Friday, August 24, 2007

Blogging by Extension

Hello this is Yekwanaman

Junglemom has moderated her comments and appreciates your thoughts. She has done this with no internet access

I am in the city accompanying my step mother who is the hospital for some tests. While talking to JM via cell phone (She is out on Hunting Island State Park, SC. she had me read all of her comments.

So is this a confirmation of a blogging addiction or what? She misses you all but ...

Look what she gets to wake up to!

Now that is what I call BOOTING UP in the morning!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Blogging Beach Break

I just found out I am leaving today, for 10 days or so.
Off to spend time with my father in law and the rest of the family at the beach.
I hope you will sign my guest book in my absence and enjoy the slide shows!

(Scroll down for guest book, keep going for the slide shows!)

Please, de lurk!!!

According to my site meter, I have about120 readers a day!
Some are from very interesting places.
I wish you ALL would sign my guest book! PLEASE?????
pretty please... aw, come on...

Jungle Flight Program

Scenes from the Jungle

The Wedding Album

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thinking of You All

When I sit down in front of my computer, the fun begins! Where to start? First I have some Caffeinated Thoughts followed by Stray Thoughts ,and never know where that may lead me...

I am so glad we as a family are Quilted Together something that for us is Nspired By Faith!

Glad to have these Moments In Time to rejoice we are in A Biblical Home .I am excited to share My Wonderful Life with you all!

Then as I am Skipping Along, I have Just a Thought, and I decide to share it...Over the back yard fence! That's whats so nice about Life In The Country and than I feel a little ,Bereft.
So off I go to My Quiet Corner where I spend time with my Thimble Thoughts.
I contemplate the Seasons of Life and realize I am Living to Learn & Learning to Live, ByGrace,
I look over at Kris's Korner and see a Knitting Kat! Now that is something to write in sarah's journal!!

I listen to the music coming from Garbanzo Toons and hear a Flight Song, is the music coming from Sarah Joy's Corner? Oh wait... it's Just Theresa.

I am a Happy Wife toYekwana Man, and this gives me Contagious Joy
which I have because I am Saved By Grace!
After all, I am The Preachers Wife not the butler's wife.

Some days I am sad when I realize it is The end of Venezuela as I know it,
but, I can say, "And I shall yet praise Him" because it will always be Venezuela4me!

Because of My Web Presence, I have traveled the world! For Zion's Sake
I have had Oleh Musings and even Shalom from Jerusalem! I even met a Jungle Pop!
OH! And a Gecko with Canon!!!
So now I am a Webutante!

I am A Work in Progress, at times I feel a Penless Writer, so I must borrow pen of jen to write my Blog From The Jungle!

There is no way for me to fit everyone in this! I just wanted to share a little 'Thought & Humor',
now don't think I have Rocks In My Dryer or that I livein ,The Zoo.

I really live in Mike's America! Where I run a NeoCon Command Center and am Always On Watch Two. Here I always see Shades of Red, White, and Blue! at myrepublicanblogand talk of Acute Politics! Because, Love America First is my motto!

So, here are my thoughts I have at Midnight Musings ,I am just a BAPTIST GIRL, with Christian Dreams n Visions! Working my way through the One Year Bible Blog! I like to have Chats with the folks at Biblical Hermeneutics.

and my question to you is...~::~R U Going 2 Heaven~::~?

( please note that I may not agree with all content in every blog!)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

You might be a missionary if..

You (or your Parents) might be a Missionary if...

