Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last night of VBS

Pricila, Bethany, Nahuel and Nehemiah were the verse winners for the week.
Brandon and Kaitlin after helping to pass out 500 fliers.
BananaMan the hero of the story!!! The kids adored him and he may just well become a part of every skit from now on.
Seba preaching the last service.
Alejandra teaching the 8-11 year olds.
Seba, VBS director, being a GREAT sport with the wet sponge throw in the fair.
Sylvia and Lidia (and Pablo in the opposite corner) frying Torta Fritas for the Friday night snack.
Amparo teaching the 5 to 7 year olds about the wordless book.
Nicolas teaching the 5 year olds their verses.
David and Kaitlin teaching songs.
After the fun fair carnival.
A couple of pirates.
First day registration.
Skit actors.
Almost all of the workers.

Several weeks of preparation...hundreds of copies...1700 fliers passed out...109 different children...67 new children...40+ completely exhausted workers...close to 300 verses said...7 new songs for the kids to learn...838 pesos in the offering ($37)...a few visiting parents...over 30 decisions...and a lot of fun in the carnival!!! All of this is the result of weeks of preparation and hard work. We praise the Lord for His work and His fruit!

Thank you all so much for praying for this week! We were praying for 100 kids. We were hoping that we would have those 100 in one night, but God decided 109 different children was a better idea! It was definitely more than what we asked for.

The workers did a fabulous job. All of them were learning new things all week long. Next year can only be better!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

VBS 2nd Night

The Lord blessed us with another great night! We had 76 kids tonight! Everyone was more familiar with the schedule so the night flowed well.

The kids sang with more gusto as they learned the songs. The game time was excellent. They paid better attention to the teachers at the end of the night. And they were very much a part of the skit. They were very responsive to the questions the actors asked and when one of the pirates aimed his toy gun at the audience some of them ducked. One of the 5 year olds began to cry, poor thing. Thankfully, there is a lot of humor in the skit.

Thank you for your prayers! They are making a tremendous difference!!! We continue to pray for 100 children which doesn't seem like such a huge number now as we have the faith God can bring them in.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First Night of VBS

WOW! Talk about the Lord being at work and answering prayer. Tonight we had 61 children; 21 more than we had hoped for! 3 of those accepted Christ as their Savior and another 3 gained reassurance of their salvation.

Though there have been children's evangelistic meetings, this is the first time, we are told, that the church here in Colonia has done VBS. Sebastian Pereira is doing a fantastic job overseeing everything. And the workers did great with everything they had to learn and complete.

Tonight I printed and cut 500 more VBS invitation fliers. The pirates are planning to pass them out tomorrow in all their garb! Maybe we'll have our 100 kids that we are praying for tomorrow night. Wouldn't that be thrilling?!

I will post pictures soon!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Encounter Treasure

In less than 24 hours we will be close to completing our first day of EBV (VBS). You all know the amount of time and preparation that goes into this ministry. Our family along with Sebastian Pereira and the missionary Pastors, Daniel Lopez and Andres Ramirez, who work with us here, have put in countless hours to make this week as successful as humanly possible. Our desire first and foremost is that the Lord would be honored and glorified through this week.

The theme is Encounter Treasure. Brandon translated a series of skits, nine in all, from one of our supporting churches to use in promotion and throughout the week of EBV. So far the actors have done a fabulous job and have gotten better with each skit. A day and a half has been used just in constructing the stage which includes a ship and an Island Volcano.

To teach the children some songs they’ve not heard before, Kaitlin and Debbie made eight new song visuals. We will be inviting parents to have fun with their children at the fair on Saturday night. A variety of games are planned including Walk the Plank and the Brig.

Missionary Amparo Lopez (Daniel’s wife) and Alejandra Quintana will be teaching the children throughout the week. We have 36 workers in total!!! Praise the Lord!!!!

We are praying for 100 kids, a huge number, we know, but with God all things are possible! And we especially desire to have contact into each of their homes. We believe we have done our part and now look forward to seeing what God can do through us in this ministry in the week ahead. Thank you in advance for praying for and with us

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wedding Paparazzi

CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. and Mrs. Dante Niz!!! The wedding was so pretty last night. The bride was gorgeous!!! It was a blessing to have both Dante and Rebeca as the first couple to marry.

