Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fraternidad Cristiana De Guatemala

This morning we attended the Fraternidad Cristiana de Guatemala. This is the largest church in Central America. It has a congregation of about 12,000. Today the church was a little more than half full. When we first saw the church we thought it was a soccer stadium. In fact the church was built in 2001, to meet the needs of the growing evengelical population here in Guatemala.
There is a huge difference between this church and our home church in Canada, but it was surprizingly friendly and welcoming. The platform resembles that of a rock concert, but the worship was very tasteful and the message was excellent. The pastor's name is Dr. Jorge H. Lopez and he and his son have been pastor here for many years.
Translation devices were available, but I am happy to say that I opted not to use one and got a lot out of the message. Afterwards we were able to go out for lunch with our friends from across the street.

A Month Long Celebration

This month in Antigua there is a month long celebration. There have been many concerts, fashion shows, and parades in the central park. There have also been lots of sidewalk sales in the streets. So far it is unclear to us exactly what they are celebrating, but we have been enjoying the festivities anyways.
One day during school, Brenda and her teacher headed down to the central park to watch this parade of giants. They enjoyed the bright colours of the dress and the festive atmosphere.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ten Years and Counting

This past week we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. At times it is hard to believe how quickly that ten years has gone by. The past few years have held so many changes that it feels like it has gone by even faster.

We had the opportunity to go away this past weekend to Santa Catarina to celebrate, however we had Myah with us. A notice was sent to our friends and neighbours from the U.S. Embassy detailing some very sad news and gave warning to Americans travelling in this country. In the past few weeks there have been a few Americans killed in small towns because they were suspected of kidnapping children for adoption. We felt that it would be safer to have at least one of our girls with us. Many people here are more willing to talk to us when the girls are with us than when they are not. We are of the impression they are feel less threatened when they see we are parents with our own children. Over the past few years there have been many attempted kidnappings of children for adoption both by North Americans and Guatemalans. This has made many parents more weary of people than they might have been before.

La semana pasada fue nuestro aniversario de diez anos. Estamos felices que Dios esta con nosotros cada dia y por el amor. Este fin de semana Tyler y yo fuimos a Santa Catarina. Un pequeno pueblo cerca de Lago Atitlan. Hay muchas familias que viven aqui. Dos familias fueron muy amables con nosotros y tienen ninos que juegan con Myah por mucho tiempo.

We met one of the girls in this family four weeks ago during our tour of the different towns surrounding Lake Atitlan. She was selling cards that her mother had made. When we arrived this weekend we met her mom and youngest sister Maria. We were quite happy when we realized they were related. In this famliy there were three girls one boy and a mom. We spent time talking with this family. We brought with us things that we heard are important staples for families here. We gave them some beans, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, crackers, jucie and a few candies. We were quite surprised at how thankful everyone was for these things especially the toothbrushes and toothpaste. The little boy in this famliy sang a song to me after receiving his gifts. It was a very special moment.

Nosotros llevamos muchas cosas a Santa Catarina para las familias. Frijoles, jabon, galletas, dulces, jugo, cepillos de dientes y pasta de dientes. Muchas personas estuvieron muy felices por los regalos. Un nino me canto una cancion solo para mi. Fue un bonito momento. (El esta en la playera anaranjada)

Myah quickly becames friends with the youngest girl Maria. She is also three years old. To see them together you would have thought they have known each other for a much longer time. They danced and skipped and Myah shared her doll caleb with her friend.

Nosotros conocimos una nina de esta familia hace cuatro semanas. Yo estuve feliz cuando yo recuerdo a ella. Cuando nosotros llegamos este dia, nosotros conocimos a su mama y su menor hermana Maria. Ella tiene tres anos tambien. Myah y Maria estuvieron juando juntas por mucho tiempo. A ellas les gusta jugar con la muneca de Myah.

