Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday was great. It’s getting hard knowing how many goodbye’s are on the way, but at the same time we’re ecstatic to be heading home. I’m going to miss a number of our staff and translators. But most of all I think I’m going to miss Pastor Vazquez. We have built a very close relationship considering the language barrier and our 3 week time together. The group this week is interesting. I enjoy the leadership opportunities that are presented, especially the difficulties which I’ve begun to appreciate as they lead to so much growth. Indeed, we have had a large number of hurdles to overcome. There is only 1 church this week. They brought 120 people from their 700 member youth group – crazy! It makes me sad though to see leaders working beside kids whose names they don’t even know. We’ve started packing.
Wednesday was of course carnival day. And seeing as the big tent was taken down for the hurricane and not replaced we were going to have to make adjustments. I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. We had over 60 Mexican’s join us, which is huge and the carnival ran quite smoothly. I spent time with Gabrielle (a translator who is Eliezar’s brother) cooking chicken for almost 200 on a grill built out of an old propane canister (it’s huge). I was able to have a 5 minute convo with a Mexican over dinner tonight without a translator! It’s amazing how much language God has blessed me to learn in this short time. In addition, Luc and her two children and another prostitute were able to come tonight for the carnival and cookout. While this may be a little much I think it is important to share that the ministry to the prostitutes is continuing to grow and bless. (I will try to be sensitive) Tonight Luc’s boss did not require us to pay him for the time she spent at the carnival, which is basically unheard of. Please continue praying for this ministry.
KA went to the States today on her 2nd day off of the summer with some friends as well as the market and Soriana (Like Walmart) and had a blast. We are packing, planning, and praying. Oh, and 1 more thing Ellis is on the move. I have been able to “hang” with him tonight as he responded to my voice and gave KA some tummy kicks.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
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.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
~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.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
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!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday---Awesome day! We started by leading the Concert of Prayer, Will taught and I did a prayer activity. Later on, I did living water (my favorite thing to do these days). I talked with a Muslim man from India, who spoke Spanish and has probably read more of the bible than I have. He was well read and knew a lot about religion, so I helped my group go more of a testimony route in the conversation, than a “no Jesus is the true Son of God, not Muhammad”. Also three people got saved, which is funny…this is why: When I was reviewing with my group things about Living Water, I jokingly and sarcastically said, oh and last time I was here 1 person got saved, no pressure….they jokingly replied….oh yeah well our groups the best group ever so we’re gonna save 3 people …..they did…well God did:) Cool Stuff! VBS was good, but please pray more people show up, our numbers dropped from 40 last week, to 15 this week.
So yeah, a bird pooped on my head today….you would be proud I responded in a very non-debutante way and a very mission trip leader way. I just calmly asked a girl to pour some water on my head. The weird thing was that at my earliest break I came home and got a shower, but then on the way home…in the car…I felt a very powerful sting, I reached up and smack my head….I killed a mosquito and then pulled it’s nasty/bloody dead body out of my hair….needless to say I had Will rinse my hair again when I got home.
Praise God: Will got to feel Ellis today, we were in the middle of our staff meeting and I just knew Will could probably feel it on the outside, so I put his hand on my belly and then he got to feel him move twice….I have wanted that for him for a while now, and he has really wanted to also….so it was a joyous occasion!
Thanks K.A.-----keep praying, God is in no way wrapping things up for us!
A Note from Will –
I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing our notes and packages are. I have never felt more encouraged in my life. I have been reading a lot of Paul’s letters it seems and in them he describes the way his church (family, loved ones) is treating him. 2 Corinthians 9 mainly. They refused to take care of him, refused to support or even recognize his ministry and yet he kept going. He sacrificed all that a few, even one would come to know the Lord. What a blessing it is to be in the exact opposite position. Family, friends, our church, and other loved ones have supported us more than we could ever have hoped for or imagined. And you may not realize how paramount your support is…it is crucial to the ministry here. You are indeed co-ministers to the participants from all over the country and especially the people of Matamoros. Thank you for being the Church of God living and active amidst a culture of complacency.
