Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fun and Fellowship

We have had a good week.  We had several opportunities for fellowship and fun.  We had good Bible studies in the villages and visits as well.  Here is a look at our lives over the past several days.

At the beginning of the month I started a reading incentive for the boys.  They have been reading all summer but I wanted a good push before the new school year began.  We came up with a good prize system and they have been doing well so far.   We begin every morning by reading.  I plan to keep it going until the end of the month.  Not much excites me more these days than seeing my boys with a book in their hands.

 Cruz reading a book by Clyde Robert Bulla.  He is one of my favorites.

On Monday evening we met our friend Miguel at a local restaurant for a pizza supper.  He has some nieces and a nephew down visiting from the States.  Not only did we get to see Miguel but also his sister, her kids, and the kids from the States.  Our boys have enjoyed getting to play with them while they are here.  We had a fun evening together.

On Tuesday morning we made a few visits in the mountains. Our first stop was to see Dionicia in Lagunetas.  A few weeks ago she fell and hurt her ankle.  Thankfully nothing is broken, but she has had a hard time recovering.  We spent some time visiting with her and then was able to pray for her before we left.  Join us in praying that she will heal quickly.  They have not given us permission to return and teach there in quite some time.  Pray that our visits would show them God's love.

Next we made a visit in Churischan to check on our contact family there.  We love to just sit on their porch and talk with them.  They are believers so our conversations there are different than most stops. 

On this particular visit I got to have a lot of one on one time with this sweet lady while David was sharing with her husband.  She is having some health issues so please pray for her.  We are going to try to visit them again next week with our team. 

Our boys love when we visit there because they get to climb trees while we are sitting and talking. 

my little monkeys

a beautiful mountain view as we drove back down to town

That evening we joined a mission team for supper at the hotel next door.  They are from FBC Lake Wales, FL.  They have been coming down to this area for around ten years  now working with another group.  We enjoy getting to visit with them when we can. We are also able to share with them what we do, and thank them for their support to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  Here we are with the team leader and his sweet wife. 

On Wednesday afternoon we had Bible study in Nearar.  There is a group of young boys who hang out and play soccer every week while we are there.  They are the same group who just a few months ago were throwing rocks at the church every time we met.  Since the land was cleared off and they have no where to hide the rock throwing has almost ceased.  Anyway, the ball they use was in terrible shape.  They have been asking us for a new ball for a while.  This past week we took them one.  They were thrilled.  During the service Ben looked back and noticed that two of them had slipped into the back of the church.  They were sitting down and listening.  That made us happy.  I also see them peeking over the tin wall almost every Sunday morning now listening in to my kid's class.  Pray for the hearts of this young group of boys.  Pray for us as we try to point them to Christ.

That evening when we returned to town we met Miguel's crew at the mall playland.  As we walked inside we noticed Batman and Spiderman standing there handing out sale ads for one of the mall stores.  Of course we had to take a picture with them.

Miguel had a meeting to attend so we agreed to watch all the kids for him while he was gone.  It was seven in all including ours.  We let them have some time in the ball pit.  They loved it!  This crew has had a lot of fun together this week.

On Thursday afternoon we had Bible study in Muyurco.  Here is my class making funny faces at the end of our lesson.  I love spending Thursday afternoons with them.

I loved this t-shirt that one of the boys was wearing.  It says "Eat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts". It sure made me want to. 

That night we stopped by a new taco stand in town to check it out.  The boys and I had quesadillas and David tried the tacos al pastor.  They have a trampoline, a swing set, and a large area to run and play.  The boys made a few new friends there and we stayed extra long just to let them play.  I am sure we will be back soon.

We were getting in the car on Friday to go buy our team supplies and noticed this flying object in the sky.  Turns out it was three hang gliders coming in to land on the hotel property behind us.  The boys loved seeing them and wanted to know if it was something new that the hotel was offering.  I doubt it, but it sure was fun to watch.

Friday night we had our weekly pizza, popcorn, and movie night.  This week we watched The Little Rascals.  Afterwards we made a few laps around the block before calling it a night.  Friday night is probably our favorite of the week.  We love family movie night!

Our team arrives tonight from Texas.  David and Cruz will be picking them up.  We are excited about spending the next week with them.  We have three couples coming.  One of those couples is Mark and Debby Fricke.  They are retired IMB missionaries who served many years here in Guatemala.  We are especially excited about our time with the two of them.  We anticipate a great week ahead.  Pray God's blessings over all we say and do. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Organizing, Celebrating, and A Few Days of Traveling (last week in a nutshell)

I spent Monday and Tuesday of last week getting all of my homeschool materials organized.  Our last team brought down all of my supplies for the upcoming school year.  I just get all giddy when I am finally able to get my hands on my stuff.  It is so much fun looking through everything.  I could have started school right away.  I was that excited.

I had already cleaned off a shelf to put everything on before it even arrived.  I spent some time getting all of my instructor's manuals in order, and all of the books lined up on the shelf in the order that we will be using/ reading them.  Now if I can just keep some little hands from pulling them off and randomly replacing them, I will be happy.

