Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Funny

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said,

'Jesus knows you're here.'

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze.

When he heard nothing more , after a bit, he shook his head and continued.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard

'Jesus is watching you.'

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.
'Did you say that?' he hissed at the parrot.

'Yep', the parrot confessed, then squawked, 'I'm just trying to warn you that he is watching you.'

The burglar relaxed. 'Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?'

'Moses,' replied the bird.

'Moses?' the burglar laughed. 'What kind of people would name a bird Moses?'

'The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler 'Jesus.'

(http://www.tslrf.blogspot.com/)

Thoughts of God

Amy Carmichael


With all the distractions of modern life, I often find my mind and thoughts to be filled with so many random, even meaningless preoccupations. This has been my own case of late. The last couple of days the following lines of a poem written by the great missionary to India, Amy Carmichael, have been in my mind;

Think through me, thoughts of God
My Father, Quiet me,
Till in Thy Holy presence, hushed,
I think Thy thoughts with Thee.





Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoon!

The State of the Union



 I know you have all been waiting for my analysis of the President's State of the Union address. I watched it closely, noting the tones of his voice, the reaction of the audience and my expert opinion is that the speech could be summed up in the following...

Lean to the left! 
( ObamaCare will become law)

Lean to the right! 
 (Open up off shore oil fields and build nuclear power plants.)

Stand up! 
(Pelosi)


Sit down!
(VP Biden)

 
Fight, Fight, Fight!
(POTUS scolding the SCOTUS  at the SOTU)

Intimidating, inappropriate , and incorrect!

and...it is all George W. Bush's fault!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Paraguayan Asado

 Right before Christmas we were able to host an end of year cookout here at our house for the  church leaders.  Paraguayans love their beef and it is suggested that one provide at least a kilo of meat (2.2lbs) per person when hosting and asado. Here are a few pictures from our time of  fellowship together with our  friends from church




Where's the beef??? On the grill!




Chorizo is a must!



Yummy!




 Peruvian Potatoes



The grillmeister!



 Coal or gas ~ have it your way!



 Clint and Domingo  have a lot of good times together.



 Walter is another one of our deacons~ another great guy!



 Even the little ones enjoyed the food!



 Sopa Paraguaya!

Next time, why don't you all come????

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Things I see...

 When it rains in Asuncion...






 we wish we had an amphibious vehicle!



Photo from Wikipedia


Another missionary here, Mike Goddard, shared these top two photos. We see this kind of thing very often, but I never am able to capture it as he has.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Out and About

While I was out and about today, I saw: 

a lady carrying a basket of pineapples on her head as she crossed an intersection, 

4 guys on the same motorcycle,

two girls racing over to wash our windshield at the red light, 

an entire skinned pigs head smiling at me in the meat cooler,

and the door to a "Hobbit Hole"! 

I did not see the ostrich today though, that was disappointing!

Food for Thought

 

“If you would not be forgotten

as soon as you are dead and rotten,

Either write something worth reading

or do something worth writing.”

 

Who wrote it?

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm gonna go eat worms...

 Another re-post from long ago...






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!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

C. S. Lewis

I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. 

~ C. S. Lewis

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Yekwanaman!

 I love him, I love him...and where he goes, I'll follow, I'll follow!

A meme about my hubby.



( I gave my heart to a Marine!)


1. He’s sitting in front of the TV; what is on the screen?
Action movie





2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
Ceasar





(Treating indian patients.)



3. What’s one food he doesn’t like?
Strawberry ice cream


4. You go out to the bar. What does he order?
We don’t go to bars…




(At my son's wedding.)


5. Where did he go to high school?
Zanesville, Ohio


6. What size shoe does he wear?
10






7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?
He collects knives and first edition old books.





(Delivering the New Testament, translated into Ye'kwana, to a village)





8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
Venezuelan pepito








9. What would this person eat every day if he could?
Steak


10. What is his favorite cereal?
Honey Nut Cherrios


11. What would he never wear?
Anything with a NY Yankee emblem!





(Providing dental care for the tribe)




12. What is his favorite sports team?
Boston Red Sox!




(Just chillin')


13. Who will he vote for?
  I know who he did not vote for ~ Obama!


14. Who is his best friend?
ME! And his children.








15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?
He does not like it when I do more than I should!


