Sunday, December 20, 2009

Home again, home again!

The sun is shining, the temperature is beautimous, and I feel extremely blessed!

Last week was my last there at the school in Los Mochis. We didn't have too many full days of classes since two of the days were Christmas parties for the kids. Normally one party would have been enough, but in addition to the gift exchange and party that is tradition at the school, a church in Los Mochis offered to sponsor a Christmas party complete with pinata and games. The kids had a real blast and I wasn't exactly bored myself!

Apart from the parties, school went very well. Most of my kids finished all of their books and the ones that didn't were only missing a little bit. I can't help but think that I was bit of a softy that last week... I just couldn't get over the fact that I was going to be leaving!

On Wednesday we had a big pizza party for all of the kids at the house and then afterwards we went driving around town to let the kids get a look at the Christmas lights. In Mexico lights aren't as big a thing as in the States, but there was a really neat miniature town of Bethlehem that one of the colleges had set up for the city. They went the whole 9 yards and even used live animals. The kids loved it!

On Thursday after school all of the youth from the house went out to the Klaudts' ranch. Since it was going to be the last youth meeting of the year, the youth planned a big "end-of-the-year" hangout. It was really neat. We got to play games, eat "Esquite" (mexican corn off the cob served in a cup with lime, mayo, cheese and chile powder) and then we got to have an awesome study.
The message was divided into three parts -- each of which was giving by a different member of the youth group. The first message was on salvation -- what it means, how it works, and how to know you are saved. The second part was on not being conformed to this world, but rather transformed. Then the third part was on doing hard things for the sake of the gospel. It was basically a plea to the youth to just get up and DO SOMETHING! It doesn't matter how big or how small. Just get up and start living for God.
It ended up being a very powerful message. I think that it's so interesting how you can hear a truth so often that you almost become desensitized to its power. It's good to get a little bit of a waking up and to realize, "hey, maybe this applies to me. Maybe, just maybe, God is trying to show me something through this!"
It was an extra bonus, having the youth night on Thursday, in that I was able to say goodbye to everyone before I had to leave the next day. The nice thing to remember is that I will probably be able to see most of those people again. I mean, it's not like I live on the other side of the world!

Friday I left the school for the last time... at least for the present time. I am now, finally, home to stay. It is a strange feeling, waking up every morning and not hearing the banging of pots and pans in the school kitchen. I am starting to miss walking out into the hallway and seeing Kelly in the kitchen... going up the stairs in the moring to help Desirèe do the girls' hair... Michelle making pancakes... Petra scolding little boys ;)... *sighs. It's been wonderful to be home, but I can't avoid the occasional sigh when I think that I'm not going back on Monday. Still, I know that God has His timing and I truly believe that all things will come together and work for good. It's nice to be able to believe that!

These next few weeks won't be much less busy than what I have been used to at the school. Some friends of ours are coming Wednesday to stay through Christmas. The same day that they are arriving, we also have a team of people coming from Orange County, CA to do a construction project over at our church. Once they leave we have another team of people from all over the US coming to help us finish construction on our house. It's been amazing seeing God put all things together in His timing and His way. Everything we have needed to make this team happen has been provided! I feel so small and so weak. I know that I should trust God and I know that His faithfulness is tried and true... yet I still struggle trusting in Him. Yet! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I can and will learn to trust Him!

Alright, I need to get going now. Hopefully, now that I have time, you will be seeing a little bit more of me... one can hope! Until such a time as I am able to return I must say, "Au revoir!" or *waves her hand* that's how you do it in sign language ;^)
Blessings! If I don't see you around here before then have a wonderful Christmas.

Note: if anyone is looking for a good, family friendly, Christian Christmas movie with a good message, try "Christmas Shoes" and its sequel "Christmas Blessing". The first is the best movie I have seen in ages! Watch it!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Feliz Cumpleaños a Sara!

****Hack Alert!!!****

In honor of her 17th birthday,
and in light of the fact that she's miles from home,
and we won't see her until Friday,
Dad and Mom have hacked this site
to wish Miss Sarah Jean...


Caleb, Jessee, Seth, Andrew and Evie send hugs and kisses!!!
We're looking forward to celebrating with you next weekend!
I'm thinking about trying this recipe out Friday night. Whadaya think???

Sarah, Dad and I are so proud of you! I wish we could be there to celebrate with you on your "real" birthday, but know that we're with you in spirit. Praying a blessed "last week" for you and your students and we'll see you on Friday!!!
's Mom and Dad

Week eleven

Buenos dias! How are you all doing this fine day (or night or afternoon, depending on when you read this)? I am wonderfully completely and totally blessed to be me and to abide under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty! This past week has been beyond blessed and I am so thankful, I don't know where to begin... so let's just start at the beginning ;) !

Monday, like most Mondays, was school in the morning and then kids in the afternoon. I was quite happy since two of my students finished one of the books that they needed to finish before the end of the school year. All in all it was a fairly non-stressful day and a truly great first day of the week!
Tuesday and Wednesday was about the same with good school days in which I accomplished most, if not all, of what I had planned for the kids. We finished Charlie and the Chocolate factory -- I had been reading it to the kids since I started in September -- and then started a new book. I don't think that I will have a chance to finish this book before the end of the year, but I really enjoy "story hour" and don't want to give it up just because of that.
Tuesday afternoon we took all the kids to the nearby mountain. This second time that I went I actually really enjoyed myself... well, except for the fact that on the way home I took a nice fall and scraped my knee up. I didn't think much of it, just cleaned it up and put gauze on it. The next day, however, it had got a little bit of infection. I cleaned it up again, put a little bit of antibiotic cream on it and covered it... but the infection caused it to take a little bit longer to heal. Even now, Sunday, I still wince a little when I bend it too much... but the infection is all gone and it's finally starting to scab over. Praise God! I had never had something that serious happen with such a thing as a scrape... it definitely has taught me to be a little more careful when I get cuts. I tend to clean other people up just fine, but when it's myself I guess I don't do quite as good of a job.

Thursday was youth group. I had a great time sitting (that was Petra's condition. She said I could go as long as I wasn't walking too much) and talking to some people I hadn't seen in forever and I especially enjoyed the study. I didn't get a whole lot done since I was translating for two of the other americanos ;), but I felt like what I was doing was important enough for me not to worry about how much I was getting done.

Friday was the especially awesome day. The morning was about average. Everything got done and with a minimal amount of yucky attitudes. The guys continued working on the house, but other than the occasional drill that would come through the wall, it didn't really distract my class... to much ;) !
When we got home from school I was sent to bed to lay down (because of my knee) and I had a nice rest. I kind of wanted to be up and around, but I suppose that being confined to bed had it's benefits; I got to read a book! In the evening I was permitted to get up and then David told us that he was going to take me to Home Depot (I had some stuff that I needed to get there) and then all of us out to ice cream! Yum! Anyway, we all got ready and beautified (I mean, if you rarely get out of the house you want to look nice when you do :D) and then piled into the car.
David "supposedly" needed to get something at Ramon's (one of the brothers) house before taking us to Home Depot. We drove up to the house and Petra asked David if it would be alright if we got out to say hi to Sarai (Ramon's daughter). He said that was fine, just to be quick about it. So, we all got out and walked up to the house. When we got closer I saw through the open door that Andrea, another friend of mine, was there and that there were balloons all over the couch. I didn't have much time to think about that or the cake on the table before I realized that everyone was singing happy birthday... only... to whom?? When I noticed that they were all looking at me... well, I kind of figured it out! I was SO surprised! I have never had a surprise party and I think that it was better than any planned party could have been. From the beautiful cake that the girls made (which, btw, tasted as good as it looked) to the lovely cards and the late night games it was a wonderful night. We didn't go too nuts and only stayed up until about 2:00 a.m. !

