Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Deja vu

Those of you that are my age (or close) may remember teaching your children to drive. In our family, that was my job - Johnny got too nervous trying to teach the girls and would get them all nervous. So the task fell to me. What a surprise when our 22 year-old guard stated he wanted to learn to drive! Immediately, Johnny told him he wasn't a teacher and relayed the stories of teaching the girls. So, in a moment of weakness, I said I would teach him to drive. Tuesday was spent going up and down our "driveway", learning how to press the gas, use the brake, and lots of three-point turns! Since he had never been behind the wheel before and had only watched others drive, we had to start with the basics. He was in the Rodeo, which is an automatic. I will insist he learn to drive a manual shift also - my father insisted I learn and it served me well. So, the first lesson completed, we progress on to more complicated things - like the highway. Yikes!
The day before Thanksgiving last year, we had a "changing of the guard", literally! Antonio and Isabella moved on to other work and Salvadore and his wife Julia were hired. Their daughter is Elda and is 2 1/2 years old. They speak Quiche and Spanish, so Elda is learning to speak both languages. But she is also a great mimic and is learning English from us. She has started walking thru our house calling, "Kitty-kitty-kitty". With Salvadore and Julia being younger than our girls, it's almost like having a grandchild!
Of course, Xiba loves them! (She also likes to have her picture taken!)
Love to all,

Monday, January 07, 2008

Guatemala doesn't have tornados!

After spending the Christmas holidays in the States with family and friends, we returned to Guatemala on the 2nd of January. Flying in, we had quite a bit of turbulence, which even elicited a response from the pilot. The electricity in Guatemala City had been off that day and had just come back on minutes before we landed. We stayed in the capital that night, due to the lateness of our flight. On Thursday morning, we received a call from Samuel Can, our Camp administrator, who said we had some damage to the house from winds the night before. Of course, we jumped in the car and returned to the Camp as quickly as we could. Here's what we found!During the day, several pine trees fell on the guard's house, tearing off the front porch and damaging the metal roof. One of the trees was over a foot in diameter and apparently looked so bad that the police stopped to see "if there were any dead bodies inside". Because of this damage, the guard and his family took up residence in our house.
At different times during the evening and night, the wind managed to tear off both porches on our house, pieces even penetrating the glass in the window of the kitchen. This is the side porch over the door we use most often.

This and below show what is left of the front porch and the damage to the roof over our bedroom.

This is the view from the back of the house. This is over the guest bedroom, which was, by our return, the dirtiest room in the house. The poor guard and his wife huddled in our hallway all night long, scared to death!
Besides the missing panels, there was damage to about a third of the roof. Thankfully, friends from a local church came and helped replace the roof over the house. The porches, unfortunately, will have to wait until later. But our house and the guard's is fixed!

We didn't have electricity until Friday evening, about 7:00 P. Without electricity, we couldn't run the pump for the water, so that meant no showers, no toilets, no water for cleaning except what we could draw out of the cistern. But after hearing about friends in Indonesia that returned after Christmas to find an arsonist had burned down their house, we felt grateful that all we had was a little dirt. Yes, it was discouraging, but God's people pitched in and helped us get back on our feet!
My God is faithful, He is mighty, He is able...
and He never sleeps, He never slumbers,
He never tires of hearing our prayers.
When we are weak, He becomes stronger,
So rest in His love and cast all of our cares on Him.
This is just a bit of a song by Don Moen that a friend gave me. It is encouraging to know that our God is faithful and mighty and that He loves us and takes care of us. Thank you Beth for your gift, you understand how music uplifts me!
Thank you for your prayers on our behalf during our "trials".
On another note, as of January 31st, our email is no longer good. Please make sure you have changed our email to simply in your Address Books.