Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank You



Today is Memorial Day! A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Wherever you may be, take the time to reflect on our fallen soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep our nation free!

SHARE THE NAME OF A SOLDIER YOU ARE REMEMBERING TODAY!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Una Vision Mundial

Falta poco para el mes de misiones aqui en la Iglesia Bautista Esperanza. Una Vision Mundial!!! 

 

Next Sunday we will begin our Mission Month at our church by having a South African speaker sharing with us the needs of that country . Each week we will focus on the countries in the same grouping as Paraguay for the World Cup.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

FYI

Today I saw a skeleton wearing a straw hat with a pink bow...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Have you ever seen a Drunken Chicken?

One morning the children and I were starting our home school day, Yekwanaman was starting his language studies, when we heard such a terrible sound! I can not describe it very well. It was weird.

Now, we were accustomed to hearing strange sounds in the village, witch doctors, old Sanema ladies fighting, children running and screaming, but this sound was unique! We all went out to investigate. The sound was coming from our chicken pen.

We tried several times to raise our own poultry. We did. But...between the ocelots and the vampire bats...we were not very successful at it. It seemed we were raising chickens to feed all the wild kingdom of the jungle but ourselves! Still, we tried!

Upon arriving at the chicken pen, we saw our rooster strutting his stuff! He was crowing like it was dawn, only, really off tune!!! And Loud. All the poor hens had their chicks off in a corner under their wings! Daddy Rooster was acting strangely!

We stood and watched for a half hour as this guy, danced around in circles, screaming his head off in what seemed to be a riotous crowing, until... he suddenly jerked himself straight, and toppled over! Stone cold!

We thought he had died of a heart attack! But, no, a few hours later, he was up on his feet, but a bit wobbly. Every time the other chickens clucked, he would bellow in rage! As much as a rooster can bellow!

It seems another missionary working with us at the time had decided to give our chickens a rotten pineapple. Fermented, none the less!

Have you ever seen a drunken roster?

The next day, we heard the rooster once again crowing loudly in the middle of the afternoon. We saw the other missionary walking by the pen with more scraps for the chickens. This time there were no fermented pineapples, but the rooster seemed quite eager to receive one!

After pecking through the scraps, he indignantly, clucked about angrily. I swear I saw him looking out of the corner of his eye with an, "I'll get you!" look at the other missionary!

From that time on, that missionary could not enter the chicken pen without being attacked! Unless he had a pineapple!

I am embarrassed to say that someone in my family would purposely save pineapples and allow them to ferment, just to see the rooster get drunk! Grant it, it was great entertainment for the whole village to watch the drunk rooster! But I always felt a bit sinful, aiding the guy in his binges!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Things I see...

My grand daughters take a 'coffee break' amidst the chaos of moving!


The red rocker Elena is sitting in was hand made by my grand father for me when I was a child and  she seems to be wearing my high heels!

Monday, May 24, 2010

So...This is Heaven?





I wish you all could meet a friend of mine from the Ye'kwana tribe. Cristina was my neighbor for all those years we lived in the village. When I first met her, she was a married woman with 5 children. A few months later, her husband died of a high fever, probably yellow fever. This made her a widowed mother of 5. Life in the jungle is hard even with a husband but for a woman alone...no hunter...no one to build the house every five years or so when it falls down...HARD!





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

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



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

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




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






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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons


and you thought you had it rough!

Friday, May 21, 2010

What if God texted?

If God had texted  Moses the 10 Commandments they might look like this:
 

1. no1 b4 me. srsly
 

2. dnt wrshp pix/idols

3. no omg's...
 

4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
 

5. pos ok - ur m&d r cool
 

6.dnt kill ppl
 

7. :-X only w/ m8
 

8. dnt steal
 

9. dnt lie re: bf
 

10.dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Things I See...