16. How many states has he lived in?
9 US states and 4 countries.


17. What is his heritage?
French/English...and third generation marine from Beaufort, S.C.!




(At the beach in Beaufort.)





18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake?
Cheese Cake, but he would prefer a Pecan pie!


19. Did he play sports in high school?
Football in Jr. High and Marching band (trumpet) in High School.





(Baby dedication)




20. What could he spend hours doing?
Reading Greek and Biblical translation.






( Reading the Greek New Testament with youngest grand daughter)


I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Money ~ Dinero

I cleaned out all  of my purses and found coins from:

Venezuela, Bolivares

Costa Rica, Colones

USA, Dollars

Paraguay, Guaranis

Argentina,  Pesos

Uruguay, Pesos

... and strangely, 

a bill from China, a 10 Yuan bill!

Now, please, someone tell me...how did I ever come to posses Chinese currency?

What is in your purse?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Things I see ...

Humble beauty...





I did not take this picture, but I often see sights like this, beauty nestled in among simple homes. I admire the Paraguayan people  who manage  to beautify something which otherwise might not be much to look upon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Christian Burial in the Jungle

In Memory of Baby David Lopez



It was Easter week. I will never forget it. We had only been in the village for about a year. I had made friends with one indian lady, Linda, as she was one of two women in the village that spoke a little Spanish. Her husband , Antonio, was the school teacher in the village. He had been born and raised in the village of Acanaña and had been trained by missionaries there. He had also been sent to town to receive a high school education. He was, perhaps, one of the most educated indians of the tribe at the time.

They had flown out to town a couple of months earlier so that Linda could be near a hospital to give birth to her fourth child. She had only just returned to the village a few days before with her three week old son. Her first son, as her other children were girls. Her only son, as they had performed a tubal ligation on her at the hospital. She came to the house and proudly showed him to us. Antonio would be flying back in on a separate flight the following week.

On Saturday, she came to us in the morning, on her way to her garden. She said the baby had been fussing a lot the night before. My husband checked him out, but all seemed fine. Clear lungs, no mucus, no fever, good heart rate! He was a cutie who was beginning to smile!

She continued on with the baby to her garden to get food for the family. That evening she arrived back at the house. It had rained that day, she and the children were soaking wet. The baby was feverish. When Clint listened to his lungs, I knew we were in trouble just by the look on his face. His temperature was at 104.

We began to do all we could for the baby with the limited tools available to us. He had developed double pneumonia in about 12 hours. Unfortunately, we had no oxygen in the village. We had penicillin, but not the fast acting, injectable which is the preferred treatment.

As the evening wore on, the baby began to struggle to breathe. We had called out by radio to have the plane ready to fly out for the patient first thing in the morning, if he was able to make it through the night. The missionaries in town had found the father, Antonio, and he was prepared to receive his son. The missionaries had arranged for an ambulance to be at the airport. IF the baby survived the night.

Around mid-night, we almost lost him! Clint began CPR, and was able to get him to breathe again. But...about an hour later, he stopped breathing and we repeated the process again. He had a weak pulse but once again began to breathe on his own.

This happened more times than I can remember. My husband wore himself out trying to breathe for the small baby. We had to take turns breathing the breath of life into the child. We did this for hours.

Any doctor will tell you, you should not do this! CPR is meant to be used for a short time only until medical help can be reached or the paramedics arrive. BUT...there was no medial help and we were the paramedics!

Around 4 am, Clint was breathing for the child and I felt the babies pulse, slowly falter, lighter and lighter, until...nothing. Clint's eyes were on my face as he also felt the life slip away.

Linda also realized the exact moment her son died. She did not understand what Clint and I were saying to one another, but she knew!

She stood and began to cry out, "My son! My son, my only son!" I went to her , to try and comfort her. She sobbed all night in my arms. "My little son!"

Clint had laid the baby down and asked for someone to help him. But the indians are terrified of dead bodies and at that time would not touch a corpse.

The Ye'kwana often would take a dying person out into the jungle so that they would die there alone and away from the village. If someone dies in a house, no one would live in the house afterwards. They would hire the Sanema tribe to bury the body for them so that they would not know where it was. This is due to their fear of the spirits.

Antonio and Linda were Christians though. Once we realized no one would help with the baby, Clint went out and built a tiny casket all by himself. He only had a battery powered flashlight and hand tools. I wrapped the baby in a soft cloth and comforted Linda and my own small children who had watched and heard it all.

The other indians all sat around and wailed the death chant ...all night. They were very concerned that we had the body in the house with us. But where should we put him? It was a dark, rainy night in the jungle.

The next morning we informed the pilots by radio that we had lost the patient but to please fly the father out to the village anyway. The men in the village had begun to dig the grave. We were only waiting for the father to arrive for the burial.

When Antonio came in on the flight, they left immediately for the grave sight. Antonio and Linda had become Christians through the ministry of the missionaries in their village. They wanted a christian burial for their son.

Remember, now, it is Easter Sunday morning. As he placed the small casket into the cold, dark, muddy hole he began to preach!

He told them all that he was very sad to lose his only son. His heart hurt! But...he would see his child again!" Yes," he said. "I know that the Son of God, Jesuquiriitu, has taken my son to be with Him in heaven! His body is here in the ground but his true person is with God! And I know that when I die, I also will go to the place of God and I will see my son again!"

He told the old, old story of a Savior who came in the form of a babe and laid down His life upon a cross. The Son of Wanaadi (God) had died to take away the sins of the world so that all who believe might be saved! But Jesuquiriitu did not stay dead! No, He rose again!!!! He defeated death on the third day and rose again. Jesuquidiitu, was seen alive by many witnesses after that and had promised to go to the place of His Father, Wanaadi, to prepare a home for all who believe! A place where the houses are not made of mud, nor cement blocks but had streets of gold! And Antonio, and Linda, had put their faith in that. They would see their small son again and be with him!

I remember that night and how we had done all in our power to stop Death. We could not stop Death.. We are only human. BUT ...I remember that Easter morning in the rainy jungle! I saw the power of the resurrected Christ work in the hearts and lives of a forsaken people in a forsaken land.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:


Upon a life I did not live,
upon a death I did not die;
anothers life, anothers death,
I stake my whole eternity.
-Horatius Bonar

Monday, January 18, 2010

Death is ugly

My mind has been on death as I have been reading accounts of  WWII battles, especially the Marines in the Pacific. Many people have never experienced the ugly realities of death in the Third World. Especially third world countries with a tropical climate.

Before I came to this part of the world, my exposure to death and burial was a very sanitized one. A person died and was removed by others to a mortuary. Once there, away from the eyes of the family, the body would be prepared for burial and often, at the viewing, would look younger and healthier than they had before the death.  The body of the deceased would be laid in a beautiful casket, wreathed in sweet smelling flowers, and we would solemnly walk by to pay our respects to the dead. We would offer platitudes to the family with words such as, "She looks as if she is but sleeping!"

Once we left the funeral home, we would see the casket placed in a luxurious limousine to be taken to a clean, manicured cemetery for burial. We would find a  tent already set up, chairs placed for our comfort,  flowers around, and the  grave would already be opened by cemetery workers, but covered, so that we were not confronted with that reality quite yet!

After a beautiful service, the casket would be lowered, a close family member would place one shovelful of symbolic dirt upon the grave, and then we would leave. Others would fill the grave afterward, out of our sight.

Of course, the grieving and mourning of a loved one is never easy, but it is made less disturbing by these civilizing niceties.

The following is a post from last year:

My husband is officiating at a graveside service this morning. The elderly gentleman passed away late Saturday night. It took most of the day yesterday to get the body released and to find a casket. All this took so long  that it became impossible to bury the body before night fall. The burial must be done quickly as there is no embalming and we have high temperatures here these days in our Paraguayan summer.


