Sunday, July 9, 2017

Love of Christ

I read this journal entry several weeks back, and I keep thinking about it!  Because it's true, and true at our home too.  Peter-John puts it well:

http://www.peterjohncourson.com/home/2017/5/23/one-dads-perspective


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Viernes - Friday

Friday morning Dan offered to give rides to the gringos in his ultralight!  
They both loved it, and said Dan is an excellent pilot!  



playing "perro perro gato" dog-dog-cat with kids in Jusibampo


sticky feet!

I received a short email from Ella Friday night saying she misses us very much, and her siblings' emails to her made her cry!  Saturday the plan is to go to a local water park with the team of 21 that is also visiting the Ranch from Tennessee.  I'm sure it will be a joy filled day!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Jusibampo

Adrian sent this for the kids: Hi guys: When Logan and I checked on our baby gecko last night, we were amazed to find TWO baby geckos in the jar!  We were stunned and could not guess how it had happened, until Jorge got back and told us he had caught another one!  They are almost the cutest thing I have seen down here (the ninos are cuter!)  I don't know where they are coming from...I assume they were born recently nearby, and have slipped inside because it is cooler and safer, with plenty of bugs to eat!  



I received these details of their Thursday from Adrian via email this morning!  He reminded me that we only have 1 week left til we get to see each other again!  I am missing his strong arms!  For hugging, and for doing the heavy work around here!  :)  To give you clues as to the characters in this story ~ smile~ David is our pastor from here, Dan is an New York native missionary who owns the Ranch and has lived in Mexico with his Mexican wife Ana for 30+ years.  Ana speaks more proper English than Dan.  :)  Dan has a pilot's license and flies an ultralight plane into drug territories to share the gospel with Bible studies.  Amazingly, the drug lords will clear their runways (otherwise filled with boulders and guarded by machine guns) for him to land.  Of our team, Jorge is 20 I think, and Logan, Kirsten, Emma, Rachel, Emily and Ella are the teens from our church on the trip.  Adrian prepared a 10-15 minute message before he left that he is sharing at each of these villages about Jesus, the Light of the World (John 8.12)  Some of the photos are from before they arrived in Mexico, but I will post them anyway!  Here's a photo of Dan y Ana I pulled off a newsletter:
Image result for rancho maranatha

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Thursday morning:
David had the opportunity to fly with Dan into the Sierras this morning to a small village in mafia country.  They left around 6:30 am and returned around 11:30 am and I guess it went great, with David leading a study on Luke 19 and Zaccheus.  The rest of our team ate breakfast at 7 and then Brian (Dan/Ana's son in law) set us to work on cleaning out a tool shed that was pretty messy.  It was a lot of boxes of mixed tools and supplies, combined with tons of spiders and rat droppings.  Oh, and dead, dried up lizards...we found lots of those.  We also found and removed four large iguanas and several smaller lizards.  One of the smaller was a gecko, who promptly jettisoned its tail when Jorge tried to grab it!  The little gecko ran off, and it's tail went crazy in the dust behind him, flipping, dancing, and jiggling for about 5 minutes!  I successfully grabbed the first iguana and carried it outside, but the second one I grabbed a little too far back on its body, and it was able to spin around and bite my finger through my glove hard enough to bleed!  We didn't touch them after that.

So we pulled all of the stuff out into the hot sun, swept out the shed, and then cleaned, sorted, and put stuff back.  After about two hours we were finished, hot, sweaty, and ready for some A/C.  We refilled our water bottles, had a snack, and headed out again.  We cleaned and set up some benches in a screened-in worship area outside, and swept and cleaned an outside pool, and began filling it with water for an obstacle course Brian is setting up for a teenage outreach on the ranch Friday/Saturday.

Then we ate sandwiches for lunch and showered and rested, getting ready for our evening outreach.  I am working on my message, trying to add more Spanish each time....so I am going to read all my scripture references in Spanish this time.  Please keep praying for the Light of the World to shine through me unhindered, and for seeds to be planted that will bear fruit and not be plucked away by our evil foe.

