Friday, February 26, 2010

We arrived a few hours before Grandbaby !


We arrived in Tampa, after cancellations, delays, and Brazilian immigration snags, the 12 hour trip turned into a 33 hour trip... BUT we got to see Jackie pregnant for 12 hours. She went into labor last night and delivered Alexandra Joy at 9:35 this morning at home. Proud Grandpa caught the baby while Dad and Grandma helped mommy through the final push. 

All is well and God is good!

  I discovered that it is more painful to watch your baby give birth than to give birth yourself

Pictures of baby!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

USA ~ Ready or Not...

 Here I come!

Getting ready to leave the house in a few minutes to head to the airport. I is 3 am, we should make it to Miami this evening and drive on to Tampa Thursday morning.

Pray for us, and I'll see you,  when I see you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I hate to pack. I always leave it to the last minute and will come up with just about any reason to avoid it. We leave at 3 am in the morning  and I have a room full of empty suitcases...but I went and got my hair done instead of packing!

I ended up only get a trim but decided to get highlights. I am not too sure about the blond highlights! Nothing against blonds, but I need  my red hair! I am feeling a bit like a red and white striped zebra!

I need to pack...but I would rather post!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Han Solo gets a little help from local missionaries.

For many years, Mission Aviation Fellowship serviced us with air support in Venezuela .

Film star Harrison Ford (left) studies a map of Haiti on the wall of MAF's hangar office as MAF pilots John Munsell (center) and Jason Krul (right) provide Ford with a briefing on the area and Port-au-Prince airstrip. The actor, acclaimed for his iconic roles in films, including the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” blockbuster movie series, flew one of his aircraft loaded with medical supplies and volunteers from Los Angeles to Haiti for a humanitarian mission. Ford visited MAF facilities twice during his recent visit to Haiti.

MAF Pilots Brief Acclaimed Actor, Provide Airstrip Chart

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – MAF pilots recently provided acclaimed actor Harrison Ford with an airstrip chart of the Port-au-Prince airport and offered him a personal briefing at the MAF hangar.

Ford told MAF the information its pilots provided helped him in his humanitarian mission to relieve suffering following the Haiti earthquake. Ford flew from Los Angeles into the capital city’s airport in his own aircraft loaded with medical volunteers and supplies to help earthquake-stricken Haiti.

“MAF is honored that an international celebrity such as Ford visited our post at the Port-au-Prince airport,” said MAF President John Boyd. “We commend him for his selfless humanitarian work.”

Ford, 67, is among the most successful film artists in history. His roles have included Han Solo in “Star Wars” movies, the title role in “Indiana Jones” adventure films, and as CIA official Jack Ryan in screenplays based on author Tom Clancy’s military novels. The award-winning actor flew the supplies and team in his Cessna 208 Caravan to assist Operation Smile's relief effort in Fond Parisien, a community in central Haiti.

While at Haiti’s main airport, Ford learned of MAF and asked the MAF staff to brief him on the area and the airstrip. MAF pilots John Munsell and Jason Krul provided the actor with a briefing and an airstrip chart. Ford stopped by the hangar a second time to thank MAF for the airstrip chart, said John Woodberry, MAF disaster response/security manager.

During his visit, Ford also flew medical teams in his airplane into the central Haiti town of Hinche and piloted other flights into Santo Domingo, capital of the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Ford, who is also a helicopter pilot, is a noted philanthropist and has used his aircrafts in mountain rescue operations.

Operation Smile ( is a Norfolk, Va.-based charity that offers free cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries in poor nations.


But I do wonder... 
Is Ford's plane perhaps named 'The Millennium Falcon'????

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Notes

This morning Clint preached at a two month old church meeting in a house.
It was soooooooo hot! I saw the pool in the yard of the home we were meeting in and wanted to volunteer myself for baptism!

I should clarify... the church is 2 months old...not the meeting! If it weren't for the fact that my husband is such a great preacher, one might have felt as if they had been sitting in a room of 100+ temperature for  two months!

Clint is giving the second part of a series for the men at our church tonight. Last week they had around 30 men in attendance. He spoke on 'Sexual Temptations'.

Pray they have a good turn out for tonight's meeting as well. The subject for tonight is 'Overcoming Anger'.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

You may have noticed...

