Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Wednesday (the 17th) we received some sobering news.  A missionary friend (Julie, on the right in the picture above) and her 6 year old son, Timi were killed in a car accident while driving home from Asuncion.  Julie’s husband and their 1 ½ year old daughter survived. 

            A couple years ago, a mutual friend introduced us through our blogs and Facebook.  We corresponded regularly and lifted each other up in prayer.  I would classify Julie as “the real (missionary) McCoy”.  You know, one of those women who have been through the wringer and still have a song of praise on their lips.  Her desire to be Proverbs 31 woman was evident.  Her love and support of her husband was refreshing; her desire to raise a godly son was contagious.  Julie and Norberto struggled years with infertility and God (in his own timing) brought them a beautiful little girl via adoption.  Esther Anahi came into their lives just before her first birthday.  In fact, they were just coming back from having the final adoption papers signed when the accident happened.

            Julie and I met face to face in November while at a women’s conference in Brazil.  We were in a small group together and spend meals and free time chatting (and feeling as though we had known each other for years and years).   Twice our paths crossed in Asuncion and we were able to introduce our families. 

            And now, in a twinkling of an eye, she and her precious son are with the Lord.  And those of left behind as reminded of the truth – we are not guaranteed tomorrow.  But we are guaranteed that God will be our portion (Ps 73:26).  He will be enough for me today.  He will be enough for Julie’s husband.  He will be enough for sweet little Esther. 

            Julie and Timi made an incredible impact in Paraguayans lives!  600 people attended the funeral and countless others all over the world are grieving the loss of these two.   Please pray for this family and the dark days yet to come.  Also, please say and extra prayer of traveling mercies over the missionaries you know.  We travel so much on dangerous roads, crossing rickety bridges.  We dodge motorcyclists, drunks, animals and big trucks.     

Monday, April 23, 2012


          In January Jeff (along with other missionary colleagues) held a training workshop for rural Paraguayan men. The goal was to teach them a different method of sharing the gospel – through Bible stories. Over the three days, the men memorized, discussed, put to drama, and wrote songs about each story. At the end of the workshop they were encouraged to share these stories and more specifically, to find someone to disciple and teach him all the stories. The idea then was to bring that disciple to the next Timothy Training.

Between lost phone lists, the threat of rain, last minuteness, and key people out of town, the recent Timothy Training class had a different feel to it than the first. Unfortunately, only one of the original participants brought a disciple with him. One colleague reflected, “In spite of a reduced group and incomplete homework, we continue to be encouraged by the testimonies of how they were able to share God's Word with people who had never cared to hear or as they glowingly talked about Bible studies they are teaching using the Biblical narratives.”

This group learned a new set of stories and shared deep insights about each one. Their challenge: make disciples of men. Pray for these men as the word of God is being sown deeper into their hearts and as it (naturally) overflows to their family, neighbors and colonias. As one farmer said, “This is the key to reaching rural Paraguay.” I’m telling you, God is up to something very wonderful and we are thrilled to be a (small) part of it.

Jeff playing Abraham

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Wow!  It took me longer than I thought to get back into the routine of things after being away from San Francisco nearly 3 weeks.  The house was so full of cobwebs and dust that I felt like was in a haunted house.  The kids jumped back into homeschool after the long break and, after a week, we’ve been trying to get jump-started and back on track.
4-6-12: Today is Jeff’s birthday.  The rain kept the patients away and we were able to enjoy a nice quite day of playing games and hanging out as a family.  Jeff opened his gift and read his handmade cards.  Jeff’s birthday request was to grill.  Ginny made a fabulous chocolate cake.  Our teammates joined us for dinner and dessert.
4-7-12: We went to the little (and I emphasize little) fair that has come to town.  It has three rides – one of which is a hand powered Merry-go-Round (yes, the guy really runs abound it holding onto one of the seats).  The kids did the ferris wheel and the giant swings a couple times and we were home in an hour.  Since no trip to the fair (no matter how little) is complete without funnel cakes, I made some when we got home.
4-8-12: We celebrated Easter morning with our church family.  There was no new fancy dresses and sun bonnets, no talk of Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, or egg hunts....just God as the focus.  I love our simple life here.  Praise God the rain held off till about 20 minutes after the service was over.  Mid-afternoon Paul and Becky came through and for dinner we had the Hough’s (our teammates) over as well.  Our 3 families ended Easter Sunday with a worship time and communion.
4-9-12: The Dreilings stayed at our place and it was nice to visit with them a bit more in the morning.  They left at noon and another set of team mates came for lunch.  Have I mentioned before how much we love our mission family? 
4-10-12: A bit late, but the kids dying Easter eggs today.
4-11-12: We decorated Easter cookies.
4-12-12: Jeff was gone Thursday to Saturday for Timothy Training (next post).  The kids and I did some spring cleaning (even though we’re heading into fall) and I did some odd and ends sewing.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


 We feel so blessed that we were able to spend a week with Jeff’s parents on the beach of Brazil.  Here are some of the words that describe our vacation:
Jelly fish
Boogie boarding
Campeche Beach
Collecting shells
Sand castles and Sand cars
Eating fried fish, Shrimp empanadas, and Shrimp pizza
Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa
Sun tans, sunburns and going through 2 bottles of sunscreen
G-pa pulling Tyler’s tooth
Fun noodles at the pool slide
Picnics and Hamburgers on the beach
Games like Puerto Rico, Cranium Clay, UNO, Skip-BO
New Movies
Ingleses Beach
Bravo Beach
Paddle ball
Packing camping, beach and two weeks’ worth of stuff in our car
Obsession with Dorito chips
Game room
Trying to find a hotel and sleeping in our car
Big Waves and high tide
Surfers and windsurfers
Play ground
Santinho Beach
Grilling at the condo 

 Julia LOVED the sand.  She spent every moment that we were at the beach rolling around in the sand, eatingg it and getting as dirty as possible.

Joshua bogie boarding for the first time.  He really liked it and got quite brave by the end of the week.

I don't know if you can tell, but we are sitting in 2 sand cars that Ginny and Joshua built.

Tyler bogie boarding.
 Ginny trying out the waves.

 The kids found lots of jellyfish - fortunately they didn't sting.

 Ryan bogie boardin'.
Sand castle toilet - it's a guy thing I guess.

 Grandpa pulling Tyler's tooth.

It had been over a year and a half since we'd seen Jeff's parents.  It was nice to be able to finally introduce Julia to them.

Tyler catching a BIG wave.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


The Hough family arrived in Paraguay the same year we did.  For a year we studied Guarani daily together and fellowshipped outside of class regularly.  The same week we moved to San Francisco, they moved to another town 45 minutes.  We lived in our respective town about 2 years and then because of the furloughs and their state-side Spanish studies, we didn’t see them for 2 ½ years (mission life is very crazy).
In San Francisco, we joined a family that had been living here 10 years, but in December they moved to another town.   We prepared ourselves to (indefinitely) be the lone Americans in our town.  However, God had different plans. 
When the Houghs arrived from furlough in December, they began searching for a new ministry location.  God laid San Francisco on their hearts. 
We are thrilled to have them in our town as of this month.  Dan and Sarah have a heart for youth ministry.  Dan will not only be training up youth workers in our town, but help SIM youth groups in the surrounding towns.  Please pray for them as they have been in transition for a long time and are anxious to get settled again.

 Ginny entertaining the little ones while the adults worked.