Saturday, August 30, 2008

Belen Mengen

We just got back from the Ladies Retreat, it was wonderful and I'll blog about that tomorrow...hopefully. I wanted to get this prayer request out hoping that tomorrow you all can mention this in church for prayer. One of our ladies was unable to come to the retreat because her daughter, Belen, was diagnosed with a brain tumor last night. The last report I have is that she is now in Montevideo awaiting surgery. She is 8 years old.

Please be in prayer for her parents as well, Pocho and Leticia. Our ladies were concerned about their finances because it is the end of the month and they are away from home. Our theme "When life gives you lemons, turn them into blessings." was very appropriate for this situation and the ladies desired to add some sugar to this family's lemons. Thank you for praying I'll keep you updated.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"God is Good"

The subject line of the email was one we have seen before. The email was in response to an email Scott sent regarding a need for the Bible Institute. Taking time to explain the need to train the Uruguayans in the Bible and for the ministry was Scott's primary objective. Knowing that our supporting and praying churches are aware of the importance of having this first, and sometimes second, generation of believers grounded in the Word of God is his concern. While another part of the email detailed what tools we needed in order to accomplish this goal.

That is where the subject line comes in. Pastor Mike of Victory Baptist Church sent Scott an email a few days ago checking on the need for the DVD's and other items such as DVD players needed to upgrade the Insititutes educational materials. Scott replied that as of that day we weren't aware of anyone contributing to this special fund. Last night Pastor Mike wrote back telling us the wonderful news that their church was going to send the funds we needed to buy the DVD's. The amazing thing is not so much that they have contributed $2000 for this, but that they are currently in search of a senior pastor. Not only that but another supporting church, First Baptist of Rochester, has also contributed $750 towards this need which will enable us to buy DVD players and other supplies.

We know God can work in any circumstance, we have witnessed this first hand...many times in the most discouraging times. Right now our plate is littered with things many people would call discouraging. Right now we are seeing the battle first hand. We are seeing the enemy attempt to rip apart God's Work here. Satan makes so many mountains out of molehills. It would be easy to give in to the discouragement and feel sorry for ourselves. But if we did we would miss out on seeing the great things God is still doing in spite of the battle. He brings us to an Oasis in the desert where we can rest and be refreshed and reminded of Who God Is and what His plan is.

Indeed, God is Good, all the time, in the good and especially in the "bad"! And so I write this to praise God for His provision and to thank Him for the reminder, the refreshment and the ability He gives us to rest in Him. "For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cuando La Vida Te Da Limones....

Our ladies retreat, "When Life Gives You Lemons." was originally scheduled for the end of September but we had to change the date to the end of August. So now we are scrambling to get everything ready in time. I would appreciate your prayers for this ministry opportunity.
Elizabeth Sanders will be speaking on how the Lord worked in her heart as they left the mission field of Venezuela to come to Uruguay. We will also have a workshop on how to make tied fleece blankets. In which we will be making the blankets to give to our shut-ins. The ladies also would like another workshop likely focusing on Titus 2. Ruth is in charge of the decorations and will be the first speaker of the retreat introducing our theme and challenging the ladies. Other ladies are in charge of the games and the songs. Some teen girls will be caring for the nursery. And our husbands and teen sons will be making the meals, serving and cleaning up. All that's left is the need to tie up all the loose ends.

Cardiac Arrest

"Where is everyone?", wondered the handful of ladies sitting in our living room. The answer was that more than half of our faithful ladies, or their families, had been hit by the winter flu bug. So last Thursdays Bible study was drastically smaller. Nonetheless, it was a good meeting. We discussed the three lies women believe about their priorities - I don't have time to do everything I'm supposed to do, I can make it without consistent time in the word and prayer, and a career outside the home is more valuable and fulfilling than being a wife and mother.
It was amazing, as I read through these lies in preparation for teaching, that I had once again fallen for each one of them. Right now I'm working on a church directory, a ladies retreat, a new youth ministry, and a ladies Bible study. I just finished our latest prayer letter. That's just the "ministry" aspect of my to-do list. I have Spanish to learn. A husband and children to feed and care for. Laundry to do, or at least make sure everyone is getting theirs done on time. Cleaning the house. Updating the Blog. Helping our coworkers with their furlough presentation and designing their prayer card. Oh, have I mentioned the baby that wakes me up several times a night...even though he's 9 months old. The kids instrument lessons and doctors appointments. Phew. I'm tired just typing it all.
I nthe morning I often am awakened by a hungry baby and as I feed him I pray, well lately it's more of an attempt to pray. Because he keeps waking me up at night I find myself just as tired when I wake up as when I went to bed the night before.
And though I am a stay at home mom, and really wouldn't want it any other way, I'm convicted by the results of my staying at home. After all one of the reasons I'm home is to be the one influecing our children. So I can be a consistent Godly example to them. And to help Scott lead them to the Lord, grounding them in the Word of God so that when they are grown they will be able to make decisions that honor God. I can see how much I have fallen short here.
As I examine my home, and my heart I see how far I have believed each of these lies. I see how much I still have held on to the battle cry of the feminists. I have failed to find this life, as a stay at home mom, completely rewarding. I have failed to see that the "measure of a womans worth success [is] the extent to which she serves as the heart of her home." (Nancy Leigh DeMoss) I sincerely believe that the heart of our home is close to suffering a cardiac arrest. Or at the very least is all clogged up with things that choke the life out of a heart....and a home.
I need to go back to asking my husband to help me make wise choices about the projects I take on, in and out of our home. I need to see my roles as a wife and then a mother as God's sees them. I need to be more faithful to my primary responsibilities - my husband and my children. And to accomplish all of these things I need to spend consistent time in prayer asking for and relying upon God's strength to be the wife and mother He has entrusted me to be. "I can do all things through Christ..." Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Missionary Friends