Friday, July 18, 2008
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.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Recently Karan Anne ran into a very interesting man while out on a Living water ministry block. Living water is a ministry in which we give out purified water to those around us (supermarket, open air market, bus stop, etc.) and while doing so share life with them and ask if we can pray for them. While she was out she met a man named Javier. He came up to Karan Anne and began speaking to her in Spanish while pointing and gesturing toward her tummy. Finally, after trying to understand for a bit, KA took him to a translator and found out that he was speaking prophesy over our son. He would speak and then pray...speak and then pray. He basically said that he loves God and then told her that the son she is waiting to have will be a great blessing to her and that he would be in the ministry. Of course KA hadn't even told him she was having a son at the time. Pretty amazing stuff when God works in such cool ways. Oh, and he gave KA a banana and a popsicle. Thought you'd love that story. ~Will
P.S. from K.A.: We talked for a while about other stuff too, this prophesy part just happened to be right off the bat....You can pray for this....He was sad that his family did not believe in the Lord/have a relationship with Lord like he did.....I gave him some encouragement and then I prayed for him and his family. One more thing---how cute is his hat?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Yesterday was our first big ministry day at our new church. It went pretty good, Will and I had a few kinks with translators, transportation, a dead phone, forgetting the bibles, etc....but looking at the big picture it was a pretty successful day. On our first day of VBS, 40 kids showed up, so that was cool:) The group did an awesome job at VBS, so it was a good start...in other words they were good enough to make the kids want to come back. During the first and second ministry block Will went with a living water group, it was a God led time...they handed out water to folks working out in the sun, emergency room folks, bus stop folks (even the bus drivers), and people in the colonia. I hung around the church with a spanish speaking family (I am getting better at handling conversations by myself...I can talk pretty good) the first block and when folks came back to refill on water I served as an encourager, etc. During the second block I helped guide the VBS group.
Last night Will and I went to the Wal-Mart in Matamoros and then we crossed over to the states and went to that Wal-Mart and then to Target.......looking for....bug spray...three groups wanted some really badly so we went on a hunt. Everywhere was sold out completely, except Target, and now they are in case you are wondering. On a side note, going to Target was incredible and made me want to be home real bad.....Even after living in this culture and seeing what I see on a daily basis, I still have American shopping habits, which I am not proud of....maybe God will change me....maybe I am changed, but I just still have the urge to buy a purse that I don't need....I don't know! Anyways, we got the bug spray, along with some groceries and what not and then came back for our meeting.
1. The staff we work with are still awesome, we love them and have become a family.
2. I got new ice cream last night:) It is fat free and I like it!
3. Will bought new shoes....his others (2 pair) were literally rotting and mildew fungusy ish.
4. We have 2 and half more weeks here and then we can see everyone in Columbus. This is the longest we have ever been away.
5. Ellis is alive and moving!
6. William has had great opportunities to lead, to teach, and to be still, which has prepared him to re-enter into a ministerial type of position back home. This was a big prayer request of his.
7. The dogs are happy campers....Vera is currently black because she swims so much and rolls in the mud.
8. Our group has had further contact with Luc (the prostitute) and we are trying to work it out that she can come to our ejido for dinner and that her kids could come here all day and hang out.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
1 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
5 You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Today, Sunday, was great. We went to our new church with our huge group. Will took them to the market this morning and then to church. I left at noon with the food. The church service was great....very passionate and it included the pastor's testimony....on a side not anyone who dare comment on the tempature of the sancuary (or auditorium for all the CrossPointe folks) should come to Mexico for one church service....that'll shut you up:) Will had a very good conversation with the pastor and he was greatly blessed by his story. The pastor told Will that he had never had a conversation with an American before, that tripped Will out ofcourse...me too.....it is weird to think we are representing America to this man, his family and his church....but we will try to do our best! We came back and trained them on the upcoming week, ate dinner, and now Will is leading them in an additional training.....then we will have a staff meeting and be done for the day. Will wants to watch a boot leg copy of Iron Man later on tonight so he is looking forward to that.
