Will has always slept with his arms up like this and now we have noticed Ellis doing it a lot too.
I learned from Judy (Ellis' Grandmother) that more family from the Hawk side sleep like this as well.
Ellis is about 2 weeks in these pictures:)
I got to hear two amazing testimonies today….one from the Pastor at the church we work at and one from a translator we work with. The Pastor’s was more of a story about how the Lord healed his two boys and Gilbert’s, the translator, was more about his entire life and how he ended up where he is today. It blessed me to hear amazing stories about God’s glory.
My feet reached a new low today, looking fatter than ever. It is gross looking, but it is worth it. Thought you might enjoy a picture...the strap lines are from crocs (you know the shoes that are lose, lightweight, and comfortable)
I asked one of our youth leaders this week if he packed bug spray, he said yes but that it normally takes ten days after rain for mosquitoes to come out…..HA! I didn’t say anything, but in my head I was sooo thinking…you are in for a rude awakening. Sure enough tonight they were out in full force. I’m talking swarms right when we stepped out of the house. We park our car as closely to the door and then run to wherever we are going. It is bad again, but we have a finish line this time.
At Living Water I taught a little boy (8 yrs. old) name Juan to throw away his trash. He kept coming back to me wanting more water. I told him that I saw him and his friends throwing the cups down in the park and it upset me. He brought back one of the cups and I refilled it. Then I had a mini lesson with him about making the park beautiful and not trashing it, etc. The next time he came up to me he had trash in his hands and he wanted to show me that he was collecting it and throwing it away. He did this several times and each time I praised him and gave him a high five. He also helped me fill water cups and was really receptive to my English praises. I showed him the book in the Bible named Juan (it was a Spanish Bible) and we read Juan 3:16 together….fun times! Pray for him if you think about it, his friends picked on him for doing the right thing.
The scorpion count is now at 11, by the way. This one was large and it was in our pantry. Will knocked it out and we took a picture of it.
When the groups were loading up on the bus today, Pastor Vazquez and his wife asked to speak with Will and myself. We had a translator and they said they wanted to bless us on our last day at the church with them, we of course told them that they were already a huge blessing and that was not necessary. They said they wanted to and that God put it on their hearts. So Thursday at snack time they are going to bless us with a special surprise. I think it involves food for Will, me, and the group. I am excited to see what it is:)
We asked Gilbert, the amazing, godly translator, to make us a piñata for a coming home party Will and I have decided to throw ourselves. I won’t tell you what it is, but it is very representative of Mexico. By the way Gilbert makes piñatas for a living; AIM helped him start his own shop, so now everyone who wants a piñata goes to him. Oh and he can make a mean piñata, I’m talking the size of a six year old.
Almost 50 people got sick last night. We think it had something to do with the food. It was not a fun morning for Will, being the head PF of a lot of sick people…he had a lot of fires to put out.
Will misses his friends tremendously and I am growing bitter about Mexico and the youth leaders/group. So if you could please for us in that department….we want to be tools for the kingdom until the very last second we are here.
~Last week, we had a really cool group…..an amazing group…they were fun and on top of it. Their youth leader guy, the wacky crazy game maker upper type was named Steve. Steve was a gifted financial planner and the Vice President of a big nation wide company. He sat down with Will and me and gave us bundles of information…..really good stuff…..Will can not wait to get home and start on all of his advice. So Jon, if you need help, we are pretty much experts now. The best thing about it was that he gave us a missionary/young couple discount…free! Praise God for such a random and wonderful blessing.
~Damage from the hurricane is pretty darn horrible. Not necessarily here, but definitely in Matamoros and in Texas. We took some pictures of the water here and will try to post them, when the internet allows. The worst part here so far is the water has sewage in it. Grosso! The water smells really bad and is no fun to be around…I am trying so hard to avoid it because I’m preggo. The houses around here are flooded pretty badly still. Will and I got stuck coming down our driveway a total of two times, not that bad overall….and our boss came to the rescue both times.
~We picked up our car from the states yesterday, only one little bit of damage. I rock flew up and hit the wind shield…we already knew about that, because it happened while Will was driving through the hurricane to park our car in the states. So Praise God.
~We got power in our house on Thursday night, so things started smelling better and feeling better late Thursday. Praise God for AC, and pray for people that have wet houses with no fresh air.
