May 15, 2008

Please Pray

I just got off of the phone with a dear friend of mine Claudia. I am so scared for her and her family. I wanted to share this with you guys so that you could be praying for her.
She has been struggling with depression for almost 1 1/2 years now. This week she has become suicidal. She called me to let me know that they were going to be admiting her into the clinic for a while. She wanted to make sure that I checked in with her family and especially her husband.
It was a very sad and wierd conversation. I still feel very "yucky".
The bad thing is that most of the Christians for their church have headed out of town. Her mother just flew to the states this last week so spend the summer with Claudias brothers. Two of the other families that they are very close to have gone to visit their families.
Our AIMers will be landing in two hours. We are going to be pretty busy this week getting things going for them but we are definately going to need to be with this family a lot. Please pray for us to be good with our time and make sure we don't neglect anything because of the over load of things to get done.
Claudia is the lady in the white shirt top left. Please be praying for her and her family. Thanks.

May 13, 2008

We had a very fun weekend. The 5 churches that we work with in Guadalajara and surrounding area got together for the annual retreat. There were around 80 in attendance which I thought was a great number. Mothers Day was Saturday and many families were not able to attend because of that. Mothers Day is a very important day here and everyone wanted to be with their mothers.
The retreat was a lot of fun and it was very encouraging. I am including a few pictures to help you see what the weekend was like.

On Sunday after worship there were two baptisms. It was great. These two women that were baptised have a great story to tell. Their family (extended) has had a ton of problems. Even as recent as 6 months ago they were not in speaking terms and had nothing to do with eachother. Now they are living in the same house and becoming good friends. It is amazing the changes that have been happening in their lives.

Each church was in charge of a meal. The church in zero del cuatro was incharge of Sunday lunch. They made Barbacoa. Sounds a lot like barbeque but that is not what it is. It is a soup made out of vegetables and goat or lamb. The meat and vegetables all cook together. They are served seperately. The meat is removed and served on the side to be eaten with tortillas. The kids really enjoyed it and so did I. Here is a picture of Abigail enjoying the "meat on a bone" as she likes to call it.

This is what was left in the pan after we were done eating. I was informed that they will not waste any of the meat. They were going go clean up the rest of the skull (remove the tongue, and any meat that might be in and around it. They were also going to eat the other organs that are not pictured! It really was tasty.

Last night Josiah lost another tooth. I think he looks adorable and just wanted to share a picture with you.

May 9, 2008

Mothers Day

Mother's Day in Mexico always falls on the 10th of May. Many of the schools hold a program in honor of the mothers where the kids will perform songs, dance, recite poems etc. Many times the kids will be in costume. Our school chooses to combine the celebration with Fathers Day. This year the program will be on June 2nd. Yesterday we received a note that asked for the Mothers to come to school an hour early because something special was planned. The kids had prepared a song to sing to us. Josiah's class had also learned a poem in Spanish and one in English to say to all the Mothers. The English one was

"roses are red
the sky is blue
sugar is sweet
and so are you"

After their songs and poems we went to the classrooms and got our gifts from the kids.

The gifts are cute although not really my style and the sad thing is that the kids had nothing to do with the gifts. The school bought them already made. They did come with some really cute cards that the kids made which I will treasure forever.

They also hired a Mariachi band to play for us. This is/was a very common thing to do to show someone you care about them. It was much more common years ago and has slowly become less of a tradition. Mariachi bands can be hired to seranade for Birthdays, Anniversaries, and other special occasions. My neighbors talk about how they use to get seranaded when they were in High School but it doesn't happen much anymore. Also, a small cultural fact - Mariachi music originated in Guadalajara. Every fall Guadalajara is host to the Mariachi festival where bands come from all over the world to perform.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 5, 2008

5 de Mayo

As most of you know today is 5 de Mayo. The interesting thing is that there are a few misconceptions about this holiday. Many Americans think that today is Mexican Independence Day. Wrong, Sept 16th is Independence Day. 5 de Mayo is the celebration of when the Mexican Army kept the French army from invading. They won the battle against the French in the state of Puebla. Puebla is the only area in Mexico that really celebrates 5 de Mayo as a holiday.

On April 30th we celebrated Kids Day. You know Mothers Day, Fathers Day - why not a Kids Day? I think its kinda funny because here every day is kids day. Mexicans are very good at catering to kids needs and wants. Many times a native has given my child a candy to make sure they won't throw a fit. One time Abigail was upset about not having a certain candy and we were so emberassed we took her in the house to discipline her. Within one minute the doorbell rang and our neighbor had gone to his house to get her the candy she wanted!! Anyway April 30th is they day they choose to celebrate children. They were allowed to dress up for school. I had put curlers in Abigails hair because she planned on being Jazele from Enchanted. That morning I told her that she reminded me of Dona Florinda a character on a mexican show name Chavo del Ocho. Recently the characters from this show have been the toys for Happy Meals at McDonalds. She knew exactly who I was talking about and she decided that is who she wanted to dress up like. Luckily it was a pretty easy constume to throw together and I didn't have to fix her hair.

Josiah once again choose to be Spiderman.
Hannah just wore a Cinderella dress. Sometime in the afternoon I was downstairs and she was calling me. I told her to come downstairs and tell me what she needed instead of yelling at me. She kept yelling. When I finally gave in and went upstairs I realized why she hadn't come down. She was stuck in the laundry basket.