Thursday, January 31, 2008

Foot accessory rebel

Since I just put the pictures up of the new babies together I thought I would blog about a phenomenom here - baby socks. Uruguayans are greatly concerned over my inability to put a pair of socks of my baby boy. You see everywhere I go, I am posed this question, "Where are his socks?"

One lady, trying to defend my worthiness as a mother, said to another, "Oh, she's North American, they aren't accustomed to socks." Stifling a laugh, I thought of the laundry basket full of the socks I still had to sort. Have I told you I don't like socks??? Socks are a lot of work! Sure they keep your feet warm in the winter, and equally so in the summer, but they really need to find a way to match themselves up with their mates.

This is one cultural difference that seems so silly to me. The looks of serious concern on ladies faces over a missing pair of socks, in the summertime (!), is something I have a hard time taking seriously. I actually did think ladies were joking with me, especially when I overheard one ask where a solely diaper clad baby's socks were. Oh boy! I better keep a pair of socks in the diaper bag in the case of a sock emergency.

Now, for those reading this in the Northern Hemisphere where you are wearing your warmest clothes this January, you must keep in mind we are in the middle of summer and it is warm...too warm for socks. And shoes too. In the States people always gave me a hard time about my shoeless babies. I just couldn't see the point in buying shoes for someone who doesn't even walk. I guess I'm a baby foot accessory rebel. :-)

Five boys and a girl

It took awhile before all the new babies, and a camera, were at church at the same time but we finally got our pictures. From L to R, in order of the babies ages: Nancy with Rebeca (the only girl), Cristina with Juan Daniel, Leticia with Timoteo, Rebekah with Esteban, Debbie with Silas and Elida with Jeremias.

One of the neat things about the babies is that they all have Bible names. L to R: Jeremias, Timoteo, Rebekah, Juan Daniel, Esteban and Silas.

This was at the end of the photo shoot. Juan Daniel (3rd from R) decided he'd had enough of his cousin, Esteban (2nd from right), leaning on him so he began pushing him away and into Silas (far right). Silas, as you can tell from his expression, didn't care for this at all.

It has been a blessing to have all these babies so close in age. Albeit a little cramped in the nursery when hungry babies need to eat at the same time. It's fun to watch their personalities emerge. They are all smiling, the older ones are gaining a sense of humor and the younger ones are beginning to interact with the other babies. We're wondering how Rebeca, who is very calm and petite, is going to handle all these boisterous boys.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rioplatense Spanish

The Spanish spoken here in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay is different from other areas of the country as well as other Spanish speaking countries. Rioplatense is a dialect of Spanish spoken mainly around the river plate region. Some basic differences are the sounds the "y" and "ll" makes. We pronounce the word for beach (playa) this way, "Plasha". Ya is sha. Yo = sho. And Tortilla (though we don't have them here) would be pronounced tortisha.
There is also an additional or different person with which to conjugate verbs - Vos. Vos is very informal and is used with parents to children, good friends, and brothers and sisters. Adding Vos to the standard six persons - 1st, 2nd & 3rd singular and plural - of conjugations plus the imperitve command gives us 95 different ways to learn every verb. Yes, it can be confusing! But it is fun to listen to a native speaker conjugate a word they're not familiar with.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Destroyed and Damaged Memories

With tears streaming down my face I sorted through destroyed and damaged earthly treasures today. Photos that were ruined as water dripped onto the bookcase from the AC unit above it. Most of my pictures when I was a baby are now in the trash. Wedding pictures are damaged. Baby books are wet. And scrapbooks are in the trash.

Today is the first day of the ladies Bible study in my home. Am I surprised that today is the day I found those albums in ruin? No! Ever since Ruth and I decided on the date for the study we have had trials. Yesterday, Scott suddenly fell ill with the shakes and dizziness, but today he is fine. On accident, a couple of weeks back Adeline was given a popsicle with milk in it. Last week I found myself completely discouraged over my lacking Spanish. I literally could give you a page long list of trials. Suffice it to say God must be getting ready to do something great here in Uruguay and I so want to be a part of it. At the very least I long to see His hand at work in the lives of the church ladies.

