Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just Hanging Out

It is amazing how much you really get to know someone just by doing something together.

We were out at one of the schools today, the only one you can get to due to the pure slush-like mud to try to drive through. Let's just say the roads are so bad we have gone 4 times in the past 3 weeks and due to 20 days of non-stop rain we have gotten stuck all but once. Though we don't feel so bad because the people out there have said that about every truck that goes out there gets stuck. :) The other good thing is that the oxen are readily available to help.

We went to the school to put up a
swing for the school kids. The kids at Trinity Christian School in Neosho, MO had been saving money to help pay for a swing set for the school here that didn't even have one piece of playground equipment. They had gotten the money to us a few months ago but the logistics of getting the swing and a way for it to get to the school was a bit hard without a truck, until now.

We had a few guys that said they would meet us to help with putting it together and to set it in concrete. (have to detour the thieves) While we were there we had such a great time getting to know some of the other people in the community that we had not had much time to talk with before. And of course we had our kids and some neighbors of the school to try it out. Seemed to work great!!
(to see more pics go to

While we were there Roger had brought tools and materials to build a rocket stove. There had been a real need to do something about the amount of smoke that fills a house during rainy season when they have to cook in their home, and the cost of the wood to cook with. He had found the basic idea on the internet, from the Aprovecho group, about a rocket stove. And thanks to youtube, got many ideas. It is a very simple design with cheap materials. The total cost is around $5 per stove. We have already made one and had it with a friend in another community and his wife has been so thrilled. So today after they put the swing up, Roger and 4 other guys put the 2nd one together. After we finished the women that were there said they wanted to be on the list for the next and the guys are wanting to do a workshop for all the community to make ones for whoever wants to be a part.

The great thing about the stove is it gives off no smoke (completely burns the wood), saves on buying wood. The first stove, in it's first week, used 50% less wood for the family. (which pays for the stove in less t
han a month) Cooks faster, and because of not giving off smoke it is better for their health. We see so many people that come to the clinic with so many respiratory problems because of the constant inhalation of smoke within their homes and eye problems.

(to see more pics go to

It has been so great to see the response of the people. They are excited and want to learn how to do it themselves. When we left the school today the guys were going to start talking to others around the community to set up a day to have a workshop. We left the stove we made today with one of the families to show others as they ask. We will soon have a workshop in Dolores, where the first stove is, and there is also talk of doing one in Rio Blanco as well.

It is so exciting how God opens up doors to share the love of God with others. One of the guys that was there today was one of the ones that was part of the group that tried to kick us and the clinic out a few months ago. And he was the one that wanted to help facilitate the workshop. It is so great to see how God can begin to change people's hearts if we just trust Him, obey Him, and love them with the same love that God shows us daily.

These are such exciting times!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Achievement

Well yesterday the kids found the first egg from the chickens that we have. We got the chickens a few months ago(wrote in earlier blog) and had just been feeding them and waiting for them to get nice and big to start laying eggs. Just a few weeks ago we started giving food to lay eggs and yesterday it was so great to find the egg. They, of course, had me cook it for them right then. The kids couldn't wait till this morning to go find the next one. I think they checked about every hour. Finally a bit before 6pm they found the egg for today. I can't wait until all three start laying eggs.

Also for the last couple of months we have been enjoying our first crop of cherry tomatoes, and have a nice amount of herbs growing around the yard. I have never had much of a green thumb or been interested in farm animals but it has been nice to see things coming together. And I guess if times get tough we can at least have eggs, and some herbs. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rainy, Rainy, Rainy

One could never imagine how much it could rain till you have lived in the tropics, or at least have come during the rainy season. I just can't comprehend how it can rain so hard and non-stop. It has rained, at our house nearly 2 days without stopping. a few days ago we had a bit of sunshine but for 2 weeks before that it was the same....rain, rain, and more rain. It has its moments where it is just like God turned on the faucet (or faucets) to full strength and just let it pour. Nearly everyone walks here. Everyone has their boots, or they just take off their flip-flops, and roll up their pants and deal with it.

In the communities where we help some of the teachers have to get there from Jinotepe, the main town. Normally there is a cattle truck that transports people in and out if they can pay for it. The last 2 months there has been so much rain that the trucks don't run. They walk to get to their jobs teaching. The one teacher, Rina, says it takes here nearly 45 min to 1 hour to get to school and by the time she gets there her shoes are filled with mud. There are about another 3 teachers, that I know of, that live further in the communities, but on the other side of a river. Normally that river is a few inches high to cross and get to their jobs. But now who knows. Last year they said they tied ropes across the river to try to make a make-shift ferry to cross, or just walking but using the rope to guide them. I can't imagine that being the norm for getting to work. I know I like getting the parking space the closest to try to keep from walking another 20 feet farther to get to a store. I feel bad when I know people have to walk to get somewhere but in reality it is very normal. And beyond all that they are more than thankful that they even have a job.

I am so glad that God has me here to keep me grounded. To bring reality to life. None of the 'keeping up with the Jones'' business. But just keeping up with God's business. There is no greater feeling than being content, happy, where you are at and knowing you are doing what you have been called to do. No matter if it is at home, office, business, another country, pastor, or friend.

Be content and if not seek it out!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Great Saturday

First I will have to apologize, I am bit of a lazy blogger. It seems like days get away from me before I get half of my list done for that day. I am far behind on many of the things that I have thought would be great to blog, so maybe I will try to catch up.

To start, we had the clinic on Saturday. It is the middle of rainy season so the roads are TERRIBLE, and our last clinic was fairly small (a little over 30 patients). I had a feeling it was going to go about the same or fewer. We couldn't get the word out, since there is no transportation going into the communities. We started the day a bit late. We got stuck in the mud, but got out, thanks to the new truck. We arrived about 30 minutes late.

When we got there, there were 20 or more already in line. I don't think the line ended until 3 hours later. It just seemed like they kept coming. The nurse, Susanna, asked if I had more sheets to for checking in the patients. I said no, but I had made over 75, I asked why. She had ran out.
By the end of it we had 86 patients. It was crazy. There was a line to check in, fhere was a line to see one of the two doctors, and there was a line to get the medicines in our makeshift pharmacy. Did I say it was crazy!! We had never had more than 66 patients...needless to say we were a bit ill prepared with the quantity of medicines. By the time we left we were all exhausted. Even Josiah stepped up to help count out vitamins and helped bag the meds when they were ready.

It was over and we loaded up the truck to head back to town and eat a very late lunch. About half a mile from the clinic we got stuck in the road. Roger was driving so good but with all the effort the truck just slid right into the deepest ruts in that part of the road. It is so hard to see where the best place is to drive since the whole road is just a mud mess, and you never know where it is the mushiest and the deepest. Well this time getting stuck there was no moving us. Finally after a few guys tried to help there was still no moving. Finally a guy on a horse and cart gave Roger a ride to a guys house, about another half a mile away, that has oxen to help pull us out.

By the time they hooked the oxen and the chain to the truck, in no time we were out of the mess. The only problem was is they had to pull us out backwards and we had to drive through it again. This time, no problem!! We were slipping and sliding but made it through. All of us in the truck, what a great story!! But all in all it was a great day!