Saturday, March 29, 2008

Seeking God

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. Hosea 6:3

Each and every day I hope to take the time to recognize God. Not just in a hurried morning prayer, or around the family table as we give thanks for our meal, but in a personal way, every day.

This takes effort! It should not, but it does. I need to take care to purposely recognize Him or a long day may pass and as I tiredly lie down in the evening, I may find that I have neglected Him. I should set aside daily time to contemplate, receive instructions, forgiveness and blessings from God.

The only true way to know God is to seek Him and set our eyes upon Him. One day He will return and we will know Him in all His glory, just as He is. But, even now, we can know He is present with us, just as we know the sun rises.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Say it Ain't So...

I saw one of those cute blogger tests...
"What Famous Leader are You?"
So I thought I would give it a try...

Upon seeing my results,
I immediately wanted to go back,
change a few answers and get a different result!!

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by

But...that would be cheating!
Which seemed like a very 'Bill Clinton-ish' thing to do...
So...I left it!

I'll admit it, I like attention...I'm a woman!
Fame? Maybe, if it will sell my future book!
Reflect popular views??? I wish!
A Social chameleon??? HUH???

At least it wasn't Hillary....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jungle Golf

Golf on the Air Strip

The Founding Members of

"The Chajuraña Country Club"

My husband started this tradition of golfing on our airstrip. Soon, we had pilots dropping in to 'drive' a few of their own. We even had Chajuraña Country Club T-shirts made up for all the 'members'. The main event was the Semana Santa Open ( Easter Week).

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Whale of a Tale!

We spent our first year of marriage in the US of A. I mean that quite literally as we traveled from New Hampshire, to Florida, to California, to Texas and all points in between. This was our 'deputation' year in which we visited several churches to share our future ministry plans with them.

The next step was for us to attend Spanish language school in Querétaro, Mexico. I never understood why my husband needed this as he had grown up with a Mexican nanny for the first three years of his life and had several Mexican cousins he visited every summer. Some of those cousins also lived with his family while attending High School in the states. His Spanish was leagues ahead of mine!

I knew how to say "taco'" and "uno"!

So off to Mexico we went with baby Jackie and my sister in tow! My sister lived with us for that year as I studied spanish and she cared for Jackie. She ended up meeting her 'Principe Azul' in the person of our Mexican Pastor's nephew, and we ended the year with a Mexican Wedding!

And then we were off to Barquisimeto, Venezuela, where my husband took the Pastorate of the Iglesia Bautista La Santa Biblia.

We had not been there long at all, when my husband and I did a follow up call on a young couple who had recently visited the services. We were invited in to share a cafecito and were having a very nice visit when my ears picked up on the conversation thread.

What I thought I heard was the wife to be explaining about seeing a TV documentary about 'chickens' and the butchering of chickens. She seemed quite impressed with the subject and I had some first hand knowledge in the area so I, of course, jumped in to share!

"I have killed chickens myself.", I said proudly.

Beti, whose eyes opened wide asked, " You???" incredulously.

"Sure, it's easy, a bit messy but, my dad used to kill dozens at a time!" says I.

Beti steals a look of disbelief at her husband Argenes, and asks, "Really?!"

I see my dear husband, nearly rolling on the floor with silent laughter! What is the matter with these people! I mean, I'm from West Virginia and it's not that difficult to raise chickens or kill them !

A bit haughtily now, I say, "Of course! It's not hard!"

With that Beti, now looking at me with disapproval asks, " And how did you kill them?"

"Why, by grabbing them firmly around the neck and swinging them by the neck until it breaks! It is quite easy to do if you know the method!" I tell them!!!

At this point my husband lost all control and bursted out in loud laughter! Very rude on his part, I might add!

Argenes now asked," You killed them by breaking their necks with your bare hands?!?!"

"Yes!" I am now annoyed with them all!

Beti, laughing hilariously ask, "You can kill "WHALES" with your bare hands????"

"Whales?" says I, " What are you talking about?"

My husband finally took pity on me and explained that the documentary was on 'Whale Killing' not 'chickens'.

With a very red face I realized I had incorrectly heard the Spanish word, 'Ballena" (whale) and thought I heard "GALLINA" (hen).

Argenes is now a Pastor in Acarigua, Venezuela. He and his wife never for one moment allow me to forget my whale killing prowess! I am forever introduced to their congregation as the "Whale Killer".

Just one of the ways God keeps me humble...

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Peek Inside My Head

That pretty much sums it up!

My thoughts are constantly running around in a very disorganized fashion! About the time I can focus in on one, along comes another to broad side it! BOOM!!! I figure if it can be overturned in my own head, there is no need to share that idea with anyone else.

