Sunday, December 27, 2009

How many photos does it take for a Christmas card ????

Let the photo caos begin...whoo hoooo.....

Jacob ....



Grayson again.......

moving on...just the guys

the girls....

can you tell who the class clowns are??......

no words....

can we get a serious shot PLEASE....

moving and the guys... LOVE IT!!!!

Daddy and his girls.....PRECIOUS...

FINALLY....Merry Christmas from the Evans !!! a little goofy but I'll take it ! (Wish you could have seen the trafic driving by as we took all 200 (aprox) of these photos... we were standing on the sidewalk by our house ....tooo funny !! )

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas with Papa and Nana

our fearless leaders for the 9 days ... David and Papa Sam

It was so great to see family for the holidays... huge hugs for everyone !

Ahhh.....Nana !

Let Christmas begin.... it's been to long since we've hugged family !

We were able to have a Christmas morning with Papa and Nana .... these are the "early birds"...some dressed and some still in PJ's ..Jacob was given the award for spending the LONGEST time on his hair.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great news.. update on Cooper

Cooper is back and was given a very good report. Turns out that whatever he had (Typhoid...maybe mono) has left his body and now he just has to heal. His body had gone that far downhill with whatever "it " was that any time he would get up and about he was having major "issues" ...enough that it warrented a trip away with dad and a doctor. Now he has to stay resting.... yikes! Cooper resting! Anyway, please continue to pray and praise with us. We are so glad that although he has a long way to go... he's in a very good place more cooties !

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Day of the Devil

We have been seeing these pinate looking things around town. In hind sight I should have taken a picture of them so that you could see what they look like. If you can imagine a mexican santa with a handlebar mustache  ... Anyway, that has been my impression of them. HOWEVER, it turns out that they are DEVILS. (Who would have known?) ... what? Christmas is coming ... devil pinates???  When I picked Jacob up from school today he told me that we should get home before dark because people are burning "devils"....ahhhhh.... so that is what they do ... they don't hit them for candy ...they are burning him...them.... Anyway, my neighbors put their "devil" on a concrete block and lit him up. I was so curious that I begged Grace (who is very  non confrontational ) to go with me for better translation. She did end up going but cracked me up with her initial response... she looked at me very seriously and said," mom... do I have to .. what if they get angry....they ARE BURNING HIM... I THINK THEY'RE WITH US...tooo funny... but my begging won her over and she finally obliged my curiosity... turns out that the devils being burned is a way to clean out their old sins and clutter ti make way for Jesus in their homes. By burning him they are saying that he no longer has a place in their home least for this season.. this is called the day of the devil.


Just a super quick note to ask for prayer for Cooper and David today. They are traveling to a town about 2 hours from here to have medical testing done on Cooper. After researching records we discovered that Cooper has had a Typhoid vacine not only once but TWICE. Most likely his sickness is not Typhoid and not we are desperately needing to discover what is causing him to be sick. Through a TOTAL provision of the Lord and under circumstances that only he could orchestrate we met an American surgeon who is housing them and running test. They will be gone for about 4 days and prayerfully we will have a direction . As you can imagine Cooper is becoming very tired of being tired and sick. We are petitioning the Lord for answers. Our next step will be to fly him home to the states for medical treatment and don't want to do that unless we are left with no other option. I know that may sound crazy but we are on the verge of reaching "normal" .. not quite but we can see it coming... and a trip home will only upset the apple cart in regards to that ... Not all of us can travel home...Christmas apart... well, you can see how great it would be to get to a place of medical attention here and I believe it is completely possible. Guatemala is very equipped to handle even crews with issues much larger than ours ! ( honestly ! )

Grateful for you all...

Friday, December 4, 2009

No Wasted Days

I have gotten sooo far behind ! I am going to make  an an intentional effort to get caught day at a bear with me.

The night before thanksgiving I was sitting in my den...all of the sudden very aware of the fact that this Thanksgiving would be VERY different for us. Hmmmm....WHAT am I thankful for? What could I NOT be thankful for? So, I started to jot some things down.  I feel very compelled to share this with you ..not to upset or cause anyone to be nervous ...only to inform you that our lives are different and we are given so many gifts that look different than they ever have...actually ...well, here it is....

