Sunday, May 19, 2019

connections through medical work

The middle of April arrived. Kids connect is something that the whole family really loves.  It was Selah's turn to join me.  Kids Konnect has graciously allowed Selah and I to ride the bus from the airport to Stann Creek. This is awesome because it means not waking up at 4:30 am to catch the bus!  TJ was returning to Dangriga. Other than the very full bus, the trip(s) went without incident.
Selah playing with one of the dogs at Camp Legacy(where we stay during our time with Kids Konnect)

Selah and I found the best places in the bunks (I like to stay away from the blowing air conditioner).

Selah, TJ and I wait for the bus

Wednesday nights are usually spent organizing distributing medicines, and catching up with friends. April Kids Konnect has been extra special the past two years. Nursing students come and serve. It is fun to meet people at the beginning of their nursing journey.

Selah, the helpers and nursing students had a drawing competition

Clinic days for us went: Silk Grass village, Pomona, and St Augustine. Routine is familiar but the patients fluid. I really do enjoy being able to bounce back and forth between interpreting and doing triage. It gives variety. I also often get to follow the same Spanish speaking patients from triage, to see the doctor and hand them their medication in the pharmacy. I believe I have now been in Silk Grass 6 times. It delights me to return to the same place, getting to know the same people and ask them how their lives are progressing.
the table set up for triage

Friday Nathanael brought a (very full) van load of mostly Deaf people from Orange Walk. It was an interesting and full day. The funniest part was me attempting to interpret ASL. Apparently if I didn't know the word in sign language I was vocalizing the Spanish word. We are so thankful to the people at Kids Konnect for loving the Deaf and accommodating them.
Nathanael interpreting for an eye exam

the "seating chart" for the van ride up. 23 people in a 15 passenger van for 3 hours (each way!)

The best part of this process has been an open door for me. We have been able to speak into the medical parts of people's lives. We sit with them and discuss medications. It helps to have a basis of understanding of what their medical issues are.
the April group who served

The other exciting thing was Zepahniah got to stay from Fri-Sunday with us to visit with his good friend Tucker (another TCK) who lives at the camp. His parents serve with Kids Konnect. Zephaniah spent Saturday exploring the creek, riding bikes, and having dart gun fights. What a delight for an 8 year old boy!

Zephaniah and friends catching fish in a net in the river

Thanks Kids Konnect! What a delight to work with you!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Truly celebrating

After returning from the EMM retreat, we had a meeting Friday night for Bible Study and planning of our annual Resurrection day service. What I love is that others are willing to contribute and make food! We bring the van, drinks and paper products.

The spot at Honeycamp lagoon

Friday night after Bible Study, Nathanael got a text. The private beach we had planned to go to at Honey camp Lagoon wouldn't be available for us to us. Nathanael scrambled with Misael out to the Lagoon on Saturday and secured a different spot. It was unexpected but we are thankful the pieces fell into place!

Alva and her 2 children Josue and Keily

Sunday we were ready bright and early. It is always a bit strange to me picking people up. Nathanael does this job. I am the one who stays at church to clean or stay at the house on Friday to finish making dinner.  We had a full van but not as full as last year.

we found a way that everyone fit in the van!

It was awesome celebrating Resurrection Day as a church. Elizaine led 2 worship songs she had practiced. To that end, April 22 after much discussion Elmer, her boyfriend also gave his life to the Lord.  What an awesome thing to rejoice over!  We hope and pray that the discipleship process will lead them to desire marriage for them and for their new little one that is coming in July.

Elmer and Elizanie in February when Todd Miller came

After our Easter service, we shared a meal, had an egg hunt, and enjoyed the time at the lagoon.  What a blessing to celebrate in this way.

Kids lined up for an Easter egg hunt

enjoying the swim in the lagoon

Had anyone noticed the extra non-Belizean in the group?  TJ Groff was with us for the weekend so he could practice the dances for Abigail's quinceanera. It was a delight to have him with us. Please lift us up in prayer as the pieces fall together to celebrate Abigail. The event is May 18, a week and a half away.  

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Friends, Fellowship and Dry heat Oh my!!

Mid-April brought an exciting time of year for us again! We were so excited to travel with the Groffs (Tim, Julie, TJ, Simeon, and Gabe) from Belize to El Tule Guatemala. Why do you ask? For the EMM Central American annual Retreat.

a evening worship session

Chiquimula felt just as dry-hot (about 7-10 degrees hotter than what we are used to in Belize) as it did last year. We did arrive at a different time of year (last year was during March).  Trees and plants were a bit more green; so beautiful to behold.  One may get the impression that we who live in Belize are "used to" the heat, but to me the day it hit 101, all I wanted to do was return to Belize!
singing together

We arrived a day early and got to shop at Megapaca, the Guatemalan form of a thrift shop. Picking through long aisles of clothes which were not ordered by size (or color) in a non-airconditioned store just about did me in!  We found some good deals though so I can be thankful!

