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."