Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February 27, 1989 -- El Caracazo

18 years ago, on the 27th of February, we had a terrible uprising here in Venezuela. I had meant to post this yesterday, but was not able to do so. These are my memories of those days.

We had recently purchased a used, but new to us, van. The problem that day was that the electric window on the passenger side got stuck with the window down. We couldn't leave the car parked with the window open as it would be stolen. I had to ride around with my husband as he did some needed business so that I could stay with the car.

We went to a store where he had to run in to get something. I was sitting in the car, no keys, the window down, and started hearing the "mob". The "mob" has a distinctive sound, a low rumble coming your way that gets louder and louder. As soon as it registered with me that they were turning the corner and heading my way, I saw the stores guards quickly lowering the protective(garage type) doors over each entrance to the store. My dilemma was, I couldn't roll up my window and I didn't have keys!!! I was the only one outside. These student protest love to burn vehicles, and a van would be too good to miss!!!

I began to do some serious remember my husband is locked IN the store and I am locked OUT of the store! An older man came around the corner and saw me as I was getting out of the van...I don't know where I thought to go, but I knew I had to get out and away from the van.

The "mob" at this point was about 100 meters from me. The man was gesturing for me to come around the corner with him. He said there was an underground drainage ditch and that we could hide there. I remember thinking, "What? Am I a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?"

At that same time my husband had begged and convinced a guard to raise the door enough for him to crawl out to me and the man crawled in. He yelled at me to get in the van.

As we took off, the mob continued on to the store. WHEW!!! CLOSE CALL!!!

We didn't realize at that time that in Caracas things were much worse! Another missionary family came over for dinner that night. We started hearing the tanks on the street and decided to turn on the news. We found out that there were terrible riots through out the country due to a raise in gas prices and public transportation, and that we were under martial law.

The government removed the "guaranties" this is like the Bill of Rights being revoked. We were not to leave our homes as the soldiers were shooting first and asking questions later. The family got stuck at our house for a few days because of the curfews. But it was good to be together! After a bit, the curfew was lifted to just 6 pm to 6 am. I think this was the first time I smelled tear gas. I remember Joshua having asthma problems due to it and being afraid to take him to the doctors. We had a nebulizer at home so we treated him as best we could.

They say over a thousand people died in the Carcazo. They have found mass graves and there are still people unaccounted for. Many were shot in their homes and many were killed with stray bullets. I remember putting the kids in a corner and standing a mattress up to the window. The kids liked to hide under the bed when the tanks drove by. They thought it was a game! It is one of those times you never forget.

The looting was rampant. We saw 2 guys with a double mattress between them on a motorcycle. We saw people carrying refrigerators out of the store. Our church was in a shopping center right down the road from us. The entire place was looted, but not the church.

With all the looting and shooting and the curfews, no goods were transported for a few weeks.

I had been using my last little bit of cooking oil and was down to a quarter cup when the curfew was lifted. We had to travel to Caracas to renew our visas which had expired during the Caracazo.

I entered one of the largest grocery stores in Caracas, and the shelves were mostly empty. On one aisle, both sides were empty, BUT I spotted 1 bottle of cooking oil. I quickly headed for it in great excitement. A man turned the corner and reached for the bottle the same time as I did. I surprised myself, by grabbing it firmly and telling him, "This is mine!!" He let go and backed off with his hands up in surrender. I was embarrassed that I had reacted that way! My husband was a few feet away and he looked to be in shock!

I turned the corner, and...I saw an aisle, both sides loaded with nothing but ...
COOKING OIL!!! The same man was picking up several bottles, now I was not only embarrassed , I was deeply ashamed!!

I learned a few things about myself that day,
1. I am selfish!
2. I am a fool!

Whenever I feel myself beginning to panic over something, I remember that day. What I wanted and needed was just around the corner, but I foolishly fought for what I thought was the only way left for me to get what I wanted!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jungle Jollies

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 basically , compressed deodorant that you use as a soap. Very little goes a long way. It looks like an egg size crystal stone.

So 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? 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, 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.

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!!! Later on we could all have a good laugh about it! And I count these men as my friends!

They are: Ramon(a village elder), The Chief(in purple), Willan(another elder), Ceasar(village drunk), Manolo(the witch doctor)

So, a little known fact about me...I almost massacred an entire village!! Single handedly!!

Scary aren't I?

Thoughts on Venezuela

Am I afraid? No, not for myself. Except for the normal considerations one must take due to the increased violence. Always checking over your shoulder, not going out much after dark, not carrying much cash, looking around before you get out of the car, that kind of stuff. What I mostly feel is sadness for the Venezuelans themselves. Mainly for the Chavez supporters who are living in ignorance to the longterm consequences of the politics of Chavez.

