Sunday, September 30, 2012



It is fun and challenging to be in a culture that is relationship oriented rather than

time/task oriented.  I love it and find in refreshing.  However, sometimes my deeply ingrained North American culture creeps in and I become so task/time oriented that I forget to enjoy the people.  I once invited sisters over to my house to discuss children’s church.  The following day I went to visit them and after 2 hours of visiting I finally got the courage up to ask why they hadn’t come to my house the day before (they never brought it up).  Their answer was simple, “Our brother come to visit.”  No apologies.  No further explanation. Someone showed up at their door and they gave hospitality. 

I like to think of myself as being hospitable, but I am afraid that next to a Paraguayan I fall very short.  It seems an easy task for them to cook for a crowd of 50 on short notice.  A friend told me just last week that she killed 7 of her chickens to feed a group of businessmen traveling through.  Before moving to this town, we told our neighbor that 2 men would be living in the house working on repairs.  She immediately said, “Don’t worry; they can eat their meals here.  I’ll provide them hot water for mate in the mornings and ice for terere in the afternoons.”   These were men she didn't even know and she had no idea how long they would be staying (they stayed for three weeks).



As I walked into my neighbor’s home in the previos post, I brought 6 muffins in a tupperware that Marina had given me filled with chipa the previous day.  I bought a kilo of tomatoes, but walked out of her house with cornmeal, potatoes, chipa, sopa, 8 eggs, and a bag full of oranges.  Jeff and I had said over and over again, you cannot out give Paraguayans.  In San Francisco (and it is proving to be true here as well), people are constantly giving - lettuce from their gardens, fresh eggs, honey from their hives, homemade food, and even pigs and chickens.  When we returned from home assignment 2 years ago, our neighbor gave us 12 ducks!  Just yesterday a friend brought over an entire (small) pig for us to grill together – a gift from him. 

Enjoying a couple games of ping pong before dinner.

and arm wrestling

Dinner Time


I am 12 weeks preganant!  Baby McKissick #7 will be arriving sometime mid-April.  We are all super thrilled!  Everyone wants a baby "just like Julia".  I have been feeling extremely tired and sick in the mornings.  I sure am lookig forward to the 2nd trimester.


Tyler, Micah, and their friend, Eli have birthdays close together.  When we asked what they wanted to do, they said camping.  We had a wonderful time camping with 4 other families.
 A camo birthday
 Micah will be SIX
Tyler will be EIGHT

12 hours after arriving home from camping, we were back on the road headed for Asuncion. 
We’ll be in Asuncion for a week.  The biggest thing we are trying to accomplish while up in the city is Jeff’s Paraguayan medical license

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


September 9, 2012
It was 4:30 when I went next door to Marina’s house/store front to buy ONE thing – tomatoes for our pizza.  As protocol, we chatted for a bit and I tried to seem not in a hurry.  Finally I felt it appropriate to mention what I wanted to buy.  She offered for me to sit down while she weighted and calculated the order.  I explained that I couldn’t stay because I hoped to go walking with a neighbor a 5:15.  She asked if I’d used the pre-made shell she gave me to make a (Paraguayan) tart.  When I said no, she called her daughter (who is my age) to bring over potatoes for me to use in the tart.  While we waited for her daughter, Marina showed me her orange trees and proceeded to whack down a bag full to give me.  When Lida arrived she brought not only potatoes, but eggs and chipa for me as a gift.  Chairs were brought out, a bottle of orange Fanta was opened, conversation was started, and I guessed it would have been rude to say, “If I leave now, I can probably still go walking with my neighbor.”  So I didn’t.   We talked as it grew dark outside and I knew I had missed my walking opportunity. 
I tried to leave saying that I should be getting home to begin dinner.  Lida said she would walk to my house with me and have Jeff look at her sick daughter.  Lida scurried off into a room as I began gathering my things and walking towards to the door to leave.  Someone realized that I had missed a cultural cue and informed me that Lida was talking a shower first.  Another chair was offered and another glass of Fanta was poured.  When she was finished, I again began making my way toward the front door.  It was then that I was informed that I couldn’t go quite yet because Marina hadn’t finished sifting my corn meal.  The truth is, she hadn’t even started sifting it because she’d been talking to me.   Finally at 6:30 I made my way home with Lida and her daughter, Marina and two other girls following behind me.  They sat and visited till after 7.  We finally ate our pizza about 8:30.  

This is my neighbor, Marina and her daughter, Lida. We were invited to help celebrate her granddaughter’s 2ndbirthday. Ronaldo (all the way to the right) is Lida’s son.

Monday, September 24, 2012


There are many steps in church planting.  One milestone is forming a church constitution. This has been a big project for Jeff, the elders and deacons. 
Two Sundays ago the elders gave each family a copy of the constitution and asked each to carefully read it, bring up any questions, and then be willing to sign an agreement.  
Last Sunday those in attendance come forward one by one to sign.
We paise God for his continued blessing upon Iglesia Ka'aguy Oke (Forest Door Church).  Ka'aguy was the first name of the town (now it is called San Francisco). 

Please continue to pray for the elders and deacons, the church members and those they are discipling. 

We praise God that for a couple new Bible study groups have recently formed and an older group is so big it needs to split. 

Next week there will be a big encuentro church service with FOUR baptisms!

God is definitely at work in San Francisco!


A little over a week of moving into our house, we overflowed the (already existing) septic tank.  Work on a new one was delayed over the weekend and then because of bad weather.  Finally work has begun on a new pit.  In the meantime, we are washing dishes outside, not flushing the toilet and spacing our showers.

Lion Cake

 This is a cake I helped a friend make for her son;s 1st birthday.  Turned out cute, don;t you think?