It sure would be nice to have all my thoughts and ideas to line up in a neat organized way and be a bit more like, Nascar! But no, not in my head. It's a great big free for ALL! Once in awhile, this randomosity leads to a clear thought of great importance, to me at least. A thought that survives all of the wreckage. But mostly, one argument knocks out another until only one is left in the arena. Hopefully, the right one!

I suppose I prefer the way my brain works to that of some others I know. Some liberals dream of a world where all our thoughts line up in perfect parade formation. A place for each and everyone, with themselves as the Parade Marshal. No matter if the ideas are relevant, as long as they look pretty!

I prefer my Demolition Derby style of analytical elimination. Not to worry too much about the looks of things, it's more important to have a strong chassis that will withstand anything thrown at it, and a functionality that has been proven and tested by the real world.

Hmmm... I just had a new thought about...never mind, It got side swiped!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Drive by Posting...

Yes, it was Plymouth Rock!

We spent the weekend at the John Carver Inn. My husband was the guest speaker for a couples retreat held there, by Victory Baptist Church.

We spoke in 5 churches in one week! Whew!!! Tired!

I just got in from the airport, I am back home for a bit and hope to be posting by tomorrow.

See ya'!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Note to husband!

32 degrees Fahrenheit is NOT:



32 degrees Fahrenheit is



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On the Road Again!

Well, actually, in the air!

Getting ready to board my flight for another trip up north. Preparing myself for the New England weather. A very busy week ahead for us as we have several meetings and conference. Not sure if I will have an opportunity to get online or not.

Someone recently asked me how to become a 'famous' blogger. I did not know I was famous, but I found this graphic and hope it helps! I think the following cartoon is more realistic, though!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Home Education

I am sure many of you have heard of the situation the home schoolers of California are facing. There is a great article at Michele Malkin's and a more personal account from one of the regular readers here, at Seasons of Life. Just when we think we finally have this war on home schooling fought and won, we find ourselves tested yet again. We need to pray for our fellow home schoolers in the state of California as they fight this battle to remain free to home educate their children.

I am sure it is difficult for many to understand why we feel the need to home school. There are various reasons for home schooling and while the majority do so for religious reasons, many others home school for secular reasons. Also, upon examining what the public education system is producing, one feels capable of doing at least as well at home! This is not to undermine the educators in the public system. I have many friends and family members who are teachers and they are great teachers. They are even great Christian teachers. But the system is not able to produce the high quality many parents want for their children.

If I had to name the primary purpose for my personal choice to home school my children, it would be that I hope to teach my children to 'think for themselves'. If it were only for religious reasons, I could place them in many of the good, Christian ,private schools which offer religious training. Many families make economical sacrifices to do this.

The greatest fault I have with most school situations is the classroom itself. I do not think it is conducive to producing individuals who are able to be strong, creative thinkers. Many students do overcome the restrictions the classroom and institutional setting of the school place upon them, but this is usually in spite of that atmosphere and not because of it.

I do not feel that the subjects which are taught are nearly as critical for the students future as I would find the methods and skills given to the student with which he will be enabled to continue to learn on his own. I have written about this before in an article entitled, 'Free To learn' .

How do we go about teaching children to 'think'? Why is it important that our children be creative thinkers? Our society depends upon free thinking individuals with the mental habits necessary to make good decisions and be productive.

By educating my children at home, I not only am aware of their ability to learn material, but can daily observe their reasoning skills. It matters not so much what curriculum we use but that we are able to see how they are reasoning. We can identify when they are making incorrect assumptions and we can immediately correct this before it becomes ingrained. A lazy study method can be replaced by a better method before it becomes a bad habit for life. We also eliminate the constant peer pressure upon the child to think, walk, and talk like all the others. This allows the student to be free to explore his own methods and tastes and discover the strength to be independent.

In this day and age that we live in, our children are daily bombarded by information, not always correct information. Our children are products of this new information age and have access to more than we could have imagined! It is vital that we not just provided them with conceptual information and knowledge but that we also provide them with the tools necessary to analyze information so that they can evaluate all that they hear and read and know truth from fiction.

As Christians we have the duty to make sure our children use their God given talents and abilities to learn but that they do not place their human knowledge above the eternal wisdom of God. We desire righteous children who are capable of honoring God. We also are required to serve our fellow man. We need to prepare our children for a life of service to bring glory to God and to make known His ways among the nations. This is the way to impact our world and bring about true hope and change!

In order to raise children with this concept of a life of Godly service, we first must have children who are aware of a life purpose of more than acquiring wealth and fame. We need a generation of young people that are willing to live selfless lives, that will give of their strength and knowledge to a cause bigger than themselves and make an eternal difference...and they just will not learn that in most schools!

