Friday, August 31, 2007
pelele - puppet
batita nansú - little robe cloth
bata algodón - robe cotton
rebozo - wrap
par de medias - pair of averages
par de escarpines que no sean ceñidos - pair of pointed shoes that are not too tight
conjunto de lana o hilo según la estación - set of wool or thread as the station
I have just finished a Bible study on the book of Habakkuk and it was an eye opening and heart touching time. I have learned so much about faith through the years but found myself completely perplexed over some aspects of faith I have not previously applied to my life. I was stunned by the idea that faith not only included trusting God to save me and to provide my physical, financial and spiritual needs but that I needed to trust God to provide for ALL my needs. I need to live out my life entirely in faith. It takes faith to have victory over sin and self. It takes faith to love the unlovely. It takes faith to submit. I found myself begging the Lord for wisdom and understanding so I could truly apply, "but the just shall live by his faith." Habakkuk 2:4 b
Right away the Lord brought to mind verses that I have already memorized and in some ways applied to my life. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1, "for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23b I definitely know those verses and have lived them but now I see them in a new light. Now I see them as Habakkuk applied them to his life and the overwhelming circumstances he was facing.
He went up into a tower and waited for the Lord to speak to him. That's faith. He waited for the Lord to show him what he should say when he was reproved. That's faith. He listened as God pronounced woes (2:6, 9, 12, 15, 19). As God proclaimed that He would judge the sin not only of Israel but also of the Chaldeans (Babylonians). He heard God tell him that the whole earth would be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God (2:14) AMEN! He believed the Lord. He obeyed Him.
When God finished speaking to Habakkuk he had no question of God's faithfulness, of His character, His omnipotence, His Holiness. We've seen this before in Scripture most notably with Isaiah. Those who get a glimpse of Who God really is, in His entirety - Holy, Just, Love and Grace - they become different people, they repent. Chapter 3 shows all that Habakkuk learned of God. His song is punctuated with faith (see the verse at top).
I'm most certainly challenged to live a much different life. When I'm being tried do I really rejoice in the Lord? Is every aspect of my life, every decision, every choice, every desire one of faith? Do I remember to go to the tower and wait on the Lord for Him to speak to me? Do I realize that He will give me stability and strength to stand in the most difficult of places? Do I submit to His will for my life or just to those easy areas? Do I wait on the Lord for the strength that only He can give?
I still have not grasped all that it means to live all aspects of my life out in faith, but I do know that God is faithful to help me. I look back at all the times God has cared for me. And I have hope for the future, and joy in the trials.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The first of the embarazadas (expectant mothers) had a healthy baby girl, Rebekah on Wednesday. Yesterday afternoon we were blessed to be at the hospital when another one of the expectant mothers safely delivered a baby boy, Juan Daniel. There is one more mother expecting her baby in the next few days and then wehave a couple more months to wait for the next set of three babies. "Lo,children are an heritage of the Lord." What a blessing of God for our church to have so many new babies to raise up in the nurture and admonition of theLord.
Our winter attendance has been quite low. In spite of that we have some new babies in the Lord. Praise the Lord that we also have an opportunity to pray for these new believers as they learn to walk with God. Please pray with us that they will grow in the Lord. Some weeks back one of our supporting churches requested a list of those to pray for the salvation of during their evangelistic prayer meetings. We have seen progress in the lives on the list some for salvation, some have come to church, and others have softer hearts.
As the weather begins to warm up we are looking forward to spring. The men will have an outing the first Saturday of September, we have a leadership conference planned this spring as well as another ladies meeting. Please pray that we will see fruit in these ministries.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Scott and I spent a couple days in Punta del Este, Uruguay for a mini-vacation. It was absolutely gorgeous. We have heard this is the retirement capitol of South America and we can see why. It really is quite modern and has tremendous scenery. Many people are bilingual so if you don't speak Spanish you could manage in this city. We counted no less than 5 large condominium "towers" being constructed. And the prices weren't too bad beginning at $150,000 US dollars for a 2 bdrm 2 bath condo it would make an affordable investment.
One of my favorite times of the trip was a drive up the Atlantic coast. There is nothing like the sound and smell of the ocean. I love slipping off my shoes and walking along the surf. The only thing that halfway compared was the bathtub in our hotel room. It sure was pleasant to have a nice hot bath after 8 months of no bathtub. We sure appreciate the Perez family caring for our family so we could enjoy this snippet of time recharging our batteries.
