Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Education Day in Lemoa

Today, Lisa introduced a new program this year, Leche for Life, and it was received well. We will have a three class series on prenatal care. This will be open to the ladies of the communities, who will be first time mothers.

The first class discuss good health, diet,hygiene and prenatal care. In the second class, we will discuss the warning signs that might happen and what to do if they occur. The third class, we will discuss breastfeeding and answer the questions they might have.

As I mentioned, the information of the class was received well and they thought it is information that the mothers need to know. The mother,the mother of the pregnant lady, the mother-in-law and the mid-wife, comadrona, will also be invited to the classes.

You can also see more on this program at www.Kemmelandlisa.blogspot.com

We are waiting to hear from the communities on who will be interested in beginning the class.

I will keep you posted on what takes place. I think it will be exciting for the communities.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Update from India

I traveled back from Antigua today and then caught up on different things.

I received a letter from the minster there, R.S. Raju, and he told me that one of the elderly ladies in the congregation had died. He sent me a recent photo of Sister Saramma. He told me that she was a faithful Christian and participated in the congregation there. She died from the cold weather that they are experiencing now.

When I read about her death, I thought of Hebrews, chapter 12. The author of the book is encouraging us, by reminding us of former people who remained faithful. These people who have died, are now cheering for us. They are encouraging us to remain faithful. It is not only the people that we knew in this life, for example our grand-parents or older members of our congregation but people we have never met. The Christian life at times is difficult. We never had a promise that it would be easy........but to think that people we never have met are aware of our daily struggles and they are waiting for us! They are waiting for those who also remain faithful!

Hebrews 12:1-3----Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary or lose heart.

Let us not grow weary...........

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday in Antigua

Today was a relaxing day.

I worshiped with the congregation in Antigua and realized it had been a year since I had been there. Everyone was very friendly and it was good to see people again. Glen and Neva were there and they are doing well.

The exciting part of the day was then their friend, Alex, came and sat next to Glen. This is a young man that works in the park, shining shoes and Glen and Neva have become friends with him. Everyone was very friendly to him and he seemed to enjoy his time with us. You never know what seeds you plant and who you influence through your day.

The morning class was on prayer....it was very interesting. We read examples from the Bible on the different positions that people have used to pray. Since I have been here in Guatemala, it is almost natural to kneel. To me, it is a humble position. But the significant message is that it does not matter your physical position but the position of the heart.

I spent the afternoon with Mary and we ran around Antigua. Then we spent some time in her new apartment. It is very nice and I am sure that she will enjoy it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Clinic in Chiqua

Today, Lisa, Juan, Gaspar and I went to a new area, Chiqua. Alicia owns this small store and offered to let us hold clinic here. It is in a great location, very close to the highway. Chiqua is a fairly large community and Alicia already had started a patient list for us!

Alicia in her store.

Gaspar and Juan after they set up the pharmacy area. Now, we wait for the patients to arrive.

Patients gathering before starting the consults.

I can see us returning on a regular basis here. There is a need and a great opportunity.

We had 37 patients today. This was accomplished by Alicia talking to her neighbors and spreading the word. It is amazing how one lady, by opening up her store for a few hours, can impact her community. The majority of patients today do not claim to be Christians. Most told me that they have Mayan beliefs or are Costumbre. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to develop a relationship with the community and share Christ with them.

Isaiah 61:1----The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has annointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from the darkness for the prisoners.

There is not a better place to put these words into action.

I will keep you posted on the progress here in Chiqua.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Clinic in La Estancia

This morning, Martina and I drove to Santa Cruz to meet the guys. Then we rode with Marcos, Ruben and Tomas to La Estancia. It was a cool morning and there was no sunshine.

When we arrived, there were only a few patients waiting and they were dental patients. As we set up the clinic, Ruben gave the owners of the home a 2012 calendar. We went through the schedule for the year, writing down all of the dates for clinic........hoping that this will encourage then to announce the clinic a little more.

Sitting on the corner of the patio was a nesting turkey. After watching her a few minutes, a few chicks popped their heads out to see what was going on.

She decided that she needed to stretch her legs so then we got a better view of her family.

There were 13 babies and one egg left to be hatched.

We ended up with 17 dental patients and 4 medical patients.

This young guy has pneumonia and was feeling much better after a couple of breathing treatments and some Tylenol.

