Friday, October 07, 2011


i have spent many days over the past seven months wishing this baby "done" and into my arms.... now with the time nearing a close, i have found myself in full blown nesting mode with about seven different "before baby" lists going :) we have decided to name this little baby boy ethan, with the middle name still in the works. aaron actually discovered this name while we were in the midst of some complications and not sure what was going to happen with the pregnancy. when i looked up the meaning for the name, we found out that ethan was actually a worshipper in king david's court in the old testament and authored psalm 89.... a psalm all about god's faithfulness. the name itself means strong and optimistic, solid and enduring, or permanent.... all the same things that we had been praying over our baby... we were both pretty excited to have discovered it :)

anna continues to discover new things daily, with her latest loves involving horses and babies and helping clean the house. she amazes me with her continuous energy and drive to give life all she has, her big eyes aglow and full of laughter constantly. she has now entered the heights of toddlerhood, knowing exactly what she wants at any given moment (and willing to do whatever she thinks it will take to get that!) and wanting to do absolutely everything by herself. at a little over 17 months, she decided it was time to start potty-training, and is well on her way.... i continue to pray that her independent spirit and strong desire to help will be a positive in a few months when i will cherish the help! she gives little ethan a "kiss" almost every night (which really just turns into pressing her mouth into my belly, blowing and laughing over the noise it makes) and enjoys talking about the baby... it will be interesting to see how much she enjoys the baby after he is no longer inside of mommy's belly...

we enjoyed many visitors coming and going this summer and then were able to take a three week trip to the states in september. although we literally crossed the entire country during these three weeks (we started in arizona, flew to new york to visit my grandparents, then to chicago to visit friends there, then drove to st louis for almost a week to visit friends and family there, and then a last day in chicago to see friends at a church there before flying back home) and were on the go from the moment we arrived (something that is much easier to handle without a toddler and 7 months of pregnancy), it was a truly blessed time in which we got to connect with many people we haven't seen in years as well as new people, all of whom were an encouragement to us in ways that cannot be described in words. although we are very fulfilled in our life here and surrounded by family dear to our hearts, there are times of loneliness and isolation that times of fellowship and worship with other americans cannot replace, and it was a blessing to have been encouraged in this way.

a couple days before we left for the states, our jersey cow gave birth, and we returned home to two gallons a day of extra milk after the heifer calf is fed her portion by bottle. i am so grateful that this came before baby when i still have a little bit of time to figure out how exactly to make the most of the milk that we have coming into the house..... i quickly discovered that cheese making is not my calling or love in life, but found that butter, yogurt, and cream cheese are not only things that are relatively unavailable in our area and high in nutritional value, but are also easy and profitable ways to process the milk to sell. it has been an overwhelming, yet fun journey to have begun.

leslie and i have also started doing a monthly clinic in a village near us called cruz chich in addition to the three weekly clinics. a completely indigenous village, it is extremely large and full of need.... amazing me actually with how much need there is there in spite of the fact that they are about 45 minutes from a hospital and about 30-40 minutes from us. we often see people from this village in our saturday clinic, and i have to admit that i did not expect that there would be much need for us to start a clinic in the village in addition to the people we already saw.... however, i was wrong. we have asked them to limit numbers to 100, but have easily seen 120 people each time as they always add "emergencies" to the already sold numbers. although the days are long, it has truly been a joy to work there and get to know these people and move ourselves to reach them instead of asking them to come to us. they are a very very reserved village and do not trust many people... after about 5 months of working there, we have finally started to see women and children (it is typical in every village we work in for them to send their men to us first to check us out, and when the women and children start to come we know that steps are being made), and the malnutrition and poverty we have seen has broken our hearts. with many of the men having gone to the states and returned with money, certain parts of the village are starting to raise their standards of living, but the signs of extreme poverty are everywhere... and we believe mostly stemming from the spiritual poverty that is evident on almost all of the faces we see. in this way, it has been a joy to not only be able to offer them a lovng touch and listening ear as well as a prayer when appropriate, but we have even had a couple people come back already and tell us that they know that they received healing due to the prayers they received! i have learned to be content knowing that most often in life the seeds that we plant are never seen by our eyes, but what a joy it is to be able to witness someone experiencing for the first time the sweet joy and peace that jesus offers, especially in a land where the people face such difficult and hard lives.

thank you for sharing a little bit in our journey of discovering more of Him and His goodness to us... i pray that as you read this, He has made His blessings in your own life evident to you as well!

below are just a few pics, but if you are interested, you can find more on our facebook page under katie eleiott ficker.

here's anna playing in the river on a hot day, and below you can see our newly finished dining room and living room...

here's our jersey cow and calf, and below is our first batch of butter!

here is a little baby that came to us malnourished and dehydrated... you can see her taking her oral rehydration solution through a little dropper as her gramma helps her