My youngest grand daughter! 
Today she beacme a legal immigrant here in Paraguay!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Week via Facebook Status Updates

 Sunday~

We are missing church this morning. Clint was up with kidney pain all night and it seems he may have a kidney stone. Jayde is on crutches and...well, we will see what the day brings! Baking brownies...can't hurt and just might help!


Monday ~

SO...now our newly repaired transmission hit a large rock while driving on our wonderful Paraguayan roads.Clint's head hit the roof, Jayde busted her lip....we look like the walking wounded around here! Now we wont have our car to go get the kids at the airport in the morning.

 Tuesday ~  

5 Television stations sent cameras and reporters to the gate at the airport to meet my family upon their arrival. OK, maybe they were there to meet a world class soccer player.

 Wednesday~ 

Elena (age 4) discovered how to turn on the bidet and turned my bathroom into a water park!

 

Thursday~

Today we had serious business to attend to. Elena and Abbie drew all over our drive way with colored chalk. It is most beautiful art work!

 

Friday~ 

Happy Independence Day to my adopted country, Paraguay!

 

Saturday~ 

Feliz Dia de Madre a todas mis amigas Paraguayas!

 

Sunday~ 

Woke up to a long, slow rain. Feeling a lot of pain in m my joints and sciatica. Please pray that I will get some relief before our Mother's Day celebration this afternoon and that I will be able to speak to the church ladies without pain interfering.

...and that was my week!

The Rain Forest




The silent rain upon the forest trees,
The sound that plays upon my heart's strings,
Gives me  rest and tranquility,
Puts my  soul at peace!






Silent rain, without storm, nor wind,Gentle rains, shining with a soft light,Benevolent rains, peaceful and true,The tears of all the sadness upon which you fall!


My soul is filled with  serene melancholy,A resigned spirit, of things that are unalterable,Ahead in the horizon , I see a bright light,But my heart stops me from running towards it!







Psalms 61:1  Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
2  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3  For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Climb, My Fall, My Rescue



Flying over Mt. Duida, Amazonas, Venezuela


I must reach my God! I must see His face, hear His voice. He dwells upon the mount. The mount that looms above me. I am here below, in a deep, dark chasm, a pit. Yet, I know the way to Him lies above and I must go.

The path leading up is steep and dark. Treacherous, but I must risk it, for He has placed with in my soul a need to see Him, face to face. And so, I reach upwards, searching for a hand hold. First one hand, then the other, and with stumbling feet, I try to find a path to God.

I gain a bit, a foothold here, then stretching forth my hand, I slip! Slip backward and lose my ground! Striving, grasping, but I seem to not advance at all, and yet, with the weakening of my flesh, my soul does strive still!

My very heart cries out to climb to God, but I do not seem to progress. I know He resides above and that is where I must go. There is no other place of peace. I must go! Upward, upward! Go!

At that moment, I feel the strength of my arm falter, at that very moment, I lose my grip...and fall. Down, down...I fall to the lowest place. It is as if I had not attempted the climb at all. I am filled with despair knowing I had given it my all. I can not climb to my God. There is no hope for me. I am to die and forever be here in the depths of darkness.

And as I lay there, waiting for death, broken and afraid, I hear a sound upon the path. The sound of footsteps coming down the very way I had trod. The path that led to my fall. To where I now lay dismayed. Hearing the footsteps, I feel a glimmer of hope rekindled in my soul. Upon opening my eyes, I see my God, coming down for me! He reaches out His nail scared hand for me, He lifts me up, in His strong embrace, and all my fears dissolve.

Lovingly, He carries me to the mountain top. He places me upon my feet to stand in that blessed spot. And what a view I now behold as I stand atop the Mount of God!

I feel as if sunlight is in my soul, even as I hear the thunder of a storm below. I am calm on this height where I stand beside my God, for no storm or cloud can reach me. I am under clear, blue skies that reach for all eternity. I am strong in this place! No one can harm me. I am secure, at peace with all.

