Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sick House

This will just be a quick note. I downloaded these pic's at the bottom earlier today, but am just getting to sit down here now to write. So far, Tim has thankfully escaped the sickness that has been circulating and recirculating our home. It has made for an interesting week, and I'm still trying to figure out if my head is on the right way or not! =) I actually thought we were through with the sickness, as everyone was feeling better this morning and ate breakfast! Then, on the way to meeting, Shaelyn said, "Mommy, my forehead is sick." I said, "Does it hurt?" She replied, "No, it's just sick!" She then lay down as soon as we got there, and fell asleep for the entire time. At break, she sat up on a chair for a bit, but still didn't feel well, so I ran downstairs to get a blanket, and when I came back up, she had thrown up all over! =( Poor girl. We got her cleaned up in good time, then I took her and Vivian, and we headed home. She slept for a good part of the afternoon, but then vomited again twice since this morning. I think we might be making a doctor's app't for tomorrow.

On a happier note, I took this picture last week of Mika reading the story of David and Goliath to Shaelyn and Kyla! It was so sweet!

Yesterday was Eleo's birthday, and she came over for a yummy crepe breakfast!!
We headed out almost immediately to Tirocapes for the children's mtg. From the picture below, can you guess which Bible story was told? Remember the theme is "Houses on the streets of Luke". =)
If you guessed the story of the wise and foolish man, you are right. The house on the left is on a big rock, and then everything else is sand. A "flood" flowed, and the house on the right slowly (but finally!) fell down!
After we had taken everyone home, our friends Cristian and Fabiola and their two children joined us for lunch, and then we headed off to Kino Beach! It was kind of in celebration of Eleo's birthday, as well as combining a visit with some folks from Phoenix, plus regular young people's, and somehow we got included in it all! =) We had a really nice time, and thankfully Fabiola took some pic's on our camera, otherwise there maybe would only be one or two!

Mika with her shells
Shaelyn in the hammock
A view of the ocean and a small island
Mika in the hammock
A wind surfer
Us under our palapas
Some of the guys playing Ladder Ball
Fabiola, Angel and Miranda (it was the childrens' first time at a beach)
Eleo and her birthday cake! Hope you had a super day, Eleo! =)

Tim and Kyla will soon be home from mtg. The other three girls are in bed asleep, and I've got some ironing still to do. Good night!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Catching up...

First of all, a very (belated) Happy 35th Anniversary to Dad and Mom W.!! Congratulations, and also many thanks for the godly example of marriage you have been both to us, and many others! Wish we could have been there on Monday to help you celebrate. Hope you had a super day!

The girls with a sign for Grandpa and Grandma!

Up close

A picture also made by Mika of Grandpa and Grandma's house, complete with them and her, their tree, swing and lilac bushes!! =)

Today we've had a rainy, sick day! It stormed some yesterday, then began raining by around 8am, and continued (Ontarian-style) until around 4pm. Just a constant light-medium rain. Our state and the next down are expected to get a lot more over the next four days. I don't mind the rain, in fact, I really enjoy it. Right now our temperature is 26 C!!!!! It's been a long time since it was so low! However, the sick part...that isn't so enjoyable. The girls have each had their turn with a fever, and then some sort of flu symptom. Right now it's Mika, who has a fever with headache, and no desire to eat. Thankfully we got a full morning of school done before it "hit", but since we've missed 2 days going up to Tucson, we still have quite a bit to catch up on. All four girls slept this afternoon, and then were all up on the pull-out couch watching a video. It's been weeks since they had seen one, so it was perfect timing.

Well, I'll go back a little bit here. Last Tuesday, the 3 oldest girls and I went to Tucson, AZ to pick up our friend Tina. We arrived in time for meeting, which didn't really go very well after the girls having sat in the van for 8.5 hours that day. I think I remember feeling really tired that night for some reason! =) On Wednesday Tim went with 11 others to the town center to give out a special gospel tract as Thursday was Mexico's bicentennial anniversary of their independance from Spain. It was pretty crazy busy there, and I believe only got crazier as the weekend went on. All the tracts were given out in a fairly short amount of time. While our normal lives carried on, Tina "went to town" cleaning for me. Ironing, washing windows, dusting, etc. She was such a blessing to us while she was here! Thursday night we had our regular meeting night, then Friday night was gospel meeting in Tirocapes. That's when our first sickness appeared, with Kyla having a fever. She felt better afterward, and then we had children's meeting there on Saturday morning. There had been approx. 30 children the first week and a little over 40 the second. No spiders there to kill that time, but I did find a black widow on our front gate this week. =P

