Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catching up...

I've gotten very behind in blogging in the busy-ness of daily life. As I spoke of in the earlier post, Ruth and I attended the funeral of Andrea. It was a very nice service, with her Sunday school teachers getting up and saying a few words about her and with two women singing typical children's Bible school songs. At the end, Andrea's grandma got up and spoke. And she reminded us all that God tells us we are to always be thankful. She said it's very hard to be thankful in a time like this but that God tells us to do it. What a lesson there for all of us!

After the funeral the trek to the burial began. We were offered a ride in the back of a truck with a group so we accepted it. (Note to self: next time, just walk--the starting/stopping while standing in the back of a truck is much harder on the body than just walking) This picture is of the procession headed to the burial. The lady walking in the front of the procession in the white shirt and black skirt is Andrea's grandma.

Please continue to remember Andrea's family in prayer. I'm hoping to get to talk to her grandma this week and invite her to our ladies' day this Saturday. (more on that in a minute)

The following Monday was Monte's birthday and we were happy to help Reina surprise him for his birthday. She had asked me weeks earlier about fixing a meal for him for his birthday. She fixed her delicious chicken tamales. I'd gone that morning and paid for a cake and arranged to have Jose pick it up and take it to Reina's for me and then he called when it was time to come and said that Reina needed to talk to Monte and that it was important. Monte was onto the game at this point but he went along with it and we enjoyed a delicious meal and birthday cake together.

The following Thursday our family went to San Salvador overnight. We needed to get away from the stress of things here and just enjoy being a family together for a bit as the upcoming weeks will be filled with others coming to visit us. We were able to use hotel points of Monte's to reserve a nice hotel and enjoy sitting by the pool. The water was so cold that only Nathan did any swimming in it. Ruth and I enjoyed some live music being played in the outdoor area of the hotel that night. The following day we were able to go see the new Harry Potter movie--in English with Spanish subtitles. It capped off our little getaway and we were able to quickly shop for the food items we can't get in La Palma and head home.

We've started a new outreach/ministry here in the last few weeks. The kids here are on break from school for two months. This means a lot of free time for a lot of them. Monte and I have started showing free movies on Wednesday mornings in the church building. We buy snacks of some kind to give the kids and their parents that come and we show a movie with a spiritual message. So far we've been showing some of the Max Lucado kids' movies like Hermie the Common Caterpillar and the kids are enjoying them. We sing a few songs with them and have a prayer before they leave and of course invite them to come back on Sundays. One of the kids who has been coming is Cristian, a little boy who lives right next door to the church property but has never come to church here. He was so excited about a free movie and loved it and was in Sunday school the following Sunday. We pray that this will be a way to reach Cristian's family and others like them. Last week after the movie several of the kids played soccer and basketball in front of the church for almost an hour. It's good to have the facilities being used and the time the kids are playing gives me time to visit with the adults that come with them. (Does anyone in the States have any Max Lucado or Veggie Tales DVDs that you're not using anymore AND that have a Spanish language track? If you do and you're interested in sending them for us to use here, please let me know.)

The biggest thing I am working on right now is the ladies' day that is coming up in La Palma this next Saturday. We're making plans for 150 ladies and this is the first venture of its kind in La Palma. The ladies are very excited about it. I'm quite nervous about it because I am teaching at it--without a translator. I've taught classes before without a translator but they were small classes, never standing in front of an auditorium without a translator. I know, though, that "I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13) So I'm trying not to stress too much about it. Of course, I would appreciate your prayers for that day. I pray that what I have to say will be what they need to hear and that God will help me to find that right words in their language.

In case you are interested in our Thanksgiving meal, Ruth posted some pics and wrote a little about it here: http://ruthinlapalma.blogspot.com/2010/11/happy-late-thanksgiving-and-happy-black.html . I am working on a post to tell you a little about our normal food here. It's something several have asked about so I'll try to answer that question soon. Have a blessed week--I'll try not to go so long between posts next time!


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