 I have been a bit scarce around here of late. My mind is on other things, you see, we are about to leave on a trip.

Next Wednesday morning we will be flying to the USA for a month of non stop activities! 

thanks to the generosity of family and friends, we will be able to participate in a family reunion cruise, SAILABRATION !
Take a break from your worldly worries and enjoy vacationing in a Christian atmosphere on a 5-night cruise to the Bahamas. The entire ship has been chartered for this unique Christian Cruise. Gone are the party crowds and the “Vegas” style shows. The casino is converted into a Christian bookstore, the bars are serving non-alcoholic drinks, smoking is prohibited in all public areas, and the ship’s entertainers are replaced by Christian entertainers, speakers, and comedians.
You will worship in song with a complete lineup of Gospel singers and musicians and enjoy inspiring Bible sessions with some of America’s best known preachers of the Gospel: Dr. Charles Stanley, Jerry Vines, Jonathan Falwell, Don Wilton, Johnny Hunt, Ken Whitten, James Merritt, and Jim Henry

Many of Clint's family will be going, including his father and brother. It is a great blessing for us and something we never expected to be able to do! We thank the kind, generous people who have graciously made this happen for us!

 Jewel has her Spring Break. 

I  will be able to go to a reunion of the small school I attended and where I also held my first teaching position!


see all my children together!

And last but not least,
my grand baby should be born while we are there! 

oh... and some medical stuff I am trying to not think about at all....
We are probably the only people looking forward to going to the Caribbean for the COOLER weather!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Go Team USA

I think the Team USA snowboarding uniforms
are so uniquely American!


Are you watching the Winter Olympics? 
What is your favorite winter sport?


Many of you have prayed and asked for an update on the missionary friend, Julie McCrum, who was involved in  a bad car accident in South Africa. She had not been expected to survive!


She wrote this AM that God has answered prayer and restored her health.

She is going home today to start her six weeks of recovery.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Palm Reading in the news of late,
so here is an off hand remark of my own.

Have you read the Constitution?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Things I see ...

 Paraguayan ñandutí

 I have read a couple of different versions of this folk tale but prefer the following which was written   by fellow missionary , Shilo Cain.

Two young men loved the Cacique's (Chief's) daughter. While he alone determined her destiny, he loved his daughter and desired her happiness. He devised a contest that would be sure to show which young man would be best suited to marry his daughter. Each one must bring a gift. But not just any gift. A unique gift. One that would cause the Cacique to release his daughter to marriage.

One young man was very rich, and there was nothing he could not buy. He gathered every kind of animal and prepared them to be taken to the Cacique.

But the other young man was beyond poor (you knew it would be so, surely). He had nothing, and no way to buy anything for his beloved. As he wandered through the woods, he looked up and saw an elaborate spider web hanging from a branch. He thought to himself, "How perfect! I will take this as my gift!" But as he reached up to grab it, it dissolved in his hands. He left the forest weeping, completely defeated.

His mother heard his cries and found him. As he poured out his dilemma, she assured him that all would be well. She found another spider web and sat down to mimic it's pattern and create her own beautiful web. Using the hair from her own head, a stunning salt and pepper, she weaved the first ñandutí.

When the poor young man presented his gift, the Cacique gave his daughter to him. Since that day women all over Paraguay have been creating ñandutíi out of lovely colored thread.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Bucket List

1. Started your own blog ( You're reading it!)
2. Slept under the stars (Many different times)
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower( A really great one in Mexico)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning ( Kim , remember the country fair?? I also had e coli once)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26.Bathed in a river ( The river was our tub for a few years as we had no plumbing!)
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse ( It scared the Ye'kwanas!)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (I will be going on my first cruise very soon!)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language ( A time or two, or three)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied ( I am easily satisfied)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight ( The Caribbean, which I miss)
46. Been transported in an ambulance ( In Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela after a 3 hour emergency flight in a Cessna with a gallbladder attack)
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling ( In the Caribbean)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (mission movies!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class ( Tae Kwan Do in Mexico! Bet you never knew that!)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy--( a doll missing an arm)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square ( While Jackie nearly passed out)

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book .(not yet!)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating- (many, many times. Sorry PETA!)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
And I'll add one of my own,
100. Built a house out of mud!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Favorite Family Fotos

I love my kids! 
Sometimes, candid shots turn out to be the best!