Psalm 27:13
I am confident of this : I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Why have you called us here Lord? What gifts do we poses to make even one difference in this place? Are our days wasted or lost on the stumbling and shocking sights that we encounter often? Will you carry us all- each one of us to America to begin a "new life" in the future or will our last days be here in Centeral America? What is this stirring that goes on in my soul at that thought? What is it that could only be from you that causes my husband and I to go to bed at night feeling discouraged at our work here and yet we rise and except a new day ...a new opportunity? How do I find freedom in tinted windows and and constant locked doors? Freedom in guards and walls at the childrens school , the inability to walk down the street by my home, the responsibility of distracting small children in my car as we approach a random group of people for fear of the ugliness of a harsh life taken and the messiness of violence in or beside the roads that we drive on everyday? I cannot resist the temptation to often ask why Lord ? Today, after sifting through my own superficial junk, I have come to the conclusion of this on thing that I am most thankful for today... Psalm 27: 13 ... I WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  And in your goodness and divinitity alone, you Lord, have apppointed me, my family , here in Guatemala for such a time as this. A time of violence and confusion, a time of oppression and yet a great time of opportunity. If I speak into the life of one on your behalf ...who speaks into the life of another hoping and waiting on your goodness Lord...then in THIS land of the living I will have truely lived, my confidence is days wasted ....and for that Lord, I am VERY thankful .

As you consider our lives and our days here in Guatemala ...please consider not our plight of adjustment but the beautiful lives that are so harshly effected by culture. We count it a rare priveldge ...only extended to few..who are called to look a  "cannon" square in the eye at times. We would not exchange these days or our lives here for all of the gold in the world...unless we could use it to improve the lives of those we serve in hopes of seaping the gospel of Jesus Christ DEEP into the souls of those we are coming to love here in Guatemala. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from all of us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marty came for a quick gotta read the whole thing!

Marty flew in for a VERY short weekend in Guatemala. We had a  tour of a local coffee plantation, got caught up ,  enjoyed lunch at a resteraunt looking out at sweet, tiny birds..lemon and bannana trees, took some quick photos and then we were off to hike volcanoe Pacaya.

I felt so badly for Marty. There are many entrances to hike Pacaya and wouldn't you know that they carried us to the LONGEST and HIGHEST point for our hike. There is no way to know where you will be let off when you hire a tour company (well, ...if you have exceptional Spanish and an exceptionally honest tour guide) and so in the van we go ..up to the starting point we went. The hike starts at about 6000 ft. and you climb about another 2500- 3000 ft (NORMALLY)... it appeared from the point where we stopped that they were going to go another 5000 ft possibly. Anyway, the altitude was very taxing on  Marty. Sweet thing.. she had NO time to adjust and off we go to hike this thing. Anyway, after much debate with the tour guide he agreed to allow Marty and I to wait half way for the group to return back down the volcano. I petitioned him for a male of any nature to stay back with's dark, we're white...we're girls...anyway since chiverly doesn't naturally exist here but me begging DOES he provided us with a young guy to "stay back with us". No sooner has he pointed this guy out to Marty and I and this "young guy" disappears. We think that maybe he has gone to get a horse and take us down the volcano....I mean , was he really going to sit with us for several hours while the hike finished???...He came back alright and he must have been a little nervous too because he was carrying a sawed off shot gut and NO horse...we were staying!!!!!!! He patiently and faithfully watched us the rest of the evening ! This picture cracks me up because of the spacial distance between me and the gunman and Marty and the gunman. In a weird way it warms my heart because apparently I'm getting use to being up close and personal with amo which could only mean that God is allowing me to see the person and not all of the paraphanelia that they come with !! You gotta laugh!