Last week, during the marriage workshop, we heard several shots right behind the church. The guys outside guarding the cars came in and began locking the doors. We all continued on and after an hour or so left. We found out they had shot and killed a man behind the church. We have had shootings in the church parking lot, and dead people laying around the corner. But that is the regular violence of a barrio.

I am especially concerned for the younger generation, after only 8 years, they already are brainwashed! My daughters friends from church are so ignorant to the truth. They really think we shoot all Mexicans that cross the border, they think we have massive amounts of poor freezing to death if it weren't for Citgos cheap oil, they think Jesus is a communist, and El Che is a hero. Fidel is next to God himself and George Bush is the devil. The hard part is that one can no longer even question them, if they go back to school and say, a gringo told me....

We can still preach and teach the gospel and people are getting saved, the problem is that the culture is very humanistic and they have a secular/sacred dichotomy. They are not even aware of the inconsistencies. BUT, the other day when my husband spoke on the role of the wife in the marriage, one lady, riding home with us afterwards, mentioned that at her consejo communal (community counsel), they were telling the women their role in the family and it was not the biblical role. She realized that the government is getting involved even in the home.

We have had a few "rude" things done to us. Only in the last few years have I ever felt prejudiced against in Venezuela. We had," Oligarcas " painted on our house in Ciudad Bolivar. We have had a couple of hate emails. We have had insulting things said to us on the streets. Just last week at the Bank , two guys called Clint the son of the devil, in reference to Chavez calling Bush the Devil. It is never from people we know though.

Last week the Mision Energetica came to our door, they wanted to change all our light bulbs, free of charge! Chavez is giving everyone free fluorescent bulbs. They come in and change all your bulbs and they write down how many rooms you have, how many bathrooms , etc. My husband lost it! He said , "I don't want even light bulbs from Chavez!" After losing our home and all our things, like generators and solar panels, tractors etc...the thought of accepting a light bulb was repulsive!

I do think we are more sensitive than most North Americans, due to the things that happened last year in the jungle. We don't trust the government. They have been back to the village to make sure we weren't there and had not returned. They even had a file with photos of us and the children. So I know, "big brother" is watching.

BUT, My Heavenly Father is also watching and will keep us safe. In that I rest secured. I do know that even under Castro, missionaries continued their work for several years. Under Ortega in Nicaragua, the first time, some missionaries were able to stay. As long as they never mentioned the government in any way. So I think some missionaries will remain here for awhile yet. The government is slowly taking more and more power. Nationalizing the phones, which also controls 85% of the internet servers, electricity, and slowly , most of the food supply chain. Here is a photo of the new sytem of marking people who buy meat or chicken at the government stores in Ciudad Bolivar, and many other places. You can not buy more until the ink wears off!

I do feel, but this is only my opinion, that the church will have to be put under some kind of control. There are already areas where this is starting to happen. Everything is in the initial stages at this point. I do not think Chavez will tolerate any allegiance to anyone other than himself, not even God.

So...thats just my thoughts. No authority at all, other than observation and 20 years experience here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Words of Bolivar, The Liberator

"Huid del país donde uno solo ejerza todos los poderes: es un país de esclavos"
Simón Bolívar

Translation: Flee the country where all power is exercized by one person:it is a country of slaves.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day: "I hope the U.S. doesn't think we're trying to build a bomb…''

Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías
(who's "we" and how about buying one?)

Also of interest, article by The New York Times:

And check this article out as well:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Good News from Paraguay

These are my kids in Paraguay! Brian and Jackie along with my grand daughter Elena!

My son-in-law is feeling much better. Jackie is also resting better. They are both now in the "rash" stage of Dengue Fever and that is "itchy"!

This is only the third season of Dengue in Paraguay and there have been over 100,000 cases this season. Fortunately, the strain is a relatively mild one with quicker recovery than some of the other strains. There is no vaccine for Dengue, because it is a virus. The only prevention is mosquito control.

I Thank our Lord for his mercy in allowing them to recover quickly and providing the help they needed. So far little Elena has not shown any signs of the fever.

Our packing is going well, thank goodness we work better under pressure it seems. The difficulty is that we aren't leaving until the end of June, but our stuff needs to be measured and weighed as we wait for a container to send it consolidated freight.

We don't have a lot of furniture or things to send. Most of our stuff had to stay in the jungle, so we only have personal, sentimental things. The furniture we are using was only purchased last year and with the knowledge that we might be leaving and need to sale.

Since you cant just take large sums of money out of Venezuela, we are hoping to sale our car to someone with dollars. Our other stuff we need to sale off little by little and use that money for our regular expenses while still here. To change Bolivares to dollars is only done through the government and they basically keep half. The Bolivar is valued at Bs.4000 to the dollar, but the government official exchange is only Bs. 2100.

