My love for her is shown in that way.

Along came son, Joshua. He was a serious minded child. Content to play alone, but in need of my presence for security. As he as gotten older, it seems our roles have changed. He now cares for me and brings me security. He does his own thing still, but likes to have loved ones nearby for comfort. I show him my love by being available.

Jewel! She quickly revealed a strength of character we had yet seen in any child. Strong willed, independent, and very loyal. The life of any party! My role with her was often to be a boundary setter as she knew no limits and thought she could do anything. She usually could, but at times to the detriment of others or endangerment of herself. She is now a young lady of 17 and still is a strong minded individual but has learned to be considerate of others. I show my love by supporting her in her endeavors.

Then the baby, Jayde. She is the social butterfly. She thrives on attention. She does not like to be left to her own devices and prefers to be part of a group. To show her love, is to look her in the eye and communicate. A lot!!!

I love them all greatly, but differently, just as I love my different countries equally and yet completely.

My home land, the USA, is the land of my birth. The land of my heritage. It is where I feel safe and secure. A refuge. The land of my mother tongue, of my sheltered childhood. I could not love another place more!

Venezuela is my adopted country. A place I chose to love and a people who returned my love, mostly. Just as a young bride leaves the home of her parents to begin a new life with her husband, I chose to begin a new life in Venezuela. I gave Venezuela my unconditional love. Yes, I know her faults and difficulties, but I love her still. I could not love another place more!

Then the Ye'kwana tribe. I love them with a passion! My time with them was the culmination of a life long dream. Our lives were filled with excitement and adventure. Emotionally draining at times, but very fulfilling! I could not love another people more!

Now, I am opening my heart to Paraguay. Just as a young person first in love, tentatively, shyly even, I am reaching out to see if that love is returned or spurned. It is exciting and yet terrifying! It could break my heart! Or , bring great joy!

Yes, I have a great love for more than one place, more than one people. One will never replace the other and all will be part of what makes me feel whole and gives me purpose in this life and the one to come.

1 John4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Monday, November 26, 2007

First Impressions of Paraguay

A quick update:

One of my first impressions is that the Paraguayan people are very friendly! Even while waiting for our flight from Brazil to Asuncion, we had already made friends with many of the Paraguayan people on the flight.

The country is very poor, but the people don't seem to complain. I was saddened while in the grocery store to see all the foods available here: sugar, milk, eggs, beans, meats... things that are very scarce in oil rich Venezuela but are abundant here in Paraguay!

Also, the absence of armed soldiers and the fact that the few police I have seen, only carry hand guns and do not need to wear bullet proof vests. Venezuela is so militarized!!! Even though we are nearing an upcoming presidential election here in Paraguay, there are billboards of several different candidates. Not just one RED party! NO billboards of President Nicanor plastered every 100 meters as is the case with Chavez in Venezuela.

The Paraguayans also speak a Spanish very different than what I am used to !!!

"Y vos sos?" What is that!!!!! Add to that all the guarani words sprinkled through out ,and I am often lost! My grand daughter raises her arms to me and says, "UPA!" (oopah!) which means, pick me up!! Whou'ld a known?!?!? My husband went out to buy us a dinner. He came back with "lomitos" which is a cut of meat in Venezuela, but apparently here it is a sandwich. They asked him of he wanted it "completo" so he said, "Sure!" That seems to mean that the sandwich comes with french fries??? Maybe??? The sandwich was delicious. A steak burger with ham, cheese, a fried egg, lettuce and tomato. No complaints!

And of course the terere and mate.

I also noticed as we drove to another town, that the Paraguayans keep their patios (yards) very neat! Even the most humble of homes will have a neat patio with inviting chairs to sit at and share drinking terere. Very friendly. I really like that.

Also, the young people call their elders, "Tio" or "Tia" (Uncle or Aunt) this reminds me so much of the Ye'kwana culture where everyone is your Uncle or Aunt as well. I wonder if it is carried over from the Guarani culture?


Also, in stark contrast to Venezuela, here we have seen a few christian schools that even use American curriculum such as aBeka and ACE! Very different then the situation regarding the education laws of Venezuela.

They also LOVE soccer. On the flight from Brazil, the pilot kept us informed of each goal made by Paraguay against Chile. Paraguay won!! I am excited to be able to live in a country with a team that always classifies for the World Cup. Sorry, Vino Tinto:( But, I will miss Venezuelan baseball!!)


Tomorrow we will be driving around the area where we will possibly be planting a church upon our arrival next year. I am very excited about that!

I am enjoying getting to know a little more about my new home!!!

