Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Amazing Life

At times I contemplate the many things I have been able to do in my life, the places I have traveled to, the people I have met, and I am amazed! I never imagined I would go the places I have or done the thing I have. My life is amazing!

I have been privileged to meet many people including Presidents, Governors, Athletes, Authors, and great men and women of God. I have also met people who will never be famous or well known, but are truly incredible people. People who impacted me and my life.Did I mention the astronaut? My life is amazing!

I have traveled to many countries and have seen much of my own country. I have seen places no other non-Indian has ever seen. I have been exposed to life at its finest and at its most primitive. It is easier to appreciate the first for having experienced the latter. I am glad I know how to appreciate a good meal, a luxurious room, a resort like environment. I also am thankful that I can be grateful for a dirt floor and a palm roof over my head. My life is amazing!

Just last week, my husband and I shared a car with two Iraqis from Baghdad. They were raised as Muslims and are now Christians. He has a christian Arabic language radio and TV ministry in the middle east, broad casted from Lebanon. He has started a church in the Dearborn region among Muslims here in America and they are sending Arab, ex-Muslims back to their own countries as missionaries. He and his wife were able to tell us first hand of the independent baptist church which was started in Baghdad. My life is amazing!

We spent the week in a lovely home of a wonderful christian, Egyptian family who immigrated here 25 years ago. They told us of the difficulties and dangers of living in Egypt as Christians. They have two lovely daughters who now are on staff at a large baptist church. We shared much and were truly brothers in Christ. My life is amazing!

We also met and enjoyed a meal with a young lady from Laos. Her father is a Buddhist priest! She was born in a Buddhist temple!!!! She and her husband are now missionaries in that communist country. We shared tips on home schooling! My life is amazing!

I also renewed friendships with people I have not seen for over twenty years as they have been serving in Albania. We enjoyed sharing jungle stories with a missionary who lived in the jungle of Zaire, Africa. They have many of the same insects and foods there that we had in the jungles of Venezuela. My life is amazing!

I know many people think that a life of full time Christian service is a boring life... NOT MINE!!!! My life is amazing!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jungle Technology

I am stealing my daughter's post!

I am so busy right now I have no time to write, but my daughter wrote this a few days ago and I thought you would all enjoy it. I know some of you read her blog,
Happy Wife, and have already seen it, but if not...enjoy!

I am in the high desert of California and we had a sand storm Sunday!!! Very different than the rain forest!

