Thursday, August 30, 2007

Various day to day photos of life here south of the border

Hello everyone!!!

This blog will be a little easier on your minds as well as on your time because this post has a lot of photos.

How about a few horses in your front yard everyday...or a sheep, or even some cows!!!! Just hang around a few hours and you will see it all.

¨What was that. I don´t know but it was moving awefully fast. Yeeeekkksss it´s a little critter she says!!!!¨

That´s ok, cause if the broom, doesn´t get em, then the trap will, and if the trap doesn´t get em, then for sure the machette will.....know what I´m saying!!!!! Maybe a little overboard with the machette but I was not taking any chances. Fortunately, the trap won the battle (3 times thus far) so I didn´t have to start throwing iron around.

This pics show our little friend Emellia. This is the older lady that can not walk very well and her right arm is twisted and withered a little bit and can not be used. Either I or pastor C pick her up for church evey Sunday (we have to pick her up and put her in the truck as she can not walk to the truck and get in on her own). Sarita and I go to her house every week and sing hyms (in English) to her and read to her from our Spanish bible. We read two chapters of Psalms and one Chapter of Matthew during each visit. She so looks forward to our coming each week. Last week when we got to the chapter in Matthew that spoke of King Herod having all the male children less than two years old to be killed (as he was trying to have baby Jesus killed), she covered her mouth with her good hand and and let out this little gasp and even shed a little tear as she couldn´t believe that someone would do this to little children. Sarita and I enjoy this time with her very much.

Sarita has gotten creative with her clothes drying....we didn´t have enough line for all the clothes so she improvised(i.e. put our clothes all over the back fence).....something we have learned to do just about every day....improvise!

Sarita in her little cocina.....thanks again gran margie (and papa jerry) for the ¨big pot¨because we really needed it for the youth retreat as Sarita had to cook 5 whole chickens and she did so at one time in that her ¨big pot¨(we forgot the spanish name for it)....and she can cook up the finest homeade salsa this side of the rio grande!

I got so sick during my 5th time of being sick down here that a doctor had to come in from the neighboring town of San Cristobal....actually I did not know he was coming but my pastor down here told him of my illness and he came to save the day....i had been sick for about 5 days with high fever and body aches and chills and all kinds of other symptoms I won´t mention and didn´t have any medicine to take and he came and gave me medicine and a shot....praise the Lord for the wisdom He gives these doctors casuse in 4 days i was totally better! His name is Dr. Ramero Marrero; he is a Christian as well as his entire family and they help many different indigenous communities down here....we have become really good friends....oh, and he and his family speak really good English so that is a treat to talk with them.

Just some photos showing what my dear little Sarita has to go through to get groceries for the day....we forgot to get tomatoes one day and so she decided that she couldn´t wait forever to go down the street to get had been raining before she went down to get the tomatoes but wasn´t raining at the time she left.....but as it happens so often down here, if you just wait a few minutes it might be raining again-and it did. We are in a low area and when it rains, our street becomes a little river (running from right to left). In the last photo I caught her as she stepped into a little hole in the street...whoooppsss, gotta love that wet cold feeling up to your ankle.

Sarita and Amos just hanging out......This photo shows a bunch of sawdust in the back of my truck as Amos and I were about to leave to got get ready for the youth retreat (and spread the sawdust on the walkways we had made up on the top of the mountain).

Sarita and I before I went to preach one Sunday morning. She is doing so good making our little casita look homey!!!!

Just a few pics of the morning I preached. The youth standing beside me is Dr. Ramero´s son (his name is Jose). I didn´t know what to expect before he opened his mouth for the first time (as I had never met him) but to my very big and happy surprised he was a great translator. In close to 50 minutes, there was only one word he did not know....what a blessing from the Lord to give me someone such as Jose so that I could preach the word of God down here many lost souls...I bless your holy name this very moment my dearest Savior!