On the 11th the ladies of Iglesia Bautista Fundamental joined together to celebrate the first 3 babies - Ezequiel, Juan Daniel and Timoteo - due to arrive very soon. I think of all the baby showers I have been to this was one of the most enjoyable. The games were fun, the food delicious, the devotionals encouraging and the gift time was sweet. I especially enjoyed watching Cristina open her gifts. She reminded me of my little ones on Christmas day.
We had about 60 people, I wish I could give an exact count but I had to stop at 51 as many ladies got up to go help cut the sweets just as I started counting.
Ruth and I both spoke. Ruth's teaching was much more in depth than mine. I was limited to "reading" my devotional, but every word was in Spanish. I am certianly looking forward to Spanish fluency...sometime in my lifetime, I hope.
Not only is this the 100th post but I noticed the other day that we have had over 6,000 first time hits to this blog. I'm excited about the potential of that. It is my prayer that many of the people who drop by here are blessed, encouraged and will see the Lord at work in our lives and here in Uruguay.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
I had so much fun taking these pictures and making this scrapbook page of Simeon. In the first photo he had the binoculars upside down and backwards. When I asked him what he was looking at he leaned over and said, "Don't know." (middle photo) Then he looked at his binoculars turned them right side up, looked through them, smiled and said, "That." (last)
This was actually a warm day, notice he is not wearing a jacket. I know you all can't imagine wearing jackets let alone sweaters right now but it really is winter down here.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
In recent weeks, as many of you know, we've been struggling, discouraged and frustrated with, and in, the battles we have faced recently. It is so very easy to take my eyes off the Lord and focus completely on my circumstances. In those times my faith becomes very weak and fear grows strong.
"Now the just shall live by faith....Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 10:38a & 11:1) God has really been reminding me that I need to continue to build my faith. It's interesting to me that as I look back on my Christian life I can see without doubt those times God was teaching me to grow in faith.
Brandon has potentially life threatening kidney disease. When Kaitlin was three she nearly died from a serious infection in her leg caused by the flesh eating bacteria. At birth, Isabel suffered from premature lungs which collapsed and nearly took her life. Adeline has had mulitple cases of pneumonia and anaphylactic reactions. And I could go on.
What have all these trials taught me? To be still and know that God is God. To rest in Him and trust His will for my life whatever the circumstances. That discouragement is the absence of courage. That lack of faith is the absence of hope.
The repeating theme throughout those trials and the ones we have been experiencing lately is one of faith. It seems that God is asking me, "Debbie, do you have the faith to believe that I really am at work? Do you have the faith to leave this situation in my hands? Do you have the faith to rest and trust? Will you obey and do what I ask though it makes no sense to you?"
Honestly, my faith has waivered. Often in the last few weeks my answer has been no, or at best a tentative yes. There have been times recently where I have felt much like Habakkuk, "O Lord, how long shall I cry and thou wilt not hear!" Hababkkuk 1:2a. And God replies, "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days , which ye will not believe, though it be told you." Habakkuk 1:5
Whether I see it or not, believe it or not, have hope in it or not, God is at work! What a blessing it is that God loves me so much that He works even in my unbelief. But what a shame it is to KNOW that I have lacked the belief and hope that God is at work.
Monday, August 06, 2007
On Saturday Brandon invited a few of his friends over for soccer and lunch. It was good to see the relationships he has built with these young men. He decided to open his presents after youth meeting and I must say I was so pleased with the special way he thanked his little brother, Nehemiah, for one of the gifts he gave. Nehemiah felt certain that Brandon would love a coloring book and since it was his money we let him buy it. Brandon was just as excited about the gift as Nehemiah had hoped.
On Sunday morning Brandon had the great honor of standing before the church while we sang to him. We had a nice lunch at home and a good afternoon, until our dog, Hoss, was hit by a car. I'll blog about that later though. Brandon stayed home from church last night to take care of Hoss and missed being sung to a second time...too bad. :-)
Brandon has been a tremendous blessing to us. We are thankful for his willingness to serve in the church here. And especially for his fun loving attitude. He is so whitty especially at times when we all need a laugh. He contributes greatly to our family and we are ever so thankful to God for him!
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Instead, they drew my blood...let me pause for a needed explanation of the use of examination gloves here in Colonia. Commonly (from my experience in the USA anyway) nurses and doctors don the protective latex when they draw our blood. However, there seems to be a misunderstanding of the use of this basic medical supply. Each time I, or the children, have had blood drawn I've not set eyes on a latex glove. This time I was actually surprised to see a latex glove on the tray next to the syringe. As I watched the nurse pick up the glove I fully expected her to put it on herself, not me. Can you believe the nurse took that glove and used it as a tourniquet?! Oh, boy!