Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Personal Update


We are getting used to one less member in the house. Clint has turned Jewel's room into an exercise area, which is very convenient for him. It is also the guest room if we ever get any visitors.

I have been having fun with Jewel's cell phone. She left it behind for Jayde to use but several young men are intent on texting Jewel and declaring their undying love. My husband enjoys answering the texts! Jayde is annoyed by it and I find it hilarious.

I am trying to get used to cooking for only three people. How does one do this?

Don't tell my son in law, but his DvD and sound system are pretty awesome to use while watching Star Wars! His stereo is pretty cool too! We like his Bow Flex too! Shhhh!!!!!!

The grand daughters had made chalk drawings on my drive way the day before they left. Yesterday and today we have had big rain storms which washed them away. This makes me sad, I miss seeing their cheerful drawings as I walk outside. I have gone around the house and packed up any toys or books or shoes or crayons they left as well. Stuck them in a closet!

Of course the biggest thing for us has been getting our carnets and Immigration status. We can now get ID cards and open bank accounts, get a PO box and rent movies!!!

I have to tell you, winter in June and July just messes me up. My internal clock can not compute this. It just feels all out of whack. The other thing I find disconcerting is looking at the southern sky and not recognizing any of the stars. It is very odd to look up and see an unfamiliar sky. It can make one feel lost.


Since being ordained 25 years ago, my husband has performed many weddings, funerals, and baptisms, but recently he has done these here in Paraguay for the first time in this country, which is special.

He baptized 6 last month as well as performed his first funeral here. The funeral was very difficult as it was the pre born baby of young mom in a coma. The baby was only about 6 months along. We were glad they allow for a proper burial of this tiny person. The mother is finally doing better and is out of the coma but has a long way to go before being able to return home to her other child, a two year old son.

We are continuing to have the small group Bible Study for couples in our home on Thursdays. We are studying marriage and it has been interesting to see the difference in the cultural understanding of the roles each plays in marriage.

I thought Venezuelan men were macho. The Paraguayan culture really puts an uncommon value on the males of the society. This comes from the fact that in the War of the Triple Alliance, all but 10% of the male population was killed. That allowed for a margin of 7 women to every 1 male. The families treated the boys very special. Mothers, daughters all served the son and brother like a little prince and this seems to continue today.

There is a saying in Paraguay that every man can have 7 women, and if a man does not have his 7, then some other man is enjoying 14!!! but...I have observed that the Paraguayan women are very independent. I am sure this comes from the same cultural back ground. They had to be strong as there were no men. They even went into battle with their children to save the patria. I don't think one man could handle 7 Paraguayan women! It should be noted that the Christian men are very different, which is probably not easy for them culturally.

My husband continues to give seminars at the Air Base. He recently did a series on Anger Management. A Major he has been talking to has made the decision to become a Christian. We are excited for this, as well as the other 6, or so, enlisted men who have accepted Christ recently and now wish to be baptized. We have to wait for warmer weather for that!

Some of these soldiers are as young as 16. Recently they have been given permission to attend the Saturday night youth meetings at church. Normally they are not allowed off base unsupervised, but have been granted special permission to do so for this activity. They are also being taught music classes by some of the young people and one of the deacons. They really enjoy this time off of the base.

And that's what has been happening here.


The Hermit said...

7 women to every man! I'd better get packed. Hola Amigos! Donde esta me siete mujeres? Por favor, solo las mujeres bonitas, guapas y joven.

Susan said...

Wes would LOVE to answer texts declaring undying love! LOL That is too funny!

Praise the Lord for the folks saved and baptized recently!

I've been trying to imagine winter in July, and it's impossible. I have another missionary friend in Brazil, and she's been freezing to death over there. Stay warm! We're having no problem with it! ;)

Z said...

Everything's so interesting here, JM! Thanks!
I'm sorry the chalk drawings washed away....I can imagine how you felt!

Wonderful that you're making more and more converts! what a blessing!

Liz said...

Nice update Rita.

On cooking for 3: unless you have 3 pieces of meat, chicken or fish... it's tricky! I always have leftovers in the fridge. So, once a week or so I take everything out and we eat it!

Very useful for sundays...

Betty said...

I`m glad you are adjusting to being with less one daughter...it`s not easy!
And your ministry is being blessed,I can see. That makes me happy for you and I hope you continue to minister the Paraguayan people!

Kathy said...

Glad to hear that everything is going well for the three of you! At least everyone else is only an e-mail, a Twitter, a Facebook, a Skype, and a phone call away! Wouldn't you have loved all that when you first went to Venezuela?! We'll keep praying for you folks as you minister to the people of Paraguay.

Gringo said...

In recognition of your change in perspective in the Southern Hemisphere, here is an upside down world map, courtesy of the Boston Public Library. You can change the perspective to concentrate on South America.

Another change is that Paraguay has more seasonal variation than Venezuela does, as Paraguay is farther from the Equator.

Regarding the different stars, there are several ways to look at that. Yes, it is disconcerting to look at the sky and see different constellations from what one is accustomed to seeing. It is also disconcerting for someone like myself, raised in the countryside, grown accustomed to seeing stars, to then move to an urban area where one cannot see the stars at night. I would prefer to see any stars, regardless of hemispheric change, instead of no stars due to urban lights.

I was more affected by stars in wintertime than in the summer. Perhaps it is that in the cold of winter, stars give some kind of hope, some kind of continuity. All I know is that nearly all my memories of stars at night are associated with winter, not with summer.

Have you been asked if the moon you see in Paraguay is the same moon that is seen in the US? I came across that question once in Argentina. No, the question didn’t come from an astromomer.

Brenda said...

Cooking for three means more leftovers. . . nice sometimes. But I know you miss the others. Keep that closet of toys closed, they will be back before you know it. .. . and I hope you get plenty of opportunities to use that guest room!

Winter in July is hard to get used to, fortunately it usually does not last too long.

MightyMom said...

wait for warmer weather??????

It was 102 as I drove to work tonight. Is that warm enough for ya?

glad you're adjusting to all your changes.

when you get that PO box how about gimme the address?

Charles said...

It's great to get glimpse now and then. Thanks for the update. You guys are in our daily prayers

MK said...

Nice to hear things are working out there JM. Thanks for the update.

Pam said...

What a great opportunity with the soldiers!
Loved the update info.
Hermits comment made me LOL!!

Anonymous said...

who has been sending me text messages?