Saturday morning all woke up bright and... well... late! After we had woken up and eaten breakfast we went over to the church to clean (we were helping out some friends) and then out to the Klaudts' ranch. Out there we had a fun picnic in the beautiful 80* weather -- am I making any of you "Northern folk" jealous? -- and then a big group of us went out into one of the nearby fields to film a scene in a movie that they are making.
That's something else that has developed recently. I have been given a main part in a short film that one of my friends is making. I am an evil judge who condemns God to death... but then afterwards I repent and have a change of heart. I get to dress up all in black with a blue business jacket; really cool! They are going to be filming my last few scenes tomorrow. Pray that it goes well. The real object in this film is to glorify God, so we really want to do it to the best of our ability!

Today was church where I heard an awesome message out of Isaiah 9. It was really awesome and I really feel like I came away with something new. I had the blessing of being able to translate for some of the team. I really enjoy being able to do that, and it doesn't happen very often. One benefit is that it really makes you concentrate on what the pastor is saying -- rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other.
After church we went to the Mercado (market) and I was able to do a little bit of Christmas shopping. I didn't have much to get at all (most of my presents are already done) but I had a nice time wandering around and looking at stuff. I had fun looking like a tourist and speaking English! I suppose I shouldn't, but I really like watching the looks on people's faces when they say something silly in broken English and I respond to them in Spanish... priceless!

So, now I am seated at the computer, yawning, and am ready to head downstairs to get something to eat. As I face this final week at the school, I want to finish this race well. Please keep me in your prayers! I appreciate it more than you know!
Let me just end with the passage that the pastor spoke on today at church. I wasn't going to put it all here, but when it came down to it, I couldn't choose any one verse from the others!
Isaiah 9:2-7
2The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
3You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
5For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week ten

To the computer I have returned! It's been quite a long spell since I have graced my blog with my presence... but I suppose that all that is past now. There is no time like the present time to remedy my absence! Alright, alright, I am done being eloquent! Now I'll just tell you all how my week went!

Last Saturday was our Thanksgiving celebration here at the house. It was great fun. My family came up for the day along with some friends of ours who were visiting. All morning the kitchen was filled with the banging of pots and pans as we prepared what was to be the best Thanksgiving meal of all time (well, I exaggerate, but it was supposed to be pretty wonderful)! By two o'clock our preparation was done and we all sat down -- or paced around -- waiting for our guests to arrive. As is usually the case in Mexico, everyone was late and everyone arrived at the same time! The afternoon then pretty much proceeded as most Thanksgiving afternoons are want to do. We all ate a lot more than we could hold comfortably and then sat around talking and telling stories of "funny things long past". It was so nice! I especially appreciated the fact that I didn't have to make this the first Thanksgiving away from family!

After things had settled down and desserts had been served -- those were really good, btw -- a large group of us decided to take a walk around the block(s). We were all pretty tired and when you get a whole bunch of tired people together you tend to get goofy... you can probably picture how it went. We ended up singing one of those "there's a hole in the bottom of the sea" type songs... I laughed harder than I had laughed in weeks!

On to Sunday! Sunday was church in the morning, of course, and then after lunch we had a special treat in the the team leader (Greg Wilke) decided to take everyone -- kids included -- to the beach. I live on a beach at home, but there is something different about going with friends... anyway, I had a great time. We played ultimate frisbee which was awesome. I hadn't played in forever. It had been long enough that the last time I remembered playing I had been the little girl running from one end of the field to the other and never getting the frisbee ;) ! This was the first time, I think, that I have played ultimate frisbee and enjoyed it!
After the game everyone decided to go swimming and Desiree -- one of the girls helping out at the school -- and I walked to the car to get something. We got back just in time to hear that her brother had gotten stung not once but twice by a stingray! We prayed over him, but he was in serious pain, poor guy, and that's about when we decided it was time to leave -- it was getting dark anyway. We stopped by a Red Cross clinic to get a shot for Judah to help with the pain. Praise God, by the next morning Judah was stiff, but other than that just fine.

The rest of the school week went fairly smoothly. No major accidents and nothing super-exciting to tell about. All of my students are doing very well, though I am getting a little bit frantic looking at everything I want to cover in the next two weeks before school lets out! As we near the end of the term it seems like time is flying. Some many things to do and so little time to do it... yet most of it seems to be getting done!

This last weekend I was able to participate with my Dad in a scheme to surprise Mom with a weekend away for my parents' anniversary. The plan worked perfectly. Desiree accompanied me on the bus back to my house where I was able to see the stunned face of my Mom when I walked in the door. It was so much fun!!! Anyway, they left and then we (Desiree, my siblings and I) stayed behind to hold down the fort... and do some cleaning! I don't think that my brothers we too excited about having to clean on Saturday, but they bore it like troopers and it was all done in no time! On Sunday afternoon my parents came back and then took Desiree and I into town so that we could catch the next bus to Los Mochis.

And now you are caught up! I didn't tell you everything that there is to hear, but I don't think that you really want to hear about all the little boring details... though I suppose that if you do you could send me an email! I guess I will leave off now. Time flies and naptime for the kiddos is almost up!
How about I close with a verse that really struck me in my reading this morning.

Luke 10

40But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me."41But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Week nine

Good morning (or whatever time this is that you are reading my post)! I hope that you have had great week and an awesome Thanksgiving. We haven't really celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but the plan is the have a big meal today. I am excited for many reasons, but ranking high on the list is that my family is going to be coming! I wasn't looking forward to spending Thanksgiving without them, and now I won't have to!

This past week has been quite nice. With the team that came from the States, there has been a little less stress and we are definitely able to accomplish more in a day. There are two girls who are staying here at the house and helping out with the kids, and then there are eight guys who are staying out at the school and building what will soon be the new house. It's exciting to see all of the progress they have made. Their goal is the get the house finished enough to move into by Christmas. That's so cool!!! God truly is amazing and it's great to see how He meets needs!

As far as my class goes, this week has brought some different changes and new challenges. My class has been moved back out into the open room because of all the construction. I wasn't sure how I would like it at first, but I moved to a different place than where I was before and I haven't had to deal with too much distraction.

My students are all making progress in their strong suits, but all of them still have things to work on. Estefania is improving by leaps and bounds in her reading and Juan Jesus (J.J.) is get ever so much better in Math. Mishelle is doing great in her cursive and I think that I can finally move her on to the next book. Andres is improving on his reading aloud -- it's so fun to listen to him trying to put the accent on the right place in the sentence! Juanito is doing great. I can't even believe that he is the same kid that I started the year with. It's so encouraging to see the improvement that he has made in the last few weeks! God is so good! Cinthya I am still struggling with to find a system of learning that is suited to her. She has improved, but not as much as I would like to see. I really just need some more time with her. Please pray that God would continue giving me wisdom as I teach His children!

