Wednesday, December 7, 2011

First time in a hair salon, Antlers and School Schedules

Dilma had her first trip to a hair salon on Monday!  She had been asking me to get someone to cut it for a while and I couldn't find anyone.  Finally, it dawned on me to just take her to town and get it cut.  She was very nervous and was looking at everything the whole time.  Also, when the stylist turned on the hair-dryer, Dilma jumped, the noise scared her and about 3 hours later, she finally asked me "What was that machine that made so much noise?"  She didn't know it was drying her hair!

Lizbeth got to wear some reindeer antlers at a missionary house, she loved them, even though she doesn't know what they are.  All three girls loved the Christmas tree, singing caroling dolls and the lights - I guess I need to decorate my house. . .

Finally, so you don't think I JUST entertain live-in guests, here is a photo of the second draft of Aguila Christian Academy's 2012 class schedule.  It looks complicate and it is -- but not as bad as last year . . . so far.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bottle races and Knitting

The girls love to push my 5 gallon water bottles around the floor.  As soon as they walk in the door, they run andd get them and the race begins!  I got the bright idea to put a towel underneath them, so now as they push, they clean the floor!!  Here they are racing. (Don't let the coats confuse you, it was about 65 degrees when I took this photo. . . )

Also, yesterday, I taught Dilma, the mother, how to knit using straight needles.  She love it.  At first, she couldn't get her fingers to bend the right way, but now she has got the hang of it.  She has learned to cast-on and do the knit stich.  She is currently working on a GIANT dish cloth right now, so when she gets it the size she wants, I will teach her to bind-off.  So far, she really enjoys it.

I think we should have a Top Chef Jungle edition!  I would definitly win.  Have the show in the jungle and let the villagers be the judges.  I have made some awesome dishes according to jungle standards.    For example, the other night I made pureed chicken livers with potatos and pasta - they loved it, said it tasted like monkey.  Then, last night, I made fish and rice soup - just fish and rice boiled together.  They loved it too and even ate the left-overs for breakfast this morning!  I really think I would win the Jungle edition!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God Saves!

Great Praise! Juanita, one of the PdV missionaries came and shared with Dilma today, using the cube. Dilma accepted Christ! Juanita had her explain it back to her and Dilma explained it all! She said she had heard of Christ but never knew what He had done. Now, she knows He came to the world to die for our sins. Pray for this new babe in Christ

Hats and comfort food

Dilma has taken the ball (of yarn that is) and ran with it.  On Sunday morning, this was the scene I was greeted with.  All three of  them wearing stocking hats that she had knitted.  She is very proud of them and has them wear them all the time, despite the fact that it gets pretty hot here in the afternoons!

Also, I bought some fish for her to cook, she enjoyed cooking it and the girls enjoyed eating it, they have been missing fish.  Aftterwards, I had to clean my kitchen forever, there was grease and raw fish everywhere!  EVERYWHERE!

Other comfort foods for them are yuca, boiled plantain, mango and corn.  These are the foods they usually eat in the jungle, so these are the foods they miss the most.  The good news is I can get all that in town, so, needless to say, my shopping list has changed a bit!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Great Thanksgiving, despite some setbacks. . .

Our Thanksgiving meal.

Well, Thanksgiving came and went.  I must admit it was a bit of a challenging day for me.  Lizbeth was running a fever and having stomach cramps, thus she was crying constantly.  This does not make for a happy time!  I went ahead and cooked the turkey, first one I have ever cooked.  It turned out good, a little dry, but still good.  We ate around 1:30 and you can see by the picture that Mariana loved the giant legs!  She chowed down! 

However, Liz continued to cry and be unhappy, thus making us unhappy, I admit I cried too at one point.  Finally, after talking with a doctor, he decided we needed a stool analysis.  So, after a diaper had been filled, I made the 1 1/2 hour drive to and from the lab.  Turns out she has a bacterial infection in her stomach.  (Don't ask me where she got it from. . . )  Now, she has been on antibiotics for 24 hours and is a whole new child.  Antibiotics are wonderful!