I love technology. Love, love, love technology. Email is wonderful, so is blogging, the internet is my greatest resource for learning and shopping. Telephones are pretty great as well. Webcams, Blackberries, IPods and PalmPilots, they are all neat to me. I don't own all these things, but I love the way they enhance the world we live in. Did I forget to mention cel phones? I like those too! Perhaps I have such a deep appreciation for these gadgets since I remember a time when we didn't have them. While the rest of the world IMed, and talked on the phone, we were eating worms and trying to send smoke signals. The village of Chajurana actually got pretty "advanced" technology wise at the end of my parent's time there, but in the beginning....that's a different story.
The first time we stepped foot in Chajurana was for a two week visit (that is another post for another day) we had four hammocks (for six people),some grits, and packs of soup. There was a weight limit on the plane since no one had landed in that village for years and all we could take were hammocks, a small amount of food, and a few articles of clothing. We had a book a piece if I recall (my mom can't go anywhere without books) and I reread that book about fifteen times, or more, during our stay there. We took nothing that was even remotly technological. So there we were, in the middle of the Amazon surrounded by Indian children who had never seen white people, the plane flew off (Would he really be back in two weeks? What if he was kidding?) and we had no way of communicating with the outside world. Talk about being disconnected. We survived those two weeks, just barely and I will write about that another day, promise. We did however decided that next time, we would take a radio to the village. It gets mighty lonesome in a village of 500 people who don't speak your language. The next time we flew into the village it was for two months. That was the time there was a malaria epedemic, my mom hallucinated, we learned to eat roasted monkey, and Jayde (baby sister) learned to walk on a dirt floor. That is also another post, for another day. During that visit we had a radio. There was a "quirk" to this radio though. We could hear what people were saying, but we couldn't communicate to them. It helped a little though. Saturday mornings were my favorite. We would climb out of our hammocks (we each had our own finally!!) turn on the radio and listen to "Adventures in Odyssey" being broadcasted from HCJB in Quito, Ecudaor. God bless that ministry. It kept us sane. Thoughout our years in Chajurana technology advanced. My dad got his Ham radio license, a radio antenna, and could know communicate with the outside world. Every evening missionaries all over the jungle would gather round their radios and swap stories.
"How's everything in Parupa, Walt? Over."
"Great. Shwalkdjfljdlkje a snake, ate some dkjeiowajdkfj, built a house dkjfodifen duct tape, saved dfjkdhiue eeeooooweeeeee, and the kids caught a slkjfdooboo to keep as pet.Over."
(If you dont understand the above sentence, then you obviously haven't learned radio language.)
We loved those times around the radio, we felt connected and not so alone. Without communication it was very easy to get discouraged. We learned from some other missionaries that there was a way to use our radio to call the US. It's called a phone tap. Basically, from your ham radio you contact a ham radio buff in the US (one guy I remember was from Wisconsin) who has a machine where he can connect his radio to the telephone and you give him the number (hopefully teh static isn't too bad and he can get it down clearly, and hopefully someone is home to get answer the phone) We called family members a couple of times. I remember calling my Grandma and my Aunt Pam.
"Hi! We're calling from the jungle, on the radio, there's a guy in Wisconsin helping us.You have to say over when you're done talking. Over."
"YOU'RE IN WISCONSIN????" (She thought the louder she talked talked the better we could here her.)
"No. There is a guy in Wisconsin helping are you? Remember to say over. Over."
"Say over.Over."
They never really got the whole "over" thing. But it was still fun. I always wondered if those guys who helped us with the phone ever realized how much it encouraged us.
Anyway...after our radio days came the email days. The email also came through the radio. I don't understand exactly how it worked, just that it was slow. Very slow. There was one channel that was the email channel to be shared among all the tribal missionaries. Now, we all know that missionaries are very godly, loving people, right? NOT WHEN IT COMES TO EMAIL. We would start checking email in the morning, the process is simple.
1. Boot up the one hundred year old computer.
2. Still booting up the computer...
3. Turn the radio to the correct station.
4. Listen to the very annoying beep beeping sound of someone else getting their email. (This step lasted three hours)
5. Wait at least two minutes after the other missionary gets off before jumping in to check yours. Jump in too soon and the channel crashes.
6. Mumble something under your breath as yet another missionary jumps in before you.
7. Listen to his annoying beep beeping sound for about two hours.
8. Jump in as soon as soon as he gets off, without waiting for the two minutes, because you're desperate for outside news.
9. Bang your head against the desk when you realize that you crashed the chanel from jumping in too soon. Jump and wave your arms in frustration as the Indians watch you.
10. Get on another chanel to plead with the MAF guy in charge of the chanel to run home and reset the chanel.
11. Wait two hours for him to do that.
12. Sit by the radio listening to the static till you hear that it's clear, and then check your email.
13. Wait three hours for your email to come home and then sit in dismay as you realize that it only took that long because someone tried to send you a picture of their new puppy. The pictured didn't come through, just a bunch of letters like this: ahdojfkjd{{dlkfjdofj[]]]. OR excitedly read the newsly, text only, emails that came from friends or family.
14. Go to bed.
15. Wake up and turn the radio on. It's email time!

See? Simple. And so worth it. Whenever I find myself complaining about my internet connection being slow here, I remember those 15 steps, it puts everything into prespective.

Friday, October 19, 2007

One Week, Three Mission Conferences, Two Coasts!!

This is how it is done:

Drive from NH to Boston on Friday night, stay at a Park, Sleep, and Fly hotel near Logan International Airport, catch shuttle at 5:00 am Saturday to fly to...Los Angeles.
First meeting at 4:00pm ( pacific time). At Lancaster Baptist Church - An Independent Baptist Church - Lancaster, California

Sunday; Teach 3 Sunday School classes, ( Clint teaches 3 others at the same time) then speak at the Spanish Morning service and show our DVD presentation in the evening service,

Monday:present in the school and college and church in the evening.