1. You can't answer the question, "Where are you from?"

2. You speak two languages, but can't spell in either.

3. You read National Geographic and recognize someone.

4. You have a time zone map next to your telephone.

5. You consider a city 500 km away to be "very close".

6. You watch nature documentaries, and think about how good that animal would taste if it were fried.

7. You can cut grass with a machete, but can't start a lawnmower.

8. You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.

9. You have friends from or in 29 different countries.

10. You do your devotions in another language.

11. You sort your friends by continent.

12. You realize that furlough is not a vacation.

13. You know how to pack.

14. Fitting 15 or more people into a car seems normal to you.

15. You refer to gravel roads as highways.

16. You haggle with the checkout girl for a lower price.

17. You don't think that two hours is a long sermon.

18. You have a name in at least two different languages, and it's not the same one.

19. You feel you need to move after you've lived in the same place for a month.

20. You cruise the Internet looking for fonts that support your "native" language's alphabet.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Free to Learn

My home school curriculum has arrived and I am spending these next two weeks organizing and making my lesson plans. It is much easier now that I have only two students and that both of the students are able to do much of their work without constant supervision.

I have never been able to use a "packaged" curriculum . There are some great ones available, but I find them all, a little ...stale. Exciting as eating chalk! I have used syllabi of publishers to see if I was on track with my children, but, until High School , it is pointless.

One day I realized that I have taught my way through High School 4 times, nearly 5, and I might know a thing or two about it myself! What freedom! It seems to me that if a student graduates and has a love of learning, can read with discernment, write something that another person is willing to read...he's a success! No packaged books , no boring texts! Real books about real life!!! And there was my son who read his way through the encyclopedias...

I have home schooled six, including my two Ye'kwana children, I have tried to set up my goals in such a way that the child will become a "student for life". I don't want to spoon feed information to the child and have the student regurgitate it back to me. In real life we are rarely given the answers to problems but must spend time and thought to figure our for ourselves the answers. So... if you want to see a teacher who stands up and lectures all day, don't come to my house!!! Nor do I enjoy work books, although they have their place.

Certain subjects require the," line upon line, precept upon precept" approach, such as Mathematics and the upper level sciences. In most cases, once the basics are down, the student can apply knowledge learned towards understanding new concepts and rarely needs input but rather a sounding board to listen to ideas and give feed back.

All students need to know they are being held accountable and that their work will be seen and judged!!! I can tell very quickly, usually just at a glance, whether the student has given me something done lazily or if time and thought went into the work. Content is not all that matters. Many bright students learn early on that since things come easily to them, they need not apply them self to get a good grade. Grades are not the point or purpose of learning. The student must apply his self and present to me a knowledgeable presentation of what they have learned. Being a home school mom allows me to "push" each child according to his ability and not be tied down to the restraints of "the class" as a whole.

I usually give my child a book to read, or when younger I would read to them, then we discuss it informally. Depending on the age of the child, I will ask for a project or paper. This has worked well. Four of my children have gone on to higher education without any problems. (Roel, Ingrid, Jackie, and Josh. We raised two ye'kwana indians and both went to college in the US.)

Literature can not be left out of the students life. I am amazed at the lack of quality literature in most High School curriculum. Our children are being raised with out the wonderful advantage of all the learning available to us on the written page. Pages written by great minds! What a waste of time for the student to be studying "fluff" when there is so much more to delve into!

My children are all avid readers. I am as well, so is their father. From a very early age, I began reading aloud to the children and carry on to this day. Their father also read aloud to them. My children each have a book for "pleasure reading" on their own time and a list of required reading for school. No one has ever complained about the reading. Some of my children have a book for each room of the house! We often share with each other what we are reading.

It is good mental stimulation to have several books going on at the same time. You learn to "store" information and will find your self comparing ideas from one book, to another that perhaps are not seen as related, but you will begin to see that so much in the world is connected! Cause and effect. History repeating. Think outside of the box! Or as my daughter says, "Box!? What box?"

It is important to realize that when reading aloud to a child, make sure you are choosing books above their own reading ability. Children can comprehend much more than they are able to read for themselves. Choose classics, choose books you can make come alive for them and leave them wanting more!!

The child who reads will learn to compare information to related concepts in his memory. This will give him the mental flexibility to come up with new possibilities. By seeing these patterns of information, the child will then be able to ask questions , develop mental schemes, and realize there is often more than one correct answer to many problems. This child will be a THINKER! That is my goal.

This year, I have an 11th grader and an 8th grader. My emphasis for the 8th grader is on AMERICAN history. Being here in the states and traveling so much, this is a perfect time to explore the US of A. She will also be reading a lot of American Literature. Both girls will have a heavy load in the area of Bible.

This is our course of study;

8th grade

Sin and salvation
Attributes of God
Early Church Leaders
Early Church History
The Early Churches
The Book of Proverbs
Understanding Today's Problems
Understanding Parents
Walking with God

Saxon Math

English Grammar and Composition


American History and American Literature

Earth Science

Music Theory

History of Art

Beautiful Girlhood


Physical Education

11th grade;

The Faithfulness of God
The Doctrine of Jesus Christ
The Nation of Israel
History of the Canon
Friendship, Dating, and Marriage
The Pursuit of Happiness
Answers for Apologetics
God, His Word and the Christian Life

Saxon math, Algebra 2

American Literature and Composition ( thesis)

World History ( Streams of Civilization)


Spanish 3

Home Ec

History of Art

The Christian Home

Physical Education

Driver's Ed

Article in The Record

Found this in my files and decided to share it with you all...

Helping Indians of Amazon change for the better

Thursday, November 16, 2000

Special to The Record

When one thinks of an anthropologist, visions of tents, sweat-soaked khakis, and well-worn notebooks come to mind.

Integrity also comes to mind. These scientists, who make their living by studying primarily pre-industrial peoples and their cultures, are supposed to follow a code of ethics similar to "The Prime Directive," made famous by the science fiction TV show "Star Trek." Like the crew of the Starship Enterprise, anthropologists are forbidden from interfering with the subject civilization in any way that would artificially accelerate its development or markedly change its culture.

But a recent USA Today story about a book titled "Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon" (W.W. Norton & Co.) raises serious charges against anthropologists who studied the Yanomami Indians in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil and Venezuela during the 1960s.

The most serious charge stems from a series of measles vaccinations given to the Yanomami by a team of anthropologists. These vaccinations allegedly caused an epidemic that killed hundreds of Indians. The book offers evidence that the Yanomami deliberately were used as guinea pigs in a macabre and cruel experiment.

The book, written by Patrick Tierney, also alleges that French anthropologist Jacques Lizot sexually exploited Yanomami boys and girls. (Lizot says any sexual relationships he had in the Amazon were consensual and involved only adults.) Furthermore, Tierney charges that Napoleon Chagnon, an anthropologist with the University of California-Santa Barbara, mischaracterized the Yanomami as warlike, that he staged fights, and that he altered data to support his theory.

If true, these accusations are shocking, especially for a profession that prides itself on the ability to study cultures unobtrusively. But is this sort of research possible, or merely an intellectual ideal? I believe that no one -- not even an "objective" scientist -- can interpose himself into a group without causing some change. And to complicate the matter further, in many cases, the people being studied want change. They desperately hunger for the freedom to determine their own destinies rather than follow what an ivory-tower academic with a laptop thinks is best.

Much like anthropologists, missionaries go and live with various peoples. But missionaries are motivated by love instead of by a scientific quest for knowledge, best described as "publish or perish."

In 1998, I spent a week with 450 Maquiritare and Sanema Indians who live in the tiny village of Chajurana in the Venezuelan rain forest. A 90-minute flight in a Cessna 206 from Puerto Ayacucho on the Venezuela-Colombia border took me to a machete-manicured airstrip that is a mere 500 meters long. The remoteness of the location is hard to comprehend. There are no roads here. Without the Cessna, the trip would take two weeks by canoe along dangerous rivers filled with crocodiles, piranhas, and anacondas.

During my stay, I lived with the Clint Vernoy family in their thatched-roof hut. The Vernoys are Baptist missionaries and invited guests in this part of the world. They have earned the right to live among the Maquiritare. Consequently, they are able to minister to their Indian neighbors in a variety of ways -- by providing medicine, food, and other sundries, which the Maquiritare use for bartering.