In the end, we had a great Thanksgiving, but I admit it had many ups and downs in just 24 hours!

In other news, I have taught Dilma to knit using the Kniffty Knitter Loom.  She loves it.  She has already knitted 2 hats in 2 days and continues to make more.  She wants to make a hat for everyone in her family.  She likes the first hat she made so much that she wears it all the tiime and when she is not wearing it, Lizbetha and Mariana are fighting over it. 

After she masters the loom, I am going to teach her to use needles.  So, thank you to all that have helped by donating thread and looms.

Finally, I have finally found something cold that the girls like, they love strawberry smoothies at night.  Here is another picture of Mariana, enjoying smoothie.  (She loves to eat)

Monday, November 21, 2011

God blessed me with a turkey!

The Bible says that God knows the desires of your heart.  I believe that but sometimes forget it.  I had priced turkeys here and decided they were just too expensive this year, we would just have a chicken.  Besides, Dilma and the girls don't even know what Thanksgiving is.  Well, today, I had a knock on my door and a missionary couple had brought me a turkey and a can of cranberry sauce!  God blessed me with a turkey!  He truly does know the desires of our heart!

My name is NOT poop!

So, Lizbeth keeps yelling "Caca" when she sees me.  That is "poop" in Spanish.  I decided yesterday she thinks that is my name!   Everytime she sees me she yells "caca".  So, now, I am trying to teach her that my name is Jessi, NOT "caca".  So far, it is not going too well. . .

Dilma's feet are continuing to heal well, she is currently in the camp kitchen helping prepare the lunch.  I think it will help her if she is with other people besides just me.  She will also learn a lot by helping the kitchen - improve her Spanish, learn to cook for large crowds, see how others interect with each other. . .

I think we have gotten rid of the giardiasis that Marianna had.  She continues to take the antibiotic but her little stomach is not so swollen and she is actually beginning to gain weight!

I am also doing good, I have begun to find a good balance in my new life - where I can care for them and still have a bit of alone time.  Things are getting balanced out.  I still clean all the time though.  I think that comes with having two toddlers in the house.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giardiasis, Many Firsts, Birthdays and Grandparents

Monday was Lizbeth’s birthday.  She turned 3.  We went to a local ice cream restaurant to celebrate with the Murrin family.  This was the first time Dilma, Lizbeth and Marianna had ever been in a restaurant or eaten ice cream!  They were amazed at the restaurant and the idea that a lady comes and brings you whatever you ask for (the waitress).  They did not like ice cream!  It is too cold.  They only drink and eat things that are room temperature or hot.  So, since ice cream only comes in frozen form, they don’t really care for it.  Dilma ate hers but she didn’t act like she enjoyed it.  Lizbeth only tasted 2 bites and the rest melted on the table.  Marianna likes the cookies and cones that came with it.  Oh well.
Marianna has giardiasis.  She has had diarrhea now for at least a week and a half – bad.  The Murrins had a test run and it is giardiasis.  You get this from contaminated water, so I am sure she came out of the jungle with it.  We are treating her with antibiotics now.  She seems to be improving already.  But now Lizbeth has started with it.    It is highly contagious.  Pray that Marianna gets better and that if Lizbeth is sick now we can treat her quickly and stop this cycle.
Dilma and Lizbeth continue to heal and get stronger.  Today they spent the morning outside on a blanket in the shade and strolling around the property.  They seemed to really enjoy it.

My life has really changed in the last week.  They arrived one week ago today.  Before, I swept once a day, mopped once a week, washed clothes once a week and cooked once or twice a day.  Now, I sweep at least 6 times a day, mop 3 times  a day (after every meal), wash a load of clothes every day, carry out the trash every day, and cook all the time!  I am tired!  I was thinking that there are tons of moms out there that do all this every day – BUT the difference is that they start out with a husband –they have time to get used to 2 people, then along comes a baby – they can adjust, then another baby.  The difference is that overnight there were 4 of us! 
Finally, I realized why Lizbeth is so attached to me.  I am old enough to be her grandmother!  Dilma married and had Lizbeth when she was 14.  At my very old age of 32, I am old enough to be her grandmother! 
Dilma did ask me finally, "Where does your husband live?"  I laughed and explained that I was not married, which just left her in silence. . .