If you are the praying type: Please pray for the masquitoes to die, I can't describe how bad they are here at the Gateway....just to try to paint the picture...we sleep with a fan on full blast, not because we are hot, but because we feel like they will not land on us, when we step outside of our house...we step in to hundreds of them.....it is like a cartoon they are swarming all around us...they are fat and slow, so they are easier to kill, but gross because blood goes everywhere.... Do you get the picture.....So please pray, that would be great!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
~We got really good mail, getting comments on the blog is very exciting and getting emails is too. We also adore opening up the envelope from our friends each week and reading a kind or funny note from all of them....but the good ol' fashion snail mail was a sweet and unexpected blessing this week. We got banana bread, we got baby clothes, we got cute letters from all of our favorite girls,etc. It was a fun blessing to receive:)
~I shaved my legs with new shaving cream from the Hawks.....the little things go a long way here.
~We ate at Olive Garden yesterday, then our boss cooked a yummy dinner for the staff last night (Will and I taught them the elephant game and we played that for a while--fun), and this morning (Sat.) we met at 8:30 and had a nice time of prayer and then he cooked for us again......sadly food is really important to me. I'll blame it on the pregnancy while I can!
~Will found a new video game that he really likes and had time to play it last night and maybe some more time today.
~I felt Ellis move everyday:)
~We got a great report at the doctor's office and God answered our prayers and let us know the sex of our baby.
~We got rain....maybe too much of it, but it was good.
Some rather interesting things from this past week:
~I have come to the conclusion that Rei and Mexico make a rather unique pair.....Things like...Rei has way more eye buggers here.
~A couple of nights ago Will and I were leaving to go do something and Will shouted from outside "Karan Anne do not come outside!" There was a snake right in front of our door....It got away though....yikes!
~The water that has made a small pond in our front yard and in the soccer field has smelled horrible....then we found out that it is probably because some of the sewage is mixed in with it......gross huh?
~Our group was from Ohio, they were interesting and fascinating....I learned that in Ohio they take off their shoes in their house, or they bring slippers to friend's houses to wear inside. They also don't have bag boys at grocery stores. One lady raised alpacas for a living and had a stuffed cat:). She was fun to talk to and learn from. Needless to say the part of me that loves to meet new people and learn about their lives is being satisfied:)
~Sleeping for me is becoming more and more not fun....I get "charlie horses", I dream way more, I toss and turn, and of course I get up and go to the bathroom a lot. Jan Gaines (who is incredible at being pregnant) gave me pillow advice, so that has helped, but man.....my sleep qualifies for me to talk about under interesting things this week.
~I have gained 10 pounds....yikes!
~Will and I can now drive a 15 passenger van like it is nothing...parking it....driving it through huge mud puddles or lakes in the middle of a road: no problem. It trips me out that I drive that size van every week.
~Last but defiantly not least.....The Mosquitoes Are Here!!! I mean big time.....in full force....we are slapping ourselves left and right....I am about to bath in bug spray on a daily basis....it is going to be a bite filled week.....fun fun:)
Love you all....sorry for the way long blog...Karan Anne
Friday, July 11, 2008
Meet William Ellison Hawk
Well, we have a lot to be thankful for! We have had an amazing week full of blessings, a great group, great Mexican friends, lots of ministry, awesome surprises came in the mail, and now the best blessing: a great check-up! Ellis is happy and a little feisty. He was wrestling with the ultrasound technician as she attempted to take his pictures. He did however give us quite a "money shot". Needless to say we are EXTREMELY excited. I (Will) could barely eat before hand. Ellis is truly an answer to so many prayers. KA is also very excited even though she may have her hands more full with a mini-Will rather than a mini-KA. God is so good!
We Love You All,
Will & KA
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Today (Wednesday) has been good. It is our normal day to stay in the ejido and help it out, so we once again worked here today. It was good though, this group has had the opportunity to work on The Gateway and that is helping future missionaries, so who can say that is a waste.
During the first ministry block, I took it easy and I just sent out groups to work. All the girls in my group were painting a school across the street, and I didn't want my baby to get high off of paint....so I just went to the office and added up receipts for Katherine (my boss....she does all the budgeting,etc.). Then in second block my group and I went to an ejido down the street (the roads were shady, but I'm a hardcore driver-Mexico style). We did prayer walking, living water, and home visits. It was good stuff.