He met with the family first thing this morning for the burial, but, no one had dug the grave. Now they wait together for the hole to be dug, all in plain sight of the grieving loved ones.


 On Christmas Eve my husband was called at 7 pm by a friend in need. Another young friend's wife had gone into labor and delivered prematurely. The 7th month delivery caused the baby to be born with many medical needs. Our small city is not capable of supplying those needs and so an ambulance was needed to transport the child to  Asuncion. A public ambulance was not available and once the funds were found to pay for a private one, the child was taken away to receive better care. It was too late and the baby, a boy, perished on the way.

The ambulance returned and on the same day, a holiday, the father had not only needed to attain a Birth Certificate but also a Death Certificate in order to bury his child. Quickly. And  my husband spent the late evening and early morning hours with the young grieving father and mother who had yet to realize the terrible thing she was enduring. The child was buried early the next morning, Christmas Day, in their own yard as it is legal under certain circumstances in these parts.

 And yet, even this is better then in some circumstances.

In the jungle, among the Ye'kwana tribe, burials also had to be done quickly. If the family was christian, the dying person would be allowed to remain in his hammock and home to die. If not believers, the ailing one would be taken off and left alone in the jungle to perish, away from the community, so as not to bring evil spirits into the village. Once known, or hoped, to be dead, another tribe would be paid to retrieve the body and bury it in a place unknown to the Ye'kwanas.

If the family of the dying happened to be christian, the sick one would be allowed to remain in their home and cared for until their death, even though this often frightened the non believers. Once the person had passed way, we would immediately place cotton or mud, or whatever was available, into every orifice of the corpse. This was necessary to keep away insects, even so, someone would have to fan the body continuously until the burial, to fight off flies drawn to the smell of death.

The casket had to be built by hand. One group would begin this job while another group would go out into the dark, steamy jungle to dig a hole into the red mud. Once the casket and grave were prepared we would place the body into the casket and it would be carried on the backs of young men all the way to the grave sight which by necessity must be far removed from the village. Then we watched the loved one lowered into the mud and we staid and filled the hole with mud. Nothing is sanitized with flowers or greenery. Death is ugly.

But even that is not  the most difficult  thing to watch. It is ever so much more difficult to watch a body be burned. Seeing the loved one's corpse committed to the flames and then smell the stench that only a burned human body makes is something best avoided.

The first time I experienced this was at the invitation of the family of a Sanema woman. I walked across the log which was the foot bridge between our two villages, I climbed a muddy bank and was led to the clearing in the center of their small village where a large pyre of wood had been laid.

The elderly women were already writhing in grief, moaning and swaying to and fro. It was as if their hearts were ripping open and a wounded animal sound was gushing out from their very soul. The children roamed around confused and bewildered, the men stood stoically by, and the shaman was painted and covered by a jaguar skin making inhuman sounds and growls.

I sat on a bit of log taking in the sights and sounds around me. I felt the despair, I heard the anguish, I was chilled to the bone by the actions of the shaman as he danced and waved his rattle fiercely, seemingly, in my direction. Do not judge me, for you were not there!

Then, the body, wrapped in a tattered old hammock was slung onto the fire. A new sound emerged and a new smell filled the air. It takes a long time to burn a body. More logs needed to be added to the fire every so often. People fainted. Others went into drug induced dazes. Some wept until they had no more tears.

When the fire was allowed to extinguish itself and was left to cool, the entire tribe seemed to have been given  new energy. I watched in amazement as the women ran to the cooling embers and began frantically digging with their hands  and sifting through the ashes. I noticed they were placing things into a blackened cooking pot. Finally, the shaman came over and prodded the dying fire with his big toe and then nodded to the women who ran off with the pot and its contents.

I saw as  they began to use a simple mortar and pestle to grind the fragments in the pot. I saw as they added this fine powder to a prepared banana drink. I saw the family members of the deceased line up.

I  saw them drink the bones.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A tribute to a life lost in Haiti -Peterson

 The following post is from a friend's blog. We knew each other as missionaries in Venezuela. They had helped in the orphanage where Peterson lived. Sadly, Peterson was killed in the quake. Here is their tribute to his short life.