My oldest daughter, Jackie, on her wedding day.
Feb.14, 2006. Barquisimeto, Venezuela

My son in law, Brian, at a Paraguayan soccer game!
Asuncion,Paraguay 2008

My son, Joshua, on his wedding day.
June7,2008. Lake Tahoe, California.


My daughter in Law, Naomy, on her wedding day.
June7, 2008. Lake Tahoe,California


My daughter, Jewel, with my nephew, Joshua ,
at my son's wedding in California. 

My daughter, Jayde, in her room goofing off. 
Luque, Paraguay 2009

My two grand daughters in New Hampshire. 2009

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentine

 I met my husband at a church skating event. 
I was 14 ~ and that, was THAT!
 Here is a  slide show of our wedding album .

He has been the best thing in my life and I will love him forever, not only for his love for me, but his love of Christ and for being the best father my children could ever have.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. Song of Solomon 8:7

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request

UPDATE 1 ~ The doctors were able to stop the bleeding but the seat belt had cut into her intestines so the risk of infection is very high. Definitely not out of the woods and needs much prayer.


We hear the good news that our missionary friends in South Africa who were involved in a auto accident. The wife, Julie, had serious internal injuries and the surgery was successful to stop bleeding. She is recovering. The husband and boys were not hurt, there is still much concern in regards to infection caused by the... seat belt cutting into her intestines. She was able to post her own comments!


UPDATE 3 ~ from Julie's latest post ~ 

Thanks again for all the support, people. I am feeling very loved and prayed-for. Please pray that there will be no infection, and that I will have patience. The process is not moving along as fast as I would like...still in icu, still not eating or drinking anything, still hooked up to oxygen and iv's...I dream about my boys and food. :)


UPDATE 4 ~ Sunday 2/14 ~  

Just read this from a missionary with BIMI in Africa: Update on Julie McCrum--Out of "critical" category, but still in ICU to make sure there is no development of infection--2 places where intestines damaged b/c of seatbelt. One son was in shock from the trauma, but has just started speaking again after 24 hours. Kee...p praying for this young family. The boys are 1 and 4.


URGENT: BIMI Missionary Julie and David McCrum and their two little boys were involved in a car accident in South Africa where they serve. David and the boys are going to be OK, but Julie has many internal injuries. It appears that she may not survive. Please pray immediately and send this to all who are on your individual prayer loops.



Friday, February 12, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Just returned from a Marine Reconnaissance Mission. The Rules of Engagement were to seek preferred targets and also engage any target of interest encountered. We were successful on both accounts and able to withdraw with acceptable losses

TRANSLATION: This means that the store which has American imports once a year, finally received the shipment!! Preferred Targets were Cranberry Sauce, cake mixes and icing. Targets of Interest would explain the Wing Sauce, Pop Tarts and Pinto Beans! The acceptable losses mean we kept the spending within budget! Barely....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to my man!

  Clint and I here in Paraguay

Today is Yekwanaman's birthday.  Jayde just finished a yellow cake with chocolate cream cheese icing which we will enjoy later on. Join me in celebrating his life of service!

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

 Spending time in the round house with the elders. This is Chief Bertico

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

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

Cooking soup for the village.

Pulling a bad tooth.

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

Delivering Bibles in the Ye'kwana language.

Teaching the Old Testament to Indian church leaders and pastors.

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

Removing stitches from a child's arm.

Hanging out and being part of their lives. In this case, getting ready to go hunting.

Internet troubles

We have been experiencing power outages as well es intermittent internet, not too mention  water cuts.

I hope it is all working again  so that I might be able to visit your blogs soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Things I see ...

Cows on city streets.



MOOOOOVE  over Bessie...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Beti's baby

"He's dead! He's dead! He's dead!" was the shout being raised through out the small village. The news roared through the houses like a wave. One woman lifting her voice to pass the awful news on to her neighbor, until it reached my own ears.

But who was dead? At this point, no one knew any longer who had died, just that the death wail had begun. One by one, people dropped whatever chore they were doing and ran towards the Monolo Clan's clearing of houses. The closer we got, the louder and more anguished the wails.

