Saturday, March 31, 2007

Time for some Chit Chat?

I have no time today to do any real writing so.... I was wondering if anyone has a question they would like to ask me? Any thing at all! And I will be around the computer and in the house most of the day, so I will check in and try to answer any question you may have. So...nows your chance...ask away...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Make Your Own Money!!

(Taken from El Universal)

Chávez to create currency for barter

Venezuelan President announced creation of a "community currency system," intended to facilitate trade of products among organized low-income communities.

Chávez instructed Minister of People's Economy Pedro Morejón "to set a date" for implementation of this "alternative trade system," Efe reported.

He added that the relevant regulations could be enforced through a presidential decree, under the special ruling powers conferred upon him from February 2007 to mid-2008 by the National Assembly.

The alternative trade system is aimed at "giving the poor the chance to acquire products through barter, with a barter currency that may circulate in a given territorial space o that is valid for a given period," Chávez said in his TV show ¡Aló, Presidente! (Hello, President!) late Thursday.


Forty-five percent of respondents in the latest survey conducted by research firm Hinterlaces "disagree with" plans to establish the "21st-century socialism" in the country, while 22 percent said "Don't know" or "No answer. 61 percent of respondents rejected indefinite presidential reelection, and 86 percent showed disagreement with "expropriations of private companies" by the Venezuelan Government.

For all the new Readers

To catch up on why we are no longer able to live and work in the jungle, please read this post.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blood , Sweat, and Tears!

If anyone asked me for my opinion ( yeah right! Like I'ld wait to be asked!) on what it takes to be a career missionary, I would answer, "Blood, sweat, and tears!"

It takes years to learn a language and a culture well . A language is picked up long before the culture is truly understood. In most cases, the missionary can attend a language school to learn a rudimentary knowledge of the language, but there is no class room to learn the culture. When dealing with a tribal language it is much more time consuming and the culture of course is totally alien to the western mind.

To learn a tribal language, one must become child like and follow people around and try to imitate sounds with out a clue as to their meaning. Eventually, you will begin to hear the different individual sounds and can transcribe...well, thats another whole blog!

To learn a culture is an important task for the missionary and it takes time, and, as I said, "Blood, sweat and tears!"

BLOOD? Yeah! You have to learn the cultural way of dealing with death. You have to find out their way of mourning and caring for the dead. This can be very different in each culture.

Take the Sanema tribe, I remember the first time I was invited to a "funeral". I walked to the village and found a spot around the huge fire being built. I saw the women screaming and crying and slapping themselves in dispare. I saw them bring out the body wrapped in it's hammock and, I saw them place the body upon the pyre. There is no smell quite like the smell of human flesh being consumed by fire.

At this point, the witch doctor really began to whip it up. I saw the women even more excited. This dancing and crying went on all day...all night... until, at last, the fire was allowed to die.

Not over yet though! Now comes the most important part! The most vital thing one must do for their dead loved ones...the drinking of the bones.

The women scraped through all the cinders, sifting through their fingers every last little bit. Careful to catch each piece of bone left. Then these bits of bone are taken and with a primitive mortal and pestle, are ground to a fine powder. Once this is prepared, it is added to a banana drink and stirred in.

Now, all the immediate family members of the deceased come forward and begin to drink the bones. They pass the gourd around solemnly from one to another. The tiniest baby must swallow some as well. NOW, they can relax and rest in peace! Their departed love one will now be ok!

By drinking the bones, they have guaranteed that their family member will live on in them. Now they will have eternal life by being part of the living. And when the living die, they will be consumed along with them by the next generation.

Why is it important to know this? It might explain to the missionary that the father who refuses to allow you to fly the sick child out to town for medical treatment isn't being a monster. No, he loves his child too much to risk him dying out among the "criollos" and being buried! For who would drink his bones? Who could guarantee the continuation of all the ancestors contained within the child? It is an act of love in his eyes.

We may think it morbid, is actually the nature of man to desire life after death and if no one is there to explain the true path God has set for us to achieve it, this is their feeble attempt to acquire eternal life for themselves.

SWEAT! You bet, sometimes you have to work with them physically to gain their respect. In some cultures, you need to understand why they DONT seem to work at all! It is all part of how you will communicate truth to them in a way they comprehend.

I remember a group of visitors making an observation once about Ye'kwana men.

"They are so lazy! They sleep till noon and then sit around in their hammocks the rest of the day while the women do all the work!"

DUHH.. I thought! So would you if you had been out running through the jungle hunting all night and knew you had to go back out tonight since you weren't able to bring home meat for your family!

TEARS! You need to know what hurts them. You need to be with them in their times of mourning. Sit with them as an old, loved one slowly dies. Or as a newborn infant fades away.
I learned from the Indians, tears are not always visible. The worse hurts stay inside. The pain is for you alone and can not be shared, as this would cheapen it. So, if you don't see tears...thats serious pain!!!

