Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2 Corinthians 6:10a

"Our hearts ache, but at the same time we have the joy of the Lord."
2 Corinthians 6:10a from the Living Bible

When I see children living on the street, my heart aches.

When I go through any city or town and look at all the houses and think of all the people living with pain, depression, feelings of hopelessness, my heart aches.

When I see transvestites and think of the lies that they are believing, my heart aches.

When I hear the statistics about the number of people (especially children) that every second or minute are being abused, raped, murdered, my heart aches.

When I see fellow Christians being deceived and falling into or choosing sin, my heart aches.

When I see how many times I fail to follow what God has for me and I don't choose to share his love, my heart aches. the same time I have the joy of the Lord.

Without the joy of the Lord I would fall into depression and not do anything because everything would feel so hopeless and pointless.

Without the joy of the Lord I would feel so sorry for myself and be so self absorbed that I wouldn't have God's love to show or share.

Without the joy of the Lord I would only see my failures and not be able to see the Spirit of God moving and working in myself and others.

Without the joy of the Lord I would forget that it is not my work, but God working in and through me.

I thank God for the joy that he plants deep within each one who chooses to except it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Old news, new news, good news...

As you may have known or remember, Janelle's nephew Josh (her brother Jeff's son) was here for a couple of weeks. He came with Janelle's sister and her family and was planning on traveling home with a friend of Andrea. Various airline cancellations because of the political situation meant that Andrea's friend didn't come, but God provided a way home for Josh via a friends of friends connection. We all enjoyed having Josh here.

-------cutting firewood for a campfire----------

S'mores with Alex and Lilian after a pizza dinner.

We took Josh to El Picacho park, where the statue of Jesus is located, the morning of the day that he had to fly back to the States.

After eating Zack the dragon was still hungry...

The next day after Picacho and taking Josh to the airport, we went with a large group of the older guys, Andrea and the Livengoods up to Oscar and Martha's house for a special lunch. Oscar is a mason that helps with the construction work here at the Finca. The boys all put money together to make a special meal as a "reward" for all their hard work. :) Danilo was the guy in charge and even helped do some of the cooking!

We took Javier's mom and sister, Brenda and Maria, with us up to Oscar's. Here Brenda and Janelle are mixing up a fruit salad.

--------------------------------Ali and Maria

The master of the barbeque (and his improvised sunshade :)

Some people washed dishes...

----------Some people rested...

And some people played soccer ?...

and Zack made a new friend

We also had a reward dinner for the boys in Harlan's Bible study class who wrote all the verses they were supposed to learn. This time we took the easy way out, but a favorite of the boys, and bought Chinese food in Teguc. We did add raw veggies, fresh fruit, ice cream and brownies, courtesy of Angelica.

Later popcorn and a movie...

The next day we took a walk to the top of one of the mountains behind our house to the "buena vista". The group of kids who went along all enjoyed the trip, but Janelle doesn't know if she'll ever even attempt it again. :)

This past Tuesday and Wednesday, we took a school "field trip" to Siguatepeque and Lago de Yojoa. Teacher Mrs. Livengood and Principal Mr. Livengood went along. First, we went to visit Gerald and Phyllis Martin in Siguatepeque and see the children's home and farm where they and others live. They have around 36 children at the home and many people to help out. We were able to learn how they make yogurt, cheese (including Farmer's cheese!) and ice cream! We were, of course, happy to sample the products! The farm with cows, chickens, pigs, gardens, cornfields and tractors was a little bit of Lancaster County in the middle of Honduras (although none of the residents are actually from Lancaster County :) We had a great time being shown around by Gerald. We visited on Phyllis' due date and have since learned that they had a little girl five days later and all, including two brothers, are doing well. Everyone hopes to be able to go back and visit them again and not just for the cheese and ice cream! :)

Here's the cheese making equipment.

Then we traveled on to Lago de Yojoa. We took an hour tour by boat around the lake when we arrived. The next day we drove to Puhlapanzak, a very large waterfall. It was quite amazing. We had a wonderful trip especially since we didn't need to worry about any border crossings. On our way back we were able to buy huge watermelons and honey as well as cheese, yogurt and more ice cream at the Martins.

And now the event we've all been waiting for...
the first day of school! Here we are, all ready
to go with our snacks...

Are you ready for this, Mrs Livengood?!

We are very grateful to all who are helping us in our work here. Those who are with us like Andrea, Dwain and Audrey. Those who come visit us like our families and church teams. Those who support us through prayers and finances. We thank God for all of you!

Some of the good news from here is what God is doing in the lives of some of the kids here. Janelle has had several opportunities to spend time with several of the teenage and young adult girls. Sometimes just to listen, sometimes to give advice, sometimes to pray and sometimes to help work through problems. Some of the girls have been able to apologize and ask for forgiveness from others. We thank God for the work he is doing in many of the lives here.

And now for a couple of random pictures... which do you think is prettier? :)

Our resident lizard that spends some of his time in our ceiling