Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Last month after the Americans left the Vida 220 team, we got together with the Groff family in Belmopan. (a halfway meeting point between us and Southern Belize). We had fellowship together, stayed overnight at a missionary friend (of theirs) house, and spent next day hiking/swimming in the river before heading home.
When discussing my conundrum about receiving school books (I didn't have a way to receive them this year), the other missionary suggested we look into Harvest Aviation. We were pleasantly surprised at what they do and how quickly they processed our request, (to help us get books). They provide a monthly service of flying needed items to missionaries. This flight happens once a month from FL. They provide it for free, but accept donations (hint hint ;) )
We had less than a week to get stuff sent to "try things out". I had my parents and sister send the most pertinent things that were sitting at their houses (a small box of school books and our drivers licences).
Today was the exciting day! We drove to the Belize airport and Nathanael was able to get our two small boxes of items. We are so very grateful!
I have to say that in general with the borders being tightly shut, the feeling of living here has been a bit claustrophobic. (I do have a tendency toward those feelings anyway!) I can't get out and I can't get what we need for our school year. It was overwhelming! (and it would be the first time that we were unable to find a way to get our items. I just didn't make school decisions.
Harvest Aviation has been a light to me and provided something we really needed. (Please feel free to donate to them as a blessing to us! We want them to benefit, they ask for nothing from us!)We are so very thankful. Not to mention most of my glasses are scratched and we were finally able to get our new pairs.
What a blessing to be able to see clearly. May God bless you with clear vision today!
Saturday, August 8, 2020
Was a blessing given to us the summer of 2017. It has a wonderful engine and as most of you are aware, the transmission was rebuilt on our way to Belize in August 2017. It is steadfast! It also gets terrible gas mileage. The gas mileage as well as the added expenditure of fuel here makes driving less than economic. Nathanael considered ways to adjust this.
One way that people combat the price of gas here is to convert their vehicles to use propane. While it actually makes your miles per gallon worse, the cost of propane is less than half the price of gasoline; thus making a worthwhile endeavor. We had been considering it for years. The monthly trips to Spanish Lookout were what helped make a decision.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
As a side note, if you wanted to understand why we go to the Lagoon for Easter, you can look at this post.
Belizeans go swimming for Easter (it is the hottest time of the year) and we stopped fighting for attendance. Going swimming, fellowship and celebration (with an occasional egg hunt) are the way we remember our Savior.
Waiting was a piece of the story due to being quarantined during Resurrection Sunday.
As a family, we had a celebration that we hadn't had in years.
The church was able to bring our dream to fruition the first week of June.
Without further ado, here is the video. (Please be kind I am just beginning to learn how to edit. I had no idea this would take so much work for me!)
Friday, July 3, 2020
Since arriving in 2015, our schedule has changed multiple times, my responsibility increased, and the kids got older.
As I was thinking about the blog, I recognized that it is somewhat of a record. It is the place we share what is going on. When I am writing a newsletter, or sharing a Facebook post, I have to share "big" events. The little things get lost in the muddle. It is the little things I miss. A victory at church, a child accomplishment, Jesus teaching me something.
I am making an attempt to veer myself back on schedule. My goal is biweekly posts. If you want to stop and see some of the little things that make up our daily life here at Jesus Deaf Church.
Next week I will be sharing the video and a short blog post about the baptisms that happened last month. Keep your eyes peeled!
Some little and not so little things that have happened in the past few months:
- Kids finished school
- Abigail is now officially taller than Spring(by an inch)
- Spring has restarted in person classes both with Deaf and hearing
- We are able to meet as a church
- We painted Abigail's room in an astronomy theme
- We have family church weekly which stared during COVID
- Things opened up internally and we spent time outside more
- The Vida 220 Belize team came for a visit before leaving the country
- we are able to attend Koinonia with our friends for Father's day
- we got a puppy
- Abigail turned 16
- We celebrated her birthday and our friend's graduation together this past weekend
Thursday, June 18, 2020
In the face of Covid19, I have watched people face things that were unexpected. Grocery store shelves empty, events cancelled, distancing from people they love; all unimagined effects from a pandemic. People on the front lines work, exhausted.
In the beginning, I was "okay" with the happenings. I am an introvert. It didn't feel "stuck". We had to adapt. I finally agreed to offer Revelation Wellness classes online. My kids found minecraft. Nathanael takes time to meticulously interpret the news as it comes out and offer devotions.