BLOOD! Literally, sometimes. I once flew out to town to donate blood for a dying indian. No one else with his blood type could be bothered. I gave so much blood I nearly passed out. And I gave again in a few days. I wanted to give more but they would not let me. His father placed his sons hand in mine and said, "He's your son now too. He has your blood now."
His father had never wanted to listen to the gospel until that day. He is now a believer!

SWEAT! I have seen my husband work with them. He helped them build the school. He helped them build the dispensary, he helped them cut the airstrips they needed so the plane could get in to take out medical emergency patients. I have seen his shirt soaked as he worked hard in the sauna like environment of the jungle. I have seen him go days without sleep caring for the sick. This speaks volumes.

TEARS! How many caskets have we built? I remember one baby we were hand feeding , drop by drop as we could not get in an IV. We were unable to fly our plane out due to government problems and red tape. We called for the health department planes, but they were BUSY flying assembly members to Angel Falls for a vacation. When the baby died, my husband built the tiny casket. Jewel lined it with a blue gingham material and Jayde sang Jesus Loves Me in Ye'kwana at the funeral.

We are by no means, SUPER missionaries. These stories could be repeated over and over again by a number of missionaries. I just feel they need to be put in writing so that others can know of the many things God is doing in Missions today. Often times we act as if the God of the Old Testament is dead and no longer works among us. Or we read of great missionaries of the last century and wonder why God is not doing the same great things today. He still is! I have witnessed it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tribute to the Living Sermons Taught by My Husband

Your WALK talks louder then your TALK talks. My husband preaches a good sermon, he preaches in 3 languages, but among the tribe, his life of service was the best sermon ever!

I’d rather see a sermon . . .
then hear one any day.
I’d rather you would walk with me,
than merely tell the way!
The eye’s a better pupil,
and more convincing than the ear.
Your words may be confusing,
but example’s always clear!
I’d rather learn my lessons
by observing how it’s done,
Conversation might be easy,
but your tongue too fast may run!
I may not fully understand
the fine advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding
how you act or how you live!

Here is my husband taking care of an asthmatic woman and giving medicine to a sick toddler.

Cooking soup for the village.

Pulling a bad tooth.

Visiting a village to provide needed medical attention and sharing the gospel. Made friends with the chief.

Delivering Bibles in the Ye'kwana language.

Teaching the Old Testament to Indian church leaders and pastors.

Making sure medical emergency patients were flown to town for treatment we could not provide in the village.

Removing stitches from a child's arm.

Hanging out and being part of their lives.

Monday, March 26, 2007

And on a Lighter Note...

An atheist was walking through the woods.

"What majestic trees"! "What powerful rivers"! "What beautiful animals"! He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look and saw a 8-foot grizzly bear charging straight towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. He tripped and fell on the ground.

He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him. At that instant, the atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"

Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.

"You deny my existence for all these years, teach others that I don't exist and credit creation to cosmic accident." "Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer"?

The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian"?

"Very well," said the voice. The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. The bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke:

"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

How Does Your Garden Grow?

When we moved into the village, I had great intentions of planting a vegetable garden. I really did! My grandmother always had a garden and my father would plant one any time he had the space. Not always possible for him as he is a Pastor. Sometimes the church provides a parsonage and there just isn't land for a garden. But whenever possible, he would plant one. My mouth waters remembering his tomatoes!

In the beginning years in the jungle, we only had fresh vegetables once a month. That was when the plane would come with supplies. We would stuff ourselves on fresh veggies for a few days! We did not have any type of refrigeration at first, so we had to eat it all fast. Later, when we had our own plane, we had more frequent flights, and when my husband was able to install solar panels, he converted a small fridge to a 12 volt system to run off batteries, which we charged with the panels! He did the same with a small freezer! We were living good!!!

Back to the garden... I had ordered seeds for things I thought might grow well in the jungle. Although the soil is fertile, it is a very thin layer of top soil as the heavy rains wash it away each rainy season. This is why the Indians have to cut new gardens every year. There are also a lot of insects to combat. The Indians grow, tubers mainly and the best, sweetest, pineapples, and lots of different types of bananas. The main food is casava made from yucca, so the majority of their gardens are given to the yucca plant.

I wanted to try to raise tomatoes, green onions and peppers. I thought that just those three things would "spice" up so many of our plain meals!. As I waited for my seed order to get to the states and then back to me, I tried to prepare a compost. One morning, I found an Indian friend diligently "cleaning" up my compost area for me. Oh well!!!

Finally, the seeds arrived on the flight day! That evening I had sat at the table and sorted them all out into nice little piles, imagining all the good food we would have. I left the room for just a moment ,only to return and find several Indian children enjoying the "snack" they thought I had prepared for them! I often would make popcorn and place it on the table for the visitors to eat and the Indians would eat dried pumpkin seeds as a snack, so they assumed I had left it for them! Oh, well!!!

