Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Still Living...

First, thank you so much for your prayers. God has really been moving here in drastic ways and I know it is a direct result of many of your prayers. So thanks! Sorry I have not written sooner, but it has been crazy the past few months of having summer teams here.

Looking back it has been neat to reflect on how God has shaped and changed the girls sports site. When the first Bethel team was here in May, we started working with young elementary girls. As cute and loving as those girls are, I really have a passion for working with teenage girls. I was still thankful to have an opportunity to work with girls. However, I do believe God knows are hearts and wants to give us our desires.

A city wide volleyball tournament has now started. There is both a men’s league and women’s league. God has totally used this tournament to open up doors for me. Because I play in the tournament, different communities have seen that I actually do know what I am talking about. I am now working with two different communities of older girls. I am finally able to plan practices and engage in deeper bible studies with the girls. However, along with this package comes teenage attitudes. In the culture of sports, everything is someone else’s fault. Literally, if you make a mistake, your instinct is to yell at someone else. So with my girls, things get nasty. However, poco a poco (little by little) we are trying to reverse years of nastyness.

Please pray for strength is a very emotionally intense culture. My goal in being a missionary here is to immerse myself in as much of the culture. But as a result, I am becoming more aware of many of the hardships of this culture. Some of my close friends are gay and often come to me for “advice”. Just last week, my guy friends invited me to house where there was an abandoned boy. In their eyes, I am a grown women (the average 17 year old girl has a baby). So, seeing me as a Christian woman, they invited me with the hopes that I would adopt the child. Yesterday, we met a 14 year old boy who lived by himself and ran his own colmado (its like a small convenience store). People here get offended much easier and I have a hard time knowing how to respond when a friend will go whole day not talking to me. Yet, the next day, they are normal again. To be honest, my heart is very weak and tired right now. Its hard seeing these things every day and not sure of what to do. I feel like I have been given a small glimpse of what God sees everyday. Man, I sure am glad I am not God. I could not handle seeing all the brokenness of the world at once.

Well, that’s about all for now. Next week, we have a week off to rejuvenate and just get ready for the fall. I plan on joining the language school in September when the Bethel semester abroad group gets here. I will continue working with the girls in the afternoons and language school in the mornings.

Prayer Request: Emotional and Spiritual Strength

If you get a chance, please shoot me and email at and let me know how your life is going! It means so much to me when I hear from people in the states. Let me know how I can pray for you as well! Take care!

The following are some of the highlights from this summer!

Carla's Baptism: One of the girls during one of the outreach became a Christian during her two weeks here. She asked me to baptize her at the end of the two weeks. It was such a huge blessing to so many people that were there to hear her story.

Tournament: For the holiday Dia de Carmen, there was a HUGE party in town. Right in the middle of town, they put up a volleyball net, soccer goals, basketball hoops and a boxing ring. There were tournaments in all these activities. Me, Karissa and Viansy played in the womens tournament and won! It was seriously such a blast!

El Mogote: My friends love adventure. We have climbed Mogote three times now and twice, slept up top. It has been huge in building relationships them. There is just something about camping, cooking rice and spaghetti, and a campfire that really facilitates conversation. They would climb it every weekend if I did not say no. haha. It has been such a blessing who love to climb mountains, jump off waterfalls, and explore. One picture is of Willy (my brother now) and mom cooking up on mogote. The one at the river is a common river that we always go to swim and jump of rocks.

Heather: My sis was able to come for two weeks. It was so fun to have her here. She even learned how to drive a motorcycle before me! My friends still talk about how fun she was. It was such a blessing to see the people I care so much about make such a great connection with her. One pic is her and Viansy having fun with whipped cream and the other with my friends at the river.

Family: Viansy and I have really become great friends. God has been so good to bless me with a friend like her who loves God, loves volleyball and loves adventure. Her family has welcomed me in. Now, I call her mom, mami, her brothers: hermanitos, and her cousins: primos. It has been so great to feel a sense of belonging her and to be apart of a family here. Her dad lives in Jamaica and visits once a month. Our brothers' names are Johan and Willy and mom's name is Silvia.
Pic One: Heather and Willy on their way up to Mogote
Pic Two: Johan jumping at a favorite swimming spot we call the Jacuzzi
Pic Three: Mom and Dari (friend) getting ready to cook some platinos up on Mogote