While we were walking around we met a family who invited us into their yard. We talked with them for quite a while. Asking questions about how they do their weaving and other handy crafts. In one corner of the yard they had one of the biggest chickens I have ever seen. Myah fed the chicken some of her left over roll from dinner. She had quite a lot of fun and the family was fascinated with her anticts. The boy in the picture took quite a shine to Myah, they chased each other around and laughed so much. I really enjoyed our time there and watching Myah interact with this family.
Durante estuvimos caminado, nosotros conocimos a una familia. Ellos invitaron a nosotros en su patio. Nosotros pasamos mucho tiempo con ellos y aprendimos mucho sobre su trabajo. En este patio ellos tienen un gran pollo. Myah dio a el pollo su pan de su cena. El nino en la foto le gusta Myah mucho. Ellos juegan mucho. Yo tuve un buen tiempo con ellos.

We did have a great weekend together and with Myah. It is hard to explain how spending your anniversary with the desrire to reach others can be so rewarding, but when we spend time with the people here (and in Peru) sharing what we have and know there is great joy in my heart. This weekend we had the opportunity to explain who Caleb was in the old testament thanks to Myah naming her doll after her friend Judah's little brother. It was great to tell them about how Caleb trusted God to do all that he promised and Caleb's wholehearted love and obedience to God.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Myah's Third Birthday

The Birthday girl in here new dress from Grandama. Myah en su nuevo vestida, de su abuela para su cumpleanos.

The beginings of a pinata.

La empieza de la pinata.

Whose bright idea was it to add cones!?!?!?!?!

Here we are beginning to decorate our pinata. Little did we know it would take more than eight hours.

This is the front of the pinata for Myah's birthday.

Este la pinata para el cumpleanos de Myah.

Here we are with the finished back side of our pinata.

La termina pinata

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Little Miss Mommy

Myah was playing house the other day and wanted to carry her baby like a Guatemalan mommy does. She was very happy to show her baby 'Caleb' off and I must say I think she was pretty cute too.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Volcan Pacaya

The climb up the volcano was long and we used the services of some local young men and their horses. Along the trail we had a great view of a nearby lake and a geothermal power plant, that harnesses the heat from the volcano. The trail wound through a forest and there were numerous tiendas, where it was possible to buy drinks and snacks. Eventually we exited the forest into the lava fields. This was as far as the horses could go. Walking on the dried lava was difficult. We kept cracking the crust and the rocks were very sharp.
We saw numerous formations in the dried lava. It was fun to picture what the scene would have looked like while the lava was still flowing. We soon reached an area scattered with very hot vents. They were lined with powdery sulphur and the air was super hot. Our guide threw a stick down into one of the vents and it laid there for about 15 seconds and then spontainiously combusted right before our eyes.

Our guide had told us that no one had seen flowing lava for 3 days and he wasn't very hopeful for us to be able to see it. We let him know that we really wanted to and he told us if we we willing to climb high enough and far enough he would do his best to guide us there. The whole area was so interesting that it was no hardship to climb further.

The further we went the more of our group turned back. It was really hard going. Eventually it was Joanna, Tyler, Hannah and our guide Ronny who made it to the head of the lava flow. It was located about 100 yards below the crater, and was about 20 yards wide. The flow was picking up dried lava rocks as it went, so it was realy slow. At the head it was about the size of a large van and was rolling along at a very slow pace.

We took turns posing in front of the lava flow but because of the flow picking up up at the crater, large lava balls kept flying down the hill that we would have to run out of the way of. Joanna and I had a goal of melting the bottoms of our shoes on lava and I am glad to report that we were successful.

I don't know how to describe the heat. The whole time we were within sight of the lava you could feel it in the air. When we got to within 20 yards of it, it felt like when you open the oven door and are standing too close. You could spend a few seconds there but then would have to retreat.

I am sure that many of you are wondering if I am alright in the head. Not only taking myself to this spot but bring Joanna and Hannah with me. We just thought we had come all this way and there was a person willing to guide us to see it. It wasn't an opportunity that we could pass up. It was an awsome example of God's power. The view from the top was like nothing I had ever seen before. We were higher than many of the clouds around us. We had views of surrounding volcanos and valleys. Right below our location was a field filled with horses that looked to be the size of tiny ants. The whole experience was amazing and will be something none of us will ever forget.