A few months later, I received my second order of seeds. I was much wiser now. No more sorting at the table. I guarded the seeds as if they were gold. I even managed to get my tomatoe seedlings started. What joy! I would set them out each day for the required sunlight.

The village was experimenting with raising sheep. They kept the sheep across the river, usually. No one told me, but they decided to bring the sheep over to the village side because a jaguar was killing them off over there on the other side.
Well, you guessed it, the sheep assumed I had prepared a "snack" for them . They really seemed to enjoy my young tomatoe plants! Oh, well!

A few more months went by, and once again, I received my seeds, set the tomatoes , carefully guarded them from all 2 legged and four legged creatures. I had my husband clear a spot and build a small, low fence. You know, to keep out the sheep. I set out the young plants! I was very excited!

We had to leave the village for a few days and I asked a neighbor boy to water the garden since it was now dry season. He was excited to do it as I promised to bring him a treat from town for his work. And he did! He watered the garden faithfully.

The men of the village decided to burn off some jungle area. They burn off the areas around the village during dry season to keep snakes and critters away. Guess which area they burned? Yep! Bye, Bye garden!

When I returned the poor little neighbor boy was still trying to water the burned garden!

Ok, so I am not a quick study, it takes me awhile to figure stuff out, but after over a year trying to get a garden...I decided, maybe it wasn't going to happen after all!! Oh well!

My garden certainly never procuded any vegetables, but I did cultivate something else. What, you ask?

Patience (Hope deferred maketh the heart sick!) and a good attitude when things don't go as I had hoped and planned !( Put away anger and strife) So I guess it was a success after all!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

My Prayer for All Who Happen to Read this Today

"The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."

Numbers 6:24-26

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I am a Christian!

I saw this on another blog and "snagged" it.
I am a Christian.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

I love this poem! I would have written it, but,alas, someone else thought of it first!

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Angel

Let me tell you about Petra.

I first met Petra when we arrived in the village. I did not speak her language and she does not speak spanish. At the time, we were living in a borrowed Indian house while we built our own house. My youngest was not yet walking, I had a 3 year old, a 7 year old and a 10 year old. We still had our Indian daughter with us at the time. She was 16.

Clint was busy from sun up till sundown. Getting poles from the jungle, making adobe bricks, getting leaves for the roof. I was busy teaching all the children and carrying water, doing laundry in the river, washing dishes in the river, cooking over an open fire.

All was going well, until one day, Indians began to get sick. We had over 80 cases of malaria in one month. We had no radio to call for outside help, so we were doing all the medical work ourselves.

One morning, I taught my 7 year old son his math lesson and left him to do his work sheet as I went to begin cooking . After a few minutes I went to check on how he was doing...I saw my son passed out at the table! He had been fine just 30 minutes earlier! I felt him and he was burning with fever.

He had contracted falcipurum malaria. This is a cerebral malaria which comes on fast and strong. We had a microscope to do the blood work and we had the quinine to treat it. So we began his treatment. On the third day when he was finally able to talk and walk with our help, the 3 year old also came down with malaria. Her's was vivax, though not as dangerous ,she was still very feverish and in a lot of pain. Next was our Indian daughter, she also contracted falcipurum malaria. Then...the baby! She came down with vivax.

Quinine is the most bitter pill you can imagine! Trying to get it down a one year old is a real struggle, but we managed.

We had so many sick, we began to run short of medication. We still had quinine , but no analgesics for pain and fever. I began to crush up Tylenol for babies. I remember giving my last dose to one poor toddler.

That night, I began to feel achy! Then the fever. And a terrible head ache! Sure enough, I also had malaria. I developed a bad case of strept throat as well, from working with the sick children. We had no more antibiotics and no pain reliever.

At one point I began to hallucinate. I don't remember much. I remember worrying about my children. They were still sick.

Praise the Lord, my husband and Jackie somehow were spared malaria that time. We had to wait for the scheduled flight day to go out for help and the antibiotics I needed. I sort of remember the flight, but the fever was very high.

But...what I wanted to tell you is how Petra would come everyday and hold my sick baby. I was to weak to care for the little one, and Petra took it upon herself to come each day and stay most of the day. She was the one to make sure Jayde got all of the quinine down and kept it down. She made sure we had water in the house.

I couldn't speak to her much at the time, but later, she told me how she felt that she was led to care for us and the baby. Even when we returned, all healthy, she would come and sit in on our home school classes and entertain the baby for me.

She said she wanted to help me, so that after I taught my kids, I would have the time and energy to learn her language.

WHY? So I could teach her the Bible! She did all in her power to help me to learn the language so that I could begin a ladies Bible study.

It took a few years but I did begin a ladies bible study twice a week...and I know Petra will be rewarded by God for her ministry to me and my family when we most needed it. She may not look beautiful to you, but to me....she is an angel!

A Meme about Me

Another MeMe (with a few changes!)

A is for age: None of you business!
B is for books: Hard to choose...Ilove mysteries!
C is for career: Missionary Wife and Stay At Home Mom
D is for dad's name: Rev. Jack Riffe
E is for essential items to bring to a party: a good sense of humor
F is for favorite song at the moment: Este Dia
H is for hometown: uh...that's a hard one!Right now, Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela
I is for instruments you play: I play a keyboard, computer keyboard that is!
J is for jam or jelly you like: Strawberry jelly
K is for kids: Four! Jackie, married and in Paraguay, Joshua in second year at Florida Baptist College, Jewel, 16 home schooled, and Jayde, 12 also home schooled( I also have a grand daughter and one on the way!)
L is for living arrangements: A typical latin home(rented) until June when we leave for a year in the states.
M is for moms name: Loretta Riffe
N is for name of your best friends: Clint (husband)
O is for overnight hospital stays: You dont want to hear them all!!! 4 births,2 back surgeries, 3 other surgeries, 1 miscarriage, # times during pregnancy...
P is for phobia[s]: Being enclosed in small places ( claustrophobia) and MOUSEaphobia!
Q is for quote you like: Just Do it!
R is for relationship that lasted the longest: actually, my friend, Kim Leanard of 20+ years
S is for siblings: middle child. Older sister and younger brother.
U is for unique trait(s): uh...uh...I dont think so.
V is for vegetable you love: broccoli
W is for worst trait: sarcasm , duh?!?!?!
X is for x-rays you've had: angain, you dont want to hear them all!
Y is for yummy food you make: sweet rolls
Z is for favorite animal at the zoo: monkeys
First job: Health Food Store in Cambridge, Ohio
First funeral: Pastor of Faith Baptist Church ( cant remember his name but I do remember the funeral)
First piercing: Ears for my 12 th birthday
First tattoo: No thank you
First credit card: Cato's
First favorite musician/band: Cathedral's WAY back.
LASTS:Last movie watched: Over the Hedge
Last beverage drank: what do you think? Coffee
Last food consumed: Chocolate
Last phone call: to my son in law in Paraguay, after talking to my son in Florida
Last CD played: A Venezuelan Christian group
Last website visited: Happy and Busy Home, my daughters
Single or Taken: Taken!
What do you miss?My kids and grand baby
Hair color: Red with some natural gey high lights, he he.
Natural color: red
Eye color: greenish blue
Makes you sad: The Chavez Regime in power

Update on Stolen Van

I received this email from my brother in law this morning in regards to the stolen van.

Yesterday was the perfect description of “Good day – Bad day”

The good happened throughout the morning while our church celebrated its 12 anniversary in a public sports facility. The songs, specials, preaching, meal, and games were all wonderful and everyone enjoyed participating. We had 10 visitors and an attendance of 125.

The bad happened while cleaning and loading up afterwards ~ our van was stolen. We thank the Lord that no one was threatened, traumatized or injured. Our van was used as the churches workhorse for all the activities of the church and for our personal needs as well.

I can’t tell you how much this hurts. I realize that it is just a vehicle that was 14 years old, with high mileage and burning a little bit of oil. But with all the difficulties that are occurring here in the country, this incident just amplifies the frustration.

Debbie and I were counting on traveling with the van to Caracas to fly out of the country for a two week speaking visit to the United States. For a while, it did not look as though we would be able to leave, however, we were able to work out the travel details at the last minute. Though the trip is still happening, pray that the children will be fine with my brother and his family during our short visit.

Please pray for the van to be found and returned, and pray for our family.

Ed Vernoy

No Time To Blog!

I have a busy two weeks coming up and will not be able to do anything but "Fluff" blogging . I will be keeping my four nieces and nephews., while their parents travel to the states. Since those 4 and my 2 children are all home schooled...I will be busy. So, I will be borrowing articles and doing MeMe's. LOL.
Here is a beautiful article written by my daughter ,Jackie. She is the one in Paraguay.

Little Girls

A Child's Prayer by M. Bentham-Edwards
God make my life a little light,
Within the world to glow;
A tiny flame that burneth bright
Wherever I may go.

God make my life a little flower,
That giveth joy to all,
Content to bloom in native bower,
Although its place be small.

God make my life a little song,
That comforteth the sad;
That helpeth others to be strong,
And makes the singer glad.

God make my life a little staff,
Whereon the weak may rest,
That so what health and strength I have
May serve my neighbors best.