The Vernoys' presence also provides a reason for Mission Aviation Fellowship to land its two single-engine Cessnas on the village's airstrip on a regular basis. These planes bring supplies to the Vernoys and provide a window to the outside world for the Indians in Chajurana. Most importantly, the Vernoys provide a Gospel witness among their Indian hosts.

I asked Clint what the Indians say to those who would accuse him of interfering in their culture.

"The secular anthropologists want the Indians to stay the way they are," he told me. "But the Indians themselves have often told me that they do not want others telling them how to live and that they must not change or become modern. The Maquiritare want to experience progress. They want to be able to determine their own destiny."

The Vernoys would be the first to admit they are living among the Maquiritare to effect a change in their culture, an honesty that is lacking among their academic counterparts.

"The secular anthropologists come here and try to tell the Indians how to live. Then they get on a plane and go home to the comforts of Western civilization. We are gaining the right to be heard because we live among them," Clint said.

This approach is certainly a far cry from the actions described in "Darkness in El Dorado," and is a refreshing change in a world where the weak are still exploited by the powerful in most Third World countries.

Gregory Rummo is a business executive who belongs to Madison Avenue Baptist Church in Paterson, where he also serves as choir director. You may e-mail him at

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who said it? ( quiz part 1)

“If the United States were to attack Iran, the only country ruled by God, we would counter-attack in Latin America and even inside the United States itself. We have the means and we know how to go about it. We will sabotage the transportation of oil from Latin America to the US. You have been warned”.

Who do you think made this statement?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'm not surprised!

Venezuela, South Africa Considered Among Most Dangerous Nations

Is there any area within a kilometre of your home where you would be afraid to walk alone at night?






South Africa









Ivory Coast

































Palestinian Ter.



























Czech Republic












South Korea



United States






















































Source: Pew Global Attitudes Project
Methodology: Interviews with 45,239 adults in 46 countries and the Palestinian Territories, conducted from Apr. 9 to May 23, 2007. Margins of error range from 2 per cent to 4 per cent.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The family...across the years.





Mi Familia

Mis nietas!

Jackie y shishuca Abbie
usando kawadimaca Ye'kwana

El papa orgulloso!


In the book 'if' by Amy Carmichael it says:

if I ask to be delivered from trial rather
than for deliverance out of it,
to the praise of His glory;
if I forget that the way of the cross
leads to the cross
and not to a bank of flowers;
if I regulate my life on these lines,
or even unconsciously my
so that I am surprised when the
way is rough and think it
strange, though the word is,
"Think it not strange,"
"Count it all joy."
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Friday, August 10, 2007

MK isms!

For those of you who do not know, MK stands for Missionary Kid. Also known as TCK's or Third Culture Kids. It isn't always easy growing up in another culture, a different culture than your parents. You are neither one culture nor the other, but a mixture of the two. This creates your own unique Third Culture.

TCK's enjoy spending time with each other. No matter from what part of the world they come from, they will have something in common with one another. It is even more pronounced among MK's, as they have their faith in common as well.

Last week we had 30 veteran missionaries families together. We had 30 teens and they had a great time. I enjoyed observing them and how they interacted. There were a few cultural mix ups, as is usual when you have so many kids from so many culture. We had families from;

Fiji islands
Ice Land
New Zealand
Puerto Rico

But, my two girls both had an MK moment this week as well.

Sunday Morning after church, we were waiting in the lobby to meet up with another missionary couple from St. Thomas. Jewel pointed to the ladies restroom and asked if she could use it. Clint and I stared at her and assured her she could certainly make use of the public restroom. She asked again,
" Are you sure it is ok if I use it?"
"Yes!' we both replied.
She said, "Well, it has a handicap sign!"
We realized she had thought that since you can not park in a handicap spot, perhaps you could not use a restroom that was marked as handicap accessible.

The question is, How did she get to the age of 17 and never know that?

Jayde had such a good time at the mission with all the fun activities they had arranged for the MK's last week, she had decided to leave a thank you poem for all of the directors. I knew nothing of this until the directors all came and said how much they appreciated her poem. One even had taken a photo.