Luke 10:27

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Aji Verde, Jackie!

Te mando una cachapa llanera con queso !

But we usually sound more like this group!!!

Sunday Funny

Disclaimer: I have NO particular Baptist preachers in mind!! Just about every male member of my family is a Baptist preacher, so I am putting my life in danger by publishing this. If I will all know why! But I love to live life on the here goes!

Singing Praises in the Jungle

Psalm 108:3
I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.

Good Hope Baptist Church Youth Choir

Psalm 13:6
I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 146:2
While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Psalm 57:9
I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

Friday, March 07, 2008

I'm an endangered species!


"It's not just a hair color, it's a state of mind."

Recently, while reading my 'clone blog', Blog From The Jungle!, (He is even a redhead!) I read the terrible news that redheads are becoming extinct!

The reason, according to scientists at the independent institute in England, which studies all sorts of hair problems, is that just 4 percent of the world's population carries the red-hair gene. The gene is recessive and therefore diluted when carriers produce children with people who have the dominant brown-hair gene.

Dr. John Gray's often publicized explanation of his foundation's findings: "The way things are going, red hair will either be extremely rare or extinct by the end of the century."

"Redheads are less than 1% of the world's population. Now that is a minority! And, I thought, one that should qualify me for school scholarships or something like that."
-Becky McAlpine

"The highest percentage of natural redheads in the world is in Scotland (13%), followed closely by Ireland with 10%. In the US, about 2% of the population are natural redheads."
-Marcia's Facts About Redheads

Any red head will feel great alarm at hearing this! Our hair is a big part of our personal identity! I do not want to be any thing else! Brunettes are a dime a dozen, blonds, with the help of peroxide are even more prevalent...but a true red thats unique!

"I do believe my redheadedness plays a huge part in who I am. If I were a blonde or brunette, I would be an entirely different person."

"We redheads are a minority, we tend to notice each other - you know, and notice our identity."
-Juliann Moore, actress

"A face without freckles is like a night without stars."

"If you want trouble... find yourself a redhead."

If you are fortunate enough to be a red head or know a red head, you will enjoy these jokes!

What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night?

A redhead!

What's safer: a redhead or a piranha?
The piranha. They only attack in schools.

How do you get a redhead's mood to change?
Wait 10 seconds

What do you call a Redhead with an attitude?

Only two things are necessary to keep a redhead happy.
One is to let her think she is having her own way,
and the other is to let her have it.

How do you know when a redhead has been using a computer?
There's a hammer embedded in the monitor!

Why do redheads think they're special?
It's amazing what arrogance and a lack of sensitivity will do for your ego...

What's the advantage of a blonde vs. a redhead...?
At least you can ignore the blonde safely...

Q: Why didn't Indians scalp redheads?

A. They knew better.

"You'd find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair," said Anne reproachfully. "People who haven't red hair don't know what trouble is."
-Anne to Marilla in Anne of Green Gables

"Ruadh gu brath!"
Scots gaelic for "Red heads forever!"

Cassava Bread

I have tried to gather some photos to share the process of making cassava bread with my readers. I have recently received a scanner and am in the process of scanning a lot of our old photos. This has not left me much time for writing but has given me an opportunity to share some glimpses into to me!

Most South American indians survive on cassava bread. It takes a lot of work to have enough to keep a family fed. An old Ye'kwana grandfather told me once that ,"We work very hard all our life, just to starve to death a little slower."

Making cassava bread is very labor intensive and for that reason is not popular outside of the tribal peoples. It takes time and patience.

The first step is of course, making the garden. This is the work of the men as it requires cutting down virgin rain forest. It is very dangerous when they cut down the big trees. All cutting is done by ax! Some of the trees are several feet in diameter. Nearly every year someone is hurt or killed while cutting down new gardens.

The gardens have to be cut each year to have enough food. Each dry season, the entire village will work together on cutting the gardens. It takes a lot of people. The garden, called a conuco, is then cared for by each individual family. The daily care is mostly done by the women.

Cassava is made from the yucca plant. There are two basic yuccas, sweet yucca, which is eaten as a tuber and cassava yucca which is poisonous until properly processed. It takes up to seven months for the plant to mature, but the growing season is year round and so there is rarely a shortage, except in times of too much or too little rain.

Once the garden is cut by the village men, the area will cleared and then burned to enrichen the soil before planting. The cut wood will be carried back to the village and the family will use it for fire wood.

