"Then I went down to
the Potter's house and,
behold, He wrought
a work on the wheels."

Jeremiah 18:4

Friday, April 18, 2014

An Update to Our Strange and Wonderful Life

Clearly blogging hasn't been on my top 10 (or even 20) list for the past 4 months. Our days have been at times strange, but mostly wonderful; at times stressful but mostly joyful. There is a lot to share, but there is even more to silently ponder. I wish I could open my heart and mind and pour it all into yours but I am afraid that would be a very foolish decision. This clay pot has too many holes and cracks still to be displayed to the public. 

Other than eating chicken shawarma and Chai Banana Bread, both of which are highly recommended, the kids and I stayed home last week while the DH went to visit the family of a brother in Cancun. They live in a town of 4000 people called Nicolas Bravo, near Chetumal, Q. Roo. It's basically built on top of Mayan ruins, so sounds like a pretty neat place! There were a good number at the meetings and definite interest in the gospel. We hope and expect to be able to make many more visits in the future. 

Another couple have been called and carried by God to Cancun, for which we are incredibly grateful. It's been a joy to work with the believers there and we miss them tremendously already but its a relief to know they are in good hands. The evident growth and vision they have has been very encouraging to us. Please pray for their first [mini] conference, the first weekend of May. 
 
With Cancun no longer our responsibility, we are looking forward to focusing a bit more on the assembly in Carmen and the works in Emiliano Zapata and Paraiso. New faces have been attending in each of these places, so we are thankful to be convinced once again that God is interested in saving and building up assembly testimony. Some of the believers in Carmen continue to go through difficult times in their personal lives but their faithfulness to God and the assembly has been a blessing to us. 

The hot season has begun here in the south, bringing with it a tropical rash on the kids, something along the lines of chicken pox and hands, foot mouth disease but neither. Its healing nicely though and they don't seem to be itchy anymore which is great! 
FK is full of personality, imagination and amuses us daily with hilarious speeches.  MM is in the midst of being potty trained, roaring at all Skyping family members and hunting down cockroaches with his little hammer. They are quite the pair. 


Cancun
Emiliano Zapata 
Paraiso

Seasoned little travelers! 


Monday, January 6, 2014

All Together in One Place

We had often dreamed about a very special day. It seemed nearly impossible and would definitely requite a pile of work. Even as the days approached we wondered and groaned and prayed and wondered some more. We worked and planned and organized, convinced it would happen.

And you know what? It did.

Joy filled our hearts as one by one, believers representing every single work in the south walked into our hall in Carmen for our very first conference. They started piling in Saturday afternoon, even though the conference didn't start until Monday. Sisters began producing food and brothers messages.

The third and last Bible Reading of the conference. We studied the three chapters of Titus. 


Believers from Carmen, Emiliano Zapata, Paraiso, Cancun, Santa Rita, Chiapa de Corzo, Xalapa, Veracruz, several places in Chiapas and Guatemala, even one sister from Pachuca (north of Mexico City) were all able to join us. It was an incredible way to start the new year and we plan to continue this custom in the Lord's will.

Seeing that sea of faces made me realize in a very real way how even though each group is small, even though there have been tough times, the Lord has blessed His Word and will until He comes again.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Setting Up House (Again!)

Enough was enough. Poor landlord treatment, no contract, a rough neighborhood. We decided to move on.
I found it a little sad. I really loved our second story, mosquito free, bright apartment.

But here we are, settled in again and enjoying our new house, which is your house (to share the Mexican culture with you all!), on the exotic street of Palmera Africana. We have internet again now which is swell and I'm getting a countertop installed tomorrow which might be even better than internet :)

We decided right away we were going to have to repaint some of the house. While sizzling in 80-90 degree weather, the last thing you want to do is look at a red wall. Here is the before, right after we moved in:

And here is the after:

It feels so much fresher and a lot more liveable. 
We're also really enjoying having a garage for a few reasons-this is one of them:
Ever since the work in Cancun began in December, our life has been very hectic, traveling back and forth. Recently, we've had more help so we're really thankful to be able to focus a bit more on Carmen and Zapata again. This also allowed us to make a very belated and needed visit to the believers in Paraiso, Yucatan. We've missed them greatly and are saddened that we are unable to help them more. 
Fel loved their hammock, M was a little scared! 