Yesterday I found out my group gave out water to prostitutes while we were at the laundry mat....I was wondering why they were so scantly clad. The cool thing about that is that some of the staff members, not me...don't worry dad...have started to go down to the "red light district" to minister to prostitutes....they met one lady in particular that we have all been praying for...they pay for her time and take her out to eat...her name is Luc....she is a mother of 4 and moved to Matamoros to make more money----but anyway the group went back last night and she said she was given some water by some Americans earlier that day....it was fun to discover that we had blessed her without even knowing it....I had no idea I had stumbled in to the red light district when I was looking for a laundry mat to wash all of our kitchen laundry. Interesting and crazy at the same time.
Will once again worked on the carnival...which was good, not a lot of kids because of the rain....we can not travel on the roads because of the possibility that we would get stuck...we normally go pick up vans full of kids.
Life is good.....and hot, very hot!
P.S.- The scorpion count is at 8 now.
~Next Week:we have a huge group, this week we have 50 total participates (I am in charge of 16), next week we have close to 300 (Will is in charge of 57)....So Pray!
~Luc, the prostitute, she has 4 small children and works two different shifts downtown.....she was grateful that our group did not "pound the Bible" on her, and just loved her.....pray for her and for our group to have more opportunities to share love.
~Me, it is hot and I am trying to take it easy,but life is so busy here.
~Selfishly....I really want to find out the sex of the baby Friday.....if you don't mind pray for the appointment, that all is well, and that our baby would not be modest.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Oh my word....the rain has been incredible. Matamoros needed rain so badly, but the city can not handle it at all. Sorry that we have not blogged for a while, the Internet has been horrible....I'm thinking because everything is flooded. It has rained non stop for about three days now. We went out to our colonia on Sunday, but did not feel it was safe for yesterday nor today. So we as leaders have had to come up with a Plan B. The responsibility of entertaining a group of missionaries in a third world country has been interesting. For example, today groups are building bunk beds (for our large group next week), going to the laundry mat (to wash laundry for the staff and all the kitchen laundry...because we line dry stuff here), we are painting and patching some inside stuff, etc. It has been hard to come up with jobs, but at the same time very exciting for me, because I am pretty good at thinking creatively and organizing large groups of people (thanks Teen Advisors). I am a PF (Project Facilitator) this week, so it has been fun to lead people during such a crazy week.....Praise God, for equipping me with Plan B thinking.
Despite all the rain, life is still wonderful here....as far as working for the Lord, and getting to lead people in mission work. I will admit that with all this rain it has had Will and I wishing we were in Columbus, cuddling in our bed or going to see a movie (we miss movies the most...or at least the time and energy to watch them). Will even threw out eating at Jason's Deli before we went and saw an afternoon movie....and that is when I had to cut him off...and say I am thankful I am here...I am thankful I am here.
Sunday's church service went well and we had a great time fellowshiping with the church members. We have a nice group this week and they said in a meeting they like me....so that is nice. Today is Will's day off, so he is still sleeping and I am about to take him breakfast in bed...it might be wet from rain, but I think he will still enjoy it.
Thanks for reading, commenting, and praying....Karan Anne
P.S.- We are up to 7 scorpions and one stung Vera...she is ok! Also, y'all are not going to believe this, but our new camera stopped working yesterday...what is God trying to show me?!?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
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
Saturday, July 5, 2008
So anyways, a little behind....but In honor of the 4th of July...we wanted to write why we love America so much.
After living out of the country for a while here is our list:
2. Reliable power.
3. Fast Internet.
4. You can flush the toilet paper!
5. The roads are better.
6. We don't usually break out in a riot when our presidential elections take place.
7. The water is way better....you can drink right from the faucet.
8. Air conditioning is a regular.
9. We have governmental help...I know it is far from perfect....but our government offers systems that help people that need help.
10. Restaurant regulations.
Etc. Etc. Etc.----America really is a fortunate country! We are truly blessed to be born in America.
