Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Alva's Baptism

 It was a great day for the Kingdom of God!  
Alva made a confession of faith, telling how she was abandoned as a child when her parents did drugs and were in and out of jail.  She explained how she became rebellious and angry and turned to prostituting herself to earn money and "write her own rules".

She explained how God has been tugging at her heart for at least 7 years but she pushed him away.  In fact she pushed her mom, her dad,  me and many of her friends away.  She was afraid to surrender her heart to anyone.

 Alva explained that her mother, father and brothers all gave their hearts to the Lord in the past year or two...at all different times and attend different churches.  In January her twin brothers prayed for her.  They laid hands on her and they talked to her about the joy she would feel if she surrendered to the love of God.  I continued to see her at least twice a week and people from the US also prayed for her.

Her heavy sin weighed on her and public confession sounded so difficult to her.   But finally she said she was tired of fighting God.  She said she wants to follow Jesus.  She confessed her sins and was absolved in front of all of Deaf church and her family.  I shed a tear thinking, "God, what a miracle you have done in her life."

A hug from her mother.,

 Smiles of the peace that passes understanding.

God is faithful!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaching the Teacher

 Manuel preached on Sunday from Acts 12. This week he picked the scripture he wanted to teach.  He has a Deaf Missions Bible DVD and was watching the book of Acts last week and became interested in the story of Peter.  Peter was thrown in jail by Herod who had just killed James (brother of John) by chopping off his head. Peter was next.  But within hours of Peter's certain execution, the angel of the Lord came to Peter in jail, released the shackles, opened the door, and led him out while guards stood by unable to see anything that was happening.

It's a great story of God's power to do anything, even the impossible.  It's also a great story about God's faithfulness. While Peter was in jail, all of the believers in Jerusalem were praying for God to release him.  They prayed and fasted and were still praying in the middle of the night when Peter (now a freed man) came to the house where the Christians had gathered.

Manuel and I spent much of Saturday studying the chapter and listening to what God was teaching us. He practiced signing the story and pausing to ask questions to keep the Deaf congregation involved.

Manuel says it is the Spirit of God that helps him do the impossible: read the Bible since he did not learn to read in school.  God clearly has his hand on this young man, seeking his allegiance, encouraging him, and molding him into God's holy character.  Thank you for praying for Manuel.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Goodbye Colleen

This week we said goodbye to Colleen (in the middle, blue shirt).  She was a Peace Corps worker who spent the last two years at St. Peter's helping the special education teachers learn how to teach children who have autistic characteristics.  I loved working with her.  She taught me a lot about how to keep extremely distractible children on task. Most of all, I liked talking with her and sharing ideas and just bouncing questions off of her. I will miss her and wish her God's peace in the next chapter he has planned for her life.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Roses for Mother's Day

At our first team leadership meeting in April we were talking about how we would celebrate Mother's Day at Jesus' Deaf Church.  Angelica volunteered to make flowers to give to the mothers in congregation. Her sister, her mother and I helped to make these roses.  They turned out so nicely!  Angelica is really gifted with making crafts.  She likes to make things and learns new crafts quickly.

We followed a YouTube video.   It was wonderful because Angelica could learn just by watching.  Also when we got to a hard part,  we could rewind to the part we did not understand watch it over and over. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday at Nancy's Internet Cafe and Restaurant

On Saturdays when I was teaching, I used to lock my gate and close my door so I had some private time to Bible study, work on my sermon for Sunday and start my lesson plans for school. I was so overwhelmed with my list of things to do that I had to create that space of privacy to get it done.  Now that I am not so overwhelmed and not turning in elaborate lesson plans, I open my gate about 8 and welcome whoever comes to visit.  Kristel usually comes with her computer to use my wireless service and check out her Facebook page.  Manuel came to work on his plan for leading Boyz Night Bible study, talked with me about some issues we are concerned about, prayed, stayed for lunch, and used the internet.  In the meantime I still was able to prepare our worship for tomorrow.  This works well.  Sometimes Alva drops in and Alejandro often comes early in the morning to see if I have any work for him.  Ahhhh life is good.

God's Been Busy

 What do nine Deaf women ages 13 to 58 have in common?  

A keen desire to be together and learn God's Word. 

Angelica shared that on Friday morning she was alone at her mother's house that is usually jumping with 15 people.  She decided to try to read the Picture Bible I gave her, but she got stuck on the words.  Remembering that we had just talked about "perseverance"...she made a list of the words she did not know and looked them up. She was proud to tell us she understood the story.

Martha attends the Pentecostal Church but comes to our Bible Study.  She brings an eagerness to learn God's Word that is contagious and a "prayer life".  Whenever someone complains about a pain or a problem, Martha says, "Let's pray about it."  Martha also helps clarify what Reinalda gestures because they have been friends for a long time and understand each other.
Isn't that an incredible smile on Alva's face?  That's Jesus shining from her heart.  She has changed and just glows.  She's happy, loves her baby and wants to follow God.  Sometimes she calls me just to say something nice, like Thursday night she sent this text, "Look outside at the stars they are beautiful!  I love you!"   Alva said that?  Wow! God is working miracles.

 This is baby Josue (ah-shu-ay), looking cute while he is sleeping.

 Gabriel smiling for the camera.  He always wants to be in the middle of whatever is happening at my house.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Passion Fruit

 This is a very cool fruit that I never really knew much about or saw growing before.  It's growing as a shade plant on a wooden overhang in front of the vegetarian restaurant.  They use it to make a fruit smoothie that is so refreshing and delicious.

I understand it also comes in a pretty ruby color, too.

A web search led me to find out that:
The passion fruit juice relaxes and relieves stress.
Keeps the body hydrated.
The juice is rich in vitamin A, C, sodium, iron, phosphorus, fiber, B complex and calcium, vitamins and nutrients.

Terrific!  Sounds to me like a great excuse for a smoothie!

The St. Peter's Anglican School Seed and Herb Company

 Our school garden is still very dry while we wait for it to rain consistently.  The rains probably won't come for about a month.  In the meantime we are trying to package and sell a few seeds and herbs.  It hasn't taken off like I had hoped.  We need a "marketing strategy" (smile).  Even so,  it is fun to work with the plants and seeds.  Seeds bring such hope.
So far we are selling zinnia seeds, oregano leaves which are used in a popular soup here called Escabeche, and Epazote leaves which can be crushed and put in beans or people use it as tea to de-worm their families.

We also have rosemary, dried thyme and basil, but not in a large enough quantity to sell to the shops here.

The label says the name of the seed or herb and "from the garden at St. Peter's Anglican School."

Hmmm don't think it is legal to ship these to the US  so we need to get creative about selling it here or drop the idea... no big deal...just a "project" to use them instead of letting them blow away in the wind.