We did have a great view and beautiful horses to watch (which Marty loved -smile) the whole time. As soon as night fell the teams were returning back down the volcano. A man came to the point where Marty and I were at and collapsed down to the ground carrying his 14 or 15 year old daughter. She was bearly breathing and in dire need of medical attention... PROBLEM (1) we're in Guatemala (2) we're on a volcano!!! We layed the girl out on the ground and the I had the opportunity to pray over her. Excitedly, her father joined in saying that he was a Christian too!! As SOON as we finished praying , the young girl opened her eyes enough to communicate that she was having major pain under her breast at her heart and then she fell out again. Keeping in mind that we have just prayed alound in the name of Jesus with many witnesses ...many with unbelief...and a GERMAN SOLDIER comes up and has a thermal blanket and special drink for victims of altitude and thermal shock issues( My backpack had chocolate, camera and ONE water bottle in it ) What a miracle ! She continued to shake but did warm up with the blanket on her. We were all very concerned that she would not make it down the volcano alive. Her father had called for an ambulance and no one could come except for somebody that they found in an old pick up truck. The cost for them to come 1/2 way up the volcano was 150Q = aprx. 15$ and the father did not have it. **Miracle*** Because of the young guy watching over Marty and I ...I had 150Q in my hand to give him for watching us and was able to pay for the pickup truck to arrive*** For every person who financially supports us ..YOU ALL carried her down the mountain for help that night... I have NO money except for that which is given to me to be here ! THANK YOU! Anyway, due to the condition of the volcanic sand the truck had to have us carry her down to them. We took two walking sticks and several jackets...ran the sticks inside the sleeves of the jackets , zipped them up and made a gerny(sp?). Myself and 5 other people carried this young lady down the volcano and put her in the back of the pickup to be carried away for medical care. We prayed fervantly that she lived. Back in the van on the way back I was asked many questions about responding to crisis and prayer and being "religious".... Lord, may I never be "religious" but instead zealous in seizing any opportunity to be your hands and feet.... and to have a partner in prayer up on that volcano with me... I had NO reason for shame or timidity because I KNEW that my sister Marty was praying without stopping for me...for us all...ministry  here has taken me by surprise so many times. It never looks like the photos in mission magazines or the adventurous missions videos that I finds me in my normal day doing the things that I Christian faith is the greatest thing that I posses and it carries me out on the wildest adventures !

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Typhoid Fever?..we don't get THAT in Guatemala...or do we?

What happens when you contract Typhoid Fever ? ..... lots of creative don't want to go to the hospital if you can help it. We were provided a doctor by the Lord who was willing to treat Cooper at home and so after 3 rounds of antibiotics, possible kidney / liver damage issues, fever, gallbladder type pain we decided to get him on an IV and run his antibiotics/ pain meds through that. The doctor and I toured our home and came up with " a coat hanger attached to the light socket" method for dispensing the IV. A sweet friend informed me that she was a 12 year vet to nursing and could change out IV came and spent her Friday with us ...... provisions and more provisions.... (is it Thanksgiving yet??? ) ..... I am thankful for the gifts and talents of brothers and sisters as well as the spirit of coming together in times of need that we have experienced. Cooper is getting well but has a long way to go. He is sleeping a lot and we continue to petition the Lord for complete recovery. This has presented us with scary moments and we are forever grateful for the people who pray for us without knowing "the details". Thank you to every person who supports our endevors to be here in Guatemala living out this crazy life. We are witnessing his prescence and powerful work daily ! We love you all ~

Monday, October 26, 2009

Education is so important. It broke my heart to be at the zoo and to see these girls sitting in filthy water...especially the one who is drinking out of one of the fountain spouts. The Lord has been so gracious in keeping our eyes exposed to the millions of needs that exist here ....I am thankful to have my heart broken when it is in control of the Lord... I never leave these situations the same...I am always changed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A quick post to catch you up to speed....

Yes, time has once again flown by and returning emails and keeping our blog current is a challenge. We are grateful for this busy season. It is keeping our minds off of the weather changes at home, upcoming holidays, football seasons, camping, fires in the fireplace.... well, you get the idea. Life is so different these days in this place where we are serving but we are beginning to go deeper with our ministry vision and it is exciting.

