Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday night

Here it is Wednesday and I am just getting to update. Who was I to think I could update everyday?!? Anyway, camp is going great! The days are packed with fun in the sun and at night we have movies or games and story time.

I had my art time yesterday. I had the kids make those butterflies I posted awhile back. They turned out really cute! Then I had them paint nature around them. That turned out to be very creative. Some of my favorites just had bright smudges of different colors all over the paper; another had hers all green. They were all beautiful though.

We’ve been swimming everyday too. The first day it rained, so that cut our time short. Shari moved swim time to earlier in the day (before the rain) and yesterday I go sun burnt. My arms and legs hurt pretty badly. I’m keeping them aloe vera’d up though.

Today (Wednesday) we went to Panajachel in the morning. It started out to be a beautiful day! We took a boat ride to another village along the lake. The kids had a blast! It started sprinkling on our way back, but we got to the restaurant just in time. We ate at a 5 star restaurant, but to those kids it was just like any other place. They had grilled cheese sandwiches and fries, plus dessert! They couldn’t have been happier! Until it started pouring right before we left!! Luckily our driver came to pick us up and we headed out. I don’t know how many times I heard, “Are we almost to Chichicastenango?” and I didn’t realize there were so many ways to ask that one question! But we made it back in time for Bible and dinner. Tonight was movie night at the Chichi Theater. They just have a projector and a large white wall basically, but hey, admission was free!! We watched A Night in the Museum. It was pretty funny, but the English subtitles were funnier.

Now I’m about to pass out, so hopefully I’ll be back again soon. Tomorrow is a big day in the market!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday morning

After what seemed like a 6 hour drive yesterday (actually about 4 hours since we came in from the other side of the city), last night we ate dinner and crashed! I was out by 9.

We took pictures this morning of the whole group.

Don't even ask me all the names yet. I do know most of them, but I wouldn't be able to spell them if my life depended on it!

Jose and Shari are the ones putting on this whole camp and Leah is the kids' special ed teacher at Casa Bernabe. She and I were given ah hour or so off this morning before we go swimming until lunch. So, here I am.

I basically just wanted to let you "meet" the kids, so you can be praying that this week be a great one. That the kids learn a lot about themselves and about their heavenly father!

God bless!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I'm off!!

I'm off this afternoon to Chichicastenango where I'll be helping out with a special needs' camp all week. I am thankful that they are meeting me right here in San Cristobal instead of an hour drive across the city. I just hope my taxi shows up on time!!

I think I'm prepared and have everything packed. Of course, I was up until midnight packing, but that's another story.

I am hoping I'll have internet there to upload my pictures at night. If not, I'm sure I'll have a lot of catching up to do when I get back on Saturday!

Pray for these kids this week. That they are blessed as much as they'll bless us!!

Have a good week ya'll!! I just heard it was Memorial Day weekend, so be safe!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

All better

Your prayers were answered!! I am feeling a lot better today and I called and spoke with the lady in charge of the camp and told her that I WAS coming!!! I'm so excited I didn't have to cancel!! Thank God for healing me! This is the worst anitbiotic I've ever taken though. It leaves the nastiest taste in my mouth. I still feel a little "something" in my throat, but I feel good, so I'M GOING!!

Hopefully Gino will be taking care of some of the car paperwork that I still have left to do while I'm gone. OH! That reminds me... Jackie, my landlord, came by Thursday afternoon with a mechanic... wait, that was in my email, wasn't it? Anyhoo... he said the car was in great shape. They took it for a test drive. She made an offer and I accepted!! She is supposed to call me today to confirm, but I think it's in the bag!!

YAY!! Another prayer answered!!

So, I have a few things to do before I leave for a week, so I better get started.

I haven't even started packing yet!! :-/

The hotel in Chichi has wireless internet, I think. So hopefully I'll be able to keep you updated with pics and stuff during the week!!

Gotta go!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Butterfly filters

Isn't this the cutest thing ever?!? This is a craft I'll be doing with the kids next week at camp. Have I mentioned that I'm going to help out with a special needs camp next week? Well, I am and I'm pretty excited about it. It's in Chichicastenango and I've actually never met the people that will be running it, but I think it will be a fun experience! I will pretty much be helping out with whatever they already have there. Just a helper. But I will be having one afternoon with the kids to paint and I decided to do this little craft too. Since it needs time to dry before you can finish, it will give us time to paint while we wait. I thought it smart to try it out and see how it works before I go, so this one is mine. It's good to have an example too. It was so easy, I think they'll be able to do it. All it is, is a coffee filter, painted with water, and then you stick pieces of tissue paper on it, let it dry, and tie the center with a pipe cleaner... cool, huh?!?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The 10 lepers

Today Pastor Merari preached on the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11. Out of the 10 lepers that Jesus healed, only one came back and praised his name!

