Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Today is Thursday, November 27, 2008, THANKSGIVING DAY. Are you giving thanks today?

We awoke this morning to the clouds below us and blue sky above! Presently the sky is clear and blue, and the temperature is about 60 degrees! It is truly a day in which to give thanks! Look at the pictures. Isn't it beautiful? All the world is a wonder. Created by our GREAT GOD and his WONDERFUL SON!

Today we will have our Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner with new friends from Thousand Trails. Each of the campgrounds have such a dinner. They cook the turkey, dressing, and mashed potatoes and gravy, along with coffee or ice tea, for the low of price of $5.75 each. Then, each of the families brings a vegetable, salad, rolls and desserts. Melva is making a huge pan of sweet potatoes like my mother used to make, with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows. There are two sittings, and we have opted for the early one at 2:00 pm.

When we bought this 5th wheel, it had no television, so we are going to leave here this evening and park at the Wal-Mart to see if we can find a good buy on a flat screen to put in. Where we are located presently we get about 5 channels with our antenna. We purchased a 13" at Goodwill for $15 and it is working okay. It has a built-in VCR, so we are able to view the videos we brought along, only they are so small that it is hard to see from the recliners in the rear of the 5th wheel. We then purchased a VCR/DVD player and have it hooked up to play DVD's, so we have all of the entertainment we need.

Tomorrow we will be checking into Minden Lake, near Nicolaus, CA, in the center of the Sacramento valley, about 17 miles south of Marysville/Yuba City. We will spend 4 days there and then travel on to Morgan Hill, CA which is about 20 miles south of San Jose where we will spend four nights.

The lakes around here are covered with large white geese and Canadian Honkers. There are deer all over this campground, and also wild turkeys, and of course, large gray squirrels.

Well, I will close this for now. We will be leaving in a little while for our community thanksgiving. May continue to bless you and provide for you now and forevermore as you serve and trust in Him.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On the Road Again!

Jim and Melva are on the road again! We left Madras, Oregon about 2:30 pm on Thursday, November 20, 2008. When we were on Highway 97, just outside of Sunriver, it began to snow. It snowed hard until we were past LaPine. From there until we stopped at the Indian casino in Chiloquin, we ran in and out of snow. It snowed hard at times, but it never did drop below freezing, so we kept on traveling in the slush. We spent the night in the RV area provided free by the casino. It dropped down to about 24 degrees during the night, but we were quite okay in our newly acquired Montana.

Last year we traveled in a 36' Alpha 5th wheel, but it was entirely too heavy for our 1995 Dodge (especially as we continued to load it down with purchases), so we sold it about one week before we left, and purchased a 32', 2002 Montana, which is just right for the truck, and plenty large enough for our travels. We are enjoying it. It has two slides and it does not include a washing machine, so it is nearly 5000 pounds lighter.

We reached Redding, CA shortly after noon on Friday, so we stopped for two nights at Bear Mountain RV Resort. It was quiet, because it is about 8 miles off of Interstate 5, in the hills. It is a nice place to spend a day or two. The weather was great. The water was good (and that is not always so in many RV campgrounds), and there was an area where Stitches (our 3 year old Jack Russell) could go for walks, off her leash.

On Sunday we traveled down Highway 99 E to Chico where we stopped to enjoy church at a large Baptist congregation, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. The service was great. They sang hymns we knew, actually had a piano, a choir, and two special numbers before an excellent sermon by the pastor who has been at that church for 21 years.

Traveling on, we checked into Thousand Trails Minden Lake at Nicolaus, California where we didn't even unhook, because we left the next morning to purchase a few items at the WalMart in Marysville, CA before traveling to our present position at Thousand Trails Lake of the Springs two miles north of Oregon House, CA. We will be here for Thanksgiving and will join with the other Thousand Trails families who are here. We will leave Thursday evening so that we can be at the wonderful "after Thanksgiving Day" sales.

By Friday afternoon we will be at Minden Lake again and spend four days there before traveling on south. Our destination is southern California and then on into Baja California to spend at least one month. As opportunity avails (internet being available), I will post our blog and pictures of where we are.

The pictures on this page show our present position, on top of a hill at Lake of the Springs. We wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving and our prayer is that you will not only be thankful for the dinner, but for the blessings of God in your life throughout the past year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tragedy in Chiquimulilla

I just returned home last night from Guatemala. We had a good trip, visiting wonderful friends, seeing dear children whom I love, and successfully completing the closets of the third duples.

On Friday, the 15th of August, we were in Chiquimulilla visiting Anibal and his wonderful school, Evangelico Collegio Shaddai. This is a wonderful school full of beautiful children. At noon we were at our hotel, Los Arcos resting for a while. I decided to return to the school so that I would be there to see Gaby and Luisa, as well as Gaby's sisters. When I got close to the school I found a very large crowd. Two cars had wrecked in front of the school. A scooter was also involved. One of the cars had been sideswiped, and the one who hit it had ended up across the street on the sidewalk right in front of Anibal's (my friend) store and home.

Two pri-school children had been on their way home with the parent of one of them when this accident had occurred. They were all struck. One of the 5 year-old girls was killed, the other injured, and the mother will require several surgeries to restore her legs and other injuries. It was a terrible blow to the school and to my friends. The mother who was injured was the cousin of Gaby, my young friend, so they were at the hospital and I did not get to see here anymore. So, I was greeted by Luisa and gave here the presents I had brought.