The last couple months, we began selling books (at cost of course) to believers in Cancun, Carmen and Zapata. It has been very encouraging to see many of them choose to make sacrifices to purchase study Bibles, commentaries and other helpful publications. 

As usual, there are many downs and ups in the work here so we do appreciate prayers for all the believers and for ourselves as well. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Can Someone Please Invent a Child-proof Fridge?

Last night was like any other night, except we were Daddy-less. I gave Felicity strict commands to be good and quiet and play nicely and don't get into trouble (Curious George?) while I put Matthias to sleep. She of course said, "yes, Mommy, sure." Matthias was exhausted so he shut his eyes and incredibly, they stayed shut even while I did my signature cat-in-the-jungle maneuvers to leave the room without the child bouncing up, emitting wails of abandonment. He stayed sleeping even as the door clicked shut and I paused for just a moment. Great, victory one out of two. Time to find my girlie. Wait...why is the house so silent, uncannily silent? No, I comforted myself, she is no doubt playing with her dolls or reading a book.
I found her on the couch, her mouth smeared in brown deliciousness. She looked at me in horror (obviously also not expecting her brother to fall asleep so quickly!) and attempted to shove in two more squares of my precious, creamy, delightful Dove chocolate...
FELICITY!!!! Nooo.....
Someone else must have been feeling the affects of missing Daddy and apparently I wasn't the only one needing a few more chocolates than usual! 

Despite being noisy and a little wild like any other one and two year old, our two little kiddies are an incredible panacea for loneliness and despondency. They make me laugh, they keep me running and extract every ounce of motherly love and patience. I'm so so thankful for them. They are my only family here and two of the very few we can spend relaxing, down-time with. While I would prefer it if they left my fridge alone, they are two little dears that I love like crazy.

The Lord knew this all along, giving me two little blessings when I needed them most. 

Felicity Keziah and Matthias Moses (and Baby who is named "Bebé" :) )

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cancun

This post has been pending for about four months but the truth is, I have been a little scared to write it. It is almost as if putting it into words will somehow pop the bubble and all the joyful labor of the last five months will painfully disintegrate before our eyes. And so, with prayer and apprehension......

The story began in December of 2010, which you can read about here: Evangelism of Cancun. Since that time, David and I made periodic visits to Cancun to see Jose and have a few meetings, trying to reach his family and neighbors. In 2012, we decided it was time to have a more serious evangelistic effort in Cancun. We knew there would be no missionary to stay there and really didn't expect much to come of it. Perhaps, if the Lord decided to work, perhaps a few would come to the meetings and if we were really super lucky, they might even profess to be saved! Looking back, our foolishness and unbelief should have caused the Lord to....I won't even say it. The Lord is merciful.

We made the seven hour trip in November to find a little hall to rent, a hotel for people to stay at, a printer for the invitations etc etc. We called a few numbers. "Hi, how much is your minuscule piece of real estate on such and such a street?" Time and time again, $6,000, $10,000 dollars...not pesos....a month, minimum 6 month contract.
Finally, and unexpectedly, we heard of undeveloped lot that belonged to the sports department of the city of Cancun. After some paperwork they gave us permission to use the lot for one month, completely free of charge. Someone lent us their gospel tent. Someone sent over texts. People bought tickets to come. We found a little house to rent and a hotel for the visitors.

We began tent meetings December 28. That first night, there was not a chair left empty, with a crowd standing at the back. Over 100 people heard the true gospel, many for the first time. We were in shock. Our plan was to go home in a couple weeks. Night after night of 50, 70 attending the meetings, we quickly realized our plans were going to change. Texts were distributed for a week with help from N. Ireland, Canada, the U.S, Mexico, and Venezuela. We are very grateful for all the hard work distributing, with meals, and visiting the new contacts.