Ok, these pics show my dog Amos and his best buddy....the other dog´s name is Lobo (which means wolf in Spanish) and he does look just like a wolf. Lobo, or Limp as we affectionately call him (he only has 3 good legs) is the boss of the street. He is amazingly fast for a dog that runs with only 3 legs and he can fight like no other dog I have seen down here.....He has not lost a fight yet and most dogs immediatley put their tails between their legs when he starts to walk up to them. Do not think it strange that I mention that he fights alot because that is just a way of life down here....there are packs of dogs on every corner and they rule their turf and fight when any other dog comes by....they are no threat at all to us humans and they don´t even bark or even get up and move when anyone walks by. But anyway, Limp´s only friend is Amos. Limp has taken him under his wing and has started showing him the ropes down here in Mexico. They are best of buds and go everywhere together.

These photos show the big tree house at the school where we take (or took) our English classes. The name of the school is La Casa en el arbol which translates into ¨tree house.¨ And what a tree house it is. There are people from all over the world that come here to learn various languages....China, France, Spain, Germany, Sweeden, Australia to name a few.

Well that´s enough for now. We just thought that you all would enjoy seeing a little bit more of our life down here. We have many more photos to post so keep an eye out for them.

Just remember the words of John the Baptist...I must decrease and He (Jesus) must increase....I pray that you, and I, are all decreasing daily!!!

In His loving and safe arms,

Lance and Sarita

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My new desperate friend

“Indeed He [God] says, ‘It is too small a thing that you should be My Servant [Jesus] to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel, I will also give You [Jesus] as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Isaiah 49:6

Hello my brothers, sisters, friends and family,

I hope and pray that this email finds you all doing well, both physically and spiritually. Sarita and I are doing great thanks to the grace and mercy of our dearest Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have been very busy as of late working with various churches, groups, and organizations on different projects but it seems to be our personal witness that God has particularly shined His face upon. I say this because God has opened several doors for me to personally share His word; especially at the beginning of this week. One particular experience that I want to share with you comes at the expense of a 45 year old man that has many troubles in his life.

Sarita and I were getting out of our truck this past Sunday afternoon after having gone to church and as I was just about to enter the house, a drunken man came stumbling up to me from the street. It was very strange because he was staggering down the street but when he saw me he took an immediate right and headed straight for me…maybe it was because I was a “Gringo” or maybe it was because I had on a tie, which are usually worn by religious people (i.e. pastors). Anyway, he walked up to me and started mumbling in his indigenous dialect (tribal language), which obviously I could not understand at all. At this point I had some mixed emotions because I really did not want to talk with this man because I was a little tired and a little hungry and I just wanted to go inside and have lunch and then take my customary Sunday afternoon nap. BUT I also knew that it was to the drunks of Teopisca that I have been wanting to witness to and have been praying to God that He might make this possible.

See, one day about two weeks ago as I was driving around town, I kept seeing all these drunk men stumbling down the street….during the middle of the day! This was nothing new because alcoholism is a major problem in this city and there are always men walking around in a drunken stupor. I have started relationships with several youth, meaning 15-18 year olds, that either have a problem with alcohol right now or have already been in and out of rehab. My heart breaks for these guys because in my past life (meaning before October 15, 2000 when the Lord saved me), I have known what it is like to stumble along trying to find my way home after drinking the night away, or the day away in this case. I know what bondage it is to not be able to put the bottle down and/or not be able to withstand popping another top. I know what it is like to wake up somewhere other than in your own bed…whether that be in your own car in front of your house, or sitting on the doorstep of your own house or worse…waking up and finding yourself lying in a public bathroom of a high rise office building in downtown Dallas with a security guard standing over you asking you what in the world you are doing in a “lock down” part of the building.

I say these men are in bondage (just as I once was), because that is how God describes their condition. Romans 6:16-17 says, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.”

