Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Things I See...


That's right, I am moving again!

 We found a house for the church  and we will be moving into it for a few months until we are able to move into our new home we are buying. This will make my 7 th move in 5 years so the blessing of buying a home and not having to move again for awhile is a comforting thought!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Things I See...

Yerba Mate
Tereré (of Guaraní origin[1]) is an infusion of yerba mate (in Spanish) / erva-mate (in Portuguese), similar to mate but prepared with cold water rather than with hot,[2] and in a slightly larger vessel. It is originally from Paraguay,[3] and is found also in northeastern Argentina and southern and western Brazil. When hot (mate), the Guaraní people call this infusion ka'ay,[4] where ka'a means herb and y means water.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Dark Night

By Jewel Vernoy (my daughter)

      There is a legend among the Ye’kwana Indians that if you leave your house and are seen by the death spirit you will die that night. The Indians feared this spirit so much that they never made windows in their houses. A few people had become Christians and no longer feared the spirits in the jungles, but sometimes, in the darkness of the night, it is hard to hold on to that faith in God. Especially difficult when there is no light and you can have a snake an inch away from your face and not even know that it is there, until you feel the fangs pierce your skin and inject their poison into you. This night was no exception, there was no moon or stars to share their glimmer to give hope to the people of the morning, only a dark blanket to cover the village in. It was as though the darkness wanted to hide something, to keep it a secret, but what?
            I had just turned 15 and thought I could handle anything but those dark nights could send chills through even the bravest man on earth. As I slept in my hammock, or attempted to, I heard feet running towards my house, and they were running quickly. Suddenly, someone was banging on the door crying out to us, “Please help! The baby has come, but something is wrong! Please, please come quickly!”
         My father jumped up quickly, grabbed a flashlight and his medical bag, and ran out after the girl who had come to get him. While my father was running towards the small hut where the young mother was giving birth, the light of his flashlight shown on a large puddle of blood pooled on the ground. He stopped the girl and asked her whose blood it was? The girl replied in a gasp, “Sister had gone to the outhouse and on her way back the baby was born. This is where it happened.”
        As my father listened to the girl and looked at the blood on the mud path his worst fears were confirmed, “Why God? Why now of all times? And, also, why to this woman? I don’t understand?”  he thought to himself and he prayed.
            When my father got to the hut he saw the parents of the new baby. His heart hurt for them. How could he tell them? As the man looked at my father with hopeful eyes, my father knelt on one knee and gently placed a hand on the husband’s shoulder, shaking his head. “How long?” the husband asked my father as tears ran down his face and he lovingly held his wife.
       My father was heartbroken over this scene but replied, “I don’t know. It could be an hour or two…or it could be in the next five minutes, but I will try to make her as comfortable as possible.” My father administered some pain killers to the unconscious, hemorrhaging mother.
 The woman had already lost so much blood! If only she was in a hospital, but even there it would be difficult to save her life. My father looked at the mother and the puddle of blood that was now forming under her hammock.  Once again, my father shook his head. “Dear God, why? I don’t understand. She was healthy and this is not her first child so why did she have to hemorrhage?”
 My father stayed with the family until dawn broke and the mother went home to her Savior. In the jungle a body must be buried as quickly as possible or sickness would plague the village. My father also wanted to make the coffin as quickly as possible because the carpenter of the village was also the husband of the woman who has just died.
 As my father and the new widower built a coffin, others went to the burying ground to dig a grave. After her body was placed in the coffin, we took her to the church and held a service.
During that week we had been hosting a soccer tournament in our village. Because of the death in the village the tournament had been canceled. It was to be expected that the villagers would leave out of fear of the death. However, some villages stayed because they were shocked and could not understand the calmness that the Christians of our village had shown even when faced with a death. Three villages stayed and listened to the gospel being preached at the funeral.
As my father looked around at all the unsaved people, he remembered a prayer my mother had heard during a ladies prayer meeting earlier in the month.
 “Dear God, please do whatever it takes during this tournament to let the other Indians hear about your Son. Amen” and then my father under stood that it was God answering a payer through this death. The simple prayer that the gospel would be preached, that prayer had come from the mother who now lay in the coffin.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Paraguay !

Today Paraguay is celebrating Independence Day.

