Sunday, August 28, 2011

Esperanza en ti (Hope in You)

At last the big day we'd been looking forward to, arrived, August 27th! 19 of us crowded into Julio's van, (we would never have passed inspection in the States!) plus 5 in another two cars, and we were off to Queretaro to "Esperanza en ti" orphanage! This orphanage was started about a year ago by two sisters and their husbands, along with their children. They now house 19 children from ages 14 months to about 16. It is not a fancy place, no, it is quite rustic, with one small room for the girls' dorm (with 10 bunk beds for 12 girls), an even smaller room for the six boys, very crowded kitchen, but a large "family" room where they enjoy most of their activities during the day.

When we arrived the children greeted us enthusiastically, telling us their names and thanking us for coming. The director, Dionisio, showed us around the grounds where they have chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, geese, a beautiful vegetable garden, a large "pond" with fish in it and even a donkey! They eat as well as sell the eggs, eat as well as sell the animals, eat fish from the pond, the children all have their jobs, taking turns doing each one. They have quite a good number of fruit trees as well - pears, apples, guayabas, oranges, tangerines, etc. Very nice!

We then had a time of singing, with those kiddos singing VERY enthusiastically! After that we divided into three groups for a Bible lesson - little ones, girls and boys. I listened in on Rosy's talk for the girls and it was EXCELLENT - you go, Rosy! Then it was time for handwork - I'll let the pictures tell that story! After that we had supper, which our group had brought along: sandwiches, fruit salad, juice, milk and soda pop (for the adults!). What a fun way to spend a Saturday evening!

It was a special joy to get to know the folks there. As I talked with Dionisio and his wife, after they realized who I was, they said, "Hey, we knew your husband!" They were saved in the Celaya church when Dan and Beverly Kendal were there, and of course Ken and I traveled there quite often. Dionisio said the first Bible study the did was "Hasta que todos lleguemos", which Ken had a lot to do with! So, that was fun to see how God works over the years and brings us back together again after so long!

The baby in the photo below had only been at the home 3 days. Her name is Estrella (Star) and she wanted nothing to do with anyone, but her "mama" who is holding her! The children appeared to be so happy, and called the "parents" mama and papa. As Dionisio told us, it isn't an orphanage, it's a family, it's HOME to these children who have been so abused in their past life, and they all feel so at home with each other. One lady told us that when a child is adopted or goes back to his or her family, it makes her so sad, she misses them so much!

There is nothing fancy about this home. You might be shocked at how little they live on and how simply they live, but the love of God is so evident in that place, it's just a huge blessing to observe! We all hope to visit again soon, because it wasn't just US ministering to THEM, it was THEM ministering to US!

This morning in church I caught a glimpse of some of the handwork from yesterday! Minerva took three of her children along last night and of course the two girls made beautiful hair ribbons along with the girls at the orphanage!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I, Juan de Pareja

Just finished reading I, Juan de Pareja, a Newbery Medal book, excellent! The New York Times Book Review says this about it: "This brilliant historical novel captures and holds the attention from its rhythmic opening sentence - 'I, Juan de Pareja, was born into slavery'- all the way through to the end. . . A splendid book, vivid unforgetable."

Since I didn't read the back cover or the Afterword until I finished the book, I didn't realize it was about REAL people! It was great as a novel, but even greater considering it's a historical novel!

The Afterword began this way: "Whenever one tells a story about personages who actually lived, it becomes necessary to hand many invented incidents, characters and events upon the thin thread of truth which has come down to us. The threads of the lives of Velázquez and Pareja are weak and broken; very little, for certain, is known about them." And it gets more interesting from there on!

I loved this book! I know you will too!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Books for kids

Sometimes it's just fun to read book for kids! After all, we're all kids at heart! Here are the two most recent that I've read - and thoroughly enjoyed! Both very sweet stories.

Once a week roses!

Roses, hand delivered to our gate every Tuesday! One of the pluses of living here in Mexico! Sometimes, as the ones above, break off or are so crooked they won't look nice in a vase, so we find a pretty dish to put them in! The rest - at least this week - are gracing our dining room table and my bathroom! Hey! It's the coolest room in the house, so the roses stay beautiful longer! And it makes a very nice touch.

They aren't exactly LaSalle Flowers quality, but the cost is right. With the exchange this week, they cost $2.02 a dozen!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy birthday, Dayton! 10 years old!

Yesterday was Dayton's birthday. Today is his party. Five of his special friends are at this moment, playing some special birthday games and will soon smash the Ben Ten piñata to discover what he's filled with! Goodies, I bet!

The pictures speak for themselves!

Any guesses as to what Dayton likes?

What in the world???

A crystal! Dayton and his mom Bethie, created a crystal! And they enjoyed looking at it through a microscope! Makes school fun, doesn't it?