Today 600 stores were closed by the government for not selling products at the controlled price , they are being forced to sale at a price so low they actually lose money. Many are choosing to no longer sale controlled products.

I was at the local grocery today. They had a little bit of chicken. They also are selling, grade C beef rather than Grade A. I asked the butcher when they would have more meat. He just shook his head.

They are getting clever though! They are wrapping meat up and have it packaged as DOG FOOD! And it is actually the better cuts of beef. But Dog food is not controlled, and who are they to say we cant eat Dog Food!

Capitalism wins again!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

This is me!!! I just found out that Clover International Movers will be here first thing Monday morning to see how much stuff we have to ship to Paraguay!!!! I have to get it all together!!!

What we have been up to.

Sorry, I haven't been able to blog too much, but we have had a busy few weeks. First, the couples retreat was a success. Clint has a post about it on his blogs...let me just say, we found a Christian family that does mariachi style music, but write all their own songs. They sang a song that was the words to Proverbs 31, Mujer Virtuosa, which was beautiful.

Then we had the national Ladies conference with over 300 ladies. Clint and I both taught classes. It also seems to have been well received. I also hosted 6 women from Valencia during the conference.

One, Efi, really touched my heart! She is 29 and the mother of 2 young girls. She is a widow of 8 months. Her husband left their apartment one evening to go out and buy some bread. She heard shots and she and her girls ran out only to find him on the road, shot in the head and the truck stolen. She then went to live with her elderly mother and single brother who had offered to help her with the care of her children as she married very young and has no formal education. Two weeks later, her brother also was shot in a robbery. When my troubles seem big, I will always think of her! She was so grateful for the special classes for widows we had during the conference.
It hurt to see her got to this class with all the older ladies! But she said she realized now she is not alone and that God will be the father of her children.

Unfortunately, our camera died! And we cant download any of the photos!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dengue Update!

Thanks everyone for your prayers for my family! And thank you for leaving comment so that I know you are praying it encourages my heart to know people I have never even met, are praying for us! What a family we have in fellow Christians!!!

You can leave her a comment on her blog at,
She wont be able to respond for awhile but might be able to read the comments and it would encourage her!

Here is what she wrote this morning;

I have it too

I got the dengue fever. Gross. This wont be long because my whole body is in pain. I can only sleep if I have the Tylenol in me, otherwise I just ache and hurt all over. A small look into Aunt Pam's life, I guess. I wasn't able to sleep from 12-5am, I just laid there thinking "I'm okay...I'm not too bad." THen I tried to take a Tylenol and could hardly get the pill out of it's wrapper. There's another way I'm like my dad...1. I hate taking medicine, and 2. I have a hard time admitting I'm sick.
Praise God that there is no extra cause for concern to my pregnancy. Just the regular precaucation, to stay HYDRATED. Praise God that my dear friend Tomi is here with Elene for as long as we need her. My Father watches over me, and my family. Thanks for you prayers. I'm going back to bed. See you next week...maybe two weeks. I don't know.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dengue Update

Jackie also has dengue. She and Brian were taken to the doctors this evening by a missionary friend. Praise the Lord, a Paraguayan friend is coming over to help tomorrow and Friday and possibly the entire weekend if needed.

Its hard to be here in Venezuela and not able to help them. But God knows and hears our prayers. The doctor told Jackie to go in if her fever gets too high or if she has vomiting, which sometimes happens with dengue. If she gets that sick she will be hospitalized and put on an IV.

Dengue is a mosquito born virus. It causes severe headaches, aching bones, high fever and nausea. The only treatment is re-hydration and Tylenol. It causes the blood to thin and can cause hemorrhaging. We pray theirs is Classic Dengue,which, although painful, does not cause hemorrhaging.

Upon a life I did not live,
upon a death I did not die;
anothers life, anothers death,
I stake my whole eternity.
-Horatius Bonar

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Scattered Sisters

You may wonder who the Scattered Sisters are that my friend, Monti, has mentioned in a few comments. Reading her comments has made me a bit nostalgic for them all.

The Scattered Sisters is a group of missionary wives who, up until last year, were involved one way or another with the tribal ministries of Venezuela. We were a rather close knit group, and due to the abrupt ending of our ministries and the consequent moving of us all, many of us never even got to say goodbye to one another.

Monti seems to be the one to keep us all informed of each others where abouts and happenings, and we ARE scattered. Lest see, a few of us are still here in Venezuela, but in different cities. One is in Mexico, one in Ecuador. Two in Idaho, two in Florida, one in N.C. after having been in Afghanistan and is on her way to Russia. Did I miss anyone?

I miss so many of them and their friendship. I will always count them as a special part of my memories of Venezuela and the jungle especially.

So that is who we are and why we are called , The Scattered Sisters. It has nothing to do with being Scatter brained!!! I assure you!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The BIG News, Part 2

While seeking the will of the Lord in regards to our missionary service, we found it helpful to study the life of Paul, the first and greatest missionary of all time. The most notable aspect of Paul's ministry is that he was moved from place to place quite frequently.

So we began to try and identify how Paul knew when and where to go. Interestingly enough, Paul often allowed himself to be removed from dangerous situations. Such as when he allowed himself to be lowered over the wall in a basket. But at other times , he boldly walked into dangerous place, such as the synagogues, where he preached Christ as the Messiah, only to be stoned, repeatedly. Sometimes Paul moved on to the next logical place, but at other times he was moved about by the winds of a storm and a shipwreck. Only once did he receive a Macedonian style call.

What we gleaned from all this was that perhaps contrary to modern mission methods, it is wise for the missionary to be more mobile, not so attached to anyone place or people.

Once we allowed ourselves to be open to the idea of leaving Venezuela, no easy task, the next obvious question was, WHERE THEN?

We began by verifying that we feel especially qualified to work with Spanish speaking people. We know the language, we know the culture, we enjoy the people.
We studied each and every country in south America. Some we have visited and others through investigation and questioning people there.

Peru, a large country, but many missionaries are there and there are Bible Institutes for training leadership,

Costa Rica, ditto,

Guyana, the English speaking nation with many tribes, does hold an appeal for us, but due to other factors, we were not led that direction,

The Island of Antigua, has a large Spanish speaking population as well. Many Venezuelans are migrating there looking for a way out of Venezuela,

Argentina, we had almost went to Argentina 19 years ago when we had difficulties getting our Visas for Venezuela. We have been approached by missionaries in Bueanos Aires, but we don't know how well we would adapt to such a large city,

Mexico, also needy but...

Bolivia, not with Evo Morales!!

Chile, is interesting

One thing more we know from experience is that you can not leave a place because of fear. You could end up somewhere else just as bad. We have been here and stayed through many tough times but have never, until now, felt it was time to leave.

In November , I had to have some more lesions removed and some were Carcinoma, again. I have been dealing with this problem for 4 years or so now. It isn't getting easier. The oncologist suggested that if I remain in the equatorial area, with it's direct solar rays and long days all year long, most likely I will end up needing chemo therapy within the next 10 years. She suggested that a move further north or south, away from the tropics, could be helpful in the long term. This certainly narrowed the options and confirmed the need for us to leave Venezuela.

Basically, that leaves, Spain, to the north. We have never felt a call to Spain and though the language is the same the culture can be quite different.

To the south, would imply , Chile, or Paraguay.
We found that the 2 countries most in need of IFB missionaries are Paraguay and Uruguay. Uruguay is going socialistic , and as you all know, Brian and Jackie McCobb, our Son-in-law and daughter, are the only BIMI missionaries in Paraguay. The attraction of the grandchildren is strong!!

Upon further investigation, we found there is not a lot of leadership training going on. There are a lot of rural areas in Paraguay also in need of churches.

So, yes, as I let slip in an earlier post, we are headed to Paraguay!!!!

Slowly, we see the Lord renewing a vision for a new work in our hearts. It is still not easy to think of leaving Venezuela where we have been for 20 years, but one thing that is very clear to us is that we are OUTSPOKEN! And in the next few years this will also become dangerous here.I don't know if you all picked up on our outspokenness?!?! Something to do with an I Love Lucy style redhead and an ex-marine, maybe?

Another deciding factor is that our children have already went through a lot. It is hard for them to not be bitter against the government here and it is hard for them to feel secure at all. They know that on any day HHH, the president of the Socialist Republic of Hugoslavia could once again force them from their home and church. We feel they have handled the situation very well, but it has affected us all and the two girls in particular.

So pray for us! It's not easy to up and leave everything you know and start all over. One of the reasons we would stay is because it is actually less scary to stay, come what may, then to up-root, again, and start anew.

Those of you who know my husband, know he is man who enjoys a challenge. He prefers pioneering a ministry. In a lot of ways, here in Venezuela, he is lacking that drive, that challenge under which he thrives. The thought of going to Paraguay has renewed that for him.

Here are a few pictures of a rural ministry in a small village from our visit to Paraguay in 2003. When we went there we never expected to go and live there!!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The BIG News, Part 2, ..Coming Soon!

In the mean time , enjoy these beautiful views from the jungle.

See why I miss it so much?

