The Weather in Our Neck of the Woods

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Somedays are diamonds...

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Josh!!!!!! happy birthday to you!30 years old, but you're still my baby!!!!

Well, our attendance was down a little today. There are a couple of bugs going around, and many in our number were down with it, including Lynn and Ben. Lynn is in the recovery mode now, so was able to help with the preparations and meeting. Ben was in bed for his second day. In David the bug is more of a sinus and lung problem, while here it is definitely a stomach issue.

Unfortunately for our David family, three of the men who usually come to preach for us were without voice today, so we, for the first time since our return, did not have a preacher. Sounds more like Riverside all the time, huh? When the 24 who attended today heard that there would not be a guest preacher, they actually said “Great! We can do this!” So everyone pitched in. Yaritza taught the children’s class and I administered an exam on the book of Acts to the adult and youth class. They have just concluded a 13 week study on the book, and did quite well on the exam. It just happened that today was the day for the children to recite their monthly memory verses. That was our Bible reading for the day. They did wonderful. I was concerned for one little girl, Ashley, who is 6 years old. She has been out of town for two weeks (mid-year vacation time here) and so did not know two of the four verses. She jumped up when I called her name, came to the front and recited 6 memory verses; 2 from this month and 4 from last month. She still knew them all! That set the pace for the others, and two older students actually remembered 7 of the past 8 weekly memory verses. We were all impressed. After this, Xavier and Jairo served the Lord ’s Supper, several led songs, including Alvin, who is 5 years old, and Lynn who is really old, but he actually led the song in Spanish! The verses and singing lasted a full hour, so that was our meeting for today. We had hotdogs, baked beans and coleslaw for lunch, along with Lynn’s ( really Lisa Hammett’s) no-bake cookies for dessert.

Although the crowd was small, it was really good for us to do things all on our own for this first time. Everyone just pitched in – it really was like a Riverside thing from way back when , remember?

When the house was clean and in order again, Yaritza went to her (Holly’s) room and took a nap. She too is sick, but was here through out helping and cleaning. Lynn and I just sat and rested a bit, then when Yari woke up we took a drive to try to deliver a puppy to a G’nobe Bugle boy who lives out past our place a ways. We weren’t sure exactly where we were going but thought we would give it a shot, and get out of the house for a bit. In route we picked up an elderly fellow who was blind in one eye. He was going further than us, but we told him we could give him a ride part of the way. He was happy. He sat in the back of the truck with his bags. It was a bit comical to watch in the mirror as he tried to keep his dozen eggs from breaking as we traversed the very rugged road. You must understand that egg cartons are not too common here. Normally the eggs are carried as this man did – in a small clear plastic bag. He held them out in front of him like it was a snake about to bite. Just a little further down the road we came upon another guy walking the same direction. He was younger, with really baggy britches (a comment on the style not the size) and lots of metal hanging from his backpack and neck. My first thought was that he was a hoodlum (Panamanian version), but when we offered him a ride he smiled gratefully, hopped in back, and began conversing with the old man quite amiably. We past where we thought we should stop to find the boy’s house so the old man would not have to walk quite so far, then passed, you guessed it, another guy walking with his backpack and baggy britches. As we stopped we did not even finish the invitation before he was jumping in the back where all three were chatting and enjoying the ride. We finally made it to the crossroads where they would part ways, and so we turned around and headed back.

When we reached the path to what we thought was the boy’s house, we stopped to see if we could see the house. We did – and it was a long ways down that mountain to the tiny house below. Lynn felt sure that we should not try to walk down the muddy steep path, but, if you know me, you know I just had to try. Young strong Yari was, of course, up for the challenge and headed out. We got about half-way down the mountain when Carlos, the boy, spotted us and knew who we were. He sprang like a gazelle up the path to meet us, and when he saw the puppy in my arms his smile, I swear went further around than just his ears. That beautiful smile made it worth the trip if nothing else had. Even Lynn agreed. We went on to the house and met his dad and little sister. I wanted to be sure that his Dad was okay with the puppy, and he was.

It took a little longer to go back up the hill than it did to come down, but we all made it. We thought that surely all our effort deserved a treat so we went in to town for an ice cream cone (prices are up – we had to pay 30 cents a piece for them!) Then we came back to sit on the porch and watch the sun set. Yari went off with a friend for more excitement. A few neighbors came by and visited a bit, and our Sunday is just about over. God is definitely good!

This week brings new challenges. We will speak with an attorney about getting Yari’s visa. We will go to Panama City to see Ben off for his semester in London. We will deliver the last two puppies to Chorrera Province to Ingrid, one of our dear friends and first translators here in Panama. Then we will begin to try to get by without all of Ben’s wonderful help here. He has been invaluable. He can do anything he wants here. He just seems to absorb the language, and everyone here loves him. He also has worked with Lynn outside a lot, getting done all kinds of work on the farm. More than all that, I will miss him. It has been a great summer with him here. Goodbyes seem to come to often for us, and I am not too good at them.

Enough mush. I trust that God (with help from Andrea) will take care of Ben until I can see him again.

We pray that you have a blessed week, and trust that you know what to do to encourage God’s blessings – show someone His love!

Joy & Lynn

No comments: