Monday, October 29, 2012


With two kids on the move now (Ethan is almost walking, but in the meantime has mastered crawling at impressive speeds) it is that much more obvious to me how quickly life flies by.... and that there is no stop button. I cannot believe that Ethan will be a year old in a little over a month... I cannot believe that I will have been a mom for three years in February... that I have been married for five years, and lived here in Guatemala for six. And while I know these sound like incredibly small numbers, I have realized that if this is how quickly these times go by, I will blink and tomorrow Anna will be heading off to college.

I recently watched a movie about a working mom, and one of the main points was in learning how to juggle... and I liked that. "Balance" has a way of feeling like trying to attain the impossible, but juggling allows you to constantly be a little off - there are always 2 or more balls in the air - and yet attain an overall balance... as long as they don't all fall on the ground :)

Plus, it makes me think of clowns... which makes me think of children laughing... which makes me smile. And what mother doesn't appreciate happy children and smiling as we continue to juggle all on our plate? :)

Aaron, Duane, and Joseph have poured every free moment of time they have into getting the addition done which will give us a second bedroom and bathroom and the ability to get the kids in their own room! While we have done just fine in the house we have, the extra space will be a huge blessing, and it has been done beautifully.... definitely scored on marrying into a gifted hard working family. We head to Guatemala City this week to pick out some tile, and then it is just a couple more things (like windows) before it is completed.

Clinics continue to keep us busy as we rarely have less than 70 people in canilla and never less than 100 in San Andres. Rachael and Leslie said yesterday that we now serve over 80 people with diabetes and/or hypertension in Canilla, and over 50 people with the same in San Andres! While many people here can easily be diagnosed with these conditions, few can afford the meds/trips to Quiche (the nearest city that can provide this care) that are needed to maintain/treat their condition. Most importantly, though, the continual relationships that are built as these patients come back regularly are an opportunity to lead them to Christ and/or encourage them in their relationship with him.

I have cut down now to doing just the two weekend clinics (Rachel and Leslie continue to do the Tuesday clinic in Chiminisiguan and one other monthly clinic) which will allow me more time to focus on things like starting schoolwork with Anna and getting stuff in order for the nursing school - and also give Aaron more time to work on other ministry things. We met with the head of all nursing schools in Guatemala about a month and a half ago; she informed us that there is no way we will open in January 2013, but was great as she discussed how she will help us get everything in order for opening January 2014. It was wonderful to actually be talking with the very person who will be approving our school and hearing it all "straight from the horse's mouth." Part of what she encouraged me to do was to go ahead and start the process of getting my Guatemalan nursing license - something that will require a lot of work, time and God's hand and favor. (For example, just in order to get my college nursing diploma accepted, I will need to have a notary verify that the college's signature is accurate, a county branch verify that the notary is accurate, a Guatemalan consulate in the States verify that the college, the notary and the county branch stamps are accurate, then bring it here to have it translated, and then bring it to another place here in the City to have the translated copy - which includes all the previous stamps - authenticated one last time before it can be handed in!) So, this week when we arrive in the City, we will also head to the department in charge of "incorporating" my American nursing license into the Guatemalan system to get the process started. Please continue to pray that the Lord's favor will be over this long process! We are hoping that if we can get this all taken care of in the next year, I will be able to serve as the director over the nursing school when it opens.

And while life happens anywhere, and we all continue walk the road before us one step at a time, praying for and giving to those around us even when it feels routine, there are times when I long to know that God is hearing our prayers... that He is still moving. And the other day, He did just that as a little girl and her mother from Cruz Chich come to know Jesus during one of our clinics in Canilla. We have been praying for this area for years, and our monthly clinic is in a village right next door. The little girl came in complaining of stomache aches and head aches. As I further prodded, I felt compelled to ask about her home life, and watched as her eyes darted to her mother, and then went wide as she explained that her father was usually drunk and then would beat them both... sadly, a story that is more common than not here. As the little girl further explained her desire to achieve in school (she is the only one in her entire family that can read in Spanish - something she is learning in school) and the failure she felt when she didn't succeed as she wished, my heart went out to her; her young innocence and honesty was so raw. I explained that there was someone who could be a friend to her... someone who would be right there with her always... not that it would always be easy, but she would never be alone again. And as we explained all this to her in front of her mom, her mom asked if she too could be friends with Jesus. And as I watched this little girl and her mother repeat a prayer after our translators, asking Jesus to forgive them of their sins and committing to walk with him from now on, my own heart rejoiced with the angels in Heaven as two more lost ones came home. We continue to pray for this area that is so set in the Mayan ways and traditions... that God will raise up a church that will faithfully continue to disciple in Truth.

And so, God continues to remind us often that He is not done with us yet as we continue to learn to juggle all before us - and we are so grateful for His grace and encouragement to get back up when balls are dropped! His daily faithfulness is apparent, and life lately has definitely further humbled Aaron and I to the point where we know that each day we make it through is a visible sign of His mercy and grace over our lives. We are so thankful for good family and friends that love on us, and a Father and Friend that allow us to let go of the "things that so easily entangle" and enjoy "the abundant life" that He has called us to.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it! (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, emphasis mine)

Aaron and Antonio working on the roof line with Duane and Joe...

The little girl who came to know Jesus during clinics
Ethan helping Daddy, Uncle Joe, and Grampa work on the plane

Our town of Canilla nestled at the foot of the mountains.
Anna ready to fly to the City!


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