Friday, December 31, 2010

Beautiful Paraguay...

I am loving Paraguay! The weather here is so nice and warm. Today it has been raining so we went out to the hammocks and enjoyed the sound of the rain. Everything is so green and beautiful. I enjoyed the VBS we had last night. It was a joy to see all the children and be a part of the VBS. Andy led the songs and gave the lesson and everything was in Guarani, the local language. Lizet did the crafts. We were in charge of doing the games. It was interesting because we had to have Anna translate the instructions to the games. We saw right away that all of the kids are so good at soccer. There is a saying that I have heard: "Everyone smiles in the same language." Even though I can't communicate with most of the people, they all understand a smile.

It's been great staying with Andy and Lizet and their 2 boys, Lucas and Timmy. They have a beautiful home. Andy has been very helpful while we have been laying brick. Lizet is a wonderful cook! Lucas and Timmy are so energetic and have a lot of fun playing together with their toys. They showed us the huge toads that are common here. We are having a blast! -Kara

Fun in the Jungle

Today is Thursday and i was able to go with Andy to town and gets some groceries. What made this trip interesting was the fact that it was raining and it was not just raining, but the streets here don't have draining like they do in the states and when we got out there was a huge puddle in the middle of the street. It was like stepping into a small pond. So we get our groceries and come back to the house. We did find out that VBS was canceled so we were unable to work and not able to do VBS so it was kind of sad. However, some of the members of the team along with our inducted member Anna, who is a local here and the daughter of the one of the pastors here, used the opportunity to catch up on some sleep. Anyway we get back and i take a shower and get ready to relax and Andy asks if I would like to go with him and change the water filters. I was ok with that and so i thought as i was changing shoes that maybe i should change out of the clothes i was in, because of the fact that they were more for sports than changing filters. After i changed i found out that not only was the filter outside in the rain, but we had to hike up through the jungle about 150 yards to get to this. Well by this time i was extremely glad that i had changed. We get there and there was a beautiful little waterfall. Come to find out this is the same stream that flows down to the village to provide water for them to drink. The filters on this have to be changed every two to three days in order to be effective so needless to say it takes a lot to keep this thing going. So we get back and by this time again i am so happy that i changed out of the sports clothes and into work clothes because i was quite wet by the time i got back. So quite literally i had fun in the jungle.
It has been so much fun being here and learning the culture. I have had a blast and am looking forward to new adventures in the Paraguay.

Letters from Tomas

So, the official introduction to the team:
Mark- Markos (Marrrrk-ose)
John- Juan
Shushan- Suzan
Kara- Kara (Kar-rrrrah)
Josh- No one know how to say it. We forget. So for now, he's Josh.
T.J.- Tomas (Toe-maws)

We are currently at the Bowens' house in Escobar. There is internet here but it's landline and can only be hooked to Andy's computer.
The driveway to this house crosses two creeks (not by bridge), is straight up a mountain, very rough, and requires a four wheel drive truck to get up to. The smells and sounds here are so amazing.
As the work goes, we have an amazing combination of people in this work team. Each person adds their own spice to the team. Markos and Josh are amazing bricklayers. Jaun is willing to give a hand or jump in a situation at the first asking. "I don't know how to do it, but I'm capable of doing it." -Jaun Kara is also very willing to work at the first asking. I dug a hole that was supposed to be chest-deep. Unfortunately, they didn't take into account that I'm much taller than most people here, so the hole I dug was about six feet deep, and four feet by four feet, square.
The most amazing sign of God's beautiful creation in nature happened today and it was awesome. A swarm of honey bees flew into where we are working and buzzed all around us. There were several, several thousand, at least. To go along with that, there are random wild plants here in the yard that close up when touched. They are like miniature Venus Flytraps.
Also, I found out that Kara and I are considered to be abnormally beautiful here because of our skin and hair color. My skin isn't as dark as the natives, but it's not sunburnt. Blonde hair is very desirable here and Kara and I both fall into that category.
Custom here stresses that when you walk in someone's house or some other building, you shake everyone's hand. So me, being friendly, jump out of the truck at the VBS and walk in the building and automatically start shaking all of the children's hands. I looked back and was being laughed at by the rest of the team because they had no intentions of going and shaking each of the 50+ hands, and didn't shake them. The children also looked at me funny, but were accepting.


P.S. Shushan's advice to me- "T.J., please don't make yourself look like a loud, obnoxious American."

