Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Thoughts and Updates

Happy Easter everyone!  WOW!  The time has FLOWN by.  Its crazy!  I can’t believe that it has been two weeks since my last post, or that we only have 40 days left here…….INSANE!  Less than 6 weeks…..WHAT?!  Really, it is boggling my mind. 

So, I don’t feel like too much has happened here since I last posted, but at the same time, I know there is a lot to update on.  That doesn’t make much sense I am sure, but I am happy to report that this blog post wont be NEARLY as long as the previous one.  Sorry guys.  That was MASSIVE.  I will never do that again, I promise. 

But ok.  Here we go.  Update number one.  Hopey and her puppies!  They are all surviving!  YAY!  Also, the names we gave them in the beginning have stuck.  We have Petey (Patrick Douglas) and Piggie, but the thing is….they are both girls we figured out.  Kinda funny.  Also, they are like 3 weeks old!  So, they are leaving the rat stage and heading straight for the cute stage.  I am SO EXCITED!  Sometimes we bring them into our house and cuddle with them.  Beth likes this a lot.  Its very entertaining to hear their little barks and see them twitch while they dream.  I have concluded that on a stressful day, the life of a puppy would be grand.  But on a normal day, I would be bored out of my mind.  All they do is sleep, eat, poop, and be cute.  Not much living going on yet.  But I still like em a lot :]

Update number two.  Roberto and his family.  So yeah.  You guys remember that long time ago when Roberto, E and Maria first left for Santiago?  Yeah, we haven’t seen Roberto since then.  Kinda been crazy actually.  We all agreed that we miss him, but we know we will have hardly any time to be with him before we leave.  Its very sad.  Basically, Anita and Mirian (3 year old) came back like 3 weeks ago or something.  Then the rest of her kids came back like a week after her.  They had a lot of catching up to do with school and things, but I think they are pretty much good now.  So yeah.  Its been very interesting.  I am not sure why Roberto is still in Santiago.  I know he feels like he needs to care for his parents and stuff there, but as far as I know, the kids are living with their dad, who is NOT actually mentally crazy, just not super fit to take care of his kids alone right now.  Anita would love to take them into her home, but they just cant do it.  They have 3 kids of their own, and a house that is not big enough for all of them as it is.  So yeah.  I believe Roberto is coming back like……nowish.  He should either be back now or coming back early this week. 

The thing that is really hard in all of this now is that while he has been gone, Roberto hasn’t been working.  He is a taxi driver, and without his income, the family is struggling.  Sometimes, I just don’t understand.  I cant see the big picture in situations, and it just looks helpless to me.  But the encouraging thing through all of this has been seeing Anita’s attitude through it all.  She has so much JOY.  That is definitely the word to describe Anita.  She is constantly being known by others as “the one who is always smiling and laughing”.  Its AWESOME!  Such a light for Jesus!  The lady is so friendly.  I just love her.  And although she doesn’t agree with Roberto staying in Santiago so long, she is just trusting God to provide for their needs here.  Its been awesome to see her dependability on God.  Such an inspiration. 

So that was kinda a weird update, since I don’t really know what is going on with all of that.  But its all I can do right now.  So moving on to update number 3.  Rebekah.  She has been here for 2 weeks.  How crazy is that?!  She can’t even believe it actually.  God has been working on her, and it has been a privilege and honor to see what is happening in her mind and heart.  She has such a desire to learn and grow.  Whenever we talk about the Bible together, she has SO many questions, and its really great!  She wants to know how everything fits together and why things happened so that she can go back and be a light for others back home.  She has so many influences right now telling her to move on and make the most of her traveling time.  And she is really confused with what God’s will for her is at this point.  She is unsure of if she should stay or just go or even where to go. 

Also, another thing that has been really hard for her is that her music teacher, a lady she REALLY respects, is like, totally anti-Christian.  But first, a little background for you.  So Rebekah is a singer.  And I mean, she can sing.  She has been in plays and has sang in the big opera house in Australia even.  She has a 20’s swing voice.  Basically, she got some old school skill going on in her vocal cords.  And it sounds BEAUTIFUL.  When we sing worship songs together, she just takes it away with her talent.  It truly is a gift of hers.  Also, she loves Michael Buble (YAY!  Shout out to my awesome cousin Jewel for introducing me to him and enduring my teasing before I saw the light :p) and that is kinda the style she sings.  So if you know him, you can kinda understand what I was trying to describe before.  But anywho.  One of her singing teachers is a 70 something year old lady named Janice.  Rebekah loves her to pieces.  Janice has trained singers who are now professionals all over the world.  Its crazy!  But she has a lot of dislike for the Bible and God.  And, since she is very intelligent and has had a lot of time to “figure things out”, she knows her stuff.  She has arguments and rebuttals for everything.  And she is a very persuasive woman. 