I'll write again soon, well I can't promise that (read the list above).
Thursday, July 3, 2008
1. Wednesday went so well.
2. The carnival was really a success, Americans did great leading all the games and the Mexicans loved all the activities. Most of all the leader of it all---Mr. Will Hawk---did an amazing job. All those years at St. Stephens paid off in Mexico.
3. We met a really nice family yesterady during living water....I gave them a ride back to our ejido and they hung out, enjoyed the carnival, ate dinner with us, and loved the service afterwards.
4. That family really impacted the Americans, it is great to see life change.....we took them home at the end of the night and on the way back all of us had a great time of prayer for the family. Some of them cried and talked to the Lord in a very real way....some of them were strangers, but they all loved this family so it was really special because they were bonded over this family who had so much joy, but had sooo little .
5. It rained and it is raining right now (Thursday morning).
6. Will bought me some pillows at the Soriana (it is like a Wal-Mart) and I slept a little better last night.
7. Despite being tired, a little sick, pregnant and uncomfortable...I love it here.......I am greedy....I get to do so much work for God in a direct in your face kind of way and it is awesome....I depend on Him to get me through each moment of the day and push through hard times........It is an amazing life.
8. This little boy saw me flipping a box of uno cards in my hands yesterday and he came up to me and started saying something....I ask a participate to help me translate and it turns out he wanted to play uno. I asked the participate if he wanted to play with him, he said yes and so they played cards together for a long time....at the end of the night the American came up to me and said he had a lot of fun, I could tell he had had a moment with the boy---it was nice to do my job.
Prayer Request for the family above:
Fernando (dad) has back trouble and makes charcoal for a living (provide wood for coal).
Anna (mom) has kidney stones.
Daughter (around 2 yrs. old) can not sleep at night, they believe she has demons and it is very stressful on the family.
Anna has a garden (three buckets) she grows food, but also some flowers....it brings them a lot of joy (continued success in gardening).
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I LOVE the colonia we are working in this week. Pastor Salvador is a great man and he is really cool to work a long side with. He is so thankful to be fixing up his church. Will got to use his skills today (no not num-chuck skills) his electrical skills....he wired the church and put power to the two fans he got permission to buy and mount.....he also added an outlet for some speakers at the front. The other men poured concrete all day and finished the floor. When the pastor's wife peeked in to see the progress, she started crying. I went on Home Visits with a group today....it was cloudy so it was not too hot for me to be walking around....we had a awesome time and met some awesome people...I french-braided a little girls hair.
During VBS, the group did not need much guidance...they are a really cool group....I just hung out with the pastor's family....I got to hold a 21 day old baby.....so cute! Picture Below! I tried not to breath on him the whole time....my mom's voice was in my head.....germs! I would feel horrible if I got that baby sick. Another sweet/humbling part of my day...Pastor Salvador bought all the men Cokes and Joyas and he bought me a pack of M&Ms........looking at his house, his clothes, his church....he does not need to be buying me anything....I need to be buying him everything, but he choose to be a blessing with the little that he has. It is a good lesson in giving....give what you can, no matter how small it seems!
Got to sleep....Wednesdays are always very draining!
1-Will has put a lot of personal effort in to making our carnival much better than it has been, tomorrow is the first big day where it is hopefully all going to come together....pray that God blesses Will's efforts to "do something well if you are going to do it".
2-I am still not 100%...Praise God for progress though
P.S.- Speaking of the baby...I felt him move some today, one special time was when we were singing "Jesus Loves Me" in espanol at VBS....awesome!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Thanks for the prayers....don't stop quite yet:)
A super-scary millipede was sighted crawling through the lavatory following a quick shower. (pictured below) KA in brave response ushered a cry for help from an adjacent quarter. Upon hearing the distress cry our hero entered. Flashing photos and then removing the creature from the premises ultimately saving all those in peril. No creatures were harmed in the telling of this story. However prior to the telling of this story "said bug" had an unexpected encounter and perished do to blunt force trauma. The trauma was caused by an unknown assailant.
My right flip-flop is nicknamed, "unknown assailant"
May peace be upon you all.