Sunday, January 9, 2011

coming home

So much to say, but I am too tired to post. Tomorrow we depart, so you probably won't here much from us. The airport in Chile and the airport in Miami both charge for internet access and I am pretty cheap, so I probably won't pay for it.

Please be in prayer for us as we travel - we will be in transit for more than 24 hours. We will leave the guesthouse at about 8:45 tomorrow morning and our first flight is a little after 11am. We arrive in Chile around 2 and have an 8 hour lay-over. From there we fly to Miami (from 9:50pm - 4:25am), there we will go through customs and everything then catch our flight to Cincinatti at about 7:30. We should arrive in Cincy around 10 and then claim our luggage and a 3 hour drive. Hopefully, we will be back at school a by 3pm. At which time, I am going to feel like sleeping until Wednesday.

Also, a couple of team members have been struggling with upset tummies, pray for restored health and comfort during travel.

It is crazy, part of me wants to stay.

The last full day here

Today marks two events. The first is the last full day we will spend in Paraguay as a team. The second is my BIRTHDAY. Twenty two today, but I don't really feel any older. Well like I said it is the last full day here and we have had a blast. We have been able to do so mcuh while we have been here and God has really blessed our time here. So much was done that we never would have ever dreamed of, but God is good. We finished the house we thought we were only going to be part way through with. We were able to see a lot of paraguy and see the dam that was built on the border of Bazil and Parauguay. It has been a blast. We are sad that we are leaving, but are at the same time looking forward to getting home. We hope to see you guys soon. Talk to ya'll later.

a picture post, a picture post

Mark putting the finishing touches on one of the walls, this is our part almost finished. They did the foundation, we did the walls, they will put on the roof. How great to have been able to finish our part.

One of the greatest blessings to me was to be able to work with the Paraguayans on the work project. These are the two that I most connected with Yolanda and her grandfather Juan. It was wonderful to work and laugh with them.

the building under the orange tarp that made the bricks look orange.

Not "the" waterfall, but a beautiful waterfall. In the midst of the water there were rocks. Some had plants on them, they were beautiful, green, and full. What a cool picture of the relationship we have with Jesus. If we are firmly planted in the rock, we can be healthy and florish in our spiritual life, no matter the power of the forces moving and pushing around us.

a movie

So we watched a movie the other night about missionaries in the 1750's to the Guarani people. It gave us some background to the Native people of Paraguay and the missions of the early church. It was heartbreaking and challenging, basically, the Jesuits and the slavetraders were competeing for the rights to the same people. The Jesuits were concerned for their souls and the slavetraders simply wanted to profit from selling them. Sadly, politically and in the Catholic Church, the slavetraders won. Days later I am still thinking about the movie.

Thinking about the people in the community that we have been in that are of this history that are Christians. That even though the church pulled out, God was still here. God loves these people and has blessed them.

Though the movie was difficult to watch I think it was very helpful to better understand the people.

On a side note, I had no idea how "marine-like" the Jesuits were. You had to be pretty serious to be a missionary in the 1750's - the few, the humble, the missionaries - I don't know, sounds sort of catchy.


This morning as a team we will be singing "God is so good" in English, Spanish, and Guarani. The other day we when we were still at the Bowen's house we learned this song, Andy was teaching us the words. TJ was learning to play it on the guitar. He was having a little trouble with the transitions and so as we sang the words, Andy started saying the chords. His four year old son, Timmy heard him "singing the chords" and joined in by singing in ABC song in a loud voice. It was so funny we all stopped singing to laugh at which Timmy proudly declared, "I sang my ABC's"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Journal entry

Part of leading this trip is for my internship to graduate from KMBC this year - one of the requirements is a journal. Below is an entry from my journal.

Friday January 7-So much to say. Some things that Andy has said over the last couple of days have really struck me. He mentioned a note about the ministry of strangeness that we have as missionaries and as Christians. Also, I really thought about how Satan tries to use our own testimonies against us-If we are born in a Christian home, we feel that our testimonies are not that exciting; If we are born in non-Christian homes or go through many difficulties and struggles with sin, we feel that our testimonies are inferior or that we are. It was good to remember that we are saved by grace and any testimony is a story of who God is, how wonderful!

One of the men who has been coming to work with us is named Juan. I feel great victory in bonding with him enough to get him to laugh. As a team, We made a commitment to pray for Juan and his salvation, and Andy will tell us when he comes to salvation.

Today was a full work day down at the project. Breakfast at 7:30, Worksite at 8:00 (roughly), Work until noon (approximately, we were over enthusiastic about how much mortar would be used before lunch. Consequently, there was a lot of mortar left when we headed up to the meal that we put in buckets full of water), lunch at noon (closer to 1:00), break until 2:00, work at 2:00, back home at 4:30, supper at 7:00, team time at 8:00. Andy and Lizet shared during the team time and we gave them a card (really just a piece of paper with notes written on it) and some candy.

Mark fell in the hole at the worksite today, which made everyone laugh, including Juan. Some connections were made with the kids-at one point, Yolanda poured cold water down TJ’s back, who then made a sound like a startled chicken. We laughed and found a new meaning for PC-petrified chicken. Yolanda and I really have developed a special friendship, she even gave me a gift bracelet. Three walls were finished by the end of the work project today. Andy mentioned that our presence here and the project we are working on has made an impact on the community-people are talking. How thrilling to be the first work team that the Bowen’s have been able to host here in Escobar. On the way to the work project this morning we were privileged to meet the man that will be living in the house that we are building. We also met his sister Asuncion, who is his current caretaker, but due to failing health cannot continue to do so. So instead her daughter Dominga will be taking care of him down in the valley.

~Shushan (typed by John - oh the power that has gone to my head as team leader)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fun in Paraguay

On Monday, we went to help a lady from the church in Asuncion. We went right to work. She had a concrete wall and a gate in front of her home for security. We sanded the concrete wall to prepare for painting and weeded in front of the wall. After sanding, we painted the wall white and the gate dark red. Mark cleaned out her gutters. While we worked, she came out and picked some lemons from her tree in the front yard. A few minutes later, she came out with a pitcher of lemonade made from the lemons she had just picked. There are so many fruit trees here. It's nice for the people here to just be able to go to their front yard and pick the fruit they want. The lady was very grateful for our work. We were glad we could help her.
The house we are helping build is looking really great. We will probably finish the brick laying tomorrow. There were some kids and teens that helped us this afternoon. We had a lot of fun with the kids. We learned some words in Guarani. We had fun spraying water at each other. One of the kids dumped some cold water down TJ's shirt. We all laughed for quite awhile!