~South Texas still does not have power, so pray for them please….that is a long time for spoiled Americans to not have power. Wal-Mart opened back up yesterday; Will and I did a late night run for some groceries.
~Today, several of our staff members did Living Water in the states to the hurricane victims. Will and I did not go because Will was in charge of getting 140 people in to Mexico….wow what a day.
~Saturday: We left a little early to go to the states to get some cash and what not and then met the group and crossed them over. Every drop off day and pick up day never run smoothly….there is something about getting lots of people in Mexico out and in that never goes just right….we are used to it now, but it is still a little stressful.
~My birthday was fun….it was a long day and poor Judy caught me at the very end of the day right before we reached the border, where we did not have enough change to cross over….he let us go. Anyways it was a good day, just long and hurricane things make life stressful and annoying. We started the day by crossing over our group at 6:30 in the morning and ended up taking them to another city because of airports being closed and power not being on, etc. Then we went to Chick-Fil-A and ate….drum roll please….a chicken biscuit…it was a great birthday gift. We met up with our staff and did our debrief activity for the summer and took a boat ride. It was fun, relaxing, and a nice final debrief for the summer. Then we went to our bosses’ house in Texas had a brief meeting, got gas, went to Wal-Mart and came home! Needless to say: I am a happy 24 year old. Tired and pregnant, but happy.
~Rei is peeing blood, and we (being insane dog lovers) are sorta freaking out. I think we will be going to a vet here in Matamoros as soon as possible---please pray for that situation, if you think it is silly to pray for a dog, then pray for us or the vet…thanks.
~Ellis is still a movin’ and a shakin’….I am still in awe of this!
~We leave in LESS THAN A WEEK---wow---it is crazy to think…we are sad it is over and happy it is over if you know what I mean.
~Thanks for the Birthday cards and messages on facebook, etc.
~Pray for Will please: he is Head PF this week, so it should be pretty intense.
~I am going to have to take off my ring soon, I took off my big engagement ring earlier this summer, just because I felt a little in your face American with it on, but now my fat fingers do not like even the band…maybe after I leave Mexico they will go back down.
~Yay God---William feels like God has totally answered his prayer as far as getting him ready to go back in to ministry. He is sad to leave Mexico and his job description/ministry here, but at the same time, he is pumped about getting started at CrossPointe.Final Note: This blog and the posting of this blog (it took like a thousand tries to get internet...i hate clicking on that refresh button) are dedicated to Jon.
I have almost completed the necessary steps toward creating an ark. The gopher would was a bit hard to find so I did the best I could. We are currently at approximately 1.5 ft. of rainwater which is great on keeping the heat low [70’s or 80’s], but not so great on driving, running, walking, or humidity. We had water coming in through the door of the house during the storm. The streets look like rivers and we make a wake as we drive. In the event that the ark doesn’t hold up… I’m currently working on a new device "Rocket Cleats” I call them. With these shoes I will be able to travel in this muggy environment without “tracking in” or turning my car into a pig pen.
Blueprints to follow, but the copyrights mine!
So Will can now say he has lived on a lake….a big lake, bigger than Beaver Run. He can say that his wife, himself, and his two dogs lived on a lake; or should I say lived in a lake.
Ellis can now say he survived a hurricane in Mexico.
I can now say I was pregnant in Mexico during hurricane Dolly.
Her name is cute, but take it from me, she wasn’t pretty at all. Will and I spent most of the day in the closet and came out for breakfast and dinner. One hard part about the storm was that I was in charge of 40 or so participates. The youth leaders looked to me for guidance and on how bad it actually was going to be. It was hard to lead and to not know. I was worried for myself and Ellis, but also needed to give the groups attention. The other PFs and I met together and came up with an indoor schedule for everyone yesterday. We had a talent show, a movie (thanks Harrison’s-we used Facing the Giants), prayer time, etc. Will drove our car to the states, because we do not have coverage in Mexico. We should hear how his car is soon (say a prayer). We ended up parking a big school bus in front of the dining hall to block the wind from hitting the doors and windows. It lasted from about five in the morning to at least until Will and I went to bed, which was about 1:00/1:30 am. So it was a long day.