We headed off to Tarariras at 8:15am with the bride, and her family, for the civil wedding. Here in Uruguay everyone has to have a civil wedding and can also opt to have a church ceremony. I would say it's the equivalent of the justice of the peace in the States. The civil wedding is the official ceremony recognized by the government. So after this Dante and Rebeca were technically husband and wife.

We went from the civil ceremony to get the red rug runner. This is a tradition that is similar to ours in the States, only we use a white runner. Then from there we went and had spent some time with Dante's family while we waited for the Florist to open. Once we had all the flowers we headed back to Colonia.I don't want to bore you with all the running around we had to do. Let's just say I have a new decorating the day of the wedding. Too much is going on that day to add decorating, no matter how simple.

Everyone was to the church on time, except for the bride and groom. When they were about 10 mins late we started calling. At 30 minutes we were worried! I still don't know what all happened. Finally, an hour late, we got the wedding started.

Scott and Dante walked down the aisle side by side. I believe this is a tradition too, but I'm not sure if it's Uruguayan or Peruvian. Brandon escorted Amparo. Nehemiah was the Bible Bearer. Simeon the Ring Bearer. And Kaitlin played the piano for the specials.

One thing that was hard for me was the movement within the church once the wedding started. There were people everywhere with cameras they walked up the side aisles while the bride and her escort walked up the center. Then they were all standing at the front. Some even went up onto the platform during the ceremony. It was like a crowd of paparazzi. I don't know if all weddings are like this here, or if I didn't do a good job in communicating. But, to me, the wedding lacked the reverent feeling I've experienced in the States when everyone is seated and quiet. And the only person taking pictures is the paid photgrapher.

The ceremony itself was very nice. Scott really did great with his part in everything and it had a very smooth flow. Both Rebeca and Dante had portions of Scripture from Ruth memorized that they said to eachother as part of their vows. The music was very nice.

I honestly don't remember much about the reception because that was when I hit a brick wall of exhaustion. I couldn't comprehend most of what was said to me in English and Spanish was a bunch of sounds. We did have the big tent up for the reception and it was a very simple elegant. They cut the cake, but didn't serve it to eachother. They also did a toast, with Manzanita (Apple Soda). Then they took pictures with their families and all the other photos they wanted in front of the cake.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crunch Week

This week has to be one of the busiest weeks we've had thus far in 2009. Not only are we getting ready for a wedding on Friday for Rebeca and Dante, members of the church, but we also have VBS next week, and school and Bible institute to get ready for, plus we have Kaitlin and Bethany's birthdays. I told Kaitlin that the only thing that could have made this week crazier was if this was her 15th birthday and we had a quinceaƱera (sp) for her.

Well it turned out that we had to take a trip to the ER early this morning with the baby. He started getting sick a couple days ago but it turned for the worst last night. He was struggling to breathe and about 1am I thought he was needing to see a doctor. A few minutes later I watched him breathing and saw he was retracting. So I woke Scott up and we headed the the hospital.

Thankfully our favorite pediatrician was there and he saw Silas right away. After listening to his lungs he ordered a chest x'ray. And began to fill out the admission forms. I thought this really is not a good week for this.

During the x'ray I stood in there with him while the film was taken. Without a lead apron! Ugh! I think OSHA would have an absolute fit especially since the vet tech in me screams everytime they do this. So far I've been exposed to the same rads as my kids 6 times.

Anyway...the pneumonia the doctor thought was there, wasn't! Thank the LORD! He got a diagnosis of Bronchiolitis and was sent home on Pred and Ventolin inhaler. He's up and around today even though he had a rough night.

Please pray with us that he will be all well before Friday, and that no one else will get this. Scott is marrying the couple, I am the one making sure all goes off as planned (mistress of ceremonies says a friend of mine), Brandon is escorting the bride's sister, Kaitlin is playing the piano for two specials, Bethany is page turning the music for Kaitlin, Nehemiah is the Bible bearer, and Simeon is the Ring bearer. Talk about a family affair! As you can see more sickness is not very welcome.