Tomorrow, I (Melinda) am going to be traveling 6 hours into the mountains to an area of Nabaj. I will be meeting with other FH missionaries and support staff to present them with David and I's first business development plan on making candles. It seems like a small task to say the least. We're all so accustom to running to the local craft store, buying our "kit" and throwing in some long, enjoyable hours probably with friends making early gifts for the holiday season. But that 's just not in the scope of the days for the women of the Nabaj region where we will travel and assist them in this wonderful business plan. This is a plan that they have to "buy " into. The only thing that they are "given" is the plan and 2 day class on making the candles. From there on out , they have to decide whether they want to invest in this business plan and make it their own. This gives them incredible incentive to begin this work themselves. As their product begin to sell and they experience "success" and a return on their investment, their hearts are open (prayerfully) to relationship and exposure to the gospel as we pour ourselves into relationships that will grow over long periods of time. This way we are all "buying " into something.... for the women it is the candles and for David and I and the entire FH staff we are buying into the lives of the people of the Nabaj region. There are no guarantees that the women will pursue this trade, no guarantees that they will receive even one days wage from their efforts. All that we have to claim as truth is that God loves his people. God has a plan for his people. ALL of us involved in the huge efforts of next week are desiring change. Will you consider praying right now for the men/women and children of Nabaj. Would you pray that their hearts and minds would be clear...which is physically a challenge for malnourished people... that they will have a vision and that God would use me to cast that out to them.....I'll be posting lots of photos so keep an eye out...

much love from Guatemala,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

fishing boats in Lake Atitlan ..notice the corn husk. Corn is a huge thing here. Lots of street vendors sell it grilled.
this is a group of kids that were flipping off of the post on the docks.
I love this perspective of the water. When I look at it I'm often reminded of the task that God has called us to in regards to vastness and the faith that is required to step out at get the work done. As I post this morning I am also reminded of how refreshing it feels to walk out in that faith and experience all of the goodness that comes with that task.

we made it ! It helped that Stephanie reminded me that this was a 2500 ft. hike and we'd hiked 10,000 ft in China at Jade Dragon Mnt.... no matter how high the hike it ALWAYS is such a rush to realize that you made it to the top... and God's work in places that are uncommon to the eyesight...AMAZING!

you may notice that there is always an arm in the photos of just Stephanie and I (except for maybe 2) ... gotta get the photo and NEVER let go of your camera .... NEVER ~smile
Stephanie and I carried our luggage on our head too. We just forgot to get that photo...Just kidding ! It's amazing how much these women are able to carry on their heads...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Checking In...

Checking in.... I think that it is the same for everyone with children. This time of year seems to loose itself in a list of to- do's a mile long. Games, projects, festivals, where does the time go? I can hardly believe that it is almost November. We have been in Guatemala for 5 months now and life is zooming by....Stephanie was in country here a few weeks ago and I thought that so many of you would like to see some of the beautiful people and areas of Guatemala that we were blessed to get a glimpse at. I have no idea why..but I am not able to load lots of photos at once and so if you'll go to all of October's entries you can see the photos from her trip. I need to add more that I think you'd really enjoy..especially if you're a boating /water person however, my connection is SSSSooo slow tonight that I am going to have to continue tomorrow. Enjoy these for now... love to you all from Guatemala.


humm..wondering why we are inside the rocks and so far inside the curb??

some of the beautiful country where we are serving the Lord these days. This area is about 2 1/2 hours from where we are located.

To much fun !

Stephanie at our language school . We traveled to Panajachel and left from here.
In Antigua...a dearly missed place for David and I
Can you see the nuns getting into the car to the left. This building is actually a VERY old catholic church.

needs no words..

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our First Visitor !

It's a big day for the Evans here in Guatemala. We have our first visitor from the States coming to see us for a few days. We're going to be staying busy and I'll have lots of photos to post so stay in touch.

Love to you all from Guatemala,

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My language teacher and her niece came to my house to teach me how to cook a typical Guatemalan meal. For one of the dishes we needed to whisk egg whites. My teacher handed me my whisk and a bowl of egg whites telling me to get at it. For 5 minutes I was whisking away and my arm was beginning to go numb (okay..exaggeration but it was exhausting for sure) . I mentioned throwing them into my electric mixer and she was floored! She said that she whisks her egg whites until they peak by hand ! Thank you Lord for the electric mixer and the electricity!
This is a typical salad here. They do use lettuce but more often around here you would find cucumbers for the "bed" of the salad. They throw in onions, tomatoes and lemons (limes). Some people toss it in a little oil (of course... this is Latin America-smile)

The meal was delicious. We had black beans that Cindy boiled for at least 2 or 3 hours.. standing over them and keeping them stirred. (whew!) The beans were then thrown into the blender (electric -hallelujah!) mixed with garlic, onion and....oil (very delicious! ) There was white rice cooked with a little...oil. The food item on the left is a corn tortilla that was dipped into the egg white mixture and then deep fried oil... and cover with a tomato salsa.... very delicious... Did you notice the pattern with the oil though???

