Monday, August 17, 2009

Last Post

I know this is very slow in coming! I really meant to finish off this blog on our last night in Cubulco. We had a busy day packing and I finally had all the tired, super excited kids tucked in bed, when the power went out! Sadly it never came on before we left the next morning. We flew home the next day and ever since then I have been meaning to post...but time keeps slipping away from me!
It was very strange to pull up this blog again. In many ways the past year seems like a blur and we have slipped back into life here. Wilf is busy working with the migrant workers, something he has done every summer for the past six years. Some of the kids have grown up a bit, but most faces look wonderfully the same. We are happy to be home again, but we thank the Lord so much for the opportunity we had to live in Cubulco. The Lord was, and continues to be very good!
Wilf has been in contact with some of the church members in Cubulco recently and they are pressing on. There is a possibility they may get a pastor in a couple of months. We pray that the Lord will provide for them.
We are thankful for the way the Lord continues to provide for us. We were able to rent this beautiful home from my aunt and uncle for the coming year. Wilf will continue working with the migrant workers-not only Mexicans, but more and more Guatemalans as well. One farm in the area employs 100 Guatemalans on two year contracts!
Thanks for joining us on our Guatemalan journey! We are so thankful for those who remembered our family in prayer. Our journey continues and we ask you to continue to pray for us! Last night we had a great service with about 60 men attending (and a few women!). The plan is to continue the work throughout the coming year-something new for the people here and for us! Please pray for strength and wisdom and the Lord's blessing on this great opportunity.
May the Lord bless you as you serve Him!

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless before the presence of His
glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Jude 25

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day...and the week before!

Happy Father's Day!!
We are very thankful for the Dad in our home. The kids worked hard to make booklets for Wilf.

(We do have five children! Lauren was in her highchair eating her breakfast already :))

After church, we had Odilia and her two daughters over for dinner as well as two little girls that came to visit Kristen. Everyone enjoys looking at the slide shows Wilf has put together.

Every Saturday morning, the kids and I walk to the market. The kids like to come along because I always buy them a 1 Q popsicle (less then $0.20), and they also like to ride home in a tuktuk. A tuktuk is a small, red, three wheeled vehicle that taxis people around town. It is great fun to ride in! Our tuktuk driver this past Saturday was very friendly so I dared to ask him if we could take a picture!

We were very thankful this week that we could buy a watermelon! It is very surprising, but it is often difficult to get fruit here. Cubulco does not have a lot of locally grown fruit and because the town is small and at the end of the road, not many people come to sell here. Last Saturday we didn't get any fruit, so we were pretty excited about our watermelon this week!
Lauren loves fruit! Usually I cut it into pieces for her, but this time I thought I would see how she did with a whole piece. She got very messy, but she had a marvelous time with it!

The boys found this creative way to avoid spilling on themselves :).

The kids and I had a quiet week. As I mentioned in my last post, the schools are all cancelled. We were thankful that we were permitted to have services today at least.
After all the excitement of having friends at school every day and then at home too, it is good for our own kids to learn to play together again. I'm also thankful for the opportunity to finish off our homeschooling!
Kristen had a wonderful time playing that Lauren was her "baby". She dressed her up, did her hair, got all her accessories and played with her outside. It was fun until Lauren refused to co-operate. A doll is a little more obedient!

Our week seemed extra quiet because Wilf and Nate were gone from early Tuesday morning until Thursday noon. They went and visited three of the five aldean churches. Nate was excited to go along becuase he has now been to all five churches!
Just outside of the one village is this beautiful swimming hole. It gets pretty hot hiking in the mountains, so the water feels great!

One of the obreros, Juan, with his wife and kids. Their church building is right behind them.

Tomorrow we head into our last week here! It seems amazing that we are almost finished, and yet home and family seem very far away. Wilf is headed out to visit the other two aldean churches this week, accompanied by Nate and Kris. It is difficult for Wilf to say good-bye to the people he has come to know and appreciate, and it is sad for them to see him go!
We pray that they will continue faithfully in the work of the Lord.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

This and That

Los Encuentros
There are a lot of villages up in the mountains around Cubulco. Some are quite small and I suppose can hardly be called a village! Los Encuentros is one such village. Three brothers and their families who live close together on a mountainside, recently approached Ken about getting a teacher for their community. Their children normally had to hike a few kilometres to the nearest school, however, during the rainy months of the year the size of a large river between them and the school makes the trip impossible. Ken hired this young man to teach the kids! He spends four days of the week there.