On Septermber 17th of 2005 God blessed me with a tiny, pink, precious little girl. We like little girls in this house, there's something special about them. There's something special about little boys too but I don't have one of those, yet, so today I'm writing about little girls. My little girl is what most would describe as a "tom boy." She loves puppies, dirt, trees, and bugs. She's not afraid of heights, of being tossed in the air, or scraping her knee. She seldom cries when she gets a bump or a bruise. She tumbles, tots, and leaps. She runs, skips, hops, and giggles almost constantly. She is amazing. She has a few shiny golden curls, and tiny diamond earings. Most of her wardrobe is pink, and after about five minutes is covered in stains. She loves babies, and books. Like I said, she is amazing. It's a sobering thing to raise a little girl. This little bundle of energy will make or break one of God's men one day. It's my duty to make sure she makes him great. What do I hope for her? What do I wish for her? Here a few things.

I hope she loves to be feminine, and hold babies. I hope she likes to cook and clean. I hope she loves to read and see the world. I hope she she becomes strong and graceful. I hope she's a peacemaker. I hope she has the faith of Jochabed, the strength of Abigail, the purity of Mary, the wisdom of Elizabeth, the hope of Sarah, the love of Rebekah, and the prayer life of Hannah. I hope loves to learn and teach. I hope she loves to sing and has joy in her heart. I hope she smiles and laughs with her family. I hope she will be confident, but never aggressive. Bold yet feminine. I hope she is never scared of anything but always prepared for everything. I hope she is mannerly and fun. I hope she knows when to work and when to relax. I hope she is organized yet flexible. I hope she knows when to just sit down and read a book to her children. I hope she likes pretty things, and bubble baths, and perfume, and flowers, and paintings. I hope that she looks to godly role models such as Elisabeth Elliot and her grandmothers. I hope she seeks advice from her Daddy and then her later on her husband. I hope she respects her man, loves her children and reads Proverbs 31 often. I hope she is modest and pretty. I hope she becomes an expert at wiping tears, changing diapers, putting on band-aids, and hugging squirmy toddlers. I hope she seeks ways to make herself better. I hope she becomes trilengual. I hope she homeschools and eats healthy food. I hope she knows how to mend torn clothing and mend torn hearts. I hope she loves to live her life. I hope she is wise and frugal with money, and time. I hope she loves God and serves Him with every breath she takes.

None of this will be easy to accomplish and so much depends on the work of the Holy Spirit. In a world where a size 2 toddler shirt says "Sexy" on the front, it will be and is, difficult to find a pretty flowing dress. But oh so worth it. In our world of today, babies are sent off to day care as early as six weeks, how does one teach a little girl the wonders of that "new baby smell?" Or the softness of their round chubby cheeks? There are days when I just want to scream at the world, 'LET ME GET OFF!! I'm trying to raise a lady here!!" But what this dark, crazy, sinful world needs most is some ladies. A sweet feminine lady who will stand behind a strong, daring man and support him as he charges against the wiles of the devil with a Bible and her prayers. It's not an easy task, it doesn't pay much in money, but the rewards are endless. If I get to heaven and say, "God, I had a nice job, I made money, live in a big house, had my own car. My children had all the things they needed to be happy....but it all stayed behind. Even my children." If that is what I say when I get to heaven, I've lost everything. However, if I can show God the long line of children, grandchildren, and great grand children behind me, He will say, 'Well done.' That is the best reward of all.

Not Able To Sleep, So...

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate

You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Update on the safety of Venezuela

News from the Utopia of Venezuela. We just had a call from my brother in law,pictured above, the same one who I mentioned had been held up at gun point twice, well, this morning after the church service they were loading the sound equipment into his van. You cant just leave the sound equipment as it will be stolen. He had loaded the electric keyboard, a Kawai, and locked up everything as he went back in for more equipment.When he returned, the van had been stolen in under 5 minutes!
Thank the Lord he and all the family are fine.

He and his wife are leaving for the states tomorrow to speak at a conference in our church. They will then be going to go visit their two oldest sons at college in Mo. I am keeping the other 4 nieces and nephews for two weeks.

In light of Ms. Walters Utopian vision of Venezuela, I find the timing to be incredible! Please pray for them as this leaves them without a car .

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bare with me! I feel a "RANT" coming on!!!

ABC Chavez Interview Fawns over 'Intelligent,' 'Passionate' Dictator
Though Chavez has called Bush a 'devil' and seized foreign assets, 'Good Morning America' preview shows Barbara Walters claiming Chavez 'does like this country.'

Ok ! I am not going to get into all the false things that were said by our leader during this interview! I am not going to get into how disgusted I was by the "fawning" of the liberal left over this interview! BUT I am going to clarify one point... Venezuela is dangerous, Ms. Walters!

She said that it was not dangerous for her to stroll through the barrios of Caracas!
Well, yeah, maybe not with the government security in place, or with the cameras on!! I just want to mention a few of the "Security "issues we who live here have to deal with everyday.