Luke 12:6 ~

 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?




I want to write about Peterson.

Because I know it is easy to look at all the news stories and pictures and just be overwhelmed by the tragedy and all the people in Haiti affected by the earthquake.

Yet most of the people remain nameless to the vast majority of us.

Peterson's life was not just a number...

Please , follow the link to read the post in its entirety and view the pictures of this child, now with the Lord.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Poor with Dignity





 Here in Paraguay we are all concerned with  the kidnapping situation in the Chaco area of the country. One of the most  recent  kidnappings, which has served to unify the Paraguayan people, was that of a rancher, Fidel Zavala, a few months ago.

The people have reacted with the sentiment of ,"Enough is Enough". We all have plastered our cars with white ribbons or the slogan,"WE ARE ALL FIDEL" and placed banners around the city in support of Fidel and his family.

Last week the Marxist rebel group, the EPP, responsible for his kidnapping, put out a a statement that Fidel's family must give away  many of their cattle to the surrounding villages and towns in order to save the life of their son, Fidel. This is an obvious attempt to buy the support of the poor locals by providing them with free meat, redistribution of wealth is a tenet of Marxism.

In desperation the Zavala family did deliver the meat to the small, poor Guarani village near their ranch as they had been ordered to do by the EPP. 




These people live in conditions of extreme poverty, completely forgotten by the state with their closest water supply being  2 kilometers away. (1mile) In spite of all of this, two days ago, they gave the country of Paraguay, and the world, a lesson in dignity. They also taught the guerrillas of EPP a lesson of their own.



With an amazing dignity and moral integrity, they refused to accept the meat which had been sent to them as part of the bribery required by the EPP of the family of Fidel, saying they did not wish to benefit from the pain of another. When word of their denial of the meat was reported by the media, the villagers were surprised at the reaction brought about by their action. The Chief, humbly, said, " We only did what is our custom which does not allow us to accept the fruit of evil." Words which only raise the esteem we feel for these valiant people.


This simple act of refusing to accept the meat has since spread to other poor, rural,  non- indian communities which were also to be given meat as part of the bribery package required by the EPP. This morning as I watched the local news I saw the people carrying their bags of free meat  to the doors of the police head quarters and throwing it down on the sidewalks in a defiant act against the EPP. They also are refusing to eat the fruit of evil.
Viva Paraguay!


The following is a short video of the community and lifestyle of those who said, "  NO!"




Viva Paraguay! Viva Fidel!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

An Update from the Livesay family in Haiti

The Livesay (Haiti) Weblog


 

 UPDATE FOR FRIDAY

 Read the link above. A missionary mom shares her heart as she places her 5 children on a plane to the US while she remains in Haiti to help.

Thursday

I don't know how long the internet will hold up. Follow Troy's tweets for information.

Many roads are blocked by fallen buildings. MANY people walking around with open and serious wounds. It is hard to travel freely to the areas you've asked us to check, that is why we don't have that information for you.

The deceased are being dragged to the side of roads, covered in sheets and left. We don't live in the hardest hit areas but even so there are many bodies.

Everything in Haiti (PRE earthquake) runs on generators and inverters and batteries == sometimes (pre earthquake) we get a city power current. Now there is no city current. Right now the Internet companies need to use diesel and generators to offer us service. It won't likely last ... and will come and go. We'll do our best to stay in touch. Diesel is going to go fast and will be needed for any sort of communication.

Pray.

tara

EDIT-
You are asking what you can do ... we are going to need Diesel, Water, Food ... things you cannot really easily do. SO - give money. The two organizations Troy and I work with and for both need help and are both reputable. The giant organizations are fine too if that is what you prefer. Money is the number one need (and ability to purchase the supplies) and MEDICAL PERSONNEL. Coming down if you are not willing to risk and get in and clean out horrific wounds would just tax an already taxed place. Medical professionals should contact organizations with the ability to coordinate efforts and try to get here. It won't help to have more non-medical people to feed and house. Hope that does not sound harsh - but it is truth.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Praying for Haiti

 Our hearts are burdened for the Haitian people as they suffer this catastrophe. We have heard from our own mission that our missionaries are fine. We have  a young friend, a missionary kid with our mission, that  was in front of the Presidential Palace when the quake happened. The mission team he was with is fine, but stuck trying to find a way out. There is hope for a flight soon.