Life can be so tricky,
for a missionary kid,
but you made it so fun,
During Enrichment Week, you did!

We missionary kids are sometimes
longing to be normal.
But no matter who we were,
how we dressed, casual or formal,

You made sure we all fit in,
You helped us give our all to Him,
now let's sit back, bow our heads,
and watch it all begin!

Ok, so its not perfect poetry, but she expresses a common MK feeling, the need to fit in.

Happy Birthday, Jewel!

You’re a jewel in His crown
A rare and precious gem
A daughter of The Most High King
Created to bring glory to Him.

You’re a jewel in His crown
A woman of excellence and worth
A priceless diamond in His court
Fashioned for His glory since birth.

You’re a jewel in His crown
Loved by the King beyond measure
A royal princess, a coheir with Christ
A beauty to behold and treasure.

You’re a jewel in His crown
A unique and distinctive stone
Purchased by the blood of Jesus
You belong to Him alone.

Oh, sweet sister of the Kingdom
In God’s work may you abound
You’re a blessing, an awesome woman of God

You’re a jewel in His crown. †

Crystal Godfrey

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Why Would I Be stressed!?!?!

Last week, in one of the sessions held for the missionary wives, the subject matter presented dealt with stress and depression. Both are common symptoms of culture shock. All the women present had spent at lest 4 years overseas, so we had all experienced culture shock at some point. The often over looked problem is that culture shock and stress can lead to depression. It is almost a taboo among missionaries to admit to times of depression. We see ourselves as strong people serving the Lord and thus should never feel depressed.

That's not the way it works! We are only human and we will feel the stress and pressures we encounter in foreign lands. Often we are isolated from other Americans and surrounded by people who, quite literally, hate us and our country, as well as our God. If we are not prepared for this bombardment, we will become depressed. Then we feel guilty and that brings more depression!

The talking points I am listing below were all discussed in a session held by Dr. Mary Ray. Her husband is the President of BIMI, Dr. James Ray.

Questions Missionary Wives Often Ask

Why was I so excited to live overseas?

answer: Because you didn't know any better!

Will I ever feel normal again?


Will my kids be normal?
answer: Probably not. (but that can be a good thing!)

Will I ever understand these people?
answer: Of course, someday you will.

Why do I feel depressed?
answer: Because you ARE depressed!!!

Why am I so stressed?

answer: Why not?!

After the last question was open for discussion, she passed out a copy of one of our Missionary News letters from the summer of 2005 as an example of why a missionary might be stressed out. I will share bits and pieces with you here so that you might get a glimpse into our lives.

Vernoy Report
June/July 2005

* Due to opposition from the government towards mission groups in the jungle, we have had to go to Caracas to "lawyer up". While there we both came down with E-coli. After our short time in Caracas, still recovering from e-coli, we returned to the jungle to begin the preparations to fly 6 Indian missionaries from Chajurana to Wasarana for a week of preaching and teaching. They were to be joined later by ourselves and an American medical team. Due to four days of bad weather, we were unable to fly out the 2 barrels of aviation fuel we would need for the flights. Then, on the one good day of weather, the airport authority denied us permission to fly any fuel. That was then followed by two "surprise" inspections of the plane by the Army.

*We were finally able to get the permit and fly the fuel to Chajurana and continue with our plans; however, the medical group was held up at the airport and charged a "special" tax in order to bring in the donated medicines.

*When we were ready to fly the medical group from the town of Ciudad Bolivar out to the jungle, the airport would not sale us av gas, although we had the required permit. This meant we had to fly to Puerto Ordaz to obtain enough gas for the flights. They group finally did make it out to the jungle.

*The following day, a 6 day old baby was brought to Chajurana by canoe from another village. The baby was dying. The father had committed suicide the week before the baby's birth. Although the visiting doctor did all that was possible, the baby's only chance for survival was the hospital two hours away by plane. We immediately prepped the plane for departure. The pilot and another missionary loaded up with the mother and baby. Thirty minutes out, the baby began experiencing respiratory failure and after Nate tried several minutes of CPR, his heart stopped. At this point, the plane began to return to Chajurana, having to fly around an electrical storm.
The plane had to land before the storm reached us and before night fall, as we have no lights for the runway.They landed with only a few minutes to spare.