"La luz vino al mundo, y los hombres amaron más las tinieblas que la luz, porque sus obras eran malas."  -Juan 3:19

Love!
Adrian

Thursday evening:  This evening was really special.  Jusibampo is a tiny town, about 20 homes, about 20 minutes away from the ranch.  When we arrived around 5:30, temperatures were cooling down from the 100's earlier in the day, and a little breeze really helped the humidity. As we set up for the crafts and puppets, there were only about 3 kids around and a handful of adults...so our teens headed out into the town to invite more!  They spent about 20 minutes, during which time Pepe played his guitar and Poncho sang.   What a treat!  Poncho is a man in his 50's who has an amazing voice and an even more amazing story.  His history includes professional bull riding, dancing champion, and professional singing with his own studio and radio station.  He has left it all behind to share the Gospel of Jesucristo.  He was also involved in drug trafficking and flying drugs into America for years.  He was a dangerous man in a dangerous job, and showed me the scars of 5 bullet wounds in his body when rival traffickers tried to kill him.  When he was led to Jesus by a neighbor of his, he turned himself in and went to prison for a few months, where: "I was more free in prison with Jesus than I had ever been outside!"  He led over 30 fellow inmates to Christ before he was released.  

Kirsten, Emma and Ella did the puppet skit entirely in Spanish, after practicing for hours with Ana!  They did amazing.  Then, I shared my message, adding a little more Spanish than I did before, and with Ana translating the rest.  Then, our kids teamed up with local kids and handed out tracts.  I am so proud of our teens!  They are having an excellent time, enjoying the kids so much, and not letting the language barrier stop them in the least!  During that time was when I spent time talking to Poncho, who speaks English very well from his previous occupation.  He taught me a couple of things:
Él que esta en Cristo, nueva creature es.  2 Cor 5:17
Dios the vendiga, mi hermano!  (God bless you, my brother)
He promised to speak better English and I promised to speak better Spanish when we next meet.

We ended with Jorge and Logan playing some balloon stomp with the kids, which was a huge hit.  Have I mentioned that after talking with los niños about la Luz del Mundo (the Light of the World), they each get a tiny lámpara (flashlight) and stickers to decorate them with?  Since we were leaving at dusk tonight, it was awesome to see the kids playing with their little flashlights.  I pray they will think of Jesucristo, la Luz del Mundo!

lunch in Hermosillo

at Hoover Dam, NV/AZ border

Adrian adding custom safety tape to a 1" lip we all kept tripping over




Thursday, June 15, 2017

describing Wednesday

I received this great email from Adrian describing their Wednesday ~ knew you would love to read it too!  To send an email, he has to tap it out on the ipad and then walk a distance to the host house to connect to wireless and send it.  I'm so thankful!
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Today we had a relaxed morning, and then our team of 9 headed out to an outreach at San Antonio with Dan, Pepe, Carla + 3 kids, Carlita + baby, and 1 other young lady.  We had lunch at a great taco de pescado place in Navajoa, the. dropped off Carla and her kids in another town and then took a very long drive to the end of a dirt road to San Antonio, a village of about 60 homes.  We set up our puppet stage and craft table, then Pepe led worship entirely in Spanish, the girls did a puppet skit of about 5 minutes, then I shared my message of about 10 minutes.  About 30% in Spanish and 70% translated by Dan.  Then we broke into 7 groups and went with 2-3 kids through the town and handed out tracts (from Warren) to every house in town.  Ella and I were with two boys, Martin(8) and Saul(5) who spoke no English at all.  This was the best part of my day as we walked around and I tried to engage the boys with a little español and chatted a little with the local folks.  Then we got back and played games and crafts until we left.  On the way back, we took on an elderly couple, then picked up Carla and her kids...so for a while we had 20 in the van...Ella took a nap in my lap while we bumped our way back to Navajoa and then the ranch.  We got back around 7pm hungry and ate Ana's enchiladas and beans...the kids played basketball until dark, then walked around with me after dark finding scorpions, other spiders, and scorpions with our flashlights.

The five girls are sleeping in a large upper room together above Dan &Ana's kitchen with a nice bathroom and shower.  The four guys are sleeping in a vacant house a ways away on the ranch, which is more like a garage than a house.  But it has a nice kitchen with an air conditioner where we have set up our cots, and a primitive shower in a bathroom nearby.  I slept really well last night...despite big spiders on the ceiling above me, mice running around, and a fairly large snake we had to toss outside when we got here.

