Monday, March 26, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Moving all over the place

The one who seems to be moving the most these days is Eva. She is pushing her way all around my tummy. It's been fun, but only when I'm not trying to sleep. =) I am now 31 weeks pregnant, and we are so ready for May 22nd (or around there).

This last month has been very busy with ups and downs.

Before I go on, I wanted to share something personal. Some of you might have already heard from our facebook page, but Bryan's cousin and close friend passed away this week from a motorcycle accident. It's still really hard to believe. Please pray for the whole family. We really felt like Bryan was supposed to go to Atlanta for the funeral, so please be praying for safety for him as he travels.

I wanted to update everyone on my excuses for not updating the blog in a while. So here goes...

1. My parents came to visit and it was a great time to hang out with them.

2. Then Bryan left to go up river with some doctors as a translator. I'm still holding out for him to do a blog post about some of his adventures, but for now, you can check out our facebook page to see some of the pictures he took.

3. While Bryan was gone, I was so glad that my mom came to stay with me. Along with keeping all the youth center activities going, cleaning the house as we got ready to leave for Lima, and just daily life things, my mom also helped when our refrigerator went out. Bryan is the one who always takes care of those sorts of things, and she was a good sport to go out exploring with me to get it fixed so that Bryan didn't have something else to deal with when he got home. She also stood by me (or stood and watched) while I was on TV for the first time. Bryan does really good at interviews and formal stuff in Spanish, but since he was gone, I had to do an interview to promote the basketball camps for Hoops for Hope. It was a scary thing and I'm so glad it's over. But it was nice to have her with me while all that was going on.

4. We also had strikes start at the end of her visit and as Bryan was on his way back. The gold miners are mostly illegal because they are not registered with the government - therefore they have no accountability (damages to the environment, work conditions, taxes, etc.) They were striking to be able to go back to work even though they were illegal. The strikes continued into the next week when Hoops for Hope arrived. It was a stronger strike than what we have normally seen in our time living in Peru. Bryan and the team of Americans had to end up walking into town from the river port because EVERYTHING was shut down. The strikes continued and got violent on Wednesday March 14th and 4 people were killed. It seems they have now come to an agreement with the government, but we will see in the next few months. We are thankful that God protected all the teams, and the town's people.

5. As I've mentioned, we also had an awesome team of basketball coaches come with Hoops for Hope. There was a great turn out of kids and it was encouraging how many of them we knew and had kept in contact with since last year. We had about 45 kids total pray to receive Jesus. It was great to see the kids connect with the coaches and with us. The incredible thing was even on the day when the strike got violent and all schools, stores, and offices shut down, we were the only activity still going on in the whole city. And about 80% of the kids still came to the camps. It was amazing because most of them had to walk from their homes to get there since all the roads were closed off. The group was so flexible and reliant on the Lord as we all had to walk to the stadium that day too. It was such a blessing and encouragement for them to be here. They even threw me a surprise baby shower!!! What a blessing!

6. We also had to say goodbye to all the kids in the youth center for a time. We moved to Lima on Friday the 16th, and our last big event in the youth center was the Sunday before. We had a big concert and several of the coaches got to share their testimonies and we had prepared a drama that several of the youth presented. A great surprise to us - two of the girls that I've been working really closely with and that have become leaders in the youth center had a surprise for us. They are shy girls, but they boldly got up in front of everyone there (about 40 people) and sang a song to us and told us how much we meant to them. It was so special and amazing to me to see how God has worked in their lives in these last few months. They are like spiritual daughters to me and it has been really hard leaving them and knowing I won't see them for several months. But we're praying that God will continue to build the faith of the 5 or 6 leaders in the youth center while we are gone. The only reason all of them were okay that we were leaving was that we were bringing back Eva. One of our kids, a really big macho-man boy, looked at my stomach as we were saying goodbye and said, "Hurry up and come out, so she can come back." They are going to be such great big brothers and sisters for our Eva.

7. Lastly, we moved. This is my last excuse. We are so blessed that we found a great apartment that is one block from a large grocery store. It is making it a lot easier for Bryan to go to the US this weekend knowing that I'm within walking distance of everything I could need. We are excited about getting involved in our local church, but we've also found a way to make a little money while we are here. We found an world-wide organization where you can teach English online as an independent contractor. We heard back from them today and they would like both of us to teach with them. It won't pay much, but since we have fast internet here in Lima, it will be possible for us to do our part in paying the bills. We're blessed by this opportunity to become better teachers and have the chance to make some money since we can't work in Peru.

So I think I proved we were super busy =)

But really, we saw God do some amazing things this past month. It has been a month of celebration and grieving and a lot of hard work.

Please keep us in your prayers. Again please keep Bryan's family in your prayers as well since this will be a very tough weekend. Jeremy was a really special guy.

I'm praying that God would reveal Himself to you in mighty ways in these next few weeks. I'm looking forward to the same for myself. Much love.

The size of the baby right now!

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