On Friday evening, Ruby, the young lady whom I led to Christ when she was 17, came by with her mother and Anibal so that I could have an hour with her. She is doing well. She now is working as a teller at the bank and is making 1800 Quetzales per month, or about $225, a good amount for a young worker.

The next morning we found out that our ride would not be there until 11:00 a.m., as his van had broken down and he was renting one to come and get us.

We then traveled to Antigua, the ancient capitol city of Guatemala where we had a wonderful end to our travels.

Our next adventure of any length will be traveling to Colorado Springs for our granddaughter's wedding. I will post a time or two between now and them.

Our adventure for the winter will come soon. We are planning to spend a month or two in Baja.

More later.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monjas, Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wow, here it is Monday the 11th of August. We have been in Guatemala for one week today. It seems much longer. Today was hot and steamy again. Temperature has not been too bad, but because we have been having rain, thunder and lightning each night, it has been very humid.

Last night was the first night that they have had their evening worship time on the property. I was the preacher for the night! What a wonderful time it was. The worship group was great, and the music went on for over an hour. I preached about 25 minutes, but it had to be translated into Spanish, so it took twice that amount of time. But no one, except the very young, seemed to mind.

Today we were back at building and painting cabinets and shelves in the third duplex. It is very difficult work, not because of the work itself, but because of the lack of good tools and sufficient power. We were trying to cut plywood, and you had to push it very slowly so that it wouldn't stop the table saw. Here in Monjas, you can not get over 60 amps delivered to your home, so we are trying to run all kinds of power equipment on insufficient power.

Yesterday was one of our most fun times. We took all of the girls and their houseparents for ice cream, about 60 of them. The total cost was less than 70 dollars. It was a riot! I will include some pictures from this.

Today Brendan went with the girls to take part in a VBS they were putting on for one of the local churches. He was dressed up in clown makeup and had a great time. On Saturday he and Brittany went with Cindi to a youth meeting in a church a few miles away. They had a great time. Brendan said the music was great, but loud. I said if a US teenager thought the music was loud, it must have been really loud!

We have been eating with the children one meal per day. It is amazing how small amount of food that they receive. But, most of them didn't have three meals a day before they came here, so they are very content with the food.

Well, I will close for now and get this online tomorrow.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Monjas, Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sorry that I have not posted. It is more difficult than I had thought. I have to have access to the Administration building, but we work each evening until about 5:00 and then go right to dinner, so I have trouble sending.

It is Saturday morning. We have nearly completed the closets in one side of the duplex. Hopefully we will finish the other this week. We will be leaving on Thursday about noon, traveling to Chiquimulilla for two nights. We have been having a great time! Food is different, and the other four have had a bit of tourista, but I have not had it.

It has been quite hot and very humid. Last night we had a torrential rainstorm. It lasted for about 20-30 minutes and you could hardly see across the street it was raining so hard. Lightning and thunder to accompany it.

Today we are having lunch at a restaurant where there is a swimming pool for us to sit around. It is supposed to be a very nice place, so it will be fun.

We have made it to the market each day, but Tuesday was the fun day. It is the big market day, and vendors come from all around.

I will try to add so photos now and write more later.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monjas, Guatemala

It is Tuesday, August 5, 2008 and it is warm and humid in Monjas, Guatemala.

We arose this morning about 6:00 am, showered, fixed our “continental breakfast” which consisted of Corn Flakes with bananas, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and coffee.

After breakfast we went to the market. Today is the main market day and Brendan wanted to find a hat so he wouldn’t get so sunburned. There were a lot of people and stalls at the market, but we did not find a hat he wanted, so we will have to check again.

I tried the ATM, but it wouldn’t give me any money, so we had Cyndi Cope, the director for the mission teams, exchange money for us.

We got to the home about 9:00 am. We thought the lumber would not be there, so we had taken our time. However, this am they were early, and the materials were awaiting us to build the storage cabinets in the closets of the new home.

Brendan Giese and Bethany Moore cut pipe to be used in constructing a temporary meeting place for special events at the home, and then they used the router to round off the corners of the materials we would be using for the closets.

After a lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches, broccoli soup and cookies Brendan and Bethany went to the school to do some art work with the kids. Bethany was a state winner in charcoal drawings, so the school students are learning to do charcoal drawings. Ron and Richard returned to the home to work on the closets. I went to the school to take pictures then to write this and get it on the internet.

I am including the pictures below. If you would like to become a part of the support for this wonderful work of the Lord’s you can. Tomorrow I will post an address and how you can become involved.

Sorry I didn't get this posted last night. I got it all set and told it to upload, and the blogspot was down for repair.

Try as I can, I can't seem to get photos to upload this morning. I will try again tomorrow

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sombra de Sus Alas

Here we are in Monjas, Guatemala. We had great flights. Continental was not only on time, but early. They fed us well.

We arrived in the City about 11:30 and by 3:00 pm we were in Monjas.

The past hour we have been having dinner with the girls. We had refried beans with cream, fresh fruit bowl, corn tortillas, and fried bananas.

I got to be in the home with Itzel who is 15 and a special young lady to me, plus Kayla who is 12 and so smart!

It looks as if it is going to rain. But, then this is the rainy season, so a thunder storm and rain in a possibility.

Tomorrow I will post pictures. We begin in the morning building closets for the new home.

It is warm and humid, but especially green, as they have had much rain this year. More tomorrow.