Full, long, wonderful summer days! I LOVE summer! It's always been my favorite time of the year. I so enjoy the break from full time school. What do we do with all this extra time? Oh, so much!! Of course, on the top of my to do list is always cleaning, organizing, and other projects that there never seems to be enough time to tackle during the school year. We are working on our home made Christmas gifts right now, working on sewing the girls some new jumpers for the fall, my fence is lined with all sorts of containers of various shapes and sizes all containing a child's treasured "garden"...radishes, carrots, flowers, melons...all popping up!
Restocking our playdough containers, baking cookies each week, making lots of popsicles, playing lots of games in the evening together...so much fun!
And one of the most wonderful parts of this past month has been being able to go out more and visit and/or help the people here. Spending more time with the families of the children in my class, spending more time with those families we are reaching out to on our bus routes, and the sweet fellowship with those in our church.
Juan and Leticia brought home a beautiful, baby boy last week!
He's got the thickest head of dark hair and the most round, chubby cheeks! I got to see him in the hospital the day after he was born, then I was able to visit him the day he got home, and then I was able to bring them a meal and pass on some baby clothes and other items with which we've been blessed. I'm hoping to go visit again tonight once Daniel gets home from preaching in Jesus Maria. Oh, they named him Abraham Emanuel. :-) Both mom and baby are doing well. Leticia had to have a c-section, so recovery has been a bit slower, but she's doing well and I know the entire family appreciates your prayers so much.
On the home front, our summer schedule looks like this...mornings (when it's not too terribly hot yet) we are working on our cleaning/organizing projects and last week found us doing a bit of painting too. I have a long list of projects every summer, and depending on time/resources, we just choose off the list each week what we want to do.
In the afternoons, while the little ones nap, we work on a bit of school...writing letters, writing in our journals, music practice, lots of reading, working on nailing down math facts and phonics facts well with the younger ones, sewing and other crafts, etc...
Then, in the evenings, when it's cooled down, most everyone is outside playing together, playing with their friends, the older boys hiking the fields with their bb guns and sling shots, or visiting our neighbors and friends.
Next month, we have our annual family camp for our church. I'm planning on having my evening Sunday School class over for a bbq/game time/fellowship time soon. And we have another group coming down in a few weeks.
We had a big work Saturday at the church a couple weeks ago and we had so much fun cleaning, doing yard work, painting the back classroom, organizing the kitchen etc... We got so much done so fast, we are planning on having a work Saturday every month. There is nothing like sitting around drinking a cup of ice cold coke or lemon iced tea together after a few hours of sweating away working :)
I wanted to present an opportunity to give to the children's ministry here.
For a while now, we have held a little "store" at the end of each month after the evening class. For a while, we were using candy as treats and prizes for the children, but it always burdened me a bit. I know I don't like our children to have a lot of sweets as it isn't good for them or their teeth. So I had an idea that I loved when I was a child. Instead of candy, I began giving them tickets (we started with paper "money" we made up and then I recently found some yellow tickets that hold up much better) for attendence, bringing their Bible, bring a friend, answering questions, winning a Sword Drill, memorizing their verses etc... Then at the end of each month, I open the "store" and they can buy things with their tickets...little toys, games, stuffed animals, craft kits, bracelets, school supplies, stickers, coloring books, and then I offer a bit of candy too :). They have sooo much fun saving their tickets each month to buy the treats. The larger items cost more, so they can either spend their tickets on little things or save them for the next month and buy somthing larger then. They just love it! We've been able to pick up some things here and there and then last month, a couple of ladies sent us some boxes of treats in the mail. The children were so excited with all the "new" items on display last week! :)
So I thought that might be a fun, practical way someone could help here. The children love American candy and any little toy or game. New or gently used. I always feel so badly that shipping here is so expensive...I always tell people to send light things! :) But if anyone is interested, feel free to email if you have any questions.
The Lord is so good! Sometimes my heart is just so full of joy that it feels it will simply burst! He's changed me so much! And while I know I still have so far to go, He's ever so patient, so loving, and an ever present help the moment I ask.
He's been convicting me so much about prayer this last month. How little I pray! How much more could He do if I would only ask. I was writing a friend the other day telling her how much I have come to see God's love for me. And how much I love Him more and more for that!
I got the most sweet compliment I have ever gotten from my husband the other day (although, I first I didn't take it that way...ha! :) ). He said, "Jaynee, I just can't believe how much you've changed the past year." I knew exactly what he was talking about, and at first I felt sad because I thought, "Was I really that bad?" How quick I can be to get selfish and proud! But then, I thought how GOOD my Lord is to have changed my heart soooo much! And, you know, the more I remember how much I've been forgiven and how much He loves me, the more I want to tell others of His love and forgiveness for them.
When we first came to the field, I was here because in my head, I knew I needed to be. That was where Daniel had been called and I had no choice. How I wanted to "want" to be here, but how hard it was! Only God can change a heart! And how much I love being here, loving and helping my husband in all I can, bringing up the children God has given us to know and love Him too, and continually asking the Lord to use my life to reach others for Him.
I hope you are all having a wonderful summer as well! He is so faithful and good!