Oh to stop thinking.

He came home He came home He came home!! I know I’m a week overdue saying that, but it’s none-the-less true. And here’s proof he thought of me while he was gone:

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Fancy Brazilian chocolates – imported only as far as the jungle; we can’t get them down here in Lima.

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And Jungle-flies! Aren’t they beautiful? Each one is completely different than the others. Love it.

I’m so glad he’s home. He’s sleeping quite soundly next to me as I write and I love the silence with just his breathing. I could not possibly be more content. We were reminded this week how precious – and how fragile – marriages are. We got some news about some friends that just isn’t that great and it breaks my heart. I’m still awake tonight because I just can’t stop thinking of her…home alone…and him, never coming home. I don’t understand how things like that happen; I don’t understand how she can continue to go on. I ache thinking about it. I know there’s nothing we could’ve done and now, there’s definitely nothing you can do for her. But, still. I hate that Satan attacks families. He definitely knows where to get at the core of something! It’s made us much more aware that we have to physically WORK on our marriage; we can’t just LIVE. We need to grow and work through things and let things go and…I’m not even sure what “working on your marriage” completely looks like, but I’m willing to do it. I just wish I could shut my mind off of other people’s issues so I could sleep one of these nights! I think it’s just been more of a shock than anything else. There are just certain people in your life who think – those things will NEVER happen to them – they’re above problems like this. And then…you’re wrong. I’ve come to the conclusion that NOBODY is above temptation and sin. We’re all horribly susceptible. If ever I’ve realized that we’re in a battle, it’s now.

Ahhhh stupid brain. *Think happy thoughts…

Culture.

So much for blogging every day while Brian’s gone!! I thought I’d have more time, but then I didn’t. And then the internet didn’t really work for over a week, so here we are. He comes home in three and a half days (Friday afternoon) and I seriously cannot wait. It’s all I can think about! This is my background on my laptop right now:

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This is my absolute favorite picture of us, taken at my brother’s wedding two years ago. Yup. Love that man.

So, the last couple of days have been full of interesting cultural stuff. Saturday, I was able to introduce a bunch of Peruvians to American food. The girl that’s been staying with me is from the States and we decided to celebrate the fourth with some Peruvian friends. We introduced them to real hamburgers, potato salad, and s’mores. SO much fun! Here’s a couple kids enjoying the food:

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Can you tell they’re related? 😉

So, that was definitely fun. Nobody had ever had a hamburger made out of real hamburger meat; the burgers down here are all processed meat. And s’mores is just something you see on TV, not something you actually eat. Very fun.

Today, I was given our first wedding invite! Wow, was it gorgeous. Take a look:

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I learned that invitations are always super fancy like this, but the super fancy ones aren’t given to everybody. So, I felt special to get one. 🙂 And then, I also found out that most Peruvians have like a “sponsor” for their wedding. It can be anybody who’s related, has money, is like a mentor, a godparent, etc. They help get the wedding ready, mentor them while they are engaged, and even help pay for the wedding sometimes. Interesting, huh? This wedding is for July 26 and I’m very much looking forward to it. It’ll be our first wedding ceremony here in Peru and it’ll be held here on campus!

We have a neighbor who lives on our property. They lived here before BCM bought the property and the deal is that they won’t complain as long as we give them electricity. Pretty easy exchange. Without us, they wouldn’t have electricity. Anyway, their dog had puppies about five weeks ago. Beautiful little dogs! But, the culture down here is so different. I’m used to pretty, clean, healthy puppies. These poor little guys are dirty, mangy, and riddled with illness. If they don’t get vaccines, they won’t make it. They’re also starving; I’m not sure why the mama is no longer feeding them. Today, a couple of us gave them baths (which didn’t go over so well with them!) and they are covered in mange, mites in their ears, and fleas all over. They’re kind of clean; they’re a little fuzzier than usual. But, they have a ways to go. Not sure if they’ll make it. Kind of sad. It’s something I still am not used to. On the way back from school, too, I saw “my” dog. She’s a pretty golden lab whose puppy follows her everywhere, but is almost bigger than her now. She’s the sweetest, gentlest dog ever, but again, not a house dog, like we think of them. She won’t come with me to my house so I can feed her. She eats out of the trash and runs off as soon as any man shows up. Today was the first day her puppy came to me. Reminded me of my old dog, Comet. Strange how this cultural difference is the one that gets to me most often. I want so badly to care for these dogs, but I know that not only is it not culturally acceptable, it would never work. We’d be over-run with dogs and not all of them are this tame. I grew up loving on animals, especially dogs, so it’s been hard to change my view and look at them as wild, not friendly or even desiring to be owned.

Safety has turned into a bigger issue than before as well. We live in a small town and our campus is about a 10-minute walk from the actual village. The street lights end quite a ways away from our actual road as well. One of the single missionary girls was coming home Thursday evening at 7 (it gets dark at 6 here) and was followed from the bus stop and mugged as soon as the street lights ended. She’s okay, but she lost everything she had on her (except for the money she thought to tuck into her pants at the bank). So now, no girls are allowed out after dark by themselves at all. Somehow, I’m okay with that rule. Being blonde, I’m not normally allowed out by myself at all. But, I went out Thursday afternoon to get some stuff from the tienda. I can’t believe that could’ve been me. I thought about going later, but changed my mind last minute. God’s protection is amazing. My friend could’ve been easily hurt (he carried a machete-like knife that he threatened her with), but she’s perfectly fine. They’ve doubled the guard here and I’ve had some of the men checking up on me over the weekend. Still can’t help thinking a dog would sure be nice!! 🙂 But again… don’t think that’ll work.

