Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Day 2008

Scorching heat, tons of food, dear friends and thankful hearts. Thanksgiving day this year was a wonderful day! Daniel and Amparo Lopez, Peruvian missionaries working with us here in Colonia, and their 3 girls; Rebeca Valiente, Amparo's sister and our new language teacher; Sabrina Estevez one of the young ladies from the church here; and Sebastian Pereira an asisstant, institute student future Uruguayan pastor all were our special guests.

We all enjoyed some fellowship time, after we stuffed ourselves full of food. Then we had some pumpkin pie, yummy! Since it was over 100 with the heat index the kids jumped on the trampoline while we sprayed them with water. Then later when it was cooler outside than inside the men took a dining room table to the patio and we taught everyone how to play Mexican Train dominoes.

Half of the spread of food- jello mold, stuffing, mashed potatos, macaroni & cheese, and carrots.

Deviled eggs, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, gravy, more stuffing, and the Uruguayan turkey aka large chickens.

Amparo and Daniel with Nehemiah and Silas.

Brandon, Sebastian and Scott.

Kaitlin, Rebeca, Adeline, Debora, and Amparo trying to learn how to play dominoes.

Brandon drinking the mate.
Amparo also.
Simeon loves mate.

Me and Kaitlin.
Silas and Sabrina.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ordination and Anniversary Sunday

With everything we had going on the week before last I completely forgot to blog about that weekend. On Saturday the 15th Gabriel Chauvie stood before an ordination council. Pastor Archie Perez, Pastor Scott Borrmann, Pastor Daniel Lopez, Pastor Cristian Gutierrez, Pastor Paul Harmon, Pastor Barry Corts, and Dr. Jack McLanahan, all missionaries, are the men in the photo above laying on their hands as they prayed for Gabriel during the ordination service. Pastor Matt Sanders, a missionary to Salto, Uruguay was also on the council but had to leave before the service. Gabriel is the first Uruguayan to be ordained in the ministry here in Colonia.

That following Sunday we had early anniversary Sunday services, including Baptisms. Our Bethany is there in the front. There were 6 people baptized from the same family.

Melissa Marr and Bethany. Melissa was one of the 6 from the same family. She is special to our family and we enjoy having her around our house! We praise the Lord that He reached her heart through the confusion of Mormonism to show her, "The Way, The Truth and The Life". She was "baptized" nearly 200 times for the dead, and so, it was exciting to watch her being Biblically baptized. Melissa believes the Lord is calling her to be a missionary and desires to start classes in the institute next year.

Scott and Bethany just before he baptized her.

Bethany just after her daddy baptized her.

Scott and I with Bethany after the Baptism service. It was a special day for Scott to baptize one of our children. We especially praise the Lord that our children desire to be obedient and follow after the Lord Jesus Christ in believers baptism.

More Argentina Pics

Thought I would share some of our tourism moments with you all.
Sea lions in the Mar del Plata, Argentina harbor. They sure did stink.
Silas' favorite place on the ferry. That is glass behind him.

One section of the ferry. This was mirrored on the right side. There was also a section in front and behind us. Plus a duty free shop, first class seating upstairs and a cafe.

Silas riding the horsie outside of WalMart which was inside a mall.

Me and Silas at WalMart in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The sign is in Spanish.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Baptist World Mission South American Family Conference

It is always an adventure when you go anywhere with children. Quadruple the average American family and you quadruple the adventure. The past week we traveled for the first time out of the borders of Uruguay and across the river to Argentina. It was great!

We were a little fearful of Buenos Aires because so many people expressed their concerns for us being in the big city. I don't know if this is foolishness or trust but while we have been in South America I have yet to feel the fear I have felt driving through the big cities of the USA....Detroit especially. Buenos Aires was no exception.

Some missionary friends of ours serving over there told us they would meet us at the port about an hour after our ferry arrived. After waiting for a couple hourse we proceeded to plan B...head out on our own to the freeway. We were amazed at how easy it was to get to the freeway. And found it harder to find the Christian bookstore in Montevideo, Uruguay. :-

The part of the city along the port was quite pretty and the American restaurants were tempting but we had to get of of we ate at McDonalds about 45 mins out of the city. That was were the other missionary family caught up with us and we followed them the rest of the way.