One after another, these children of ours continue to grow up. Yesterday was the start of the round of birthdays. Today Bethany turns 11. I think she'd like to be 18. :-)

She tries very much to fit in with the older kids, yet she is content to be the older, wiser one with the younger kids.

She has really been developing her hairstyling skills. This past Christmas all of her gifts were salon related. This birthday as well. She really does a beautiful job with her own hair and that of her sisters. I love it because I don't have to do anyone's hair. And occasionally she styles my hair too.

She also loves to give manicures and pedicures. Now who does not enjoy those? I certainly enjoy receiving them but I think it takes someone special to give them. It's a gift. Sorta like the 2 and 3 Sunday school teachers. It's difficult to understand how they can do such a wonderful job AND enjoy themselves too.

Bethany has also been a huge help around the house. She is usually very willing to do the most menial tasks. She has been Silas' care-taker while we take Spanish classes and so Silas has come to be very fond of her.

We are very thankful for our third born child. Happy Birthday, Bethy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today our oldest daughter turns another year older. In just a couple short weeks she will begin high school. And in 4 short years she will head off to college. And that is as far as I care to look into the future...thank you very much. :-)

This past year Kaitlin has matured greatly. She is becoming a beautiful young lady. Kaitlin's personality has always been very quiet and calm. It has been exciting to see her really break out of herself.

Her musical talent continues to strengthen and she enjoys using her gifts for the Lord. She is playing for congregational singing and was the lead piano for this summer's youth camp. I don't think this is something she would have imagined herself doing a couple years ago.

Kaitlin is a tremendous blessing to us and we thank God for her!

Happy Birthday Kaitlin!!! We love you very much!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crazy Busy

Below is a schedule of everything we have going on for the next few months and we would appreciate your prayers for us as our year continues to pick up it's pace. There is so much planning involved in what we have going on. Plus what we teach and speak on requires translation work since we still think and write in English (at least I do). The SIGMA materials need translation as well.

13th Bridal Shower for Rebeca Valiente
17th & 19th Church workdays for the wedding
17th & 18th Kaitlin and Bethany's birthdays
19th Decorate the church
20th Wedding day
21st VBS decorating and Skit practice
23rd Finish decorating for VBS
24th-28th VBS

3rd School begins (Debbie will be teaching)
7th Bible Institute begins
20th Simeon's birthday
24th-26th Scott preaching and teaching; Debbie teaching at Bible Institute in Las Piedras.

SIGMA and Ladies Bible Studies begin, though the dates are not set.
16th Nehemiah's birthday

13th-31st Trip to Israel

A Day in Montevideo and an update on Adeline.

Scott, Brandon, Adeline and I, and Rebeca Valiente all headed to Montevideo yesterday morning so we could accomplish some things before Adeline's pulmonology appointment at 7pm. Rebeca, who is from Peru, is getting married to one of the men in the church on the 20th. Her sister is on her way, from Peru, with the fabric for her dress. She will be left with less than a week to have a dress made. Need I say more? So we took Rebeca to different Bridal stores so she could look for a rental. She couldn't find anything that was modest, or for rent. So I'm sure she would appreciate your prayers for her dress to be nicely sewn this coming week.

We also had to purchase some school supplies for the upcoming school year that begins on March 3rd, if we have our Paces from the States. Our room downstairs is slowly being turned into a school room and so we also needed to by supplies for me as I will teaching/supervising my kids again. I'm not sure how I'll get everything accomplished this year, but I know I can do all things through Christ!

VBS was another thing to tick off the list. Thankfully we were able to find some great costume stuff. I still need to buy some fabric and cut out belts and bandannas for our teachers. I was able to find 4 gifts for the verse winners of the week.

Kaitlin and Bethany have birthdays coming up this week. I knew I had to find their gifts in MV as well. I did. Hope they like them.