*The baby was pronounced DOA. The Ye'kwana fear the dead and are afraid to touch the corpse. A Christan indian, a deacon of the church, built the tiny coffin and prepared the baby's body for burial. The next day we flew them to their village, intending to bury the baby properly. I also hoped to share the gospel with the village chief who had been asking me many questions regarding Christianity and salvation. But... the plane's battery was dead. We had to jump start it using our generator's battery. The pilot , Nate and myself (Clint) experienced a few harrowing moments working inches away from the running propeller. This meant we could only deliver the mother and coffin but could not stay, as we could not turn off the plane. We then had to fly 2 hours away to get another battery for the plane.

*We did get the team to Wasarana to join the indians from the church already there. Another village, Cumashina, had walked and canoed for 2 days to be there as well. We were able to hold a 2 day Medical Clinic and show films and preach at night. The chief from Cumashina says no one has ever gone to their village to help them at all. He invited us back to not only hold a clinic but asked us to preach as well.

So... there is a week of our life in the jungle. I find it odd that people often ask me if I ever got bored in the jungle, not having electricity, TV or internet. Actually, I find those things boring. A poor substitute for real life adventure.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Early Years

The Jungle Hut - a work in progress!
( This is year 2, I know because we have a water barrel!)

Things were not always easy at first! It took time and a lot of hard work to get the home livable for the family. When I look back, I wonder, "What was I thinking?" I am so glad we did not hesitate but went to the jungle and spent the best years of our lives there!

I am glad my children were raised in such a humble way, as it has made them into strong, confident, easily satisfied adults. I thank God for the priviledge to have lived with the Ye'kwana people and for His love for them. For never failing to watch over us for all those years. May I never take it for granted.

Jewel and friends in front of our house.
(Sitting on the jungle poles used to work on the house.)

Clint and Josh walking over to the Sanema village on the log bridge.

Visiting with my friends.

Ye'kwana Man and Baby Jesica.
( Jesica is now an orphan.)

Doing the laundry in the Padamo River at Toki.
( The Indian with me, Frida, died in a plane crash.
We raised her two children in our home for 7 years.)

Trying to do school work with an audience.
( The fish bowl lifestyle of a tribal missionary family.)

Taking a blood sample to check for malaria...again.

Entertaining friends.

Baby Jayde in our unfinished house.
(This was my kitchen for more than a year.)

People We Love

Lovely faces!

Josue and Wendi -Church deacon

Bertico - Cacique (chief)

Petra -First Christian convert in village

Pre school class

Freddie - my neighbor

Marta and Yassir Arafat ( I kid you not!)

School lunch break


Petra. My angel!

Very Emotional Week Ahead

This week we are still here at the BIMI World Missions Center. We are working on preparing our presentation which we will use to share the story of our last 20 years in ministry in Venezuela and our plans for the new ministry in Paraguay.

This involves reviewing lots of old photos and video as well as doing interviews and recordings. It is hard for me to sit and look at all these memories as well as discuss the things that happened for 8 hours a day for a week. I get sad, angry, jubilant, sad again. It is emotionally draining for me. must be done! And my motto is:

Just Do It!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Product of Missions

This week we have spent time with several fellow BIMI missionaries from around the world. We have been with people we have not seen in many years. One of the families we always look forward to spending time with is the Divakars from India. They work under a lot of difficulties but continue on. Being Indian, they are able to serve in a most effective way.

David and his family were here with us this week as well as his mother. His father died a few years ago but she was awarded her 25 year service pin on Friday night.

The history of their family is incredible! I am sharing it with you , as told by David himself. It reveals the long reaching effects of missions and the fruits of missionary work. I hope you will be encouraged to get involved in missions in some way.