Sin is bondage and that is exactly the status of these men…they are slaves to sin and in bondage to their own evil desires. And lest any of my readers are saying at this point…preach on brother because those drunk guys are really a problem and they sure are bad people…don’t be fooled because God also says in Galatians 5:16-21, “So I say, live by the Spirit [God’s Holy Spirit], and you will not gratify [fulfill] the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery [wild living] idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissentions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

So before you go pointing fingers at anyone, I want you to answer this first…been envious or jealous of your buddy’s car, house, sound system, or lifestyle lately or maybe your best friends new pair of high heels; gotten real angry at your coworker or maybe even spouse lately; been harboring some real hatred for someone that you think has wronged you; had some ambitions for something that probably have the wrong motive (i.e. only for yourself), cursed at someone that just cut you off on the freeway lately or yelled at your kid because he or she did something wrong?????? Just wanted to ask you these questions before I continued with my little story because the things underlined in the verses above are in the same list with drunkenness!!! Know what I am saying?

OK, so I stood there listening to him for about a minute and a half as he switched between Spanish and Tzotzil (his native dialect). I only could make out about 20% of what he was saying but one thing was for sure…he had been drinking! I don’t know if any of you do this…I am sure that none of you do J…but as he was speaking I was kind of listening and kind of thinking how in the world I was going to get rid of him or at least get out of the conversation and go inside. Just then Sarita came back outside and I asked her to take all the things out of my hands and take them back inside with her. She took them and went back inside and then stuck her head back out the door and asked me if I wanted my bible. I said no…….and as the words were coming out of my mouth I caught myself having an internal conversation with myself that lasted for about 3 seconds in reality but seemed like 3 minutes. The conversation went something like this…no I don’t want my bible because I am going to spend as little amount of time with guy as possible.. BUT I am a missionary and I want to give the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people down here so why in the world did you say no…BUT this guy is drunk and he won’t be able to understand you and remember you anyway…BUT that’s not true because Lance, you yourself had 4 drugs and alcohol in your body the day that you were saved by the grace and mercy of our great God…BUT you can’t even speak Spanish enough to speak with a sober Mexican who tries to help you out with different words, much less this guy who obviously won’t be able to help you out with any words… BUT Lance, you have been praying to God for several weeks to make it possible to talk with the drunks of Teopisca and look what happens—God not only gives you an open door of opportunity, but Lance, He brings a drunk directly to your own door!!!!

Well, guess which side won this argument? Yep, you got it!

I immediately called back into the house and asked Sarita to bring me my bible. I spent the next 10 minutes standing in front of my house just talking with Juan about his condition and why it is that he thinks he needs to drink whiskey (he told me that it was whiskey that he had been drinking). I asked him many questions but received very few answers because as I said, he was jumbling the two languages. I then started talking to him about Jesus Christ and his need for forgiveness. I told him that God was not happy with him and that his heart was bad. He picked up on this and immediately started talking about how Diablo Rojo (meaning - red devil) was doing this to him and that Diablo was contrary to God. I of course agreed with him and started talking with him about his need to follow Christ instead of Diablo Rojo. After about 5 more minutes of talking about Diablo Rojo and talking about his need for God, Juan started crying and he just sat down on my small little front porch area (actually he simply fell down and then sat against the wall). So I sat down with him and it was then that I took my bible and just started reading him the word of God. I just flipped from passage to passage and I kept telling him to listen to the words I was reading as they were the words of God. He kept calling me his pastor and he continued to try and grab my bible to read it himself but I only let him do this a few times.

Well, I had been reading and talking with him for about an hour when Sarita came out and brought us lunch…some chicken strips in two paper bowls. Yum-Yum. We ate them together as we continued to talk about him being a “pecador” (sinner) and his need for Christ. One important passage that I read to him was Matthew 11:28-30 because I wanted to speak to him about his need to repent and turn from his current lifestyle but I also wanted him to know that there was One out there, namely Jesus Christ, that could…and would gladly…turn his life of turmoil, unrest and frustration into a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. For Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

After about an hour and 15 minutes total, I told him that it was time for him to leave but that I would take him home (he had told me earlier that he just lived right down the road). He responded by telling me that he could not go home, as his wife did not want him there (by the way, he has 7 children—he is 45 years old). After a few more minutes of discussion I told him that I wanted to at least have him show me where he lived so that would know and could talk with him later. So we got up and got into my car and headed off down the street. We took the first right after we left my house and started going down this really bad gravel road that soon turned into a wet muddy grassy “road.”