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We attended the graduation of one of our fellow FH staff here at one of the universities. Nothing is "on time" in Central America. The graduation was to start at 12:00 and so we were assured that we could arrive at 1:00 ish and be fine. So, we took our friend to the airport and then got stuck in awful traffic ! We received a call at 12:30 saying that it was OVER. At that point we were at the university entrance so we drove through the campus anyway to loop back out and to be on our way home. As we were leaving the campus sitting in the graduation traffic I looked over to David's side of the traffic and there sat Nadia (our graduate friend) and her parents RIGHT BESIDE us in traffic ! The rest of the story is that we were able to eat with her and her parents and a couple of friends from Bolivia at a pizza place - mmmm my favorite!!!! Great time!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This will make you laugh.....

So sorry that I haven't put time into catching everyone up but I had to share some really funny things that both Dave and I have had happen:

1) the driving is DEFINITELY dangerous here. However, even more dangerous may be sitting randomly in a parked car for an hour by our mission office on any given morning. So, this morning David and Cooper were in the car waiting for someone to arrive and unlock the doors to the office at 6:30ish and a man walks up and looks into the car window. You would have to see our car ....but for safety reasons we have our windows tinted soooo black that you couldn't possibly see in. Therefore , this fellow was all up on the window trying to see in. David wasn't quite sure how to shoo (sp?) him away and so he turned on the windshield wipers ...while the guy was peeking into the window... Maybe you have to see how carefully we have to travel to think this was hilarious .....but personally , I thought David showed some quick thinkin' reflexes.... don't know what I would have done. Something much more lady like I'm laying on the horn to say ....HEY >>>SOMEONES IN HERE>>>tooo funny !

2) one of our PRECIOUS little guys dumped bobby pins in the toilet and then tee tee'd in the potty. David was convientely at work, Cooper was as well ....Jacob and ...even Grayson (I was desperate) were at school . So, with no one around to help me and not knowing how to say "plumber please" in espanol.... I , yes, had to grit my teeth and reach into the tee tee to fish out all of the bobby pins - yuck !

3) Same day..... I took the little guys to a grassy spot near our house for a picnic. The woman who lives around the corner from me comes over clicking large tablespoons together and makes scooping motions with them. I couldn't make out what she was saying and thought she was telling me that there was poo poo under my blanket. I moved the blanket, tried to make dog ears ..saying " poo" ...there's poo here?" ... FINALLY ... I understood that she was inviting me to her house for some lunch... I was so humiliated that I told her no thank you ...we'd already eaten and held my breath until she was out of ear shot. Then , I laughed so hard sitting there all by myself.... I'll probably never get another invitation to eat with her again....she's probably! loco gringo !

So, there you have it .... culture adjustment can be down right hilarious at times.... I never realized that my face could turn soo many shades of red.... Anything from trying not to explode on short patience to getting a dinner invitation confused for poo poo under my picnic blanket !!!
Hope you're laughing with us ,

Monday, September 7, 2009

Catching Up!

Grayson and I went to an old Mayan graveyard. The crazy girl had the courage to crawl up into an old grave. Where does that come from ?

This fellow was her inspiration. He was still in his grave.

Grayson and Jacob walking to meet their ride for the first day of school.
SERIOUSLY...this is how David cuts our back yard right now. He honestly cut the whole thing with pruning shears. Notice the Three Rivers shirt ? Some habits are hard to break. (smile)I should mention that our yard is only about 20x13 . It only took about 3 hours. hilarious.
Grayson and I scrap booking in our home in Antigua. We love to get our photos out and stick them in our books.... love it