After having lunch at McDonald's and dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant in the mall we headed to Adeline's pulmonology appointment. I can't tell you how pleased we are with this doctor. She really cares about Adeline and her health and understands that we are not totally ignorant to Adeline's asthma and allergies.

She was surprised that we had to import Adeline's medicine but completely agreed with the decision and will be talking to Astra Zeneca, the manufacturer, to ask them to import the medicine for us. If they say no, she said we can go to the ministry of the interior to get their approval for it to pass through eduana (customs). And if that fails we can try a diplomatic import through our embassy. Right now she has 3 more months of meds so we need to get another shipment ordered soon. We would appreciate your prayers for this.

As she was looking at Adeline's x-ray she turned and asked, "Was she sick when this was taken?" She wasn't, that was in the midst of her 4 month long crisis. She explained that she had a lot of mucous in her lungs that shouldn't be there, and that also concerned her.

Adeline as been told she needs to exercise for 30 mins everyday - jumping on the trampoline, running, etc. She already is very active so this won't be too hard for her. The idea is to expand her lungs to help break up the junk so she can cough it out.

She has a recheck appointment on May 7th. Before then we need to get more x-rays and another lung function test. When people with asthma inhale stomach acid they have severe asthma flare ups, so she will also have a GERD (gastro-esophogeal reflux disease) test done.

We also have a referral to another allergist. This one only sees adults but her pulmonologist thinks he will accept Adeline as a patient.

Thank you all so much for all your prayers for Adeline! And for us as we work through red tape to get her the medicine she needs for good health.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scrapbooking Resolution

With all we have had going on in the ministry there has not been much time left for anything else. Not always a good thing. I have been neglecting my hobby of digital scrapbooking which gives me an outlet of energy and allows me to express myself creatively.

As hard as it may be I'm making a New Years Resolution (in Feb) to scrap something every Monday. If I actually pull it off I could get so far on all my kids scrapbooks.

The pictures on this page were taken by our new resident photographer, Kaitlin. Scott had taken me out for a date and we stopped in at a very nice salon to have my hair done. I was trying to get pictures of my new hair-do but Silas was outside and loves to have his picture taken too. I was asking him to give me kisses he always puts his head to my lips so he gets the kiss. Little stinker! The pictures turned out very sweet even if he does play shy! Credits:
Back ground photo was turned black and white, cropped, and opacity lowered.
I used the create function in PSE 7.0 and added an effect to the background.
Word art is from R Penns Express Yourself kit
Flowers at bottom and butterflies are from Shabby Princess’ promise kit.
Frames around smaller pics are PSE custom shape tool.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Summer Camp 2009 Pictures

Kaitlin, Yanina, Morgan

Brandon and Ethan in a 3 legged race

Kaitlin. In background Melissa and Maria Eugenia.

This picture of Brandon totally cracks me up every time I see it.

Yep, he loves to swing. :-)

Ethan and Brandon siamese twins in the costume contest.

The kitchen workers - Scott, Abuelo and his wife Lidia.

Ski walking on the beach - Brandon, Ethan, Jony, Maicol. David in background.

Brandon trying to motivate his team.

Kaitlin played first piano for song services and specials. Tatiana is playing the keyboard.

Song service.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Julia is with the Lord

We just received this email from Barry Secrest about Julia:

Dear Prayer Supporters,
Thank you so much for your three months of prayer on Julia´s behalf. It was almost as if she had planned it, but three months to the exact date of the accident, Julia is with the Lord this afternoon, 9th of February, 2009. We know, of course, who planned it this way. It gave Jonathan and Ana, her children, a little time to adjust to the idea of her death. It is a blessing to see how God worked out all of these things. Now, we have a new set of prayers to raise:
1. Pray for the family in this time of grieving.
2. Pray for Jonathan, Julia´s son, as he begins his pastoral studies in March.
3. Pray that Ana, not a saved young woman, will not try to take us to court over this accident. This is a real possibility and would be hurtful to all. Jonathan and Paul will both side with Barb and I, but it would be awful to have to go through the process. Pray that God will calm her heart.
Thank you, again, for your financial and prayer support over this emergency. Everyone else is well.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The NEW Look

Back in October I was struck with some creativity and decided to update the blog header. So I spent a few hours designing a graphic art style header and closed down my Photoshop Elements and never got back around to finishing.

