Monday, February 28, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Our youngest grand daughter is a year old today.


Friday, February 18, 2011


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 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.
"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... 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!

" 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?

(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?

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?
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

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.


Friday, February 04, 2011

The Things I See..

"Improvise, Adapt, Overcome!!! It was well over 100º F on this particular day, but skin cancer concerns must be dealt with!"

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy 54th Birthday to Ciudad del Este, Paragauy!

Capital del Departamento de Alto Paraná, situada a 327 km de la capital, Asunción. Por su población y desarrollo económico es segunda ciudad del Paraguay, con 340.000 habitantes.

Photos of Ciudad del Este

Fue fundada por decreto el 3 de febrero de 1957 con el nombre de "Puerto Flor de Liz". Más tarde honrando al dictador Alfredo Stroessner quien impulsó su construccion, se llamó "Puerto Presidente Stroessner", luego “Ciudad Presidente Stroessner”, hasta el golpe de estado que depuso al Presidente, el 3 de febrero de 1989. En esta fecha el comando revolucionario, utilizó el nombre de Ciudad del Este; en días posteriores, fue plebiscitado el nuevo nombre que se le daría a la ciudad y los ciudadanos eligieron el de Ciudad del Este.

Fotos Actual de Ciudad Del Este
Este álbum fue posible gracias a la gentileza de nuestros queridos amigos de la comunidad de Orkut : CIUDAD DEL ESTE EN FOTOGRAFIAS , de nuestros miembros en la comunidad PARAGUAY EN FOTOGRAFIAS de Orkut y de Facebook

Base principal de datos en el foro : Ciudad del Este