Friday, February 16, 2007

From a Paraguayan Newspaper

I hope my Mexican Brother-in-law enjoys this. This cartoon pokes fun of Chavez's "Special Powers' by depicting him as the Chapulin Colorado, a character from a famous Mexican children's show. The character is known for bumblying the job.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The BIG news, Part 1

I would like to take you all on a journey that has taken us over 16 months. Hopefully, I can make it a little shorter for you all.

On October 12, 2005 when the president made his "DECREE" which brought about the expulsion of most missionaries from the jungle areas, our lives changed drastically. I wouldn't want anyone to think we were destroyed or devastated by this. We understand that God calls the shots. We still don't know why He allowed this ,but we may never understand this side of Glory, and that is OK.

Prudence does not allow me to share all the things that have happened since, but ,slowly the Lord has allowed us to see that the jungle is closed to us. Most likely it will remain closed until there is a change of government here. Some thing no one expects in the near future. This became evidently clear about 6 months ago. Once again, I cant share the details.

We had hoped that we might be able to return after a year or so, but after some expensive legal work, it seemed obvious that was not to be the case for us.

We also tried bringing Indians out to live here in town with us to help with the translation of the Old Testament, for when translating God's Word, it must be done carefully and checked by a native speaker to avoid possible heresy. But even the Indians in our region are no longer able to travel freely or safely.

At that point it became obvious to us that to continue to stay in the hopes of working with the tribe was not viable. So, what then?

After many months of prayer, fasting, and seeking counsel, we began to search out what might be next for us. First we looked around and considered options for ministry here in Venezuela.

We would be the first to say that God is still working here and except for the persecution of the Indian churches and the expulsion of the North American missionaries working with them, there has still been freedom to work here. Having said that it is also true that no new Religious Visas have been given to N. Americans since the infamous speech made by Pat Robertson around two years ago. Although some missionaries have been able to renew their Visas.

We began searching for areas to work. After my husband visited a tribe in Panama, we agreed that to learn a fourth language fluently at this point is highly unlikely. We also realize that we aren't as young as we were and the physical demands of tribal work in the early stages are enormous.

Building a house,(Clearing jungle, cutting down trees, making adobe bricks, making planks with a chain saw, gathering leaves for a roof, etc) carrying water, firewood, doing laundry in the river, cooking over a fire, clearing and preparing an airstrip, travel and accommodations are very rustic. But we liked it!!!

However, we need to admit we would be more productive at this time in a less isolated area.

After 20 years here, we began looking around. There are many opportunities here. My husband has been asked to take over two different works, but we felt that there were Venezuelan men prepared to do this and sure enough , they did take those positions and are doing well.

We contemplated beginning a new work which is no easy task. But have had no leading as to where to do so. Also, knowing that our stateside furlough was coming up this June, we did not feel that we should begin a new work as it would not be ready to be left so soon. And we do need a furlough. After all we have been through, we need some time to re-group and revive ourselves as a family.

My husband has been teaching in 3 Bible Institutes and doing a lot of Leadership training and conferences. We have not been idle, but we have not been content. We know this is not what we are to do long term.

We have felt like we were headed towards a waterfall and are not sure what is below.

Much like this waterfall on the Caura River, the main obstacle one has to overcome on the way to our village a canoe trip of roughly 10 days depending on the season and how much you need to portage,

So then the question...Do we leave Venezuela? Is there something else or somewhere else for us?


Si, Señor!

"I have sent a message to cattle-raisers, slaughterhouses, warehouses, and vendors. Yet if they insist in running counter the interest of the people, the Constitution, and the laws, I will take over warehouses, grocery stores, and supermarkets for nationalization. Get ready!"
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not the Big news, but news worthy, just the same.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Al Qaeda threatens Venezuela and the United States

DUBAI (Reuters) -- A Saudi wing of al Qaeda called for attacks on U.S. oil sources across the world, saying targets should not be limited to the Middle East and listing Canada, Venezuela and Mexico as U.S. oil suppliers.

I find this interesting and wonder how Chavez will react.

Sopa de Pata de Pollo

Beef price up 38 percent

María Cristina Iglesias, Minister of Light Industries and Trade Tuesday said the price control on meat would continue in force, but prices were increased by 38 percent in average for the whole meat production chain, including cattle-raisings and warehouses.

Price increases will be implemented for whole chicken, chicken legs and breasts, as well as eggs and powder milk.

Poultry and eggs are to soar 45.3 percent in average compared to their previous price, while milk prices jumped 5.6 percent.

New prices are effective as of Wednesday.

The market is expected to react, as beef prices, for instance, are 45 percent below current market prices.

So, I guess the poor will have to eat, Sopa de Pata de Pollo!

Happy Valentine's Day

We started the marriage workshop last night, expecting 70 couples, well, we had 85 couples show up. A lot are from the barrio and are not regular church goers. So it was great!! Pray for good results and decisions.