:) The ice cream is really good!!!
:( But I will miss arepas, cachapas,chicha, hallacas,pan de jamon....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hard Questions!

I have recently been contemplating some of the realities of the contemporary missionary movement. We are in a new era, an era where being a citizen of the USA is no longer an asset in many parts of the world. It is a reality to be considered. We must remember that we, as Americans, are not the only instrument available to God for the furtherance of the gospel. Is it time to step back, evaluate, and perhaps look for new ways to evangelize? There are many places where someone else, someone of another nationality, would be better received. If our purpose is to reach as many souls as possible, perhaps we need to remove ourselves from the situation and uphold other Christians as they can continue to preach and be heard, long after we are denied access to certain people and places.

I am not saying we should not spread the gospel to dangerous places. I have put myself and my family in dangerous places many times, when it seemed necessary for the ministry. I have seen my children suffer with diseases they would never have contracted had we lived in the USA. We have been in shoot outs, walked through tear gas, had tanks on the streets outside our house, all in order to preach and teach a people of the Glory of God. But there comes a time when our presence alone is detrimental to the furtherance of the gospel. Officials in Venezuela told us our white skin and blue eyes made us unwelcome.

There are times when the missionary has to step back and consider the costs. Not just personal cost, but the overall cost to the church.

Is my presence a hindrance?
Is association with me, as a foreigner, going to cause repercussions among the native church people?
Am I staying due to a of a false sense of pride?
Am I harming the ministry of another by remaining too long?

There are places that have not yet heard the good news.

Should the missionary use mission assets to remain where he is not accepted, when perhaps another place is more willing and open at this time?
Remember the disciples "shaking the dust from their feet"?
Remember Paul allowing himself to be lowered over the walls to escape danger in order to continue to preach elsewhere?
The modern day missionary movement is now centuries old, should we not see more mission efforts from other nationalities?
Should not a missionary work himself out of his job and turn the ministry over to the indigenous or national?
Should the missionary then move on to another needy area where his resources are more needed?

Hard questions. Any thoughts?

UPDATE:
I am not questioning our personal calling to Latin America. I am thinking of places such as Venezuela where an American missionary was recently deported from an area where perhaps a national would not have been. Could this cause repercussions for the nationals involved with this same ministry? Are some things best left to the national?

The mood here in Paraguay is so open to the American and the people are asking for help, that it has revealed the lack of acceptance to the American missionary the last few years in Venezuela. Put it into perspective! The general mood on the street is totally different here. There is a much more open door for ministry. Being here has shown that to me in a great way. I had forgotten the feeling of such freedom.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So Much To Be Thankful For !

Our first Thanksgiving in the jungle.

We had officially moved into the village in October and were living in a "borrowed" indian hut while trying to build our own. That was the time we all got our first taste of malaria and, thus, of quinine! It was my first time to hallucinate. First time I saw a corpse burned and then consumed by the family members, first time we built a coffin, first time I slept to the sound of indian drums.

I was reading aloud the Little House on the Prairie books to my children. I recall vividly their excitement when Laura and Pa listened all night to the indian drums! Because we had been doing just that ourselves for over a week.

We were living much the same as Laura Ingalls and her family had over a century ago. We had no floors, no running water, we were using kerosene lanterns for light, and eating what was hunted or grown in the gardens.

There were very few believers in the village yet, so the norm was for the tribe to "party" about every two months or so, with dancing, chanting, and drinking. This , of course, led to fighting and abusing of women, and abandoned hungry children.

All day, all night, the drums would BOOM! BOOM!BOOM! As the Ye'kwanas did their slow dancing shuffle, two steps forward, one step back. In a circle around the round house. Over and over until you passed out. This had been going on for 8 days, leading up to Thanksgiving.

The floor of the round house was covered in vomit. A white frothy foam on the ground, a terrible stench in the air, and roaches crawling all over everything! Little babies sitting on the ground crying amidst the vomit.

We had another elderly missionary couple fly out to spend the holiday with us. Dear friends who are like grand parents to my children. We were excited to speak English and to eat all the goodies they brought. One of the pilot's wife, Tracy, sent out home made banana bread! Yummo!

(My kitchen at the time)


We had no turkey, or even chicken. We had fresh tapir!



With yucca and canned corn.



I had brought out some dried apples and we made a pie. We also invited a christian Ye'kwana to come eat with us. The children called him "Squanto" all day! After tasting the pie, Antonio decided that Thanksgiving was a nice tradition!

The best part of that day was that the dancing finally stopped and we could sleep in our hammocks that night without the drums! Peaceful, quiet sleep.

We were truly thankful!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Paraguay!!! Here I Come!!!