The smallest house. The house of Beti, was surrounded by people with fearful eyes and uplifted grieving voices. My husband and I worked our way through the throng and into the small round hut. We both had to duck to pass through the low door and into the dark, hot, crowded, small, one room mud hut.

The wailing by the women was even more dramatic in here as they were mostly immediate family members.

Beti is the smallest woman I have ever met, standing at barely 4' 6". Her husband had left her and her children and the rumors were he was living in Brazil with a new, younger wife. Beti's youngest child was nearly three years old, the other 4 children ranged in ages from 10 downwards.

The smallest son was lying in a hammock, naked, and dripping wet. In the corner sat a 7 year old sister, crying and pulling her hair.

My husband rushed toward the baby, I rushed to the little girl. She sobbingly told me the story.

She had been sent to the river to do laundry and had taken the youngest with her. He had cried to go along and as is fairly normal, he was taken and allowed to play on the banks or in a canoe nearby. While doing her chore, a few more children came down and the girl became distracted. She forgot about the baby brother, joined in to play, and when done, headed home towards the village. She had arrived a few moments before us to hear the wailing and realized she had forgotten her brother at the river!

Before finishing her story, my husband stood up and yelled out,

"Be quiet! He is not dead! I need to listen to his heart!"

I rushed to his side as the crowd quieted. We began CPR on the baby and after a bit, the child came to and began to cry. First weakly, but more and more robustly!

The people in the house became stone still and eerily quiet!

A new cry began!

" He's alive! He's alive! He's alive!"

Beti took the baby in her arms and rocked him as he calmed down. She told me the rest of the story. She had been to her garden and just arrived at the clearing when another woman came up the path with her son. The woman was Gloria, a christian woman, who thankfully, was not afraid to touch what she thought was a dead body.

Gloria had been paddling home in her own canoe when she found the small boy floating with the current towards her, face down in the water. She had fished him from the water, thinking him dead.

When I had seen the baby lying in the hammock, he looked lifeless and purple. My husband had been able to detect a weak pulse and had revived him.

To the Ye'kwana this seemed like a miracle of a dead one coming to life again. We explained that we had not brought him back to life, but had been able to revive the small spark of life left in him, just as the women would revive the apparently dead fire each morning by blowing and fanning the blackened embers.

We could see the comprehension arise in their eyes, but they were none the less grateful that we had been there and my husband had known to look for the " spark" and had known to breathe life back into the child so that his "fire" did not extinguish...forever.

Had we not been there, this child would have been buried by nightfall ! Instead, he is now a 16 year old, a capable hunter for his mother.

God graciously allowed us to save the child's life that day.

Coming Soon !!!

Grand baby number three!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Individual Responsibility

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

—Rudyard Kipling

In our society we often see this idea promoted at certain levels, suggesting that each one should 'be your own man' and yet it is denied the individual at other times in promotion of 'tolerance'. On the one hand, programing the youth to be accepting of all things, even the intolerable, and on the other hand, forcing all to conform in thought and manner to that which is deemed politically correct.

Being a Christian, I add the following quote:
"The most important idea I ever thought,was the day I realized, that I am personally and individually accountable to God for how I lived."

-Daniel Webster

As Christians, we not only must, at times, abstain from that which society is promoting, not just of our own volition, but because we answer to a Higher One. This will in no way take from our individuality or weaken our convictions. It will make us more resolved to stand against those who would ridicule us when we refuse to be party to their ways. It is what will force us to maintain our principles when times are difficult.

The Bible warns us that the heart is wicked and deceitful above all things and so we can not rely only upon the arm of flesh but must have the knowledge and faith that a personal God will hold us accountable for each and every action we commit while walking on this earth. Only in this manner will the Christian be able to live a morally upright life, separated from sin, without being judgmental or lacking compassion upon others.

This is what will provide true strength of character. Character others will observe and be drawn to, seeing it as genuine. Kipling's "responsibility of owning yourself" paired with the knowledge of being "personally and individually accountable to God."

Saturday, February 06, 2010

106* today here in Paraguay

Sweat on da' brow...
Sweat on da' brow...
 Drippin' like a fool wit da' sweat on da' brow....
Look at ya now...
sweatin' all around....
drippin' like a fool wit da' sweat on Da brow!!!
  Cool it down.....

