Be Full Of Joy...

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Sometimes it's a stub of chalk and a blank chalkboard that reminds you there is joy in the little things. 


"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:13

Happy Birthday!

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Happy 26th Cilicia and Alexis!




(Actual birthday was August 14th...I am a bit delayed these days.)

Pancakes and M&M's...

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The other night at the dinner table, about 2 days before Samuel's birthday, a few of us were sharing something we were particularly thankful for. Samuel piped up and said he was so thankful for Treasure's "tradition" of making him pancakes with M&M's on top, for his birthday.

"I'm thankful she does that for me every year...ON my birthday. It's so fun." He giggled and looked her way.

Tradition? Is doing it twice considered tradition now?

Oh. Ok.

We can do that. How can you not after seeing his adorable little face?

Let's just grab our keys and make a quick run to Dollar General for the M&M's we don't have right now. And let's remember that he'll be up extra early on his birthday making sure he can see you at the stove, (even though he tells you he had: "NO idea you were going to do that!") so set your alarm.

Because, he's the birthday boy. And birthday boys are oh-so special. It's exciting to turn 10. And we remember how excited we were on our 10th birthdays. So excited in fact, that one of us almost fainted in the Mosi parking lot and then threw up the rest of the day. (because we were just way too excited to eat breakfast.) And of course it was just the best birthday ever and we won't ever forget it...

Samuel is one exciting, adventurous, sparkler of a little boy! We love him dearly. We thank Jesus for giving him a tender heart and a huge smile and a conviction even at his young age to live his life the way Jesus would want him to live it.

Happy Birthday Samuel! We know your birthday was on the 4th, but we celebrated it this weekend, and we just want you to know we love you very much.

Happy Birthday!

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Happy Birthday Treasure! 


Love you...

Happy Birthday...

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Happy 24th Olivia!



Wait to See...

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Tonight the boys were around me on the computer while we watched a mama bunny save her baby bunnies from a snake. Then I scrolled and we listened to a man with amazing talent imitate animal sounds. I kept scrolling and came to a picture of a young couple on their wedding day, holding hands around a corner wall so as not to see one another. I was about to keep going as the boys have no great interest in sentimental "stuff" like that, when Peter quickly and a little quietly said: "that's sweet". And then, of course I think he's sweet.

Samuel looks at Peter a little blankly and pipes up: "What? I don't get it. What are they doing that for?"

Jony has his explanation: "Sam, it's a tradition. They can't see each other for like, a WEEK before they get married. It's crazy."

I give him "the look" while trying to keep a straight face.

Jony: "What? Isn't that true? Remember Ronald and An? (our cousins) A whole week before they saw each other at the altar!"

At this point Paul and I can't hold the laughter. So I tell them it's not like that for everyone, it was just that way for Ronald and An because Ronald is from the Dominican and that's his special tradition.

Me: "For most brides and grooms it's only the day of their wedding that they wait to see one another."

"Ohhhh...wow." And then they study the picture a lot more closely. Because an explanation will make you do that sometimes.

Olivia

Because he's 12...

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And I feel like this is so very late...but! Not too late to tell him how very, very much we love him and to still wish him a very, very Happy Birthday! 

Every single one of my nine brothers are uniquely different from one another. Yes, every single one of us also share some of the same Huron characteristics, but each is his own person in such different ways. I absolutely love how God did this, don't you? Somedays, I just sit back in my chair after lunch or dinner and watch the little boys (they are getting to be not so little now. Peter is 12! But, it's stuck to them for now) talk and crack jokes and laugh hilariously at something the other brother said or did. 
Peter is a deep thinker. He never gives a gift in a flippant way, even if it's a spur-of-the-moment favorite soda you like or a candy bar, he always says something so sweet when he gives it. When picking out a Coke in the grocery store, he always searches for just the right "share a coke with" saying. Because that's what makes it extra special.

Peter, you are one-of-a-kind and we are so thankful for that. We love you.



When I Was Four...

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Some of you may remember I posted this a couple years back for Father's Day. I wrote it as a keepsake for Dad:)

Written by Olivia. Sketch by Our Ben.


We were little. I was 4, my sisters, Cilicia and Alexis were 6. We did pretty much everything together. We played together, ate together, got spanked together and shared a queen sized bed together in a room strung all over with yarn chains we had crocheted together.

One night after being put to bed way too early in our 4 and 6 year old minds, we sat huddled together in the middle of our vast bed telling each other stories. We loved making up “gripping” titles for our stories and then building the story as we went along. They weren’t really scary; mainly all about hidden doors and lost keys.

Suddenly, right in the middle of a story, we all agreed we had seen something slip under our bed. The light from the hall coming in our door wasn’t enough for us to see and we were too scared to climb down from our three story bed, walk across our endless floor and turn on the light. When you’re little and scared of the dark, you can never, ever seem to get back to your bed or to a light switch fast enough. We were supposed to be sleeping anyway!