Tuesday: I speak at a ladie's tea on Tuesday afternoon, then we head to L.A. for a mid night flight back to Boston, via Chicago.

Arrive in Boston, drive to church for our Wednesday evening presentation at Temple Baptist Church .

Thursday: back to NH. for a conference at Bible Baptist Church

Friday :back to Mass;

Saturda: back to NH;

Sunday: back to Mass;

MONDAY... to bed!!!! ( NOTE to future missionaries...don't do this!!!!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jungle Mom meets "CHE" in Wal Mart

So I m walking around Wal Mart enjoying all the abundance of capitalism, when , lo and behold! A young latin man with a Che look alike hair cut and Che on his hat walks around the corner.


So, of course, I had to engage him on conversation!

I asked if he spoke Spanish but he answered in Portuguese. We did manage to understand each other though. I asked if he realized how insulting it was to come to my country and wear a picture of a mass murderer who shot and killed young children with his own hand?!?!?!

He thought I was making it up. I know I could not wear a Bush T shirt in Caracas so why can he come here and wear CHE???

I don't have time for a lot of blogging but really, a communist at the capitalist icon of Wal Mart!!!
Talk about hypocritical!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tabernacle Baptist Church

We are in the middle of a conference here at our sending church. Having a great time visiting with old friends and meeting new ones. I did meet the blogger who got our family started with blogging! MJ at Contagious Joy and am very excited to be able to attend her wedding in a few weeks. She will be marrying my daughter's brother in law.

Tabernacle is a special place for us, full of great memories. My husband's family were charter members of the church in its founding. He was called to preach here at the age of 10 and never faltered from that calling. He preached his first sermon here at that same age. It was the first church we attended as a married couple.

He is also a graduate of North Eastern Baptist Schools which began here at Tabernacle. It has since merged with Baptist Bible College East of Boston. During his senior year, we surrendered to full time missionary service to the country of Venezuela. Tabernacle also commissioned us to go there under their direction.

I also taught 3rd grade here at the Christian day school the first year of our marriage. Our now Assistant Pastor was once a member of the Junior Church program ran by my husband and myself!

Needless to say, lots of good memories and great times here!!

It has been rainy and cold...for us anyway. In the 50's!!! BBBRRRR!!!!

My daughters were introduced to pine needles, something they had never seen. Next week they will be introduced to raking the yard...he he he!!!! They also smelled their first skunk last night, I am sure that will stick in their memories!

So all is good, just very busy and no internet at the house where we are staying. The Lord blessed us with a house of our own to use for 6 weeks. This is wonderful and helps to stay on track with the home schooling of the girls.

One of my big surprises as I travel is to have people come up and greet me as Jungle Mom and tell my how they ran across my blog!!!! I never knew so many of our church people were reading my blog!

I did have another RLM (real life meeting) last Sunday as I met The Simple Scholar! So cool!

I should have more time next week to do a bit more blogging...don't forget to check in!!!

Thanks for adding your houses to my village, it was great fun to read all about your personalities!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Jungle Stories

If you like jungle stories, you need to head over to my daughter at Happy Wife
and read her two latest posts about growing up in the jungle!

They will make you laugh!

Post One: Talent Show : Jungle Style ( She reveals all the family secrets!)

Post Two: Hammock

Friday, October 05, 2007


As many of you know, we will be moving to Paraguay next summer to continue our missionary service there. This month my Venezuelan Resident Visa expired. For the first time in over 20 years, I am no longer a resident of Venezuela. It is a rather strange sensation.

To prepare for our future in Paraguay, I have been reading and studying about that country. We will be visiting Paraguay next moth and I have a lot of questions! Mainly about the day to day life style, cost of living, what is available, what I should take from the states, and on and on...