Friday, February 05, 2010


... and busy celebrating my birthday! 
I am '29' and holding...thank you very much!

and holding,
and holding,
 and holding...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Another year ~ 4F

 A repost to rememebr that day and what it has brought about in Venezuela.

A couple of days ago, I posted my memories of the day Chavez attempted his failed coup.

18 years ago, I was awakened by the phone ringing. We were told to cancel our trip to Maracaibo as there was military coup underway. We spent the morning listening to the news. The footage of the dead soldiers tore at my mother's heart. They were boys. Most had been deceived and told that they were defending the constitution, it wasn't until there that they realized THEY were the coupsters.

We heard a loud sonic boom and ran outside! And then another! It was the military jets chasing Broncos. They bombed the airport. You could feel the earth shake. A friend of ours called . He had served in Vietnam and was here visiting family. He said, "I know what that was! They are using carpet bombing. I remember how it felt in Vietnam."

We saw shadows, then heard the jets. Somehow, it felt safer outside. We took our 3 small children at the time and sat out in the yard. We saw a Bronco hit, and the pilot parachute out.

Joshua was a little boy at the time. I remember the male excitement in his eyes and voice as he said, "Mommy, one day can I do that?"My heart stopped in my throat...he didn't know what was happening it just looked and sounded exciting, but I knew my boy would one day be a man. Would he need to fight for his country?

I remember it all so well because it was the day before my birthday and we couldn't celebrate but had to stay home. I remember thinking what cowards they were to have attacked the residency where the presidents grandchildren were at the time. I remember the face of the Lt. Col. as he was taken prisoner.

Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias.

I remember him saying,"We have failed. Por Ahora.( For now)"

The thing which impacted me most that days was the awareness of the fragile nature of liberty. One generation may fight and die to provide liberty and freedom for the next, but if that next generation is not diligent to keep their freedom, it can disappear almost before your very eyes.

Februray4, 1992. A few of my commenters were also in Venezuela at the time and left their own memories in the comments of that post. I thought that I would post their memories here on the 17th anniversary of that fateful day.

My friend Liz, in Caracas remembers this:

I awoke before sunrise to make breakfast and go to work. The first thing I did was to turn on the TV and realize that we were in the middle of a coup. I alerted my husband... but the silence in our neighborhood was amazing! He wanted to go to work anyway (he's one of those souls that went to work during 'el Caracazo', drove his car in the middle of bullets shooting; we used to joke saying that maybe the country would come to a complete halt if he didn't go to work).

The 3 of us spent the day watching the news, receiving and making phone calls. My friend's parents called from Italy, very nervous! She was too!! she thought that maybe she couldn't emigrate some days later.

My memories are a bit fuzzy, (like Julia, I get confused between Feb. 4 and Nov. 27). I just recall the next days... We had to work and return home very early, there was a military curfew and we had a tank parked in our street! The soldiers -each night- used their fire arms and made us turn off our lights. They shouted orders all the time to intimidate us (a dormir! apaguen la luz!). I was very happy that my apartment was facing the back of the building!

The interesting part of this is that the coup had failed (chavez and company were imprisoned). These soldiers were the 'good ones'! My neighbors in the front of the building saw them drinking while making the rounds around the block.

To this day I despise anything military... and today chavez is celebrating his failure!! Because 17 years ago he was captured under a desk at the 'Museo Militar'. There was NO victory that day, just dead soldiers and civilians

Another friend, Firepig, who now lives in the states shared this:

JM, i lived in Caurimare, right on top of the hill looking out on the military airport of La Carlota.I first heard constant sirens for about an hour.Then canon fire.My children were asleep so I ran quickly to the guard station at the entrance of our neighborhood, and as I approached, I heard( coming from the guard's radio):
"they are taking Miraflores"
I will never forget the terror.Later our neighborhood featured nightly searches, and sometimes when I looked out my bedroom window, there was an army tank rolling down the street, often with the cannon pointing our way.