Some of you may have heard of Hurricane Karl that hit right near the city of Veracruz, Veracruz, early Saturday morning. John and Rebekah Nesbitt live there, and there is also an outreach close by, in Cotaxla, where they know many people. Many people in the area lost their homes and businesses, and some lost their lives. One man climbed up onto a grass-roofed hut with his family, and then could do nothing as his wife, two children, and mother were swept away in the river current. Cotaxla itself was inundated with 12 meters (39 feet) of muddy water - it's incredible just to think about. Apparently Veracruz received the rainfall in 24 hours that the rest of Mexico receives in 1/2 of a year. The winds of the hurricane were up to 240 km/hour. Please pray for these dear people. Many have no water, electricity, telephone or medicine. Please pray for John and Rebekah as they reach out to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the people there. Please pray for tender hearts to receive the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I wrote out these verses recently and put them in my Bible where I would see them each morning as I turn to my daily reading. A brother spoke on them a couple weeks ago, and was telling us how overwhelmed he was when he realized what kind of love we as Christians are supposed to have. Reading them each day helps me to focus a little better on the way I ought to be loving.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
or rude
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13)

Just to finish off, we left at 7am on Monday morning to take Tina back up to Tucson. It was a tearful goodbye for our sensitive Mika, and all the girls miss her a lot. We really enjoyed getting to know her better! We had some shopping to do, but no real agenda, which was nice, because it made things fairly low-stress. We got to our hotel early evening, then all went for a swim, and into bed by 9pm!! That trip was Shaelyn's turn for her fever (although she continues to tell us that she was never sick, just felt "full"!) Tim was up several times in the night with her - just getting her a drink or settling her back into bed. When the other girls woke up at 7am, I took them to get our yummy continental breakfast, and let Tim and Shaelyn sleep a while longer. We were able to leave by a little after 9am, finished our shopping, and crossed the border at around 2pm. How thankful we continue to be for both safety at that border, as well as grace and kindness shown by the border patrol guards going both ways. When we arrived home, we decided it would be best for me to stay home with the girls, while Tim went to meeting. I was able to get pretty much everything put away, and the girls were in bed and asleep by 815pm! Today was also a relatively productive day, with lots of laundry done and put away. This evening not so much, since all the girls were grumpy with not feeling well. None of them wanted to eat, and all were happy to go to bed again shortly after 8pm. Hopefully they will all sleep well, and be feeling better in the morning.

Time for me to hit the hay as well. Good night to you all!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Answered Prayer

Many thanks for all who have been praying for the Lockwood family. Their blog today says that she is home again with her family, and while she is still in much pain, is doing much better. Please pray that there will be no further complications, and that she will soon be completely well again, in His will.

We have had an extremely busy week here - even busier than usual, surprisingly enough - but full of many good things! On Tuesday, Mika, Shaelyn, Kyla and I drove up to Tucson to pick up a friend, Tina, from Ontario. She has been an amazing blessing to us this week, and we will be sad as we drive her back to the airport tomorrow in Arizona. I have felt like I walk around making messes, and she follows me cleaning them up! =) The girls just love her, and we've had a really nice time together.

We are hoping to get some shopping done while we're "on the other side" (as they say here), and will return Tuesday. We'll be missing a couple days of school, so we'll try to catch up in the rest of the week. This past week has been our best week of school yet, with Mika working hard, and the other girls getting along fairly well. I've been very thankful!

Another thing I'm especially thankful for right now is air conditioning!!!! I thought that the temperatures were dropping somewhat, and the humidity was going down, but this past week has been a scorcher! It's such a relief to walk into a building where you don't feel like you're suffocating!

Nothing too newsy right now, I'll have to catch up this week sometime of all we've been up to. Hope you've had a wonderful Lord's Day!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Urgent Prayer

Dear Friends,

I would ask for your immediate and fervent prayer for a dear lady over in Baja California Sur, Mexico. She and her husband are missionaries there, and she miscarried recently, and there have been severe complications. They have removed her uterus, but she has hemmorhaged badly. Her blood type is A-, and while they have had some blood to give her, her husband is now responsible to find 14 people in a foreign city to donate. Her condition is very, very grave, and she is in extreme pain. Please pray with us that the Great Physician will heal her, that her husband will be given the help to find people to donate, that they will be given the strength needed in this great trial, and know His presence close to them.

Their names are Jaynee and Daniel Lockwood, and if you wish to check their blog it is listed at the left side under The Lockwood Family.

Thank you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Exciting news...

The time has finally come and we can share our special news that we are expecting another baby in the new year! We were privileged to be able to see our little Mexican Jumping Bean by ultrasound on Wednesday, and we are thankful that all seems well. We hope to meet our newest pumpkin some time in the middle of March! I am 13 weeks now, and thankfully mostly over the nausea I have felt. I haven't had this much since I was pregnant with Mika! The girls are all excited too, and have already picked names like Daisy and Violet, if it's a girl! =) We did let them know that although can name their stuffed animals and dolls whatever they want, it will be Daddy and Mommy who name our babies!!