Thursday, December 30, 2010


John here,

Everyone finally slept. That is the only way to sum up the last 10 hours. After posting last night, we kind of chilled, cleaned up, and went to bed. The air conditioning was running full blast in the guys room, and it was great. This morning we had to remember that the letter "c" on the faucet means hot, and the "f" means cold.

We are getting ready to head out to the country side to Escobar. I am told that we are going to learn the wonderful art of bricklaying.

So long for now.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A whole new world

So, just a few notes:

Miami does not have free wifi, it also does not serve hot food past 11pm. Poor hungry Joshua and internet deprived TJ. Also, flights in New York delay flights in Florida, who knew and we did not even fly DELTA!

Also, for those who are confused - Miami and Orlando are not the same place. Same state, but different city, not naming any names, but I will give you his initials - TJ.

Chile - no chicken for John. TJ and Mark were told they could not bring meat into the country so they ate a two week supply of beef jerky in two minutes. And did I mention that Josh was hungry...still. Some were unable to sleep on the 8 hour overnight flight - not me, I was fine. Of course I was in a whole different section from the rest of the team, maybe that helped. TJ talked all night long. John, thought he sat beside a very helpful young lady decided not to talk and slept instead. Mark had an empty seat beside him, so TJ joined him. This was TJ's attempt to escape the gentelman that he woke while playing with the light button.

No problems with arrival in Chile, we had a slight delay, 2 hours, added to our planned 3 hour layover, it seemed a long time. Josh was hungry...always. Dunkin Donuts were eaten and games were played. I spoke Spanish - sort of.

Arrival in Paraguay. The flight was fine. Our options for dinner, still don't know even though it was repeated 4 times, the only thing I recognized was empanadas, so that is what we all ate. This was the only flight that we all sat together as a team, and I almost wondered if it was too late to turn Clearly we did not have enough team meetings to prepare for cultural difference.

Is it cold at home? The heat here is wonderful! We were greeted by a lovely wave of warmth and a herd of baggage carriers as we exit the plane.

Larry and Sharon Carr, our missionary hosts, met us at the airport and brought us to the guesthouse and we are resting comfortably with full tummies - even Josh - and enjoying the air conditioning. Life is good!

So far, we have 2 doses of our antimalarial meds down and only 38 more to go. Yeah for John! Yes, 40% of Americans have trouble swallowing pills, who knew?

Tomorrow, our day starts with breakfast at 7:30am (that is 5:30am KY time) and then we are headed out to Andy and Lizet Bowen's home, that is where we will be in ministry until Sunday. Please be in prayer for us and all the ministries here.

On behalf of the Paraguay team,

This is my first time in Paraguay :-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a note from Mark

Most people know that there has been several events that has conspired since the decision to go on this mission. I don't have time to give all the details but I would like to say it this way. Imagine finding that perfect directing in life that is continually feeding you, and the more you give, you always receive double back and to everyone else it looks like mayhem has fallen on you and won't let up. But when God is that violinist and you are the violin only you can know the precision of each stroke. Everyone else just hears the music produced. I am still in the fine tuning process and loving it. I pray that those in Paraguay can only hear the music from me.

Hard Times To Cincinatti- T.J. Anderson

1:07 After the Sprinter van broke down, we finally leave school. Headed for Cincinatti, we stopped at a random McDonald's and Josh Huff left and walked over to the convenience store to get some Dayquil. Somehow, he finds the only mud puddle in the whole parking lot to put his knee in. He fell and got the nastiest grease/mud/water concoction on his knee.

4:25 Arrival in Cincinatti airport after 3 hours of car riding. Walking by the airport store, there's a shirt for sale: The only tipping here is for cows. *Note to self: Never wear a shirt that has an upside down cow on it.

Hello from Cincinnati Airport!

Well, our missions team is getting closer to Paraguay! Right now, we are at Cincinnati's airport, patiently waiting for our flight. We have had a good trip so far (TJ will fill you in on the details). We picked up Mark England on our way to the airport so our team is together and ready for Paraguay. We thank God for providing for us. Our faith has deepened as we have seen God provide for our missions team. I am so excited to get to Paraguay! -Kara

Monday, December 6, 2010

TJ's post

So, we just had a meeting in the which we got our passports back with the Visas stamped in them. I just drank tedidae... Tasted... well, it's not my forte of drink.

Please pray for Mark England's wife, Barbara England (pregnancy problems). If the complications persist, he may not be able to go to Paraguay.

I'm supposed to learn a little Spanish. Those of you that have heard my accent, you know my mouth wasn't made to speak any other language other than "hick." Haha!

-T.J. Anderson