Before I discovered my photos I was singing "It is Well With My Soul". Now I must ask myself, "Is it really?" Yes, it is. The Bible study I'm teaching tonight focus' on giving up our own wants and desires and even things so we can follow the Lord. Though my heart aches over lost memorabilia my Saviour stands beside me to give me comfort. For that I can, and do, sing and rejoice. I can lift my eyes onto the Lord and be used of Him, because in allowing me to lose I have gained as He has drawn me closer to Him.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Eating Yeast?

We have had some extremely hot days this summer and when it is over 100° without factoring in the humidity it sure can be miserable. Thankfully the worst days have had some nice days intermixed which gives us a much needed break from the heat. These pictures were taken on one of those miserably hot days. Isn't Silas the most absolutely adorable little boy?! His face has so much expression. And as you can see his little body is getting rather rotund. One of the men at church just asked me if he was eating yeast. I had to laugh with him because Silas certainly does resemble a rising loaf of bread.

New Years Eve Service 2007

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Identical Twins!!!

I just got an email with a picture of one of my new adorable second cousins. You all will remember praying for my cousin Valerie, her husband Matt, and their daughter Madi as Madi was being treated for multiple recurrances of a brain tumor. I'm sure you will rejoice in knowing that Valerie just gave birth to identical twin boys - Cooper and Parker. It should be really fun for Silas when we are home on furlough to play with cousins his age.

In addition, the recent MRI results for Madi are very good. There appears to be a diminishing in what is believed to be scar tissue from the tumor. Madi is in kindergarten and she is learning well.

I'm sure your continued prayer would be appreciated as Matt and Valerie adjust to life with twins and 5 children under the age of 6. And also for Madi as she continues to recover.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Bible study for ladies.

Ruth and I have desired to have a ladies Sunday school class. But we don't have the room in the church building to have anything more than childrens and an adult class right now. At first I was discouraged about this, knowing that having a regular time to study the Bible and issues particular to women would be beneficial for the Spiritual growth of the ladies here. So I decided to pray about it and the Lord showed me that ladies could meet in our home a couple times a month, or more. I shared the idea with Scott and he was all for it, as were Archie and Ruth.

So, on January 24th I will have my first Ladies Bible study in our home. I'm very excited about this opportunity to minister to the ladies in our church. At first, I will teach through a study I wrote and presented several times in the States during furlough. Are You Leaning is a study of Proverbs 3:5,6 and what it really means when God tells us to trust Him with all our hearts. Not only will this study prepare the hearts of the ladies to study through the book Mentiras que las Mujeres Creen (Lies Woman Believe) by Nancy Leigh DeMoss; it will also give us time to get their copies of the book ordered.

I'm looking forward to the time together with the ladies; we have several ladies who have said they are coming, WOW! I'm also looking forward to the public speaking practice I'll have with Spanish. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy public speaking...even in Spanish.

Pray for our ladies that they will be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Pray that the Lord will prepare their hearts over the next few days. Finally pray for the ladies to be consistent, without a doubt the enemy will discourage them with a bad day, and other trials the days we meet for the study.

God will provide.

One of the greatest concerns of independant missionaries throughout the world is support. Though Scott and I have experienced a drop in our support, as a result of the drop in the strength of the dollar, we are still over 100%. This past fall a few of our supporting churches contacted us to see how we were doing financially. It's difficult to find the words to express how grateful we are for the faithfulness and concern of our supporting churches.

We are aware of missionaries from another South American country who came to Uruguay knowing that in six months time they would lose a big chunk of their support. As I think of these missionaries I wonder how in the world they'll ever survive here in Uruguay on only $40 a month. I have claimed the promises of God over and over again in my life knowing that He will supply our needs. Then I have watched while He did indeed keep His promises. The only way this missionary family will survive is with the intervention of God as He keeps His promises to them. I am looking forward to seeing what God will do in their lives as a result of this trial. In the meantime will you pray with us for the Lopez family as they look to God to meet their daily needs.