A Very Special Baptism!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010 was one of the highlights of my life. I was privileged to baptized a 93 year old lady, Caridad. She is Sandra's grandmother. For years she ridiculed the church and everyone that was a Christian. Her family had prayed for her for years. She didn't want anything to do with God or Christianity. But back in April of this year after she had fallen and broken her hip, Hannah and I went to visit her. During that visit I began to talk to her about God and salvation. Before I left I gently asked her if she would like to accept Christ as her Savior, without hardly any hesitation, she said "yes". That day she prayed a sinners prayer and since then her life has been different. I began to disciple her, teaching her a lesson a week. She learned and understood a lot. She finished her classes several months ago but she wanted to wait to be baptized until all her family were here. They were all coming for Christmas. So this past Sunday as her family stood watching, she was baptized. Talk about an awesome baptism. God's presence was all over that place. People were crying and giving testimonies thanking God for the miracle He has done in her life. I felt so honored to be able to baptize her. Not everyone gets the chance of baptizing a 93 year old lady. God can change anyone at any age!!
 The first time I ever baptized by pouring. But considering that she is 93, with a broken spine, recovering from a broken hip and has high blood pressure, immersion was kinda out of the question. hahaha.


Joseph Brings Christmas to Las Uvas

We had a wonderful Christmas. Despite our electricity being off all day on Christmas day it was still nice. After the electric came on at about 5:30 Hannah stuck our turkey in the oven and we ate at about 9:00. We each got a lot of nice gifts and it was nice to be together. Hannah has started a Christmas tradition of baking cinnamon bread and giving a loaf to all our church families and friends. This year she made 37 loaves!
We talked Joseph into giving some of his toys away this year. Space is limited in our house and with new toys coming on Christmas he needed to make some room. So we went through his toys and decided to give them to poor children. He actually got excited about it. Here he is washing his potato head getting it ready to be wrapped.
He loved helping me hand out the gifts and food to everybody. This was some peanut butter fudge that Hannah made for Mike Barjum and his family.
Joseph took his toys to the children in Las Uvas. You can see in the background the kind of homes these families live in. He put on his santa hat, put a pillow in his shirt and carried bells and went around handing out gifts to the boys and girls.
The families were so thankful for the gifts.

Since Joseph didn't have any girl toys we bought little dolls for the girls. I love the smile on Kenya's face, she was so happy.


The Rafters Are Up!

The walls on the Las Uvas church are done. We got all the rafters up. Now we have to put the tin roof back on and start on the platform, floor, windows and doors. It's looking really good.


Joseph's Very First Public Performance


Part I of the Package Wrap


Part II of the Package Wrap



Santa Gets Smooshed


The Work Goes On!

Learning to build the re-bar framing that goes along the top of the wall.
The doors will be arched at the top. I think it's going to turn out really nice.
We are planning to put up the rafters this coming Saturday.
Here you can see a little better how the arch on the door turned out.
Santa Clause came to visit the work site.


Laying Block

Today I learned a lot about laying block. I had never had the privilege until today. I actually really enjoyed it. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
What do you think? The top two rows are mine. It took me forever to do those two rows but hey, I was pretty proud of myself when I finished. It might not be perfect but I think it will still be standing tomorrow. haha. Then again you never know.
How do you like my sombrero? I borrowed it for awhile to keep the sun out of my face.
Pastor is what they call "the helper". He mixes the cement and hands us the blocks and tools that we need.
Miguel has been heading up the project. He has been doing an excellent job. He taught me a lot today.


Walls Are Going Up

There are about three more layers of block to add to the walls. It's looking really good.
Looking from the inside of the church.
Looking from the door towards what will later be the platform.
Re-filling the water barrels. There is still a lot of cement mixing to do.


Singing for the Lord

This couple works with Evangelistic Faith Missions. They stopped by one night during the retreat and we asked them to sing and preach. I really really enjoyed their ministry.


What A Trip!!!

