Monday, June 30, 2008

What interns do for fun

..have a milk chugging contest. I guess it's virtually impossible to drink a gallon of milk in one hour. Rodo almost made it. He had a little milk left and knew he couldn't take any more. The other three ended up with their heads in the trash can!!!


Yesterday I came home to these interesting grasshoppers all over in front of my door...they were in groups and they would walk together and was crazy! I asked Vita, a native of Mexico, about them and she said they don't bite and may be a sign of rain coming!!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

my dia de libre (day off)

This is the life!!

A special moment

One of my students, Gus Guckenberger, got baptized this week. Their home church was here so he was baptized by their minister. What a glorious day when a child desires to follow Christ!!!

Summer week 3

This week I spent a lot of time at Imperio de Amor. I love that home. There is a chance I may be working with them more next year as I will do 3/4 time teaching and 1/4 other things. I have gotten to know a lot of the kids and the encargados (caregivers). Lalo is in charge and he and his family run the home. They have around 50 kids and many have extreme needs. I know several stories already and they break my heart. IDA also is affected by our lack of rain. The well is dry and now they are using pool water for everything. When I first went to the home a few months ago, the pool was dark green and stuff was floating in it and I wouldn't have even put a finger in it. Now with the help of money from Back2Back, it is swimmable as you will see in the photos. The kids faces were priceless when they jumped in for the first time.
This home is fairly new and so there is lots of work to do. This week we were repainting all the ceilings and rooms.

One of my special friends, Juani

Sara and I with friends at the end of a long day ( I look like I've been through a wind storm!)

quincianera for Karin Cecilia

We hosted Karin's quincianera at our campus. Karin lives at Montantial de Amor and probably wouldn't have had a party if we hadn't planned it and paid for most of it. This is where some of the donation monies go to. Her father was able to be there but didn't have the money to pay for it. This is a big event in the life of a girl and it was fun to be a part of it. Edgar and Connie, her house parents, couldn't be there because Connie is on bedrest with twins, but Juan and Rosa Porto took care of the ceremony and pictures. Cathy Huffer bought everything and arranged the plans. We bussed the kids from MDA over and played games after the ceremony and dinner. The day is really about encouraging the girl as she is moving into being a woman. We also pour God's blessing on her.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer week 2

Week 2 was fun because a family group from my home church, GCC, was here. There were 21 in the group and I knew a few beforehand and met some great people being with them for the week. I went to the airport to pick some of them up and then we had a hard week doing a lot of labor. The men dug holes almost every day and then we took the kids from Douglas hiking one afternoon. I enjoyed having them here and they blessed me a lot!

We mixed cement and finished the floor of this auditorium at Del Norte

The 'holes'

hiking at Estanzuela

The interns and staff working hard

Friday nights

Groups leave on Friday and come on Saturday so Friday is our day off. All the interns get to go out and do something fun on Friday night so I go with them too!

A typical day as summer staff...

We meet on the front porch at 8 am to review our day and our roles. Each day we are with a group of 20-50 and we have 2 staff and a few interns. We may go to a childrens home to work - paint, dig trenches, do cement work... Or we may work part of the day and play with kids part of the day. Sometimes groups work on our campus with things that need repaired or painted or whatever. And sometimes we take the kids from a Casa Hogar on a field trip to a park or hiking or to our campus for a pool party. So then we arrive back on campus around 6 and are served dinner or we stop at Pollo Loco on the way back. Worship is at 8 and then I usually hang out with the interns playing games or talking. I love having everyone here and there is always something to do. It is hard work, though, and in the heat we've had I am beat by the end of the day. Last week it was 110 degrees one day.

Summer 1st week

Our first week we had 4 groups here and a large group was called the McCollum group who does soccer camps with the kids here. They bring t-shirts, soccer balls, and water bottles for all the kids in all the childrens homes.

Casa Hogar Douglas vs. Montantial de Amor

We had all the Casa Hogar's to our campus for a dinner and worship and a message.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Please pray for rain! Our well is at the bottom. The other day the water was chocolate brown for a few hours...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Staff Retreat

Last weekend we had a staff retreat. Friday the whole staff loaded on 2 buses and traveled to some of the new Childrens' Homes and sites where we minister. We didn't get to as many as we had planned and it was a hot day!!

First we went to the Cadareyta. Here you can see a new water filtration system that a guy donated. Please pray for this community as the girls are being stalked for kidnapping and drugs are being brought in.

Next we went to Villa de Juarez, Mama Connie's home. Please pray for this home as there are gangs in the neighborhood.

Then we went to Meme's Rio. This was before the death of her husband. This building is where she has a soup kitchen every Saturday for the community. Please pray for that ministry.

Then we went to Imperio de Amor. This is one of our new homes. Pray for them as they struggle financially. A man named Lalo and his family run the home with 50+ kids.

Goodbye Katie!

Katie Housh has been coming to Back2Back for years and she has been full time teaching at SMCA since it started 3 years ago. We taught together this past year and now she is moving back to Ohio for good. We will miss you Katie!

We had a few going away parties for Katie!

May field trip

This post is out of order, but our last field trip in May with SMCA was to the ropes course at ERJ, a Casa Hogar. Juan, one of our staff, helped to build a ropes course there and groups go and do team building activities. Our students did some team work low ropes activities and then they tried the high ropes. I was proud of them because they all tried and went further than they thought they could.

Juan giving instructions. It was fun to watch the kids work together and see who stepped up with ideas.

They got everyone on the platform!!!!

This is one of my kindergarteners!!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SMCA Graduation

Thursday night was the Sierra Madre Christian Academy graduation. All the kids wore gowns and it was so precious. They walked in one by one and lit a candle. Then we gave out awards, the parents talked about each child, Miss Katie and I talked, we gave out diplomas, and the parents gave us each a gift. It was so special because we prayed together and parents encouraged their children which is something I didn't see much in the public schools. I am so proud of each one of the kids.

Getting ready to walk out!

Singing for the parents

The 2 new students coming into kindergarten 2008-2009: Sophia Porto, Aidan Guckenberger

Monday, June 2, 2008

Don Lalo

Saturday we got the news that our friend and Meme's husband, Don Lalo, died. He loved riding horses and he was out on his horse and it threw him off and crushed him. Meme has been a part of our community for a long time. She works for Todd and Beth and her husband was our night watchman and her son-in-law works on our campus, too. It was hard to hear. Sunday morning the women prepared 100's of tacos for the funeral meal and we all headed out to the Rio where they lived. The funeral was outside and people were sitting everywhere. It was an emotional day, but we can be thankful that he knew Jesus!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

a little scary...

So after our Matacanes trip a bunch of people got poison ivy. One of the girls had it bad and it was spreading so she talked to a doctor on the phone. They recommended she get a Cortizone shot. We bought it at the grocery store pharmacy (yes, without a prescription) but it didn't have a needle with it. So on the way home we stopped at Green Cross - a 24 hour medical center. It was dark and creepy and I quick snapped a picture. $2.50 later, she had her shot.!!

Karen and Alan's Wedding

Last weekend I flew to Pennsylvania to be a part of my cousin Karen's wedding. She is like a sister to me and I didn't want to miss this special day. I had lots of family time and got to see my parents and my sister, brother-in-law and niece. I also got to visit my grandmother in the Retirement Home. Unfortunately she has a lot of dymensia so that was a difficult visit. I got to meet Alan for the first time, my cousin, Brian's wife, Pinar and their new baby, Brooke, and another cousin's new daughter, Cameron. What a quick, but memorable weekend!

Mia and I