OK , the news is not THAT big! It is BIG for us, Jackie knows, so does Pam, Beth and Morgan. I bet Missy knows and knowing my sister so does Kim and Pat!!!!
So its only big news for the others and all the "lurkers'. You'll have to wait a little longer.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This also is NOT the big news!!


This is NOT the big news!!

It was just announced that the usual Sunday TV show of Chavez, Alo Presidente, is to begin being shown DAILY for 90 minutes!! To teach us all the ins and outs of the new "revolutionary nation"! SAY IT AIN'T SO!!!!!

Big News Coming!!!

I don't have time to blog about it yet, but we have a big announcement coming. A few of you already know, but others do not. SO in the next few days I will be letting everyone in on the latest.

Yesterday we drove over to Nirgua. To the campgrounds to start construction on 12 new cabins. It's great to see God is definitely still working here in Venezuela. Even when I get depressed(yes, I admit it) about our loss of the jungle work, I can see God's hand at work here in this country. And that excites me.

We had 8 in the Blazer, so it was tight. We stopped off and had cachapas with cheese.

We had planned a big cookout to celebrate Clint's birthday(the 11th) and Steven Arce's. We did end up having burgers as he was able to buy 4 kilos of beef from a butcher, not at the controlled price, and then ground it up himself. They were deliiishh!! We had about 30 people out there. Fun times.

Then, the wind picked up and Jewel's asthma kicked in. She went for the inhaler and... yep, she had changed purses, inhaler. So we left early before it got worse. Once home she used the Nebulizor and it calmed down. PTL.

It took us awhile to get out of town as there are more strikes. The students are given cards to pay for transportation, but the Taxis and buses don't want to accept them. The government is supposed to recompense the drivers for the students cards. Only, the government isn't. So the students are protesting. They did burn a bus. It makes it hard for us to get out because we live right in the middle of several large Universities.

Tonight we start the couples workshop. we had left the registration open through last Sunday. we expected 30 couples, well... we have over 70 couples registered! So pray for us. But that is a good problem to have!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Venezuela , Yo Te Amo!

Ten Things I Love about Venezuela;

1.The Coffee

2.The chocolate

3.The weather

4.The people (except for HHH and his jolly men in red, but I do pray for them)

5.The beaches

6.The cheap gas




10.The Flag

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Some one else noticed!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Thoughts for Today from Jayde's Scripture Memory Passage

Ps 139:1 ¶ <> O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 ¶ Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 ¶ How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Just a Normal Day

I am trying to write about things that may seem normal to me, but may be interesting to those of you living in the REAL WORLD. Sometimes , I don't even realize my life is different until I share it with someone and they look at me like I am crazy!!

Like , my daughter called from Paraguay, and says,"Mom, is dengue really THAT dangerous. I mean I grew up with it and it is a fact of life, you get a cold, you get malaria, you get dengue." Apparently, there is a dengue breakout in Paraguay and they are VERY concerned. In this little, poor backward country, she was visited by officials from the government to make sure everyone was doing their part to prevent it, and here in Venezuela , Indians are dying all the time from malaria and other mosquito born illnesses and with the wealth of the recent petro dollars...they just die.(Of course, the dengue expert would be Beth! Her whole family had it in December)

But her question made me realize , we do take things as a fact of life that might be a little different for others. So I am trying to view my life through the eyes of those of you in the USA.

So yesterday.. we left the grocery store, where there was no meat, very little chicken(things like necks and feet) no sugar,no milk and alot of Pasta. Not sure why so much pasta. But the lines were crazy with people buying TV's, DVD players, etc. We tried to price a dryer, but dryers are not made here and I cant find a single one to check prices on as I am trying to price mine to sell.I didn't think of this as odd.

On the way home, a 10 minute trip, we ran into a protest by the University students. The roads were blocked and they were burning tires. If you get caught in these , they sometimes burn vehicles. So we try and back track to get home,but run into more road blocks. Finally, 1 hour and 15 minutes later, we made it home. This was frustrating, but still normal.Until I mentioned it to a friend who was shocked.

My husband was out today trying to check on shipping costs to Paraguay, and ended up having to come home since he was blocked by...more riots. Have to wait and try next week. He has been trying for a week already to get an estimate. Normal.

He came in the other day with 5 kilos of WHITE sugar. And a ton of mushrooms. He had a sheepish grin on his face and I asked him, "Do we need 5 kilos?" He said he was in the store, and everyone in line was buying sugar, which we haven't seen in awhile, and so he felt compelled to buy the same. It seemed like a good idea at the time!
I warned him that he needs to be careful about buying WHITE POWDER SUBSTANCE sold by the kilo!! So we have 5 kilos of sugar and 2 and a half kilos of fresh mushrooms. I hope the government doesn't raid me for hoarding!!!!

