Wednesday, August 22, 2012


August 5, 2012
Julia turns two today. 
She has been such a delight.
She is a cute little angel. 
She scrunches up her nose when she smiles.
She loves to cuddle and give hugs, touch your face and look lovingly right into your eyes.
She loves to sing “I’m all wrapped up, I’m all tied up, I’m all tangled up in Jesus” – although she doesn’t sing it.  Rather, she points to us, wanting us to sing while she does the motions.  It is the same for “This little light of mine” and “The wise man builds his house upon the rock”.
She loves music and loves to dance.  She does “sing” sings in her own baby talk language.
She loves to put her babies over her holder, pat them on the back and say, “Shhhh.  Shhhh.”
She loves her baby doll, Jelly and the Curious George stuffed animals.
She loves to wave hello and good-bye – even to the animals.
She blows kisses.
She loves bossing the dogs around, chasing the chickens, holding the rabbits, trying to get into the hamster cage (could that be why he keeps escaping?) and petting the cat.
The kids routinely take her with them while they do their chores because they know she loves collecting eggs and feeding the animals.  She looks so cute trotting behind them.
She has a good laugh which she uses often.
She loves climbing onto Ginny’s top bunk bed (something we don’t encourage) and climbing up into the fort outside (the fact that it is missing the first three stairs doesn’t detour her.  She scales it like a monkey.
She loves to give fist bumps and high fives.
She loves mimicking anything and everything her siblings do.  If they are reading, then she gets a book and sits next to them with a book (usually upside down).  She loves to take a Wii controller and “play” with them, copying their arm movements.
Julia isn’t saying much, but she can communicate whatever she wants. If she’s hungry, she gets a plate and brings it to us.  If she wants her diaper changed, she lifts her dress and points to her diaper.  If she wants something in a different room, she takes out hand and guides up there and points.
She says the names of our animals: Bootsie, Comet (momet) and Lady
She says a few defensive words: Go away and stop it.
It is still hard to make out the names of her siblings.  She learned Josh (Josssss) first, so for a while all her siblings were Josh.  Now she says Tyler (Ty-lor). 
She says a couple friends’ names: Silas and Sammy.
She says a few essential words like hot, Hi, mama, dada bye, terere, hey guys, baby and shoe.
Julia is fun.  She is easy going, pretty independent and enjoys being outside.  Not a day goes by when we don’t marvel at something she has done or something new she’s discovered.  The kids take such delight in teaching her new things, taking care of her and including her in their games and play.
Julia helping to make her birthday cake.


A couple weeks ago, a Paraguayan friend crocheted this pink hat for Ginny (she love it and hasn’t taken it off).  She then taught me how to make one for Julia.  I finished it just in time to give it to Julia for her birthday.  Julia really likes it and wants to wear it all the time.

Julia loves to push the stroller - her birthday gift

Monday, August 13, 2012


Saturday, August 4, 2012 (a day before Julia’s birthday)

Today we had a co-celebration: missionary friend, Ben was turning 4 today and Julia will be 2 tomorrow.  Ginny and I made a puppy dog cake with the dogs of the 4 families present represented.

Julia and Ben inspecting their cake.
Make a wish.

Vonnie made cute dog bone cookies.

Friday, August 10, 2012


To say that property options in Jataity is lacking, is a HUGE understatement.  A friend showed us 2 options.  We should have been more specific – we were looking for a house, not a shack.  We knew moving to a town this size that we couldn’t be picky about housing, but seriously, these places lacked A LOT – walls, plumbing, electricity, roofs, a floor, a yard, windows, etc.  Jeff turned to me and jokingly asked, “Do you think they’re trying to run us out of town by showing us these?”  The thought had crossed my mind too.   Luckily we were in no rush to move, and could wait for something “approaching satisfactory”.
A week later, as I was visiting a friend, she mentioned that she was stretched so thin keeping up with her house (where she sleeps), her mom’s house (where she lives during the day to take care of the animals and her mother) and her new restaurant.  When I told her that we wanted to move to town, her eyes lit up.  She asked if we would be interested in renting her home.  As we drove to it, Jeff and I immediately felt peace. 