In a private note from another Venezuelan now living in the US, I received this along with his permission to post it. From Jose Roman Duque:

pues si, yo estaba ahi. en la madrugada mi amigo Vicente llamo a casa para decir, prende tu TV, golpe de estado...

y vi las acciones de los soldados y cuando el tanque trato de entrar al palacio blanco en frente de miraflores..

llore, y me dio rabia...

hate thinking about it....
you want to hear something bad?
one of the coupsters was my mom's cousin..
Hernan Gruber Odreman, a Colonel, ...needless to say, my mom and him dont' talk anymore..

I wish I could write better memories than yours, but I cringe at the thought of seeing my country the way it has become.

I think of my granpa, a typical Merideno, very dry and more dry but a great man, he was Jose Roman Duque Sanchez, and my dad perhaps you've seen him on tv many times during the time you were still in Venezuela, always speaking against Chavez. Roman J. Duque Corredor

feel free to use their will show your English readers that we have great minds who love freedom, and respects the lessons that can be learn from the USA.

Rita, I wish we could have met in Venezuela, despite our religious differences :-) your love for Venezuela is breathtaking

isnt' it true, that Venezuela is the strangest place on earth?...I miss the colors and my family. feel free to browse over my photos.... I'm proud of my family , and I miss them dearly, but I know I could never go back to live there...
got used to a functional and stable country such as the States.

hate thinking about it....

this all hurts me big time, my My family was involved in the building of the democracy in venezuela, starting with my grandfather, who was close friends with Romulo gallegos, Betancourt, Caldera, he became the Governor of Merida after Perez-Jimenez, then went to practice law privately with Shell corporation until he went into de Supreme Court, and so my dad, he was a judge, and became a supreme court justice..

I'm just a poor musician and want nothing with politics or public office...but I had a understanding of what is at stake and what have been lost in Venezuela....people like my dad and granpa...simply dont' exist anymore


adds her memories.

No one stopped it

JM has requested me to write my memories on February 4th, 1992. On that day, our actual president: Chavez, leaded an army coup against the democratically elected government of Carlos Andrés Pérez. Not exactly the nicest government my country can think of, but still I’m not sure if it justifies an army rebellion. The coup failed. Chavez appeared on TV for like 5 minutes admitting the defeat and went straight to jail. Before February 4th Chavez was no one, and he instantly became a sort of leader for many that very same night when he admits the defeat on TV. Quite shameful, I know. The events that followed that day and of whom now we are suffering the consequences are hard to explain and even harder to understand. I may give a space on this blog to think about them, but for now, I will just do my task: to remember what happen on that exact day: February 4th, 1992.

I was eight years old. I don’t want to put my age as another dramatic ingredient of my story, I’m just telling you my age because since I was so little, my memories are a little bit blurry and they often confuse with another coup attempt that happen that very same year, on November.

We lived in a neighbourhood called “La Floresta”. The neighbourhood is separated by a highway of the military airport called “La Carlota” so this could explain why we felt all the events so close.

I woke up at dawn hearing planes and random gunshots (first time I heard those). In Venezuela every kid is used to hear explosions: on Christmas eve and New Years are simply non- stop. But these explosions sounded drier, I knew they were no fireworks but I wasn’t sure of what it was until my mom screamed “¡Tiros!” (Gun shots). Still half awaked in our pyjamas, we all went to my parent’s bed to watch the news on TV. I asked if we were going to go to school and the whole family give me this ironic look back “Yeah… sure…” Then we heard more airplanes and the gunshots seemed to be closer. My mom screamed all of the sudden: “¡Al suelo!” (“To the floor!”) and we all lay down immediately, I think my sister made me lay down but I’m not sure.

My parents made us go to a small room that connected all the bedrooms and closed the bedroom doors. The “Al suelo!” screams became more frequent, and the explosions and planes simply didn’t stop and were quite annoying.

I think it was near noon when my parents decided that that room where we were laying, on the top floor, was not safe anymore and the only safe place remaining in a house filled of doors and windows was a small bathroom we used for the visit, located right under the stairs. I think the six of us (my brothers and my parents) somehow ended inside that bathroom and when they decided that it was safe to go out, I didn’t want to. My moms made me pasta and try to give it to me but I refused, I was sort of shaking.

At some point of the day I saw my mom argument with someone outside from the balcony of her room “They can’t be here!” – She said. My dad made her go back inside. Apparently they were a few soldiers hiding in our garden or near by.