Today we are packing. Tomorrow we drive to Miami and are going to see dear friends who also are "ex" missionaries from Venezuela. There are more of us every day, it seems. Wednesday we begin the "TRIP"!

It's not easy to get to Paraguay, you can't really just go to Paraguay. You have to layover , somewhere, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina...then you can finish the trip to Asunción. We leave Miami very early in the morning, arrive in Brazil in the afternoon, and get into Paraguay at nearly mid night.

But, we get to wake up Thursday morning to two beautiful grand daughters, one of whom we have never seen, and share Thanksgiving with them!!! A first for all of us!!!


This is to be our "survey trip" but ,I think I will be surveying the grand babies mostly!!!! My son in law seems to have figured it out already!!!



Can you tell I am excited?!?!?!?!?

Por Fin !!!!

cash advance




Apparently, if you post in Spanish...you are a genius!!!


h/t pen of jen
I had to keep trying!!!

For New Readers

This Had Been Our Home,



This is an article that we had written for our missions magazine last year. I thought it might explain our situation a little better for some of you who do not know us.


by Clint Vernoy

From the window of the Cessna 206 aircraft we took one last, long heart–wrenching look at the jungle village that had been our home. Circumstances beyond our control had forced us to leave a decade of work in the jungles of Venezuela. How do you simply fly away from ten years of working to learn a language…to establish a home, and to build relationships with some of the most precious people on earth? We had shared our lives with theirs, mingling our joys and sadness. We had become family with these Indian tribesmen through the blood of Jesus Christ! Through tear–stained eyes, we said good–bye to our Ye’kwana family, and the village they called Chajuraña.

Read more Here!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Para mis amigos Venezolanos!



* Los derechos humanos de un extranjero son los mismos de un venezolano republicano bolivariense.

* Los supuestos cargos en contra de los Greenwoods no justifican que su esposa, con seis meses de embarazo, dos abortos previos, una niña de un año en brazos y un niño de 4 años, haya sido embarcada en un avión militar Hércules para volar entre San Carlos de Río Negro y Puerto Ayacucho, con claros signos de extrema fatiga y estrés, desoyendo los ruegos de su esposo a desistir de ello por sus antecedentes de aborto. Se les acusó de estar trabajando en San Carlos de Río Negro sin autorización. La verdad es que estaban allí de visita, en casa de amigos, y cándidamente preguntaron a un guardia nacional si habría algún problema en que el se residenciada en la zona y trabajara en ella. Su crimen fue haber expresado un deseo, "crimen" atroz que demandó la movilización de importantes recursos del estado, y de la sumaria expulsión del país de la familia Greenwood. Si la acusación hubiera sido cierta, aun no habría revestido la gravedad como para poner en peligro a una madre gestando y al bebé en su vientre.

* En Puerto Ayacucho no se les permitió ir a su casa, ni siquiera bajo custodia militar. Fueron obligados a pernoctar en edificaciones militares sin conocer cargos ni qué sería de ellos.

* Fueron embarcados al siguiente día al Aeropuerto Nacional de Maiquetía, donde permanecieron detenidos hasta el momento de su deportación al día siguiente de su arribo.

* Les fue imposible a su pastor y su abogado tener acceso a ellos. Parece la orden fue de evitar a toda costa cualquier asesoramiento legal. Ellos tenían pleno derecho a un abogado y un ministro religioso a su lado. Ellos tenían derecho a recibir formal notificación de las acusaciones en su contra y apelar cualquier sentencia. Todo esto les fue en todo tiempo negado.

* Les informaron la embajada de su país había sido notificada y que el embajador les esperaría en el aeropuerto. Todo fue falso. Todo esto nos revela lo pronto que querían expulsarlo del país.

* Solo imaginen que un aborto se hubiera iniciado en pleno vuelo, en una cabina no presurizada, y sin asistencia médica a la mano. Hubiera sido la peor de las pesadillas para ellos!

ESTO LE PUEDE PASAR A CUALQUIER FAMILIA EXTRANJERA RESIDENCIADA EN EL PAIS.

SI NO HUBO DERECHOS PARA ELLOS, ALGUIEN PUEDE DECIDIR QUE NO LOS HABRÁ PARA LOS VENEZOLANOS!


For my English speaking readers:


The seriousness of the Greenwood situation.



