After a year and a half of not being able to go go Kidz Konnect, it was so refreshing to return.
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
In an effort to "catch up" on the past few months, I am working on updates.
Aug-September were very busy months for us. On top of moving (which involved going through stuff in storage and downsizing significantly), a lot of events centered around Misael. I know I've done posts with him in the past He has been a part of Jesus Deaf Church since Nancy started it. He has been a part of family activities and discipleship since 2015. It has been a raising-up process.
Misael grew up Catholic and was hesitant to get baptized. His father passed away last year. When baptism was discussed with his mother, she was very open to the idea. His mother said if Misael's father was alive, he would have been opposed to the baptism. While we mourn the great loss, we are thankful for the openness of his mother. Misael decided to get baptized in Spanish Lookout at "Mennonite Beach". You can view the Facebook live here:
On September 16, Nathanael and Misael trekked to Jamaica. Due to it being the first time flying, and the fact that Misael is Deaf and traveling to a country where they don't use his language, Nathanael went along as an interpreter. They flew from Belize to Panama, then to Jamaica.
They were able to do some sightseeing, and of course meet with Deaf in Panama. They attended a Deaf church service in Panama.
Arriving in Jamaica, Nathanael got to spend 4 days at the YWAM base with Misael prior to returning to Belize.
Misael is on a journey of learning and growing.
We are excited for him!!!
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Two weeks after landing on Belizean soil, Nathanael and I trekked to the airport in Ladyville. On the way we picked up a rented green van.
The youth group along with 5 adults arrived without a hitch, although the people in immigration gave them a run for their money.
One thing I really admired was the ability of both the youth and leaders in their fluidity. We discovered with regret that the rented van didn't have AC. The team didn't grumble. We are in the midst of rainy season. One of the days the team spent the entire day traipsing through mud, rain pouring in their faces while accomplishing manual labor.
Our work days looked like: Half of the team worked diligently at manual labor. The other half went with Nathanael for a visit to someone in the Deaf community. It was my job to set up for a Deaf woman to come, and get supplies for lunch. Nathanael's team returned and worked on preparation for the noon meal. ( and in the process learned a bit about Belizean cooking and some sign language).
In the afternoon I took a medical team for a check-up. A team would go with Nathanael on another visit, and the laborer's returned to the church building.
I am glad that the youth got to spend time in people's homes. They saw the reality of life as a Deaf Belizean. The youth played games and interacted, which also was a good lesson in language learning.
Thank you Souderton Mennonite for visiting, the blessing you were to the Orange Walk Deaf community, and the building of the church!!
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Unlikely Partnerships(better known as giving praise where praise is due)
by Spring: In January, My sister Summer emailed me about being a part of a mud run. Her daughter later asked me why I signed up. My answer? I love your mom. I was NOT looking forward to the cold or dirt or even the running. When we received the weather report (High of 54 and rainy), I was even less enthusiastic. I imagined myself shivering, uncomfortable and dirty for a few hours of torture. Honestly it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. There were many obstacles, and an abundance of mud. At one point, we had to climb over a wall with only two places to step and a dripping muddy rope. I climbed to where I physically could. Then I was stuck, both in fear and due to my height. Nathanael and Summer stood on one side, ready to help, Isaac coming up from below. And yet I couldn’t move. Tears dripped, I insisted I couldn’t make it. They looked down at me, and assured me their strength in pulling me up wouldn’t toss me over the wall as I was imagining. I wish I had a photograph as three came together with my strength to propel me over.
I don’t have a picture but I do want you, as our supporters, to visualize what has been happening the past year. Many have come alongside us. Their support allowed us to do what we wouldn’t have been able to do alone, and we didn’t go flying into the mud. Some of this help came in little things: meals provided, childcare, mentorship, music lessons for kids. Others came as big packages: prayer warriors, weekly check ins, taking care of our kids, cleaning for us. We want to thank all of you for the support you gave. It didn’t go unnoticed, and reached us in our deepest need.
Saturday, February 19, 2022
Nathanael gives us a "guest post" about his recent trip. To that end, we have printed and sent a paper copy of the newest newsletter. As soon as that hits mailboxes, we'll be sending the e-mail version. Be on the lookout there are some "big" updates :)
It was about 7pm and we were hungry. Misael and I decided to go look for dinner. We ended up at a pupuseria. It was a long, tiring, good day. It started early in the morning with the church. After church, we dropped everyone off and headed to Belmopan, the capital of Belize for a short hike. In Guanacaste Park, we saw a family of coatimundis, monkeys, and the normal tropical birds.
I knew the area where we were eating our pupusas, a kind of stuffed corn tortilla with queso and pollo, with a bunch of pepper sauce on the top. Seven months prior I had dropped a family of 5 with a Deaf mom and dad off in the area so they could walk the rest of the way home. Misael and I decided to try to find them after we ate.
We drove to the area and walked around in the dark asking people, in Spanish if they knew a Deaf family in the area. With each response, we were closer and closer to finding them. Finally after about a half hour a young guy who spoke English hoped off his bike and walked us down a path past many houses with dim lights and a lot of barking dogs, warning us of our intrusion. The young man pointed in a direction where he said there was a house with a red roof. The only electric in the area were a few personal solar panels. Finally we found the house and called to the family.
The family was a little fearful and didn’t respond until I shined my flashlight on my face. I then heard my friends Deaf voice say, “Tortuga.” My nick name in sign language is Turtle, but that’s a story for another time. Immediately they opened the door and welcomed us in. After 5 minutes I had a 2-month-old in my hands to bless and kiss. It was difficult to communicate in sign language with the dim lights. I agreed to give them my rechargeable flashlight to help in the future with their communication. Misael and I invited the Deaf man on a hike the next day.
We picked Sandino up at 8 and headed to the jungle. We spent the day exploring caves, cenotes, and cascading waterfalls. I’m sure Jesus came up here and there, but I wasn’t intentional about it. I focused on enjoying the time and building relationship. At the end of the day, Sandino asked me about salvation and baptism. Misael and I decided to invite the family for Pizza. We 4 adults sat together as Misael and I laid out the gospel. What an amazing conversation initiated by the prompting of the Holy Spirit to Sandino. Please pray for Sandino and his wife Elena as we continue to find opportunities to minister to them.