This morning was the first children's meetings of this school year in Tirocapes. Eleo has worked hard with the young girls in this area for several years, and has seen an excellent response. Tim is now going to be taking responsibility for the meetings, and his theme right now are "Houses" in the Bible. This morning he spoke about the paralytic man who was brought to Jesus by his four friends. The memory verse was, "...that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." Luke 5:24 When we arrived at 10:15am, there were already more than a dozen children ready to go in, even though the class doesn't start until 11am. Thankfully Eleo, and another girl came and helped too. We had a total of 32 children, which we thought was a good beginning! Eleo took lots of pic's, so I'll share some when I see them. I totally forgot our camera! =P There was a couple "wrinkles", like black widow spiders that needed to be killed, plus a variety of other kinds (some quite large), water that only worked a part of the time we were there, then the electricity only worked in half of the small building, and only one of the 3 small a/c units worked. It was mighty warm, but we were thankful for at least one! The children listened well on the whole, and we pray that the Lord will continue to work in the lives of these young hearts, and that they will come to know Him as their personal Saviour - not just someone to know about.

That's it for now, hope you're having a good weekend!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

2 Years!

Two years ago today, on a Friday night, at around 1030pm, on a roasting hot, humid night, we arrived at our home here in Mexico. It took quite a bit of time, but we definitely consider this 'home' now. We're thankful that, although there have been many trials, struggles and difficulties especially in these last two years, we have had much joy too, and it's been the Lord Who has been leading us along the way: strengthening us, and helping us to grow in Him.

A few of the things I've learned since moving to Mexico:
1. God is always faithful, and I can always trust Him. (I think I will continue to "learn" this the rest of my life!)
2. I'm not 'good' like I used to think I was.
3. Safety is (completely) of the Lord.
4. My husband is the most wonderful man in the world.
5. I love Mexican food - even some of the spicey stuff!
6. Learning another language can be extremely difficult and stressful - and Spanish is an "easy" one to learn!
7. Smiles are understood whether you speak the others' language or not.
8. "The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you!"

While those are just a handful of the things I've learned, I want to share a song that's just been running through my head, called "Grace Greater Than Our Sin", written by Julia H. Johnston:

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God's grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
threaten the soul with infinite loss;
grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see his face,
will you this moment his grace receive?

While the song is speaking of "saving" grace, I'm just so thankful for that this same grace carries me through each day even now. To God be all the Glory!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fresh, Hot Tortillas...and other things!

Yummmy!! Tim brought home 'hot-off-the-grill' tortillas tonight, and they were amazing! It's hard to believe that in our two years of being here that we hadn't tried them fresh before! Something I definitely will not wait two years more for to try again! =)

It's Thursday (almost Friday here). It's September (already!!) It's been a long week. Today was finally a turning point in some of the fighting between siblings going on. It might be because of me and my attitude though - more than theirs'. The Lord has SO been speaking to me this past week - and as difficult as it is to face your own sin, I'm so thankful for it. Right now I want my childrens' attitudes and behaviour to change before I'll change mine. The Lord has been showing me (very clearly) that I'm wrong in my thinking. I blew it again tonight though. After having a fairly calm day, I yelled at the girls on the way home from meeting tonight - I was so incredibly frustrated with them! But, no excuse, right!! I'm thankful for my girls (and husband) who are so willing to forgive me, but I wish I never had to ask them to! I want to share with you the devotional I read today from the Choice Gleanings calender (Gospel Folio Press):

"Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and
there Abram called on the name of the LORD
." (Genesis 13:4)

Abram departed from God's presence at Bethel to resolve his trial in
Egypt. Choosing not to follow God's path will always have
consequences. Yet, God intervened to bring Abram back to the very place
where he first enjoyed communion with God. He was not restored to a lower
position after his failure, but into full fellowship. This encourages all
those who have erred from the path of righteousness to go back to where they
went wrong, and to call upon the Lord. Full restoration and fellowship
will be found there. ~Warren Henderson

Does that fill you with hope? It encourages me, as well as fills me with thankfulness - towards a gracious God, who tells believers, that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

School has generally been going well. Mika has begun cursive writing, and since my "writing" looks about the same age level as, well, maybe a 9 yr old's, I told her that I would practice as much as she has to. I've already seen progress - in both of us!! =) She only had one melt-down today, and that was because of the cursed...I mean, cursive, letter o! Although I adjusted our schedule slightly today, I think we are getting into a "groove" that is working for all of us.

Jessica left today with Shad & Debi and family to go down to Obregón. They stopped in for a bit of a visit, which was really nice, before they headed on their way. We really enjoyed having Jessica stay with us these last few days!

Wednesday night we headed to Tirocapes to the outreach meeting there. There were 20 children, and 3 adult visitors - one for the first time. Please continue to pray for the work there.

I'm reading an interesting book (on children's chores), and have lots of things to write about it. However, since it's already past my bedtime, I'll save it for another day! =) Hope you have a good night!