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Draw Me Nearer Precious Lord

Last night, some missionaries from New Tribes gave Dilma some cd's.  We are listening to one of them right now.  Dilma is really listening to every word.  It is a mix of Romans and hymns in Chimane.  Right now, they are singing "Draw me nearer precious Lord" in Chimane.  It is an awesome thought once again that we can worship the Lord in any language, that He understands them all!

Benefit Concert for Tito, Dilma and Lizbeth

The Cochabamba International Church had a benefit concert last night for Tito, Dilma and Lizbeth.  There were two bands that played.  One was a folkloric band from Bolivia, Alpha y Omega,  (shown in picture) and the other was an America band made up of church members. 

Dilma really enjoyed the music and watching all the lights and smoke.  She had never seen anything like it before.  She had her first emapanada and hotdog.  She like the empanada.  She did NOT like the hotdog, mainly because of the mustard.  When she took the first bite, she made an awful face and shook her head back and forth in disgust.  She eventually just put it in a bag for later.  She also really enjoyed popcorn and coffee.   Many people came and visited with her.  This was  a great encouragement.  She also got to see Innocencio, the native missionary that lives in Oromomo.  She calls him her uncle, so she was very excited to talk with him.

Lizbeth was very intimidated by all the people and noises and general activity.  She was like a leech on me.  She would not let me leave her or put her down.  She sat between my legs on the grass all night long and would periodically look up at me, just to make sure I was still there.  She was a very different girl from the one I see in my apartment where she laughs and plays.  She did not like empanadas but she did enjoy the popcorn.  I didn't even bother to see if she like the hotdog after seeing Dilmas's reaction.  I will make them here one day without ketchup and mustard.

Marianna was just great.  She was passed from person to person until Tony, the pilot, got her, then she was his the rest of the night.  She thinks he hung the moon.  He is pretty fond of her too.

We are not going to church today, it is 9:35 and they are still sleeping.  I think the activities of last night wore them out!

I found some kid's meal toys a team brought down and gave them to the girls.  I had to show the girls how to roll the toy cars on the floor.  After they discovered how to make them go across the tile floor, they were both running and laughing after the cars, having a great time.  They also like a toy cell phone that makes a clicking sound and has a flashing red light.  They don't actually know what the phone is, but they like the noise and light.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sleepless Nights

Pray for Dilma and Lizbeth tonight. Last night they did not sleep well, Dilma is having a lot of pain in her feet and Lizbeth's elbow still has some raw spots on it. Lizbeth doesn't complain, but it does bother her. You can see on this photo, the right side of her face where it is white now from being burned.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Picnics in the Floor

About a month ago, a house in Oromomo caught on fire.  The husband, Tito, was burned over 80% of his body, his 17 year old wife, Dilma, 20% of her body and his oldest daughter (Lizbeth, 3 years old), 20% of her body.  Mariana, the 1 ½ year old baby, was not burned.  The family has been in Cochabamba for about 3 weeks now in a burn center.  Dilma and Lizbeth were released yesterday and they came to live with me!!

The village they are from is in the jungle.  They don’t have electricity, running water, ceramic floors, stoves, showers. . . the list goes on and on.  Someone said, “They are tribal, tribal”, meaning that I have to teach them everything!  For example, how to get water from the kettle, where to put the trash, and how to turn off the lights. 
Dilma told me they prefer to eat on the floor than at a table, so we have a picnic for every meal.  They love chicken and rice.  They don’t care for vegetables. In fact, I served them broccoli last night with their meal.  Later, I found broccoli EVERYWHERE in my house.  Mariana was throwing her broccoli away because she didn’t like it.  In the jungle, they eat outside or on dirt floors, so if they don’t want or like something, just toss it – Mariana had the same concept in my apartment!

They are staying here until they are well enough to return to their village.  My prayer is that Dilma  and I can develop a friendship.  I hope this friendship will open doors for future work in the jungle.  I also want to learn some Tsimane, one of the languages they speak there in Oromomo.  Finally, and most importantly, I am not sure if Dilma is a Christian, so I am praying for her salvation.
P.S.  Oso, my spoiled dog, was very jealous of the babies last night, but as you can see from this picture, he has learned to see the positive side of the story. . .

Friday, October 21, 2011

La Palabra de Dios - The Word of God

God is working in the jungle!  I just arrived back from another trip to the jungle here in Bolivia and we saw how  God’s Word is impacting the people there. 
On the internet we found an audio version of Bible stories in the native Chimane language.  There are pictures that accompany the stories.  It is a summary of key stories from the Bible, starting with Genesis and going to Christ’s resurrection.  This was the first trip we  used it in the jungle.  The people were in awe of hearing God’s Word in their OWN language!  We played it several times in the village of Ushwe and it always drew a crowd.  The villagers sit in silence and study the pictures as they listen to the stories.  On certain pictures, the people get very animated and begin talking rapidly to each other and pointing at the pictures.  One is of Jesus, after he had been beaten and they were taking him to the cross, another is a picture depicting the two paths we have to choose from- to accept Christ and go to Heaven or reject Him and go to Hell.

One night, in the dark, a father brought his baby and wife to us (they were accompanied by about 20 other people).  He was concerned because his baby was very sick.  We treated her as best we could and said there was nothing else we could do.  He listened and then said to me, “La Palabra de Dios?” (“The Word of God?”)  They wanted to hear the Bible stories!  We grabbed the speakers and the pictures and that night, by flashlight, the village sat in silence and listened again to God’s Word.  It was a miracle. 
I know that His Word is impacting that village and the others up and down river.  Please pray that we can continue to share with the people there and that they will come to know and understand who Christ is and His great love for them.  Pray that we will receive funds to continue this ministry.  It is a great work and we cannot do it alone, we need the prayers and support of each and every one of you.

Also, many of you heard I took medical class for missionaries.  I was able to use many of the skills learned in the class while I was in the jungle.  This is another way to reach the people, by meeting their personal needs of health, etc., we can then meet their spiritual needs.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mother's Day, Teacher Day, Camping & Military!

It has been an exciting month!  First let me apologize for  not updating you all before, my internet is not working and so I am back to traveling to the city to do internet work. . . oh well.
In my absence from the internet world, we have celebrated Mother’s Day and Teacher’s Day, had our Annual Águila Camp-out and we presented “Renacidos”  in a Sergeants Military School!
Mother’s Day – Our school hosted a party for all the mothers here – our students, even the 4 year olds said poems in both English and Spanish.  (I must say that the 2nd grade Brink son did better on his Spanish poem than the native Spanish speakers!!)  We even had a debut performance from a 5th grader who is learning to play the guitar!

We also had our Annual Águila School Camp-out.  For many of our new students, this was the first time they have ever been camping!  We roasted hotdogs (there were 20 of us and we ate 50 hot dogs!) and ‘smores (another first for many).  We had a scavenger hunt and the next morning we had a devotional.  It was great.  Especially as the boys would run in the dark and try to scare the girls – the screams and laughter was great!

We also had the opportunity to present Renacidos (Born Again) in a Sergeant School that is on the other side of the lake from the property.  Several hundred soldiers heard the Gospel!  Pray that we will continue to be able to work with this facility in counseling and witnessing.

Finally, the mothers had a party for the teachers in celebration of Teacher’s Day.  The students put on a skit and then we had some great refreshments.  It was good to hear that they appreciate the work we do with their children.