By the end of a month, our group had consolidated to about 35, some of which were unsaved, some saved in a denomination, and others who had professed in that month of meetings. We were able to find a little house near to the lot, the tent came down and we set up chairs in the back patio. I confess a tinge of sadness each time we pass the empty lot. The power of the gospel, souls being transformed...there was so much joy on that desolate, dusty expanse of dirt!

We didn't end up leaving Cancun until the middle of February. A few weeks later, we were back for another extended period of time. The group is continuing faithful and continuing to expand. David and I have never found a single work so encouraging. The people are so generous with us, so loving, so grateful we ever went to Cancun.
Please pray with us that this work will be preserved, developed and that one day an assembly will be established to God's glory.

We have been reprimanded for our unbelief in an unbelievable manner.

Tent getting finishing touches before the meetings began.

The last few weeks, Dave Smith from Vancouver, Canada,
went to Cancun with his model of the ark. Here they are set
up on the street in front of the lot where the tent was.
(yes, that's my double stroller! haha)

After a Sunday night gospel meeting in the back patio of
the house we are renting for this purpose.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Mush of Motherhood

I settled into the couch cushions with two squirmy bums on my lap, ready to embark on the repetitive yet hysterical process of reading the kids their favorite stories; My Little Train, Go, Dog, Go and various DK productions, perfect for chubby little dirty hands learning to turn pages. I began to read one of Felicity's favorite books, Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. "My brothers read a little bit. Little words like if and it. My father can read big words, too. Like.....Constantinople and Timbuktu."
Constantinople...no, don't tell me....where is that place again?? No, this can't be happening....
Yes, my poor little brain. It is happening. The mush of motherhood has settled in, making itself quite at home in your vulnerable cerebral command center. Frontal, peripheral and rear-al lobes, all consumed with the cost of diapers and milk, sleep and potty training, birthday cakes and car seats.

I suppose I don't mind so much. I mean, what am I going to tell a 1 and 2 year old about logarithms and present perfect pronouns and Napoleon's campaign across Europe anyhow?

Maybe having the ability to rattle off intriguing yet inconsequential facts is great in school or the work place but  the truth is, no one within these four little walls could give a hoot. Felicity and Matthias seem to really only care that mommy has milk in the fridge, time to stack blocks with them and lots of kisses for those inevitable owies. And really, now I realize those are the only things I care about too.

I miss education and books and mental challenges. That's the truth. But right how, I am helping them learn. I read them books and I face their challenges with them.
In the meantime I am learning other, better, more durable lessons like patience and love. Nurturing a child in the fear of God, guiding personalities and instilling good habits-definitely mental (and heart) challenges.

Maybe having a mushy brain isn't the worst thing after all.


(Dear female readers who have much higher intelligence levels than myself and who have not succumbed to allowing yourself to disengage from the wisdom of the world--please do not take offence at my language. I am merely describing my personal experience which is likely not your own)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bring Me Back

It is so easy to skim along, to jump the speed bumps, to scoot around the potholes, to simply expect the road to continue winding its way through the jungle of life. Except sometimes there's something of a dead-end. It's really not though. The road is still there. You just now have to get on your hands and knees, crawl through the mud, and hack your way through an invisible footpath. Miles and miles of ache and weariness. Your coat is torn, you've lost your glasses, your shoes dangle in threads. Cowering under a thorny bush, hiding from the evil predators roaming at your side, you wonder if the road will ever get better.

You know it will, because it always has. You've never been completely devoured or destitute. God has always brought you back.  

It hurts, it feels like you are giving your all yet suddenly something asks for just a little more.  Can I give what is needed?

The devil is deeply interested in inhibiting God's work. He wants me empty and weary.

May God fill each of us with His strength and peace.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Arepas, Birthdays and Carrying on

The ABC´s of my little life.

The B really came before the A so you´ll have to excuse me! My little Felicity turned one the end of February. What a year. It's been twelve months full of emotional extremes, of joy and delight, of sorrow and fright. It has been twelve months of intense schooling yet could I write any sort of thesis on anything I've tried to learn?? I think not. It has been twelve months of laughter and love, patience and prayer. It's been twelve full months of motherhood...simply unbelievable.

