Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Photos of our work in Huehuetenango

Just some pictures of the Alabama Baptist Nurse Fellowship mission clinics in Huehuetenango. We worked at two churches, seeing over 500 patients in 4 1/2 days. We had several decisions for Christ, which were uplifting. We provided medical treatment for all who wanted it, shared Christ, cut hair, and helped in anyway we could.

It rained everyday and climbing the hill to the first church was treacherous to all.

One of the churches - Fuente de Salvacion
(Fountain of Salvation).

Over 100 people got free hair cuts from April - including
most of the team!

Everything had to go through a translator.
I hope you enjoyed just a touch of what we did last week! Several of the nurses wanted to return to work in the Centennial Camp clinic. I hope they do!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Home again, home again

My sisters from the Baptist Nurse Fellowship of Alabama returned to Antigua yesterday after a week (read: long week) in Huehuetenango doing medical clinics. The 10 of us, including one husband, saw more than 500 patients over the week and handed out medical care, reading glasses and a lot of hugs. Me, with my limited Spanish, ended up being a translator. I was so thankful that Johnny and I had attended language school the week before to brush up! We were exhausted but thankful for the opportunities we had to present the Gospel. We made friendships with two local Baptist churches that we hope will continue for many years.

Watch for posts this week with more information and pictures of our trip!


Saturday, May 20, 2006

More Work!

They did it to me again! Johnny and John decided we needed to do some site work preparing for the First Bible mission team. So they had me laying block, building forms and cutting rebar. If this doesn't cause me to lose weight, nothing will! By the end of the two days, we had a good-looking wall going up! Johnny goes back this weekend to finish up while I head to Huehuetenango to do some nursing with some ladies from the Alabama Baptist Nurses Fellowship. More later...


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Back in school

It's amazing how much Spanish you lose if you don't use it! Even after living here a year, our Spanish goes downhill when we don't have a chance to interact with Spanish speakers. So...we went back to school - just for the week - and it has been refreshing. We have renewed friendships with teachers that had fallen to the wayside from not being in school everyday and have spoken more Spanish in the last 4 days than in the last 4 weeks! Our "skills" have returned quickly, letting us review some of the more troubling aspects of the language. Come on First Bible - we are ready for you!


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Work in Patzun

Several weeks ago, we were able to spend a couple of days with John and Jan Lohrenz, Ken and Cindy Spaugh and a team of youth from Detroit, MI, working in Patzun. The CAM church, Alfa Y Omega, has a vision that includes a school for young children and a technical school to train adults. Our project was to add-on to the back of the church, making classrooms for the school. It was back-breaking work that included concrete mixing, lots of moving dirt and putting up walls. For the first time, I got to use power tools - particularly John's "Big Boy drill"! Not only was the drill almost heavier than me, I had to drill holes in concrete while perched on a ladder! I thought I did pretty good but was sore for days afterwards. The team was very impressive in the way they worked and how they handled the living conditions. Several of the youth had interest in returning as interns, possibly working with us at Centennial Camp. It was a fun few days although the coldest we have been since our arrival!


PS How come you never see me working? I'm usually the one behind the camera!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy (Belated) Mother's Day!

To all the mothers out there - Happy Mother's Day! Did you know that in Guatemala, Mother's Day is May 10th - every year. So this past week I had Mother's Day on the 10th (Wednesday) and the 14th (Sunday). Unfortunately, Johnny said that did not qualify for getting two presents! Bummer!


Friday, May 12, 2006

Semana Santa

Easter week, or Holy Week (Semana Santa), is huge here in Antigua. The town is covered in tourists in for the "alfombras" or carpets that are laid on the streets every Friday and Sunday the month of April and every day of Holy Week. These alfombras are made of colored sawdust and complemented with fruits, vegetables, flowers and branches of pine. We got out of bed at 5:30 AM one Sunday morning to watch some being made. Several we saw had been started in the wee hours of the morning (earlier than our "wee hour" of 5:30), as early as midnight. Parades of men dressed in purple robes and hoods, carrying a "float" of Christ in various poses, walk over these carpets, destroying them sometimes minutes after they are completed. It was interesting to watch the carpets being made but we bypassed most of the parades. We were caught in the Central Park during one parade and the crush of people and strong odor of incense was overwhelming. After the parade walks over the carpet, a truck follows and sweeps up the debris within minutes. Because most of the streets are closed, the whole week is spent walking.

One sad thing I noticed was that there was no mention of the Resurrection. All the floats either had Christ on the cross or carrying it. They cut the story short! The "receipt" showing our sins were paid by Christ's sacrifice was His resurrection and appearance after. As Paul Harvey would say, "and that's the rest of the story!".

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Why I believe what I believe

Just a note from my current quiet-time - I have been reading Lee Strobel's book, The Case for Christ, which brought to mind my journey for truth.

I was raised in the Protestant church from infancy. I had been sprinkled and dunked, sang in the choir and was in church everytime the doors opened. But none of that was going to get me to Heaven. While in high school, I made a profession of faith. However, in my 30's I developed an unquenchable thirst for spiritual knowledge. We were attending First Bible Church under the teaching of Steve Bateman. He taught us not to take everything we heard as truth, even from him, without checking things out ourselves. One of his favorite phrases was, "Don't check your brain at the door!". About that same time, I was confronted by someone's comment, "You base all you believe on the Bible and I don't believe in the Bible". Because of this, I had to ask myself - what did I believe and why did I believe it? Was it because of what I had been taught growing up in the church? What if what I had been taught was wrong or had been altered? How would I know? So began my search. Since eveything I believed was based on the Bible, I started there. I looked into the historicity of the Bible and the transmisson of it over the last two centuries. I looked for extra-biblical evidence to corroborate the Bible. Long story short, I gained complete confidence in what I believe and why. There are many great books out there that help, but The Case for Christ lays everything out so logically that I can't understand why everyone doesn't see it!

We have God's Word in our hands, something many people in the world are denied. I urge everyone to search for themselves the reasons for their beliefs. Ask for God's leading to be able to defend why you believe what you believe!


Monday, May 01, 2006

Eric and Carmen

Last November, we met a new couple, Eric and Carmen, at our church in Antigua. They were new Christians and were preparing to be baptized. (New believers go through classes similar to pre-marital counseling before being baptized). On the Sunday of the baptismal service, Carmen's heart condition prevented her from attending the service. I was asked to sit with her while Eric and the two oldest children were gone for the service. She and I have become better acquainted since that time. We visited them this morning and fellowshipped with them. She told us she had been baptized at the latest baptismal service two weeks ago and is very happy. She still has problems with her heart (she needs a valve replacement badly) but is content in her faith in Christ. She has been feeling better, but will still need valve replacement surgery one day soon. We feel priviledged to be able to befriend this delightful family. They are sad at our imminent move to Solola, but we plan to maintain contact with them as we can. Please pray for this new family in Christ - they may be your neighbors in Heaven!

(They only have 4 children, the smallest boy is a neighbor that wanted to be in the picture!)