We arrived at the last house and stopped, as we could not go any further because there was a big field of corn on the other side of this house. I say house but actually it was a little wooden structure (some, including me, would call it a shack). As we pulled up to the house, I saw a bunch of kids running around and playing but when they saw us, and in particular, their father, they ran into the house. I got out of the truck and told Juan to stay put and wait and I went to the door of the house to talk with his wife Maria. I talked with Maria for about 10 minutes and told her about our reading the bible and about Juan’s need to Jesus and about our conversations about his life. She told me that she was Catholic but that Juan didn’t really believe in anything and she said that she was glad that we talked but that he probably couldn’t understand anything that I had said because he was drunk. I asked her if I could come back and talk with Juan, and her as well, about the bible when he was not drunk and she said that would be good. Juan then got out of the truck and I asked her if it was a bad thing for him to be here and she said yes so I put my arm around Juan and took him back to the truck and told him that I was going to take him back to my house. We got back into the truck and I took him back to my house and told him that he had to leave but that anytime he wanted to talk, he could come back to my house and we could talk about his need for God in his life. He got out of my truck and thanked me… “thank you pastor”… and he headed off down the road and I did not see him any more that day.

But I would see him within the next 24 hours.

Juan returned to our house almost exactly 24 hours later…in the same condition and in the same clothes that he had been in when he left my truck the day before. Actually, he was a little more drunk on Monday than he was on Sunday. It “just so happens” that I had been inside (or outside in the back) working on some projects that Sarita has me doing…namely, making some side rails for our bed so that we can get it off the floor since we have been sleeping on the floor for the last 2 ½ months… BUT at just the right moment I opened up the door to get something out of the pickup and there was Juan walking by. He saw me and he immediately turned and came up to me and shook my hand. At this point you just need to hit the “replay” button because for the next hour I did the same thing with Juan. I read him many of the same Scriptures as before and I added new ones and we talked about his need for the only true and living God. But this time, we did not talk as long as I could see that he just needed to sleep as he was not listening to much of what I was saying as he kept nodding off during our conversation. So I propped him up against the wall and told him to go to sleep. Sarita got me thick sheet to put on him and for a little more than an hour and slept right there against the wall. He then stood up and handed me back my blanket and said goodbye to me and then headed off down the road again.

I have not seen Juan since yesterday, but more than likely I know what condition he is in at this very moment and I can probably guess what kind of condition he will be in when I see him next.
Please pray with me that the Lord will give me another opportunity to read the Holy Scriptures with Juan and that the eyes of Juan’s heart will be enlightened and he will see his need of a Savior.

Just thought I would let everyone know how it is going out here on the mission field.

Grace and Peace to you all,

Lance and Sarita

“But when He [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” Matthew 9:36-38

This is Juan and I on Sunday when he showed up after church.

And this is Juan and I having our conversation on Monday when he showed up in the same condition that he was in on Sunday.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Father Knows Best....sometimes

Well, well, well…

Where do I begin this little update about Sarita and me playing mama and papa last week. As many of you know, at least if you read our blog site and/or emails, we took care of 6 orphans last week as their “adoptive parents,” pastor C and his wife, had an opportunity to travel to another state here in Mexico for some vacation and work. I say work but actually pastor C was asked to preach a few times at a very large conference in Durango Mexico, about a 25 hour drive from here.

We begin our duties last Monday the 7th of August at about 10am and we finished watching the kids around noon on Saturday the 12th. That is when pastor C’s brother came and picked up the children to take them to San Cristobal to watch them until yesterday the 15th when pastor C and his family returned.

When we arrived on Monday, we met the first couple that had been watching the kids for the first week. We received our marching orders and then relieved them of their duties so that they could go back home, as they live in San Cristobal as well. We needed instruction on many things such as: how does the washing machine work as many of the options are broke on this particular washing machine (we know how the dryer works…you take these little wooden things in one hand and your clothes in the other and you attach your clothes with the little wooden things on a rope that runs across the length of your backyard…and if it doesn’t rain you have dry clothes), what kinds of foods the kids eat and when, the daily routine, the strengths and weaknesses of each child and the chores that they need to do, etc. We also found out that one of the kids, Estela was sick and in bed. She had been sick for a few days with a high temperature but thankfully the doctor was coming this same day to check out all the kids.

