The man that I asked for prayer requests for in the last post died a little before noon today.

We hadn't been notified untill his niece, Edith, showed up for school at 1:20. For those of you that have been to La Palma before, the man that died is the uncle of Liseth, Edith, and Flor and he is the mayor's brother. Please continue to pray for the family over the next coming days. Death is always hard to comprehend but when the person is older and in a lot of pain, we can comfort ourselves by saying that they've had a good life and won't be in pain anymore. This man was in his mid 40s and for whatever reason, he chose to leave this life. I can't even begin to comprehend what the family is going through. Please pray that God grant them peace and comfort and that they can lean on each other and on God for support.

http://www.save.org/ For suicide prevention information.

Home Visits

This week, I went on a few home visits. I really enjoy going on home visits and getting to sit and talk with people in their homes. It helps me to get to know them better. For example, Thursday night at church, I looked around and realized I've been to a majority of the members houses that were present that night. It was very humbling to realize that these people walk miles in the dark up very steep hills after church and yet they don't use that as an excuse to not go. In the States, I've been guilty of finding excuses for not making it to weekly services. And we only meet three times a week. In La Palma, we meet seven times if you include all of the Bible classes that are offered on a weekly basis.
That being said, the picture above is from one of the home visits. This little boy is two months old and looked so peaceful sleeping in that hammock. I think they have the right idea here! All babies should have their own hammock! :)
That home visit was fairly emotional. The man of the house had unsuccessfully tried to kill himself the night before. He's still in the hospital and I'm not sure if his condition is stable or not. The family was obviously very shaken. Theres not really much you can say in that situation that is going to ease the hurt and fear that comes with knowing your husband wanted to take his own life. Sometimes, all you can do is just be there, show that you care for them, and pray with them.
Please pray for this family in the coming weeks. The husband has a long road to physical recovery and the emotional recovery for him and his family will be an even harder one.
Thank you for reading my blog! And thank you for your prayers. I ask that you pray for the work here in La Palma. Pray that we can hear what God's plan is and follow it.

La Iglesia

Sunday night we went to Honduras for worship service. It was their first time meeting in the new church building. I always enjoy getting a chance to worship there and visit our brothers and sisters. There were three people that responded to the invitation that night. All three of them were baptized the following day. (Currently, there is no baptistry in the new building. They are still trying to complete that part. And this allowed for some extra time to study and talk with the people that our now our brother and sisters.)

Monday night, the church in La Palma met for a night of singing and prayer. Our congragation has very few active men that can help with worship service. Hermano Modesto is one of the few that comes fairly regularly. The closest he has come to saying a public prayer was when I was very very sick and some people from church came to visit me. He led a prayer at that time but was very nervous and very quiet. Monday night, Modesto got up and led a prayer. Such a huge step for him. Since then, he has led a prayer during worship Wednesday night and Thursday night. Its such an encouragement to visiably be able to watch the church grow. So proud of him.
Wednesday nights church meetings are always held at someones house. This is a great evangelistic tool for the neighborhood and just a great time to be in our brothers and sisters homes praising God. This week we were in Selena's home. Selena is one of the preschoolers here and anyone who has ever met her, instantly falls in love. This was my first time to visit their house. The houses that people live in dont usually shock me or humble me. Even when I first got here, I wasn't usually taken back by the small houses that dont at all resemble our American standards. Selena's house was different. I was immediately humbled. I saw this tiny house that Selena and her mother live in and it was at least half the size of my apartment. I couldn't help put think that most people in the States have nicer sheds for their lawnmowers than this littler girl has for a home. In this tiny home, they invited their entire Church family. Altogether there was 28 of us there. Sometimes its easy to think that we can't host a youth night or a ladies night at our house because its too small or not fancy enough. This night was a reminder that it doesnt matter what your house looks like, but your willingness to help that counts. I hope that this is a life long lesson that I will keep with me. When I move home, I hope I remember its not about how nice my car is or how big my house is, but its my heart and the smile on my face that really matter.

Here is a picture of Hermano Modesto leading a prayer in Selena's house.

Pelotas y Pinatas

This past Saturday was a big day at the school. We celebrated Children's Day with ice cream, a movie, and pinatas. It was also program day where the sponsored children recieved their groceries.

As I have mentioned before, a friend of mine donated some money to buy the school new sporting equipment. It was supposed to be a huge surprise for the students, but word spread before Saturday arrived. The kids were so excited. Even before the doors of the school were opened, kids were standing on ledges trying to peek over the fence to look at the new basketballs, soccerballs, baseballs, and bats. When the doors were finally
opened, the kids ran over picking which one would be theirs. We are still working on getting the basketball goal installed at the school. The kids are anxiously awaiting for that day. They were all very excited.


Immigration, Mudslides, and Sporting Equipment

Hello Friends!!!

It has been such a long week for me. I'm exhausted. I have officially been here for THREE months. It doesnt seem possible. Time is just flying by. Part of me is thankful that it is going by so quickly because Im ready to be back home with my friends and family and part of me just wants to cherish every second that I'm here.

This week, my original tourist visa was set to expire. So Monday, Jose and I traveled to San Salvador to try to get it renewed. We came prepared with everything we thought we could possibly need. We were wrong. The Immigration Office told us we needed two additional documents and that they needed to be notarized and brought back the next day for me to stay legal in this country. We traveled the two hours back to La Palma and set to work on getting the rest of the paper work. Tuesday, we traveled back to San Salvador, back to the Immigration Office, and tried again. This time fully prepared. They told us it would take two days to process the Visa and that I would need to leave my passport there and come back on Thursday. Two days without my passport?! With an expired Visa? Not at all what I had hoped for. And I really was not looking forward to canceling class for a third day in one week. Especially on Thursdays because thats the day I teach in the Christian school. I soon found out that due to some tropical depressions we've been having, school was canceled nationwide for Thursday and Friday. So back to San Salvador we went. This time, I left with my passport and my new Visa. Finally. When this Visa expires, I will be home for Christmas break. I'm going to attempt to get my temporary rescidency card when I return in January. I'm already trying to prepare myself for the red tape that will be involved in that process.

About those tropical storms? We've been very fortunate and have not had any real problems because of them. Several other parts of El Salvador were evacuated and faced serious damage and there were some casualties. Most of my classes this week were canceled due to either rain or the Immigration Office. Thursday on our way back from El Salvador, we drove through the remainder of a mudslide just outside of La Palma.

Yesterday was Dia de Los Ninos. Or Childrens Day. The school had activities planned for the kids as well as program day (day where the program kids get their groceries and support). Due to school being canceled, I believe that has been postponed till next Friday. A good friend of mine learned about the work here and wanted to help. He has offered to buy all new sporting equipment and pay to have a basketball goal installed for the kids here at the school. This has been in the works now for several weeks. We're hoping to get the goal installed (if the rain holds off) before next Friday and present it to the kids. They have no idea that this is going to happen. These kids love to play outside. At every recess, theres always a soccer game or a baseball game breaking out. But the equipment they currently have is older and not in good shape. I will take lots of pictures of this and hopefully be able to post them next week. :)

Please continue to pray for me. Pray that I will see God's plan for me in La Palma and that I can accomplish as much as I can during my limited time here.

Acts 17: 26-27 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.