Prayer Requests:
Word of Life is hosting a Banquet to benefit the Village of Eden Uganda project.  This banquet will be on June 18.  Pray that the people in attendance will be responsive to the message of salvation.  Pray also they might get involved in the Village of Eden project in some way.
On June 20, we will be taking a team of 6 into the jungle for 2 weeks.  We will be visiting 5 villages, going down the Secure River.  The purpose of the trip is to build relationships with the natives and to disciple those that come to know the Lord.  Pray for our safety and that we can witness effectively to the people.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Enfermedades Abound!!

We seem to have a virus going around here!  There have been 7 cases of kids and teachers getting sick - vomiting and diarrhea.  I was one of the un-lucky ones, all night Sunday night and Monday I suffered, but I am feeling much better now. 

On Tuesday, when Ethan began feeling bad, we just assumed that it was The Virus, but he didn't have the same symptoms, so we took him into town to the children's hospital.  In the end, they found it was an appendicitis!  They operated and gave his move the appendix in a  jar! (She has to take it to the lab tomorrow.)  I am writing from the hospital room, where finally he is sleeping a bit.   For those that don't know, Ethan is part of the Brink family, the Americans here for 8 months.  So, as you can imagine, things are quite scary right now, no one speaks English (except the surgeon!) and they have different ways of treating sicknesses.  Pray for the Brinks, pray that they can continue to trust in the Lord and that Ethan will continue to improve and recover from this surgery.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter, Freedom to Worship and Boot Blow-outs

I hope that everyone had a great Easter.  Down here, we had a great one.  One of the local churches had a conference “El Cordero de Dios” ( the Lamb of God).  I was very good.  I attended it on Saturday and the speaker, Raul Fererro spoke about how Christ fulfilled 3 of the Jewish fiestas, the Offering of the First Fruits, the Sign of Jonah and raising the temple in 3 days.  It was very encouraging and interesting.  As I sat there in a room of about 300 people and was overwhelmed by the great freedom God has given us here to worship Him.  I am so thankful for the freedom to worship God.
The political unrest has settled down, we have not had any blockades for several days, so that is good.  Pray that we can continue peacefully.
In other news, last Sunday I went for a hike up the mountain. I got half-way up and realized I had literally walked out of my boot – well, actually, the soles of both boots just fell off!  They were some old ones mom gave me because she didn’t wear them anymore and mine are very worn out.  I was thankful for saving me some money and brought them down here.  Sunday was the first time I had worn them.  By the time I got back down the mountain, I had rocks in my toes and there was nothing left of the rubber soles.  You can see by the picture how they blew out.  Guess that means I have to buy some new boots after all when I get to Georgia.
Boot Blow-out!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Children’s Day and Riots. All in a day’s work. . .

Arani, where 2,400 children heard the Gospel

Children's Day Celebration at Aguila Academy

Tuesday, April 12 was el Día del Niño, or Children’s Day.  It was a packed day!  First, the CED group from Word of Life went to a local village, about one hour away, Arani and  had a program for the school children there.  There were 2,400 kids!!  The team had lots of crazy games for them and activities, but most importantly, they presented the Gospel.  In the end, about 330 students received Christ!!! 
Also, back home, at the property, we had a special activity for the students at Aguila Academy.  We had ice cream, played relay races  and ate lots of food.  The kids loved it!
I am getting  better, my hand is improving, I am wearing a wrap now, instead of a complete brace, although it still bothers me a bit.  The my house is still an island, only accessible by boat or boots. 
We are having lots of political problems here in this communist nation.  The Union workers – the teachers, doctors, miners, etc. are protesting because they want a raise.  The president won’t even recognize them, he is playing soccer instead!   So, the people are quite angry.  We are in town today, Saturday, but we are going to stay on the property tomorrow – stay out of town.   The people say that if they cannot come to an agreement today, it is going to get really ugly tomorrow.  Riot squads, tear gas, etc.  These blockades affect everyone here – we are stuck on the property, without access to the city (food, etc) and the people in the city are basically paralyzed.  Please pray that things will be resolved and will not result in loss of life.