Tonight we had "Family Night" for VBS, and it went very well. Each class did a presentation and all the kids sang their songs. VBS was a success!
You know that one kid in VBS that you just can't imagine is hearing because he is so distracted? Here's ours from the 4-5 year olds. As I was helping with "crowd control Friday night, this little boy was rolling around on the floor. I'd seen him in action throughout the week and decided the best thing to do was to keep the other kids' attentions on the teacher...just when this one answered a question correctly! Yes, he continued rolling around, but I realized that my idea of "paying attention" may not be his--and God still was working in this little boy's heart.
Here are more boys from 4-5 year olds...trying to sneak out!
When I got home, this little fellow was waiting to surprise me in the bathroom! He was in the shower, and a friend found him. We thought he was dead because he wasn't moving. He proved us wrong as he was thrown over the wall--he began swimming in mid-air! I have no clue how he entered the house, but I'm on the lookout for lizards and geckos now!
Many of you know my brother, Tim, as well as me, so I wanted to share his news with you. Cooper David was born on July 21st. He is Tim and Britney's first baby. Everyone is back home now, and Tim is enjoying feeding him and changing diapers. Britney has been able to rest up for when Tim returns to Virginia to finish his last two months in the Navy.
Here are three boys from the older group. If you click on the picture, it will load a larger copy--you can see the Mexican Mordecai's better! Left to right we have: Mordecai with bling, Mordecai with a mustache, and Mordecai with chest hair escaping his robe. Don't know if that's Kosher...
This is my favorite picture of Day 3. Yep, chewing on the table--but watching me in the reflection of his crown!
The game for Day 3 was to give a "gift" to the world. They each painted their thumbs and marked it on the continent of the team they were on. I enjoyed watching as the kids "ran" with a rock on a spoon in their mouths and a lime between their legs. They didn't get far fast. :-)
My mouth is healing well, and we have not had anymore problems from the person who threw the rock. Please keep praying for the neighborhood the church is in, the church is a mission church and only a few years old--but growing in size and in the Lord! It would be great to hear that someone from the neighborhood who was strongly opposed to the location of the church came to know the Lord as a result of the ministry of the church.
Keep praying for these kids as they study through Esther.
Day one for VBS went very well here in Chihuahua. We had a "growing group" throughout the evening, and ended up with around 25 kids. As many of you know, Monday is only the beginning, and we will continue to grow throughout the week!
Here are some of the kids learning the first song "Nunca Olvidaremos" (We Will Never Forget) This year's curriculum is from Esther.
Here are some of our middle group--probaby from 7-8 or 9 years old--making Mordecai's and Esther dolls. Last night the task was to paint the head and the top half of the bottle and glue on little hands. Some of the kids ended up painting half of themselves, too!
And what would VBS be without a little "event". A not-so-happy citizen threw this rock over the wall into our open air room. I managed to catch it with my lips! I have all my teeth, nothing broken, just two fat lips and a little soreness.
Please keep praying for these kids. One class had three Mormon girls in it. When describing Mordecai, one boy asked, "Is he Catholic?" There is quite a diverse group, and many of these kids are unsaved. Please pray specifically that the Holy Spirit will work in their hearts, and that these precious children will see a need for God in their lives!
I forgot to take a picture yesterday before cleaning up, but I was completely freckled in yellow paint! I'll be moving next month into a new house, and yesterday I saw my landlady painting. I told her I liked to paint, and asked if I could help when I got back from the store. She finally let me help after warning me that my clothes would get paint on them. :-) I did my best to explain that I painted for two years while I was in the training...I think I got most of the message across! After painting the ceiling and three walls a light yellow, she let me pick out the color for the fourth wall. She had about 10 cans of paint to chose from, and I chose a bright green. When we got it open, we discovered that at some point someone had added black to it and it was dark green! She declared the color "triste" (sad), so we found some other small amounts of greens and concocted our own green. The color turned out well, and we scheduled next Saturday for painting together again! God provided a great opportunity to spend three hours with a Spanish speaker on an otherwise empty Saturday!
This week we start VBS at church. I'll be helping Monday and Tuesday with the craft: we're making Mordecai and Esther out of Coke bottles, material, yarn, paint, and googley eyes! I'll be sure to put a picture up later. Thanks in advance for your prayers about VBS!
"God didn’t make you with the capacity to carry all the negative residue from your past. He doesn’t expect you to store it or ignore it. We call it emotional baggage, but parts of our past are really more like toxic trash or radioactive waste. Forgiveness is what God gives to free us and others from the weight of relational failure. If we want the kind of life that God promises us, forgiveness is God’s solution. Pastor James tells us today how to become experts at forgiveness."
Forgiveness is something that God regular reminds me of its necessity. I hope you'll listen to this message and see the application for your life.
Click here or you can download the free podcast on iTunes. The message will only be available for a few more days. I encourage you to listen to the series on forgiveness.
The ladies at my church here in Chihuahua have asked me to help with VBS at the end of the summer. I agreed, yet simultaneously wondering how I could fit in. I'm used to teaching or helping to teach--and I am definitely not ready for that yet! So the lady in charge of the music asked if I would come and learn the music and the motions. I thought--yes! I can do motions in any language!
So yesterday I went to practice, and watched the professional children do all the hand motions, steps (yes, their feet were moving, too!), and, generally, just dance around the stage. The kids looked great, and the other helpers did a great job also--this was not their first practice. I couldn't really understand most of the words, and finally asked to borrow the lyrics. There was this one song that really confused me, the chorus certainly couldn't be saying what I thought it was saying:
Tú gracia es mi Oxxo
Tú gracia es muy cerca
Translation of what I heard:
Your grace is my Oxxo (the local Circle K)
Your grace is very close
After getting the lyrics, I discovered the true meaning:
Tú gracia es me alcanza
Tú gracia es me salvo
Translation of true lyrics:
Your grace reaches to me
Your grace saves me
It was pretty difficult to even understand the motions for the songs, as I don't really know what the lyrics are! Please pray with me for our upcoming VBS at La Mision Dios Con Nosotros (God With Us Mission Church) at the end of July. Please also pray that we will find a way that I can fit in using what Spanish I know!
This past weekend I went to El Paso for some final visa paperwork. There were no problems with the visa, and I made it back into Chihuahua on Sunday evening. Friday I spent the day shopping, and on Saturday I went to McNeal, AZ to visit a friend of a friend. McNeal is where NTM has an aviation training center, and it is the base for all the planes NTM flies in countries around the world. Major repairs are done to the planes here, and pilots are trained how to take off and land on incredibly short air strips.
I had flown in a small plane in Brasil in 2004, but this weekend I got to fly in a Super Cub. It was made in the 1950s, and is still in great condition.
Would you please pray for the NTM missionaries who maintain and train our pilots around the world? Without the aviation program, there are many tribes that could not be reached in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Senegal, and Papua New Guinea.