A Haitian friend of our family who lives in south Florida, has not been able to make contact with any of her family as of yet.

Please pray for her and those on  the ground there in Haiti.

 If you would like to help BIMI   as they exercise compassion towards the many needs, you can give at the link below and designate the funds for EMERGENCY RELIEF FOR HAITI. God Bless You!

BIMI ~ Giving


Here is a blog of a missionary in Haiti.



UPDATE ~

From BIMI MK (missionary kid), in Haiti with a team from Pensacola Christian College ~ He said that the scene is heartbreaking and disastrous. He and the team are in Port-au-Prince and are helping, doing whatever they can until they are able to leave ... His words were: .. the things we are seeing are absolutely indescribable ... we are helping care for the homeless, the injured and the dying.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The World




Jayde wearing her traditional Ye'kwana face paint.



When you live in a small, closed community, such as an indian village, it is easy to lose touch with the larger world. The universe contracts and becomes the space you occupy and the people you see daily.

As an outsider and an adult, I still found this would happen to me occasionally, but for my children it could become normal for them to think the world revolved around our little village. The other villages along our river were 'foreign' like other countries even, and town, where Spanish was spoken, was down right alien. The strangest of all would be the 'gringo' people who would appear in our world from time to time.

Once, when my youngest daughter was but a toddler, we found ourselves in the village for a longer stretch than normal. We had not left the village in over 6 months and in the mind of a toddler, that was forever.



About that time a North American man and his grown son decided to fly out and visit us. When they arrived we were quite happy to visit and chat with them in English. They stayed with us for several days and were very kind and generous to our children. They had brought them coveted books and goodies from the US, so the kids were thrilled to have them as visitors.

Except for the baby.

She seemed very upset the first few days. Although normally a bubbly, out going child, she withdrew and became shy, even rude to the guests. After one meal where she refused to speak with the gentlemen, I had to take her aside and try to figure out her problem.

She began to cry and informed me that these men were speaking 'our' language! How did they know 'our' language? They we not 'our' family! Who had taught them to talk like us? Of course, this was all expressed in the vocabulary of a 3 and a half year old.

I was floored! My blond, blue eyed child thought that our family alone spoke the English language! She felt threatened that strangers, who looked a lot like us, could waltz into her life and communicate intimately with us in our family's private language! Her entire world view had been shaken, she was insecure in who she was and where she fit into the big picture.

Because of this, we learned that we had to make an effort to leave the village fairly often, every two to three months, and spend a few weeks out of the jungle and away from the tribe so that the children would not get over whelmed with the outside world. Even so, we still had times when the children would come up with something that totally blew our minds as parents.

Such as when I was teaching my daughter about the US flag and that each state was represented by its own star. She wanted to know which star represented our village.

Another daughter was learning map skills and I was called away for a few moments. I handed her a piece of chalk and asked her to draw a map of the world while I was out. Our school room had untreated cement floors, so I used the floor as a work space for the kids to do their drawings, spelling words, and even math drills.

When I returned, she had covered the floor with an amazingly accurate map of the world.

Her world.

In other words, the village.



The World

Monday, January 11, 2010

Señor Topocho



In Venezuela we were introduced to various types of bananas. From the cooking plantains to several varieties of eating bananas, the small 'manzano' to the 'topocho'.

We were delighted to discover a topocho banana plant in our yard. We found this banana, which is short and a bit rounder than the more common ones, to be sweet and delicious. When the banana plant gave its fruit, a nice large bunch of bananas, we enjoyed them greatly and determined to keep the topocho plant alive so that we might enjoy its fruit yet again. ( Los que saben, ya están reindo!)