The first place I go to learn about Paraguay is to my daughter's blog, since she lives in AsunciĆ³n. Her blog, Happy Wife, is all about her life there with her young family, and some of her memories of growing up in the jungle of Venezuela. I also enjoy my son in law's web page where he updates us on all the ministry happenings. He also has included some Paraguayan history at his site.

My daughter told me about an online Paraguayan newspaper which I am reading each day just to familiarize myself with the country and what is going on politically there. It is weird to read of places and people and not know where they are!

My husband "googled" to try and find Paraguayan bloggers. He found only one and he and I both started reading Muna's blog. She is Paraguayan lawyer and lives in the states but blogs about Paraguay and takes great photos. I have enjoyed reading her blog for several months now.

The newest Paraguayan blog I have been reading is Brenda's. She is living in AsunciĆ³n as well. She is involved in missions and writes some great pieces about life in Paraguay. I especially enjoy her posts about the Beauty Shop!

I also watched the movie, The Mission, which is based on a true event in Paraguay and had beautiful footage and amazing music! The Falls at Iguazu are so beautiful, but I don't think my daughter will be taking us there anytime soon.

I can't wait to move to Paraguay! So much to learn! So many new things two grand daughters!!! God is good!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Personal Space

People, people, everywhere!!!

You are never really alone. Not in an indian village. There is no concept of "personal space". Actually, the Ye'kwana language does not even have a true translation for "privacy" or "being alone" as a positive thing. The translation is a negative, like "lonely". Something sad. Something to be avoided. Something dangerous, as being alone is an invitation to the evil spirits to come and attack you. Especially "Canaima"(the death angel) who flies around at night, looking for some poor soul who is alone. Canaima will set in and give that person a beating and death within 3 days. That is why no one would ever think of walking around the jungle alone, even to go down the path to the river alone is risky.

I share all of this, so that you can understand how different the culture is in regards to privacy. We had NO privacy. Our home was always open, and often full of people. We even had indians standing around looking in our windows most of the time. Especially at night. Our house had large windows to afford us with light and cross ventilation. But with our lights on at night, we were watched by the entire tribe. We were their entertainment, " Live, in Technicolor and Surround Sound". Even in the house, under the palm roof, with no inside ceilings, what was said in one room was heard through out the entire house.

Being very aware that our entire lives were under scrutiny, we had to discipline ourselves at every moment. Even when speaking English or Spanish, our body language, facial expressions, and reactions were all being watched. They wanted to see how a christian re-acted to things, we needed to show them patience, love, gentleness...self control. Christ in us.

My husband and I learned to not show our irritation with each other in public, and we were always "in public". If an issue came up that absolutely had to be "discussed" in private, that meant, going to the river, getting in a canoe, paddling for 10 to 15 minutes to get out of hearing range from the village, in order to have a private discussion.

Frankly, not many things are worth that effort!!! By the time you get done paddling, you don't have the energy to argue. Or it no longer seems important enough, you may even forget what had annoyed you to begin with, or, you find yourself alone and don't want to waste that precious privacy in anger!!!

I think every married couple ought to buy a couple of rowing machines and make a rule that before responding to one another in anger, you both have to row for 15 minutes!!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's Good to be Home

I have been up since 3 a.m. for my early flight. I am now back in sunny Florida, but not for long. Next weekend, Clint is speaking in Connecticut. From there, on to N.H. and, oh! yeah! Los Angeles, California, back to New England, down to Florida and flying out to Paraguay for Thanksgiving.

Furlough is not a vacation. It is very tiring bit also very rewarding to be able to share with the people who have been so committed to us for all these years. The church we just visited in Texas has been a partner in our ministry, both financial and in prayers, for about 24 years. It was great to be able to share video footage and to report on our ministries in Venezuela as well as inform them of the upcoming ministry planned for Paraguay.

My back has handled the trip well, which is an answer to prayer. I now have two days to do all the laundry and pack us all up for our trip up north. Clint and the girls will be leaving on Thursday. They are going on the Amtrak auto train which is a bit easier on Clint and faster. I will be joining them on Monday via plane.

So...we are busy!! I hope to get back to regular blogging in a few days.