Saturday, December 31, 2005

Christmas in the States

I am thankful that I was able to return to home during Christmas break. It was a good time spent with friends and family, but my favorite part was the time spent with my nieces. Six months away does not seem like such a long time for adults, but for kids it feels like an eternity. Each of them had grown so much since August! Also, we celebrated my grandmother's 83rd birthday (Dec. 24), Granddad's 79th birthday, and Emma's 2nd birthday.

As four generations sat in one room, I realized how quickly time passes us by without us realizing it. We get so ready for the next point in life, whether it is graduation, marriage, childbirth, or a holiday, that we forget to live in the present. It is important to plan ahead and be prepared for what is to come, but not to let the thought consume you. For my own benefit, I may need to reread this blog consistently to remind myself. I enjoy where I am in life. For me, I enjoy Merida, the school, my bible school kids, my roommate, and friends that I have made along the way. I have been pushed to my max, but God has been there to see me through. Each time has made me a stronger person.

To many people, missionaries are seen as these indestructable godly creatures created to serve God in other countries. We are simply Christians called to live out our daily life in a country other than our own. How is it that we are able to do this day by day? The same way that each of us is able to go to work, love our family, and serve Him to the best of our abilities. By the grace of God. God has called me to serve in Merida during this year, so He has given me that desire. Some days are very long and hard, and I mess some days up so bad I wonder if God's mop is big enough to clean it all up. However, He used these times to show me my sins, to teach me, and to bless me. All that I am given in Merida I do not deserve. He has given me friends, students, co-workers, and kids that light up my life. It would take a lot of space to name each person, but hopefully you will learn more about these people throughout the rest of the year when reading my blogs.

I look forward to writing more when I return to Merida. Please pray for the upcoming bimester with my students, our team as we become reunited, Saturday afternoons at the mission, and Saturday evenings at La Roca. Also, please pray for my roommate, Ayve, and myself as we move into a different house.

Memaw's 83rd birthday (Christmas Eve)

Kristin, Me, Loryn, and Debra after going out to eat

Caroline had her tonsils taken out shortly after Christmas (pic on left), but she had a successful recovery. Later in the week we played on the playground at Chick-fil-a.

Laura (7 1/2 months)

Celebrating Emma's 2nd Birthday

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Saturday Mornings

On Saturday mornings, I help at the mission, which similar to VBS or bible school The kids have nothing, but come and are happy to be there. They are walking rays of sunshine in my life. During this time, on Saturday mornings, we sing praise songs, tell bible stories, learn verses, and eat snacks! I am still trying to learn a lot of the Spanish praise songs, but when I am singing the kids notice it (maybe it is my accent). Even when you don't know all of the words to a song, you can still praise God! If the little ones don't know all of the words, they still know when to clap. While my hands were on the table, Karla noticed how white my hands were! It never crossed my mind until she put hers against mine. These kids are soaking in information daily! I want to be sure that get the right stuff! Because the kids range from ages 6 months to 13 years, we separate into two groups. The smaller kids are able to learn the meaning of the songs, and where in The Bible you can find this truth.

It was hard for me to say goodbye to the kids on Saturday. I will in the states during Christmas break, so I won't see them during the next few weekends. During the bible story, I was standing behind Karla (she is wearing a pink shirt in the picture uptop), and she kept looking up at me because she knew that I was going to leave. After I had hugged her and told her how much I would miss her, she continued to lean her back against me. I realized that she was doing that so that she would know when I left. She knows that I love her! I pray that she will realize that Christ has an unimaginable love for them, more than I could ever give, and will come to know Him as her father. Please pray that all the kids will come to know this love personally!

When I began helping with the mission, people from the church, Shalom, were leading the activities. However, after many years and the declining heath of one of the helpers, they decided to hand the mission over to another church, which is located closer to the neighborhood.
Also, the kids would be able to attend the helping church because it is located much closer than Shalom. Currently, we are undergoing this transition. It is hard for the members of Shalom to let go of the ministry, but they know that it is best. Please pray for the kids and the new helpers!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Carl's Junior

Three of my students, Guimel, Lilia, and David, visited the states during the first week of November. We made a deal that if they brought me back some of my favorite crackers and cookies (wheat thins and reduced fat oatmeal pies), I would take them to eat at Carl’s Junior, which is the same as a Hardees. Therefore, we planned a day, and Bryon drove us to eat there! We all had a great time!
The other "gringa" in the picture is my friend, Loryn, who came to spend her Thanksgiving holiday with me!

My students

The past few months have flown by quickly, and have been very full at the same time. It is hard to believe that it is Christmas time! It is even harder to believe because it is blazing hot here.
The kids still keep things cool in the classroom with their fun personalities and humor. I have realized how much I enjoy teaching. Noreen told me once that I would love anything that I taught. After thinking over this statement for the past week, I have to say that I agree. I love to be with the kids on a daily basis during the entire day. Watching the kid’s behavior in other classes teaches me more about who they are as a person. With this knowledge, I am able to deal with them better as a student and love them more as a person. At Blas Pascal, I can share with them Christ’s love and be specific about from where it comes.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Learning Something New

I will begin posting on my new blog, which you are seeing for the first time! Please be patient because I am learning how this works. If you have any comments or questions about me, my blog, or my ministry in Mérida, please, write me. I will post more soon!