A is for Arepa=Venezuela!! We had a really incredible time. It's hard to describe the joy at being in a city with multiple assemblies, each with well over 100 in fellowship. We have so much to learn from the work there...may God grant us the humility and energy to emulate the believers there. It was also a very special joy to see again some and meet for the first time others of David's family.

Carrying on is also synonymous with chocolate (at least for me!). These afternoons have been a chocolate fest for me...out of necessity I suppose one could say. Sunday night we began a series of gospel meetings in Emiliano Zapata. This is the first time we hold an actual series as the logistics always seemed rather complicated. We decided it was high time, no matter the cost. David goes out daily at noon on public transportation so I can have the car here and be at the regular meetings of Carmen. I'm hoping to be able to go out and help a bit in Zapata the nights we are free here. Please pray for new contacts to be made and for the Lord to visibly bless our labors with salvation. We dearly long to see that village won for the true gospel.

Oh yes...and D. David sub jr (as some like to call him :) ) should be making his grand entrance in about 8 weeks :) Poor Felicity...Mama's lap just keeps shrinking!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Gettin' Hot

Well hey folks, guess what!? Clay Pots really does still exist in 2012! And it is still January so I guess for a first of the year post, I'm not doing too bad :)

First of all, the bad news...it's already getting hot here. 5:30 pm and it's still 86 F :( I'm really hoping for a few more weeks of cooler weather!

Second of all, lots of good news....

  • We're expecting again...a BOY....in May :)) 
  • Felicity has turned 11 months and just popped her second tooth...one on top, one on the bottom! 
  • The landlady sold the house we were in last December, so had a hectic move before the end of the year but are MUCH happier with our new location and are very thankful the Lord provided this place for us. 
  • The assembly in general has been encouraged and is growing. We are delighted to see restoration, blessing in the gospel and some who desire to be baptized. 
  • Walmart sells cranberry sauce and Oreo pudding :) 
That's it for today. Hope you have a beautiful evening! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving

I told him it didn't matter. Deep, deep down in a secret crevice that I rarely allow access even to myself, I knew it did.

We checked a couple hotels, a few restaurants. Nothing.

It wasn't really about the food anyway. Yes, I enjoy a nice turkey dinner, loads of cranberries and gravy, a sliver of pumpkin pie with a pile of whipped cream on top. It's delicious and wonderful but really I'd be just as happy with Chicken Parmesan and some garlic bread.

Thousands of miles away from family, other missionaries and any known American, my Canadian husband, Mexican daughter and myself spent the day as the best of cronies ever could...driving, talking, dreaming.

It's my coping method. Block. Don't think about the fact your family is all together, don't think about the laughs they are having and the time they are enjoying. And whatever you do...do NOT log onto Facebook.

I talked a lot about memories from the past, but that's different. It's not today. It's not what I'm giving up right this second.

It's fine though, really. Character building :)

Besides, how can I complain when blessings abundant have been poured upon me? How dare I question God's kindness?

I have been enjoying this hymn for the last month or so (ironically enough its title is 'Thanksgiving'!):

Faint not, Christian! though the road
Leading to Thy blest abode
Darksome be, and dang'rous too,
Christ, thy Guide, will bring thee through.

Faint not, Christian! though in rage
Satan doth they soul engage;
Take thee faith's anointed shield,
Bear it to the battle-field.

Faint not, Christian! though the world
Hath its hostile flag unfurled;
Hold the Cross of Jesus fast,
Thou shalt overcome at last.

Faint not, Christian! though within
There's a heart so prone to sin;
Christ, thy Lord, is over all,
He'll not suffer thee to fall.

Faint not, Christian! though thy God
Smite thee with the chast'ning rod;
Smite He must with Father's care,
That He may His love declare.

Faint not, Christian! Christ is near;
Soon in glory He'll appear;
Then shall end thy toil and strife,
Death be swallowed up of life.

-James H. Evans

And so, dear Christian...we press on and with Thanksgiving look to Him who never saw His Father for about 33 years, was hated by His earthly siblings and was forsaken by His God for three hours. How is it that I have more earthly privileges than our dear Savior?? No, I shall not complain. May God loose me from the binding, evil chains of self-pity!