In my last email about the kids I told you their ages but I might have been a little off. Nachita and Alehandro are 5, Ricardo and Maki are 6, Manuel is 8, and Estela is 10. Estela and Manuel and Maki are brothers and sisters, Ricardo and Alehandro are brothers and Nachia is Estela’s, Manuel’s and Maki’s neice. Many of these kids have been abused and some of their parents are in prison for a very long time. Most of these kids are from indigenous communities (meaning they are native Mexicans) so they speak 2 languages (at least the older ones can speak 2 languages because they still remember their primary language).

After our little orientation, Alvaro and his family left, which left us alone with the kids. As you might expect, Sarita jumped right into action, but as for me, well I was still trying to remember which kids do what and what goes where and how does this thing work…in other words I was still a little shell shocked at all the information that we had just received. I mean come on…45 minutes ago I was not a daddy, but now all of a sudden I had 3 or 4 kids running around me talking to me about a hundred miles an hour in Spanish, and I presume, asking me to help them or play with them or show them how to do something. Just for your information, trying to understand Spanish from a child is way different than trying to understand what a grown up is saying. Why you might ask. Because adults try to help you out a little because they understand that you don’t speak their language so they speak a little slower and more clear and often times they use words that are more common and not slang…and so they listen to what you are trying to say and help you with the words. Well not the case with 5 and 6 year olds. They obviously think… “hey if this guy is taking care of us, he must know our language so I am just going to speak normal and let it rip”…actually they probably don’t think about any of this but rather are just trying to get their point across as quickly as possible.

I remember one of the first conversations with the kids which was with Maki. He came up to me and said something which I did not understand at all…and when I mean at all, I mean that I didn’t even catch one word of what he was saying. So of course I asked him to repeat himself; which he did. And guess what? I still didn’t have a clue what he was saying. So I asked him again to repeat himself and he did but alas, I did not know what this little 6 year old wanted so I just said… “go ask Sarita”, so off he went and I can honestly say that I have no idea if he ever spoke to Sarita and got his question taken care of, for as soon as he left there was another little one to take his place in front of me speaking a hundred miles an hour in a language that I don’t understand. Anyway, you get the picture. By the end of the week we could understand them a little better, especially Sarita as she got more practice than I did (I wonder why J), but we still didn’t understand most of what they were saying. Now that is not all bad because many times these little ones acted just like our 22 nieces and nephews do at home as there was always someone coming up to me to tell me what another child was doing or had done…you know…they were tattle-taleing.

In reality, by the end of the week, our favorite phrase when one of the kids came up to us to tell us something was, “no hay problemas, esta bien” meaning basically that there are no problems and it is all good. Sarita and I laughed many times after the little one turned around and walked away for we wondered what in the world these kids were thinking as they had probably come up to us and told us that one of the other kids had just done something really bad and we had just told them that it was no problem and that everything was just fine!!!! Now lest anyone think that we just totally left these kids on their own, we didn’t. When we saw blood, or when we saw one kid’s hand full of the other kid’s hair, or when we saw one kid dangling the other kid off the balcony by his feet, then we stepped in and broke up the fight but if these things weren’t taking place then it was survival of the fittest. Just joking of course, but truly, we knew when there was a real problem or not and we could tell in their tone or their actions if there was a real incident that needed our attention. So actually everything was all good.

Unfortunately, Sarita and I found out that when one kid gets sick in a family, the rest are soon to follow in the footsteps of the first sickly one. By day 2, we had 2 sick ones on our hands and by day 3 we had 3 sick ones. But on day 4 we were back down to 2 sick ones but then on day 5 we were back up to 3 sick ones. Got that? In easy to understand language, we had to deal with a bunch of sick little ones all week long. One night Sarita went in and slept with one of the little ones and then the next night I did the same as this seemed a lot easier to me than to have to get up about 10 times in one night to go see why they were crying and sometimes screaming. And even one night we decided to bring Nachita into our room to sleep because she was waking up every 30 or 45 minutes screaming about pain in her throat and head. So we made a little pallet next to the bed (which was on my side of the bed) and every time she woke up I would just reach over and pat her head and talk to her for a moment and she would stop crying and go back to sleep for a few more minutes. All in all, the sickness was not that bad (maybe because I wasn’t the one that was sick) and the kids seemed to react to the medicine within a couple of days.