Ella is doing great!  She still clings to me in new situations, but I am so proud of her!  Her bg's have been good.  I still mourn that she is usually the last one to start eating, so I have decided to delay starting to eat until she can.  I am hoping she will talk more directly to the kids in Spanish, because it is so awesome.  She is rolling with changing plans, high temperatures, and uncomfortable situations so much better than she does at home!  She will probably need some crash time when we get back to recharge.

Thank you so much for everything you did to help me prepare for speaking Spanish on this trip.  My Spanish is better than anyone else's on our team, not by much, but enough to be so useful.  Despite that, I can hardly understand anything at all of the native speakers...except Ana because she speaks more slowly for me.  She is very encouraging, says my pronunciation is very good, and is glad I am trying to learn.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

they've landed in Mexico!

Adrian emailed to report that they landed and are safe, happy and healthy!!  They will be doing their first outreach today - Wednesday afternoon.
a typical breakfast on the road after a 4 am start...

Ella's hand with a cactus

they say they are seeing this guy everywhere...


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

beautiful life

There are some really huge chunks of life missing from this blog...things I've wanted to share, but couldn't...  I'll just have to start where we are!  June!  Life is beautiful!!

baby birds only 3 feet off the ground in a tree at the end of our driveway-
kids got to peek in on them when there were 5 eggs, then 4 chicks.
Only 10 days later, they flew away!!
Best science lesson ever!

Tessa didn't mind celebrating her 11th birthday in a hotel room...
Calgary, AB


hiking the M
Bozeman, MT

this guy has amazing endurance!




yes, Tessa really did bring a piece of the M down with her!



making use of the wind!
Let's go fly a kite!
HOME!





Monday, June 12, 2017

Mexico bound!

Adrian and Ella signed up for a mission trip to Mexico back in January, I think.  Ella had expressed interest after she saw some of her friends come back from there with hearts full of joy for what they had experienced!!  I sooooo wanted to take her, but quickly decided that a 36 hour road trip and a toddler don't mesh very well!  We began preparations with Adrian requesting time off work and a passport application for Ella with all of its joys (and rejections).

When Ella landed in the hospital in April, I wondered if her health would thwart these plans.  Yesterday was a grand victory in that she was able for such a strenuous trip, even facing days of 100+ degree weather.  Thursday, on our way home from Bozeman, we paused to hike the "M" trail.  Starting at 4,700 feet, the trail has around an 800' elevation gain, and at 10:30 in the morning, it was a beautiful 85 degrees!  Along the trail, Ella complained that the heat bothered her, but she made it!!  She never complained once about being out of breath.  So I'd say that was proof her lung capacity is back to normal- horray!!  Goodbye, pneumonia!!  She made it to the 'M', and I told her maybe the hot weather was a blessing to break her in for Mexico, where they anticipate a humid 100+ degrees each day.  She wasn't inspired.




So, back to Mexico: the team of 9 volunteers is traveling in a 15 passenger van to Alamos, Sonora Mexico.  There are 4 guys and 5 ladies: our pastor and his son, and a handful of really cool teenage girls!  Two of the girls have been there before, but the others haven't.  The purpose of the trip is to spread the gospel to places surrounding Alamos.  They will have an intense schedule of travel each day to remote villages where children will gather to hear a message, watch a puppet show, and do crafts.  The theme is "Jesus es la luz del mundo"  (Jesus is the Light of the World, John 8.12)

In total, the trip will be 12 days long, traveling 1,900 miles (36 hours) one way.  Day 1, they traveled a mere 8 hours to their first stop in Pocatello, ID.  Day 2 they left at 4 a.m. and put in 16 hours, reaching Phoenix Arizona.  Day 3, they will again depart at 4 am, plan to cross the border nice and early (no lines!) and then reach their destination later that day.  I anticipate being able to email Adrian, but no phone or video call contact. 

I am excited for my daughter, and SO wish I could be there with her, watching her first cross culture experience!  She has been diligently studying Spanish, and I wish I could hear her try it out on the kids down there!  This will be the longest span Adrian and I have ever been apart since we got married (I should be thankful for that!).  It will be a test on our wits and endurance, but God has gotten us through every experience til now!  

I'll keep ya updated!