This is life! This is joy! My God has found me! He lifted me up to see His face! To hear His voice!
And now, His love I know!


I John 4:19

We love him, because he first loved us.

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

Isaiah 26:4  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

(These are thoughts I write down in my devotional journal. I rarely share them with anyone, but decided to do so here. The mountain pictured at the top is what was in my mind's eye.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14, 1811

Happy Independence Day to my adopted country!

 

Paraguay  (from Wikipedia)The country is named after the river that runs through the center of the country, from north to south. There are at least four versions for the origin of the river's name. The literal translation from Guaraní is Para = of many varieties; Gua = from or belonging to or place; Y = water or river or lake.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Things I see...


My youngest daughter growing up!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Who let the dog out?


We had a pet dog for many years in Venezuela. This little mutt of a dog has lived in and seen many parts of Venezuela where most Venezuelans have not even seen. This little dog, named Short Stop, lived in Cuidad Bolivar with gringos, then moved to a Yanomami village, Parima, then  a Piaroroa/Gringo/Yanomami/Ye'kwana village, Tama Tama, and then with us in Chajuraña, for ten years. We took her to  the large city of Barquisimeto and when we left Venezuela she went to live with Brazilian friends in the town of Acarigua. A smart little dog! Well traveled!

But, while in the jungle, Short Stop would follow us everywhere. She was one of the most faithful church attenders! She would walk with us and sit outside the door to wait for the service to end in order to accompany us back home.


The Ye'kwana churches always open up the service so that anyone who would like to share anything at all, may have the opportunity to come forward and do so. Some  people may share a verse of scripture, others a testimony or prayer request.  This is culturally part of every meeting as each member of the tribe may speak his thoughts at the round house and so in the church, each member also has a chance to speak if desired.

Usually, anywhere between  5 - 20 people might share something before the pastor would bring the message. Makes for a long service, but they enjoy it!


Except one Sunday morning. It seemed no one had prepared anything to share on this morning. The pastor asked yet again if anyone at all would like to share but no one responded.

Short Stop must have decided that having lived with so many missionaries for so many years, she was as well prepared to lead the worship service as anyone else. So ...she walked right in the front door, slowly up the center aisle,  directly up onto the platform. 100 eyes followed her as she turned to face the audience and, head high, let out two resounding barks, turned, walked slowly back down the aisle and out the door to await the end of the service!!!

I have never seen anything like it!

All the Ye'kwanas looked around with wide eyes and smiles and my husband decided it might be a good morning to share about Balaam's talking donkey!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mom is..


My mom and I.
( My big sis had to get in on the shot because older siblings are like that!)

If you had to describe your mother in one word, what would it be?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010

Before Wii


In the jungle, without electricity, one must be very creative in ways to entertain their children after dark. On the equator, darkness comes on quickly! Around 6:30 p.m. without fail, year round, in a matter of 10 - 15 minutes, you will go from daylight to darkness.
However, children are rarely ready for sleep yet!

One of the things we all enjoyed was an interactive game we invented. We played this game at night. All one needed was;
Darkness
Blow gun and darts
flashlight
Roof lizards !



The game plan was this,

Sit in the dark until your hear the 'singing' of the lizards in the palm roof over head.
Shine bright powered flashlight in the direction of the 'singing'.
The other person has blow gun and dart ready at mouth, to fire dart towards the lizard, hoping to strike it down.
Jump and scream in glee with each one shot!

Animal lovers, sorry, but these critters are a problem living in the palm roof, leaving droppings, and 'singing' lizards are just plain freaky anyway and should be eliminated from the face of the earth!


Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Things I See...


A billboard advertising bullet proof windshields for your car.
Just what you need when you live in a city known for kidnappings and shootings.
Gotta love Ciudad del Este!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Rest of the Story ~ Cinco de Mayo



Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England . In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico , which was to
be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York .




This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico . But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.



The people of Mexico , who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly
awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.




The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as ---Sinko de Mayo.