Today we woke up to a lot of what we expected, maybe worse. Still no power (cold showers/muggy fill to the house/dark/etc.), on the way to our staff meeting, we got stuck in our own driveway. It looks like a lake, just one big lake. Our house had a little flooding, but all day yesterday, all night, and most of the morning today Will has continually been sweeping it out….so it is drying up now and we have the windows cracked. Our groups today are cleaning up the property (replacing doors, nailing back down roofs, putting things back where they go, cutting up fallen trees, etc.) They are also helping local people in our ejido….sadly they are in bad shape….we can’t help a lot because the water level is still too high…there is no where is sweep the water and we can’t stand back up houses or outhouses because it is still too wet….so we are doing what we can. Will is sorta on the brink of going nuts…..he lives with three girls…one is pregnant, who started the day by slipping and almost falling to the ground, one is on her period and is not being bashful about it, and the other (Rei) is sick….so he has his hands full! We might need to take Rei to the doctor tomorrow. One more interesting thing, the water that is surrounding our house is not guaranteed poop free. When it rains this much the septic tank overflows and mixes with the rain water.....this makes it challenging for a pregnant lady!
Pray for us please….it is almost Friday…we can have a short break and then another group!
Review from the week:
Tuesday: I did living water and met two very cool guys, the first Will wrote about in the blog called “Javier Loves Jesus”. The second, was another man who I sat next to for a while and had a good convo. He spoke some English and I spoke some Spanish so it was a decent convo. He was not a practicing Christian, so I was able to give him a bible, etc.
Wednesday: One of our groups had the desire to see “extreme poverty” so we as a staff worked it out to take them to some houses by the dump. If you came to Mexico last year, you know how it was “hell on earth” probably comes to mind. So I went with a group of about 35 folks to the dump. I sent them off to do living water, home visits, sports evangelism, and prayer walking. I decided to just stay on the bus…for several reasons really: 1. You can not lock a bus (poverty has a correlation with robbery), 2. The closer you get to the dump the more flies and the stronger the toxic waste smell, both of which I didn’t think were the ideal environment for a pregnant lady to be in (on the bus was bad, but I knew walking through it would be worse), 3. I am trying harder to take it easy these days (Will is stressing about my health, and I promised him I would be fine, so I didn’t want to push it)…..Anyways, so I sat on the bus for an hour and half….but I was not alone. I couldn’t sleep…it was too dangerous and the flies were too bad….so I was just sitting there. About five minutes in a little girl appeared and she wanted to talk. About two minutes later her older brother appeared. It was so unique, three people….a 23 year old English speaking American, an 8 year old girl who lived in a dump in Mexico, and her 12 year old brother who also lived in a dump. God blessed me with an amazing time. We struggled through conversations and we sang and we had a big English/Spanish lesson. I gave the girl, Alma, a necklace and the boy a bracelet. They knew about Jesus and how he died on the cross for them, they knew he lived in heaven. We sat for a long time with my notebook and a pen….I would draw a picture and they would tell me or write for me the name of it in Spanish….then I would write it in English. They enjoyed this and we did it for a while. I wish I would have saved 1 sheet to remember the special time with those kids, but I gave them to her. There were moments when we didn’t talk, but it wasn’t awkward, just peaceful. I saw beauty come from the dump Wednesday. What broke my heart the most was when Alma described how bad it stunk in her house; she lived right on the outside of the dump. Wednesday ended with another wonderful carnival, thanks to God and Will. We went and got a bus full of kids and the bus got stuck (still muddy from the rain), but a friend named Jose Deer (John Deer) came to our rescue.Thursday: Pretty average day….we went out and worked in the colonia. We have had a great time at our new church so far and we love the Pastor and his family. They are super folks with some amazing testimonies of God’s healing power. Did I already write that when Will talked to him the first day, he said he had never talked with an American before? How cool is that? He is very energetic and loves to preach.
Friday (today): Will had a run at 7:30 and then again at 10:30. I am here at the house now and I am about to take a group as well. I am hoping to swing by and get an American meal while out, but not so sure about that one. Tonight we are going to a karaoke restaurant here in Matamoros and then come home and prepare for next week.
Upcoming week: I am the PF and Will is the PM for a group from North Carolina and Delaware. It should be great, but still pray!