We had a whispered consultation; the two 6 year olds and the one 4 year old. Now, let it be stated that I was juuust a little outnumbered here. Two older sisters that look exactly alike, talk alike, think alike, are the exact same age and oh, yeah, they just happen to be TWINS! This wasn’t looking good for me, and we weren't even passed the planning stages yet. It didn’t take them us long to come to the very wise conclusion that I should be the one to investigate the underside of our bed. It was explained to my young self that I would be lowered down, head first, my legs securely gripped by the twins who could regulate my decent much more evenly together than if one of them was going down there. They wouldn’t drop me. They promised. As soon as I looked and found out what was under there they would pull me up. They promised. To this day I don’t know WHY I said ok, but being very easily influenced at my tender age, I did agree to the plan. You shouldn't be surprised. This wasn't the first time they did this to me.

So down I went head first; my curly mane of gel free hair making shadows on the floor beneath me. Our bed was so high by the way that it was like climbing and descending Mount Everest every night and morning. I’m convinced now, it was a tactic used by Daddy and Mama to keep us in our bed at night. Well, it was working up until this night when we decided to change all rules and regulations.

I remember in my upside down state, reaching the point where the bed skirt ended and I was facing total blackness. There I hung, suspended upside down, my fingertips brushing the floor. The next thing that happened I clearly remember. Something licked me. It was wet and warm. It went from my eyeballs all the way to my nose. This did not feel safe. Nope. I screamed which set off a chain reaction and Cilicia and Alexis screamed too. I remember feeling an instant release of my legs and had a fleeting thought that this was "not.a.good.thing." At all. My head took the brunt of the fall. Alexis and Cilicia say they don’t remember much of lowering me down (I’m sure they don’t) but they do remember trying to pull me back up as I bobbed up and down grabbing at their hands, sheets, blankets; anything to just getmeoffthefloor! In the middle of all the screaming going on, Daddy skootched out from under our bed, laughing in that way that we all recognize as the ultimate of laughs. He calmed us down, talked with us and put us back to bed. I don’t remember that we said anything at all to each other after he left. I can see us there now, lying three in a row. Our frizzy curls mingling together. Hearts still pounding. Nothing but the silence filling our thoughts...


 Olivia

Happy Father's Day...

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Daddy, we love you. 

Not only do we celebrate you as our Dad today (even though that is completely enough in and of itself) but we celebrate you as our provider. We watch you work in all weather and at all hours to put food on our table and meet basic needs. We celebrate you as our protector. You love us enough to make hard choices when it comes to your family, even if it means standing alone. And we celebrate you as our spiritual leader, guiding us to the Word in all aspects of our life, whether they be small or big. You love Jesus and we see Him in you.

Happy Father's Day.

-Your family


Honduras Video...

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Here is the video links for the Change a Life Honduras Mission Report video we shared with our church...

The Vimeo links are a little grainy, but if you would like, you can click on this other link....


Link for high quality video click HERE...


Also, more pictures over on this blog...






The Jesus Language...

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We arrived home last night! When our plane landed in Atlanta, we only had about forty minutes before our next flight took off. We went through customs slowly, and then literally ran through the airport trying to make it onto the plane before they closed the gates! Some of the team made it...and some didn't...and had to wait for the next flight. We arrived in Tampa to a wonderful, happy welcome from family and friends...and then waited for the next flight from Atlanta to arrive with the rest of the team! Thank Jesus we are ALL home, safe and blessed!

Any words that I write here, can never fully depict how this mission impressed my life. There was a distinct moment when I was bending over a bag of food, tying a knot to set aside as finished...and I was so moved with emotion over the thought that this was the moment that we had been working and praying towards for so long! The mosquitoes joined us as we met in the Pastor's front yard and set to work channeling a miracle! Pastor Alfonso hung the weight scale from a rope, and how amazing it was to hear, "ocho libras!"... "ocho libras!" as bags of beans, rice, or corn was passed through the assembly line... 

Everyone agreed at the close of our week, that although the food drive was clearly miraculous, nothing could compare to the joy of God's power, in watching young people walk to the front of the church to receive Jesus into their hearts! I sat there, and listened to five testimonies given by members of our team, and prayed for God to move in the hearts of the hearers...He did! There were tears, and hugs and an exchange of the little spanish, and english we each knew, but it didn't matter if we understood one word...it really didn't! Jesus was the only language we needed.

Thank you all, for lifting this mission up in prayer! They were greatly felt and answered. To those who gave toys, bracelets, clothes, and monetary gifts from Florida and Georgia, please know that what you gave, literally has changed lives. 

Treasure

Here are links to all the past Honduras posts.











Florida bound! I must confess, it was sad to leave!


Goodbyes are always so hard!