I am only going to name events that have happened in the past few months and am only going to recount events that have happened to friends and people I know personally. If I got into all the things I hear from acquaintances...there would not be space nor time to tell it all!!

Where to begin?( I can not use real names)

1. Missionary family, broken into by masked men in broad daylight, the entire family tied up as the house was robbed and left tied up as they took their truck full of their household goods.

2. Young man, friend of the family, once again in broad daylight, walks out of the Cyber Cafe, has a gun put to his chest and told to give over the keys to his car.

3. Another friend's truck was stolen from the church parking lot DURING the church service.

4. Friend was grabbed as she opened the gate to her drive way and beaten up as she was taken into the house . Left tied up as they robbed the house.

5. The couple that was married last week, (the pictures of Jewel as a Brides Maid ) were also held up by a young guy with a 9mm the gun that was held to his head and the car was stolen along with the money they intended to use for their honey moon.

6. We have had 2 shootings in front of and behind the church during services.

7. Another missionary friend was attacked and beaten while opening his gate. Would have been beaten worse if someone with a bigger gun had not stepped out to defend him

8.Another family, has had molotov cocktails thrown into their yard and broken

9. Another friend, father of the guy with the stolen truck, was killed in his ice cream shop by two thieves with a gun.

10. A friend of mine whose husband was shot and killed in front of their apartment and left dead on the street in front of her and her two young daughters.

11. Two weeks later, in another city, her brother was shot while being robbed and is now an invalid.

12. Two older missionary couples were also help up at their gate and robbed them as well as the house.

I wont mention the family that was robbed in their hotel room and car was stolen.
I won't mention all the "petty" thievery we don't even consider bad anymore . Basically, if you walk away, it was not that bad! And all of these events happened within the last 4-5 months.

My brother in law has been held up at gun point twice, we have given medical attention to another friend of the family who was shot in front of a bank. He didn't want to go to the hospital as gun shot wounds require so much paper work and nothing is ever solved anyway.

Another friend, missionaries as well, had their 4 year old daughter taken in their yard and a gun held to her head as they tried to kidnap her..a neighbor was shot fighting the men off. OH and, see... I cant tell them all!!!! (Of course with the company she keeps ,with friends like Rosie, I don't trust her judgment anyway!)

So, yeah, Ms. Walters, Venezuela is soooooo safe!!!

Thank you! I just had to get that off my chest!


One night, our youngest daughter was experiencing croup. A bad case of croup. She was about 2 at the time. We were in the jungle and no doctor or hospital was available, we couldn't even call for an emergency flight to come get us. The Cessnas cant land at night on a dark airstrip. So, we did all we could. We set up a pop up tent and I boiled kettles and kettles of water while she and her dad laid inside the Sauna environment, hoping to loosen the phlegm which was blocking her breathing. Finally, around 3 a.m. She was able to get rid of the phlegm and promptly fell into a deep sleep.

My husband and myself prepared to get some sleep as well. A few minutes after we had laid down, just on the verge of that wonderful sleep...we began to hear something. Rustling!
We went out of our room in time to see our son (10 years old or so) run by on his way outside! The 2 older girls were right behind him!
We could hear Indians beginning to run past our house as well, calling out...something!

So we grabbed the little one and ran out as well. You see, children always learn a foriegn language faster than their parents and Josh had understood the screams of the Indians.

He heard them yelling, "FIRE! THE ROOF IS ON FIRE!", and as he rolled over and looked out his window, he saw the flames VERY close to our roof. He thought OUR roof was on fire.

We had taught the children that if our palm roof EVER caught on fire..Get out FAST!! Dry leaves go up in flame very quickly and there is no time to grab anything. So, he took us at our word, and with only a yell over his shoulder to his siblings, he was out the door.

Once outside we realized the fire was at Tito and Dorotea's house, about 100 meters or so away.

My husband began to run towards the jungle path that led to our water pump. Their house was lost, but we hoped to be able to save the houses near it, including our own by wetting the roofs.

So Clint runs out, barefoot, into the dark jungle. The indian trails are narrow and only wide enough to walk on in single file. So staying on the trail in the dark was not easy. The pump was about 500 meters or so down to the river. There was no moon light, and the jungle at night can be scary. I ran in and grabbed a flash light and tossed it to him.

In the mean time, I climbed up our water tower to unhook the flexible pipe we used to fill the barrels we used as a water storage tank.

Once down, my son and I began to pull the 2 inch hose towards the fire. A two inch hose full of water is HEAVY! We were pulling and had gotten to the edge of a thick piece of jungle we needed to get through to reach the fire. My young son's voice was a little frightened as he asked, "Mommy, are we going to walk through there without a light?!"

I answered in my own frightened voice, "I guess we have to." At that same moment, something SWOOSHED by us and we felt the hose pulled from our hands!