This is it.  We will live in house on the left and will put our washing machine and second freezer in the shed to the right.
Confirmation #1: It is WAY better than the other two houses we had seen.  I mean this place actually has a bathroom!  The view is gorgeous and the grass yard is big enough for volleyball and soccer.  We will make some improvements, like adding windows to one side of the house where there is just lattice now, patching up the big holes in wall and roof, and adding light fixtures and outlets.

If you walk down the path between the two building (look at the top picture), you come to this:
The green closed door on the left goes to Jeff and my bedroom.  The open door leads to the living room and kitchen.  If you look through the open door and to the right, you see this:  
We are planning to put windows in place of the lattice.

If you look to the left from that same open front door, you see this:
The door to the kid's bedroom is visible.
I couldn't get pictures of the bedrooms because they are too small!

If you look straight ahead through the open front door, you see this:
A bathroom.  Remember, to therightwas the wall with the lattice work and to the left is the door to the kids' bedroom.

This is the back of the house. 

 Confirmation #2: I am excited to live in a THREE ROOMED (that is three rooms, not three BEDrooms) wooden house with holes in the slates and a crude (but indoor) bathroom.  Normally a house like this would not thrill me, so I know it is God giving me a peace beyond understanding. 

Confirmation #3: Our kids love this house and cannot wait to move into it.  It’s tough to move and we never want to take a kid kicking and screaming.  So before breaking the news about moving to the kids, I prayed that they would be excited.  And sure enough – they cannot wait to go.  Wow!  I think it has something to do with the fact that we have been praying for months about the community and a possible move.  Their hearts were already prepared.  Even Ryan is excited about going and he is the one who has friends here and his own room here.  He will be back to sleeping with his 5 siblings.  Plus, they love the house and the huge yard to explore.  We hear that there is a little creek close by as well.  Our kids are hoping that the cart comes with the house!

Confirmation #4: We have great neighbors.  We get to bless a friend by renting from them (they will be one set of neighbors).  Our friend mentioned that her 18 year old could housesit for us when we go out of town, feeding our animals and staying the night for added security which is a huge help.  Also, we are right next door to the house where we currently have Bible study.

Confirmation #5: Empanadas.  When people visit and then ask, “How do you survive in San Francisco?”  I jokingly say, “Celia”.  Sometimes it is not joke at all.  Celia makes empanadas and sells them at her house.  Celia makes empanadas (and at my request) delivers them to my house.  Remember, we don’t have restaurants here where you can take your family for an evening out.  We don’t have fast food or ready-made, microwavable meals.  It takes time to cook EVERYthing from scratch, EVERY meal, EVERY day.  I love cooking, but not that much.  So on days it has been one of “those homeschooling days”, when we have unexpected guests, or come home late from travels, or on Sundays when we try to cut down on our work (cooking and dishes).....I call Celia.  She keeps me sane.  Well, our future landlord is just opening an empanada stand.  We assured her that we will be regular customers.  What a reminder that God cares about the little things. 

This is what I mean when I say we start from scratch.
Empanadas (left) and milenesa (right)....yum!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


                        It’s interesting how God directs our lives.  Along the way, there are surprises and blessings, lessons to be learned and a relationship with Him to be deepened.  We have felt God’s leading many times in our lives and no chapter, it seems, begins nor ends the same way.  
This time, God has spoken very clearly – we are to move to Jataity.
From the moment we began praying for this little town (we were actually praying that our team mates would move there), God gave us many divine appointments, powerful contacts, and an incredible peace.  The signs were impossible to ignore (our team mates decided to move to a different town).
                        On home assignment we prayed that God would show us how to more effectively use the mobile clinic and that he would show us when the right time was to leave San Francisco.  In September, we began weekly mobile clinics and visits in Jataity (a couple men from the church have come to share their testimony).  In January, a family asked us to begin a Bible study at their home (a study we do Sunday afternoon).  
                        The church here in San Francisco is growing in numbers and maturity.  The members are reaching out to neighbors and carrying on with Bible studies and meetings without us.  When Jeff told the elders and deacons about moving to Jataity their response was, “If God is leading you there then how can we stop you?  We would like to be a part of the work there as well.”  And guess what?  We have had a believer from San Francisco join us on 4 out of 5 Bible studies in Jataity.  They are excited about helping us reach this community.
                         Jataity is only a 15 minute drive away from where we live now.  Although it is close by North American standards, we might as well be moving across the state by Paraguayan standards.  Rural Paraguayans don’t travel much.  For one, only a handful own cars, and buses cost money they don’t have.  Second, they are tied to their land and finding time to stop being busy and travel is tough.  Third, Jataity is a smaller town so folks from here would have no business there.  For nearly a year, we have lived here and gone there.  Could we keep that up?  Probably.  However, although we love San Francisco, we find that our hearts longe to minister daily to people of Jataity.  A SIM church advocate recently said, 80% of our witness is just showing up.  We want to “show up” in Jataity.  We want to share our daily lives with them.  We want to be available to start more Bible studies and give people a way to visit with us about spiritual things. 