*The human rights of a foreigner are the same as a citizen of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

* The alleged crimes against the Greenwoods does not justify that his wife, being 6 months pregnant, with 2 previous miscarriages, a one year old daughter in arms, and a 4 year old son, to have been forced to board a military plane for a flight between, San Carlos de Rio Negro and Puerto Ayaucho, with obvious signs of fatigue and stress, against the warnings of her husband against the flight, in light of her previous miscarriages. They were accused of "working" in San Carlos without authorization. The truth is, they were there visiting, staying in the home of friends, and candidly asked the National Guard if there would be a problem for them to set up a residence and work in the area. Their crime was only to have expressed a desire, an "atrocious crime" that required the mobilization of important state resources, and the summary expulsion from the country of the Greenwood family. If the accusations had been true, it still would not have justified the seriousness of putting in danger a mother and the baby in her womb.

*In Puerto Ayacucho, they were not allowed to go to their home, even under military guard. They were forced to over night in military premises without knowing the charges or what was to become of them.

*They were flown the following day to the International airport in Maiquetia, where they remained under detention until the moment of their deportation the following day.

*It was impossible for their pastor or lawyer to have access to them. It seems the order was to avoid allowing them any legal aide at all cost. They had every right to a lawyer and a religious minister to be at their side. Neither did they receive a formal notification of the accusations against them or what their sentence would be. All this was denied them the entire time of their detention.

*They were told that the US Embassy had been notified and that the American Ambassador would be waiting for them at the airport. This was false. This reveals to us the desire to quickly deport them from the country.

* Just imagine if she had began to miscarry in flight, in an unpressurized cabin, without medical assistance at hand. It would have been their worse nightmare!

THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ANY FOREIGN FAMILY RESIDING IN THE COUNTRY.

IF THEY HAD NO RIGHTS, SOMEONE CAN DECIDE THAT THERE WILL NO BE RIGHTS FOR VENEZUELANS EITHER!

Friday, November 16, 2007

UPDATE:Greenwood Situation


I have just spoken with Sarah Greenwood's father. Gary, Sarah, and the two children, are all being held.They have been flown to Caracas and are still being detained by the authorities.

Sarah is pregnant and she has had miscarriages before. Please pray for her and the unborn child. They are fine but not very comfortable with their situation. They are to be deported from Venezuela, possibly today if there is space on a flight.

Pray for the children, Sarah, and for Gary to be able to be a witness and glorify God in this situation.

The US Embassy is aware of the situation as well.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Urgent!!

A North American missionary, Gary Greenwood, is being held in the town of San Carlos,Venezuela. Charged with violation of his Visa, his wife is 9 months pregnant. He is being threatened with a prison sentence. His Venezuelan pastor and lawyer are working and hope to get the charges dropped, possibly with a deportation. Please pray for the family and also for the repercussions this will have on other missionaries still in Venezuela.

I know this family very well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Things I Missed

While being very busy in several conferences and not having access to the Internet, several important dates slipped by and I was not able to acknowledge them.

I missed the Marine Corp Birthday!!!

I missed Veterans Day!!!

I missed the first anniversary of my blog!!!!




My first experience of celebrating at the Marine Corp Birthday Ball is one I will never forget! Being the innocent Preacher's Kid and a new wife of a marine, I did not realize the punch was spiked! Enough said!!! I leave the rest to your imaginations!





For Veteran's Day, I was reminded of the first mil blogger I began to follow, Lumberjack in a Desert - jrsalzman.com A few weeks after I began reading his blog he was wounded. I have prayed daily for him, and his wife also, as they deal with this. I do not know either of them. Now he has gone and won BestOutdoor Sports Athlete! And he looks great, don't you think?




( The Jungle Hut is the house with the palm roof and tin roof add on.
My husband took this on his last flight over the village.)


And then the anniversary of The Jungle Hut!!! It was an accident, I never meant to start a blog! But I have enjoyed sharing my simple stories with you all and have been amazed as I see the new people stopping by to read. It is helping me as I gather my thoughts for the book I hope to write and get feed back from you all as I post short stories from the jungle and my life. Now, all I need is an editor to fix my awful grammar and punctuation and typos...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Quick Update

I know it seems like I have dropped off the edge of the world, but we are involved in a great mission conference at MVBC: Welcome! and it is an 8 day conference, very busy, but a blast!!!

My favorite event was meeting this Adult TCK, "Tim", who was born in Paraguay and true to his MK roots, he showed up at the men's dinner with a thermos of hot "mate " and cup and silver straw. He was willing to share, a friendly Paraguayan custom.



We head back to Florida next Tuesday and I am looking forward to seeing my son and having my internet back!! I also am ready to get warm! It was in the 20's! Not a good thing for me... me and cold are like cats and water!! Something terrible, best avoided at all costs.

I have enjoyed reading all of your comments and miss visiting all your blogs...can't wait to be able to catch up with everyone.