Thanks for reading, praying, and being our friends---Karan Anne
ONE LAST ANNOUNCEMENT: VERA IS OFFICIALLY A WOMAN! SHE IS HAVING SOME MILD PMS, BUT NOTHING TOO BAD:) NOW WE JUST HOPE TO KEEP HER AWAY FROM ANY CONDITIONS SIMILAR TO HER MOTHER. WE ARE NOT LOOKING TO BRING HOME THAT KIND OF SOUVENIR.
He spoke English, which was refreshing and helpful. He used to live in Georgia, but the Lord told him to go back to Mexico. He has been asked to translate for other pastors and missionaries before, and that has brought some really cool opportunities his way. When the Lord told him to come to Mexico, it meant giving up American life…where we have nice things…he had a car, running (drinkable) water, his children were getting a good education…….but because the Lord told him….he followed….on a side note the Lord had to step in when it came to getting his wife to come back to Mexico….we wives can be stubborn and really get in the way of the Lord’s work, if we are not careful. Anyways back to why he is cool: He has met President George Bush, yes that’s right….he spoke at the Mexican prayer breakfast two days after 9/11. He also got asked to be a part of this huge prayer convention thing…..he went in 2002….but the next year when they asked him…he declined, because the Lord told him not to go….stay in Mexico…..that meant giving up a lot…. $5,000….a chance to hang out with people like Billy Graham, a stay in America, etc. I got the chance to take Pastor Salvador to the Soriana (like a Super Wal-Mart) to pick up some caulk stuff to patch up leaks in the church roof. I told him that I had twenty dollars and that I would like to bless him with it, so he could buy a treat or something for his wife or himself. He asked if I meant groceries or what….I told him it could be peanut butter or shoes or anything he wanted---it was his $20.00. He bought necessity items…things to survive. In the middle of the meat department he stopped me and had a heart to heart conversation. He told me that a few days before Will and I came, his wife was starting to get really upset and lose trust in the Lord. He told me that some people do not have food because they are too lazy to cook, but that his wife and himself had only water in the fridge (literally)….he told his wife to trust in the Lord and that the Lord promises to provide for his people. He was about to go out of town for a few days to translate, there he would have 3 meals a day and a place to stay, etc. So his wife was basically upset that he was going and leaving her with no money and no food and he was going to have food, etc. I am trying to be brief! He told her again that the Lord would provide and he asked her to please not make him feel guilty about going to translate for the revival. Well anyway the happy part is, that day we brought with us $300.00 for construction on the church, he got paid $200.00 for translating later that day (so he left that money with his wife and they went and bought groceries), and then the offering the Sunday that we were there came to about $160.00 (we had a very generous group), and then he told me, “and now you are here giving us more grocery money”. He said, “The Lord does provide; more than we could ask!”….he said he had enough to pay his bills and eat.
There are many more things I could mention about him; those are literally just a few reasons out of a lot of reasons why he is so cool!
Thanks for reading , Karan Anne
This was by far both the most rewarding and most difficult week yet! KA and I had more go on in these few days than in the others combined (or so it feels). For example…
I took a group and tore down and burned a house. We wrapped rope around it and pulled it with a truck. AWESOME!
There was a city wide power outage in which we were included which meant no AC. Fortunately, it was only stifling outside and we slept in a sauna of our own sweat. One of our AC’s is still down.
KA is sick, and according to her the worst yet of her pregnancy. She has a very soar throat and a raspy voice. Please, Please pray for her. She is going to get to rest for about 48 hours thankfully. We’re calling the doctor as well.
I was asked to perform a baptismal service with Eliezar (a translator) for 2 girls on work crew. One of them told me that the Lord put me one her heart as the one to baptize her. It was beautiful: small pond, sunset, worship in the background.
KA is 5 months pregnant as of this past Wednesday. We can tell because her tummy is bigger , sleeping is tougher, and her belly button is almost flat. El Grosso!
KA is 5 months pregnant as of this past Wednesday. We can tell because her tummy is bigger , sleeping is tougher, and her belly button is almost flat. El Grosso!
We have been using fabric softener not detergent until a few days ago. It was in Spanish.
KA got to have her picture taken with a Mexican clown who came to minister to the kids at our site. It was very cool and he shared with them about Christ.
Got a camera enjoy the pictures.
Please keep us in prayer, We love you all dearly.