Thursday was youth group and I had the chance of attending after... wow... three weeks of not going! It was really great to see all of my friends again and I felt like I learned a lot from the study. We are still working in the study "One True God". The thing I like most about the study is that it's kind of like proving Theorems. If you have ever done Geometry you'll know what I am talking about. In the study you are presented with a truth and then given verses that prove the truth, but you have write out how they prove the truth. I like this way much better than most other forms of study I have seen over the years. It really makes you think about what you are reading!

Yesterday we had our first serious "school accident" involving kids of the year. Mishelle (my student, though she does have the same name as Michelle, co-director of the school) fell while playing tug-a-war and got a nice cut on her head. It wasn't anything really serious, but her parents came and got her and took her to get some stitches. I am hoping that they don't see it necessary to keep her home from school this Monday.

Well, other than that it has been a pretty average week. I feel absolutely and wonderfully blessed by all the women I work alongside and God has truly been giving me the strength necessary to face every new day! I pray that you have a blessed week!
Matthew 6:31-34
31"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' 32"For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Everything give thanks!

1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Thanksgiving has come upon us again! I can't believe how quickly time has passed and how much my life has changed. I remember Thanksgiving in the States... and Thanksgiving here in Mexico... but this will be my first Thanksgiving away from home. It is kind of strange. I have been such a house-body all of my life and most of my memories are with my family. As I have been here at the school I have begun to form my own memories that are somehow apart from my family and I guess that this Thanksgiving will be one of them.

I have always loved Thanksgiving more than most other holidays because of the wonderful history behind it. I just love the idea of setting aside a day of the year to get together as a family and thank God for His grace and all the good things that He has done in our lives throughout the year. Because, honestly, how often do you sit down and really consider all of the things that God has blessed you with? If we all focused more on what we have and less on what we want, we would all realized just how fortunate we are.

That's why I want to dedicate this post to remembering God's goodness. As I was thinking about what to write I picked up my Bible and looked up the word "'thanksgiving". I was amazed at the amount of verses I saw. Here are a mere handful of what I found.
Psalm 95:1-5
1O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD,
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
2Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3For the LORD is a great God
And a great King above all gods,
4In whose hand are the depths of the earth,
The peaks of the mountains are His also.
5The sea is His, for it was He who made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.

Psalm 92:1-2
1It is good to give thanks to the LORD
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
2To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.

1 Chronicles 16:8-9
8Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
9Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Here's my list of things that I want to thank God for this year:
  • My family. As always, my family has been such an enormous blessing in my life. They are such a great group!
  • My friends. I couldn't individually mention any of them because they are all such wonderful people. I have truly been given above and beyond what I deserve in this respect!
  • Food to eat and roof under which to sleep.
  • Computers! It has been so awesome being able to keep in contact with all my friends near and far.
  • Those little moments that make life so special. I feel so loved when God not only gives me what I need, but more than I could ever ask for in precious memories and beautiful moments!
  • Being apart from my family. It's been hard, but it has taught me to value free time and family.
  • For not having. It has taught me to appreciate little things more than I used to.
  • God's provision of daily needs.
  • For long walks on the beach during which I have learned to understand the worth of a "time in the desert".
  • For trials. As God's Word says, tribulations produce perseverance and perseverance a proven character (Romans 5:3).
  • For my Bible. I have come to see it as my best friend!
  • For music. It's one of God's best gifts!
  • For those who have gone before. It's such an encouragement to be able to see how others were able to go through the same things I am dealing with and, through God's grace, come through victorious!
  • For hard situations in which I have felt under-qualified. They have taught me to rely more on God's grace and less on my own resources.
  • For my Savior's willingness to die for my sins. That is the greatest gift and most precious blessing of all!!!
Before I finish this post I want to challenge you to stop what you are doing for a moment, grab a pen and paper and write down 10 things that God has blessed you with. Once you finish that, write down 5 things that have happened in your life in the past year (or more) and what God has taught you through them. When we give thanks to God we need to remember that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). That means that you can look at the bad things too and God WILL have them work together for good... it might be hard to see that now, but you can trust in His promises!
I pray that you take the time this Thanksgiving, amid all the hustle and bustle of festivities, to sit down and remind yourself of how awesome a God you serve!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week 8

And so ends this week... well, so ended this week Sunday, but I didn't get around to posting until today so for the sake of retaining my reputation of being always punctual, let's just say that the week ended today! ;)

Anyway has been quite a nice week. It wasn't exactly easy with Petra being gone and all, but a friend of mine came to help out and she was a real blessing. Michelle got back into the swing of things Tuesday and that really eased the load. All week we were dealing with a stomach flu that was passing around the house from kid to kid. I am not sure what it was, but praise God it was really only a 24 hour bug and then it was gone. Still, I had to clean up a little bit more puke than I would have liked!

My class has been going very well. I feel like all of my students are making progress and one girl especially seems to have finally begun to understand reading. She isn't reading alone yet, but she is improving mby leaps and bounds! One thing I have noticed is that I am able to maintain a higher level of order in the class than I was able to at first. It's nice when I can tell the kids to do something and they do it without me having to repeat myself!

The week went normally until Wednesday evening when I got sick with the same bug (or food poisening, not sure which it was). It was pretty miserable. Did I mention that I hate the flu? Well, I do!!! When did I say that I would prefer the flu to a cold? ... actually, I think that I might, but at the time of being sick I would rather have had anything else... Ana (the lady who came to help out) was a real sweetheart and was really sympathetic even when I woke her in the middle of the night. In the morning I still felt bad and David and Michelle left me at the house. I pretty much slept all morning and when they got home David took Ana and I to the bus station so that we could catch a bus home. It could be that it wasn't that smart of me to travel home sick like that, but I figured that I could either be sick and miserable here or sick and miserable at home. And frankly, it would be more comfortable at home!

By the time I got home, I actually felt much better -- except for a monster of a headache -- and I even was well enough to consider eating some soup!

The next morning -- Friday -- I felt totally better and ready to face the day! We had a great Bible study together as a family and then everyone began attacking their various tasks for the day. Amazingly enough I never found myself board and I think that I might have even almost caught up on spending time with all of my siblings. All in all, I think that I spent my time in a manner worthy!

On Sunday we went to church and heard an awesome message about faithful reading of God's Word. The key verse for the sermon was Psalm 119:105. I suppose that the entire chapter could be the focus since it all speaks on the importance of God's Word!

Sunday evening my parents took me into the bus station and I was able to treat my parents to dinner. I don't get to do that very often, so it was special. We had a nice dinner albeit rushed since I had to get the the bus stop in time for my bus. When the time came I said my goodbyes, gave hugs and got on the bus.

When I got back to the house Petra was back. Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And with her she had brought reinforcements. Ten people came back with her and will be here until we break in Decmember. They have been such a blessing even this one day that they have been here. It is so nice to have an extra -- or more -- pair of hands! It's because of this that I actually have time right now to update my blog! It is really nice! God is good and worthy of being praised! He brings circumstances that make us stretch, but then He is always faithful to bring those times of rest!

Well, I am going to leave of with this. The dinner bell is ringing and I must fly!
Be blessed and walk with God!

Psalm 119:89-93
89Forever, oh Lord, Your Word is stteled in
90Your faithfuless continues throughout all generations;
You established the earth, and it stands.
91They stand this day
according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your
92If Your lawe had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my
93I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You
have revived me.

Psalm 119:105
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Week seven -- God is good!

