Month: March 2004

  • Just a quickie today…  Ya’ll are probably wondering if that’s even possible for me with the long-winded posts I always put out.

    I really would appreciate if you all could pray for my teacher, Gaby. I’ve had the same teacher the whole time that I’ve been down here, and we’ve become good friends as well as student/teacher. God has really been giving us amazing opportunities to talk together, and we have had several hours of conversation about beliefs/ Christianity/ what it means to really follow God with our whole heart. She is a Catholic, which is very common in Guatemala and is what most people call themselves whether they ever even go to church or not. But she has told me that seeing my faith in God has really made her think and she has seen God through Jan and me. It has challenged me so much, because I know she is really watching my life. That is scary and makes me feel very responsible, but at the same time I know that it’s not me will do anything anyway: it’s only God shining His light through me.

    There’s a quote by Osward Chambers that is so good and describes what I want to be:

    “The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only of Jesus having His unhindered way in his life.”

    I feel like Gaby is so close to accepting a real, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and please pray that God would reveal truth to her heart and show her His love for her… I feel like God may have led me to Guatemala, among other reasons, but to introduce her to Jesus…

    Thanks so much for praying!! This is a matter of heaven or hell, and it’s an issue of spiritual warfare in the realm unseen…


  • Hey peoples!!

    Jan and  I just got back from an afternoon at the local hospital… We’ve been volunteering there one afternoon a week, and I am so enjoying it. I asked if we could be with the babies, and that’s been priceless. It’s a hospital for malnourished, mentally handicapped, or kids with cleft palettes, and various other illnesses, but they are not normal healthy babies. It just tears my heart out, yet I love being there with them too – today some of the babies recognized me and that is so rewarding…

    It’s been so good to get a vision of other people like that since we’re down here – makes me realize how amazingly blessed I am and I feel so humbled that God has put me in the family and country situation and physical health that He has… Makes me wonder though how God can know that it is the best thing for an innocent baby to be born with such serious birth defects, while others are born perfectly normal… I know He’s God, and I guess that makes all the difference. I am so glad that He can see a bigger picture in ALL of life than what is available to my eyes can see!

    Jan, Kris, Gina, and I spent a wonderful weekend… on the Caribbean!!!!!  Oh yeah!! It was so splendid!! We rode on boats on the Rio Dulce to the town of Livingstone and spent a few days there. The Garifuna people seemed so welcoming and the town so homey and it brought back so many memories of when Jan and I lived in Belize… On Saturday we went out on the Caribbean on a  motor boat to a  serious of waterfalls, then to a private beach… Ooooh, it was soo gorgeous! I never thought I’d see anything so beautiful with my own eyes!! There were hammocks strung between the palm streets, little thatch roofed huts, white sand, the Caribbean ocean to swim in….  Soo wonderful!!! The weekend went by so super-fast though; we were gone three days and spent 20 hours traveling on boats, shuttles, and busses…

    I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to travel and see different parts of the world like this… I just thought of it this weekend that within one year I’ve swam in the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific, and the Caribbean. Wow, that was pretty cool!! Yet at the same time I am asking God to protect my mind and my heart and guard me too… I have seen so much perversity and wickedness through my various travels, and I pray that I will never ever get used to something that is wickedness in the sight of God. Not to even try to excuse people who don’t know better, but love the person while hating the sin that they’re involved in…

    Spanish is going well… except today was very strange. It was one of those days when everything struck me funny and I spent most of the time laughing. My poor teacher, I told her I’ll try to be a good girl tomorrow.

    Hasta luego!


  • Aaaaahhhhhhh, it’s been a beautiful, wonderful, relaxing weekend!! It’s the first full weekend we’ve spent here since when we first arrived, and it’s been delicious!!  Kris is spending the weekend with Gina, and because Jan was sick on Friday, we stayed here for the weekend…

    I had heard about a Christian Church in ENGLISH here in town, so this morning Jan and I headed out and searched the streets trying to find it. We must have received incorrect information because it was no where to be found, much to our disappointment.  We went to a Spanish Catholic church for their service, then to Central Parque for a few hours in the afternoon… So lovely!! We’re learning to know some of the kids in the park and they’re such honeys… They’re Mayan children, and are very poor and often very dirty… There’s one little 5 year old that calls us his good friends, ssoooo cute I could just squish him!!

    Both Jan and I were drawing in the parque after lunch, seated on a park bench, and we suddenly looked up to see about 20 Mayan kids and adults surrounding us, wanting to watch us draw!!! Both of us were sketching the 20 foot water fountain in the center of the park, and they were all loving to watch the gringos attempt to draw their fuente! Made us nervous to draw with so many people looking over us!! We had to stop part way through because they blocked the fuente because they were watching us.

    Hope your weekends’ are all lovely!!

    clarita <><

  • Still enjoying the beauty of Latin America and the adventures and daily life of being a Guatemalan for two months!! I think I’m enjoying life here the longer we’re here, and honestly, I can hardly believe that we’ve been here for four weeks, one month, already. The time is going fast, and there is so much more that we want to see and learn and do… I think that um, we will not be fluent in Spanish at the end of two months like we originally thought!!! Two months sounds like a long time to study a language, and it’s Latin-based too, but we’re not dreaming in Spanish yet! We definitely will be improved, but not natural Latinos… I’m not stressing over it though – if we came down here because this was how God led and we followed, it’s not worth getting unnerved and stressed about. We’ll enjoy it, study it, speak it, but not get upset about it!!