As you can imagine, Samuel was a huge favorite! Everyone wanted to keep him:)




Sweet Gabi  

Going through town and sending our Adios out the window. we got stopped and were given some going away pictures.

Once we got on the plane, all we wanted was a cup of ice!


Mrs. Pollock was a beautiful sight, when we got off the plane!

La Lucha

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Dear Readers!

We are now approaching the end of this momentous week in Cuyamel.....the team arrives home tomorrow evening. They will begin their travel in the morning from Honduras, switch planes in Atlanta and then arrive in Tampa AND acquire two hours (for the time difference)!

I call this post "La Lucha". It means "The Battle". This is what comes to mind as I review the days events. Consider these words from Charles Spurgeon:

Our kingdom is not of this world; else would God’s servants fight with sword and spear. Ours is a spiritual kingdom, and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, and mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds
A war against falsehood, a war against sin, is God’s war; it is a war which commends itself to every Christian man, seeing he is quite certain that he has the seal of God’s approval when he goes to wage war against God’s enemies. Beloved, we have no doubt whatever, when we lift up our voices like a trumpet against sin, that our warfare is justified by the eternal laws of justice.
Note the "FEELS LIKE" temperature! Water from little bags never tasted better!

Soccer balls were given to young boys...notice the faded ball Jon-Michael is holding?


Sharing Life-giving Words....

Children are receptive, honest, and hopeful!



"This little girl was named Sweet Miracle. She is eight weeks old and has already had a surgery. She has a condition, Spina Bifida. We were able to pray for her and her mom."

"Snook...preparing the fish for the noon meal..."


"Here's another from last night...All of us went up to pray with some young people...and the five of us about to share our testimony..."

Waging war with PRAYER...
Our prayer was answered when we asked God to move the hearts of young people for Christ.
Gabriel, Ariana, Cilicia, Ben, and Jon-Michael sharing their salvation testimonies as 
Pastor Santiago translates.



"Here is a group picture of some of the young people last night..."

Thank you for entering "la lucha" with us through prayer. God bless each and every one of you!
May the Lord grant mercy in travel tomorrow....
Ana

Happy Mothers Day!

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Happy Mothers Day, Mom! 
We love the way you love Jesus...We love the way you love Daddy...We love the way you love all of your children...We love how you believe in each one of us...We love the way you faithfully pray for us...We love the way you love your little grandson...and the way you show his picture to complete strangers, because you're so proud of him!...We love the way your eyes sparkle when you laugh...We love seeing you find joy in knitting...We love the way you kiss us on the cheek...We love the way you love turtles...We love belonging to you...there is no other person we'd rather call mother than you! We love you...

What If I Give All?

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Dear Readers! 

Today was, what the girls called, "Siesta Fiesta". Now for me, that would be a Nap Fest, but the team took their Siesta Fiesta to a whole new level.....

It involved a visit to the ocean, fresh coconut, and an iced Espresso. After such hard work, it was a day to enjoy some down time before the witnessing time would begin again....


"Enjoying our Siesta Fiesta! We're at Espresso Americano enjoying a cold coffee..."
Here's a rare Treasure sighting as she's usually behind the video camera. And Samuel enjoying life as usual!




"All the children love Treasure...she's behind the camera most of the time!"

"At the ocean! Looks like we're going to be swept away! Its so breezy and cool here at the water...gorgeous weather."

What happened next is definitely best told in Anita's words. Please have a tissue handy.
You WILL need it!


"Right now we are at Marco Rubi's house for dinner. It is nice and cool on their porch. All the night sounds are in full swing...the beeping, barking of dogs, and voices drifting in from the main road. We had a nice time eating lunch at the beach today and shopping in "town" and getting strong coffee from Espresso Americano. Since we were more in town today, I decided to wear my sandals and just put my covered shoes in my backpack, because I knew we also wanted to fit in more visiting. We visited Julio and Christina, and wow...what a visit. You know we had two pictures we developed to give Christina, so I was excited to give them."


She came out and met us in the doorway, and Julio crawled from the back to see Dad. I quickly followed Dad and got a few pictures of him picking Julio up and carrying him to his "troquito". He started to put his shirt on that was full of holes...thats when Gabriel and Ben disappeared around the van. Ben came back wearing Gabriel's button up shirt, and Gabriel wearing his undershirt, so that Julio could have Ben's polo. The whole scene was priceless when Julio put his new shirt on... Julio also wanted to receive Christ, so he is now our brother! 


"I remembered that I had my cheerful red shoes in my bag that looked like they would fit Christina's small deformed feet. Daddy helped me put them on her feet...they were PERFECT. It was very, very touching."




"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as is is meet,
because that your faith groweth exceedingly,
and the charity of every one of you all
toward each other ABOUNDETH."

I Thessalonians 1:3

Blessings to you all.  May you weep tears of joy and enjoy His presence today......
Ana
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