A few Saturday nights ago the boys asked us if we could "do church". What they meant was doing a mock service similar to what we do when our teams are here. They do not always sit down and appear to be listening but they do somehow soak it all in. Just the other day I overheard Cruz walking around the house singing "Mighty to Save". When I asked him if he liked that song his response was "yes, I learned it from the teams". Our teams come down to help make an impact on our work but in the process they are also making a big impact on our family. We are blessed with the good partnerships that we have and the way they are helping point our boys to Christ.
Cruz getting ready to "preach" at our Saturday night service
Ben singing a song at our service
Sunday nights have become our family devotion nights. After a sermon I listened to recently I was challenged to begin having one. I chose a devotion book that I have had for a while that I picked up at a book fair a few years back. It is an old book but I am enjoying the lessons it teaches. It is 52 devotions on building character in your children. Each week we read a short story that focuses on a specific character trait. We read scripture and answer a few discussion questions about the story. We pray and have a weekly memory verse that we learn together as a family. We usually practice that memory verse every morning at breakfast. Our "service" doesn't take very long and I love that it provides an open discussion platform about that trait that we can reiterate throughout the week. The boys love it and get very excited when the time comes to do a new story. Do you have a time that you sit down and have a devotion with your family? If not I'd love to challenge you to begin. It's a sweet time and will have a great impact on your kids (and you too).
Last week we had three Bible studies in the mountains. It began with a special Wednesday night service that David preached at in the village of Porto Suelo. There was a great turnout and many were able to hear the gospel. Miguel traveled with David which made me happy because it was really late when he returned. I was glad he was not by himself.
David in Porto Suelo
We were in Muyurco on Thursday afternoon. I didn't take any photos but it was a really sweet service. Several of the kids came prepared to be a part of the service. We had three little girls get up to sing together. We had one little boy sing and another little boy read scripture. It just blessed my heart to have them participate. They are the future and I am thankful that we have an opportunity to invest in their lives. Would you pray for the children that are a part of our Bible study there?
Sunday David taught in the village of Nearar. That study is going strong. They are continuing with their building plans. They are currently most excited about an upcoming anniversary service that they are planning for early November. It will take place on the property that they have purchased for the future church site. They are inviting several guests to come and we are anticipating a big time together. Would you be in prayer for that special service? It will take place on Saturday night November 5.
We began last weekend with late Friday afternoon dental cleanings. It wasn't the most fun way to kick off the weekend but was necessary. The boys do great at the dentist. They rarely ever cry or complain when we have to go. That is a blessing.
Ben getting his teeth cleaned
Afterwards we took them to the mall food court to play and eat supper. While they played David and I shared this yummy chocolate banana crepe-
yum, yum, yum!
And speaking of yummy things I recently did a little baking. One of my favorite fall traditions is baking chocolate chip pumpkin bread. My boys love it! I made six loaves. It freezes really well. I usually give a few loaves away and freeze a few for another day. It thaws out just as moist as if it was freshly baked. It is definitely a family favorite.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Here is the recipe I use in case you would like to try it out:
3 cups white sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin (or 1 3/4 cup fresh puree)
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
(optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts).
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 9x5 inch loaf pans. In large bowl combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips (and nuts). Divide evenly into pans. Bake 1 hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Makes 3 loaves.
We are not always certain that we will get any pumpkins here. When we do find them I get very excited! David picked us up one recently on a visit to the grocery store and surprised us with it. I jumped for joy! They are terribly expensive here! Sometimes we get the smaller sugar pumpkins but this year we only saw the large ones so we just bought one. I usually let it sit out as decoration for a while but eventually cut it, bake it, and puree it. We spend too much to just throw it out. I use the puree to make more bread. I always miss home the most during fall. I miss the colors, the smells, and the feel of this time of the year back home. Something about having a pumpkin just makes me feel warm inside. It's the little things!
the boys seeing their pumpkin
The next day I let them decorate it. One of our team members, Mrs. Anne, always brings or sends down the best holiday treats. She was recently on our September team and brought down some great fall things for me and the boys. One of those things was stickers to decorate a pumpkin. We ended up giving our pumpkin two faces. Cruz decorated one side and Ben decorated the other. Each morning we spin it around to show the other face.
Ben decorating our pumpkin
Cruz decorating his side of our pumpkin
And in spite of it being the fall time of the year it definitely does not feel like it around here. I'll end the post with a recent photo of the boys ready to go swimming. I might miss fall but I also love getting to swim year round. That too makes me feel a little warm inside.
ready for a swim
Happy Fall Y'all! We'll be back in Muyurco this afternoon for Bible study and then getting ready for a weekend trip to Coban to attend a special service there. We are thrilled at the idea of getting to be in a Kekchi church service again. Would you pray for our travels and time there? I'll post an update about it next week.