The Lord was so faithful and good to us as He made it so that we had a little help with the kids during the day. A group came down from Texas/Oklahoma to help paint the inside of the house (orphanage) and do some cleanup as well. They also helped us get the floor and support posts set for a tree house on the new property that will one day be used for the construction of a larger orphanage. They came for about 5 or 6 hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There were about 15 of these helpers and they did exactly that…they helped us out tremendously. They played with the kids and they helped teach the kids and they helped us clean the house so it was great that they came…and to think, it could have been any week that they showed up but in the providence of God, it wasn’t just any week, it was the week that we were playing “parents” so it was the best week for us. There was also another few people that came 4 days last week to play with the kids. There was a women that had come from the States to stay in San Cristobal for 2 months to learn some Spanish and get to know the area. She had found out about these kids in the orphanage, so she decided to come to Teopisca for about 2 hours each day to play with them and bake cookies with them etc. She brought a big bag of toys and stickers and other fun things so she was a big help too.

There were many fun times, but one of the funniest times had to be bath time…or actually shower time. The orphanage does not have any hot water (because they do not have enough money to purchase the propane to heat the water) so they usually take bucket showers during the middle of the day after the sun has heated up the tank on top of the house…but it still isn’t hot enough for my liking. Anyway, Sarita and I thought that it would be good to use hot water on the kids since many of them were sick at any one time, so we loaded up our truck and took them over to our house to take showers. Saraita, washed the 2 girls and I had the privilege of bathing the 4 boys. The kids might have been sick, but when they felt that hot water, and of course saw the new scenery of our house, they were not too sick any longer…at least for an hour or so. I am not sure how the girls reacted to the shower and hot water, but it was almost impossible for me to control those 4 boys. They just kept running around in the shower from one side to the other and they kept picking up the small Tupperware container that I was using to wash their hair more thoroughly and pouring it all over themselves and each other. They just thought that this was the most fun thing they had ever done! Praise the Lord that no one got any soap in the eyes and that we didn’t have any major accidents.

One other funny thing that happened was at the expense of Alehandro. He did not want to listen to me nor look at me when I tried to talk with him. I asked him 3 or 4 times to look at me and he would not so I put him in the corner of the room and told him to look at the wall. Several times, I saw that he was not obeying me and instead was turned around and one time he was even playing with the other kids. So I took him to another room of the house and put him on a bench and told him that he had to sit there for an hour and stare at the wall. Well, that was not to his liking either, so he got up and decided to play with some toys. At this point I was not sure what to do as this was not my kid and I did not feel right about spanking somebody else’s kid. Although, before pastor C left, he gave us a small switch that he said we should use if the kids decided they wanted to disobey…he obviously know more about the disposition of these kids than we do. So I decided that it was time for a possible spanking so I went and got the switch from the kitchen and brought it back into the room where Alehandro was at and told him to take off his pants. As you might expect, he did not listen so I put my hands on his pants to take them off and you would have thought that I had just tried to kill the kid as I have never heard such crying noises come out of a child before. He started saying something which I could not understand, but I understood enough to know that he was ready to obey me. So I put the little switch down and sat him on my lap and told him to stop crying and I talked with him for about 7 or 8 minutes about his behavior (not using that word of course because that is a big word for me) and told him that God was not happy with how he was acting and disobeying me and I told him that I would not give him a spanking if he obeyed me in the future. He told me that he understood me and that he was sorry and that he would obey me in the future. So I said ok, but you have to sit here for 1 hour. Well, that worked because he sat right there without looking around or doing anything but looking down or looking at the wall. So I decided that after 40 minutes he had been good enough so that I could let him play with the other kids…and besides I didn’t figure that at 5 years old he knew the difference between 1 hour and 40 minutes. Before I let him go, I told him that I loved him but that he needed to obey all adults, not just me. I gave him a big hug and patted him on the backside and told him to go play.

