A year in review
One year ago on February 12th I moved to
In the morning the movers came and in the heat of the day loaded and reloaded our possessions onto their too-small-for-our-things truck. Our junk was piled up past the truck’s side walls. A tarp two sizes too small was placed on top and ropes were tied in hopes of containing the bulging items. At 10:00 we were off we went in our green Suburban with our 5 little kids, a German shepherd, and our beloved cat.
We arrived in
Unfortunately, the moving truck did not arrive before dark. They had “bad gas” and had to stop every few minutes to siphon water out. By the time they arrived at 9pm it was hard for me to be happy. I was so incredible hot and sticky and dirty. My head hurt and I was still itchy from the dengue rash. All I wanted to do was crawl into a nice soft clean bed in an air-conditioned room and sleep. But we had only begun our unpacking.
Several of our SIM family came to help which was a huge blessing. Jean and Sarah watched my kids at Jean’s house, feed, bathed and put them to bed. Cherlynn scrubbed red dirt from my appliances and Gina and
It is a humbling experience watching your worldly purchases parade before you especially in a town where people have little more than a bed and a change of clothes to their name. Even though it was more stress on me, I was thankful that the movers arrived by the cover of night. Maybe at this hour my new neighbors weren’t staring out their windows at the rich Americans.
I remember those first few weeks in our house and wondered what the future held for our family. God had clearly called us to
A year later
I marvel at the role that God has allowed Jeff and me to play. We consider ourselves very “green” when it comes to church planting and cross-culture ministry, yet God has seen fit to use us in spite of our defects. Using the medical ministry God has blessed us with instant relationships and acceptance into this community. Some of the roles God has asked us to play have come easily and we have done them with great excitement. Other roles push us beyond our comfort zone and have done them reluctantly. I still lie in bed at night and wonder what the future holds for our family but each night I am even more aware of God’s Great Faithfulness and mercies that are new every morning.
For me, communication has not been easy. In fact, I struggle more than I will probably let anyone know. It is difficult to watch my husband surge forward in the language and thrive in relationships. I try my best to acknowledge Paraguayans comments like, “Your husband speaks so much better than you” with a smile. For an outgoing person who loves relationships, it is torture to sit with a shut mouth! I still wonder if I will ever be able to express the simplest of sentences. I daily offer my lack of Guarani to the Lord and ask him to use what little I have for his glory.
As for the “thriving” part of living in rural
My family is such a joy to me. Although some habits are every much the same as last year - shoes being left in the middle of the room, the toilet forgetting to be flushed, the dog not being fed, and the ice trays not being refilled and put back – I have watched other habits develop in my kids over the year in which I am thankful. Ryan reads his Bible each morning before his starts his home school. It has been fun to see Ryan’s “light” go on as he learns about historical events, interesting animals, and does cool science projects. Ginny and Joshua (finally) play well together, using their vivid imaginations and their love for the outdoors to fuel their play.
Best of all, I have grown closer to the Lord over this last year. Without the distraction of TV, keeping up with latest fashions, and the high paced American life it has been easier to hear His still small voice. I read his word with great eagerness yearning to know more about his character. I have a renewed passion to memorize scriptures so His instructions are never far from my lips. I surrender my all to Him and place all hint of “flesh” at the cross. I know he has great and wonderful mysteries yet to reveal me and I am excited to learn.
Taste of summer - Joshua with watermelon
Beautiful summer days - Micah outside
Tyler being silly