Shamefully stolen from my sister!



Here are a few facts about the origin of this celebration which I took from THIS SITE.

The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day, but it should be! And Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, but it should be. Mexico declared its independence from mother Spain on midnight, the 15th of September, 1810. And it took 11 years before the first Spanish soldiers were told and forced to leave Mexico.

So, why Cinco de Mayo? And why should Americans savor this day as well? Because 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5, 1862.

The French had landed in Mexico (along with Spanish and English troops) five months earlier on the pretext of collecting Mexican debts from the newly elected government of democratic President (and Indian) Benito Juarez. The English and Spanish quickly made deals and left. The French, however, had different ideas.

Under Emperor Napoleon III, who detested the United States, the French came to stay. They brought a Hapsburg prince with them to rule the new Mexican empire. His name was Maximilian; his wife, Carolota. Napoleon's French Army had not been defeated in 50 years, and it invaded Mexico with the finest modern equipment and with a newly reconstituted Foreign Legion. The French were not afraid of anyone, especially since the United States was embroiled in its own Civil War.

The French Army left the port of Vera Cruz to attack Mexico City to the west, as the French assumed that the Mexicans would give up should their capital fall to the enemy -- as European countries traditionally did.

Under the command of Texas-born General Zaragosa, (and the cavalry under the command of Colonel Porfirio Diaz, later to be Mexico's president and dictator), the Mexicans awaited. Brightly dressed French Dragoons led the enemy columns. The Mexican Army was less stylish.
General Zaragosa ordered Colonel Diaz to take his cavalry, the best in the world, out to the French flanks. In response, the French did a most stupid thing; they sent their cavalry off to chase Diaz and his men, who proceeded to butcher them. The remaining French infantrymen charged the Mexican defenders through sloppy mud from a thunderstorm and through hundreds of head of stampeding cattle stirred up by Indians armed only with machetes.

When the battle was over, many French were killed or wounded and their cavalry was being chased by Diaz' superb horsemen miles away. The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world had ever seen. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War.

Union forces were then rushed to the Texas/Mexican border under General Phil Sheridan, who made sure that the Mexicans got all the weapons and ammunition they needed to expel the French. American soldiers were discharged with their uniforms and rifles if they promised to join the Mexican Army to fight the French. The American Legion of Honor marched in the Victory Parade in Mexico, City.

It might be a historical stretch to credit the survival of the United States to those brave 4,000 Mexicans who faced an army twice as large in 1862. But who knows?

In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces. As recently as the Persian Gulf War, Mexicans flooded American consulates with phone calls, trying to join up and fight another war for America

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Compatible Weirdness





“We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
Nicholas Sparks


 Some of us are just a little weirder than others!

Monday, May 03, 2010

My Life as a Fairy Tale

(A re-post)


I am working my way through the writing exercises of a book which teaches how to write 
autobiographically. This weeks assignment is to write my life in the form of a fairy tale. It was kind of fun to do, so I am sharing it here. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it!

The People of the Enchanted Forest

Once upon a time there was a land of great wealth and prosperity in the north, and in that land two people were born who were destined to be together. One was a young knight, Marinus who was in the service of his King and country, and the other was a young Lady, Roseus who was waiting for her knight.

Marinus was sent to serve his land in a band of mighty warriors who were the first to fight and were under direct orders of their King. He was of the few and the proud who were the first line of defense of that great land. They were known to be always faithful to that duty. Semper Fidelis was their standard.

As these things usually come about, the two met and were joined in holy matrimony having a great, pure love for one another. Their love would pass the test of time and they would live happily with their four children.

When his days of service to the King were over, young Marinus was released from his duty and the young Knight felt called upon to serve his God in a far away place where His name was not known.

Marinus, Roseus and their children began a journey to the south, the land of a great forest. Some even believed the great forest to be enchanted. In that land of forest and rivers there dwelt a people who had not heard of the ways of God . Marinus was determined to find them and show them the glory of God that they might know it for themselves.