The next day, I heard Sarita tell Alehandro to do something and he put his head down just like he did with me the day before. He would not look at her and he would not do what she said. So I stopped doing what I was doing and looked at him and said, “Alehandro, do you remember yesterday and what happened when you did not obey me” Well, it was as if a light went on in his head for his eyes got real big and he immediately turned around and did exactly what Sarita had just told him to do. Sarita looked at me and I looked at Sarita and we just smiled and laughed. He obviously did remember the day before and he did not hesitate to obey once he remembered. I don’t know why we thought that was so incredible as there are two verses in the bible say, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 and the other is in Proverbs 22:15 which says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” I know that there are people out there that probably don’t agree with spanking their kids or other forms of discipline, but after playing “daddy” for only a week, I realized that these two verses are true. All I had to do was to show Alehandro the “rod of correction” (a simple small switch) and it drove that foolish behavior from him very quickly. Anyway, I didn’t write this email to make anyone mad because I mentioned spanking so I am just going to stop talking about the subject!!!!

All in all, we had a great time, and we learned a few things about being parents. But we have lots to learn and I am afraid that we are not going to learn most of the things we need to know until we actually have a child so I guess that we will just have to wait and see.

OK, now for Sarita’s commentary.

Well what a great week we had. I told a friend that it was the best week that I have had here in Teiopica. It is true that many times I had no clue what the kids were saying, but like Lance said we could tell by the tone of their voice what they needed, Or what they wanted and during the week I picked up on some more words like the word HIT. I think I learned that word first. I think you can guess why.

I think the funniest thing was teaching the kids the song Holy holy holy, in English what a fun thing to hear these little ones singing this hymn all day long.

I think that the saddest thing for me was not being able to understand everything and being able to have small talk with the kids. I also wish I could have really told them about how there sins even though they were little displeased God, and how God sees the everything that we do. How our own ways seem right in our own eyes, but the truth is that our own ways displease God. I was reminded that as a grown up I might not hit someone when they make me mad, but I can think all manner of evil against them. And to God it is still the same, sin is sin to God. God’s word says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10 ” This is sobering to me. Yet there is no way that I can keep the whole law. And that is why I am so thankful for God’ grace and mercy.

I think that Lance made a great daddy for the week. He helped me out so much always backing up what I said. Yet how much Greater is our heavenly Father who lovingly cares, disciples, laughs, cries, knows, and hears his children. God is the best Father.

We are so thankful to God for this week of leaning more of Him and his Fatherly love.

Grace and peace to you all,

Lance and Sarita

Here we are taking the kids to the central part here in town; we had some form of tostados made with ham, pineapple, and bananna..actually Sarita and I had sandwiches and chips ( favorite). Maki was sick and had just taken some medicine and one of the photos shows him crashed out.

The kids thought that this was the greatest...I was making some shelves for pastor C and family and I had all my tools out and they just loved playing with many of them. Check out Manuel with my glooves on, think he needs a smaller pair.

Bath time, nap time, dinner time and play time with Amos!!!

Can you say TIMEOUT!!!

Ricardo and Manuel, Ricardo looking cool, Manuel being Manuel, 2 photos of Maki (he looks cute doesn´t he but don´t let that smile fool you as he is the trouble maker!!!), 2 photos of Alehandro, Estela and Nachita.

Nachita sweeping with a small broom (Sarita worked her so hard she fell asleep while eating dinner), Alehandro and Ricardo doing dishes, Maki joining in, Sarita teaching the crew how to wash dishes, Manuel and Estela taking over the dishwashing duties, Alehandro doing his own thing with his broom (a little unorthodox but it works) and Maki folding clothes.

Manuel kept having bloody noses so i kept putting toilet paper in his nose. After this particular one, i thought that it would make him feel better if we all looked alike so as you can see there is a white little dot in all of our noses. They all thought this was great...especially Manuel.

well that is all for now, please keep emailing and checking our blog site.

we love you all,

lance and sarita