Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why do I get a terrible mental picture every time someone says the word dog?

As part of preparing for the groups coming, we are visiting all the villages that the groups will go to. Wednesday Efrain, Monica, Autumn and I went to Parramos. The people from Loving Arms have bought a piece of land and have started teaching the people of Parramos and the surrounding villages to be self sufficient and environmental friendly. They have a garden in a

green house full of tomato plants and a normal garden for other vegetables. Families can pay for a section of the garden and then they are taught how to farm the veggies, harvest them, sell some for profit and keep some for food. Also they need to keep some of the money to pay for the plot of garden. They also can buy a piglet and then raise it and sell it for profit. Loving Arms also provides families with filters for water. The water goes through different gradients of sand and the final product is pure drinkable water.
Most of the older adults in the villages have lung problems from the open flame stoves that are in the house. Loving Arms has designed a stove to direct the smoke out of the house. They are so resourceful!!! It’s amazing. We met Linda, the founder of Loving Arms and we met Alicia, the rep who lives in Guate. They are both amazing women with a great vision from the Lord. I’m excited to work with them in weeks to come. We saw their plot of land, went to a village and school they support.On our way home we stopped by Antigua- the colonial city of Guate. It is beautiful and it’s surrounded by volcanoes. However it has been rainy every time I have been so I haven’t seen the volcanoes. We went to the market for Autumn to buy and apron and then got some coffee at a quaint coffee shop. Antigua has some of the best coffee of the world! It’s delish.

Thursday was a long day. We left the city at 7 and went to Santa Louisa. The church in the city that we are working with has a church plant in Santa Louisa. We got a tour of the property and looked at the different things we will be doing when the team comes. The church looks just like the one here in the city. They have walls and a roof for the bathrooms, showers and clinic. We will help them finish the floor. In the back of the property there is a small creek and they have made a baptistery in the creek. It’s so cool. They also have a worm farm, not to sell the worms but to sell the soil. They will make some good money from the first harvest. We will also start to build the pastors house. Right now Charlie and his family live next to us in the apartment but when his house is done, they will move out there. It’s about 1.5 hours from the city but it is gorgeous and looks like a jungle! We saw a HUGE snake on our way. We looked it up and we think it was a viper.

It is great to see the difference between Bejucalito and Santa Louisa. You can definitely tell where the gospel has been accepted and where the gospel is not. In Santa Louisa the people take care of the land. They put trash where it belongs, they rake up the leaves, they clean themselves, etc. But in Bejucalito their physical poverty and the spiritual poverty is obvious and the only thing that will help is the gospel.We met three ladies that are prayer warriors at the church. One of the ladies prayed for 8 years that a church would come to her village and when Pastor Pablo went there she cried tears of joy. I have never met anyone so devoted to pray. We have so much to learn from them.

Prayer warriors of Santa Louisa.
We left Santa Louisa and went west to the Pacific Ocean beach! It was lovely. Autumn and I tried to run on the beach but it was too slanted and we sank about three inches with every step. The sand is black and really fine and gets everywhere.

We were laying on some chairs and I saw something big, fleshy and white wash up on the shore. Then the waves took it back out. It kept doing this moving down the beach. I thought it was a dead seal so I went to investigate. It was a dog! Its legs were going every-which-a-way and it didn’t have any hair! I wanted to throw up. And the smell was outrageous. No telling how long it has been in the ocean.It didn’t rain until we were on our way home.
Friday, today, was a very relaxing day after all the traveling we have been doing. Autumn and I went with Efrain to the hotel and to the grocery store. (Abby, I want you to know I bought you more Jamaica!) Efrain has been so good to us while we have been here. He makes sure we have everything we need. He drives us places, gets us minutes for our phones and of course brings us to the best restaurants. Yum! I am so thankful to continue our friendship (I met him last summer) and I’m so excited to see how he is growing in his faith.
We got chuccos for lunch. What is a chucco? you may ask. It is a hot dog that is from a street vender. It is cooked on a grill, chopped up, and then put on toasted bread with guacamole, onions and ketchup. I was skeptical at first but then I tasted it. And it is only 60 Q, which is about 75 cents. Buen Provecho!
Diana picked us up and brought us to do laundry. I really needed some clean socks and we all needed clean sheet and towels. I cannot wait to sleep on clean sheets
J. For about the first ten 5 minutes there was no water in the washer. We were very concerned! Kristen and Monica looking to see if water was in the washers.
Diana has been such a blessing to us. She also brings us places and will do anything for us. I am so thankful to have her in my life.
The rest of the evening was very relaxing. We watched the men put a huge “sign thing” in the back of a truck and we ate Tacobell (and ate some yummy fiesta french fries).
We made it back just in time before it started to pour!

Preparing for the groups has been fun but I cannot wait for them to get here. Pray for God to prepare their hearts, and open their eyes and ears to the physical and spiritual needs of the people here. Pray that the relationships we are building now will continue so that we may return in the future and continue to share the gospel. Tomorrow we are returning to Bejucalito. Water has not been pumped to them in fifteen days. Not only is the terrible because they have no water to drink but it is also bad because they cannot bath. Pray that the government will cooperate and give Bejucalito the services that are due.
As for my family, Mom, Abby and Jonny should be home from camp today. I am excited to see what God taught them. Joe left today for Macon, GA to visit Brooke and her family for the 4th. Dad and G-maw are still in Uruguay. I haven’t talked to the since the other day but please continue to pray for them.

Thank you so much for your prayers! Love ya!

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