So here Rebekah is, learning about Jesus from a guy who knows SO MUCH about history and the Bible, while getting emails from Janice, filling her head with lies and doubts.  And she is confused.  She knows that God is real and powerful, but she doesn’t know how to show and convince Janice of this.  And she loves Janice a lot.  Janice has been there for her when other people haven’t.  and its just really HARD.  So I am asking that you guys keep Rebekah in your prayers.  The situation is confusing.  She doesn’t know what she should do or when or where she should go.  It seems like everyone has an opinion and she doesn’t know which way God is trying to lead her.  So please pray for clarity for her, for wisdom as she learns more about Jesus and the Bible, for protection over her heart and soul, and for strength to fight against the attacks of Satan during this time and stick close to Jesus through it all.  I will continue to update you guys, but right now, that is all I got. 

So yeah.  Its Easter.  YAY GOD!  An awesome day of remembrance of the power of God and His miracles and perfect plan.  He redeemed us!  He SAVED us.  Its too incredible for my brain to fully understand.  He knew we would mess up.  He knew He would have to send His Son to die for us.  But He still wanted us!  He made us, even after knowing that!  and His perfect Son came and saved us all.  He willingly died for us, a totally undeserving world of people.  What greater love is there than that??  NONE. 

But, E has a pretty interesting thought on Easter that I really think is important for us to remember.  I like it a lot.  He said, yes, Easter is a nice time to remember what God did for us.  Its incredible.  But, Jesus lives every day.  And isn’t that so true!  I mean, we need to remember and thank God for His perfect plan and sacrifice for us, but Jesus is living EVERY SINGLE DAY!  The resurrection is a miracle and a pivotal point in what we believe, but we should be thanking Him for what He did EVERY DAY.  So although Easter is special, we should make other days more special and significant.  We need to be living with the Easter attitude EVERY day.  Not just once a year when it rolls around. 

With that in mind, I think I will share the song of the post.  The More I Seek You by Kari Jobe is the selection this time.  And this brings me to another shout out to Megan.  Thanks so much for sharing it with me!  Great song.  So peaceful and assuring.

Now I am not really sure where to go with this.  But I think I will tell you guys in very few words what has happened in the past week, and then what the plan is for the rest of our time here.  I am going to keep it short though, so no worries. 

So on Monday, it was Beth’s birthday!  Yay!  We had oatmeal pancakes in the morning and the night before, we made delicious brownies and had ice cream.  I love birthdays :]  and I really love Beth, so it was just great :]  we played a Walmart game and then got some stuff from McDonald’s to eat.  It was a good life group and hopefully a good birthday for her. 

Then on Tuesday, we left for Calbuco.  Its about 2 hours from our house, a little over an hour from Puerto Montt.  So not a far trip.  We went to help a family rebuild their burnt down house.  This family has 4 kids, all under the age of 10, and the parents are like 25.  They are living in a TEENY house right now.  Its crazy.  Its like half of a trailer.  For 6 people!  So we helped to put up plywood and tin siding stuff on a lot of the walls.  The house still has a lot of work to go, but its coming and it will be SO much nicer than their original house even.  While we were doing that, we stayed with the family across the street, friends of E’s that we sort of stayed with before.  Their names are Ronny and Andrea.  Such a hospitable couple!  Seriously.  They were SUCH a blessing to us.  They house missionary teams regularly, so they have like two rooms just for guests with lots of mattresses and bunk beds.  And we had DELICIOUS meals.  Completos, home made french-fries, noodley goodness, and all sorts of good stuff.  Since I am not a carpenter of any sort, I helped mostly in the house making meals.  But, as you all know, I am not a chef of any sort either.  Its seriously awful.  But, I tried.  I peeled about a gajillion potatoes between the two days we were there.  But, I DIDN’T CUT MYSELF AT ALL!  It was so exciting :D 

So yeah.  We came back from there on Wednesday night and I got to skype my family :]  I just love those people.  A lot.  And I can’t wait to see them in person very soon.  And it was good to talk with them about the future and their lives right now.  Just so so good. 