And so they set out upon a long and adventurous journey, their highway was the river and their steed was a dug out canoe. After many days of travel through the enchanted forest, they arrived at a small village and were invited to rest and share the food with the people of the enchanted forest.

The people asked them to stay and share with them the great mysteries of the unknown God. Marinus began to learn their ways and their words. Roseus worked to understand and befriend the women and children of the enchanted forest.

And they were busy. They taught the people of the forest how to mark their words upon white leaves so that their words would never be lost. They taught them to decipher the marked leaves and read the words of others. And they taught them of the ways of God.

Marinus and Roseus shared their knowledge of medicine and healing with the people of the forest, caring for the sick and elderly. Many children were born to the village and their strength was improved. The village became the mightiest in that region.

Roseus helped the elders to gather the children together daily to teach them at a young age how to make the markings upon the white leaves, how to do the ciphers, how to care for their health.

Marinus taught them of God. He showed them the word's of God written upon the white leaves and they could now understand God's words for themselves. Many an evening the elders would sit around the fires and read aloud the words of God to others. Soon so many were eager to hear these words, the people decided to build a large meeting house just for that purpose. It was a place of Hope.

All seemed well in the enchanted forest. The people were happy, Marinus and Roseus were happy, but outside of the Enchanted Forest a fear was growing among the people of the cities. A new leader had arisen.

This leader was known as Thugo the Tyrant and he spread his hate and venomous teachings through out that Land of Grace. The numbers of Thugo's followers grew and violently took the land. It was as if a wave of red hatred grew in the hearts of many and spread to the hearts of all those with whom they spoke.The wave of red flowed forth to encompass more and more of the land, but the enchanted forest was far away and still untouched by Thugo or his red thugs.

Slowly, the rumors arrived that the wave of red was ever growing nearer to the enchanted forest. Alas, some of the enchanted people were washed away with the wave of red anger and hatred. Thugo's grip was growing ever nearer, but things were still calm in the village were Marinus and Roseus lived happily among the people of the forest.

Until one fateful day, a decree went forth through out the whole of the land. Thugo the Tyrant spoke and declared that all those who lived in the enchanted forest as emissaries of God must leave and leave at once. Thugo's red thugs arrived to put fear into their hearts. The red thugs began to do evil in the enchanted forest and cause harm to the people ever threatening Marinus and his family.

Marinus and Roseus attempted to seek justice from the peoples of the city. They went into the Palaces of Justice, showing their works were not evil but good. It was to no avail. Thugo the Tyrant would not listen, Thugo's red thugs had lost the ability to see and think on their own and were now completely entranced by Thugo and his evil spell. They would not listen and so, Marinus and Roseus left the enchanted forest with sadness.

They left their friends, the people of the forest, and all were heart broken. Many cried on that day. Marinus beseeched them to never forget the ways of God, to continue to follow in His path and Roseus hugged and cried with the women and children of the forest. But they must leave, and leave they did.

As time went by, Marinus and Roseus moved to a new land and were happy once again. But a part of their heart remained behind in the enchanted forest, a longing and a calling they could feel most everyday, to be with the people of the forest. They learned to trust God with their care.

At times they would receive messages from the enchanted people. Their words marked on white leaves so that Marinus and Roseus might know of their friends and how it went in the enchanted forest. The words were good. The people still followed the ways of God and declared His glory through out the forest, spreading it from village to village. God remained among them even after Marinus and Roseus had been forced to leave them. They had known that He would, but it was a comfort to read the markings.

And so, the people of the enchanted forest were well and Marinus and Roseus were happy. And all lived happily ever after until they would one day be reunited in a beautiful city of lights to live together for all eternity. A place where all was enchanted and the likes of Thugo the Tyrant and his Red Thugs would never be able to reach them again. A place of true peace and rest.
The End

Sunday, May 02, 2010