After a somewhat stressful and not-so-uneventful week, I am finally sitting down. The house is almost empty but for the few children who did not leave yesterday... I have a had time remembering that this is Friday... it is never this quiet on a Friday. Anyway, let's see if I can relate in a coherent manner the happenings of these past few days.

As most of you know, Michelle came down sick on Thursday of last week. Petra left on Sunday leaving... me! It was an interesting Sunday and Monday (since it was pretty much just me and Laura -- the Bonsells' oldest daughter -- doing everything). Monday afternoon, however, I received a message from my parents that two single ladies from our church wanted to come and help out for a week or so here at the school. I was so extremely relieved to hear this, as well as thankful since I knew that it was God who had orchestrated it all.

Tuesday morning my Dad brought the two women to Los Mochis and everything seemed to just slide back into normal routine. I felt -- and still feel -- kind of strange being the go-to person on everything. Before the kids would always ask me permission for something and I would tell them to go "ask Petra", now it's just me so I have to make all those decisions... I think I prefer being able to divert traffic and let Petra decide ;^) !
Anyway, Ana and Berlinda -- the two ladies -- we a big help here at the house and also at the school. Ana helped out in Michelle's class and Berlinda was able to give me a hand with my kids.

Tuesday went pretty normal and on Wednesday Michelle was feeling well enough to help by driving the kids to school in the morning. It seemed like we were going to have Michelle back in school by Sunday... or so we thought.
Thursday was pretty much routine in the morning. We got up, I went down to make breakfast (which ended up being oatmeal mush, since I left it cooking too long... the kids graciously ate it with very little comments). At 7:30a.m. all of the kids got into their respective cars to wait for David and Michelle. We were running rather late and Michelle was still in the house doing some last minute errands. I was in the car in the passenger seat when Michelle came out. She walked up to the side door and was getting ready to close it when she suddenly collapsed in a seizure. I ran up to get David and he came running downstairs. Once we had gotten Michelle up onto a chair I took all of the kids inside to get them calmed down... you can imagine what that was like. Almost all of the 15+ kids with us had seen what had happened and we bawling hysterically. We all went into the living room and prayed together and then I put on a movie to calm them down. During this time, David had managed to get Michelle upstairs and in bed.

The last time Michelle had a seizure was about 10 years ago. David is pretty sure that this seizure was brought on by the fact that since Michelle was sick she hadn't been faithfully taking her medication and also that she didn't rest long enough after being sick. As of right now Michelle is doing much better, though she really chewed up her mouth during the seizure, so she can't really talk. Almost all of the kids were sent home yesterday and today I will be leaving to spend the weekend at home.

Keep the Bonsell family and the school in your prayers. God is most definitely watching over us, but I know that we all really appreciate the extra prayer!
Blessings! Stand firm on God's promises and know that He is a God of mercy and faithfulness!
Deuteronomy 32:3-4
3"For I proclaim the name of the LORD;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
4"The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm on the voting list!

I have been nominated in "Best teen girl blog" over at THE POST. Kind of strange to see my blog name appear on a site like that, but I suppose it is nice! I feel quite flattered... though I think that most of the reason that I am on the list is because someone (aka: Mom) hacked my site and put a button on my sidebar. Thanks for thinking of me, Mom!
So, anyway, if you would like to vote for my blog just give a click on the button below!

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!

Have a great day! God bless your steps! Keep walking the path laid before you... just make sure that you are doing it God's way, not your own!
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week five... and into week six

Well, here I am almost at the end of week six and I am finally getting around to writing week five... and I guess that most of this is week six anyway! I suppose that this is normal for me. I do have reasons, but I really have been trying to be more faithful. At least I have managed to get one post a week! It's nice to know that people are able to keep track of me in a small way!

Last week I got to have a nice, long weekend with my family, made possible by the fact that "Dia De Los Muertos" fell on Monday and therefore we had no school. I don't like Halloween, in fact I would say that the closest thing you could compare my feelings to would be hate, but I did appreciate the extra day of rest. I was able to take a nice walk on the beach -- can you believe that it had been more than two months since I'd done that?! -- play scrabble with my Parents -- Dad won... -- tease my siblings, and even play worship with my family on Sunday! All in all it was very relaxing. You know, I really miss my house. I used to be that sometimes the only thing that I wanted to do was get out of the house -- not in a bad way... just a little bit of a break -- but now I find myself just wanting to be home sitting at the kitchen table and chatting with my Mom... I think that even if it were for nothing else, this time here at the school has taught me to love my family even more than I did before!! Love you guys!

After having spent a weekend at the beach -- that sounds much more glamorous than it was -- the time came for me to go back to Los Mochis. Michelle and David picked me up at the bus station Monday night and the next morning it was back to school! Tuesday's school was very laid back. I had only three of my six students and the ones I had were my "easy" kids. The one thing that made it hard was the fact that I got hit with something like allergies while I was teaching. I have never had allergies in my life, and I am not even sure if what I got was allergies, but since it only seemed to get me when I went into my classroom I assume that it had to have been something of the kind... besides, if I admit that it was I would be admitting that I am coming down with something.... and I really don't want to be coming down with something right now!!!

Yesterday was the hard day. The morning wasn't that difficult. For me it was the normal "fight against the flesh" to get up in the morning and then the rush to get out of the house before 7:45am. School went well -- one of my students is finally beginning to understand the concept of addition! yea! In the afternoon we came home and had tuna gravy on bread (hmmm...??) and then all the kids went out to the park to play.
In the evening is when things started getting a little more hectic. Michelle had been complaining of a headache all day but by 5:00pm her headache had gotten worse and added to that was a slight fever. She went up to take a rest and not much after that David came down to tell us that she was worse. Today school was canceled and a doctor came to see Michelle. His diagnosis was that she has a throat infection and is to stay in bed until Saturday at the earliest.... this means that there won't be any school tomorrow, though we will have the kids here at the house doing some worksheets and catching up where they are behind.

Keep me in your prayers as this Sunday Petra will be leaving for the States to attend her brothers wedding. I know that it is going to be a very long two weeks while she is gone, but I also know that God is faithful and won't put anything on me that I can't handle. Granted, I might be doubled over and groaning from the weight, but I won't fall!!! I don't suppose that anyone wants to come down next week and stay on to help while Petra's gone? lol

Anyway, I hope that you have a great week! I'll be back on here soon to update you all! Let God be the strength of your life today, tomorrow and all the tomorrows that follow that! Don't ever let anything get between you and what God wants for you... and especially don't forget to pray and read the Bible in order to find out what God's will for you is!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week four

Week four here at the school has come and gone. I can't believe that I have already been here a month... but it's true! The time has gone so quickly and I have come to love each and every one of these kids God has placed here. I enjoy so much seeing their joy over the smallest things and I have even become used to being called "Maestra" 24/7.

School wasn't canceled even one day last week. I was surprised, but we didn't get a drop of rain after Sunday. Just big, dark, menacing clouds in the distance. With the "storm" also came the cooler weather!! Yeah! I am feeling ever so much better now that I can do most of the work in the house and not feel like I am melting... sigh... such a relief!

This past week I was able to move my class room into the garage. Up to this point it had been too hot to even think about moving inside, but since it had cooled off considerably, I thought it would be a good idea. It isn't the ideal place for a classroom, but I like the seclusion and quiet since it really helps the kids concentrate. I have had to deal with a lot less problems as far as distractions go... my slowest student has actually been able to finish most of his work in class rather than having to bring it home! Quite exciting!