The trip to the village is beautiful, but rugged. After an hour in the car, it is a two hour hike, crossing several rivers. The river nearest to the village is the largest and the people have built a raft out of gourds to ferry people across. Wilf choose to swim :)

At first, the school met in one of the houses. When the rains came, members of Los Encuentros, as well as members of some of the other churches, put together their money and built this building. The government donated some desks, and they were all set!
(keep in mind that all the desks, wood, sheet metal etc. had to be carried the two hours to the village!)

The students!
Cheese Making
A few days ago, Wilf and I went over to Odilia's house (a lady in our church) to make mountain cheese. Mountain cheese is really delicious with tortillas! Wilf and I are hoping to buy some of the enzyme tablets needed to make it and try our hand at it when we get home!
In the picture above, Wilf and Odilia are warming the cheese with their hands to consolidate it.

Squeezing out the whey.

Kneading in the salt! Wilf is now an expert :)

Ryan came along and played with Odilia's granddaughter.
Odilia and her family are fairly well off (compared to most people here). However, her husband drinks a lot and her children don't show much interest in church.
Centro de Educacion

Another project Ken started is the after-school Bible program-or Centro de Educacion, as it is called here. Our kids have been going three three days a week since the beginning of June. They really loved it! For three hours, they would do singing, crafts, and games.
Unfortunately, all schools and educational programs have been cancelled until July 1st becuase of the influenza pandemic! We are so disappointed. It means that our last two weeks here will be pretty quiet!

Kristen's friend from school also came to the Bible program!

Ken hired three teachers to run the program. Vilma (pictured above with Kris) is the "lady in charge"...I'm not sure what her official title is :)

We were very sad that the schools were cancelled because it meant the kids had no playmates for the next two weeks! So far though, Kris's friends have been dropping by almost every day and a large group of Nate's classmates stopped by yesterday as well. I suspect our trampoline is a BIG draw....

Although she isn't fluent, Kris manages to get by quite well with these girls! Nate and Brad rarely speak Spanish and seem to know only words used during a soccer game! :) We suspect they know more than they let on!
Pool time
The pool is very warm right now and we make it over there almost every afternoon to cool off before dinner. The kids can stay in for hours! It is great to see them improving so much.
Ryan loves his waterwings and I love to watch him swim!
Above he is preparing for a dive....
And away he goes!

And so the days fill up and pass by! We are thankful to the Lord as well for the class Wilf taught the obreros over the past three days. It was a really great opportunity to talk about the future of their churches and their plans to continue on and further their work. Wilf has plans to visit all the aldeas once more in the next two weeks and the kids and I plan to finish up our school!
Please continue to pray for our family and the work here!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Good-bye Nico and Lia!

After living and working here for almost ten years, Nico and Lia have moved back to Canada. The last few weeks have been very busy for them! They've had many visits from people very sad to see them leave. They were so busy that I don't even have a chance to take a good picture of Nico and Lia together! However, the kids are also very important, and we did get some pictures of them :). The church organized a good-bye service for Nico and Lia. Of course they served tamales!
Early Saturday morning, the ladies meet at Froilan and Rosa's house (a wonderful couple! Froilan is an obrero for the church), and got to work. They made 400 tamales!!
I don't know the whole process, but I know it takes a LOT of time. I asked one of the ladies if she enjoyed making them and she said that she doesn't usually, but she made these joyfully, from her heart, for Nico and Lia.

After they wrapped the cornflour and chicken mixture in the banana leaves, they are ready to cook them!

They carefully stack this large pot full, add a bit of water, and let it cook for hours.
Nate loves to help out in this part of the process!

Froilan and Rosa invited the missionary families to join them all for lunch. It was really delicious, and very kind of them when they were all so busy! Rosa and her daughter working in their kitchen. Both are very godly ladies and we are so thankful for their faithful service in the church.

Lia's mom has spent a lot of time with Lia and Nico in Cubulco. In fact, we think, that with all her visits over the years (some visits were rather lengthy), she may have spent more time here then I have! As a result, she is well know and loved by many people in town as well!

Maria came from her new job in the city to say good-bye.
My only contribution to all the work the ladies were doing was to help with the dishes. They have a very different method of doing dishes though and I suspect that Maria was laughing at me the whole time....

That evening, the church was full! Many people came from the aldeas, as well as from town.
Nico and Lia have worked faithfully here for almost ten years, and it is difficult and sad for people to see them leave.

Monday evening, they left for the city and today they flew home!

We also, were sad to see them go, but thankful for the year that we could work here together. May God bless them as they continue to serve Him!