Today is work day number 2 for our last team here at Agua Viva. Jessie and I are certainly very excited about returning home and seeing our family and friends but it is also going to be very difficult to leave here. We are so thankful for the way God brought us on this journey. I think it has been a perfect way for Jessie and I to start married life together. I can see the way God has used our time here to grow and mold us and I know that he will bless all of you who supported us in any way.
This afternoon we're visiting some Mayan ruins that are near by... I'm really excited to do that because we passed on that opportunity during our honeymoon and it's one thing we've regretted... hopefully this will make up for it.
Also, the Lord has continued to teach me patience and the need to trust in Him (this is a difficult lesson for me!) as I search for a job in the Muncie area for the upcoming school year. (Side note: Job searching from 3000 miles away and solely via internet is a very difficult task) Jessie and I have continued to pray that the Lord would provide something in order for me to pay the rent and allow us at least 1 meal a day :) I just received an e-mail back today about a position within the athletic department at Taylor University (about 25 minutes from Muncie) and they seem very interested in my qualifications and want to discuss the position with me further. Please pray that I make the most of my opportunity to interview for the position. Also pray that whatever God has planned regarding the position and my job situation as a whole that I will get out of the way and let Him do his thing.
We love everyone back home and look forward to seeing you in a week or so.
The VBS week was very successful. We ended up having about 130 students each day and I think some of the kids from the colonial heard the story of Daniel for the first time. It was a jam packed week and we were going none stop but I know the Lord used the hard work by the team for His glory.
I got to do something really cool with the team on Thursday when we headed to Antigua. We went to a coffee farm call Finca de Filadelphia just outside of Antigua. Jessie and a few from the group took a tour of the coffee plantation while the rest of us did a 7 part zip line course. The longest line was about 700 feet long and in the middle we were about 150 feet high. It was so much fun and I got a few cool pictures while flying through the trees. Next weekend, after the current team leaves, Jessie, Jennifer, Justine (the english teacher) and I are going back and doing another zip line through canyon. (Jessie is a bit nervous but I'm proud of her because she's going to do it anyway)
The team that came in yesterday is smaller with only 15 people. They're from Pennsylvania but there are a few Colts fans in the group and one couple visited Corydon a couple of weeks ago for a family reunion. You know you miss home when you get excited because someone here was near home not too long ago!
We have a special prayer request this week... there are two new children arriving in the home this week. Both are under the age of 7 and will be living in the "baby house" as we call it which is for children ages 2-6. Please pray that the children will adjust quickly and easily to this environment. Also, pray that the house mom's in the baby house will have the energy needed to love 2 more children. (It will push the total to 9)
Jessie and I will head home a week from Monday and we're very excited to see everyone when we get back. Thank you so much for all of your prayers.
One last thing, I know that many of you sponsor children around the world through organizations like Compassion and the like. If the Lord has been tugging on your heart to do something like this then Agua Viva is a great way to serve the Lord in that way. You can sponsor a child from Agua Viva for $30 a month. Each child here needs 11 sponsors but right now most are getting by with only 8 or 9. You can show the love of God to a child here at Agua Viva for only $30! And someday... you can come back with Jessie and me and meet the child you are sponsoring and even bring them a gift!
We just finished up with day one of VBS! (Although the kids here are actually in school right now so it's not actually vacation) The team this week has put a lot of time and thought into putting a 3 hour program together for today, tomorrow, and wednesday about the story of Daniel. The children from Agua Viva must attend of course but today there were around 40 children from the small town near the home that also attended. I think the Lord is going to use this to reach some children that haven't heard about Jesus. Please pray that some children come to know the Lord this week through VBS.
It's a little funny how things work at Agua Viva in terms of teams. A team leaves on Friday morning (this usually consists of tears from the team and from some of the kids) and a new team, always full of energy arrives later the same day. We went from a team of 9 to a team of 26 yesterday so this week is going to be different and I'm sure Jessie and I will be very busy with making sure everyone is doing ok. With only 2 teams left this summer the projects are starting to wrap up... it cool to see finished products and we can certainly take some pride in knowing that we helped to build or paint things to make the home a better place.
I really wish that I could be in two places at one time this next week when the Hillview group goes to CIY. I love CIY and the Lord used last year's conference to start the process for this trip. I can't wait to see how he uses this year's conference to challenge all 16 people going on the trip.
I keep hearing about how hot it is back home... just thought we should let you know that it's 75 and sunny with a light breeze here.... everyday... :) Ok... sorry but I had to rub it in a little.
Sorry it's been so long with no post. It's been a very busy and tiring week. Jessie had a battle with (we think) strep throat. She took the antibiotic we brought with us and is feeling back to normal again. The team we had this week was from Mobile, Alabama and they were a joy. They worked very hard and were so much fun. On Wednesday night the entire home just sat around the campfire and sang worship songs and shared testimonies. It was my favorite night so far. There is something very special about hearing worship songs go up in different languages and thinking about how much joy that sound must bring the Lord. Thanks for the continued prayers. We're sorry we didn't post it a while... I knew it was bad when Granny was posting about it on my facebook wall!! :) We can't wait to see everyone. We come home 2 weeks from this coming Monday. Much love from us to you!
Wednesday is a "tourism" day for the teams that come to Agua Viva. The team this week was planning on visiting Lake Panchel (something Jessie and I were very excited about) but because we have had a good bit of rain this week the trip to the lake had to be canceled and the team instead came to Antigua. After eating lunch I decided I would go find a barber to trim my beard. I wasn't sure how well I could explain what I wanted but when it was all said and done my beard is trimmed exactly the way I hoped it would be. I finally look like a human being again!
I have also made a new friend in a young man named Logan. He is 25 and grew up at Agua Viva. When he was 18 he received a study visa for the U.S. and also got a soccer scholarship to Seton Hill (not Hall) College just outside of Pittsburgh. He double majored in Spanish and International business and graduated about a year ago. He has decided to return to Agua Viva for the foreseeable future to, as he puts it, "try to give a little back to a place that gave me so much." He got to Agua Viva last night and all of the boys look up to him so much. As he told me about himself today I couldn't help but think about how generous he was being with himself. His visa in the states is good for 2 more years and it can easily be renewed. He could have stayed in the U.S. (something he said was tempting) and lived a much easier life. But instead Logan has answered God's call and returned to Agua Viva. Even with a college degree he said he will help in any way possible... building roads... mowing grass... working in the garden. He's perspective shows much wisdom as he said, "I'm giving all of myself to God and for right now that means giving all of myself to Agua Viva." I hope I can say the same thing each time the Lord calls on me.
On that note, I listened to the Southland Christian Church podcast yesterday. It was a sermon by Jon Weece (in my opinion simply one of the best) called, "Refresh others and you will be refreshed." It was a fantastic message and I would recommend you give it a listen if you have time. You can find it here.
I will also include a couple of pictures of things I've written about in past posts.