Sunday, September 9, 2012


In August, Micah stopped sucking his thumb.  For the past 2 years we’ve tried every kind of bribe, reasoning and threat to get him to stop.  Nothing worked.  Nothing worked until he cut his thumb on a saw and he decided (on his own) that he didn’t want to suck it and get it infected (or infested, as Micah says).  So there you go.   


In August, Ryan (who is 12 years old) became taller than his mama.  He couldn’t be happier about it. 


Our dog, Comet is pregnant.  We didn’t really want her to get pregnant this time around, but where we live it is impossible to keep the male dogs away.  The kids are thrilled and have already been thinking up names for the pups.

While looking at baby pictures, Tyler saw himself as a baby on the beaches of South Padre Island.  “I miss those days,” he said.  Ryan quickly added, “Tyler, you don’t even remember those days.”  “I know,” Tyler said.  “That’s why I miss them.”

I made these skirts for Julia and her friend, Sammy.  It was my first time attempting something like this.  They turned out cute and were quite easy to make.


Friday, September 7, 2012




Last night late into the night we were still madly stuffing clothes, toys, pots, pillows, anything and everything into duffle bags and rubbermaids.  Julia screamed the whole time, ruffled by the chaos. 

Today we were up by 6 packing, cleaning, taking things off the walls and loading it all up.  We loaded furniture into our friend’s big truck and packed our Excursion inside, on top and in a trailer.  The mobile clinic was also packed inside and with our grill on back.  The two missionary families helping us loaded their cars down as well.       

                        We arrived at our new house at 1:00.  After a quick empanada lunch, we set to work unloading and organizing.  One benefit of having missionaries help is that they know what they’re doing.  They have years of experience of packing and moving.  I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish in one day! 

                        Now it is 8:00pm.  Everyone has just left and we are enjoying a meal provided by a team mate.  I am looking forward to crashing into my bed (which was lovely made by a team mate) and diving into tomorrow’s work. 


8-31. The high school had a good-bye party in our honor.  There was traditional Paraguayan dancing, singing and guitar playing.  There was food, fellowship with the teachers and kind words spoken over our family and Jeff for his service to the community.  It was very sweet and thoughtful.


9-1. This is my 3rd morning to wake up to my beautiful new view and gorgeous colors of the sun rise. The past couple days we have been adding cabinets and shelves, fixing the plumbing and installing the hot water tank (both jobs turned out to be half a day’s work).   The outside/patient bathroom is done and the outside of the house is painted a pretty spring blue color. 


The kids have done great.  They love our new house.  Today they have been playing with missionary kids, neighbor kids, our landlord’s kids and kids from I don’t know where.  I love hearing my kids laughing and speaking Spanish/Guarani. 


9-4. We’re still finding things to be done.  A friend hung a screen door yesterday and another helped me finish painting cabinets.  Jeff hung the lattice on the quincho and made a gate.  The kids helped to clear all the trash, bricks and wood that was laying around the yard.  Most important, my washing machine finally works (a part broke in the move).   

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


8-16. We were given a pig (dead and gutted and without the head) as a good-bye gift by a neighbor.  We were planning a game night with the kids, but Jeff instead had to spend the next 2 hours carving up the pig.

8-17. Jeff saw his last patients here in San Francisco.  Now his time can be dedicated to the new house and all that still needs to be done before we move it.  It feels as if we’re building from scratch rather than making improvements.  There’s a lot to go!

8-18. Jean (our team mate) helped me paint the kitchen/living room with help from 2 Paraguayans. I was going for an off-white color. However, we were very disappointed that even after the 2nd coat of paint, the original turquoisey-green still showed through. We walked away speechless and with my walls being mint green instead of off-white. Thankfully Greg (a team mate) was a professional painted before turning missionary and he was able to offer help. He even offered to buy the paint I need to hind the green. He lives 2 hours away, so somehow this week we will get the paint here and I can start again.

How many kids does it take to paint the corner of the house?

Why Micah is wearing a bathing suit and a skeleton costume shirt I’ll never understand!

 Joshua is sad that our inside walls are STILL green!
Even Julia got in on the painting action.
Friends from San Francisco helping

After painting all day, we went to a good-bye party in our honor.  The church grilled up A LOT of pork.  One of the church members killed one of her pigs for the occasion.
Look at all that great pork! and that was only 1/2 of it.

8-19. We had a great church service.  A new couple came.   Then we ate more grilled pork for lunch as the missionaries threw a surprise good-bye party for Jocky (a short termer who has been here filming).

8-20. Jeff and Dan (team mate) put filled in all the holes/gaps in between the wooden plank walls.  What a big task!  They also made a loft which will be Ryan's room.  While they were doing that, Sarah (a team mate) and I painted my cabinets off-white (to match what the walls are supposed to be).  The second coat was still streaky, so again we called Greg again and he came to our rescue.  He’ll go to the paint store again and buy what we need.  I decided to paint the outside of the house a spring blue color (why not, right?), so there went another call into Greg and another run to the paint store for him.  I think he must have screened his calls after that!  I am so thankful to serve on a team of servants!

8-21. Jeff added doors. The electrician and plumber have wired and piped. My beautiful windows and new cabinets (made by a friend in Asuncion) are in and look great.

8-22. Our quincho is up!
Ginny prayed last night, “Help our big family as we move into a tiny house.”  I am beginning to get a bit anxious wondering how all our things will fit (comfortably) into our new place.
8-23. My walls are no longer mint green thanks to oil based paint and team mates.

8-28. The chicken coop (or "chicken poop" as Micah calls it) is done.  The bedroom walls and the walls of the “multipurpose” room are painted.  Rough edges are sanded.  Beds were disassembled and reassembled at the new place.  Sarah and I spent a half day cleaning our new place.  My house in San Francisco is a mess and full of boxes.  Tomorrow we move!