All this time, my husband is experiencing his own adventure! The flashlight I had tossed him...well, the batteries were dead! So he is running through the jungle in the pitch black! Now, unless you have been in the jungle on a moonless night, under the canopy of the forest without a light, you have NO idea how DARK it can get!
aAs he runs, he is praying aloud, "Please God! No snakes!"
Later he says he wished he had prayed "No thorns". I had to pull 13 thorns, some up to an inch long out of his feet after he got back. But he did make it to the pump house and he did get the pump started.

Josh and I felt the hose taken from us. It was so dark we couldn't see who ,or what! had ran by until one of the Indians said, "We got it now".
Whew! I was glad to not have to go through that dark jungle!

After fighting the fire for several hours, the village was able to save all but the one house.

The thing I remember most was poor Dorotea! She was crying, "My new bucket! I lost my new bucket!"
That was her prized possession! A plastic bucket.

I ask you, if you had a fire, would you be crying over a bucket? That kind of puts it in perspective for me! We are so weathy!

Lets remember to be grateful! God has blessed us with so much in our country, we don't even comprehend how wealthy we are. So next time you (or I) feel like whining about not having something, think of Dorotea and her bucket.

(This is a typical Indian house)

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Ye'kwana Indians of venezuela

Here are some facts about the Ye'kwana tribe, also known as the Maquiritare .

*The Ye'kwana number about 7000.They predominantly live near the headwaters of the mighty Orinoco River. Others are scattered throughout the Amazon jungle in approximately 45 villages. Some are located as far south as Brazil and as far east as the Paragua River which is located in the Venezuelan state of Bolivar.

* The Ye'kwana boat paddles and most of their handcrafts are made using only a machete.

* The Ye'kwana Indians are best known for their excellent craftsmanship of dug out canoes, which can be as long as 14 meters!(45 feet) Their beautiful handwoven and stained baskets made from jungle vine are known all over the Americas.

* The New Testament and some of the Old Testament are available in their language, thanks to the hard work of New Tribe Missionaries.

* The Yadiwaru fork was used years ago for hand to hand combat. Then two points were designed to put out the eyes of the opponent.

* The small carved animal benches are used to sit on around their fires and children love to play on them.

Type A

You Have A Type A- Personality

You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds

Smart Kids!!!

To follow up on my post, Global Impact, I thought I would expound on the term TCK. TCK stands for Third Culture Kid, but what exactly is a TCK? The definition, taken from the book of the same title, is as follows:

"A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her life outside of their parents' culture. The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background."

I wanted to encourage you who are raising your children overseas by the following survey results. The survey was carried out by MK CART/CORE. A group of 10 sending agencies ( Mission agencies) surveyed 608 ATCK's (adult third culture kids) and it is obvious they do well academically.
*30% of the respondents graduated from High School with Honors
*27% were elected to National Honor Society
*73% graduated from university
*25% graduated from university with honors
*3% were Phi Beta Kappas
*11% were listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities

Another survey revealed that a high percentage of TCK's go on to postsecondary school education. And yet another survey, done in 1993, showed that while 21% of the American population as a whole had graduated from a 4 year college or university, 81% of TCK's had earned at least a bachelor's degree. Half of them went on to earn master's or doctorate degrees.

This was written by an Australian ATCK who grew up in India. "Uniquely Me" by Alex Graham James.

I am
a confusion of cultures.
Uniquely me.
I think this is good
because I can
the traveler, sojourner, foreigner,
the homesickness
that comes.
I think this is also bad
because I can not
be understood
by the person who has sown and grown in one place.
They know not
the real meaning of homesickness
that hits me
now and then.
Sometimes I despair of
understanding them.
I am an island
a United Nations.
Who can recognize either in me
but God?

I think what is interesting, is that I find this poem to be quite melancholic, but my children seem to find "comfort" in it. They are glad to see that others feel as they do. A separate group of TCK's that somehow belong together, whether they were raised in Asia, Africa, Europe...matters not. They belong to each other.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

See?!?! Al Gore is right!

For My Sister, Pam!

Sorry, Pam, I couldn't resist!

Global Impact


There was an article in Time magazine about the globalization of the world. The internet has made it so that our children can play games with children on the other side of the world! I communicate regularly with people on several continents. The world markets are inter dependent. Cultures have always mingled, but never as intensely and instantly as now. My point is, the globalization is happening! We can accept it, use it to our advantage or deny it...but it is happening.

“TIME” magazine recently ran a cover story on the skills and abilities American students will need in a globalized world. They said that the American student needs to develope certain skills in order to compete globally.

1.Global-trade literate
2.Sensitive to foreign cultures
3.Conversant in different languages

I couldn't help but think,"Hey, Mk's(missionary kid) and Tck's(third culture kid) have a great head start!