About an hour out of our destination we were told to pull over at a check point. Scott was told that our tow hitch without a trailer was illegal. They expected that Scott would pay them a bribe, I mean a fine. But when he didn't follow their lead they just let us go.
Mar del Plata is a pretty city. During peak season their numbers rival Montevideos. We drove each day back and forth between the hotel, where all the other out of town missionaries were staying, and the missionary home we stayed in. The drive up the Atlantic ocean was so nice. The kids really liked seeing the big waves.
We visited a laguna and sightseeing hill on Wednesday where we took the big picture of all the attendees. Thursday we took the kids shopping on the Shopping Peatonal, a sort of outdoor mall. And we headed back home on Friday after stopping to see the Sea Lions.
WalMart in Buenos Aires was a huge deal for us. We haven't been inside a Wally World for 2 years. It was the cherry on top after a few days of being somewhat immersed in English we felt like we had a little visit to the States.
We all loved the preaching of one of supporting pastors - John Stevens. God worked in our hearts through each one of his messages. Thankfully we have access to podcast sermons and so we have still been fed from the Word of God but there is nothing quite like hearing sermons in your mother tongue, in person and without translation into another language. Pastor Stevens was a special encouragement to us and we thank God for our supporting pastors.

Because we didn't stay at the hotel we were able to save some money on expenses. However, we didn't receive the vouchers for food that all the other missionaries had. Each voucher gave each person an appetizer, entree, side and dessert - a lot of food two times a day. We watched as God provided for our needs as each family gave us portions of their meals. We ended up eating a lot of steaks at no cost to us. Only God can do that.
All of the photos below are not from my camera. The first day of the conference I took my camera out only to discover the LCD was shattered. The LCD is the only viewfinder I have. So now I'm off to find out if it's worth it to replace the LCD or if I should start shopping around for another camera.
Silas and fellow Uruguayan/American and MK Felicia Harmon. She reminds us a lot of our Bethany when she was that age.
Bethany (top left) and Adeline (bottom right) eating with other MK's.
The plaque that all the missionaries gave to our retiring field director and his wife.

Scott and I before one of the services.

Brandon and Kaitlin sat in on all the preaching sessions with us. It was great to have them there.

Sierra de los Padres, Argentina - we are to the left of Pastor Stevens in the red shirt (at right).

Update on Julia and Pablo

We just received an email form the Secrests that says that:

Julia took a turn for the worse on Thursday night. She has bacteria in her lungs causing her blood pressure to go up.

Pablo has a fever.

Thank you for praying for them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Secrest Update

We are about ready to head out on a day trip with the other BWM missionaries (we are in Mar del Plata, Argentina for our S. American family conference) but I wanted to give an update on the Secrests before prayer meeting.

Julia ia doing better but is still in need of much of our prayers. With over 80% of her body burned there is a lot of recovery ahead.

Pablo is doing much better and has received skin grafts.

Thank you for praying for them. Pray for the Lord to continue to assist Barry and Barbara with the many things involved in caring for the people in their church. They were supposed to be here with us this week and so we miss them and Sharon Clark, but we know their place is in Las Piedras with their people.

I´ll write more about our trip later. Sorry for the blog silence lately.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Secrest Accident - Report from Barbara Secrest

Thanks to all who have been praying about the Secrest accident. Below is a report from Barbara that we received last night:

Dear Brethren:For those of you who don´t know (and to fill in details for those of you who do), our family along with three others from the church were involved in an automobile accident on our way home from the Sunday evening service here. At approximately 9:15 pm our time, we were finishing up with the transportaton of those who attended the church service. We were traveling toward a T intersection, ready to enter Route 67 about three blocks from our home.

Barry applied the brakes with absolutely no result. As we entered the route, two motorcycles passed in front of our van, narrowly missing collision. Slowing down some with the help of the emergency breke, Barry executed a wider left turn onto the route in hopes of avoiding turn over. The right two tires, however, went off the pavement onto the gravel shoulder. The surface of the shoulder was several inches lower than the road and the police say that contributed to the turn over of the van. We made two quarter turns and the van ended up on its roof. Being an older van, the metal was very solid and there was very little compression of the chassy.

After a few seconds of stunned silence, Julia, a regular attendee in her forties, alerted us to the flames starting up on the passenger side which was now facing the street. After a few unsuccessful attempts at opening the doors. Barry was able to get the front passenger compartment door open where he, Anthony and I were seated. The unusual circumstance was that we were not wearing out seat belts, which made exiting the vehicle easier and probably saved our lives. Because of the turn, Anthony, our 6-year-old, ended up underneath us and we had to get out before Barry could reach out and get him out. Because he was in the vehicle longer, the gasoline-fueled fire traveled down to where he was and he suffered 1st and 2nd degrees burns on the right side of his face, his right ear and the back of his right hand. After overnight observation, he was released.