As far as outside of class, this week has been... interesting? ... crazy? ... or maybe something in between. At the beginning of the week one of the kids ran away from his home and David ended up spending most of Monday looking for him. While that was going on, another one of the kids was taken into the doctor to have his foot lanced because he had been walking barefoot in dirty water and a cut on his foot had gotten a bad infection. The doctor ended up coming out to the house in the afternoon and doing it here. Juanito (the one with the infection) was not happy about what was happening... I don't know what the neighbors thought hearing his muffled screams coming through the window...
Later on in the week the splinter that caused all of the trouble finally worked it's way out and now he is on the mend.

On Wednesday we got the results back from a scan that was done on Jesus Melecio's (one of the younger kids) brain. It turns out that he had parasites on his brain. Supposedly it is from eating bad pork. From what I understand it isn't life threatening right now, but they are treating it. Keep this little boy in your prayers!

Lastly, on Friday one of the older kids, Marcos, fell down the stairs and broke his nose... needless to say, he isn't going to be in school tomorrow.

Now that I write it all down it seems like a lot less than what actually happened... but I guess that is really all of it. Wait! I do remember one more thing -- only this one doesn't have anything to do with the school. About four months ago, a friend of mine and myself began thinking about the possiblity of bringing a team of youth from all over the US down on a 9 day mission trip. At first it was just an idea, then it became a "perhaps someday", and shortly after that it became a "what about this January?" and now it has become a reality! It's amazing how it happened -- and I know it was all God. Slowly but surely we were able to get over all of the obstacles -- plus I really began to understand all of the work my parents put into these mission teams that come down ;^) -- and through God's grace everything just seems to have been brought together! As of right now we have about 7 people who are confirmed and coming on the trip. The scheduled day of arrival for the team is Jan. 3rd. I am so excited to see how God can move when you just take the step!
It is a little late, but if anyone is interested in coming down on this trip or in helping out by filling a duffel bag with toys for children to send down with the team, please let me know and I can send more info. I would love to see more people get involved!

Alright, I need to go. The kids are about ready to get up from their nap and I really should be done! Blessings upon you guys! Let me just close with a verse that really got my attention this Sunday.

1 Peter 3:13-15
13Who is there to harm you if you prove
zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed
15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
I remember sitting in the car that very morning when one of the kids came up to me with his Sunday school book in hand and asked me, "Why do you praise God?". What a question! I answered him that it was because I was freed from my sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. As I sat it church later that day and remembered what the little boy had said I realized just how important it is to know, and I mean really know, why it is that I live the way I do. For, if I am going to live in such a way that I desire to glorify God no matter what the cost, I had better know what it is I might have to lay my life down for.
Consider these following questions:

What is your defense for the hope that is in you?
Do you live as though you hoped in something bigger than yourself, your dreams and even your family?
If I were to ask you why you lived for God right now, would you be able to give me a firm answer without any shadow of doubt?

Just a challenge for you this week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week three

I have returned with tales from week the third of my stay in Los Mochis. I really haven't done anything extremely out of the ordinary... I know that some of you might think some of what I do as part of my "normal" is actually quite extraordinary -- or maybe just weird, you pick ;) . Anyway, I hope to shed just a little bit of light onto what was my third week as teacher at "Escuela Cristiana Magdelena Rincon" -- try saying that five times fast!

The beginning of the week started out like any other. After a weekend that seemed a lot shorter than it should have been I was ready to face the new day! Monday came and we all headed out to the school for a day of classes. My class went very well. I have begun reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" for about half an hour every other day. I think that the kids enjoy it -- though I haven't yet gotten a good system of getting them to not both one another while I am reading... I'll get there!
As far as the other subjects go, two of my students who were struggling a lot with Math finally seem to have gotten the hang of simple addition and subtraction. I think that I am more excited than they are!! My youngest student who is still at kindergarten level is starting to be able to recognize and write the numbers 1-20. That is going fairly well. He isn't much for doing worksheets, but I do feel like he is beginning to understand. Reading for most of my students is comingslowly but surely. Two of my students are already reading and two others are well on their way. The only one that I am struggling with is 10 years old and doesn't yet know all of her letters and their sounds. I have my work cut out for me with her... keep me in your prayers as I will not only need wisdom in teaching, but also patience and understanding.

On Friday I was able to go home for the weekend to visit my family. I had a great time, though it did seem like it was over before it had begun. I rested, though I didn't really sleep. I guess what I mean is that even though I didn't really spend much time sleeping, I was able to relax and I feel all the better for it. This morning -- Sunday -- I was able to play worship with my family before I had to leave. I enjoyed it ever so much! I had missed playing with them. When we got home we ate lunch and then my Dad, Jessee and I played a game of Scrabble. I was winning almost the whole time, but then at the end my Dad got a super nice word and left me in the dust... that always happens! Ah, well, it's a game! ;) Besides, what are games for but to create good memories?! Well, Mom and Dad, if you are reading this, I love you!!!! (((HUGS)))

I am not sure what to expect this week. Only one day of school was canceled last week due to the rain, but we are thinking that school might have to be canceled this week because of huricane Rick. It appears that we are going to be getting a bit of rain from this one!

I do have something that I would like all of your prayers on. For the past few months I along with one of my friends have been putting together a mission team of youth and from all over the US to come down to Mexico in January of 2010. By God's grace, things seem to be starting to fall into place and we have about three people as of now who seem fairly interested in coming. I don't know how this is going to work out, but I know that God does and I trust Him to be in control! If you would like to get more info just send me an email and I will get back to you! Thank you in advance for your prayers!

Alright, my battery is going to run out -- both literally and figuratively. Prayers that you have a blessed week! Let God COMPLETE a work in your life this week!

Phil. 1:6
"I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in
you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week two

I sit here listening to the pitter patter of the rain on the street while I type and listen to a sermon by Paul Washer... I am not usually this good at multi-tasking! There's no school today because of the rain. Until we can get the leaks fixed and the walkways covered our classrooms will continue to become lakes every time it rains ;) !

This past week has been great. I am starting to fall into step here at the school. Michelle and David have been very patient with me as I ask question after question... but their patience has proven true and now I feel a little bit more like I belong here and less like "the outsider who just arrived last week". The kids all call me Maestra (teacher) and refer to me in the formal "Usted" form... kind of funny sounding. The children are all loud and rather full of energy, but I love them to more for it... yet I have really come to appreciate naptime! And I never understood when I was little and Mom would tell me that naptime was more for her sake than for ours! :P

On Thursday we started a new study at our youth group. It's called "The One True God" by Paul Washer. I feel like it is going to yield a lot of fruit! I am extremely excited!! Also we are wanting to start up a worship group at the youth group. I have been asked if I would be interested, but I'm not sure if I will be able to fit it into my schedule... it depends on whether or not the others will be able to practice on Saturday.

This Saturday we had a general cleaning at the church. We were finally able to put up the chalkboards and organize the office. Now we have more of an idea of where to find books and supplies for our classes... I love it! it is so much easier! After that I went over to a friend's house here in Mochis. We had a nice time just talking and -- for me -- resting. I enjoyed the quiet for those few hours!