we tried out this "4d" ride at the mall for 25 q (3$ us) we found the ride to be lacking

It is a joyful experience to hug old friends and meet new ones.  This year the Guatemalan Vida 220 team, Jeanne and Emily Hess provided child care.  With 29 kids, 17 between the ages of 10-16, they have a big job cut out for them! Hannah Zimmerman is the TCK advocate and comes on the trip. She spends time with the kids (mostly the older ones but the younger as well). She talks them through issues and helps them navigate the unique world they all face.  It is such a blessing to have her come!

older kids getting prayed over

While we have morning and evening sessions, the afternoon time is free. A lot of time is spent either swimming or sitting in the only room with AC. I didn't not feel so inclined to hike this year, although my kids did.  My favorite time is reconnecting with friends and learning about what God is doing in their lives.

multiple games of foursquare happened here

This year we were blessed with an uneventful trip to and from El Tule!  Last year we had issues with the tires and people who came along for rides, and their visa issues.  We did listen to some audio books which was enjoyable (from my perspective!)

Monopoly Deal with friends

The most difficult part of our retreat is the goodbyes that happen. We are so thankful to be able to participate in the EMM retreat!

Nathanael found a Deaf guy at the market

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

having a target on our backs

I often listen to podcasts while doing work around the house. I started my podcast exploration about 6-8 months ago when a friend had recommended "God Centered Mom" podcast. (the name has now changed to "Don't Mom Alone" but I still highly recommend listening to it!)

peeling potatoes into the yard (our form of a compost pile)

This got me into finding a number of different great podcasts.  I run into a conundrum when listening. I am so "far behind" do I listen to the most recent podcasts or the ones I find the most appealing to me? I currently have 30 some podcasts downloaded on top of being subscribed to 50 different podcasts.  It is a bit overwhelming at times.

Zion and Zephaniah hiking in the bush with Nathanael

All of that last paragraph to say the podcast I was enjoying most recently is from quite a while ago. It was a podcast called Journeywomen.  She was sharing about marriage.  They talked specifically about times and seasons where marriage can be extra difficult. She named things like military families, those in ministry, and missionaries.   The speaker, Carla Weathersbee shared "they walk around with a target on their backs".

Anna agreed to do cornrows in Abigail's hair

This phrase brought me to tears. I commiserate because that has been my experience.  The devil doesn't want us to succeed, especially in marriage. Couples both in Jesus Deaf Church and Koinonia often decide not to get married. We are living examples of marriage and why God calls us to it.

I was attempting to use the fetoscope on Eliaznie but I couldn't get a good heartbeat(moving baby and lack of experience)

In the process of tears and speaking to God, I was also reminded that being a target isn't always a dreadful thing. We are also a direct target for prayer. I could recount to you times when I have physically felt prayers over us. Prayers for peace, prayers for our family and for the ministry.  You play a vital role. Thank you for "aiming" at our target!

Anna tried our bentonite clay mask

This past week, Nathanael had a discussion with one of the guys he is mentoring. There was a question of salvation, and this guy was unsure if he is/wants to be a Christian.  I mulled over that for a while. I started to fast and pray for salvations on Sundays.
Nathanael and Misael play kings

Monday Nathanael took Elizanie to the hospital for an appointment for her pregnancy.  The lab was closed however her heart was open.  After long discussions and spending the day at our house, she decided to give her heart to Jesus. We rejoice with her!!
Elizanie accepted Jesus!  We are so excited!!! 

She brought her boyfriend (and father of their child) the next day. Elmer is open to the gospel but hasn't made a decision yet.

Thank you for making us a target. Thank you for praying for and with us. We need to be in a place of health to minister to others. You are a vital part of this process.

The list of what people are bringing to our Easter service. Please be praying for this as it's our biggest service of the year

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Working as a team with Vida 220

We had a team from Vida 220 visit us for 10 days.  Our first exposure to Vida 220 was at the Central America EMM retreat. Last year they were a part of the team that cared for the kids.  There are so many kids they outnumber the adults!  Fun was had by all. It is a blessing to have young adults with a passion for Jesus pour themselves into our children's lives.

Nathanael transporting the team of 6 in the trike

This Vida 220 Belize team actually spent 2 months of their time in Dangriga with the Groff families ministering to the Garifuna.  Coming to Orange Walk made leaving the ministry they were in and changing direction!  (different languages and culture).
Working on a drama for church

What really amazed me was the groups ability to jump in. For the other teams, outreach is in one location for 5 months. 20 years ago when i was in YES, I had 8 months of outreach. The team set aside personal feelings and went right into ministry with us.
Eating at Pastor Fernando's home

The team here consisted of 2 from the US, 1 from Costa Rica, one from El Salvador, one from Ecuador and one from Guatemala. They spent 5 months in training in Costa Rica and are now serving in Belize.
walking in the community

It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce all of them to a need that really is in their backyard. Two people took sign language books with them to study more. All 6 worked at learning worship songs in ASL. They also spent time conversing.  One woman in particular said she has a Deaf neighbor and looks forward to getting to know the neighbor better.