It's not that I forgot, it's been in the back of my mind, but you know how the holidays are. Not to mention all we've had to do in the ministry, language classes, and life in general. Add to that the ever dreaded family picture and, well, that is where it the back of my mind.

This week I have had operator error computer problems. A couple of weeks ago I realized all my passwords were the same and thought, "hmmm that's probably not too smart. " So I changed all my passwords. Did you know that it's very important to remember your Windows password? If you do, then you are one huge step ahead of me.

After having my computer inaccessible from my, uh, forgetfulness (I would call it a blonde moment but there are blondes who live here :-) I went surfing for a cure. I found one, or so I thought. Did you know that when you forget your Windows password it's better to let the experts handle it?

Ok now you're way ahead of me.

Did you also know, it's not wise to change anything important when you've been down with a stomach virus, and haven't slept well?

Wait, slow down, I can't keep up.

When I realized I couldn't enter my computer I tried to reset my password through a supposed security hole. The hole had been patched already. At the end of the attempt to hack in I found I had actually restored my computer and "lost" all my files.

I sure don't want to bore you with my, hmmm, what are some synonyms for stupid, oh yes, brainless, dim-witted and ill advised actions. So...

Back to the new blog look.

As I was looking through, and deleting doubles from files rescued by the local computer guru (Muchisimos Gracias, Pablo!!!!), I came across the old blog header and remembered my new one. So I started searching for it and couldn't find it anywhere. It turned up in the Recycle bin. No idea how. Really! Thankfully I didn't dump the trash, or this post would be much different.

After all of that the blog has a new look. The background is a free template from The Cutest Blog on the Block. The header is my creation. You'll notice a picture of me with one of the Uruguayans, Cristina, and one of Scott baptizing. The little boy drinking the mate (mah-tay) is Simeon. The flag is Uruguayan. The gateway is the entrance to the old city here in Colonia. You'll notice, too, that Uruguay is colored on the globe. I still would like to add that family picture, but, for now, I think it's just fine... especially since we still haven't taken one. I'd love to hear what you think.

Eventually I'll Blog Again...

It seems like I'm doing more prayer requests than actual blogging of late. I will have to blog about some of the happenings but until then I have some prayer requests:

Nacho - One of our teens and Brandon's friend - After being observed for several days the doctors finally performed an appendectomy. He seemed to be doing well, but has experienced some complications with his leg and is now in Montevideo.

________- After we were in Argentina in November we discovered that some things had been stolen from our house while we were gone. The thief finally confessed and returned our belongings. We have just heard there is a possibility that this person has stolen again. Please pray for them to do the right thing if indeed the news is true. Pray also that God will give them victory.

Betina - A woman in our church has been fighting off brain tumors for many years. She has been experiencing tumor growth and is set to begin chemo treatments soon. Pray for her children - Tatiana, Maicol, Eliana, Camila and Martina as I know this is very difficult for them.

Me - I have picked up a lingering stomach virus. I've been down with it now for 10 days. I like the fact that I have lost weight as a result but don't care for the pain or weakness associated with it.

Camp - On the lighter side, summer camp begins tomorrow. We would appreciate your prayers for
  • The Preacher Missionary Matt Sanders,
  • The workshop teachers, Missionary Paul Harmon and his wife JoAnna.
  • For the staff - The Chauvies, The Kechichians and Gustavo
  • The kitchen workers, Scott and Luis and Lidia Lopez.
  • Campers - Melissa, Kaitlin, Tatiana, Eliana, Yanina, Morgan, Belen, Paola, Tati, Elizabeth, Yeny, Maria Eugenia, Flavia, Lucia, Daniela, Sofia and Santiago, Brandon, Nicolas, Federico, Ethan, Seth, David, Seba, Jony, Mauricio, Lucas, Gaston, Maicol, Alvaro, Elias, Leo, Nicolas, Emiliano and Bryan.
  • For safety while traveling to camp.