On Sunday after church all the brethren went over to the school for the church's monthly fellowship lunch -- David and Michelle volunteered the use of the building. The lunch went pretty much all day. I was exausted by the end of the day, but it was nice to be "not a teacher" for an afternoon ;) .

As I listen to Paul Washer -- which I am still doing at this moment -- I am in such complete agreement with what he says. Some people call him judgemental and narrow-minded but all I see is a man who loves God and wants all that he does to glorify his Lord. That to me is true Christianity and that's why he is my favorite preacher!

Our Lord God Thou hast made the heavens and the earth with Thine great power! He is great and mighty and worthy of being praised!

Alright, I need to go now! Prayers that your week is blessed and that you remember whom you serve every moment of the day! Examine yourself!

Joshua 24:15
"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week One

Hey!! I am here again! I hve had a very blessed week. I did try and find time to post during the week, but it never seemed to happen. I think that I will just try and write once a week and then if I have time I can write more... we'll see how that works!

As I said, this last week was great. I was able to make it through one week of teaching and now I have a better idea of what to expect. I have 5 students as of right now and a sixth who might be coming in a week or so. The main objective for these children this school year is that they learn to read and work simple math. I have my work cut out for me, but I am excited... in a strange sort of way!

Oh, I did have this really awesome Youtube video that I wanted to share with you all. It's by a man named Nick Vijucic. Here's the link:

Petra (the other young woman who works at the school) and I got on the computer to watch a fifteen minute video and ended up spending more than an hour watching video after video of this amazing guy. God really has done as awesome work through him. It is such an example of how God uses our weaknesses for His glory!

As far as other things that I have been up to: on Thursday I went to youth group and we had a lot of fun following clues around the mall. At the end of each clue there was a Bible question from the book of Jonah. Once we found all the clues we had to sit down and answer the questions... they we anything but easy! After about 2 hours we headed back to the church where the youth pastor gave all the answers to the questions and we got to see who won. As it was my team and another team tied for first and then two of the others tied for second. The hardest thing about answering the Bible questions was that most of them were in-depth and required more than just reading over the book. I think that what helped me was that I had done several studies on the book of Jonah. Winning aside ;) , I really enjoyed it and I feel like I learned a lot about Jonah and the compassion of God... awesome!

Anyway, I hope that you all have a wonderful and blessed week!

Ephesians 6:10-11
"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; put on the full armor
of God that you might be able to stand against the whiles of the Devil."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Back in Mexico just in time for a new adventure!

Hello all my dear friends and family! I pray that this post finds you all well and blessed! I know that it has been ever so long since I have stopped by to drop a note... but you can't really blame me since I have been quite busy... well, maybe you can blame me a little because I am sure that if I would have tried harder I might have been able to at least write something. But, no matter! it is over and I am here now!

We arrived in Las Glorias safe and sound a little over a week ago. The heat was and is beastly, but I think that after the first three days we all got over the worst of it. I actually begin the think that it wasn't that it was hotter, simply that we had gotten spoiled while in the States. Anyway, the day after we arrived was spent cleaning and unpacking and all the other assundry chores one can find to do around the house. While we were in the States a friend of ours blessed us with the complete set of Little House on the Prarie (friends: if you are reading this, know that your gift has been put to good use) so when we were all sweaty and ready for a break we would retire to my parents' room and watch an episode or two... great times! And what laughs!

This last week I had the chance to help our one of the sisters in the church who just had surgery by cleaning and washing and then by taking her kids during the day for a few days! I had such a wonderful time doing it. I really love her children and I don't think that I would ever consider watching them anything but enjoyable! I pray that God would continue His work in her life and that He would be speeding the healing.

Now that a week and some has past I (on my own this time... though never alone!!) have set out on a new journey. God has opened the doors for me to be able to volunteer for three months at the deaf school in Los Mochis. As some of you may recall, I spent two weeks here about two months ago. It was amazing and I loved every --well, nearly every ;) -- minute of it!

My family brought me today and left me here at the school. I am looking forward to see what God is going to do in this time. I know that in many ways it will be a test of faith, but I am excited to see God give me opportunities to put all that I have learned into practice. It's going to be awesome!!
My duties officially start on Monday. From what I understand, I will be teaching a class for 1st grade and possibly second as well. I think that there will be 6 kids in my class -- though I could be off on the numbers. The kids that I will be teaching are hearing. Most of them either come from baad situations or are siblings of one of the deaf children in the school. About 25 kids stay here at the Bonsells' house and about that many more attend the school alongside these. The larger portion of the work is not in teaching at the school, but rather in feeding, watching and loving the 25 kids that live here. Keep me in your prayers! I know that the hardest thing for me is going to be the getting up early... I am not an early morning person. Once I am up I am up, but I have a hard time dealing with less than 9 hours of sleep. Oh well, I know that these next few weeks will cure me of that!

Here's a passage that I found to be very encouraging:

1O LORD, You are my God;
I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name;
For You have worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
2For You have made a city into a heap,
A fortified city into a ruin;
A palace of strangers is a city no more,
It will never be rebuilt.
3Therefore a strong people will glorify You;
Cities of ruthless nations will revere You.
4For You have been a defense for the helpless,
A defense for the needy in his distress,
A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat;
For the breath of the ruthless
Is like a rain storm against a wall.
5Like heat in drought, You subdue the uproar of aliens;
Like heat by the shadow of a cloud, the song of the ruthless is silenced.
6The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
And refined, aged wine.
7And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,
Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
8He will swallow up death for all time,
And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken.
9And it will be said in that day,
"Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us
This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."
10For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain,
And Moab will be trodden down in his place
As straw is trodden down in the water of a manure pile.
11And he will spread out his hands in the middle of it
As a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim,
But the Lord will lay low his pride together with the trickery of his hands.
12The unassailable fortifications of your walls He will bring down,
Lay low and cast to the ground, even to the dust.

Aren't the promises that our Lord gives us wonderful and beyond all compare! Blessed be His name!

Alright, I would like to go to bed now. It's been a long day and morning comes quickly! I will try and be around again soon!
Until such a time as I am able, I remain forever in His arms of grace!
Blessings to you all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

We're here!

Hello, blogger buddies and faithful readers! I am glad that you stopped by!
As of my last post we -- my family and I -- were preparing to leave for the States. Well, we are now in the States and staying with some very good friends in Tucson, AZ.

Our trip was wonderful! We had no incidents, no excessive heat (praise God!), no delays, pleasant company and great sermons to listen to all the way up! The night before we left Mexico several friends stopped by to send us off. After they left I stayed up for a bit cleaning and getting food ready for the trip (just so that I don't take all of the credit, Annette did help with the food :P ). I think that I ended up going to bed at like 12am ... though it might have been 12:30am ... I don't remember *smiles sheepishly*.

About 15 minutes after I fell asleep -- it was more than that, but it sure felt like 15 minutes -- I felt my Mom shaking my shoulder telling me that it was time to get up. IT should have been quick to get out of the house, but there are always those "last minute details" that seem to take forever! We finally left the house at 4:30am.

