Saturday, August 27, 2011


This past week I spent a couple of days visiting some AMG projects in an area a few hours drive east of Guatemala City.  This area has been very active lately with small earthquakes and tremors occurring every 10-15 minutes.  Most of the tremors felt just like a large heavy truck driving by.   In Guatemala City we have also had a number of small quakes this past week.  Some scientists say that this might mean that a big quake is coming, while others say that the pressure between the plates is being released slowly which avoids a large quake.  In the end only God really knows.  What is certain is that Guatemala sits on a good number of fault lines which makes it very active.   
Apart from the constant rumblings we had a good trip visiting four AMG projects and doing two scorecards in each of them.  Through these scorecards we are able to determine what the weaknesses and strengths are of each project.  By knowing the weaknesses we can draw conclusions as to how to better each project and the services we provide. 

Los Esclavos (the slaves) hydroelectric damn

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day of School

Miss Amy
Today was the first day of school for Nico and Ellen.  Classes started a week earlier than last year, but that is because they will be out for 3 weeks at Christmas.  They spent the last week or so doing homework that their teacher Miss Amy had given them to do over the summer holidays.  Most of the homework was math which was good for Nico since he is good at it.  For Ellen this was much more difficult since she had forgotten a lot over the summer.  
The first day was just half a day.  Nico and Ellen have the same teacher from last year so they will not have to adjust to an new teacher.  Their class has grown somewhat from 14 students to 17.  About a third of the students are MK's (missionary kids), another third are Koreans, and the final third are Guatemalans.  It is nice to have the different cultures in the class.
Sadie talking with Ellen and Lia
We would like to tell you about one of the students.  Sadie was in Nico and Ellen's class last year but was pulled out in January to return to the States with her adopted mom who had a brain tumor (Sadie is an orphan from the Ukraine).  Her mom had supposedly been told by the doctors here that the tumor was gone, but when she went back to the States the doctors said that it was still there and the prognosis was not good.  We have been praying for them for almost a year asking God to heal her.  Sadly to say we just found out that she has died.  Sadie moved back from the States and is now living in Guatemala with her grandmother who is Guatemalan and loves her dearly.   Please pray for this girl!  When she came to school today she looked sad, but when she saw Ellen her face lit up.  Ellen was one of the few friends she had last year.
The class schedule for this year is a little different from last year.  Last year classes ran from 8:00-3:00 every Monday through Friday, but this year classes run from 8:00-3:15 every day except for Wednesday when they will be out at 2:25.  
We ask for your prayers for Nico and Ellen as they go to school and also pray for the school and the teachers and students.  Last year a Korean girl in grade 7 was kidnapped not far from school and held for ransom.  There were other Korean kids in the car with her as it was boxed in by armed men, but they were not taken.  One of the boys was in Nico and Ellen's class last year.  Many Koreans are businessmen and own the clothing and textile factories and therefore are targeted.

Elementary Building

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jesse is 4!

Jesse turned 4 on Monday.  We are so grateful to God that he is ours.  He has such a friendly and lovable character, although he does have a stubborn streak in him especially when he is tired.  We really enjoy having him around.  Although he does not appear to be shy, he is when he becomes the focus of attention like on a birthday, so in order to not make him uncomfortable we had a small birthday party for him.  His best friend Eve (girlfriend he claims), her little brother and her mom came over for cake and lunch.  Please pray for Jesse as he grows up that he will love the Lord with all his heart.  A big thank you for the birthday cards that came in from the ladies fellowship groups.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Music for the Soul

While in Canada (especially on our trip to Edmonton) we spent a lot of time listening to Christian music.  We rediscovered a couple of songs we had heard but a few times years ago.  We had bought a CD with a song we were looking for and found another song on the same CD that we had also been looking for not knowing that they were both sung by the same person.  One of the songs is called All at War which speaks of the struggle inside each of us as Christians.  It is a list of confession of how we fall short of the Glory of God.  The other is called How Many Kings. Lia and I enjoy music with lyrics that are thought provoking and theological.  It is interesting as well to see how our children begin asking questions about the songs we listen to and how much they enjoy the music as well.   

All at War

by Downhere

I’m learning to stand the more that I fall down,
It’s the law of inversion, and it’s all turned around,
And I’m staggered by the clash inside my soul,
So purposed for good but inclined for evil

It’s justice and mercy the old dichotomies,
All along the frontlines of my heart in both doubt and belief
The sinner and saint, the old arch enemies,
All at war, in me

I was born depraved, but created for the divine,
With death in my bones, in my heart eternal life,
I’d love for Eden, but I’d kill for Rome,
I’m native in a land that is not my home

You are the beginning, and you are the end,
Into your great reversal, I am born again,
A beautiful redemption, you leverage even sin
In me your final victory, I know you’ll win

Into light, from the shadows,
Into life, from the grave,
Into love, Into love

How Many Kings :
Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we've projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl -
Just a child -
Is this who we've waited for? 'cause...

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
Is this who we've waited for?

All for me...
All for you...

Trip to Canada

It has been several months since we last updated our blog.  We apologize for that.  We went to Canada for 7 weeks for a time of rest and doing some presentations.  However, the weeks leading up to furlough are always very busy since we want to leave with everything arranged for several months.  One of the things we wanted to have arranged was a pastor for the churches in Cubulco.  This required several meetings with him and the churches which meant frequent trips to Cubulco.  This also required moving the translation office to another house on the compound so that the pastor could move into the smaller house on the compound.  Even though it was a lot of work we are excited to say that the pastor and his wife moved to Cubulco a week before we left for Canada which was June 20.  The installation will be on August 20 and we hope to inform you of that in a week or so.
Our trip to Canada was good.  We spent the first 10 days in our house since the renters we had left the middle of June.  There was a lot of work to do getting the house clean and doing some minor repairs, yard cleanup, and moving our stuff out.  We had left the house more or less fully furnished for the previous renters whom were people we knew.  We had hoped to spend most of our furlough in our house, but the Lord provided new renters (who appear to be good ones) for the 1st of July.  At the end of June we moved in with Lia's mom and spent the rest of our furlough with her.
We had hoped to have done some presentations in different churches, but ended up only doing one in Chilliwack.  Summer time is usually not the best time for presentations so most of the churches we contacted declined because of other plans or many people being on holidays.  However, the presentation in Chilliwack was well attended.  Around 75 people showed up (some from Abbotsford and Langley).  We enjoyed the evening, although we do regret not having spoken more about what God is doing.  We mentioned a few examples, but afterwards felt we should have mentioned more examples.   It is something we need to keep in mind for future presentations.
We had planned to go to Alaska during our furlough, but this did not pan out.  We ran out of time and could in the end only squeeze in a trip to Edmonton to see Lia's brother and family and to do most of our shopping since you avoid paying the 7% PST.  We enjoyed the beautiful drive from BC to Alberta through Jasper.  We saw elk, moose, mountain goats, deer, a fox and other wild life and of course the beautiful lakes, streams, and the Rocky Mountains. 
Mt. Robson the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies