Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yes, we're still around plugging away at life here in Honduras. We are enjoying many good moments but the occasional difficulty does come our way.

One particularly difficult incident passed our way last week on Thursday. An unfortunate accident involving one of the boys here at La Finca stopped all our hearts for awhile. Thank God his angels were with us (particularlywith Javier) and the situation, though very scary as it unfolded, didn't turn out as ugly as it could have. From our human perspective it is unimaginable that he could have escaped with the relatively light injuries he incurred. God was faithful in our moment of need. This pic shows Javier recovering in bed. His mother is with him. Join us in prayer for his continued recovery.

On to other things. Recently we did a day trip to the town of Guaimaca. Our hope was to make contact with Mennonites that supposedly lived in the area. We had an interesting drive out to an area of Honduras that was new to us. After a good bit of driving around the area looking for clues as to where Mennonites might be, we spotted the name Smucker on a sign and figured there might be a connection. The place we stopped at consisted of a restraunt, ice cream and souvenir shop, and a lawn furniture business run by members of the same family. Turns out they are pretty much the sole remaining family that was associated with the Mennonite colony. We enjoyed chatting with them and hearing some of their story.

The Kennel family also paid us another visit staying overnight this time! We always enjoy their company. The plan was to do an outdoor doggie roast but dry and windy conditions forced us indoors. Wasn't quite the same doing it in the fireplace. Oh well, maybe the next time.

We usually invite the older kids over for a meal when they are celebrating a birthday. Recently Danilo and Mirna celebrated their birthdays on the same day.

Zack and Harlan replacing the all important screens on our house.

More pictures on the ongoing construction next time!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oh Yeah...

Ok, I wrote the blog last night (when I should have been sleeping :), reread it this morning and realized I had forgotten a couple of things!

On Thursday, we took a group of about 20 of the youth/young adults to an event at Encuentro campground in the late afternoon. A group of "gringo" youth from a Christian high school in Texas come every year. They are led by Jenny, a former missionary kid whose parents still live and work at the campground part of the year. The group comes do crafts and play with the Finca kids. They also partner with students from Jenny's former bilingual school in Teguc, Los Pinares,to go to the local public high school here in Valle. The Pinares' students translate for the "gringo" youth. This year the team decided to try and plan a party in order to bring all the groups together in an informal way to play games, have pizza and then a message about Christ. The Texas group invited the youth from the local high school, which includes the Finca youth, and the students from Pinares. They planned on about 50-75 people and ended up with more than 150! That meant needing to try and get more pizza from somewhere, but it also meant that many more people heard the message of Christ! First everyone played soccer, volleyball, games and races. Later, a "gringo" girl and a Pinares girl each gave their testimony and Samuel, the director of the school here at the Finca, preached a message. It was a good evening of interaction between different groups of Honduran youth and gringos.

Also, just in case anyone thinks I'm unnecessarily cruel or fanatical about sweets, we did let the older boys have dessert with their reward dinner! We had some of the cupcakes we made for Ali's birthday and ice cream. I also gave them a peanut butter concoction that everyone loved, asked when I was going to make it again and asked what it was called. I had to admit that it was an accident because I ruined some peanut butter icing that I tried to make. Now they started asking me for some some more "accident"!! We also had popcorn later and watched the movie Facing the Giants.

See ya next time!!

PS. I love to read any comments that anyone would like to leave. Hint, hint :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun and Food

As I sit here getting ready to blog, I smell the almonds I am roasting (and need to remember to keep stirring) and am reminded that most of this blog will revolve around food and/or meals. It does feel that life, no matter where we are, seems to do the same. I pray that, more importantly, our lives actually revolve around the Bread of Life and the Living Water!

Thank you, by the way, to all who have sent us gifts of food and many other things in packages and with visitors. We appreciate every single thing and pray we may be able to bless you with something that you need or want someday. :)

After the team from our church, Metzler's, left on Tuesday, we tried to get used to the void they left and also catch up on our sleep. :) Then Saturday started the food theme. The oldest girls' Bible study class, which Angelica attends (and I help translate for her), received their reward dinner for completing the requirements of the class. Granted it was fairly simple. They just needed to attend all the classes and know the first five Bible memory verses. However, there were still around ten girls who didn't meet the requirements even though all are capable. Please pray that they will feel motivated to try harder this next time around.

The dinner was a "plato tipico." All of you who have
been here to visit should know what I'm talking about. Some of you appreciate it more than others! Michele grilled a lot of marinated beef and we also had rice, refried beans, chismol, cheese and tortillas. We also had a flan/jello/ fruit/whipped cream concoction for dessert as well as some chocolate brownies that Angelica made. Everyone also enjoyed the freshly popped popcorn a la Dwain during the movie, Facing the Giants.

Sunday sometimes means inviting some of the kids for lunch. Since Danilo and Concho were still hanging around after their Sunday school class with Harlan, I put them to work helping with lunch and we also invited Alba and Maria Ilda.

Monday, the 9th, was Karla Patricia's birthday and Angelica decided to make cookies for her and Alonso, whose birthday was the 11th.

Ali's 10th birthday was on Friday, March 13th, and she started by opening some presents sent from home. Ali knows that Nana will buy her Oreos if her mom won't! :)

Later Ali was off to Tegucigalpa with dad to be able to pick out a special gift (she picked books :) and then lunch at Chili's. Later after church and dinner we celebrated by making soft pretzels with Alonso, Michele and family as well as Andrea, Patricia, Rodrigo (who also had a birthday the 13th) and Ali's friend, Norma. Angelica had also made cupcakes for the occasion.



Saturday evening was the older boys' turn to have their reward dinner for Bible study class. Harlan is their teacher so dinner was at our house and prepared by us (meaning me :) We had hotdogs and sausages roasted/burnt over a fire, all the necessary hotdog fixins, mac n cheese, three bean (or in this case, two :) casserole, red beet eggs, and (of course) plenty of raw veggies!

On Sunday, we were invited to our friends, Guillermo and Luz, for lunch to celebrate his birthday which was on Saturday, as well! We always enjoy spending time with them and Zack loved being able to play with their dog, Bobby. They both seem to have an unending fount of energy! We then attended C.C.I.'s evening English service before heading back out to Valle. I always love times of corporate praise and worship, whether in English or Spanish.

Today we were off to Teguc to pick up Dwain and Audrey at the airport after a quick five day trip home for Dwain's brother's wedding. So that means back to school for Angelica, Ali and Zack tomorrow!

Just one more picture. This is one of my favorite and one of the more humorous views out my kitchen window.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Visitors from Home

Yes, we're a little behind "schedule" with our blogging. We've just said good-bye to the work group from our home church in PA. It was very encouraging as usual to have them here and a bit difficult to get on with things after they left.

We had good times of fellowship as the group shared in our lives here these past few days. We ate most of our meals together giving Janelle a nice break from meal prep. The team included Aaron and Louise Weaver, Scott, Jodi, Joshua and Kira Garman, David and Lisa Buch, and Sarah Burkholder. Angelica, Ali, and Zack really enjoyed having some visitors their size to play with. The group helped with the construction projects, painted and lent a hand or two to the gardening project.

Our extended family here at La Finca really appreciated our visitors as well. It's great to see how these kids come alive when there are extra souls around to provide some loving interaction.

We thank God the team from home was able to come. Hope to see more of you here sometime!

Some photos from our Sunday afternoon hike up into the mountains.

"Not another picture mom!"
"It's about time somebody takes a picture of me!"

Zack and Edwardo posing in front of an old mine storage chamber. This mountain once contained some of the richest mines in Latin America

This beautiful waterfall was the goal of our hike.

Concho, Josh and I admiring bananas harvested behind our house. This time we got 'um before the 'posum did!

If only we can get our banana grove to produce like this.