I wrote out both boy's lesson plans for the first week of school and am feeling pretty confident about starting the new year.  It is just a few more weeks away.  Where has the summer gone???

We had a quiet 4th of July.  I did not plan to do much this year.  I did not even decorate (gasp).  We started the day by taking a family picture.  It is so hot here you have to do the picture early before we all start sweating so bad that no one is in the mood to do it. 

We had pancakes and bacon for breakfast.  I did get out some flag plates to eat on.  Cruz was really disappointed that I did not do more decorating.  I think I have ruined him when it comes to holidays and special occasions. 

He lost another tooth that morning.  It was a bottom tooth that had been loose for a while.  A few of the team members had wanted to pull it but he would not let them.  It finally fell out on it's own.

After lunch we loaded up and made the drive to Coban.  We have been wanting to visit there since school got out and have just not had time to go.  It had been almost two years since our last visit there and we were eager to return and catch up with some of the Kekchi believers there.  It is a four hour drive from our home.  We stopped half way in El Rancho for a bathroom break.  Ben jumped out of the car barefooted and proceeded to enter the store.  That is when we questioned him and realized that he had left the house with no shoes.   It is cold in Coban.  He needed shoes.  Thankfully we had taken his black rubber boots for an outing we had planned there and packed an "extra" pair of shoes just in case. Sometimes I think my boys pull stunts like that on purpose just to keep me humble.

We stopped again in Tactic at Cafe La Granja.  It is a favorite stop on all trips to Coban.  It is usually cool there so we like to sit out on the porch, drink coffee, and watch the boys burn off some energy on the outdoor play equipment. 

coffee and dessert break at Cafe La Granja on the 4th of July

Inside the restaurant they had a fire burning.  It blew my mind to see a fire burning on the 4th of July.  It is so hot in Chiquimula we could not fathom the thought.  The cool weather was a highlight of our trip.  It was such a refreshing break.  The highs were in the low 70's.  Those are our current lows.

When visiting Coban we most always stay at Hotel Villa Las Cabanuelas which is just outside of town. We got up on our first morning and drove into town to Hotel La Posada for breakfast.  It is one of my favorite places to eat in Coban.  When we lived there during our first term we ate at La Posada many times.  It is always good to go back and revisit it.
breakfast at La Posada in Coban

cheese omelet, refried black beans, and fried plantains

Next up we drove out to Chamelco to visit the Grutas del Rey Marcos.  This was another favorite spot of ours.  If you visited us during our Kekchi days there is a good chance we took you there.  We loved going there for picnics and playing in the waterfalls.  We also loved going there to hike in the cave.  It was our first time to take the boys and we were all excited.

it is a fun place to explore

our favorite picnic spot was right inside that pavilion

After exploring around we met our guide and hiked up the hill to the cave entrance.  I had forgotten what a hike it was.  It has been about nine years since we were last there.

that tiny door is the entrance to the cave

The boys were a little nervous at first because they did not really know what to expect.  Once we were inside they were fascinated and loved it. 

We had a nice guide who took a lot of pictures for us.  That made me happy.  

It was cold there and the water was freezing but the boys still wanted to play.  We had taken their swimwear just in case they wanted it.  They changed clothes and spent some time splashing around.

That evening we met our friends, the Wisemans, for supper.  They serve with the Assembly of God mission.  We first met them back in January 2008 when we all started Kekchi language classes together with Ms Fran.  Those classes gave us an instant bond and we have remained good friends ever since.  They still live in the area and work with the Kekchi.  It was good to catch up with them and hear about how the Kekchi work is going in their mission.

We started the next morning with an early breakfast at Kardamomuss.   The boys loved these fun pancakes.  Cruz said, "Mama, you can make these for us at home."  I guess I'll have to try.

We spent the rest of the morning at the Kekchi Baptist office visiting and meeting with several there to get an update on the work.  It was good to hear that overall things are going well.  It is always fun to return but at the same time it makes us a little sad.  It reminds us of how much we love and miss them.

One of our favorites to see was Sergio.  He was our helper and David's Kekchi tutor.  He is now all grown up and working at the Baptist office there in Coban.  It was so good to catch up with everyone there.

Later that afternoon we visited with the Smoker family.  They serve with the Mennonite mission.  They live in the area and also work with the Kekchi.  They moved there after we had left but we still met them and keep in touch.  Our boys love to play with their kids.

That evening we attended a worship service at the Kekchi Baptist church in town.  When we lived in Coban this church was just around the block from us.  We considered it our home church and when we were not out traveling this is where we attended worship on Sundays.  We always love getting to go back and be with them again.  The pastor's wife, Chus, was my Kekchi tutor.  I love her.

a photo with a few of our Kekchi brothers in Coban

We returned home on Saturday afternoon and spent the rest of the day getting ready for Sunday service.  David was preaching in Nearar and I was teaching the kids class.  We had a great service there and then stayed for the monthly business meeting.  It was almost 2:00 before we returned to town.  Bro. Fito's church was not meeting that night so we had the evening off.  We were all tired anyway so we were able to get to bed early.  It had been a full week but such a fun one!
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