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us on our trip to Guatemala. It was a trip and a half!! We left Sunday afternoon for San Pedro Sula to pick up Roger Ortiz. Monday morning we got up bright and early and headed off to Guatemala. When we got to the border we discovered that we had forgotten our passports at home. There was no way they were going to let us cross. I wasn't about to drive 7 hours to get them. So I got some of our church people and told them what happened and I mailed them my house keys on a bus. We went back to Roger's house to spend the night and wait for our people to mail our passports back to us the following afternoon. Needless to say we were so discouraged. We were all thinking that maybe we should just forget the whole thing. As we waited that night, one of our church ladies explained to our landlord our problem and so they gave her a key to get in an upstairs door that connects to the second floor. She crawled down the stairs into my office and got our passports. Early the next morning she mailed them back to us on the bus. The bus was supposed to have arrived at about 2 in the afternoon. We were at the office by 1:30. When we got to the office they told us that the bus that was bringing our passports was in a wreck and had been delayed. They wouldn't be arriving until about 4 in the afternoon. I couldn't believe it. It seemed that everything we tried to do was failing. The bus pulled in at 4:15 I got our passports and made a race to the border. It was a two hour drive to the border and it closed at 6:00 p.m. If we didn't make it by 6 there was no way to get into Guatemala. I was flying!!! Talk about a nervous wreck. I pulled up to the border at 5:55. Just in time to cross!! God really helped us. It seemed like the devil had his hands in everything and just making things really difficult. I can't explain all the little details but I did feel really strange, it was spiritual warfare. I really believe the devil didn't want this pastor's retreat to happen. Not only did we have difficulties but the group of guys who were coming from the states also had problems. The day they were to fly out of Florida they arrived two hours early like you normally should for international flights. However, the line was so long that when they reached the counter they were told they couldn't fly it was too late. So they didn't get to come. It was one thing after another. But I tell you what, the retreat was a real blessing. There was a spirit of unity. We sensed God's presence in the services and we came home refreshed and ready to continue winning souls for Christ. It was worth all the effort.
Joseph reading books with Roger's son at San Pedro Sula.
While we waited for the bus to show up with our passports we went to the mall. Joseph just had to get his picture in Santa's sleigh.
Once we made it into Guatemala it was a long trip to Panajechel. Along the way we had to stop for about 45 minutes because of construction. Joseph decided to lay on the top of the car, he thought he was big stuff up there. We finally made it to Panajechel at 3 a.m.
The hotel where we held the retreat was very nice. The owner gave us a really good deal. 
 Getting ready to eat lunch with the pastors and their families.
We had some really good sessions and services. It was a real encouragement to the guys.
 Panajechel is a little village on Lake Atitlan. There are three volcanoes near the lake. It was absolutely beautiful. 
Guatemala has a lot of dialects and indigenous peoples. The people at Panajachel speak Spanish as well as some kind of dialect and still dress in traditional dress. It was very interesting to see how they lived. The town is a tourist town and people make their living by selling souvenirs. These ladies were making scarfs, runners etc by hand. These people had amazing skills.
The streets were lined with little shops where they sold their souvenirs.
Here is the group that was at the retreat. Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua were all represented. H.I.M. has a great group of pastors!! Some of the pastor's students and church people also came along with them.
One afternoon we all took a boat ride to the other side of the lake. Joseph loved it!

After a half hour ride to the other side we visited another little tourist village.
Rigoberto Vasquez. He is the president of HIM's Spanish churches.
Joseph wanted to buy EVERYTHING!
I loved their paintings.
Hannah wanted me to buy a pair of these pants. What do you think? I decided not to waste my money on something I wouldn't wear. haha.
These boys had caught a few small fish when we passed by. I would have liked to joined them.
Some of the guys with the captain of the boat.
Cristobal Garcia was our evangelist for the retreat. He did an excellent job sharing from his years of experience as a pastor.
Praying for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. This was a really good service!
On our way home we passed through downtown Guatemala City.
Getting back home was a little difficult as well. We arrived too late at the border to cross back into Honduras. The guard at the gate told us of a mountain road that would get us around the border. haha. We are residents of Honduras so we decided to go ahead and try it rather than sleeping at the border until 6 the next morning. It took us about an hour bumping along this mountain road. We came to one spot that looked like a small pond that we had to cross. The water came up to about the running boards. I was praying for a miracle!! If we would have gotten stuck we would have been sitting there all night. We made it across!! The Lord helped us get through the mountains and get home safely. It had rained the previous two days and the road was really muddy. Amazingly we made it without getting stuck. Hannah took this picture and you can kinda see what kind of road we were on. I'm just glad to be home safe and sound!