Bible study.
 This is the town of Jataity.

Friday, August 3, 2012

August Prayer Requests

August Prayer Requests

When I looked at our August calendar, I commented to Jeff that it looked a little bare.  He said, “Nothing much, just a MOVE!”  Oh yeah.  Could you pray that we will finish well here in San Francisco and for a smooth transition to our new town and home.

Aug 5 – Julia turns TWO!

Aug 6 – We begin our homeschooling year.  Pray for diligence for everyone.

Aug 11 – Kids’ club

Here’s a link to our August 2012newsletter.  If you’d like to receive it via email and don’t already do so, just put your email address in the comments section.

Here’s a link to a video that Jocky, a SIM short termer made abot our ministry here.  Jocky (from Scotland) has been in Paraguay 6 months completing several video projects for our team.  What a wonderful way to use God given talents for His kingdom!


Micah: How many cookies can I have?
Mom: One.
Micah: How many “ones” can I have?

Mom: Tyler, how did you tooth fall out?
Tyler: Someone accidentally tied a string around it and pulled it out.
7-16. Ryan was thrilled to finally be old enough to attend SIM’s camp.  He had a great time and enjoyed the games the most (no surprises there).
7-17. SIM’s church planting champions came and stayed a couple days with us.  It was wonderful to show them the work in Paraguay.  They were great listeners and very encouraging.
7.20. A friend of mine came to visit today and said that she wants to be baptized.  Praise God!  The elders of the church will visit with her and ask her to go through a baptism class.  She has been involved in youth activities and the church.  She has attended my English classes and her family has hosted 5 interns.  Starting this week, I am going to teach her English three days a week at my house.
7.23. Today I baked brownies to bring to 3 different neighbors.  It was a peace offering really.  Jeff and I needed to apologize.  Our dog was seen chasing 3 pigs.  She bit 2 pretty badly and killed one.  Luckily the neighbors were very nice about the ordeal and we only ended up paying 50mil to replace the dead pig.
7-24. As Jeff walked into the bedroom this morning with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cup of water in the other, who should he spy?  He saw Ginny’s hamster who has been missing for TWO months!  As Jeff was frantically looking for a place to set his drinks down, the hamster scurried away behind our closet.    
7-25. I am so thankful my friend, Acela called me up today to go with her to her field.  She is so gracious and I came back with a huge sack of mandioca, oranges, lettuce, spinach and herbs.
7-25. Our team mates are leaving this week for a year of furlough in the US.  We are so very grateful that they stopped in for one last overnight at our house before heading up to the city.   They will be missed.
7.26. Jeff travels today lead his 3rd Timothy Training workshop.  He is expecting 14.  Pray for the men who will be memorizing Bible stories in order to share them with others.  
7.28. I am so thankful for my kids’ imagination.  They played outside all day today (from after breakfast till after dinner, we even had a picnic outside because they didn’t want to come in!).  They were alligator hunters, architects, race car drivers, sailors, store owners, adventure seekers, chefs, and lots of other things.
7.28. Jeff came back with good reports of the Timothy Training Workshop.  Even more attended than were expected, praise God.  There were some encouraging testimonies of how these men are using these stories to reach family and neighbors.  The Word of God is reaching rural Paraguay and we couldn’t be more excited!
7.29. The book Mr. Popper’s Penguins is he only book I’ve read four times.  The kids still love it.
Tyler with his chicken, Smoothie.
Julia and her friend, Bianca
Micah helping to clean the car windows.
Ginny bathing Comet
Julia "helping"