In the back part of the van, Jonathan, Julia´s 16-year-old son, was kicking at the doors to try to at least break the glass. Thomas, our 11-year-old, has been acting as doorman on transportation runs in the van since the door latches are difficult to operate. Due to that fact, he was sitting next to the door and once he got his bearings, opened the doors enabling all of those traveling in the rear section to get out. This included our 9-year-old David, Jonathan, Julia, medical student and regular church attendee Pablo, and himself. Thomas said that God put him on the right side of the car just so that he could open the doors. Since the gasoline was running out on that side, they all had to pass through the flames.

Thomas and David only experienced singed hair and eyebrows. Thomas´ pants and boots caught on fire, but his beloved cowboy boots that his grandmother gave him saved his legs and he was able to roll and put out the fire.

Pablo´s clothing caught on fire and he sustained 1st and 2nd degree burns over 30% of his body before being able to roll and put out the flames with Jonathan´s assistance. He also suffered respiratory damage from smoke and fire inhalation. The doctors were most concerned about his internal injuries, but today his condition was markedly improved to the doctor´s amazement and he was moved out of ICU. His condition remains serious, please continue to pray.

Jonathan stepped in the gasoline, his shoes caught on fire and his heels were burned. He is staying with the youth director and his family while his step-father, who has also made a profession of faith but was not present that evening, travels back and forth the visit Julia in the hospital. She was the last one out of the van and required my help to get clear and put out the fire on her clothing. She suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns over 80% of her body as well as respiratory damage from smoke and flame inhalation. At the present time, her condition is the most critical and her internal organs are affected. Pray for her, please.

Barry suffered some burns and a cut to his right hand. Tomorrow (Wednesday) he goes back to the doctor for a redressing. Anthony has an appointment for Wednesday afternoon to see a plastic surgeon in Montevideo for an evaluation on how his wounds are healing and where to go from there. I suffered no burns or serious injuries with only the bumps and bruises from the roll-over.

Many are the things that we have thought of where God´s hand kept this from being a worse experience. Several who were normally in the van were not and so there were no children seated in the space in the very back over the motor. The fire progressed very quickly and would not have given sufficient time for more occupants to vacate the van before serious injury or death. As far as the police investigation goes, Barry gave his statement yesterday afternoon. Their forensic findings confirmed his account of the events. He has another appointment with a forensics officer Thursday afternoon.Thank you for your prayers! God is at work. The church folk here have rallied around all of us and we are proud to be a part of the Cornerstone Baptist family here in Las Piedras.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Please pray for Julia, Jonathan and Pablo.

Last night we received news that fellow BWM Uruguayan missionaries, Barry and Barbara Secrest, had an accident in their Volkswagon "Combi" van. The vans brakes went out near a T intersection. Barry attempted to make a wide turn and the van tires went off the pavement, casuing the van to roll onto the roof. They thought that was the worst until they heard someone in the back yell that the van was on fire. Everyone was able to get out.

Though they have some injuries - Barry's hand is cut, Barbara's feet have small cuts and their youngest son Antonio has burns on his ear and hand -the Secrests are all ok. They are extremely concerned for those injured last night.
  • Julia has 2nd degree burns over 50% of her body. She also inhaled the flames. She is stable but in critical condition.
  • Jonathan -17 year old son of Julia - has burned ankles, was released from the hospital last night, but is going back today because he can't walk.
  • Pablo - 21 years old - has 2nd degree burns over 25% of his body. He also inhaled the flames. He had to have a tracheotomy.

We know they will appreciate your prayers. We will do our best to keep you updated.

Party Pics

Silas' first birthday party was a success. We invited all of the babies that were born last year, and all but one came. It was fun to see all the one year olds in their different stages of learning. All are walking with help and without. All are babbling - the favorite word seems to be "Goal" after, of course, kicking a ball.

Silas loved his Blue's Clues cake. Though time consuming, I was surprised at how easy it actually was to make this cake.
Opening his very first birthday present.
All the boys - Jeremias, Timoteo, Silas, Juan Daniel and Esteban.

Silas with his cake.

A better view of the cake.

Silas LOVED the cake and muffins.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Silas!!!!

It's been a year now since I've slept through the night. Really!!!

A year since our little Uruguayo joined our family.