As I write this I have been listening to the Venezuelan Air force practice in the new jets purchased from Russia.

Anyway, just thought I would share my day with you all.

Where's the Beef???

A supermarket worker explains to a customer that their meat section is out of beef and chicken in Caracas, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007. President Hugo Chavez's administration blames the scarcity of basic food products on unscrupulous speculators and government opponents, but industry officials blame government price controls which they say are strangling profits and causing distortions in the market. (AP Photo/Leslie Mazoch)

Read the article at

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jungle Jollies

I am writing this , after having left a comment over at Kim's about the out house, I was reminded of some fun times in the jungle. Well, they are FUN to remember anyway!

When we first arrived in the village at the invitation of the Indians, they had helped us start building our house. Made of adobe bricks , jungle poles, mud for mortar, and a palm leaf roof, it was rustic.

We were living in an Indians house for several months while we built ours. At this time there was no water pump , and of course no running water indoor plumbing. Thus the need of an outhouse.

The outhouse we were "loaned". Was a little skimpy as Indians are not in much need of privacy. Amazing what one can train the body to do, or in this case NOT do.
So my husband and some Indians set to building our own outhouse. I had one small request...WALLS, please!

He went beyond that and decided to build a TWO SEATER. WOW!! The children were amazed at such luxuries and I was thrilled. Ok, so there was no door...but we had walls and it faced the jungle.

I hung up a sheet as a door which worked well except when windy, or if a dog.... or pig... or Indian wanted to join you.

We waited for the next flight out to the village by the missionary pilots of MAF. We still had no short wave radio to communicate with anyone outside of the village.
The flight was scheduled for about a month ahead. The plane arrived with supplies, and we would give the pilot a list of things to buy for the next month. Then you waited.. so the supplies ,like hinges for the doors would take a month or more to get back to you.

Clint hired an Indian to build us doors for the outhouse, and emphatically explained we wanted a way to lock the doors.We left for a short trip to town and upon our return, found two beautiful doors in place.

One small problem was that the homemade "latches" to lock the doors were placed on the outside. As the Indian was sure we had meant to say it that way, because who in their right mind would want to lock themselves IN such a place!!! Obviously, we meant to lock others OUT to keep them from getting in at all. Oh well, the joys of miscommunications in a cross-cultural environment.

I must say , the out house was great. Roomy, airy, and PRIVATE!!!!!Unless someone opend the door on you.

Around this time , we had American visitors and Jewel who was 4 or so, proudly escorted the lady to the outhouse and offered to stand guard outside the door. Jewel had recently been to McDonalds while in the city, and with great pride announced that our outhouse was, " just like McDonalds". To our final day in the jungle we refereed to the out house as "McDonalds" .We all made several trips to McDonalds a day. Upon questioning her, we determined she was referring to the two seats and the stalls in McDonalds. Oh to be a kid.

So it was common to be in the outhouse and hearing someone approach to call out,
" Ocupado!" (occupied) so as not to have another person run right in on you.And as was the usual case the person on the outside would feel compelled to start up a conversation with you. day , yours truly is in the outhouse and hears rustling outside.I figured it to be one of my family and called out, "ocupado"! The rustling continued.Sometimes closer, I would say, "STILL OCUPADO", and the rustling would move off. This happened several times. Finally as I opened the door, all the while talking to my loved one who had patiently waited their turn, I ran face to face with a ...PIG!
I must say it was the politest pig I have ever met.I stood with the door ajar and the pig moseyed on in ...

I told the family about the visit by the friendly pig and for a few days, every time I would enter McDonalds, one of them would make sure to come out and make pig grunts for my enjoyment. Jackie is the champion Pig Impersonator of the family!!!

One day, the pig sounds were particularly obnoxious. I kept rebuking the person I most suspected, my hubby!. I had been calling out for "CLINT" to stop and leave me in peace and was quite miffed at him for pursuing his game well past the point of comedy...only to find out it wasn't Clint at all. I opened the door only to find the largest pig I have ever seen, and this one was not polite!!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tudiyaaca, also known as Jayde of the Jungle

My girls always loved to run over to the neighbors and get "made up" by their Indian friends. The beads also have special significance , differing between the tribes.
I have been going through my photos , thanks to Beth and her scrap booking post. I found this one and decided to share it.
I am trying to get all of our pictures in digital form so that we don't lose any.

