Sunday, March 30, 2008

MARCH 2008


February 26- March 3, 2008

Our friends, Joby, Jeana and their two kids, arrived back in the US just fine after spending 10 days with us here in Paraguay. Jeff and Jeana went to medical residency together in Harlingen. We enjoyed our time together and felt very blessed that they would come all the way here to encourage us. We spent time in Asuncion, San Francisco, and then went to Brazil to see the Falls.

Our family and the Crovers at Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Ryan in front of Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Iguazu Falls, Brazil

His face says it all - Tyler loved
the zip-line at the hotel

Ginny loved the zip-line at the hotel


Jeff bought an ultrasound and Jeana and Joby carried it in for him. They had no problems getting it through customs, thanks to our PY director Tom who meet them in the back and talk through the situation. I think the huge factor was that the flight was at noon and all the higher-ups were out to lunch. The “little guys” could even get a hold of their boss by phone to ask what to do, so they let it pass. Praise God! Joby and I spent an afternoon being guinea pigs for the machine. Jeana was able to help Jeff play around with the buttons and tech him a few things she learned (she apprenticed under a doctor in the states for a few weeks so she could better help Jeff). Jeff has already had several opportunities to use the machine. Besides on Paraguayans, he did an ultrasound on our SIM team mate, Vonni, who is pregnant and was able to tell her it was a boy and he did an ultrasound on Sheri who continues to have gall bladder problems. I just spent another sessions lying on my back as Jeff looked at my kidneys and gall bladder, ect. He is enjoying his new toy.

Jeff and Jeana playing with the new ultrasound


March 1, 2008

Saturday we went to Jakubo for a mobile clinic. Jeff saw a record 50 patients! I helped at the lab table where everyone seemed to want every lab available. Sheri, an SIM team mate living in Asuncion, came to do eye exams. Greg and Vonni (team mates in language training from South Africa) came for moral support and Dan and Sarah (yet more team mates) made an appearance with Dan’s parents who were visiting. Several of the local believers went, handed out tracts, gave their testimony and prayed with people. God gave us perfect weather for the long day - not too cold and not too hot, with a nice breeze. Jeff was exhausted after the day.

The day before Jeff saw his record patient load here at the house too. Between 1:00 and 7:00 he saw 26 patients and that was with Jeana (our friend from the US) and I doing triage. Our front lawn was covered in people most of the afternoon. Since I now have three in school I am able to help Jeff with the afternoon clinic.

Sheri fitting ladies for glasses

Mobile clinic in Jakubo


March 9, 2008

We had a wonderful gathering of believers on Sunday for our outdoor service. Demesio and his wife were baptized today in a cattle trough. Afterwards we enjoyed a meal together. The month before Josefa was baptized by her husband. God is moving in San Francisco!

Josepha being baptized in February

Lunch preparations

Lunch preparations

Euginia being baptized by her husband

Demesio being baptized


We are focusing on the TIME trip coming up soon (our first medical interns). Jeff and I are putting the schedule together, getting host families lined up, and deciding on speakers to share on a variety of medical and cultural topics. We have and many students interested in the trip. We will see how many actually do all the paperwork and are accepted. We are excited about what this trip will offer.


March 10, 2008

Joshua and Ryan and Ginny are getting back into the school routine. Today is their third day (which almost didn’t happen due to pending rain). They go 1:00 to 5:00. Yesterday Ginny said, “I made a friend. I forget his name. He is brown and that is okay with me.” Joshua is so excited about attending school; he’s the first one dressed each afternoon. He says his favorite thing about school is snack time. Knowing him, that doesn’t surprise me.

Ginny, Ryan and Joshua on their first day of school

Joshua is his kindergarten classroom

Ginny in her first grade classroom


We moved Micah to the double bed in his room (which doubles as the guest room) and have taken the crib a part. He has done fabulous. He has put up no fuss for bed time or afternoon naps. I thought that I would have Micah in with the other kids but I think for now I will keep him in his own room. Five to a room is a crowd, although Joshua desperately wants Micah to sleep with him. I want him to get use to being on a bed before I add 4 rowdy kids to his bedtime routine. We have moved Ryan’s school desk where the crib was. Ryan needed peace and quiet while doing his school work and since Micah naps in the afternoon while Ryan is at school this will work great.

Micah sleeping in a big bed with Joshua


We have 4 newly hatched chicks. Duckies will come next week. Poor duck started off with 12 eggs but something has been stealing her eggs and she is down to 3. The kids love playing with the animals. We have a “friend cow” as she is named that comes to the gate everyday around 4:30. The kids rush out to feed her our scraps bucket.

Joshua playing with the duckies
in the pool

Kids playing with the duckies in the pool


Our peaceful afternoon was interrupted with a car honking obnoxiously. The sound started a block away but soon it was in front of our house. Two ladies were in the back of a black pick-up shouting through their tears. Jeff helped to lift a limp 12 year old body from the truck bed and lay him on the ground. The boy’s father said that he was eating and choked on a piece of meat; he stopped breathing and passed out. When he got to us he was breathing but unresponsive. His movements were uncoordinated and his mouth was gaping open. Jeff beat on the boys back, did a finger sweep in his mouth, and listened to his lungs. He found no evidence of something lodged in his throat. 30 minutes later the boy was able to walk but he was still very out of it.

