Friday, January 21, 2011

"This much change us"

sweet spot

Last week I had a conversation with a good friend about living in your sweet spot. Knowing what it is that you were created for and passionate about and then living there, growing in what you were made for.
I feel like I'm discovering more of where my sweet spot is: Enjoying and sharing the Kingdom of God with others.
Last Sunday was a great example of living in the sweet spot. I started by going to a 5:30 am prayer meeting with some Latino Kingdom people and spent more time on my knees than I have in a while. We prayed and then looked at the story of Rachel and Leah's wanting to have more kids than each other in Genesis 30. The leader ended by sharing that he felt like God was showing him that Joseph, the 11th child was a sign of God's provision of fertility and that this year, 2011, is going to be a year of fertility for the Kingdom. Interesting thought, I never would have looked at it that way, but I can pray that it happens.
We have a lot of goals for this year and among them is that of training the people that we are discipling how they can better share Jesus with those around them.
Last Friday and Saturday I was able to participate in a Skype training that presented Discovery Bible Studies and we had a chance to practice it with some other disciple makers. We then talked and prayed about it with some others from our house church network on Sunday morning.
Sunday afternoon I took what I learned and translated it into Spanish to share with our house church later that night. We had one of the most memorable gatherings of our church's short existence. Everyone shared, everyone was challenged and everyone prayed for each other. This was where I saw the joy of the Kingdom most visibly. Our friends are very disturbed by the recent raids that ICE has been doing in the area and we spent a lot of time praying for each other and sharing how we could help each other out if something were to actually happen in our families. We ended the night with lots of laughs as we watched the kids present a song they are sharing at our church network's retreat this weekend. Then we picked a song to teach all of the Americanos how to dance merengue! God was visiting with us and we were sharing deeply with each other. The Kingdom come. That's sweet!
Where is your sweet spot? What do you do to live there more?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

December 2010

Okay friends, let's just pretend that this post is only half as long as it is! My goal for the year is to blog at least twice a month, so I'm on track for January, but didn't do too great for December. If you want to follow more of what we are up to then check out Facebook or Twitter, for now, I'm going back to just 2 blog posts a month unless there is a tremendous outcry for more updates...

Somewhere in about the middle of the month I helped out at school as the narrator for the 4th grade play, lots of fun and Marcus loved it too! The music teacher gave him the CD for the play and he almost memorized it!

Sunday the 19th we took our church to the streets. We joined up with another friend's house church to sing carols and share hot chocolate, ponche and cookies in the trailer court where one of our church members lives. We met lots of Mexican and American families and it looks like a few of them are interested in starting to study the Bible together. Here we are gathered around a fire we made and Alejandro is sharing his story of coming to Jesus in the past year.

December 21 is a super special day, GABY WAS BORN!!!! We woke her up singing Happy Birthday, Cumpleaños Feliz, Las Mañanitas and Ay Que Noche Tan Preciosa... do you think that was enough birthday songs? Then we had yummy arepas for breakfast.

Gaby's birthday party was the next day so the kids could stay up later since there was no school the next day. Not quite all of her friends could make it to the party, but she did have a great time with everyone who came.

The Next day we had a Christmas party with our church before we left for Pennsylvania. We spent all day getting ready. Gaby and Marcus were a big help. They helped clean the house and also did a lot of cutting to help me make Pan de Jamón "Ham bread" a typical Christmas specialty from Venezuela.

Here is a look at the final product. It turned out very delicious and disappeared as a appetizer for our guests later that evening.

Naty was in her glory wrapping presents almost all day. We have a very generous friend who gave us all of these gifts to give out to the people in our church and community. Naty absolutely loves wrapping gifts so she couldn't have been happier!

At about 8:00 the party got started. We took time to toast to the many things that we are thankful for from the past year and hoping for in the year to come.

Here is Naty's glorious turkey! (or maybe it's Naty's 2 turkeys)

After yummy food made by all and shared by all we had time for some carols

And opening presents.

Then it was off to Belleville, PA where the partying continued. We had Chrismas with the Yoders, Naty's host family, on Christmas Eve. More delicious food...

And more presents! Can you tell these guys like John Deere?

Then Christmas Day it was Christmas with the Peacheys and we finally got to meet our new niece Madison.

After more yummy food we heard the Christmas story shared by Marcus and Sidney.

Then again, more presents! For little kids and...

for big kids too!

Sunday meant yet another Christmas party, this time with the Hostetler family. (My mom's family)

There were about 50 or 60 of us as we gathered in the church gymnasium. All this fun thanks to the lovely couple at the end of this table, Grandpa and Grandma Hostetler.

If you were counting, that was a total of five parties in five days for our family! That wasn't enough for Naty she even had two Mary Kay facial parties while we were in Belleville too. This was with my mom and Aunt Rhoda.

Since our kids already get enough stuff for Christmas from everyone else, Naty and I choose to give them an experience instead. This year we went to Sight and Sound in Lancaster, PA.

We saw the "Miracle of Christmas" show, which was truly amazing.

Even Gaby's new baby Molly got to see the show!

Here is one of the actors outside afterward with some of the donkeys. They had lots of animals in the show, which was Gaby's favorite part.

After Sight and Sound we went to my brother David's house to be with his family but I guess Naty either ran out of battery power or forget to get out the camera because we don't have any pictures?!?

Now we are back in Columbus and planning to really get back to normal tomorrow when school starts again...