Monday, February 28, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lexi

Our youngest grand daughter is a year old today.

WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN????

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Death Stone





While living in the jungle we found it very difficult to keep dry. Perspiration is a constant problem. You are living in a steam room. Without electricity, there are no fans or AC to keep you cool. My husband found it necessary to change his shirt several times a day to try and keep dry. Since I had to do all my laundry by hand in the river at the time, I was always looking for a new super-duper antiperspirant to try.

I ordered a "deodorant stone" from a health magazine. We had to wait a few months for it to finally get to us in the jungle. On the flight day, the Missionary Aviation plane arrived with our supplies and mail. Flight day was always exciting! Not just for us but for the entire village. It was a window to the outside world.





We had not made the new airstrip in the village yet, so we had to canoe up river to the airstrip to meet the plane. The indians were always glad to help us carry our stuff down to the canoe and then back up to the house. We always shared goodies with them. And then they would sit and watch as we put our supplies away. This way, they knew what we had and what they could ask for!





On this flight day, a group of men were sitting and chatting as I went through the mail bag. I was so excited to see the order had arrived with the deodorant stone!

I pulled it out. It came in a small velvet pouch with a drawstring. I pulled out the stone. It is essentially a compressed deodorant that you use as a soap. Very little goes a long way. It looks like an egg size crystal stone.

I pulled the pouch out and began to pull the stone itself out. I noticed the men on the bench became very antsy. One man asked, loudly, "What is that?".

Ok, how do you explain deodorant to an indian from the Amazon? I tried explaining it was a soap, but the men were already wearing terrified looks and had begun to leave ...QUICKLY!

I didn't know what I had done to run them off. I kept on unpacking, but had left the stone lying on the table. Shortly after, one of the men returned, timidly. He asked me to hide the stone. I could see his fear was real so I took the stone to another room.

He was so relieved. He began to explain to me why everyone had run away. And then he wanted to know where I had gotten the stone.

The Ye'kwanas have a legend of a "death stone". The witch doctors travel to a certain mountain where there is a type of crystal which they believe has special powers. It is called the death stone. The witch doctors have to keep it under wraps, because of its power. The witch doctor will keep it in a small pouch.

You use the stone ONLY for killing your enemies. To use the stone, you pull it out of its covering and point it at those you wish to die.

Well, I had inadvertently tried to kill off half the male population that morning by showing them my deodorant stone!

I ended up having to meet with the men and explain my stupidity and swear I had no intentions of harming anyone! Very humbling experience for me and frightening for them, I am sure. Later on we could all have a good laugh about it and I count these men as my friends.




So, a little known fact about me...I almost massacred an entire village!! Single handedly!!
Scary aren't I?


You should be afraid! Be VERY afraid!





Because ,
I've got my eye on YOU!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Things I See...

Our new security wall is being built!



This is the house we will be moving to in a few months. No, I am not excited about my third move in  the 3 years I have lived in Paraguay, 5 moves in 3 countries in the last 5 years, but this should be a permanent home!




The wall will be 2 meters high with concertina wire.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Worms!

The following was written by my youngest daughter, Jayde.



Amazonian worms.



The earliest memory I can recall clearly is eating worms instead of my mom's chocolate chip cookies. I may have been crazy, or simply craving worms. I don't know. But they were smoked, and they were very tasty. They taste a lot like beef jerky only a little bit more...um...wiggly. Plus, they are long. About a foot long. Let's just say that they are like Slim Jims. Only living.

They are much tastier when they are cooked, as are most foods. But, eating them live and raw can gross out any tourists or city-folk and it is fun. I used to snack on them like potato chips. I prefer them over potato chips.

Anyways, I'm guessing myself to be about five to six years old, and obviously, I was hungry. I was growing anyway, and I needed something to hold me over until Mom finished making lunch.
"Mama." I said, and looked up at her as she stirred the pot...Or cut the vegetables...Or baked or whatever she was doing. And she looked down at me.
"What?"
"I'm hungry." As I said this, I rubbed my tummy.

Mom told me to go look in the fridge, as there was something to snack on. "Go look."
I walked over, and opened the fridge. Inside was a wild array of meat, fish that the Indians had brought, baby veggies, leftovers and...Worms. I dug in for the worms. I took them out, and carried them up to the loft while I played.

As soon as the Ziploc was empty, I quietly slipped back down the ladder, and threw the bag in the sink as Mom had always instructed me to do, because 'those magical bags didn't grow on trees'. I found this odd, because, to me, everything grew on trees. Fruits, vegetables, and I thought birds grew on trees. And the fact that they were magical meant they had to be cleaned every day, to be used again. And then stuck against the window when wet, to dry.
Anyway, once I threw it in the sink, I looked over and saw Mom leaning into the fridge. (I remember this clearly).

I went over and asked what she was doing. Mom stood back up, and said, " Where are they!?!?! They're--They're---They're GONE! What happened? Do you know??" She asked me.
I shook my head. Then Mom saw me. And looked in the sink.
"Did you eat the worms??"
I nodded. "You said there was a snack in the fridge."
"But--Those were for your cousins for when we see them next week. Oh...I was gonna surprise them!..." Mom looked so sad. So I looked at her, smiled and said,
"They wouldn't like them anyway. They would think that they were gross. So I eated them."
"I'm sure you did."

Turns out, she had meant the chocolate chip cookies when she said a snack. Who knew?
Jayde 'helps' her dad while a friend gets stitches.

Monday, February 14, 2011

How to give directions...

...in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.


  Giving directions or an address is not done with street names or numbers.  You start with a familiar landmark, the mosque, stadium, hospital or perhaps the lawyer’s office that looks like a Persian palace.  Then you tell them to go towards Area 4, past the petrol station, and turn right at the pharmacy. Now look for the little guard shack, two blocks after that is the house. That’s right, the one with the pet peacock, not the ostrich! That’s easy enough, right?
Driving is chaotically organized.  The traffic circles have rules that only drivers from CdE (Ciudad del Este) know. To make it more fun, the rules at each traffic circle are different, just because you had the right of way in the previous circle, doesn’t mean you have it in the next one.
I use the  Matador System... close my eyes,  and prepare for the charge, face the beast!
 Si me muero, me muro!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Missionary Conundrum

A re-post~


I have often found myself in a difficult dilemma. Sometimes, as a missionary, one can not help but become deeply involved in the lives of the people where one is serving. After so many years of trying to adapt, even adopting the culture, it is not easy to avoid opinions of the political nature. Especially when you see a government that is abusing the citizen. Even more so when you realize that many measures could endanger the Christian cause.

When it comes to communism, there has never been a place where Christianity was allowed to flourish under this system without much difficulty and persecution. I see no reason to believe it will be different in Venezuela if the current system is left unchanged. Add to that all the new alliances with  radical Islam, how can the christian missionary not be concerned? How can you not warn, or at least try to prepare, the congregation for the persecution to come?All this has to be tempered by the reality that our primary mission is to evangelize the unsaved and serve the people as our Lord would.

The dilemma is knowing when and where to draw the line. I have not always been able to do this. I have grown to identify so much with the people of Venezuela, I can not turn a blind eye.

I was encouraged as I began to research and found that others before me have experienced the same problem.

One missionary I remembered reading about many years ago, Howard Baskerville , seemed to feel as I. He was a missionary who served in Iran.

Howard Baskerville said that he joined his students and took up arms for the nationalist movement, "as a matter of conscience." He ended up dying, while actually defending the Iranians. He is buried in Tabriz.
I am not condoning violence. I do applaud bravery and the defense of the weak.

Until recently, he was considered a hero by the Iranians. Much the same as we American revere Lafayette, who fought with us in the revolutionary war, Baskerville was honored as the American missionary who fought with his students.

He died in the siege of Tabriz leading a student contingent, in April of 1909. He was buried there in Iranian soil.



The following are excerpts from a letter, written by an American missionary wife, to inform his parents of their son's deeds.

My Dear Dr. & Mrs. Baskerville,
You have heard long before this letter reaches you that your dear boy has laid down his life. It is almost three weeks since he resigned his position at the mission school, though he has come to see us six times since. The last time was last night. Just before starting to battle. He told us it was a desperate attempt to open the road and get food into this starving city. We had prayer together. Mr. Wilson praying only for his protection and commending him to God's care. Mr. Baskerville himself prayed only for others, "this city to be relieved," "the dear ones of the Mission to be kept in safety, and for peace to be obtained." - not a word of himself.
In the night a soldier brought a note from him, "Dangerous rumor that the Europeans will be attacked to secure immediate intervention. don't be on the streets today." The first Sunday after he joined the army he came to church and sat in his usual seat, - the second in front - and had quite an ovation afterward, the men pressing round him to shake hands. That afternoon he came to see us. I begged him not to be reckless, saying "You know you are not your own." "No," he answered, "I am Persia's."

And then of their son's death.

We carried him to our room and laid him on our own bed, and Mrs. Vannemen and I washed the dear body with the blood staining through his shirts and covering his breast and back. We found the bullet hole in front and back, having passed clear through, so small, so fatal. It had entered from the back and come out just above his heart, cutting a large artery. and Dr. V. says causing instant death. His face was bruised a little on one side,where he had fallen.
We dressed him in his black suit, and when all the sad service was done, he looked beautiful and noble, his firm mouth set in a look of resolution and his whole face calm in repose. I printed a kiss on his forehead for his mother's sake. A white carnation is in his buttonhole, and wreaths of flowers are being made. Our children made a cross and crown of the beautiful almond blossoms now in bloom.
The Governor came at once, expressing great sorrow, saying, "He has written his name in our hearts and in our history." The Anjuman (national assembly) sent a letter, saying they wished a share in doing him honor, and asked that the funeral be put off till tomorrow...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to make rain

I am not as qualified on this as my children are. My children were making rain long before I was even aware that it was possible to make rain. Silly me, I thought rain was only caused by the climate and certain events out of the control of mere humans. Later, I would find out that even young children can cause a storm!! Yes,and can also stop a storm!

My four children grew up on the banks of the Chajura River in the southern most part of the state of Bolivar in Venezuela. Right in the middle of the Amazon jungle. We say they grew up 'on the banks' of the river, but really, they 'grew up IN the river'.

We used the river for our water supply, it was our bath tub, our laundry, our kitchen sink! Each child would carry buckets of water up to the house several times a day. Even the youngest was given her own small bucket as soon as she was walking. It was a small plastic bucket which originally had chocolate milk powder in it. A Taco bucket. She was very proud of her own bucket!

All of my children swam like fish. Under water, against the current, climbing up slippery muddy banks. Slithering over wet mossy rocks. Climbing trees in search of vines to use to swing out over the river and jump from. This was all fine by me, but, in truth, I never learned to do much more than a glorified doggy paddle. My children felt so sorry for me! Luckily, their father was just as adept in the water as they were. This worked out well for me as I spent many an afternoon in peace as the children entertained themselves in the river.

After a few years living in the jungle, an old lady came up to the house very irate! We had a severe storm the night before and had seen the river rise overnight to the highest level anyone alive had ever witnessed. So high, in fact, that a few of the houses closest to the river had actually flooded. This 'nosamo', old grandmother, had awoken in the night to find the water up to the level of her hammock!!! And it was my children's fault!

She came to warn me of the dire events which my children were causing! My sweet innocent, fun loving children were changing the weather patterns. They were causing it to rain! I had mistakenly assumed the Rain Forest was so named due to the inevitable fact that it rained several months out of the year. But it seems, my children were causing it to rain more often and much harder than normal.

I needed to make them stop! I was taken aback, how could I stop my children from making rain????

The old grand mother, having given me the warning, turned and left me standing in awe of the power and talent of my children! My children could make rain! I did not know how they managed to do this, but, did they?

A few hours later, four wet, tired children made their way up from the river path, each with a bucket of water, which they emptied into the water barrel beside the house. I asked them,

"Do you know that you made it rain and flood last night?"

They looked sheepishly from one another, and I knew that they DID know how to make rain! And they had done it on purpose!

"So... you know that you are making rain?"

Four small heads nodded in agreement. How could I admit to them that they were so much more advanced than I. They not only knew they had made rain, they knew I did not know beans about it!

I warned them!

"Nosamo came by and said I have to make you all stop causing the rain! She was flooded out of her house last night!"

Four faces looked at me in complete belief.

"Well, what do you have to say for yourselves? You have to stop this rain making business, it bothers the people!"

Four innocent pairs of eyes, looking up at me... aw, shucks! Forget my pride!

"UM...how exactly do you make rain?"

Four mouths opened excitedly to share the details! It seems all you have to do to cause rain is to horseplay on the river too much at the wrong places! If you play around too much, the river goddess gets angry! She will talk to the other spirits and will cause a lot of rain!

My children knew this from talking with the other children. But, the favorite rock to climb upon, the best place to play King of the Mountain, was in the wrong place in the river. My children had decided to play anyway. They wanted the indians to know that they were not afraid of any old river goddess!

They had been warned, but had chosen to continue...thus causing rain. Then they had decided that making rain was fun! It was exhilarating to make rain and have everyone know YOU had caused it!

"Besides," they said, "We can always make the rain stop!"

Once again feeling the fool, I had to ask,

"How do you stop the rain?"

Four smug smirks!

"By cutting the rain with a machete, of course!"

My son grabbed up the ever handy machete and began to slice through the air in a sideways motion. It seems that is how one makes the rain to stop. I had observed the Ye'kwanas doing this so often and had never realized what they were doing! I just thought it was a habit or something to do when bored. Swing a machete to pass the time while riding in a canoe, or working in the garden. I never knew it was to stop the rain.

But my children knew!

To this day, if it is raining hard, I find myself tempted to 'cut the rain'.

This is what happens when you spend too much time in another culture.




A Ye'kwana man cutting the rain to make it stop
in order to continue the soccer match!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Ye'kwanaman !

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 (or an image of Che)




(Providing dental care for the tribe)


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




(Just chillin')


13. Who will he vote for?
Not 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
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)


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Things I See...


Security walls around our house.

Very Lo ~Tech









The neighbor's pet peacock is our guard dog!
Nothing gets past KEVIN!


I am adding the following comment left by Glenn as he describes his encounter with a  'watch peacock'.
Glenn B said...


A peacock is not as much a 'guard dog' but more the 'watch dog'. If someone has never heard the alarm cry of a peacock before it is understandable how they would not realize just how good of a watch dog they could be.



First time ever that I heard a peacock was on a very dark night when I was in the Border patrol. It was our quiet season and I was reading a book by flashlight - The Shining. Shame on me for reading on duty but got mine for doing it.



There was a sensor hit and I had to go check it. I got out of my vehicle, and was following the tracks of some illegal aliens across a farm lot. Suddenly I heard an ear piercing low then high pitched scream followed by about 4 other spurts of terrible and very scary noise. Then, just as suddenly, I heard a strange noise like wings flapping rapidly and the next thing I knew a peacock was in my face wings beating me furiously. Hmm, maybe they do qualify as guard dog after all!

I just about had a heart attack. Stopped me from reading scary books at night while working.



All the best,

Glenn B

Monday, February 07, 2011

Dorotea's bucket






One night, our youngest daughter was experiencing croup. A bad case of croup. She was about 2 at the time. We were in the jungle and no doctor or hospital was available, we couldn't even call for an emergency flight to come get us. The Cessnas cant land at night on a dark airstrip. So, we did all we could. We set up a pop tent and I boiled kettles and kettles of water while she and her dad laid inside the sauna like environment, hoping to loosen the phlegm which was blocking her breathing. Finally, around 3 a.m. She was able to get rid of the phlegm and promptly fell into a deep sleep.

My husband and I prepared to get some sleep as well. A few minutes after we had gone to bed, just on the verge of that wonderful sleep...we began to hear something.

Rustling!

We went out of our room in time to see our son (10 years old or so) run by on his way outside! The 2 older girls were right behind him. We could hear indians beginning to run past our house, calling out...something!

We grabbed the little one and ran out as well. You see, children always learn a foreign language faster than their parents and Josh had understood the screams of the indians.

He heard them yelling, "FIRE! THE ROOF IS ON FIRE!", and as he rolled over and looked out his window, he saw the flames VERY close to our roof. He thought OUR roof was on fire.

We had taught the children that if our palm roof EVER caught on fire..Get out FAST! Dry leaves go up in flame very quickly and there is no time to grab anything. He took us at our word, and with only a yell over his shoulder to his siblings, he was out the door.

Once outside we realized the fire was at Tito and Dorotea's house, about 100 meters or so away.

My husband began to run towards the jungle path that led to our water pump. Their house was lost, but we hoped to be able to save the houses near it, including our own, by wetting down the roofs.

Clint ran out, barefoot, into the dark jungle. The indian trails are narrow and only wide enough to walk on in single file. Staying on the trail in the dark was not easy. The pump was about 500 meters or so down to the river. There was no moon light, and the jungle at night can be scary. I ran in and grabbed a flash light and tossed it to him.

(a narrow jungle trail)

In the mean time, I climbed up our water tower to unhook the flexible pipe which filled the barrels we used for a water storage tank.

Once down, my son and I began to pull the 2 inch hose towards the fire. A two inch hose full of water is HEAVY! We were pulling and had gotten to the edge of a thick piece of jungle we needed to get through to reach the fire. My young son's voice was a little frightened as he asked, "Mommy, are we going to walk through there without a light?!"

I answered in my own frightened voice, "I guess we have to." At that same moment, something SWOOSHED by us and we felt the hose pulled from our hands!



All this time, my husband is experiencing his own adventure! The flashlight I had tossed him...well, the batteries were dead. So he was running through the jungle in the pitch black! Now, unless you have been in the jungle on a moonless night, under the canopy of the forest without a light, you have NO idea how DARK it can get!

As
he ran, he prayed aloud, "Please God! No snakes!"

Later, he said he wished he had prayed "No thorns". I had to pull 13 thorns, some up to an inch long, out of his feet later. But he did make it to the pump house and he did get the pump started.

Josh and I felt the hose taken from us. It was so dark we couldn't see who, or what! had ran by until one of the Indians said, "We got it now".

Whew! I was glad to not have to go through that dark jungle!

After fighting the fire for several hours the village was able to save all but the one house.

The thing I remember most was poor Dorotea! She was crying, "My new bucket! I lost my new bucket!"

That was her prized possession! A plastic bucket.

I ask you, if you had a fire, would you be crying over a bucket? That kind of puts it in perspective for me. We are so wealthy.

Lets remember to be grateful! God has blessed us with so much in our country, we don't even comprehend how wealthy we are. So next time you (or I) feel like whining about not having something, think of Dorotea and her bucket.




(This is a typical Indian house)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Just Sayin'...

Today is my Mom's Birthday!



My mother , expecting me, with my sister and the family television.
(Not sure why the TV was part of the photo...)


My mother and sister adore me!





Good times!





And along came baby brother!






Easter Morning at Kampus Kourt in Greenville, SC



Taken while my father studied at Bob Jones University



Church planting ministry in Arcadia, Florida.






This was the last family photo taken before my marriage.




 With Mom at my wedding.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Its my birthday...



All I want for my birthday
is for everyone to sign my guest book!




Your Birthdate: February 5



You have many talents, and you are great at sharing those talents with others.
Most people would be jealous of your clever intellect, but you're just too likeable to elicit jealousy.
Progressive and original, you're usually thinking up cutting edge ideas.
Quick witted and fast thinking, you have difficulty finding new challenges.

Your strength: Your superhuman brainpower

Your weakness: Your susceptibility to boredom

Your power color: Tangerine

Your power symbol: Ace

Your power month: May



In 1965 (the year you were born)



Lyndon B. Johnson is president of the US

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara calls for a nationwide network of bomb shelters

Former leader of the Black Muslims, Malcolm X, is shot and killed in New York City

To protest voting rights discrimination, civil rights demonstrators begin a march for Selma to Montgomery with federal troop protection

The first commercial satellite, Early Bird, is launched into space by Nasa to transmit telephone and television signals

Voting Rights Act is signed into law

Riots by young blacks in the Watts area of Los Angeles begin, causing $200 million in damage

Hurricane Betsy claims 75 lives in southern Florida and Louisiana

United States President Lyndon Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union address

Dr. Dre, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey Jr., Shania Twain, Moby, and Ben Stiller are born

Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series

Green Bay Packers win the NFL championship

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews, is the top grossing film

Dune by Frank Herbert is published

The Beatles' Rubber Soul is released

"Satisfaction" by Rolling Stones is a top hit

The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing songs from their new album Help!

Sony introduces the Betamax, a home video tape recorder

Nearly all of NBC's programs are now broadcast in color

I Dream of Jeannie premieres