Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Nate and Brad!!

We've been celebrating birthdays here for the last few days!
Brad turned 5 on Saturday...

and Nate turned 10 yesterday!
We had a birthday party for both boys on Saturday.
We started off the celebration by playing musical chairs. Even Ryan played although I don't think he had any idea what he was supposed to do :)

Next we bobbed for apples (Nate wanted to do this! I had some difficulty finding nice apples and I had to filter all the water in case the kids drank some of it.) Only Nate and Kris had ever tried it before, but all the kids succeeded in getting an apple using only their teeth....actually, I notice that Ryan is in the picture and, although he did try it, he never got an apple :) He likes to be a part of everything!

Nate easily got his apple on the first try!

Then we divided into two teams and did an obstacle course-all with some of Wilf's clothes on!! It was very cute to see the little guys with the large clothes on.

Conner trying to pop a balloon.

The birthday boy with his spoon of beans, racing to the finish line!

Finally it was time for cake!
It was quite funny because, without realizing it, I had bought candles that keep relighting!! The boys had a very difficult time blowing them out...and getting them to stay out!
And of course we had to have a pinata. Nate picked out this huge dog pinata and the kids all had a great time wacking at it.

We are so thankful to the Lord for our children and we are reminded of that again as we celebrate these milestones with them. We are really enjoying the extra time we have to spend with the kids this year. It is exciting for us to celebrate birthdays in G. this year and think about where we may be for these events next year.... :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Last week we had to return to the city to renew our visas. On Tuesday we went to the nearby city of Antigua. It is about an hour drive from the city. The drive is very beautiful, and the city is really colonial. It was built in the 1500's and originally it was the capital city of the country.
Unlike the town where we live, the central park is very pretty!
The city is in a valley surrounded by mountains as well as three volcanoes. The pictures above and below show two of the three. There is smoke coming out of the volcano on the left.

There are a lot of old buildings in the city. My Dad would like this city and the old architecture :)(we hope to visit Antigua again with my Mom and Dad when they come to visit).

Above is the remains of an old Catholic church and monestery. Below is the "newer" Catholic church that is still in use.

All of the streets in the city are cobblestone-a bit of a rough ride for Lauren. Thankfully, she didn't seem to mind :) Other than the old buildings, a major tourist attraction are the artisan shops. There are a lot of them in Antigua! It was fun to look at all the beautiful and very colorful things they make.
We had a great family outing, and we thank the Lord for this opportunity to see new places!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pressing On

We were not sure how many people would come to church this Sunday after the difficulties of last week. The above picture is our walk to church. We live very close by and can easily walk over for the services. The church is the pale yellow building. (another time I will post of pictures of the front of the church.)
The group for Sunday school this morning was definitely much smaller then usual, but we were very thankful for those who came. We adjusted the Sunday school classes a bit, then immediately following Sunday school, we had a mainly Spanish worship service, with a translation of the message in Achi. The encouraging part was that everyone stayed for the worship service! In the past, all of the young people and a lot of the town people would go home because the morning service was only in Achi. Sunday evening there is a service in Spanish, but very few people attend it.

And so, with strength and wisdom from the Lord, we press on in the work before us. Thank you to those who are praying for the church here.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Recent Events

I thought I would start off this post with this beautiful rose! It is blooming right outside our front door. Often I miss beauty like this because it was the only bloom on a large bush. But isn't it awesome how God made so many beautiful things for us to enjoy....when we take the time to look?
This bunch of bananas had fallen from the banana tree in our yard. We have them hanging by our front door now until they are ready to be eaten.

Last Thursday, the Regional Committee met in our yard. The Regional Committee is made up of the obreros (Bible teachers) as well as a few others. Nico is sitting at the end of the table and the man in the center is Pastor Ken. Pastor Ken was the pastor of the church here for about ten years. He is now working in a seminary about an eight hour drive from here. He came to help out with a difficult situation in the church. After lengthy disscussion (they met all day long!), the committee wrote a letter to an elder in the church stating that he was no longer qualified to teach in the church or lead as an elder.
It was a very tiring day for everyone. The letter was delivered and we are very sad to report that it is most likely that the church will have a split. We are not sure how many people will leave, but it was a painful day here for many.

After the morning church service, some members of the church met in our yard to pray together. We ask for your prayers as we continue to work through these difficult days and begin to rebuild the church. We praise God for the confidence that we have knowing that He directs even these things.
"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation,
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life,
of whom shall I be afraid?"
Psalm 27:1