I’ve also discovered that I need to spray for spiders every single day or they burrow into clothes, suitcases, shoes, etc. But, now that I spray for spiders once a day and then sweep them all up (including their webs) 20 minutes later, I haven’t had such an issue. Amazing the number of big spiders that show up dead on the floor. YUCK! I’ve also dubbed the tiny bugs that land on my clean, wet dishes in the drainer “U.F.I.’s” (unidentified flying insects) and the crickets are “C.O.U.S.’s” (crickets of unusual size – watch “Princess Bride” if you don’t know what that’s about). Yup. Life is definitely interesting down here! Can’t wait for my hubby to get back.

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(trust me, it’s bigger than it looks. and this one was relatively small.)

My Class.

I love my boys in my class. They rock my world and make me smile, even though some days, I want to pull my hair out (or theirs; one of them has hair long enough that I probably could!). This week in Bible time, we’ve been talking about Moses and the Exodus from Egypt. On Thursdays, I have them write out what they’ve learned during the week. Today, instead of what they learned, I had them write their own song/psalm of praise of God, like Moses and the people did after they crossed the Red Sea. I have just GOT to share with you what they wrote. I love these kids. I’m copying them as is, too, so you can see their hearts. The second one needs some more work on his English. 😉

#1 (by a 15 yr old boy): O Lord, my shepherd and my solid rock, only on you will I put my trust in. Out in cold and dark nights you comfort me when I am afraid. OLord, my Lord of Lords and King of Kings, even when I fall into what is wicked You are still with me to forgive me. O Lord, You are my all in all and my strenght, when I am weak and faint you carry me with your hand. O Lord, eternal Father and blessed Savior, you alone cared enough for a reched (*wretched) sinner like me by sending your perfect Son to die on a tree. O Lord, perfect Lamb of God and my Redeemer, when my time has come or when you shall call me I will then see the face who payed for the sins of all humanity.

#2 (by a 12 year old boy): I thank to the Lord for give me a family. I know that He is powerful so thank you for get me saved. Your Son Jesus died for me and for everyone and I thank that. I pass through moments realy bad but you always stay with me. I very happy to have a sister. I praise to the Lord for bless to me. I praise to Lord because He is helping me to go to pennies for Peru (*our big ministry event; see posts below). The Lord is my king, my Savior. I will sing songs to Jesus. I will talk about His life and people will be saved.

Don’t I have the best kids??

Almost Current Post.

Once again, I wrote this a day or two ago, but internet wouldn’t let me post it. So, I’m trying again…

Brian’s been gone for four days now. It feels like a lifetime. Everybody keeps saying I’ll get used to it. Do I want to get used to it? Do I want to be okay with being apart from my husband for long lengths of time? At this point, I would say no. I might get more comfortable or less worried, but I don’t think I’ll ever get “used” to it and I definitely won’t ever enjoy it! Today will complete the second day of building up in Llanchama (the jungle city our property is in). They’re building a dorm for camps that we’re hoping to hold up there next January. Brian said it hasn’t been as hot, or at least felt as hot, as he thought it would be. However, he hasn’t been feeling horribly well and two of the other men are sick as well. Not a good way to start their two weeks of work! Seems like every time people go to the jungle, somebody gets sick. Maybe that’s why we send so many… Hmm… I’ve been enjoying seeing how God is taking care of me. Honestly, this has been a good reminder of God being my provider, not Brian. Every time I need something or need to take care of something and need help, I’ve been praying and God has provided for me every time. Sometimes I need to see that it’s God, not my husband, who is ultimately taking care of me. Sunday morning, on the way to church, I was reminded, for some reason, of the old hymn “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” I was looking out the window at all the dogs and thinking that it’s amazing that God knows each of these mangy things and cares about them. And then I remembered the verse that talked about God knowing what happens to sparrows and if He cares about them, how much more does He care about me? And then, in my half-Spanish, half-English mind, I changed the words, almost accidentally, to “His eye is on the perro” (dog). Hehehe. Seemed much more appropriate. Then – wouldn’t ya know it, the last song we sang before the sermon was, you guessed it, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” In Spanish, of course. I was a little disappointed that His eye wasn’t on the perro. Maybe next week. My big fight this week has been all the spiders in my house. I’m a horrible arachnaphobic and having all these giant spiders in my house is really starting to freak me out. Brian is my all-powerful spider killer. Without him, I’m left with just a can of bug spray. I actually have two; one upstairs and one down. But, it didn’t matter this morning because the spider burrowed into my suitcase that’s filled with medicine. The last thing I want to do is spray bug killer stuff onto my medicine! One of my friends from the jungle who’s afraid of nothing is going to help me clean it out this afternoon, find it, and make sure it never comes back. Unless I don’t have to and it’s the one that was in my bathroom this afternoon that is now overly dead… Guess we’ll find out. So, in other news. Hard to believe Michael Jackson’s dead. Not that his life really impacted me at all. The one thing that hit me was just how sad his legacy truly is. He may have been a musical genius in his own right, but all the scandals that rocked his life toward the end will always overshadow the past. Not a great way to go out. As soon as I heard he’d died, literally the song that went through my head was, “I wanna leave a legacy, how will they remember me? Will I choose to live unapologetically? Wanna leave a legacy!” I believe it’s by Nicole Nordeman. Regardless, I couldn’t help thinking – what exactly IS Michael’s legacy and how can I prevent my life from ending up the same way? Just something to think about. And in happier news – my big brother, Shawn, and his wife, Britany, will have their first baby on Valentine’s Day next year! Hard to believe. Shawn always swore he wouldn’t be a daddy for another five years. Ah, the irony. He’s going to be a wonderful father; I’m so happy for them. It literally hurts – that’s how happy I am for them! Here’s a picture of the happy couple. Aren’t they gonna have beautiful babies?? Shawn and Britany

July 2009
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