Unfortunately, the plant began to ...droop! We noticed it seemed to be wilting and drying out. My husband decided to try to save the plant. He found some rope and tied the plant's stalk up to a pipe. But it continued to droop, now in another direction. We were very concerned because we really wanted to save the plant so conveniently located in our own yard!

Yekwnaman added another rope to pull the stalk in the opposite direction. This continued for a week or so. Each day we would notice the banana plant drooping in a new direction, so we would add a rope trying to support the plant. It seemed as if a drunken spider had spun a web in our yard, with ropes strung in every direction!

Finally, we asked for help. A friend who worked in gardens came by to see what was ailing our poor topocho banana plant. He stopped, looked at the plant being held up by rope, glanced at us with a bewildered look upon his face, and laughed !!! He laughed, and laughed and laughed!

He finally said,"Your topocho is dead!"

We sadly asked, "You mean, it can't be saved? We really wanted more topochos to eat!"

"No", he said "Once a banana plant gives fruit, it dies! You can't save it!"

"But... we liked the topochos! We want more!"

And then he proceeded to explain the mystery of the banana plant. Each plant gives fruit and then dies. BUT... not to worry! The plant has off shoots (hijitos) which had already sprung up around the base of the dying stalk. These would provide a continuous supply of topochos for our eating pleasure.

oh...we didn't know ...

And from that day forth, my husband had the nickname of 'Topocho' in Venezuela! Even when called on the ham radio, people would ask to speak to ' Señor Topocho' much to his chagrin.



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Funny


Why Christ died upon the Cross

What is the true meaning behind the death of Christ upon the Cross?


First we must understand the truth of the human condition before we can understand the need for the death of Christ. Why would God sacrifice his innocent Son for the sins of the human race?


We can all look at the world around us today, at the past history of mankind, and see that something is terribly wrong. Also, on an individual basis we see sin in our daily life. Sins of compromising, sins of neglect, sins of betrayal, and on and on. We find ourselves excusing these in ourselves, but rarely in others! In this way we do not acknowledge our part in the evils of the world. Our sins are minimized and considered 'human' and we do not see our own complicity in the world's evil.


Christ's death on the Cross forces us to confront the ugly reality of our individual sins. If my sins are so small and insignificant, why did the very Son of God have need to die upon the cross to provide forgiveness for ME??? This is the real 'Inconvenient Truth' of this world.


For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23


By comprehending the Cross, we are faced with the knowledge that we are judged by a higher standard than ourselves or even of others. The Scripture tells us we are measured by our Creator. God, being just, can not excuse our sin. Sin requires a payment and that payment was paid on the Cross by the Son of God. He is our atonement. The death of Christ on the Cross shows us the severity and seriousness of our personal sin.


For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)


If we refuse to see our sins for what they are, that God requires this atonement of us, we are saying that we can personally make things right in our own way. We need to remember the need of redemption. Today many people have forgotten that redemption is about sin and guilt. It is not about feeling good about ourselves.


The death of Christ on the Cross shows us that we are not in any way able to provide our own redemption. Christ as the Lamb of God was the only one capable of paying this sin debt as he was the only one sinless. He had to take our place. THE INNOCENT DIED FOR THE GUILTY. He alone could redeem humankind from our sin debt.


Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name (Jesus) under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) And he (Jesus) is the propitiation (payment) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1John 2:2)


Thus, the Cross is God's reminder to us of our sin condition. We are offended by it in today's culture, but it was just as offensive when it happened! 2000 years ago, they knew that crucifixion was a terrible way to die, made even more so by the death of an innocent man.


The truth... our sin was judged, we could not make it right ourselves, God provided the substitute for our atonement, His only begotten Son! Because he loved us.



But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)


And that is the inconvenient truth of the matter! But for the love of God, we would all be condemned. Because of his great love for us, we all have a way of escape from the eternal consequences of our sins.




For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8)

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Act 16:31)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons!



In regards to the Christmas Day Underwear Bomber...





This is Ye'kwanaman's plan for future flights!







This is Jungle Mom's plan!






The is the truth!
Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.










Frankly, I find this more frightening!