    I was thinking this week though, how privileged I am to be here, to be immersed in another culture like this, to receive a bigger awareness of the world through daily interaction with the Latin American people… I feel so honored! Yet I was also thinking, that no matter how much we travel, where all we go, what all we see, how much language we acquire: if our time down here is not a continuation of the journey of our heart, if we don’t take this 2-month period and take time to get into God’s heart, then this trip is not worthwhile. The world would argue, because our scope of the world we live in is broader, we’re receiving a broader picture than just our lives in our own scope of the world; but in the eyes of eternity, if we do not press in to the heart of the Father, then our time here is wasted, in the eyes of God. I was really challenged by that, and would appreciate if ya’ll would pray for us with that… that we all would fall more in love with our Jesus and that this would not just be a good time exploring, learning, experiencing, but that it would be of eternal value because of the journey our heart is taking with God…

    My ramblings always get longer than I intend… thanks for checking in on us and praying!!

    clarita <><

  • Consider this quote:

    “PEOPLE are the consciousness of God in the world, the closest thing to Him in the physical realm…. If man is really fashioned in the image of God, then clearly it follows that there is nothing on earth so near to God as a human being. To be in the presence of humanity… is to be closer to God than when looking up into a starry sky or at a beautiful sunset…”

    Hmmmmm, wow, do I really appreciate people for the picture of God that they give me? Do I really truly love people so much, and choose to see God through them?? I love that quote, and it’s really made me search my heart about how I view the people around me. I walked down the street one day, thinking all the while that each person I meet is a picture of God, in some way or another… Makes me do a lot of heart-searching!

    Hey, any of you ever see black sand?? Me neither, until this weekend in Monterrico on the Pacific Coast. I think it’s hotter than normal white sand, maybe because it’s volcanic ash??   Okay, so maybe it’s because we’re so far south…

    Kris has been sick the past few days, actually almost the past week. We’re thinking it’s probably a reaction to the food, because several other people in the guest house are sick too… Please pray for her complete recovery – it’s no fun being sick anywhere, but especially here…

    Just a few thoughts from sunny Antigua…

    clarita <><

  • Hey hey!! No, we haven’t been lost in the city, we’ve just been, um, well, busy with things??  The time really does fly here, like anywhere else in the world, but it especially seems to go by so fast in this part of the planet… Spanish classes continue to be very interesting – my favorite part is when my teacher takes me to the market.  No really, we are learning more each day simply because of the immersion in this Spanish culture.  I am enjoying the classes too - Jan and my teachers are best friends so we’ve teamed up and played vocabulary games and gone to the market together. Me gusta!! It’s really great being able to communicate a little more, and this morning Jan and I were explaining some of our beliefs and convictions about certain areas, and they told us how they do and believe. It was really cool! I told my teacher yesterday that I want to go the flower market sometime, because the flowers so are gorgeous and so cheap down here. So this was the manana!! Jan and I and both of our teachers walked through the aisles of lovely flores and we were taught how to bargain for what we want. I bought a dozen pink roses for $2.50 US.  Not bad!! My teacher couldn’t believe it when I told her that the same flores would cost at least $25 US in the States. I was so pleased with my purchse, and hope to keep fresh flowers on hand at all times, if this is the going rate!! So many flowers are grown down here because of the tropical region, and the climate is splendid for the enhancement of the rosas!!

    I am really loving it here, and am so thankful that God has brought me to this colonial city!! Whenever God leads a person to a certain place, He has so much more in mind for her than simply a “route”, as in this case, studying Spanish. God has been dealing with my heart is so many areas, and some of it has been painful but yet He is answering my prayer that my heart become softened toward Him… We spent quite a few hours each day in class and in personal study, but there is a lot of time also for personal time with God, something I am so loving. I know that after these two months are over and I revert back to a job, I won’t have this kind of time anymore. I want to make the most of it and enjoy it to the fullest while I’m here! I’ll still be in Guatemala for 7.5 more weeks, but I’ll never have this particular day again! As the famous latin quote says, “Carpe Diem!”, which interpreted is “Seize the day!”

    It’s been fun getting to know people around the city, now that we’ve been here a week and a half. We recognize some of the merchants in the market, the vendors at central parque, and they know who we are too. I love this relational aspect of things, makes me feel like I’m more a part of life here in Antigua… And with the Spanish vocabulary increasing, it also makes the conversation un pequeno better as time goes on.

    Jana, Kris, and I are going on a little expedition this afternoon. The schools offers various activities throughout the week, and today it’s going to a small town outside of Antigua, where we will be able to see a Mayan wedding ceremony, some of the traditional foods served at such ceremonies, and some of the handicrafts of the Mayan people. Whether this will an actual ceremony or a replica, I’m not sure. A lot of things around this particular area are rather tourized, and there is a lot of business that pertains to tourists… But either way, it’ll be a good, new experience!!

    Thanks so much for all your prayers down here… for physical safety, and emotional and spiritual protection… We need it so much!!

    clarita <><