On Thursday, we were just in Alerce.  I was given some time alone to just try and work on my sermon.  That was really good, but I had no idea what God wanted me to speak on then.  So I read through Romans, and that was really good.  But it didn’t really help me with my sermon, which I have to give in exactly a week.  So I decided that my next blog post will include my sermon notes, since I think I know what I will be speaking on now.  And I think I will be explaining a lot of what has been going on in my mind recently, concerning things of the future and such.  But you guys can keep me in your prayers.  True to form, I have procrastinated, but not all of that is my fault.  I think I work better with the “I HAVE to get this done NOW” mentality tho.  So it’s all good.  But if you guys could just pray that I would be open to the Spirit’s leading and that I would speak only the words He gives me. 

Friday, we went to a town like 2 hours away again.  We were visiting the family of Coti, a lady from our church.  It was such a good visit!  She has an awesome family.  And, we saw her dad and sister come to accept Jesus in their hearts!  It was so GREAT.  And E is going to be doing a Bible study with them once a month, like all day.  It was just so exciting, because they were really awesome people, and to know that they now have Jesus in their hearts is INCREDIBLE!  So yeah.  It was just a really good visit. 

Then yesterday, we just worked at the house all day.  We finished putting on the siding and E put up a lot of tile in his bathroom.  It feels good to be able to help them do stuff, but I don’t have much skill to offer with house projects.  So I did a pretty good job at running the level between E and Jeff, but other than that……I did nothing.  Lol.  But yeah.  It was good to then just chill with the family, talking and laughing and showing off brain teaser tricks.  Good times.  I am going to miss them a lot. 

This next week looks like this.  Monday, we have our free day to get stuff done and things.  Then Tuesday until Saturday, we will be in Chiloe again.  We will be with my host family again, and Beth and Clay will be painting a little mural on the church wall.  I am really excited to go back there and tell them bye.  Well, I am not excited to say goodbye, just to see them again :]  And then, Beth and I will for sure be coming back on Saturday, because on Sunday, I will be preaching to our church here in Alerce.  Eeeeeek!!  I am not really nervous yet, but, I still haven’t like written out anything for material.  I think I know the topic I will be speaking on, but I also know that God has the ability to change my mind on that in a matter of like 3 seconds the morning of.  But as of right now, I am working on it.  So that’s a good step. 

The rest of our time here looks something like this.  After next week, we have a week to chill here and then we are probably going to this place called Porcelana.  It’s a tiny island that is really cold with penguins and hot springs :]  I don’t know what we will be doing exactly, but that is the tentative plan as of right now.  Then the beginning of May we will be going back to the island of Tabon for like 3 days to cut a tree up for the family to use as firewood.  And then…….in like 2 weeks, we will be on our way back to the States.  CRAZY!  I had a little bit of a freak out moment today over how soon we are leaving.  I need to soak up every opportunity I have with these people.  Which reminds me….tomorrow we are going to go see The Hunger Games with most of the team and Nacho and Leo!  Pretty excited :]  like I am experiencing a little bit of normal technology again.  Weird, but exciting.  Anywho.  That was just a random and pointless fact that no one needed to know. 

Ok, so I am going to wrap this up and end with a little thought.  Like I said, next week I will be posting my sermony thoughts and it will probably be filled with a lot more personal thoughts and things as well.  But if you guys could just pray for me right now.  I have just had my future picking options confused a bit more this weekend.  And I just don’t know what to think right now.  I just wanna know what God wants me to do, and I will do it.  But some of my options that have opened up are exactly what I told God I did not want to do.  So, I am kinda in a frustrated stage right now, not wanting to accept the fact that this situation might be what God has in store for me.  So yeah.  Thank you all so much for all of your support and encouragement.  I know I always say that, but seriously.  Especially in the past week, your encouragement has been incredible.  Thanks for all of your personal encouragement to me.  I love you all a lot.  And I will be updating you more soon.  Keep looking up.  And remember, you may not know what the future holds, but you know Who holds the future.  Love you and God bless!  

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