Family Matters

This is to be a very busy month for us. We just finished the Venezuelan Pastors retreat and next week we are teaching in the annual Marriage Workshop here at our church. Alot of the material is the same , except for the ministry related topics. So far we have 30 couples signed up. This is an evenings only workshop at the church. Friday night we will be taking everyone out to the campgrounds by bus for the "practical" classes and fun. Just a chance for city folks to walk on grass and see the moon and stars.
Then on the following Monday, we begin the 6th annual Independent Baptist Ladies Conference also hosted by the church here. Clint will be speaking twice as will I. Last year we had over 300 women from across the country!
Clint is also preaching a series each Sunday morning on child rearing. It has been well received. The series will continue for the entire month of February.
Next month he will be teaching the same material at another church across town.
He is till teaching in the Bible Institutes. So, he is busy.
I keep busy at my own slow pace. I have been dealing with some health issues and am feeling very run down.
Homeschooling continues, but I must say it is nice to have only 2 students! Jayde is having problems with Math and Dad has taken over that class.But excels in Creative Writing!!!
Jewel is a Bridesmaid in several upcoming weddings . So that involves dresses and fittings and shoes and jewelry and... we had to tell her, "NO MORE WEDDINGS!!!"
Jackie and Brian are happy in their new house which is closer to where they are working. It is smaller, but less expensive, HOWEVER, they have had Internet problems. Elena is growing and so is the little one still in the oven.
Josh is doing well at his new job, PTL. He is paying his own way through school so he needs a good job. He loves preaching and volunteers for every chapel, SS, whatever.
The prayer request I mentioned earlier continues to need prayer.

Monday, February 05, 2007

21 x 2=??, but still smiling!

Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
My husband greeted me with a nice gift bag all prepared! Chocolates and a little something he had ordered and had shipped to Venezuela for me and NO! I wont tell you what it is!!!!
So far , its been a good birthday! A lot to be thankful for.
1.Found chicken back on the store shelves!
2.Saw white sugar, but decided not to get in that line since it was so long and we have some not-so-white-sugar we bought from the Chinese market
3.I bought black beans a few days ago straight from the farmer , about an hour away. I paid the official government controlled price, and then gave him a nice TIP.

Please understand that we are fine. We feel no danger other than the normal crime, but we are careful. If I stay in my home and around my friends and my church members, I wouldn't even notice the anti-Americanism fad.

URGENT PRAYER: Prudence does not allow me to share much, but some friends here are experiencing life and death difficulties right now. We need divine intervention for their protection. Please pray.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I was here, I saw it all. 4F, Barquisimeto, Lara

15 years ago, I was awakened by the phone ringing. We were told to cancel out 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)"

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Super Powers?

My son called me from college. He syas, "Mom, what is happening? People keep coming up to me and saying they are sorry about what just happened in Venezuela."
I explained about the new Enabling law. He says, "Oh? People here didn't know he was a dictator already?"
And then we started giggling. Because in spanish it sounds right down ridiculous.
The Mother of all Laws that gave President Chavez Special Powers. It sounds like a bad cartoon. It is so cheesy! Can it be true?

It's a bird...
It's a plane...
However, we know the ONE who puts the king upon his throne. So we can trust in His plan....and giggle!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Just Me being...Me!!!

So... a few weeks ago I posted a graphic of a mom and her blog. Everyone was quick to point out to me that I do not look like this!! Thank you all very much for your love and respect in the manner you chose to point out that I am neither young nor...

But, I like the graphic because, I like to blog. I like to blog for different reasons:
1: I like to learn, I need to learn something new everyday or I feel as if the day was wasted. So when my daughter Jackie called me from Paraguay and said, "Mom, I have a blog." I did not like not knowing what one was. I checked her blog out. Loved it, and tried to leave a comment. Next thing I know, rather than a comment, I had my OWN blog! Still not sure how that happened!!!

2: I like to meet new people and I love a good debate. Not an argument, just sharing differences of opinion.

3: I love sharing with family and friends. Mine are spread all over the globe, literally!! Through this venue we all participate in each others lives in an active way.

4: I LOVE the Lord. This should probably be first, but half of my readers would have stopped reading at that point!! LOL tricked you! I want to share what God has done for me and my family even in difficulties in hopes of blessing others going through hard times.

5: I like to share the GOOD NEWS with people that might not normally hear it. If I reach someone through this blog, PTL. So many people are open if we present things in a way they can see and feel that the conviction is of God not from me.

6: I love HEARING from everyone who visits. PLEASE, leave a comment. Even if it is anonymous. Just let me know where you are from or whatever you feel comfortable with sharing. I have some LURKERS out there and I would love to know who you are and how you ended up here at my little blog.

7: I like to Journal, this is a way for me to record history, with world and family events to remember later...for myself, my children, and grandchildren.

OH!! I also love the graphic because the mom is drinking coffee!!

So this is me , the real Jungle Mom !! I am the mother of four and the grandmother of one, soon to be two, and a 40+ yr. old woman just wanting to TALK!!!