Several years ago, Merari was diagnosed with a brain tumor, spent months away from his family, underwent surgery, and came out with a clean bill of health after the doctors said he could be spending the rest of his life (if he lived) in a wheelchair... Now obviously, he has something to be thankful for. As I watched him standing at the podium and listened to him preach the Word, I couldn't help but think about what would have been if God has chosen not to extend Merari's life on this earth. What would have become of this little church in San Lucas? How many people would have lost their way without this godly shepard to guide them and be a role model for them? Not to mention, his own daughters. Just looking at how he and his brothers live their lives is such a wonderful reflection of their parents who have raised them from birth in a spirit filled home. I can't begin to imagine how these girls will follow their God in the steps of their earthly father.

In the story, the 10th leper came and threw himself on the ground at Jesus' feet. Complete surrender. I can't think of a better way to show gratitude, can you? As Merari has done. He has given his life completely over to Jesus. Every aspect of his life gives testimony of Jesus' love. It can't help but to show it. The mere fact that he is here with us is testimony enough.

I didn't start writing this to glorify Pastor Merari, although I do think the world of him. I am writing because I personally was convicted of being thankful for God sending his only son to pay the price for my sin with his blood. I was a leper, covered with the sores that sin leaves on the soul and heart. Jesus said, "Go and show yourself to the priest." And as I bowed my head (on the way to the priest), I was healed!!

Now, how can I show my gratitude? All I can do is to throw myself on the ground before him.

Won't you join me down here in the dirt?

It's the best place in the world to be!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thank you for your prayers. I made some progress.BUT It has seemed I've hit a road block. Hopefully it's a small one. I did get a NIT number. Which is cool. I got most of the paperwork in hand. I went to pay Q30 for something that I'm not even sure what it is, but I was told I couldn't pay it because of an outstanding Q400 ticket that is on file for my car. So, after spending half the day there, it was over... at least for yesterday anyway. At least Gino was with me to help split the waiting in line time. We split up to be more effective. So, I went to the place I've paid the 2 tickets I've had before, and they can't tell me anything and they send me to another place. Apparently someone has 4 Q100 tickets from July 2005. I bought the car in September 2005. So, I'm trying to do all I can to track down the former owner to ask about it. I am hoping they may be a descent enough person to pay for it, but if not... I'm stuck with it. So, then I'm sure I'll go back to finances next week to try and take the final steps. Keep it in your prayers.

The sweetest thing

Gino called me tonight to let me talk to my godson, Gerson.

Gino:"Diga hola madrina"

Gerson:"Hola malina!"

Gino:"Diga, como estas"

Gerson: "Como esta malina?"

Madrina is godmother, but with his baby talk it comes out "malina", which is so adorable.

I made him a card with a motorcycle on it and sent a small stuffed animal to him, along with the real gift, some money. He liked the card with the motorcycle the best. Go figure

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

circulation card

I've begun the process of getting my circulation card put in my name... sounds easy, doesn't it?? Think again. This is the card that is given by the SAT (tax) people. Last time I was stopped at a road block, the cops almost gave me a ticket because this card was still in the former owner's name. Also, it will be necessary for selling my car. So, my first step was today. I had to get a NIT number. (a tax id number) In the center of the city (Zone 1) at the finances building... waiting in record breaking lines... making a full cover to cover copy of my passport... then realizing, after more than 1/2 an hour that I was in the wrong line... needless to say I didn't get very far. I at least got the paperwork and hopefully a friend will be calling tonight with the number of a lady who can help me get the rest of it done. It may cost a little more, but after today, I see it will definitely worth it!! She could help with some of the running around. I couldn't get back to the finances building if my life depended on it... well, maybe then, but seriously it's not the best part of town to "guess" in. So, I can't go by myself and Gino is always busy.So, its not a big deal, but if you think about it, you could pray that it goes smoothly. Nothing is ever easy to do here

