Thursday, September 29, 2011

Meanwhile, Back at the Baby Home...

Last week, when I went to fulfill my shift at the Baby Home, I finally remembered to take my camera along to snap some pictures of these little cuties!

This pail of diaper wipes kept her busy for awhile...

I was amazed to see how big Baby G is growing! Usually, he wears a face mask to help the burn on his cheek heal, but that day, he didn't have the mask on and he looks so much more grown up without it! The poor little guy is the victim of a gas fire explosion that took his mother's life and left him permanently scarred.

Sleeping angels...

Or in her case, awake and content as can be. I love how here little hands are folded!

Remember this little fellow? He's the new kid on the block at the baby home, now passing up two months old and starting to fill out.

We're kinda like buddies.

Diddle, diddle dumpling...

Mr. C getting so big!

C must stand for "cute." His smile will melt any heart!

Rocking my little ducky to sleep.

Sweet dreams baby boy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Salon Day at House 2

It was such a blessing a couple of weeks ago to have some ladies from a local church come and give free haircuts to all our kiddos! They look quite sharp in their new-dos!

Springtime in Cochabamba

Monday, September 26, 2011

Count it all joy...

Sometimes life brings us curveballs.
The unexpected.
The unplanned.
The undesired.

And yet, I am learning, that God still wants us to strive for a home-run, no matter what kind of pitch we are served.

For me, that means continuing to give thanks even when the trials multiply.

Even when, say...I get sick with Hepatitis A.
Even when the nausea is so bad, I can hardly move, and food...well, food is pretty much out of the question.
Even when I am so weak, walking is a challenge and a simple trip downstairs for water requires a 20-minute rest afterward to recover.
Even when energy to do anything just doesn't exist.
Even when loneliness creeps in and I just want my mom.

Yes, even on days like this, God tells me to give thanks.

And really - there is still so much to be grateful for!

281. The sound of rain pitter-pattering outside my window

282. The smell of rain

283. Strength to wring out school clothes even while a fever raged (before I took to my bed)

284. A nifty little device that serves as a fan or heater by turn

285. Ramen noodle soup

286. Birds chirping outside my window

287. The boundless energy of children

288. Extra volunteers to cover my shifts

289. Water to quench my parched mouth

290. Hope in the midst of disease

291. Skype calls home to ease the loneliness

292. The gift of health that I've enjoyed so much and so long and rarely stopped to give thanks for

I have been taking time to recover and rest for the past four days now, but considering that I will be contagious for another week yet, my days in the isolation ward will continue. The Hepatitis itself could take up to two months to heal from. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated; for a swift and thorough recovery, for learning all that God has for me during this time, and for additional help here at Casa de Amor House II considering that I am out of commission for at least a week and we are already short-staffed. Thank you, dear friends!

"Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience; but let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing." James 1:2-4

By God's grace, patience is not finished with me yet! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Post on Motherhood

Today, this gem was discovered on the YLCF; again another post on motherhood to which I could relate in many ways. Just plain, honest thoughts about the ups and downs, the trials and joys, the hopes and dreams connected with one's children. If you're a mom or you work with little ones, I highly encourage reading it!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

God's Word Will Not Return Void

A little over a month ago, as I was pondering further things I could do with the children in my household that would invest in their lives in a lasting way, God brought to mind the idea of teaching them Scripture memory verses. After all, He promises that His Word will not return void. While it's important to contribute to the children's physical and emotional well-being by washing their clothes, preparing their food, teaching them character, and administering discipline, the words of Scripture will endure in their hearts and minds long after they have left this home or I have returned to the States.

With this inspiration from the Lord, I set about designing a program that will provide them structure and motivation as they memorize God's Word.

On my room door, hang cards for each child containing a list of Scripture verses; 10 for the younger ones and 20 for the older ones. The verses follow a topical pattern beginning with the topic of the Word of God, then the character of God, then a few pertaining specifically to children, moving on to verses about the Gospel and salvation, and ending with some pertaining to principles for Christian living.

For each verse memorized, the children earn a glittery gold coin. This represents one Boliviano, the currency here in Bolivia. When they have reached their goal of 10 or 20 gold coins respectively, they will get to go on a shopping trip with me to the local market where they can make a special purchase all on their own for an item valuing 10/20 Bolivianos.

I am amazed and delighted at how excited the children have been with this Scripture memory program! Sundays are learning days, where they come to my room one or two at a time to learn the new verse for the week; Tuesdays and Thursdays are "recitation days" in which they have the opportunity to quote the verse for me and earn a sticker/gold coin. Some of the children are so motivated and eager of mind, they have memorized two or even three verses a week!

What is especially exciting to observe is how the Word of God, now implanted in their hearts, is coming out their mouths at all times. They love to quote their verses as we walk home from school, as we do the dishes, as we do hair in the morning, as they eat lunch, as they go to sleep at night. I often hear the words of these verses throughout the household at any given time of day! By hearing the older ones quote verses constantly, the younger ones are learning their verses faster than they could if it were only me teaching them.

It has been a joy to teach these precious little ones that which is truly Precious and "better than gold or silver!"

I thought you might like to see a few video clips of their recitations...

Quoting Psalm 119:11 - "Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Thee." Those of you who understand Spanish will, I'm sure, get a kick out of how the word "dichos" comes out "bichos." :) Apparently, he's hiding God's bugs in his heart!