A lot has been happening in the country of Venezuela as well. More violence and clashes between protesters and police. Food shortages continue and the government continues on it's merry way to total and complete tyranny.

My personal analysis is that the country will continue on the downward slope we have been slowly sliding down for ten years, or more if you look at the root causes. Chavez will not leave, the opposition is not united, most people are holding back for fear of being abandoned yet again by a weak opposition.

I do stay in contact with many people in the country and the shortages are worse in some places. This is now normal.

Next week I will try and gather more info on all the latest and visit around to everyones blog...I miss my cyber buddies! I also, have been told by Ye'kwanaman that now I must share one of my own language humiliations!! So...keep a watch out for an upcoming post entitled,

"Jungle Mom, aka Captain Ahab, The Whale killer!"

Friday, November 02, 2007

Squirrels


Learning another language is not always fun or easy, but it is interesting! Spanish is an easy language, linguistically speaking, to learn. It is a phonetic language where, unlike in English, the phonetic rules rarely have exceptions. Grammatically, it is ordered and organized around the verbs, so once you learn the forms, you just begin to add vocabulary and work on accents. The hardest part is of course the subjunctive forms of the verbs. Arrggghh!!!!

I, of course, did not appreciate this aspect of the Spanish language until much later when I would need to learn the Ye'kwana language. The Ye'kwana language is everything the Spanish language is not. Add to that the fact you have no language instructors or anyone around you who even know what a verb is. The grammar is different in that the nouns are possessed and the language is built around the nouns. I used to say that the nouns were possessed alright, DEMON possessed!!!

But back to squirrels... When we first arrived in Venezuela, my husband took the pastorate of Iglesia Bautista la Santa Biblia and immediately had to begin preparing sermons for 4 messages a week. He spoke Spanish fairly well , but still had to put a lot of time and effort into sermon preparation.

One Sunday he stood to deliver the sermon to the congregation. His sermon was well thought out, very well developed, easy three point outline to follow along with good illustrations to emphasize his points. The subject matter of the sermon was "Pride".

For 30 minutes he delivered his sermon on "Pride". He railed on the congregation to search out "pride' where ever it might be found in our lives. God abhors "Pride" and there is no place for "pride" in the christian's life. As I said, it was a challenging message.

The problem was that the congregation was not responsive. Actually, they were responding, but not appropriately! Many people were grinning ear to ear. Others were obviously trying not to laugh out loud. Some chose to look down at their feet for the entire sermon, with their shoulders shaking with silent mirth! The youth of the congregation were outright laughing.

After the service, my husband was disheartened with the spirit of the congregation. He told me he knew he had been led to speak against "Pride" and did not understand the problem with the people. I had to tell him... for 30 minutes he had orated not against "Pride" ( the Spanish word is "Orgullo") but rather against "Squirrels"!!! ( the Spanish word is "Ardilla)

The mental pictures were quite funny! Christians hunting out squirrels and killing them! God hating squirrels! No room for squirrels in the christian's life! A real riot !!!!

The following week my husband did not want to preach!! He was embarrassed about the sermon of the week before, however, being the Pastor, he had to swallow his "squirrels" and preach any way!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Amazing Life

At times I contemplate the many things I have been able to do in my life, the places I have traveled to, the people I have met, and I am amazed! I never imagined I would go the places I have or done the thing I have. My life is amazing!

I have been privileged to meet many people including Presidents, Governors, Athletes, Authors, and great men and women of God. I have also met people who will never be famous or well known, but are truly incredible people. People who impacted me and my life.Did I mention the astronaut? My life is amazing!

I have traveled to many countries and have seen much of my own country. I have seen places no other non-Indian has ever seen. I have been exposed to life at its finest and at its most primitive. It is easier to appreciate the first for having experienced the latter. I am glad I know how to appreciate a good meal, a luxurious room, a resort like environment. I also am thankful that I can be grateful for a dirt floor and a palm roof over my head. My life is amazing!

Just last week, my husband and I shared a car with two Iraqis from Baghdad. They were raised as Muslims and are now Christians. He has a christian Arabic language radio and TV ministry in the middle east, broad casted from Lebanon. He has started a church in the Dearborn region among Muslims here in America and they are sending Arab, ex-Muslims back to their own countries as missionaries. He and his wife were able to tell us first hand of the independent baptist church which was started in Baghdad. My life is amazing!

We spent the week in a lovely home of a wonderful christian, Egyptian family who immigrated here 25 years ago. They told us of the difficulties and dangers of living in Egypt as Christians. They have two lovely daughters who now are on staff at a large baptist church. We shared much and were truly brothers in Christ. My life is amazing!