Friday, May 11, 2007

a day at Rehoboth

I went to Parramos today, even though the booklets weren't ready for me to take with me. It's the time of year when the boys write to their sponsors. They make them sweet little cards telling them about something exciting they did recently or how they're doing in school. It's fun to sit down with them as they make the cards. They usually draw something on the front and color it. Some are pretty creative. The younger ones crack me up with their crazy designs. For example, Dennis drew an ice cream cone and desided to color the ice cream two shades of blue and when I asked about it, he told me that it had two different flavors... DUH! So cute! They didn't have time to finish them today, but I did at least get to bring one of each boys' cards home with me to translate them. I also have to update the sponsors' addresses to make the labels before I go back next week. The books should be done by Wednesday, so I'll get them before I go. I also had a good talk with Chici today. We just talked about everything, but it was nice. Anyway, I took a few shots of the boys working, so I thought I'd share.
Mynor was the only one who would look at the camera... he's a sweety!
William worked so hard and still didn't finish!! He might be a perfectionist!!
here's Dennis. He was the first to finish, but since he can't write- he had less to do.
Edgar... is he showing me his card, or hiding his face?!?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

feliz dia de la madre

Well, today is Mother's day here in Guatemala... the kids are all out of school... and like any other holiday, I was woken up this morning... way before the sun came up to firecrackers being set off outside of people's houses. Now, I'm not talking about one or two times.. it went on and on!! So that set off a chain reaction and all the dogs (all the 1,000's of dogs) in the neighborhood started barking. About the time they would stop, someone else would set off more firecrackers. When I saw firecrackers, I'm talking about the little red ones that sound like a machine gun going off... POPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOP!!! It's the worst way to be woken up!! So, I really don't feel like I slept well today, but that's life.
So, anyway, I want to wish all of you mothers out there a very happy Mother's Day, even though for you, it's a few days early!!
I also have to say that it really makes me sad when people take their mothers for granted. God gave you this special gift for only a certain time and you never know when she will be taken away. Love her!
I had the best moma anyone could ask for, and I thank God for her and all that she brought to my life and to everyone who meet her.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday, Monday

Today was such a busy day!! The booklets I made for New Life and Peace Ministries were ready last week, but when I took them to Victor and Chici's we saw that they hadn't made the address change that I sent him with the first half of the money. So, this morning I took them back to be corrected. Luckily for them, Victor said it was ok just to make stickers to cover the wrong address. So they should be ready by Wednesday or Thursday. Other than that, they turned out really, really good... if I do say so myself!! Then I made the trip to the other side of the city to pick up my new radio that my insurance company is buying for me. I got the cheapest one I could find, but I actually liked it better than any of the other ones! Funny how things like that work out, huh?!? Anyway, it was nice to sing along to something again. Then after paying a few bills, taking and picking up laundry and dry cleaning, and a few other errands... I was pooped (and hungry)!! But it's nice to have these things done and out of the way!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Gerson's birthday

Today is Gerson’s 9th birthday! He was very excited about it all week, but didn’t know until yesterday that today was the day that I was bringing him and the other boys swimming at my house! Gerson, Selvin, Bryan, and Jose have asked me every time I see them when it was going to be their turn to come swimming… so can you guess what they asked me today? “When do we get to come again?!?” haha!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A new direction

So, a few months ago I was waiting to pick my family up at the airport. To pass the time I looked around online and ended up checking my bank account. To my surprise I see what I think has to be a mistake. I immedietely call me sister to tell her to call the bank first thing in the morning because there was an extremely large, odd amount in my account. She said she'd take care of it.
I finally get to pick up Daddy and Jami and mention the mishap on the way home. Daddy just smiled. "Its not a mistake." He's lucky I didn't drive off the road. The next thing said is what kept me awake several nights later.
"Amanda, what have you been praying for?"
I had no clue.

A week later, after Daddy had left, I laid awake at night thinking about Flor. I can't tell you how long I laid there, when it finally hit me like a ton of bricks.

Flor was my daughter and that money was to be used to adopt her.

Needless to say I didn't sleep much that night.

I didn't tell for several weeks, until one day I decided to talk to Shyrel. I was nervous that she wouldn't be for it. I pulled her aside into one of the bed rooms, where Flor just so happened to be getting ready for bed. :) When I told her my thoughts, she said she got chills! She immedietely knew it was meant to be! I hugged Flor extra tight that night and went home to call my family. I have to admit it was completely scary to say it outloud to anyone. Mostly because I had no idea of how to even start the process. But lucky for me, God had been preparing the way for a long time.