After we saw all of the patients, we enjoyed a lunch of beef soup and tamalitos. It was really good for a cold afternoon.

Tomorrow, we are going to have the new clinic in Chicua. Ruben will pick me up at 0720 and then we will go and get Gaspar and Juan. I think it will be a wonderful day and pray that we will be able to help people both spiritually and physically.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Clinic in Chichi

Today, I went with Ruben and Tomas to work in the clinic in Chichi. We had 19 patients and I think 12-13 of them were diabetics. I really hope that in the next few months we can schedule the diabetic classes there.

We had several patients today that had blood sugars over 300. One patient, had not been to the clinc in 3 months and his blood sugar was 540. Ruben wanted him to go to the health department for insulin.

The young man finally agreed to go but then returned two hours later to tell us that they did not have any. I suggested that he go to Santa Elena in Santa Cruz to the hospital there. After we were finished seeing patients, Tomas and Ruben gave him a ride to the hospital. I hope that he can receive the help he needs and also that he sees the need to be more complient. He is too young to be having these types of problems.

One young mother came in with a fever that she has had for one week. She had firm mass in her breast. Ruben gave her some antibiotics and she will follow-up with him on Monday in Lemoa.

Tomorrow, I will go with the guys to La Estancia for clinic. I am sure it will be another great day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exciting day..................

Today was a good day with some exciting things happening.

As I have mentioned before, as well as Lisa and Kemmel, Gaspar will be changing his role at the clinic. He will now be working more in an evangelist role, starting next month. So, Kemmel needed to decide on hiring a new health promoter and I think we all agreed on who would be a great employee.

Today, Kemmel and Lisa talked to Enrique from Panajaxit. I was telling Lisa today about the first time I remember meeting Enrique. It was when Josefina and I started that clinic in 2007. We had been invited to a community meeting to see if there was enough interest for us to return on a regular basis. All of a sudden there was some commotion and we did not undertand all of it because most of it was in K'iche'. It made me a little nervous because the building was packed, with standing room only.

They finally told us that the community really wanted us to have a clinic every week. They took a vote and everyone's hand went up! Then they started applauding.......it was one of those moments that you just don't forget. Since that day, Enrique has been very helpful in the clinics. He prays with all of the patients and is very interested in them. He attends all of the monthly classes that Lisa does in Lemoa and I think he will be a great asset to us.

This afternoon we went to a new community called Chicwa. Kemmel, Lisa, Juan and I went to visit a patient that lives there and she wants to open her home to us to have a clinic. We will go on Saturday and see what happens after that. Her home is right off of the main highway and Chiwa is heavly populated. We are very thankful to Alisa and her family for opening their home to us. We pray that God will bless them and wonderful things will take place because of this new clinic.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Truck........Tow Truck and Tuk-tuks..................

What a day we have to tell you about. Our guardian angels worked triple time for us today and we are very thankful for that!!

We met in the lobby this morning and then our adventure began! We had no idea what would be in store for us today.

Lisa and Kemmel dropped me off at the US Embassy this morning. I wanted to get more pages added to my passport. I really did not know where to go but once I got into the secured area, they took my phone, x-rayed my things and searched me.......I was fine! They told me that the passport would be ready in the afternoon and that is unbelievable!! If I had done it in The States, it would have taken several weeks to get it back.

I met up with Lisa and Kemmel again. We went to the HTI office, to Office Deposit and then decided to have lunch. We ruled out the places that we did not want to eat and then decided on Chinese. It was wonderful. We shared some egg rolls and then I had shrimp and vegetables.

We returned to the US Embassy, I was searched again and then I obtained my passport. It looks great and there are enough pages to last a few years.

We stopped to fill the Nissan with gas and get a Diet Coke for the ride home. The guys were real nice, while they washed the windows, checked the pressure in the tire and inflated them to the proper pressure. Then we were on our way. Lisa decided to drive a little and let Kemmel rest. He let her know that he had felt a little difference in the brakes and that he would get them checked in Chichi.

After we were on the road just a few minutes, the Nissan did not feel right. It felt out of alignment and had an odd sound. Lisa thought maybe she had a flat tire. She calmly pulled over and then Kemmel got out to look. NO flat tire.
There was an area ahead that was coned off so Kemmel suggested that we push the Nissan to this area to get it in a safer spot.