A year filled with sweet and special days, and some long nights.

A year of watching Silas grow, and watching his brothers and sisters interact with him.

A year of learning to be more self less.

A year of pain with each time he fell and his hospitalization.

A year of watching milestones with wonder and amazement as he: learned to sit up and rawl, interacts with Uruguayans and Peruvians, plays with the other babies his age, learned to hum and "sing" to music and wave his hand mimicking the song leader, and as he learns to speak saying "chau" and "hola".

A year that went by so (too) fast.
A year of loving yet one more of the sweetest children God has given us!

A blessed year!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Caught Red Handed

And lipped....

With eight kids, life is never dull! Sometimes, though, life becomes really interesting. Take this past Sunday for example. Adeline was painting her nails and "forgot" to put the polish away. Silas noticed this rather fascinating little bottle and began to paint his lips and hands. I have to say the lips turned our pretty good. Wouldn't you agree?
Nail polish isn't nearly as easy to take off little peoples faces as lipstick or facial mask. Nor does it come out of clothes, in particular, a very cute sweater vest.


The 2008 US presidential election will go down in history.

The history of the first black man being elected president; which is without question a remarkable accomplishment.

The history of a presidential race in the midst of financial turmoil. The far reaching global affects of both are yet to be seen.

Personally, I'm thankful that God is in control! I could speculate as to why He allowed for Obama to be elected. But that would be speculation. And who can know the mind of God? None other than God Himself.

I do know from personal experience that God works in ways we cannot understand. Sometimes in the midst of a trial we are tempted to ask where He is. No doubt many of us woke up this morning wondering what we have in store for us. Where exactly Obama's administration is going to take our country is unknown to us, but not to God.

Let's rest in Him and trust in Him. Let's continue to pray for God's mercy on our country and for revival. Finally, let's remember that God is in control. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, He turneth it whithersoever He will." Proverbs 21:1

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Just wanted to remind everyone to vote. Scott and I voted from thousands of miles away. It was a privilege to vote for a couple reasons. Living in a foreign country a North American quickly gains a sense of how unique and special our country is. There are countries where voting is mandatory. There are countries where voters are in danger when they head out to the polls. There are countries where the vote doesn't really count. I am thankful that is not the case for the citizens of the United States. The only time our vote doesn't count is when we don't vote.

And that brings me to the second reason we were privileged to vote. For quite awhile we thought our absentee ballots would not arrive. Scott's ballot arrived several days before mine. My ballot was sent to our church then had to be resent last week via airmail. I was sweating it because I have not yet missed voting in a Presidential election in 20 years.

Now today as we await the results of who will be our next president, we pray fervently that God's man will be elected. Yes, we believe that man will follow Biblical principles in his practice and in his politics. One man obviously does not even though he calls himself a Christian. So to us, it was clear whom we must vote for. Christian, we pray it will be just as clear to you as you step into the voting booth today.

Note: I am refraining from listing who we support, not because we are ashamed of our vote, but because we are missionaries on a foreign field it may be unwise to do so.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


After several checks through the scores to make sure numbers were tallied correctly, a winner of the first block of Sigma was announced. The black team! The competition was extremely close. Several more verses said and more devotions completed by one team would have resulted in a different winner. We are proud of all the hard work put in by the young people.

Pastor Daniel Lopez preached on giving God our maximum. From Luke 10:27, "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind..." God is not satisfied with half of our love and devotion. He wants all of our hearts, all of our minds and all of our strength. Are we doing everything to the maximum for the Lord? We should not be satisfied with mediocrity.

Scott and I were pleased to see many from the other teams cheering for the winners. But there are others who could not rejoice for the winners and had some very negative things to say. Certainly that attitude is not Christ-like. Nor does it give honor and glory to the Lord. It is our desire that they will see how that attitude is definitely not giving God the maximum. Keep praying, please!

Bronchial Obstuction of Moderately Severe Grade...

The result of Adeline's spirometry only brings us more questions and leave us feeling like we have even more questions. What is the obstruction? Is it reversible? How much will her new medicine, coming from the States, really help? Will the obstruction continue to grow? Is this just asthma?

She will have two more cystic fibrosis tests on the 11th and will have some chest x-rays done as well. We're hoping that we will have some answers after that.

In the meantime we know that her allergies aggrivate her asthma and so continue to do our best to control her enviroment and make it as safe for her as we possibly can. That is definitely not an easy task. And we greatly appreciate your prayers for her.