Thursday, October 31, 2019
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
How lovely is the place where you live,
O LORD who rules over all!
I desperately want to be
in the courts of the LORD’s temple.
My heart and my entire being shout for joy
to the living God.
In June, we hosted a team from our home church, Lifegate Omaha, led by the Knutson family.
The focus of the team was to renovate the Prayer Room at the hospital.
Everyone pitched in and we finished just in time for Saturday night community worship.
The team also helped out at the widow's project.
After the devotion, there was a prayer time for each of the widows who wanted prayer.
The team spent time with our missionary families and prayed over them as well.
Lindsay shared her testimony with the nurses and students at Wednesday devotion time.
They were also here for a soccer game between Adonai and Hogar de Vida!
And a trip to our favorite local eatery for dobladas!
After such a busy week it was good to make a stop in Panajachel on their way out.
Several got up early and rented kayaks.
All of us enjoyed the encouragement of fellowship sharing meals, walking down Calle Santander, and just hanging out!
And we all enjoyed the beauty of God's creation!
It is difficult to express how much of a blessing this team was. It is always encouraging to see old friends, to meet new friends, to host a team from our home church, to be encouraged in our work, to have the prayer room prioritized and 'spruced up'.
We are so thankful.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Over the last two weeks we have hosted teams that have held some in-services for our nurses and staff. Our medical staff is already incredible and with such great teaching times together they are only getting better. They have teachable hearts and soak in every minute of the in-services!
Dr Ellen and PA Erin work together in Kansas. They talked on healthy babies and perinatal issues. Their team also instructed on ultrasound (thanks Ryan!)
Dr Koert and nurse Nancy traveled from Arizona.
Nancy taught on EKG and patient monitoring and Dr Koert led a casting lab.
Here are a few pics from the casting lab. We couldn't have done it without brave volunteers!
After the casts dried, they had to come off.
Using the saw was a good skill to learn.
Over and over again, we see where there is need God provides!
Such an encouragement both professionally and personally!
We are so thankful for those who traveled down.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
So yesterday I turned 50. I have to admit that I am struggling with this milestone a little bit. It just sounds old! I told the secretary for our ministry that I didn't want 'to have 50 years'. She told me that just meant that I had more experience, more wisdom, ... and I said "mas vieja". She laughed and said that was true as well! It just sounds old!
It also feels like my life has come full circle in many ways! The kids are now asking me what I want for my 'birthday lunch', what kind of cake they should make and they do all the decorating. And did they decorate! Balloons everywhere!!
The living room
Even my office!
And they made me a delicious chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting! So good!
I celebrated my 40th birthday in Guatemala as well. We were here for seven months from September 2008 until April 2009. That was a hard birthday.
We were living in someone else's space away from many of my friends who would have celebrated with me. We were struggling with life here in general. The Spanish, the difficulties of understanding the culture, the issues with living in community, the trips to Guatemala City and Mexico to renew our VISAs, sharing our space with the clinic every Saturday. We never knew when a patient was going to land on our couch in the middle of our 'school time'. Or have to come into the clinic late at night because of an 'emergency'.
Ten years later, we are in the same space but we have all of it. Our living room is where they held clinic. My office is where the kitchen used to be. Our kids are not all in one room but are split into male and female. This space is ours now. It feels like home.
The culture is still hard sometimes and Spanish. Ugh - some days are good; others not so much! The trips to Guatemala City are still long but the road is now all concrete. Such a blessing!
I still miss my friends that would have invited me to coffee for my birthday! But we so treasure the relationships that we have here! I had surprise gifts most of the day - cookies, a beautiful plant, a wonderful 'happy birthday' song sung in Spanish and lots of hugs! Plus all of the gifts from my amazing kids, phone calls and surprises from my mom.
I am blessed. I am content. I am older. Never would I have guessed that I would be celebrating this milestone in this country when I was half this age.
As I look ahead, I am excited.