After pushing just a few short feet, it sounded like the axel had broke.......and the back, left tire was at an odd angle!!

This is the area that we pushed the truck to.

You can see the odd angle of the tire.

There are NO lug nuts or bolts to the tire!!

Someone had stripped the tire!!

The brake fluid drained out on the highway.

It is unbelievable that the tire stayed on as long as it did!! Unbelievable!! The only place that we had been where the truck was not guarded was in front of the HTI Office.

Then a tow truck pulled ahead of us and offered to help. He told Lisa that he would carry us to Chichi for, "less than $200!!" Kemmel has insurance on the vehicle so that came in very handy today.

As we were getting ready, we did not think that all of us would fit in the cab. I had decided to jump on a bus for the rest of the ride. Then the guys told us that we could ride in the Nissan as they were driving. We can do what????? Is that semi-legal???

We loaded up in the Nissan, put on out seat belts and then we were loaded for the ride.

As you can see from the sign, we were close to Chimaltenango.

Kemmel had fun pretending that he was driving. The habit of holding the wheel, even though it is not necessary while being towed, is hard to break. Once while we were talking, Kemmel turned around and it caught me off guard, since he was not watching the road. "Kemmel, keep your eyes on the road!!"

The guys did a great job in getting us back to Chichi and they made good time. The best part of the trip was that, we still had a full tank of gas!!

When we arrived in Chichi, we flagged down some tuk-tuks. I jumped in the first one and they were to grab the next one. After I got near the house, I thought it was odd that they were not behind me. I decided that I needed a Diet Coke for the night so I walked to the little store and that is when Kemmel called me. GET THIS, their tuk-tuk had run out of gas on their way to the house!!

What a day of adventure with lots of fun memories............and we are thankful to be back in Chichi and safe!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trip to Guate City

This morning, Lisa, Kemmel and I left early for Guatemala City.  Kemmel had another appointment with his physician and I needed to have more pages added to my passport.

We went to IHop for breakfast..........and it was wonderful.  I have never seen a IHop so big.  It was two levels and had a play ground for the kids.  I tried all of the syrups and finally decided that blueberry was my favorite.

After we checked into the hotel, we went for a walk.  One of the main streets of the city is closed on Sundays so the dogs can enjoy walking their owners..........and I am not exaggerating.  There were big dogs, little dogs and rats on leashes!!  Well, they looked like rats and some even had on dresses.  It was entertaining to say the least............it is obvious who has money.

The hotel was very nice and it was a good evening to watch three Law and Order SVU back-to-back.

Tomorrow is Kemmel's appointment and they will take me to the US Embassy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Water filters in Mactzul II

Yesterday, Kemmel asked if I wanted to deliver water filters today and I jumped at the chance.

Today, we delivered nine water filters to ABC Families in Mactzul II. Mactzul II is one of our newest communities in the ABC Program and it is exciting to be able to do this for them.

Marcos and Ruben had clinic in the church building while I went with three of the men to each of the homes. We explained the filters, taught them how to maintain them and then made sure that they did not have any more questions.

This is the first home that we visited. Natalia, 6 years old, is in the pick blouse and Tomasa is to her right side. Tomasa is 8 years old. Even though only two of the children are in the ABC Program, the whole family will benefit from the water filter.

This is the Xirum home. David, 10 years old, is in the red striped shirt. His sister, Juana, was studying in school so she was not at home. Some children go to school in the morning and others attend in the afternoon.

Three children in this family are part of the ABC Program. Celso, 14 years old, is in the light green shirt. Nelson, 7 years old, is in the red and in the blue shirt is Elias.  He is 12 years old.

This is the Cuin Gomez family. Rogelio is the only boy in the family and he is 9 years old. His sister, Juana, is behind him and she is 14 years old.

Rosa, is below in the red blouse and she is 7 years old.

Below is Maria and she is 16 years old. She is studying to be a nurse and she was headed out the door to attend her afternoon classes. Her brother, Tomas, is one of the men that went with us from house to house today.

It is always interesting how things develop through the day. When we started out at the first house, I demonstrated how to wash and maintain the filter. By the third house, the guys and I had developed a system and everyone participated.

This is the Pixcar family.  Juana, 11 years old, has her left arm around her sister Anastacia, who is 6 years old.