Nathanael interprets for Jeimmy

The other direct impact they had was on the Davis children. They listened to, danced with, and in general loved on our kids. My mama heart was overflowing!  It was a difficult goodbye.

Worship songs

Please pray with us for the Vida Net team on the next leg of their journey. They were to travel to other Mennonite Churches in Belize. Two of the participants were denied visas. As far as we know they won't be returning to Belize.
Participating in Bible Study. Elizani's boyfriend interpreted

As a side note, we highly encourage anyone taking a gap year to look into Vida 220. Doing missions short term is an impactful, life changing experience.

we spent Sunday afternoon watching Up together

Monday, March 25, 2019

Celebrating Nathanael

I have been getting behind in my posting. I think part of it is this idea I have that everything I write about has to be ministry related or have a lesson involved. Yesterday I had been looking for a post on the blog (which I didn't find) I skimmed some of my old posts. Some of them were simply about what was going on in our lives.

In the spirit of just communicating what is going on in our lives, we are celebrating Nathanael.  He turned 38 on March 5.

One of the things that Nathanael really misses here are hiking trails. He spent a while trying to find a trail we could hike but scrapped it. Last year we went to Crooked Tree. This is a lovely place, but the trails are often flooded. We need to schedule a hike during dry season. (we just always seem to forget).

We went out for bubble tea, a Davis family favorite. It still delights me that the Taiwanese woman behind the counter always knows my order. ( I do get the same tea every time: Green milk tea, no sugar, lychee bubbles) Abigail always dreamed of saying "get me my usual". I could say that but she doesn't know enough English for that to be effective. The bubble tea enjoyment was peppered with Quirkle games.

For lunch Ed and Dyna had us over. It was a time of me feeling grateful that we are devloping friendships here. We spent way too much time discussing the details of Abigail's quince, while the kids enjoyed games.

Final stop of the day? The Lagoon in Corazal. It opens to the ocean so the water is salt water. We had a great spot to refresh ourselves in the water. The kids even climbed the trees.

Pizza for dinner.

The girls got roller skates for Christmas. I had no idea they would be such a hit. They are probably some of the most used Christmas presents we have ever gotten. The park in Corazal was a great place to skate before heading home.

And finally Nathanael has finished his BA!  We are all so proud of the work he put into it!  (and at times the work I put into it.)

May you be blessed this week as you celebrate ordinary and extraordinary events

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

We are so blessed

Something about the past few months (Jan-March) has made me feel extra busy. I really couldn't put my finger on it. The funny thing is I've been making an effort to get up weekdays at 6:30 and weekends 7:30. (with the exception of the days that I sleep in: Saturday and Monday). Waking up earlier so far hasn't meant I complete more in my day. I have a goal to finish school with the kids before I go to workout at 1:30pm. It has been rarely happening. Nimodo (as one would say in Spanish)

I am determined not to be one of "those" overseas workers who stop blogging/communicating. It just seems to be difficult to find the time to do it recently.

Josue gets his first bite of a tastycake

When Todd and his children came, I opened a precious letter. A dear friend wrote a short note. It was a huge encouragement to me. I put it on my closet, and read it often. It is a reminder to me. It tells me you think of us and pray for us, we are on your minds and hearts.
The ones I kept for myself :) 

Your gifts to us and participate in the ministry we do allows us to be active and present in Orange Walk. We couldn't do what we do without the work you do. Thank you for choosing to be a part of what goes on at Jesus Deaf Church. The ongoing monthly support is essential to the ministry continuing. Thank you!

Zephaniah and Josue playing with bubbles during Sunday School

Connecting Deaf Church also took the time to ask us what we miss. We were given precious things like decaf Earl Grey tea, black licorice, devil dogs, and almond butter.

Selah made the birthday cake for her friend on her 14th birthday

We treasure these treats. I wanted to publicly take a blog post to thank all of you who have enriched our lives in this way. The physical things are really nice. They are small things that make us feel cared for.

me enjoing tea with the dogs

A former missionary to Dangriga area with Kids Konnect sent us a grocery bag full of treats from Trader Joe's. I cried when I opened the package. Dark chocolate. Nathanael is still enjoying the Irish breakfast tea!  The kids couldn't hold out on eating the entire bag of candy. I suppose it's much better than the fire ants getting to it.

We have even gotten 2 boxes full of Tastycakes. Those were treasured and shared!  :) Everyone in Jesus Deaf Church got a small taste of Philadelphia.

Thank you so much to those who have blessed us abundantly.