Later that day I was commenting to my Mom that it always seemed so much easier to get out of the house when she and my Dad would get everything done and then wake me up when the van was running and we were ready to walk out the door. Now that I am older my Mom wakes me up earlier so that I can help her do the last minute stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to help out and I really do like organizing... but not so much at 3am! ;^D

Anyhow, we arrived in Tucson at 7pm, just in time for supper, and got settled in. The next day we had volunteered to help some friends of ours move. We had a great time getting to know all of the people who showed up to help and just fellowshipping with the friends who we hadn't seen in months. I firmly believe that the best way of getting to really know someone is working beside them... it can show you what the person is really like when they are sweating and out of breath yet still have a smile on their face!

On Sunday we rose early to attend church. My Dad was teaching that Sunday so I had the privilege of hearing the message that God had given him. God used his Word powerfully and I know that more than a few lives were touched and challenged. After the service some friends of ours invited us over for lunch. We had American style taco salad... it really tastes nothing like what I now consider a true "taco salad" but I liked it equally well, if not more! Annette (she is another missionary from Mexico who "hitched a ride" up with us. She'll be staying with us for a week or two) and I decided that as long as you don't consider the food that is called "Mexican food" as authentic, it tastes great!

Anyway, back the events of the day! At four o'clock all of us went over to the church for a picnic. I for one had an absolute blast! We played games, hung out, made new friends, caught up with old ones, ate hamburgers (I liked that part :D), and had a great time! Some of the games that they played were very interesting. There was the water balloon toss -- you can't have a picnic in the summer without that -- then the water balloon fight -- I still have a big bruise on my back where someone pegged me with a balloon that didn't pop -- then a game called "Wink'em" in which you make a fool of yourself by diving to the ground to avoid getting tagged (if you want a more detailed explanation than that you'll have to write me and ask me to explain it better! ;P ). Finally, we played a game called "Kijawbie" (don't quote me on the spelling). In this game everyone (well, we divided it into a team of boys and a team of girls) forms a circle with a little piece of rope with a know on each end between every person.
In the center of the circle you place a garbage can (plastic). On the count of three the whole group starts rotating around the can while trying to make someone else either lose grip on one of their ropes or touch the can. The object of the game: be the last one standing. The rules: no yanking, biting or kicking; anything else goes. The game was brutal! To my great surprise I ended up the last of two standing. The other girl won, but by the time the game was over all I wanted to do was flop down on the grass and stay there -- which I did ;) . If you will believe it, the game that I participated in lasted almost 20 minutes. Can you imagine? 20 minutes of feeling like you hands were going to fall off! I am sure feeling it today! Still, it was enough fun to make up for the aching shoulders and sore legs that I woke up with this morning!!

Today my parents and I went and applied for my passport. It didn't really take very long except for getting my photos. My Dad took me to Walgreens early to do that. I liked how the picture turned out, but my Dad says that it looks like a mugshot because I didn't smile. I replied that if he would have told me that you could smile, I might have! Then again, if I was completely content with the picture it would be just weird! lol

Alright, I think that I have got you all pretty much up to speed. I will only add that God has been wonderfully, amazingly, completely faithful in my life! He is so good and I can naught but praise Him! I hope that you have a blessed day!

Isaiah 40

21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
24 Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the storm carries them away like stubble.
25 "To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

God is at work 24/7

Good day to you! Today is Saturday the 15 and it is a beautiful morning! God had be marvelously good to me in these past few weeks. I am falling more and more in love with Him day by day!
Don't get me wrong, struggles still come -- and have come in these past weeks -- but it is such a blessed assurance to know that God is always there with you and never abandones you!

Preparations for our departure to the States continue. We are planning to Thursday morning early -- like 3am. Keep us in prayer!

Our weather here has been in a constant state of change. It has never really gotten cold, but we did have one day that was moderately warm rather than extremely hot. One night you are so sweaty that you can't get to sleep and the next you are sleeping with a blanket!?!? It's because of the storm systems up in the mountains... but as long as the coolness lasts I will not complain!
But you know, even the heat can be a blessing. Sure it's hard to deal with and sweating all the time isn't exactly my ideal, but it really tests your patience and God has used it to show me how my attitude is -- it's really hard to hide a bad attitude in frustrating heat and while doing hard work. The only way to avoid striking out in anger in a frustrating situation is to not have anger in your heart to begin with. For, as the Scripture says:

Luke 6:45
"The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is
good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for
his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

So, if I want to be a blessing to others it has to start with me first!

Last week we went to Los Mochis and while we were there a huge storm hit. Since it was raining too hard for us to drive home we ended up staying the night with some friends. I had never had that happen before, so for me the experience was unique! -- One thing that I absolutely love about Mexico are the thunder storms. They are AMAZING! We get winds and rain, but above all we get lightning and thunder! The lightning strikes and then... CRASH! The thunder sounds! My personal favorites are the storms where the thunders sounds something like a whip. Perhaps this is strange of me, but I can't help it. Every time I hear the thunder it just makes me think of how awesome and powerful a God I serve. The trees and plants might show His beauty, but the thunder and brilliant lightning show His might! -- Anyway, back to what I was saying...

We were originally in Los Mochis to visit with some of our friends and also to attend the youth meeting. The week that we were there the youth pastor had decided to show a video instead of giving a message. I really appreciated the sermon. It was called Return to Christianity but you can find it on Youtube under The Shocking Youth Message (Paul Washer). It was the most moving and convicting sermon that I have ever heard from a man. God used him powerfully.
There was one phrase in particular at the beginning that really caught my attention. Paul was talking about how watered down Christians and Christianity had become in the States. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was something to the effect of "we have forgotten what true Christianity is and we need to change" and after he said that everyone applauded and some people even whistled. When the applause had died down, Paul look out over the audience and said, "I don't know what you are applauding about; I am talking about you." Ouch.
I recommend the video as an hour well spent. Even if you don't agree with everything that he has to say it really makes you think and, more importantly, examine yourself.

Alright, now I have done! I will try and get back on here soon with pictures... we'll see how soon "soon" really is!
May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding be with you all!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Everyday goings-on!

And so the time goes by! I cannot believe how fast the weeks seem to pass. I honestly didn't realize that it had been so long since I'd last written!
No much has happened really. Days come and go, it is still very hot and humid and GOD IS GOOD!

Right now my Mom is preparing octopus for lunch... I have never had octopus, but everyone I have asked says that it is very tasty. Still, I would prefer to come to my own conclusion after I eat it. It makes me laugh to think of what I might have said three years ago if my Mom had told me that we were going to have octopus for lunch... very funny! I don't think that anyone in my family would have gone for it, me least of all! But now, I think that everyone except for Evie will eat it without comment (or at least without complaint. A favorite habbit of ours is to comment on the food; my Mom doesn't mind as long as all that we say is positive ;P ). Evie has never liked sea food. Oh well, that just means more for us!

The boys have been working on cutting wood for my Mom's new brick oven -- which, by the way, is now finished. It's sort of hard work, but it keeps them occupied and that means that I have some quiet time to, say, write a blog post!

Yesterday we went to a party for a friend's little boy. It was fun and it was only a few blocks from our house which means that we didn't have to worry about the distant storm clouds catching us on the way home! It was another pool party and the boys spent most of their time trying to climb a rope swing that was stationed above the pool. I think that Jessee holds the record, something that Caleb laments. He really takes pride in being the strongest boy. I wager he'll be doing push-ups for the next few days! Well, I might be exagerating a little bit, but it is true to some extent.