 The Canil family also received a filter.  Ingrid, 12 years old, is the second girl on the left of the filter.  Gagriela, 7 years old, has on the orange blouse.

 This was the last family to visit today.  Estuardo, 8 years old, has on the Sox t-shirt.  His brother, Alexander, 9 years old, has on the blue striped shirt.

When we finished with the filters, we returned to the church building.  The guys had about 12 medical patients and 17 dental patients.  We enjoyed a lunch together and then headed back to Chichi.

It was an exciting day. It is always good to visit homes and be able to help with their needs.  Everyone was so appreciative of the water filters and without the sponsors of the ABC Program, this would not be possible.  A special thank you to all of you who participate in the program.  You are really making a difference and impacting day-to-day life here in Guatemala.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Clinic in Lemoa

Today, we had a very busy day. We began our morning with a devotion together and then prayed with the patients before we started clinic.

We saw 29 medcial patients and Gaspar had 7 dental cleanings. The new addition to the clinic is coming along and this is great. We have overgrown the clinic and need more space to care of all the patients.

These are the latest photos.

We had many diabetics today. All of the ones that I saw were well controlled, except one. One gentleman came to the clinic for the first time with a blood sugar of over 500. Today was his third visit and he was 184. Yes, he has some room for improvement but he is learning.

Another patient came to the clinic two weeks ago with severe headaches. His blood pressure was 198/104 and today he was 130/70. I can see why he feels much better now and I am thankful for that.

After the clinic, everyone met back at Carris for a meeting and to talk about some of the changes that will be taking place this year. We will be adding three more people to the team and Gaspar will be working as our evangelist. I think he will do a great job and be a positive influence for our patients.

Please remember in your prayers a young guy that lives in Xepocol. His name is Oscar. He has been very sick and has gone to Guatemala City for exams but so far they can not determnine what is wrong. I know his family would appreciate your prayers.

Also, there is a surgical that will be return to The United States on Saturday. They have had a busy week in Montellano and soon will be returning home after spending a night in Antigua.

Tomorrow, there will be clinics in Chocaman IV and Mactzul II. I will be going with the group to Mactzul II to deliver more water filters to the ABC families. It will be another good day and I should have some more photos to share.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Update with Karen and Coleen in Chuchipaca

Today, Karen and Coleen met with the ladies in Chuchipaca. For those of you who have not seen the previous posts, Karen is from Kansas and she works with Fair Trade. She has met with the ladies on two other occasions to see if there was a possibility of working with them and buying their crafts.

I went to see Karen and Coleen last night in Panajachel and we enjoyed dinner on the lake. It was a great evening. Then about 3am, I became very sick. I had to cancel traveling with them to Chuchipaca but the driver knew the way so the meeting would continue.

Later Juan called and told me that the ladies were very pleased with what had happened. Karen also called and is pleased with the efforts of the ladies. There is always room for improvement and the the ladies seem to understand. Now they have a new project to complete before Karen returns again.

I will post some of Karen's photos when I get them. I am very thankful that there are ladies as Karen and Coleen who want to be sure that there is active Fair Trade and that the artisans receive wages by the hour of their work. I am excited that the ladies of Chuchipaca are able to experience this opportunity.

For more of Karen's story, please check out her site at http://www.educationandmore.org/

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Clinic in Lemoa

Today we had a good clinic in Lemoa with 19 patients. There were many diabetics and two ladies that came for prenatal visits.

The addition to the clinic is coming along good.

This mom came in and her baby was a very content baby.

He was a content child.

Tomorrow I will work at home on the prenatal classes. We hope to have those ready to present soon. On Sunday, I will go to Panajachel and return with Karen and Coleen on Monday when they visit the ladies in Chuchipaca.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clinic in Xepol

Last night I enjoyed dinner with Lisa and Kemmel. We caught up on much that has happened in the last month. They enjoyed having the Eastside Church of Christ visit in December and help with the ABC Celebration. What a great time it is to share the work with your sponsoring congregation!

Today, Gaspar and I went to Xepol. As always there are events thought the day that are sad and those that are exciting.

It has been two months since I had been here. Since then, a large mudslide had destroyed the building where they have worship services and now we have clinic outside. You can see where the sheets have been hung to offer a little privacy to the patients during their consult. Gaspar set up the pharmacy, we prayed and then began clinic.