We also met and enjoyed a meal with a young lady from Laos. Her father is a Buddhist priest! She was born in a Buddhist temple!!!! She and her husband are now missionaries in that communist country. We shared tips on home schooling! My life is amazing!

I also renewed friendships with people I have not seen for over twenty years as they have been serving in Albania. We enjoyed sharing jungle stories with a missionary who lived in the jungle of Zaire, Africa. They have many of the same insects and foods there that we had in the jungles of Venezuela. My life is amazing!

I know many people think that a life of full time Christian service is a boring life... NOT MINE!!!! My life is amazing!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jungle Technology

I am stealing my daughter's post!

I am so busy right now I have no time to write, but my daughter wrote this a few days ago and I thought you would all enjoy it. I know some of you read her blog,
Happy Wife, and have already seen it, but if not...enjoy!

I am in the high desert of California and we had a sand storm Sunday!!! Very different than the rain forest!



I love technology. Love, love, love technology. Email is wonderful, so is blogging, the internet is my greatest resource for learning and shopping. Telephones are pretty great as well. Webcams, Blackberries, IPods and PalmPilots, they are all neat to me. I don't own all these things, but I love the way they enhance the world we live in. Did I forget to mention cel phones? I like those too! Perhaps I have such a deep appreciation for these gadgets since I remember a time when we didn't have them. While the rest of the world IMed, and talked on the phone, we were eating worms and trying to send smoke signals. The village of Chajurana actually got pretty "advanced" technology wise at the end of my parent's time there, but in the beginning....that's a different story.
The first time we stepped foot in Chajurana was for a two week visit (that is another post for another day) we had four hammocks (for six people),some grits, and packs of soup. There was a weight limit on the plane since no one had landed in that village for years and all we could take were hammocks, a small amount of food, and a few articles of clothing. We had a book a piece if I recall (my mom can't go anywhere without books) and I reread that book about fifteen times, or more, during our stay there. We took nothing that was even remotly technological. So there we were, in the middle of the Amazon surrounded by Indian children who had never seen white people, the plane flew off (Would he really be back in two weeks? What if he was kidding?) and we had no way of communicating with the outside world. Talk about being disconnected. We survived those two weeks, just barely and I will write about that another day, promise. We did however decided that next time, we would take a radio to the village. It gets mighty lonesome in a village of 500 people who don't speak your language. The next time we flew into the village it was for two months. That was the time there was a malaria epedemic, my mom hallucinated, we learned to eat roasted monkey, and Jayde (baby sister) learned to walk on a dirt floor. That is also another post, for another day. During that visit we had a radio. There was a "quirk" to this radio though. We could hear what people were saying, but we couldn't communicate to them. It helped a little though. Saturday mornings were my favorite. We would climb out of our hammocks (we each had our own finally!!) turn on the radio and listen to "Adventures in Odyssey" being broadcasted from HCJB in Quito, Ecudaor. God bless that ministry. It kept us sane. Thoughout our years in Chajurana technology advanced. My dad got his Ham radio license, a radio antenna, and could know communicate with the outside world. Every evening missionaries all over the jungle would gather round their radios and swap stories.
"How's everything in Parupa, Walt? Over."
"Great. Shwalkdjfljdlkje a snake, ate some dkjeiowajdkfj, built a house dkjfodifen duct tape, saved dfjkdhiue eeeooooweeeeee, and the kids caught a slkjfdooboo to keep as pet.Over."
(If you dont understand the above sentence, then you obviously haven't learned radio language.)
We loved those times around the radio, we felt connected and not so alone. Without communication it was very easy to get discouraged. We learned from some other missionaries that there was a way to use our radio to call the US. It's called a phone tap. Basically, from your ham radio you contact a ham radio buff in the US (one guy I remember was from Wisconsin) who has a machine where he can connect his radio to the telephone and you give him the number (hopefully teh static isn't too bad and he can get it down clearly, and hopefully someone is home to get answer the phone) We called family members a couple of times. I remember calling my Grandma and my Aunt Pam.
"Hi! We're calling from the jungle, on the radio, there's a guy in Wisconsin helping us.You have to say over when you're done talking. Over."
"YOU'RE IN WISCONSIN????" (She thought the louder she talked talked the better we could here her.)
"No. There is a guy in Wisconsin helping us...how are you? Remember to say over. Over."
"WHAT???"
"Say over.Over."
"WHO'S IN WISCONSIN???"
They never really got the whole "over" thing. But it was still fun. I always wondered if those guys who helped us with the phone ever realized how much it encouraged us.
Anyway...after our radio days came the email days. The email also came through the radio. I don't understand exactly how it worked, just that it was slow. Very slow. There was one channel that was the email channel to be shared among all the tribal missionaries. Now, we all know that missionaries are very godly, loving people, right? NOT WHEN IT COMES TO EMAIL. We would start checking email in the morning, the process is simple.
1. Boot up the one hundred year old computer.
2. Still booting up the computer...
3. Turn the radio to the correct station.
4. Listen to the very annoying beep beeping sound of someone else getting their email. (This step lasted three hours)
5. Wait at least two minutes after the other missionary gets off before jumping in to check yours. Jump in too soon and the channel crashes.
6. Mumble something under your breath as yet another missionary jumps in before you.
7. Listen to his annoying beep beeping sound for about two hours.
8. Jump in as soon as soon as he gets off, without waiting for the two minutes, because you're desperate for outside news.
9. Bang your head against the desk when you realize that you crashed the chanel from jumping in too soon. Jump and wave your arms in frustration as the Indians watch you.
10. Get on another chanel to plead with the MAF guy in charge of the chanel to run home and reset the chanel.
11. Wait two hours for him to do that.
12. Sit by the radio listening to the static till you hear that it's clear, and then check your email.
13. Wait three hours for your email to come home and then sit in dismay as you realize that it only took that long because someone tried to send you a picture of their new puppy. The pictured didn't come through, just a bunch of letters like this: ahdojfkjd{{dlkfjdofj[]]]. OR excitedly read the newsly, text only, emails that came from friends or family.
14. Go to bed.
15. Wake up and turn the radio on. It's email time!