Alright, before I call it a day I want to share a passage in 1 John that I have found quite challenging these past few days:

1 John 3:5-9

You know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is
no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no who sins has seen Him or knows
Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices
righteousness is rigthteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin
is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son
of God appeared for this purpose: to destroy the works of the devil. No
one who is born of God practices sin because His seed abides in Him, and he
cannot sin because he is born of God.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A party, a storm and three days of horrible heat!

Dear faithful readers,
As always, I have to excuse the lack of movement on this blog. And, as always, I do have an excuse. These past few days here have been nice and horrible at the same time. We had a huge storm which knocked down a good number of telephone poles and even more trees. The result of this was that we had no electricity for almost three days (this is my excuse). I was desperate by the third day -- mostly because I hadn't realy been able to sleep without at least having a fan. I slept enough so that I wasn't falling over, but not enough to avoid a headache. Thanks to God, we now have electricity, but the days without it are still fresh enough on my mind to make me quite happy and not at all discontent in the heat... I suppose that means that something good did come of the trial... but at what cost? lol ;^)
There's a really cool story to go with all this, though. I was trying to think of the best way to start, but I guess that the best is always to start at the beginning. Here goes nothing!

On Saturday we all woke up at the normal time, did our chores and other various odd jobs that were to be done around the house and then we had a few hours to spend as we so desired. I spent most of it practicing my guitar and clarinet... and, of course, reading, but I didn't really do much of that. At 1:00 we all got ready and left to a party for one of our friend's cousin's daughter's birthday (say that five times fast!) in Guamuchil.

It was a swimming party and they had rented a pool for the occasion. We had a great time hanging out with our friends and keeping cool (very important!). At about 6:00pm we started seeing a large storm system rolling in, but we didn't really think much of it. We ended up leaving about an hour later and by then the sky looked really dark. Still, it didn't look like the storm was going to hit us for a good hour and we knew that by that time we would almost be home.

After a bit of consideration, my Dad decided that we would take the back roads in order to get home sooner (just so you know, most of those roads are dirt or gravel). We drove for a ways on the road and then, all of a sudden, it got crazy still without even a little bit of breeze. It was like that for a moment and then SWOOOSH! the wind came blowing in. It was a lot like the movie Twister (if you have ever seen it. If you haven't just imagine the harshest wind you have ever seen and that's probably about where it was).

The trees whipped around like crazy and the dust swirled up making mini tornados. It was INSANE! After a little while, the dust got so bad that we could barely see the road, so my Dad had Esteban (a friend of ours who knows the roads really well) change places with him. The wind was so strong that when my Dad opened the front door of the van the wind grabbed it and flung it so hard that it almost came off the hinges (that's the next project that my Dad has on his list, fix van door).

I was a little worried by that time. Not the kind of worried where I was scared, but worried enough to begin constantly praying. We weren't more than 20 minutes from home on one of the gravel canal roads when the rain came. If it was hard to see in the dust, it was twice as hard to see in the rain. Garbage and tree limbs were flying everywhere and the rain was falling almost horizontally. We were driving about 10 miles per hour, but even at that pace we had to stop constantly in order to make sure that we weren't headed into the canal. We were about 5 minutes from the highway when we glimpsed the lights on a car ahead of us. It seemed like the car wasn't moving and as we got closer we realized that not only was the car not moving, but there was a tree on top of it!

From the looks of it, the tree had fallen a matter of minutes before we arrived. It was kind of weird how it happened, but we hadn't been there a minute and my Dad and Esteban were still discussing the best way to be able to help them when three girls (well, more like youth) and a lady carrying her baby rushed out from the bushes where the car was stuck and into our van.

They were all soaked, but no one seemed to really mind since all four of the women were hysterical (I have never actually seen someone go into hysterics, but this was really close). I tried to calm the girls down the best I could. After about 30 minutes of the two men who were in the car trying to get the car out from under the tree, we decided that it would be best to take the women back home and then have them send someone back with help to get the car out.

By this time the rain had calmed down and the road was clear enough to be able to drive on. We backtracked the way we had come and about 2 hours later, after having dropped the women off at their house, we arrived in Las Glorias. Not much of our stuff got damaged by the rain (mostly just some books of mine that were on my desk under the window). Nothing that couldn't be replaced. God really protected us and I hope and pray that we were able to be a testimony to that family. They even invited us to come by and visit them any time!

It's cool how God uses those kinds of circumstances for His glory and to bless us. We kept commenting that, "If we had only left 5 minutes earlier we would have made it through the storm." or "If we had only left 5 minutes later we would have chosen a different road." Then we realized that God used everything and worked it all together so that we would take that road and so that we would arrive at the tree a mere minute after it had fallen. Who knows why it happened, but I do know that it did happen for a reason. Maybe someday I'll know why, but even if I never do I can trust that God is capable and willing to take care of everything!

Alright, I am now going to release you, but only as long as you promise to come back -- or are you too scared? Mwahahaha!
Seriously though, I hope to see you around here again!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

God is in Control!

Hello everyone! Interesting title, right? It doesn't have a lot to do with what I am going to write, but it's the thought that has been most prominant in my life over the past few days. I figured, why not make it into a post title? So, I did! :^D

As of right now it is 4:15 a.m. . Some of you might be wondering what in the world I am doing on the computer at such an insane hour... well, there is an easy answer for that too! We are being hit be a storm. Like most nights when we are hit by storms, the power is out, the roof is leaking in places -- there is one right over my head that is dripping constantly. I am already wet, though, so it doesn't really matter too much. I am wet mainly because I had to step outside to find the mop... took me a little bit because the only light I had was a cellphone and the occasional flashes of lightning.

Still, even though storms here do have their downsides, I can't help but love the wildness of them. There is something so magestic about the rolling of the thunder -- that is the perfect word; "rolling". It does sound like it is "rolling" across the sky... BEAUTIFUL!!

Anway, aside from the fact that it is 4 oclock in the morning and the power is out, lets just pretend that this is a normal update. Sound good?

My days have been pretty full this past week. If I am not doing one thing I am doing another. I have been trying to keep my hands busy. I find that when I have my hands busy I am less likely to fall into temptation.
The principal filler of my time has been the memorization of verses. I am trying to memorize the book of 1 John. Right now I am on chapter three. It is very fulfilling to be able to quote passages of scripture; it's nice to know that what I am putting so much time into is something that's going to be of lasting importance. I have also found that when you are memorizing passages of scripture it really helps in your understanding of it. Kind of like the "meditating on His word" that Psalm 1 talks about. I believe that when we take the time to really think about what a verse means, the Holy Spirit gives us understanding.

The best way I have yet found for "meditating on His word" is memorization. For those of you who feel up to it, I would like to challenge you to learn a book of the Bible. After 1 John I am thinking about beginning on the book of Romans. I know that it is a long book, but don't you think that it would be worth the struggle? I do! Take up the challenge, and don't put it off another day. It's a trap that we fall into, procrastinating. Live every day as though it were your last... such a hard motto to live by, but if we want to live lives that will leave a lasting mark on this world, we will have to do more than just plan. It's going to take action and sacrifice...

Luke 9:22-23
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me"

... are you going to take up that cross? Then take it up! And follow HIM to the end!! And this isn't just about memorizing verse -- thought that's a good thing -- it's about what you are going to do with the grace and mercy that you have been given through the blood of Jesus Christ.

God bless you guys! I hope and pray that you have a wonderful week! May te peace of God which surpasses all understanding be with you!