The planting is done by the women and young children. It is quite easy to do. All one does is poke the ground with a stick and place the yucca plant in the hole. About 7 months later, it will be ready to harvest. This is why each family has 3 or 4 conucos in various stages all at the same time. this allows them to have mature plants available to harvest year round.

When the women harvest the yucca, they will gather a large amount and make a few trips each day to the conuco to bring back enough to make cassava bread for the family.

Then they begin to peel the yucca which is much like a potato but with a thicker, rougher skin that has to be removed. It is also larger than a potato and has a white, slimy under skin. then the peeled cassava must be washed off completely.

The next step is the hardest and most back breaking job ever! One begins to grate all the yucca. This is done with a hand made grater held close to the body as one bends over and grates for hours at a time.

I have an old grater which was made by pounding rocks into an old board. Now days, the indians use metal which they cut into strips and hammer into the boards. this process of grating produces a very wet mush with the consistency of cream cheese. As it is grated it is collected in an old canoe or half barrel. At this point it is still poisonous and children must not touch or eat it. Depressed indian women often do eat it as a means of committing suicide.

The next step is to push the grated yucca into a long woven basket and then hang this from a rafter built for this purpose. This basket making is a highly prized skill of only a few men and is called a sebucan.

The straining is a slow process using a lever. More and more weight is used as the squeezing goes on. It takes several hours. The juices are collected and cooked and used in hot sauces or thrown out. Once cooked, it is no longer poisonous.

The first day is spent in cutting and carrying the cassava to the village. The second day is spent peeling, grating and squeezing the yucca.

The next day begins the cooking process. The grated yucca is now dry and fine and resembles a flour. It is off white in color and smells a bit sour. This flour is scooped onto a round raised circular platform of cast iron. This is from Brazil and some are very old. They are passed down in the family and highly treasured! This platform is built up over a fire.

The flour is quickly spread on the platform and cooks. The woman will then need to flip it to cook the other side. The flipping is not easily done without experience! Now the cassava is firmer and stronger with no loose pieces. It is a very hot job!

Next, the cassava bread has to be put out to dry in the sun. Some people place it up on their roofs to dry. Some have built drying trays. It has to be high enough to keep the dogs away! This drying is very hard to accomplish in the rainy season!

Now it can be eaten! Cassava bread is mild in flavor but a bit tangy. It will only las for a few days, so the process will be repeated twice a week It is eaten with hot sauces and is eaten every single day.




Thursday, March 06, 2008

For my children...

In case any of my children are reading my blog!

Does this happen at your house,
or is it just mine???

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Growing up in the jungle...

It means your family is very close!

And Christmas time is HOT!

It means you grew up knowing how to make casave bread...

and hanging out with your indian friends is fun!

You do not realize they are living in poverty...

maybe because people would consider you as living in poverty as well! But you think you are rich!

It means your dad convinces you to play golf on the airstrip!

It means you were potty trained in an outhouse!

So you know how to appreciate an indoor toilet!

It means you use the river as your playground!

And swim at a very young age.

It means your best friends are indian children!

It means, at a very young age, you are the best translator for any outsider...even government officials and medical groups.

This is normal for you! The indians trust you. And , who else speaks, English-Spanish-Ye'kwana with a little bit of Sanema!

It means you help build your own house, even though a child! By weaving the palm roof...

Helping to lay the hand made adobe bricks...

You help mix the mud used for mortar and learn hard work is FUN!

It means you understand all the hard work that went into making your mud hut!

It may mean helping take care of the sick...

It means you have exotic pets...

Meet "Frutilupis" !

This toucan was a regular visitor at our house every afternoon. My husband would pop corn in the late afternoon and sit outside and share it with 'Fruitlupis', which is the Venezuelan name for Froot Loops cereal. This toucan would sit on his shoulder and share the pop corn right out of my husbands hand.

Meet "Bambi" !

Jayde would bottle feed this fawn named "Bambi". Her mother was killed by the hunters and they brought the fawn back to the village to be cared for. She was cared for until old enough to survive on her own in the jungle. Once old enough she was released.

It means you learn to make your own fun! This improvised see saw the children made lasted for weeks!

It means putting on plays for your parents!

Even musicals!

It means you are more familiar with flying in small planes than in riding in cars. Taking a taxi ride is 'exotic' and unusual to you, but flying for two hours over the jungle, landing on short grass airstrips is can sleep through that!

It means you might convince your mom into allowing you to wear a Mohawk! That way you feel like a real indian.!

It means you were home schooled.

It means Aunt Beth came to teach you algebra! Even though no one else in the village cares about your suffering!

It may mean you learn to walk on a dirt floor.

But most of all, you know it is for a good cause! Building churches!