Wednesday, July 30, 2014

HERE, THERE, and in the AIR

Thursday, July 16th at 10:30pm we headed to the airport in order to catch our 1:15AM flight to Panama.  This was Julia and Josiah’s first plane ride and both laughed all through take-off then, praise God, promptly went to sleep.  The rest of us soon learned that sleeping on the plane is no easy task.  We were tired when we started the trip and we were tied when we landed in Panama at 6AM. 

However, after breakfast and coffee we were ready to begin our three days of site-seeing in Panama.  The canal was incredible, the kids loved the animals at the zoo, the sea food was awesome, the historical towns were cool and the place we stayed was fabulous. 

Sunday was an early morning as we headed to the airport at 5AM. 

 We took two flights and finally landed at 4:00pm in Austin where Jeff’s parents and his brother and brother’s wife were waiting for us with huge smiles and open arms.  They drove us back to our house which managed to surpass any expectation we might have had.  This is a house that Jeff’s dad bought a couple years ago and will rent it to us for the year.  Even better, you can see their house from our back yard.  The house is huge (even for our family of 9), it is furnished, set up with internet (Ryan said that he never knew internet could be so fast), and the kitchen cabinets are full and the pantry is stocked.  Jeff’s mom thought of everything – shampoo in the showers, toothpaste in the bathrooms, garbage sacks under the sink…the list could go on and on.  The Suburban he bought is in the driveway with a full tank of gas.  We feel so blessed.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


I can officially say that we’ve survived another packing up and are now in Asuncion waiting to fly out tomorrow.  I still can’t believe it!

Friday we were blessed to get a good family sorting and packing day with minimal good-bye visitors.  We were blessed to be invited to our neighbor’s house for a good-bye dinner that night.

Saturday we were blessed that our team mates, the Floyd’s came to help us pack all day.  Jean even brought lunch, plates, cups, etc. so I wouldn’t have to worry about anything.  We were blessed that night to be invited to a good-bye diner with friends in San Francisco.

Sunday we were blessed with excellent moving weather (it was originally forecasted to rain).  Two sets of team mates plus our team mate’s visitors came to help us.  We were blessed that various Paraguayans came to help and sent us off.  

We were blessed that the storage shed built behind our team mate’s house 20 minutes away was finished the day before and that it held all our things.

Sunday after everything was moved and we said good-bye to church members and team mates (that was tough!) we headed to the city.  We feel blessed to have these three days to rest.  Ryan is extremely thankful to get his braces off and Jeff is happy to have his root canal over with.  We got a few last minute errands checked off and we were even treated to a wonderful dinner and ice cream by a couple we had just met.

Are we ready to be in the USA for a year?  Yes.  There are adventures and grandparents waiting for us there.
Will we miss Paraguay?  With all our heart.  We are leaving behind our team mates who have become family, a culture and people that we have grown to love, and a way of life that seems normal to us. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Check out new prayer requests and 2 new ministry videos on the right column.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Friday, July 11, 2013
This week we went from one extreme to the other….we enjoyed 5 days of retreat with our team mates (the day after we said good-bye to the interns) and then we began a frenzied three days of packing and moving. 
Let’s back up to the retreat.  Each year our team gets together for spiritual renewal.  A team of 15 from the US came to minister to the missionary kids and boy did they wear them out.  A couple from the US came to teach the adults on the topic of Sabbath Rest….which is quite ironic in light of all we have to do and decisions needing to be made this week.  For starters, our car is sitting in the shop in Asuncion and won’t be ready before we fly to the US.  That complicates things a lot. The storage shed we’re building behind our team mate’s house may not be finished in time for us to move our belongings.  And it is schedule to rain Sunday, the day we plan to load our things onto an open bed truck.  So, in between Sabbath rest talks, we were coming up with plan B and C and D and so on.

But I have this great coping mechanism and it is called denial…but that only works for so long and ten reality hits.  Saying good-bye to team mates the last day of retreat was tough.  Walking into my home Friday night was tough knowing that we have two full days to pack it all up.  There was no time to waste.  Immediately we began unpacking our bags from the week we were gone and repacking our bags for home assignment.    


It never ceases to amaze me how much my husband LOVES to blow up fruit with firecrackers.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

T.I.M.E update #7

June 29- July 5

The interns’ last week….
Bible study

last days with host families

One intern noted that T.I.M.E (the name of our program - Training in Medical Evangelism) should stand for Training in Meat Eating.  There is no doubt that Paraguayan LOVE their asados (grilling meat) and we have participated in several this month.  One of the intern’s family gave a good-bye party for the interns and invited their host families.  We again ate a lot of meat.

Monday Jeff saw his last patients (until we get back from home assignment in July 2015) and then promptly took down his sign.

Wednesday we left Jataity at 6:00 and headed for Argentina in our crowded vehicle….did I ever mention that all these trips with the T.I.M.E students we squeeze the 6 of them plus the 9 of us into our Excusion?  That’s 15 people and that’s crowded!  We were glad to pile out and stretch a bit at lunch before taking the ferry across to Argentina.  We were so thankful that we didn’t come last week because the border crossing was buried under water!  There has been so much rain that the dams were in endanger of breaking.  Once the dams were opened major flooding occurred in Argentina and in Paraguay.  In Ciudad del Este (where we cross over into Argentina 7,000 people were displaced.  I don’t know how many were displaced in Paraguay but we saw complete towns submerged as we drove back to Asuncion.
This is a picture of what the crossing looked like last week.  Crazy!  

 and this is when we crossed:
on the ferry headed to Argentina

Thursday we went to Iguazu falls and marveled at God’s beautiful creation.  All the flood waters causes the park to be closed last week, so we were thankful the park was even open.  As you can imagine, the Falls were full and beautiful.  However, several ramps leading to various views of the falls had been washed away and we saw its evidence crashed on the rocks below.

Early Friday we headed back across the border into Paraguay.  We got just a few blocks from the docks (on the Paraguay side) and our car broke down….it began to shake and make odd sounds and lost all power.  It was 7:00.  And thus began a VERY long day.  We waited while Jeff talked to the gas station attendants and was finally convinced that they hadn’t put bad gas in our tank.  We waited on the side of the road for a mechanic who never came.  And then we waited for a second mechanic who, thankfully, came but after trying a couple things decided that he could do nothing for us.  At noon the car limped its way to a mechanic shop and we waited 2 hours outside a grocery store.  At 2:00 the mechanics at the shop decided they could do nothing for the car and so we waited for a tow truck. 

 Our friend in CDE graciously transported us and all our luggage to the bus terminal.  He made 4 trips.  I’m pretty sure we totally exceeded the weight limit of his little 4 door car.  One the last trip we packed 11 of us inside plus a truck full of suitcases.  We were ride real low to the ground!

We boarded a bus at 3:00 and finally arrived in Asuncion after 10:00.  We got to the guest house close to 11: 00 and after eating pizza went right to bed.
The following day – Saturday – we were up early and downtown souvenir shopping.  A quick stop for lunch and it was off to the airport.  The time with the interns was sweet and fun and full of adventures.  As we walked back to our car after a sad good-bye Micah said, “I miss the interns already.” 

Saturday, July 5, 2014


My kids have finished 1st, 3rd, 6th, 6th and 9th grades!

 Can you tell what’s in the lower left of the above photo?
A frog.
Here’s the story.
Ryan had to dissect a frog for his biology lab.  Ryan caught a big one and Luke (the intern who was staying the night) tied the bag with three knots and they threw it in the freezer.  Luke checked on the frog about 45 minutes later and announced that it was gone.  Sure enough, the plastic sack was empty!  After emptying out the bottom freezer shelf we found the frog.  Thankfully it was dead.   

How many people do you need to dissect a frog? 
1.       A Dad who knows what he is doing
2.       Someone to scroll down the how-to-dissect-a-frog internet page
3.       Someone to pour and pass terere
4.       a little sister to ask, “what’s that?” every few seconds
5.       two little brothers to say, “that’s awesome!” every few seconds
6.       interns, interns and more interns watching over your shoulder
7.       And….oh yeah…the STUDENT