This view is from where the building was and there are still some materials left. The congregation is small and they have very few resources. I know they would appreicate your prayers as they struggle through this and strive to serve God.

Today, I was able to see Victor today and he has really grown since I saw him in September or October. The highlight for my day was when I was able to give him my medicine that I no longer need to take.

When I was home in August, I had the Gamma Knife Procedure for trigeminal neuralgia. I am very thankful for the help that I received. Dr. Branch at Wake Forest Medical Center in Winston Salem arranged everything for me. Thank you, Dr. Branch! Since I no longer need the medicine, I wanted to give it to Victor. I hope that some day, Victor also no longer will need it.

We saw twelve patients in Xepol today.

The sad part of the day was when a young girl came to clinic with her grandmother. Her grandmother is diabetic and needed some more medicine. Then Evelin, 10 years old, started telling me about how she felt. She spoke very good Spanish and is in the 3rd grade. She translated into K'iche' for her grandmother and understood everything we talked about. The sad part is that Evelin thinks that she has headaches because her dad tried to have her aborted before her birth. He had her mother injected with some type of medicine on three different occasions to prevent her birth. Her grandmother confirmed this and I felt so bad for Evelin. How horrible it is that this happened and and even more horrible is that she knows of it.

Evelin loves to study and wants to be an accountant when she finishes school. I hope that she will come back to clinic with her grandmother. She seems extremely intelligent and I know she can do well.

This is the view from Xepol.

Tomorrow we will have clinic in Lemoa at Clinica Carris.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Clinic in Chutzurob

Today, Gaspar, Marcos, Martina and I went to Chutzurob. The conference continues in Paxot II so Juan remained there to help. We had a small clinic but it was a good one.

Another verse from Psalms 51. As I mentioned the other day, there are so many good thoughts from this chapter.

verse 12------Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Only through Christ can we be daily renewed. Nothing in this world is eternal......it will all pass and nothing here brings true happiness or contentment. Our sights have to be set on the eternal.
We saw 7 medical patients today and I think there were 6 or 7 dental patients.

This mother brought her new baby for an exam. The baby is seven weeks old and is very healthy. This is her first baby.

When we return in February, I will take her copies of the photos.

These two little girls wanted their photo taken and loved being lifted up into the truck.

When we finished seeing everyone, a lady asked us if we would visit her son in her home. We had plenty of time, so we were glad to do it. She told me that he is eighteen years old, has seizures and is very sick. She said that he has been in bed for three months.

Angelica and Gloria that helped us with the clinic drove with us to the home. We parked the truck and then walked through the corn fields to the house.

When we walked in, the young man had been placed in the court yard in the sun. It was obvious that he has been sick a long time. We found out more of his story when we arrived. When he was two years old, he had a high fever. After this illness, he never walked or talked again. His mother has to totally care for him. It is a very sad situation.

It is situations as this that break your heart because there is nothing you can do. There is nothing to say. We spent some time with the family and then prayed with them. I hope the medicine that we left will decrease his seizures. We will see.

As I said above, nothing in this world is eternal. When you see situations as this, you are thankful for that. Our sights need to be on heaven, the place that Christ is preparing for those that live for Him.. This world is too full of sadness and pain. Our faith in the promises of God is our only hope.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday in Chichi

Last Sunday, I worshiped with the congregation in Chichi so today I went to Quiche. There were about 40 people there and that is quite a few for this time of the day.

The lesson was real good and was taken from Psalms, the 51st chapter. So far, I am sure that many people have broken their New Year's Resolution for the year. There are many verses in this chapter that would serve us well if we thought about them on a daily basis. Maybe we could accomplish this.

verses 1 and 2------Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Christians know they need continual cleansing and this is done by the blood of Christ. If we do not have access to that cleansing, we do not have the relationship with Christ that will bring salvation.

verse 10-----Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

As we know, the Trinity is sinless. God can not have any relationship with sin. Christ lived a sinless life on this earth, unlike us. So in order to be pure we need the blood of Christ. Our spirit needs to be steadfast. Our commitment must also be steadfast, not changing on a day-to-day basis.

This chapter is wonderful and full of inspiration and so many concepts to apply. Just something to think about....................