See? Simple. And so worth it. Whenever I find myself complaining about my internet connection being slow here, I remember those 15 steps, it puts everything into prespective.

Friday, October 19, 2007

One Week, Three Mission Conferences, Two Coasts!!

This is how it is done:

Drive from NH to Boston on Friday night, stay at a Park, Sleep, and Fly hotel near Logan International Airport, catch shuttle at 5:00 am Saturday to fly to...Los Angeles.
First meeting at 4:00pm ( pacific time). At Lancaster Baptist Church - An Independent Baptist Church - Lancaster, California

Sunday; Teach 3 Sunday School classes, ( Clint teaches 3 others at the same time) then speak at the Spanish Morning service and show our DVD presentation in the evening service,

Monday:present in the school and college and church in the evening.

Tuesday: I speak at a ladie's tea on Tuesday afternoon, then we head to L.A. for a mid night flight back to Boston, via Chicago.

Arrive in Boston, drive to church for our Wednesday evening presentation at Temple Baptist Church .

Thursday: back to NH. for a conference at Bible Baptist Church

Friday :back to Mass;

Saturda: back to NH;

Sunday: back to Mass;

MONDAY... to bed!!!! ( NOTE to future missionaries...don't do this!!!!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jungle Mom meets "CHE" in Wal Mart

So I m walking around Wal Mart enjoying all the abundance of capitalism, when , lo and behold! A young latin man with a Che look alike hair cut and Che on his hat walks around the corner.

EXCUSE ME!!!!

So, of course, I had to engage him on conversation!

I asked if he spoke Spanish but he answered in Portuguese. We did manage to understand each other though. I asked if he realized how insulting it was to come to my country and wear a picture of a mass murderer who shot and killed young children with his own hand?!?!?!

He thought I was making it up. I know I could not wear a Bush T shirt in Caracas so why can he come here and wear CHE???

I don't have time for a lot of blogging but really, a communist at the capitalist icon of Wal Mart!!!
Talk about hypocritical!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tabernacle Baptist Church

We are in the middle of a conference here at our sending church. Having a great time visiting with old friends and meeting new ones. I did meet the blogger who got our family started with blogging! MJ at Contagious Joy and am very excited to be able to attend her wedding in a few weeks. She will be marrying my daughter's brother in law.

Tabernacle is a special place for us, full of great memories. My husband's family were charter members of the church in its founding. He was called to preach here at the age of 10 and never faltered from that calling. He preached his first sermon here at that same age. It was the first church we attended as a married couple.

He is also a graduate of North Eastern Baptist Schools which began here at Tabernacle. It has since merged with Baptist Bible College East of Boston. During his senior year, we surrendered to full time missionary service to the country of Venezuela. Tabernacle also commissioned us to go there under their direction.

I also taught 3rd grade here at the Christian day school the first year of our marriage. Our now Assistant Pastor was once a member of the Junior Church program ran by my husband and myself!

Needless to say, lots of good memories and great times here!!

It has been rainy and cold...for us anyway. In the 50's!!! BBBRRRR!!!!