Matt and Beth Sanders are new missionaries here in Uruguay. For various reasons they needed to leave the field of Venezuela and are now working in Salto. We have been writing to them since February and it was great for us to get to meet in person.

Nehemiah and Aaron on a horse at Los Tres Botones.

Morgan and Kaitlin.

The guys on the swinging bridge at Los Tres Botones.

Silas at Nine Months

A Place to Call Our Own - Part 4

A few months ago our landlord called and offered to sell us the house we live in. Scott recently called him and asked if he was still willin to sell us the house. After waiting a couple weeks we heard back from him. He is no longer interested in selling. However he is willing to let us continue to rent. Does this mean our search is over? Not necessarily. But it does give us more time to keep looking. Ideally we want to build a house that suits our families needs. One that is insulated better and is painted to keep out the mold. The kids have joked about called Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Can you imagine?

What a day.

This winter has been really mild in comparison with last year. One nice thing about last years frigid weather was the lack of viruses. This year we have become the target of every bug out there. This time we have had two running through our family one respiratory and one intestinal.

I had Silas at the doctors for a recheck in the morning. After dropping Bethany off for piano class I returned to the hospital at 4 for Kaitlin's physical therapy. While she was with the physical therapist I was upstairs trying to get some information about Brandon's needed tests. They weren't able to find the orders I gave them in the morning. Finally after 20 minutes of looking they discovered them in the Enfermeria (ER). I picked Bethany up from piano and dropped her and Kaitlin off at home and picked up Brandon and went back to the hospital.

This was the first time I've experienced x-rays with the kids here. Brandon was joking around about the radiation exposure since they don't put any protective lead aprons on the thyroid or groin areas. I was standing in the small hallway leading into the x-ray room watching as doctor prepared Brandon for the film. As the doctor walked by the door in the hallway I fully expected for him to shut the door before taking the film, he didn't. I've decided I'll not sit along that outer wall any more, which is part of the ER waiting area.

With Brandon's x-ray in hand we headed out to get Brandon some new tennis shoes. It's never been easy to find shoes for him and now with his size 12 feet it has become more difficult, and more expensive. It turned out that the shoes that fit him were on sale for only $1374.00 pesos, a thousand pesos cheaper than the other shoes we were shown in his size.

New shoes on, we headed back home so I could finish my six loads of laundry for the day. Then returned to the hospital at 8pm for the pediatrician to look at the x-ray and lab tests. Thankfully Brandon doesn't have pneumonia but he did have blood in his urine. This could be just a normal part of his IgA Nephropathy but the last recheck also showed blood. Brandon went back this morning for a full blood work up.

Today, in comparison, has been relatively laid back. "All" I had to do today is clean the mold from the ceilings and walls...I think I'd rather spend the day running around. But at least now we're mold free again.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

HAPPY 16th Brandon!!!!

Wow, where did the time go? Ok, I know I say that every year and probably every time I post about my kid's birthday's but really, where did the time go? It seems like yesterday I was up all hours of the night trying to coax Brandon to sleep.

One memory of Brandon when he was a baby was when we had an aftershock from the Landers earthquake (believe me that's another story). I had been trying to get him to sleep for about 4 hours. I was finally able to lay him down in his crib and had just laid down myself when we had a large aftershock. Before I could say anything, Scott jumped out of bed, ran into Brandon's room and grabbed him up and stood in the doorway with him. I stayed in bed and cried that he woke the baby up after I had spent so long getting him back to sleep. Don't get me wrong, I was concerned for his safety but I figured if the house didn't fall down in the over 6.0 quake the month before it wasn't going to when I had just gone through everything I did to get him in bed. Life in California, with a newborn!!!

Scott and I have really enjoyed Brandon during his teen years. Like any other adolescent he has had his struggles. And rightfully so, imagine traveling for 3 years and then moving to a foreign country not speaking the language and being obviously "gringo". There have been lots of sleepless nights in prayer for him to be encouraged and for him to adapt.

It has been a special blessing to watch him grow spiritually, especially so lately. He is serving in our church here as an usher, he sings in the choir and he is the game director for Kings Kids. He lends help and ideas to me as I plan events for ladies and to Scott as he works on ministry things. He is a great big brother. And he is doing great in school in spite of having some very difficult subjects this year.

Brandon, we love you and look forward to seeing what God has in store for you!!!!! Happy 16th Birthday.