Friday, January 6, 2012

Choacaman in 2012

Today, was our first clinic in Choacaman this year. We use to meet in the home of Enrique but since they have cemented this area and covered it, we have the clinic here. This is where the church meets on Sunday afternoons. There is more light inside so that helps with the consults.

Don't you just love that Carolina Blue sky??

This is Gaspar and me as we are checking in the first patient of the day. Scott, this photo is for you!

We had eleven patients for the day and a couple of them had very sad circumstances.

One was a little girl who had extremely red eyes. They looked so very painful and her dad said that she has had this problem for over a year. She is in school and is doing very well. I am sure that reading and studying is very difficult for her.

Another gentleman returned with some lab work that Lisa had asked him to have done. He looks as if he is having renal problems but his labs were normal. His legs and feet are very swollen, he has high blood pressure, is diabetic and has gained 10 pounds since his last visit. I changed his medicines around and we will see what happens. I hope that both of these patients return to the next clinic.

After all of the patients were seen, we were invited to have lunch in the home of Martin. He is the son-in-law of Enrique and he helps us with the clinic. In the morning his daughter and another young girl will be baptized. Today, they are preparing for the activity and you can feel the excitement in the home.

They set up boards on saw-horses to make tables. We sat outside, while the women sat inside next to the fire. There were about 25 people eating, about 10 dogs, a few roosters and the remains were taken to the pig. Quite a festival of chicken soup and tamalitos!

We know that tomorrow the angels will be rejoicing due to the baptisms. It is a very important moment in a person's life when they make the decision to become a Christian. It is a turning point and a moment of dedication.

Tomorrow the guys and I will go to Chuchipaca.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

First Clinic of 2012

Today we had our first clinic of 2012.

When we first arrived, we found how dusty and dirty the clinic can be after not being used for three weeks. A construction crew has also been working and some floor molding had been set into place. Both of these activities really increased the amount of cleaning that needed to be done before we could start seeing patients.

We had our devotion together and we are very thankful to be looking at another year together. We have a lot to accomplish but with God's help, we can do it.

A few weeks ago, I posted a few photos of the the guys digging and making adobes. This was today's activity. The adobes have grown and continue to dry. You can see the addition behind the current clinic.
They told me today that it will take about two months to complete..........we shall see.

We had 14 medical patients and one patient for dental cleaning.

We had several diabetics and all of their blood sugars were extremely high. Some have not been coming to clinic and for others it may have been too many parties during the holidays.

After we finished seeing patients, we loaded the truck in preparation for tomorrow. Gaspar, Juan and I will go to Choacaman and see patients there.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Update on the work in India

I received some more photos from our brethren in India. They continue to persevere through difficult times. Last week they had a cyclone and many of their crops were damaged. The rains and cold continue and they struggle with having clean drinking water. They had to stop the construction on their building last year due to lack of funds so they continue to meet in small houses.

But as I said, they continue to teach and spead the word of Christ. They began the year with the baptism of a young man from their community.

The congregation enjoys some bananas after their worship on Sunday.

I continue to write Raju a few times a week and we share some of our thoughts. This week we discussed how difficult some times can be but Christians know that this world is temporary and so are our struggles. We were not promised that life would be easy. Each culture is different, with it's unique problems. Riches and money do not bring happiness.

Paul understood struggles and hardships. He prayed that he would be made well but it was not granted.

II Corinthians 12: 8-10-----Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I continue to pray for our brothers in India.......that they will have relief from the rain, be warmed and have clean water. Their faith and perseverance, with the grace from God will make them strong. They also ask for your prayers.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Back in Chichicastenango..........Happy New Year!!

This morning I brought a shuttle back to Chichi from Antigua. Last night was kind of crazy in Antigua. There were a lot of people celebrating but things settled down at 12:01! Whew!!

I arrived in Chichi about 0930 and came to the house. Tomasita and Jaime were here and they are doing well. They had painted my house while I was gone and washed the curtains. The house looks very nice and I appreciate their work.

Tomasita had a tamale for me to eat and she also brought me some poinsettias. I brought her a robe for Christmas since she is always telling me how much she likes mine. Here she poses with her new robe and my flowers.

It is odd trying to get use to the sounds again.........the birds sliding down the tin roof, the roosters, chickens and other animals. I know those roosters will be awake at o430.