My daughters were introduced to pine needles, something they had never seen. Next week they will be introduced to raking the yard...he he he!!!! They also smelled their first skunk last night, I am sure that will stick in their memories!

So all is good, just very busy and no internet at the house where we are staying. The Lord blessed us with a house of our own to use for 6 weeks. This is wonderful and helps to stay on track with the home schooling of the girls.

One of my big surprises as I travel is to have people come up and greet me as Jungle Mom and tell my how they ran across my blog!!!! I never knew so many of our church people were reading my blog!

I did have another RLM (real life meeting) last Sunday as I met The Simple Scholar! So cool!

I should have more time next week to do a bit more blogging...don't forget to check in!!!

Thanks for adding your houses to my village, it was great fun to read all about your personalities!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Jungle Stories

If you like jungle stories, you need to head over to my daughter at Happy Wife
and read her two latest posts about growing up in the jungle!


They will make you laugh!

Post One: Talent Show : Jungle Style ( She reveals all the family secrets!)

Post Two: Hammock

Friday, October 05, 2007

Paraguay

As many of you know, we will be moving to Paraguay next summer to continue our missionary service there. This month my Venezuelan Resident Visa expired. For the first time in over 20 years, I am no longer a resident of Venezuela. It is a rather strange sensation.

To prepare for our future in Paraguay, I have been reading and studying about that country. We will be visiting Paraguay next moth and I have a lot of questions! Mainly about the day to day life style, cost of living, what is available, what I should take from the states, and on and on...

The first place I go to learn about Paraguay is to my daughter's blog, since she lives in Asunción. Her blog, Happy Wife, is all about her life there with her young family, and some of her memories of growing up in the jungle of Venezuela. I also enjoy my son in law's web page where he updates us on all the ministry happenings. He also has included some Paraguayan history at his site.

My daughter told me about an online Paraguayan newspaper which I am reading each day just to familiarize myself with the country and what is going on politically there. It is weird to read of places and people and not know where they are!

My husband "googled" to try and find Paraguayan bloggers. He found only one and he and I both started reading Muna's blog. She is Paraguayan lawyer and lives in the states but blogs about Paraguay and takes great photos. I have enjoyed reading her blog for several months now.

The newest Paraguayan blog I have been reading is Brenda's. She is living in Asunción as well. She is involved in missions and writes some great pieces about life in Paraguay. I especially enjoy her posts about the Beauty Shop!

I also watched the movie, The Mission, which is based on a true event in Paraguay and had beautiful footage and amazing music! The Falls at Iguazu are so beautiful, but I don't think my daughter will be taking us there anytime soon.

I can't wait to move to Paraguay! So much to learn! So many new things and...my two grand daughters!!! God is good!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Personal Space

People, people, everywhere!!!





You are never really alone. Not in an indian village. There is no concept of "personal space". Actually, the Ye'kwana language does not even have a true translation for "privacy" or "being alone" as a positive thing. The translation is a negative, like "lonely". Something sad. Something to be avoided. Something dangerous, as being alone is an invitation to the evil spirits to come and attack you. Especially "Canaima"(the death angel) who flies around at night, looking for some poor soul who is alone. Canaima will set in and give that person a beating and death within 3 days. That is why no one would ever think of walking around the jungle alone, even to go down the path to the river alone is risky.

I share all of this, so that you can understand how different the culture is in regards to privacy. We had NO privacy. Our home was always open, and often full of people. We even had indians standing around looking in our windows most of the time. Especially at night. Our house had large windows to afford us with light and cross ventilation. But with our lights on at night, we were watched by the entire tribe. We were their entertainment, " Live, in Technicolor and Surround Sound". Even in the house, under the palm roof, with no inside ceilings, what was said in one room was heard through out the entire house.

Being very aware that our entire lives were under scrutiny, we had to discipline ourselves at every moment. Even when speaking English or Spanish, our body language, facial expressions, and reactions were all being watched. They wanted to see how a christian re-acted to things, we needed to show them patience, love, gentleness...self control. Christ in us.

My husband and I learned to not show our irritation with each other in public, and we were always "in public". If an issue came up that absolutely had to be "discussed" in private, that meant, going to the river, getting in a canoe, paddling for 10 to 15 minutes to get out of hearing range from the village, in order to have a private discussion.

Frankly, not many things are worth that effort!!! By the time you get done paddling, you don't have the energy to argue. Or it no longer seems important enough, you may even forget what had annoyed you to begin with, or, you find yourself alone and don't want to waste that precious privacy in anger!!!

I think every married couple ought to buy a couple of rowing machines and make a rule that before responding to one another in anger, you both have to row for 15 minutes!!!!