I have watched my children communicate cross-culturally with great ease. I am often amazed how my children can Instant Message with several people in different languages at the same time, while listening to an Italian opera! Gives me a headache, but they are often unaware that they are going back and forth between languages.

Mk's (Tck's) are able to think out side of the box. Actually they can't stand to be put in a box at all! They are able to think creatively because often growing up in different cultures, they had to, in order to survive being the minority. They are able to accept that another culture may have a better way. They are often able to see how 2 distinct perspectives can be combined to produce an even better method.

I was speaking on the phone with my 18 month old grand daughter today. Well, she was communicating with me anyway. I saw her already exhibiting her multi-cultural upbringing. She would giggle and say, "Hola!" Then she would babble on in a cadence that sounded Spanish. Suddenly, she would convert to an English sounding baby talk.
Back and forth, soft vowels of Spanish, heavy consonants of English.

For you parents raising Mk's (Tck's), don't feel discouraged about the education you may think your children are being deprived of by not living state side. You are actually preparing them for a bright, fruitful future. God needs followers who are not afraid to go beyond the narrow mental and cultural borders so many of us occupy

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yekwanaman's Post

For those of you who enjoy missionary stories, head over to my husbands blog. You will enjoy reading his latest post, "How Far Should you Go".The link is: And leave him a comment so he knows you have been there.

Finally a Balanced Account

Latin America: Contrary to forecasts, President Bush's trip to the region is drawing friendly welcomes. Hugo Chavez, by contrast, is making a laughingstock of himself by shadowing Bush's tour. It'll probably cost him.

Great article! If you are interested in Latin America .

For Shane! My Visual DNA

My nephew had this on his blog, I thought he would like to see how mine would come out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

So...This is Heaven!

Blogger is giving me fits! First my photos go and now my comments disappeared. Feel free to leave comments here for the post, So...This is Heaven!
Sorry, I lost 14 great comments somewhere. So , Sorry, Jackie, Carol, Kim, Pam, Sire, Connie, Rancher, Candy, Penless Thoughts, and Beemoosie.

So...This is Heaven!

I wish you all could meet a friend of mine from the Ye'kwana tribe. Cristina was myneighbor for all those years we lived in the village. When I first met her, she was a married woman with 5 children. A few months later, her husband died of a high fever, probably yellow fever. This made her a widowed mother of 5. Life in the jungle is hard even with a husband but for a woman one to build the house every five years or so when it falls down...HARD!

About this same time, I had my first back surgery. This meant I could no longer do my own laundry in the river. Lugging dirty clothes down the bank and then heavy, wet clothes back up was no longer possible. Cristina showed up one morning and told me that God had led her to do my laundry for me. I had been praying about who to hire. It is hard in a small, cashless society to hire one person over another. But this was the perfect answer, as everyone knew Cristina needed help. She did my laundry for several years.

One dry season, she was collecting fire wood, which must be collected before the rains and kept under a roof to use during the long rainy season. She stopped at my door and took off the head strap of her handmade back pack.
(These men are wearing the same style back pack.)

"WOOO", she called.
I opened the door and as she came in I could tell she was not feeling well. Now, Cristina stands at about 4'8" or so and might weigh 45 kilos. I had just watched her come in carrying a good 25 kilos of firewood on her back. Her garden was probably 2 to 3 kilometers away, so, she had every reason to not feel well!
She asked me if I could give her a "red" pill for her pain. The "red" pill was ibuprofen, the Miracle Pill in the jungle!

I went into the store room to get it for her, and when I came back out, she was sitting with a smile on her face looking around my house.I gave her the pill and began to tell her how that in heaven there would be no need for medicine as there would be no pain. And there would be no need to gather firewood, as God would provide all our needs and be the very light. I said it would be so great in heaven , to have all our needs met and provided AND , we would each have a mansion!!
Her face lit up, she looked at me and said something I will never forget. She said, "Heaven will be like your house!"

Now, my heart stopped for a moment. My house, that she was referring to was a mud hut! With a palm roof!! When you touched the walls, pieces of it fell off. Worms and cock roaches nested in the palm roof and even occasionally fell on you, not to mention the lizards and snakes! I had a generator and lights though, and a rough cement floor. I had colorful curtains, and a sink!
To Cristinas mind, this was as good as she could imagine!!(Inside The Jungle Hut)

I remember thinking, "Please God ,let her be wrong! Heaven has got to be better than this!"
And then I began to think, in Cristinas limited imagination, my home was a mansion.
What if, in our limited human imaginations, we are as far off as she is in what we imagine heaven will be like!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Love is in the Air!

We had weddings all last week and still have three more to go. Jewel was a Bride's Maid in the wedding Friday night.

Clint preached twice at one of the newer churches. We had a dinner last night. An interesting tid bit is that we met one of the Venezuelan President's personal body guards.