This is the winning logo Jayde designed for her school contest. She will be marching in the parade today, carrying a banner, with the logo, at the front of her school.

Viva Paraguay

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beti's baby

"He's dead! He's dead! He's dead!" was the shout being raised through out the small village. The news roared through the houses like a wave. One woman lifting her voice to pass the awful news on to her neighbor, until it reached my own ears.

But who was dead? At this point, no one knew any longer who had died, just that the death wail had begun. One by one, people dropped whatever chore they were doing and ran towards the Monolo Clan's clearing of houses. The closer we got, the louder and more anguished the wails.

The smallest house. The house of Beti, was surrounded by people with fearful eyes and uplifted grieving voices. My husband and I worked our way through the throng and into the small round hut. We both had to duck to pass through the low door and into the dark, hot, crowded, small, one room mud hut.

The wailing by the women was even more dramatic in here as they were mostly immediate family members.

Beti is the smallest woman I have ever met, standing at barely 4' 6". Her husband had left her and her children and the rumors were he was living in Brazil with a new, younger wife. Beti's youngest child was nearly three years old, the other 4 children ranged in ages from 10 downwards.

The smallest son was lying in a hammock, naked, and dripping wet. In the corner sat a 7 year old sister, crying and pulling her hair.

My husband rushed toward the baby, I rushed to the little girl. She sobbingly told me the story.

She had been sent to the river to do laundry and had taken the youngest with her. He had cried to go along and as is fairly normal, he was taken and allowed to play on the banks or in a canoe nearby. While doing her chore, a few more children came down and the girl became distracted. She forgot about the baby brother, joined in to play, and when done, headed home towards the village. She had arrived a few moments before us to hear the wailing and realized she had forgotten her brother at the river!

Before finishing her story, my husband stood up and yelled out,

"Be quiet! He is not dead! I need to listen to his heart!"

I rushed to his side as the crowd quieted. We began CPR on the baby and after a bit, the child came to and began to cry. First weakly, but more and more robustly!

The people in the house became stone still and eerily quiet!

A new cry began!

" He's alive! He's alive! He's alive!"

Beti took the baby in her arms and rocked him as he calmed down. She told me the rest of the story. She had been to her garden and just arrived at the clearing when another woman came up the path with her son. The woman was Gloria, a christian woman, who thankfully, was not afraid to touch what she thought was a dead body.

Gloria had been paddling home in her own canoe when she found the small boy floating with the current towards her, face down in the water. She had fished him from the water, thinking him dead.

When I had seen the baby lying in the hammock, he looked lifeless and purple. My husband had been able to detect a weak pulse and had revived him.

To the Ye'kwana this seemed like a miracle of a dead one coming to life again. We explained that we had not brought him back to life, but had been able to revive the small spark of life left in him, just as the women would revive the apparently dead fire each morning by blowing and fanning the blackened embers.

We could see the comprehension arise in their eyes, but they were none the less grateful that we had been there and my husband had known to look for the " spark" and had known to breathe life back into the child so that his "fire" did not extinguish...forever.

Had we not been there, this child would have been buried by nightfall ! Instead, he is now a 16 year old, a capable hunter for his mother.

God graciously allowed us to save the child's life that day.

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding as experienced in Paraguay

The littlest princess needed to pee!

An English Tea provided by the Queen

With real cucumber sandwiches!

Prince Charming even provided us with programs

It was almost like being there!
 My favorite part was Prince Harry riding in the carriage with all the children. He looked like someone who had been seated at the kid's table for Thanksgiving but he kept a beautiful smile on his face.
 Did you watch it?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

For those of you celebrating today, I wish you a wonderful, joy filled day. Here in Paraguay we celebrate next week which also happens to be the bicentennial of Paraguay's Independence. That should make for an intersting holiday!

Mothers have a special way
Of saying ‘I love you’
A love that God has given them
A love that will hold true
For Mothers sacrifice so much
Providing for the home
Creating there an atmosphere
That reflects God’s love alone.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Things I See...

  I was awakened early one morning to the sound of mariachis outside my window. The young lady across the street was being serenaded for her birthday. The music was beautiful and OH! SO! romantic!

But then I became rather confused. I was in Paraguay. Mariachis were singing. The songs were being sung in Portuguese.