Then I hit a wall. I saw people on Facebook complaining about having to look at their parents through a window, when the last time I saw my parents was November 26, Nathanael's this July. This week we couldn't find yogurt. I gave up after 2 stores because it wasn't worth my time looking for something I wasn't sure I could not find.
What is my point? I was hitting a grieving wall. As a family, we have different times that we realize what we have given up; and we deeply miss it. Does this mean we need to leave the field? Is it wrong to feel a loss at these? No and most definitely not.
It is also okay for you to be sad that you can see your parents but not hug them. I can't imagine missing high school graduation.
Today if you need to grieve, give yourself the space to do so. Don't stay in that space complaining. Ask Jesus into that place, see how he comforts you and what he shows you.
This past Friday my grandfather breathed his last breath on earth. Today I honor him by grieving, and reminding you that you have the right (and perhaps need) to grieve as well.
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
This year brought none of that. Nathanael asked me what we usually have for Easter dinner. We don't usually have Easter dinner! (Our usual is lunch of rice and beans with church at the lagoon).
Thursday night we had a Passover Seder. (again something we haven't done in years). It was a good way to bring our hearts to remembrance with soberness. I love seeing the Seder through the eyes of Jesus!
Sunday dawned. I enjoyed 3 different online services. It was nice to commune with others online. Nathanael joined in as well for parts of it.
As a family we've been doing church together. When I was a child, vacation meant tenting through the US. Sunday's meant we compiled a service as a family. Prior to the pandemic, I don't remember family worship. (we may have, I just don't have the best memory). This point of connection as a family, and sharing has been very meaningful to me. I am thankful that we were pushed into this.
We were able to have family church, followed by an egg hunt and dying eggs. I was so excited. I saved silk ties from a few thrift shops in the US to attempt to dye eggs that way. They didn't turn out as pretty as I imagined. I hope next year we can do this with friends!
Thanks for sharing with us in this celebration of our Savior and his Resurrection. In the words of Andrew Peterson, this is something we have the privilege of celebrating all year!
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Since then, Fountain of Life supports Jesus Deaf church to come once a month. We bring people in the van, Nathanael interprets, and they provide a lunch for us. The monthly visits began in January. It is a "typical" non-denominational service" with worship, Sunday school and preaching.
The exciting component is seeing both communities collectively enjoy fellowship and foster relationship. Just as thrilling is that there are people at Fountain of Life who feel called to Deaf ministry. We revel in the partnership.
Please pray with us as we continue. Pray that the people of Jesus Deaf church and Spanish Lookout Deaf community would experience Christ. We long for it to go beyond a set of rules, for them to truly know and have a relationship with the Father.
Additionally, (and somewhat unexpectedly) our kids are flourishing in the relationships they are forming.
Friday, February 7, 2020
On a personal level I started reading the book "Soul of Shame" it has been eye opening and hopefully life changing for me. I am recognizing how much I do out of shame and the desire to protect myself from pain.
One day while running with Zion. (she is my Friday workout buddy), God gave me my word for the year: restoration. He also spoke to me about my heart towards it.
I have specific, good goals for what I want him to restore. I don't think these goals in themselves are sin or wrong. The issue is when I have an idea of what it will look like in my life. I have been seeking safety in God answering my prayers the way I want him to answer them.
This is so entrenched in me that disentangling it is a huge process. I am trying to enjoy the messy middle of it all. I want to be thankful that Jesus doesn't let me stay in the same place.
In talking with a good friend recently, she reminded me that my writing often brings out a different side of me. In the past year or so, the writing has mostly been geared towards " this is what is happening with Jesus Deaf Church"
I am taking this snippet of time to just share what God is doing in my life, and to admit that currently it ain't pretty. Coming face to face with sin of any kind isn't a walk in the park.
The day Zion and I were dripping in sweat, plodding our steps through the grass; God started with reminding me of his faithfulness. This year he has not only answered a lot of my prayers, he has gone above and beyond. For one, I didn't think that Revelation Wellness would be more than a way for me to bring health to the community around us. In addition to that, it was also a way that opened up more freedom for me personally. In that journey to freedom and health, I pray it is spread to others.
Today it is my prayer for restoration. When He does it, he isn't restoring to the former. It is something new. I am asking him to come, and for him to work in his ways. I am trusting he will do it in the coming year!