Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Heavy Hearted




 We had very sad news this morning of yet another tragic car accident resulting in the death of fellow missionary wife Julie Kurrle and her young son Timmy. Please pray for Norberto and Anahi who were also in the car.

Julie posted on her blog  just yesterday morning, HERE ,with excitement about the progress on her daughter's adoption papers and their upcoming trip to the US on May 15th. Julie and Timmy made a different trip and are in God's presence today. Life is fragile.

Another fellow missionary wrote a beautiful, meaningful tribute to Julie, a fallen hero, and the little MK, Timmy. Please, pray for Norberto and Anahi as they  heal and  deal with this new life. May God grant them his immeasurable grace in this time of such loss and need.

Read Christie's tribute HERE


I wanted to share this video of Julie teaching how to do laundry by hand. I remember watching it the first time and laughing at how she made it seem so easy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Life as a Fairy Tale

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Things I See...

Bottled gas delivery man...or...suicide bomber?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

"Christ is risen.....He is risen indeed!"



My grand daughters made a Resurrection Scene to mark the day, when finished , my daughter Jackie asked:

JACKIE - "What if we put up a sign that says "Jesus Lives!" over our resurrection scene?"
Abbie- "No, you have to tell them the whole story. Lots of people live. Tell them He was on the cross, then in a tomb, but He got out and now lives forever. Make a sign that says that."


Resurrection scene - made by Elena and Abbie



He's alive, ya'll!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Good Friday in Paraguay

 Today I share a  friend's post. I am still learning just HOW different Paraguayan and Venezuelan traditions can be. I think I broke every tradition and cultural rule today, all while trying very hard to behave.

http://hagermans.blogspot.com/2012/04/good-friday-traditions.html


Yep, Semana Santa is in full swing here.  Well, that makes it sound like something's really happening, but what's happening is a lot of nothing, on purpose.  WHAT?!  You see, today is Good Friday, and that means the whole country has shut down in order to contemplate the crucifixion.  This day is treated with much respect.

A few rules I've learned in the 4 Easter seasons we've enjoyed in Paraguay:

  • Cook in advance, including the traditional asado (grilling out) Thursday night and chipa throughout the week.  This will sustain you on Friday, when you must not cook.
  • Don't try to take a bus on Thursday because everyone is going to the home of their relatives who live in rural areas--"the campo."  Buses are crowded on a good day here, but there's no way to describe the scene on the day before Good Friday.  Incidentally, there aren't buses today, and I've not even heard a motorcycle pass by.
  • Wear mourning clothes.  I learned the hard way that there are certain colors that are appropriate for wakes, funerals, vigils, and other such things involving the dead.  Of course, dark colors such as brown and black are fine, and white and gray because they are neutral.  However, blue, green, pink, purple, yellow--considered "party colors"--are totally inappropriate.
  • You must not raise your voice on Good Friday.  No yelling at the kids or calling the cows home.  Many choose not to listen to the radio or watch tv, but if you do these things, they must be at a volume level that only you can hear.  
  • No work today.  Not only does this apply to the place of employment, but don't work around your house, either.  Yesterday, the women in my barrio were cleaning like mad because there'll be no mopping, dish-washing, or sweeping today.  Oops.  We broke this one.
  • The day is to be spent in quiet meditation and reflection.  Unfortunately, most people are sleeping off last night's party.  But for those who choose to actually reflect on the meaning of this day, they will have the peaceful tranquility to do so.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Have you ever seen a Drunken Chicken?

(A friend requested that  re-post this old story!)

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!!