My kids are awesome (yes, I am extremely biased!!) and I really enjoy watching them grow into young men and women who are after the Lord's heart. I am anticipating all of the plans that He has for them.
I am so loved by a wonderful husband. Someday, it will be just the two of us again and it is going to be so much fun! He spoils me - from making the bed and the coffee everyday to stepping into all of the projects that I desire. Well, almost all of them!! He is incredible and I am blessed!
I serve an amazing God. I am closer to Him than ever and yet I know there is more. I have a hunger to go deeper in my relationship with Him. I am learning everyday how faithful He is and how much He loves me. He is so worthy!
So I am 50. It just sounds old.
But I am blessed and exactly where I am supposed to be. Thank you all for your encouragement and sweet messages. Thank you for sticking with us as we continue on this crazy journey. Thank you for being a part of making my birthday a good day!! Love you all!
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
We had our annual Christmas party for the widows last Monday. We use the donations from the baskets to fund their monthly food as well as special gifts for their Christmas party.
This year we put together a "Caja Básica" for each of them which just means that we put all sorts of practical items in a box and wrapped it. The box had laundry soap, sugar, coffee, typical consomme, a plate & cup set, and some treats like a small mirror, marshmallows and lotion. The nurses/translators also planned some food and games for the party. It is so fun to bless these women with this annual event.
We moved the party inside because it had been raining all morning. It is the dry season so it was kind of weird weather for December.
It made the roads a little interesting as well!
We began with buying their baskets. This is their financial provision for the next month so it is important that we don't forget this part of the gathering.
All 16 widows plus kids and grand kids were in attendance!
Next was the Christmas story. Then we prayed in Quiche, Spanish and English. We thanked the Lord for the gift of His son. We prayed for the Lord to be glorified in all of the activities. We prayed for the ladies and their families - that He would be their provision.
Then the games! The prizes for the winner (and for all participants) were the packages of rice from the Orphan Grain Train. More provision for them and their families.
They were a little confused by musical chairs at first . . .
But they figured it out!
Time for food!
And traditional Christmas fruit punch!
One of the widows came to me after she had finished eating. She had a present for me! It was many ears of corn that she had cooked. She also took out her audio Bible that she had received a couple of months ago. She turned it on for me and told me that she listens to it all day and all night. She was so appreciative and blessed by this gift and wanted to give back. It was so sweet to see her heart!
Many of the widows walk a great distance to get to our clinic building. Often on the way out, we will give some of them rides until our path takes a different turn. We gave several of them rides this last Monday.
The first sweet lady to be let out brought her granddaughter to help her carry her gift. The granddaughter jumped out of the back of the truck. Don and I got out to help this older lady out. Don touched her to help her down and it embarrassed her a little. She got down and giggled with her hand covering her mouth! I giggled with her and then she wanted a hug. Not just the Guatemalan 'pat pat pat on the arm' but a full-fledged hug. So sweet!
The second family to get out was the lady who gave me the gift of the corn. I got out to say good-bye. She again thanked me many, many times. And then she pointed to all of those with her and said 'this is all of my family.' I told her they were beautiful. She also wanted a full-fledged hug and then her son (or grandson?) came up to me and wanted a hug as well. I grabbed him tight and picked him up! More smiles and giggles!
Being a part of this program is such a blessing to my heart. These ladies do not have options for earning money in this country. They have either been abandoned by their husbands for other women or their husbands have passed away. Women in our area have very little opportunities, in general, but especially if you can't speak Spanish and are uneducated. They rely on making these baskets for their monthly provision for their family. Many of these women walk a great distance and take away less than $10 for the month.
God's word tells us to defend and fight for the widows. He tell us that He is their Protector.
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows " James 1:27.
Thank you to all of you who have supported this project by your donations for the baskets. Even if you have never been to Guatemala or met any of these sweet ladies, you have blessed them with your generosity! The Lord has touched them through you! Thank you!!