Quoting 2 Timothy 3:16 - "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

Quoting Psalm 119:72 - "The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver."

Quoting Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Remembering the Gifts...

September 5, 2011

240. The trip to Perú and how God worked everything out so amazingly so I could go

241. The unforgettable look on Sarah's face when she walked in and saw me sitting on her bed

242. Laughter and long talks with all the Earnhart ladies in the kitchen

243. Sweet fellowship with old friends at Iglesia Bautista Calvario

244. Getting to serve in a church again by teaching Sunday school and playing the piano

245. Joy - deep and rich

246. Laughing at Justin's crazy antics until my stomach hurt

247. Sleeping in late

248. Long talks with Sarah and Abbey in our PJs

249. Music show and tell on the computer

250. Chocolate

251. A warm, crackling fire

252. An uplifting movie portraying a loving, Christian family and breathtaking scenery

253. Sam

254. Delightful conversations with Amanda

255. Making granola products with Sarah

256. Clothes to borrow in frigid temperatures

257. Birthday door decorations

258. Long talks with my friend in Canada

259. Fun girl time

260. Dainty white flowers on pink, painted toenails

261. Connecting with Becky over cake and hot tea

262. Tears and prayers

263. Cooking an Italian lunch with Abbey as Big Band music played in the background

264. Bright blue and green parakeets

265. Holding a sweet 2-year-old on my lap while helping her with her craft during Patch Club

266. Seeing the excitement on Amanda's face for playing Go Fish

267. Craggy mountains covered with snow

268. Volcanos that looked like ice cream floats

269. Fresh, hot empanadas and a cup of tea at the La Paz airport

270. Free WiFi

271. A sweater-clad puppy dog sniffing his way through the airport

272. Excitement to return "home" to Cochabamba - green-brown mountains, sunshine, precious kiddos!

273. ProActiv and its effects :)

274. The incredible story of Jackie Pullinger in her biography Chasing the Dragon and the perspective it gives me on life; my problems are so small in the scope of things

275. The exemplary marriage relationship of George and Mary Muller as read in their biography, Delighted in God

September 16

276. Purple trees all in bloom

277. Nap time

278. Cool breezes

279. Rocking in the evening coolness with two adorable children in my lap

280. Singing on the way to school

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Marriage of George and Mary Müller

Of his marriage to Mary, Müller said:

"Every year our happiness increased more and more. I never saw my beloved wife at any time, when I met her unexpectedly anywhere in Bristol, without being delighted to do so. I never me her even in the Orphan Houses, without my heart being delighted to do so. Day by day, as we met in our dressing room, at the Orphan Houses, to wash our hands before dinner or tea, I was delighted to meet her, and she was equally pleased to see me. Thousands of times I told her - 'My darling, I never saw you at any time, since you became my wife, without my being delighted to see you.'

Further, day after day, if anyhow it could be done, I spent after dinner twenty minutes or half an hour with her in her room at the Orphan-Houses, seated on her couch, which the love of a Christian brother, together with an easy chair, had sent her....I knew it was good for her, that her dear active mind and hands should have rest, and I knew well that this would not be, except her husband was by her side... I spent these precious moments with my darling wife. There we sat, side by side, her hand in mine, as an habitual thing, having a few words of loving intercourse, or being silent, but most happy in the Lord and in each other, whether we spoke or were silent....Our happiness in God, and in each other, was indescribable. We had not some happy days every year, not a month of happiness every year, but we had twelve months of happiness in the year, and thus year after year. Often and often did I say, 'My darling, do you think there is a couple in Bristol, or in the world, happier than we are?'

Müller believed that one of the greatest secrets of their marital bliss was that besides their times of private prayer, and family prayer, he and Mary frequently prayed together.

Excerpt from the biography George Müller - Delighted in God, by Roger Steer

Oh for such a marriage as this!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Day at the Park

Monkey Boy takes to the monkey bars...

...with a smile!

Tennis anyone?

Spring has officially arrived in Cochabamba...

...and it's glorious!

How about those mountains?

This has to be the favorite park apparatus of the children from House 2! I call it the twirling onion.

Getting in trouble is never fun. What a sad little face!

A bit of culture.

So Bolivian.

Not so Bolivian. :)
More like American-turned-Jamaican thanks to good friends in Peru who like to braid hair!

So happy to be enjoying the fresh air!

A cheerful little girl once again.

Monkey Boy takes to the trees!

Making discoveries in the ditch.

"Look, Tía Katrina! It's a really big egg. It's probably from a dinosaur."

Little boys and trucks...such a fun combination.

Who needs swings and slides when you have trees, dirt, and sticks to play with?

Oh wait...never mind. The slide has appeal to this little one who has no fear of heights and loves to climb tall things!

Ready, set...


Little Miss S enjoying the sunshine!

"Look Tía! I can swing by myself now!"

Quick pic with Little D

Monkey Boy tackles another tree!

Meanwhile someone else enjoys the tree he abandoned in search for greater heights.

Monkey-see-monkey-do. Thankfully, this one's just her size. :)

Finding a little hill oh-so-fascinating!

I so well remember my own childhood love of running down hills. Watching their exhilaration with this activity brought back fond memories!

Quick pic with Little B!

We believe in helping each other.

And it's especially cute when the children initiate this helpfulness themselves!

Yes, ten children and one tía had a delightful outing to the park and everyone lived to tell about it!