A Product of Missions!

by missionary David Divakar

Our story begins in British-India in the year 1890. A Hindu guru (teacher), in the small town of Sandoor in Southern India, sat under a Banyan tree teaching his disciples as he did every afternoon. This guru was a “Janghama” who came from a high cast and was greatly respected among other gurus. His name was Bassaiah. In a society where the human feet are considered unholy and therefore never allowed to touch another person’s feet, Bassaiah’s disciples would wash his feet. They would then drink that water as holy water because they worshipped him as a god and considered his feet holy. One day, Bassaiah was reading from the “Kodaykal Vachanayagollu,” which is one of the religious books in Hinduism. As he read and explained each verse from this book to his disciples, he came across a passage that said, “All religions will ultimately be done away with, but a religion started by a carpenter will survive.” For the first time in his life, he was at a loss for words because he had no explanation for this passage as he did not know the meaning himself. He thought Hinduism was the greatest religion in the world. For this reason he was a priest in that religion, but now his own book told him otherwise. Carpenters were not considered of much affluence because they were of a lower cast. The words from this book troubled him because he did not understand them.

In another part of the world, a missionary with the London Missionary Society said good-bye to friends and relatives as he and his family boarded a ship for India. India was a world away for a man and his family to leave their comfortable lives in England and go to a hot desert climate. However, their hearts burned with a desire to tell the masses of India about Jesus. The Lord in His mighty way brought this missionary to Sandoor and burdened him to preach the gospel. The missionary poured out his heart to the people. He preached the gospel of Jesus Christ without fear or compromise. The Indian people around him were interested in what this Englishman had to say because it was something they had never heard before. However, they were very reluctant to accept what he had to say because it was too bizarre for them to believe. Their religion expected them to do a lot of work in pleasing their various gods before they could even hope of having a chance to get to heaven. However, this man was preaching about a God who did all the work for mankind and the only thing man had to do was to believe. Day after day the missionary preached faithfully, but no one turned to Christ.

One day Bassaiah happened to be listening to the missionary. While the missionary was preaching, he alluded to the fact that Jesus Christ was a carpenter by trade before he entered his three years of public ministry. Suddenly Bassaiah realized that what he read in his book and what the missionary was talking about were probably one and the same. The missionary saw the old guru and knew that he was the most important person in that town. Out of respect for his position in society, the missionary invited Bassaiah to the place where he was staying. The guru accepted the invitation very reluctantly because he was considered a holy man in his society. Any association with a non-Hindu would be unacceptable. Nevertheless, Bassaiah went with the missionary. The missionary presented the gospel to the old guru. The old guru was awestruck by the fact that God cared enough for him that he would take upon himself the form of man and die on the cross to save him from his sins. This was the first time the old guru realized that the God who created the universe cared enough to love him and shed His blood for a sinner like him. This concept of God loving man was so new and yet so wonderful! The old guru bowed his head and asked Jesus to come into his heart and save him from eternal condemnation.

When Bassaiah’s disciples heard that their guru had become a Christian, they threatened to kill him and his family. With his family and all the luggage they could carry, Bassaiah left the town. They left behind their home and many acres of land. They never looked back. The townspeople made the missionary leave town that very day. He did so with a very sad heart. The missionary had labored so earnestly, yet there was only one soul that came to know Christ as personal Savior. Although he was happy for that one soul, he left Sandoor a disappointed man.

What the missionary never knew was that Bassaiah’s son would later pastor a church for forty-five years and that he would have a son who would retire from the police department and become an evangelist. Also, he could not have known that the evangelist would have a son who is Edwin Divakar, BIMI missionary in India, and that his son would be me, David Divakar. I am the fourth generation after Bassaiah Divakar to be privileged to be called to serve our Lord in the land of India. I praise the Lord for that missionary from the London Missionary Society. No one alive, today, knows his name or whatever became of him or his family. However, their legacy will live on until Jesus comes back. On that glorious day when I bow my knee to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, if I get a chance I want to say, “Thank you, Lord, for sending that missionary, and thank you, missionary, for being willing to go where the Lord led you.”

Friday, August 03, 2007

How Does Your Garden Grow ?

(Another recycled post. Very busy this week.)

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 tomato 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 tomato 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 produced 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!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm Gonna Go and Eat Worms!

When we first arrived in the village we did everything possible to befriend the Indians. We could not speak their language, and very few of them spoke Spanish ,so this meant spending time with them. Observing, imitating, and learning.

One morning, a group of women showed up at our house. They were all very excited and kept pointing at me and reaching for my arm to pull me towards the river. My husband laughingly said, "Go ahead! It looks like a ladies day out!" So I went with them, where ever we were going!

At the river there was only one man as he was the Motorist for the outboard motor on the back of the dug out canoe. He looked very nervous to be a lone man among so many females. Funny how that is the same in all cultures! There were about 20 women all giggling and getting in and making room for others. The seats of an indian canoe are.... NOT made for the backside of most gringos! Rather narrow, often just a trimmed branch wedged in place.

I was caught up in the excitement of the ladies! Lots of giggling . They tried to explain what we were doing and where we are going. I caught about .01% of what they were saying. I saw a few hand made fishing poles and figured that we were going to a new fishing hole.

After about two hours and a couple of rapids we arrived at the end of the Chajura River. There is a beautiful waterfall there at the mouth of the Majawa River.

I wish we would have had a digital camera at the time so I could show you. We missed a lot of great shots because we tried to be considerate of the Indians and did not want to go around taking pictures all the time. Unlike the anthropologist who consider them their objects or specimens for study, we as missionaries treat them as people with feelings and the right to privacy.

The canoe stopped and all the ladies jumped out, grabbed their buckets, shovels, machetes, whatever! No one grabbed the fishing poles so I did. The motorist left. He seemed relieved to leave all of us women.

The women had begun to dig into the river bank with their tools. I saw what they were digging for and thought ,"OH! BAIT!" They were digging up earth worms. I must explain something to you! If you have never seen an earthworm of the amazon, you have no idea! They are a grayish purple in color. They are FAT critters. About the width of your thumb! AND they are huge! Like 2-3 feet long! I figured , maybe 10 worms or so could be cut up to provide bait for all of us for the fishing we were planning to do. ER...the fishing I was planning. But these women had 5 gallon buckets and were filling them all.

It actually was fun to dig for worms. You dig into the mud and there you will see lots of squirming worms half hanging out. Then you grab on with both hands and pull. Pull, but don't break the worm! That would cause all the women to rush over and try and explain how to pull the worm out whole. So, I kept pulling worms and was getting pretty good at it. I was wondering why we needed so many worms when I looked over at a group of ladies on the bank.

They were getting out the indian hot sauce and cassava bread. "Oh , good, a lunch break!" I thought. Then I saw some of the women had been in the river washing the worms. Hmm... would the fish we caught with the bait really care if there was a little mud clinging to the worms?

One lady ran up the bank with a hand full of worms, still squiggling and grabbed cassava bread, smeared hot sauce on it and ...placed the worms in the bread, rolled it up, kinda like a tortilla wrap sandwich, and ...GULP!!! BIG BITE!!! Did I mention the worms were still squiggling?

Now every one ran up with their clean worms and I finally realized we were not going fishing! And I realized why we needed so much bait! And I realized, I did not want to eat worms!

What did I do? I kept digging for worms ! Then I took the fishing line and started to fish! I made sure to look very busy and happy at what I was doing! The women would come and offer me a handful of worms on cassava bread... but I would laugh and shake my head, and point to the fishing line. Thank goodness the motorist came back about then!

We took back about 30 gallons of worms and the whole village feasted on them.

Yes, there were times,
I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.

In a few years, I would come to the point of being able to eat worms. I prefer them smoked over a fire though. They sort of taste like a Slim Jim and are a good snack. My youngest daughter would prefer to eat worms over chocolate chip cookies! She would take her cookies or brownies and go around and trade them for worms!