It wasn’t until the next day when the patient returned with a sore neck did we hear the real story. It took the boy an hour after the consult to be with it enough to talk. He said that he hadn’t choked. He was eating lunch when his next and jaw suddenly locked up and he was unable to breath. Jeff thinks now that the boy had a seizure and sent him to Villarrica for some tests.


For some reason Florentina and her husband have taken a liking to our family. Last week we were invited to Florentina’s birthday dinner. Because Jeff had a patient come right as we were leaving we were about 30 minutes late to their house and it was already dark. We were shocked that there were no tables outside for guests to sit around. In fact, the house looked dark and the neighborhood was very quiet. Jose heard us arrive and welcomed us inside. I was surprised to see their family huddled around one end of their table eating. The other half of the table was set for our family. Because it was Friday during lint they were eating fish, but they served us a lechon (baby pig)! We brought coke but they served it only to us while they drank nothing. Very humbled we eat the delicious food and marveled that after a year of living here, this was our first personal invitation to dinner.

We were invited back the following week for another asado (more lechon and this time they ate it too). The Thursday before Easter is a day of celebrating. We spent most of the afternoon with them.


You do not see entire families together at events. The reason they give is “opyta casero” (someone stayed to house sit). The fear is that someone would steal either from inside the house or take something from the outside (animals or plants from the garden). At church, leaders meetings and ministry times it is a rare occasion to see husband and wives together. If the husband is working in the field the wife cannot come because “opyta casero”. I am still not sure if it is an easy excuse for not attending events or if people are really roaming around looking for unoccupied houses.


We had a wonderful Easter Sunday. We spent the day worshipping God outside at a believer’s field. The weather was wonderful and there was a great turn out. We began with worship and then a couple of the believers shared from the Word. It was encouraging to have a couple baptized. We drank terere and ate a wonderful chicken and rice salad lunch. After lunch we had communion and fellowshipped some more.

Decorating Easter eggs


I cannot remember the last time our house help was at church. She started out so strong in her Christian walk over a year ago but her unsaved boyfriend has pulled her down. I think she has been embarrassed to show her face at church because everyone knows she is living in sin. Every Saturday we encourage her to come, she promises to, but doesn’t. Every Monday she gives an excuse as to why she didn’t come. Last week Jeff decided to be bold. He asked her to read about the four different types of soil in Matthew. The following day he asked what kind of soil she thought she was and immediately she said the rocky ground. The Word in her grew strong and quickly at first but then died. Jeff told that she needed to come back to the Lord, that she was loved and accepted by the group of believers. I was thrilled to see her Easter Sunday fellowshipping and worshipping the Lord with us.

Nilsa and her daughter


March 17, 2008

Monday our family plus three other missionary families went to a river for the day. The place was two hours from here (an hour outside of Caazapa). We all had a great time relaxing in the water. The kids were in their element for sure. The guys set up volleyball uprights from long branches the found.

As we were drying off our sandy bodies and changing out of our wet bathing suits we received a call from Dan (SIM missionary in Caazapa) saying that one of the elders in the church had just passed away due to complications of bowl surgery in Asuncion. His body would be in Caazapa around 8:00 and the funeral would be following. Even though we were hardly dressed for the occasion or to stay the night, Jeff immediately felt that we should stay and support the church. The Floyd’s were with us at the river and decided to stay as well. We arrived in Caazapa about 6:30pm. The Floyds and us split up between the two missionary houses in Caazapa in order to speed up the process of showering and eating. Jeff borrowed clothes from Dan plus shampoo, shaving cream, razor, and comb. Thankfully Sarah had extra toothbrushes for us and diapers for Micah. At 8:00 we went over to Cherlynn’s house where the Floyds and us were to sleep. At 10:00pm Tony, Jean and Jeff left for the funeral. I stayed behind to watch the kids (who konked out after the long day in the sun). Jean came back early at1am but the guys didn’t get home until 3:30am and poor Cherlynn not until 6am. Because they do not embalm here, the body must be buried within 24 hours.

We arrived home Tuesday mid-afternoon and the first thing I did was shower. I felt so much better! I showed the day before but had to put on my same sandy river clothes. Jeff took a nap; as you can imagine he was tired from staying up all night. The second thing I did was make up a “spend an unexpected night” travel kit to stay in the car for situations such as Monday. I should have known. I usually travel with more than we need. Sometimes those things come in handy and sometimes they are just a burden and in the way. This time I had traveled light. I had a fleeting though Monday morning that maybe I should pack extra clothes and a tooth brush but we were late getting out the door so I didn’t. I should have known. As a missionary you never know what will happen and where you will spend the night.

Micah loved throwing sand

Joshua loves the water

Beach bum