The rest of the day was nothing different: non stop explosions, stories here and there, and airplanes all the time.

The next day my mom was afraid of sending us to school so we spend the day in the garden, looking for bullets. We find a lot and I think they are still saved somewhere.

It is odd but right now, as I write this, I’m hearing airplanes. They are probably practicing for the celebrations Chavez is going to held because of that day. And that sound is probably the sound that better reminds me of that day. It’s like going back 17 years, and to see myself covering my ears with my hands and asking my mom if she could make it stop.

It’s the very same airplanes but 17 years later. Sometimes I think that I’m still covering my ears and lying in the ground, since no one has still been able to make it stop.

My husband recalls,

I was called by another missionary. He knew I had to go to Maracaibo that day, which was the only city where the coup had been successful. I needed to take some medical supplies to the pastor I was training, he had just come out of a kidney transplant surgery and the kidney was rejected and had died. He needed some of the supplies he had in his home, because the state hospital was out. He would die if he didn't get them.
I asked the missionary how hek new there was a coup and then a F-16 flew over our house chasing one of the rebels who had bombed the airport.
I spent the morning and afternoon listening to the news, I couldn't travel until we heard they had surrendered in Maracaibo. I left first thing the next morning. They were checking papers like crazy all along the road and inspecting vehicles for extra riders. Having the Dialysis medical supplies raised a few eyebrows but the let me pass and I arrived without incident. That trip was also before cell phones so Rita wasn't too happy about the trip either

Also check out these two blogs written by two young Venezuelans:

I just wanted to share the human story. The fact that families and lives have been harmed and changed by the actions of this man. If any other of my readers were in Venezuela on that day, would you please share your memories with us as well?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ciudad del Este ~ My future home

Ciudad del Este ~ this is where we will be moving to start a new church plant in a few months. Today we are going for a few days trying to secure housing.

 I ask that you pray  with us that we we may find affordable and safe housing  for ourselves and our daughter's family.

 Here is an article about CdE in Wikipedia;  CIUDAD DEL ESTE

I wanted to highlight just a few interesting points from the article about this unique city. I find it to feel very much like a mini NYC with all the languages and cultures one experiences while walking around downtown.


From Wikipedia:

  • It is the second largest city in Paraguay, with a population estimated at 320,782 in 2008
  • The city has a large Asian-born population, specifically Taiwanese, Koreans, Arabs and Iranians, evident in the city's mosque and pagodas. The Taiwanese government paid for the construction of the city's town hall in exchange for Paraguayan support in the United Nations, hence the Taiwanese flag that flies on the building.
  • Ciudad del Este generates about 60% of Paraguay's GDP. It is the third largest free-tax commerce zone in the world, after Miami, and Hong Kong.
  • Smuggling is a major occupation in the city, with some estimates putting the value of this black market at five times the national economy. Indeed, evidence indicates that some of the revenue generated by smuggling may support criminal organizations based outside the region, including terrorist organizations.
  • There also existed rumors in Western media that Al-Qaida operatives were located here, but those claims were not proven, as these are recognized only "off the record". Other rumors had members of Hezbollah using the city as a base to launch bomb attacks on Argentine Jews. See AMIA Bombing. It is believed that the suicide bomber entered Argentina through the Triple Border.
  • In 2005, it was a filming location for Miami Vice, a film directed by Michael Mann and based on his television series of the same name.
  • In the Cyclops: Icons series, Cyclops travels to Ciudad del Este to fight Ulysses.

We have already made some great contacts and met wonderful people who live in this city. I think we will find plenty of work to do and many people in need of help. Pray for us as we began preparing for this new endeavor.


Monday, February 01, 2010

My Doppelganger

 On Face Book people have been putting up pictures of their supposed celebrity look alike. I did a search online using this photo of myself...

and the result I was given was this....

(I'm guessing it is the forehead!)

Then my son reminded me that he has always said I look like Conan O Brian!

Finally I was told by a Face Book friend I should use Jillian Moore!

  I guess I need to go out and buy me some big ol' sunglasses to pull this one off!

 Personally, I think I am more like Marion Ross, better known as Mrs. Cunningham of Happy Days.