Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unexpected Surprise - Brian's Involvment

Hi Guy and Gals

I just wanted to say thanks to all of you that are interested and make the effort to follow our blog. It is real encouraging to see that people are checking it out.

Like Clarissa mentioned we found out that we have a baby on the way. I won't go into all the details of my involvement in this but I will share of my pain and agony thus far. We were in NO way prepared for this news and without a doubt in shock when we found out. We have been through the whole "preg checking " experience time and time again each of them being a disappointment. After taking tests and seeing a Doctor we were told that it would be difficult to have another child without help so we took that as our family was complete. With as shocking and surprising as this news was to us I don't know why we didn't see it coming. We have seen God do amazing things over the last 6 months so why would we be shocked to find out that God had this up his sleeve?

I have to tell you this story. When Clarissa first suspected that she may be pregnant I didn't think too much of it. Been there, done that I thought. (preg checking) She wasn't feeling great so I took it upon myself to go to the Walmart Pharmacy to buy her a test. How hard could it be right??? Because Clarissa was feeling ill I was suspecting God might be up to something so I was getting a bit curious myself. Did this idea ever turn out to be a BIG mistake! I was trying to find a test on the shelf without looking suspicious by standing in one spot for too long. My thought out approach and strategy... to keep moving down the isles as if I was casually enjoying a day of shopping at Walmart without the kids, picking up and looking at the odd item while browsing through each isle, in an effort NOT to draw any attention to myself. (in the women's personal products isles, I'm such an idiot!) The last thing I wanted was the pharmacist to notice me, so I made every effort to keep her at my back. The other last thing I wanted was her to come ask if I needed assistance but then it happened!!! She moved into position and we made eye contact! I knew without a doubt this has just turned bad, real bad. I had a split second to decided whether to bolt or humiliate myself and so... I froze!
When we took on this mission and moved to Mexico, never in my wildest dream did I ever think I would find myself trying communicate with a Spanish pharmacist that I was in need of a pregnancy test. Here I am pointing at my stomach making hand gestures indicating that its growing. I can only tell you it was probably the most humiliating thing I have ever done in my life, trying to explain myself using lots of sign language and very broken Spanish. I can only imagine what this poor lady was thinking. After our game of charades she led me to the isle and showed me a package which contained exactly what I was looking for. (guess I'm a good actor, lol) Of course they were tucked in behind a pole right beside a wide variety of condoms bringing this experience of humiliation to a whole new level. (perfect place for them, in the men product isle, who would have thought) Here we are standing by the condoms as she proceeded to ask "in Spanish" what kind I would would like pointing at all the different options on the shelf. At this point I'm thinking "just give me that one so I can get out of here." In desperation I used every bit of Spanish in my vocabulary that I could think of, pointed to the one in her hand and asked... ok???? She said Si Senor and she finally gave me the box.


When I left the store I was running the whole thing back in my mind and realized, I didn't even thank her. I literally took the box and fled. (on my gimp foot) I was so embarrassed, sweat pouring from each sweat gland in my body and red as a beet. I look back and have to chuckle, I must have looked like such a fool. I imagine that she ended up chuckling about it as well.

As you know the test results came back positive as did the results from the doctors office. We are officially on another journey and adventure. I'm so thankful that God is blessing us. It has been a wild ride, I can't wait to head back to Manitoba with an extra passenger. We left as four and will come back as five.

Miss you all, thanks for following us on the blog, hope you can enjoy a laugh at my expense but on a serious note, please pray for Clarissa. She has been feeling miserable. She didn't go to the children's program last Saturday or church on Sunday. We are praying that this will only be a stage and not last through out her whole pregnancy.

Thanks and God Bless,


P.S. I chose a pink font because its a girl ;)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

unexpected say the least

This week was started with a shocker. Brian and I found out that we are expecting. lol I wish you all would have been there to see our faces. This is the last thing we thought we would experience here in Mexico. Also the last thing I thought I would need to explore here, the medical system. :) I feel like I should start at the very beginning with this whole story.
From the beginning of our marriage Brian and I have put our family in God's hands in the way that God would give us the children we were meant to have. It has worked for us very well. I've had 2 pregnancies that gave me 2 healthy boys. After Mason we still prayed for more, but none came. As time went by, I started praying that God would take this desire away if there were to be no more. Over 1/2 a year ago this happened. (I was relieved in the way that I'm sure many women who are trying for more children can understand. There is always a little bit of "heart break" when you find out that month after month their is still no pregnancy.) We still don't quite understand God's timing but the fact is that it happened here in Mexico. This was a sign for me that we are where God wanted us, and how He wanted to fill that void. We felt that our family was done. Which I had come to accept. :) My boys are busy and bright. What more could I ask for?
Before we had left for Mexico, my mother had told me that I would become pregnant in Mexico. "You just watch." she said. I was very confident that she was wrong in this area. :) But none the less I should listen to my mother, because "mama knows best". lol

This week we've been inquiring about the medical system here, and where the best place is to go. We are going to go to the American doctor at the San Carlos clinic for now. As we explore the system who know where it will take us. I already did my lab work, which was at a walk in lab. Super fast, and really good at getting the needle in the vein! lol Everything here cost some money, and so far it's not too crazy. Doctor visits are approx. $40 each. The lab work was $70. We've been inquiring about the birth and the most it can cost it $3000. (This is the price for a complicated c-section) As the time goes by, we'll figure out if we want the baby here or back home. Our thoughts are that this is no surprise to God and we want to have the baby where ever he wants us to. Right now we have peace with having the baby in Mexico but we have allot of time to pray about it. One of the reason why we're hesitating with having the baby in Canada is that I'm due around May 3 meaning we would have to start our trek home in the beginning of April. So, just another thing to pray about and ask wisdom for. I have been experiencing morning sickness....all day long. :( Which I pray that it will be for only a short time. It would be a very long stay in Mexico if it isn't. (I was sick with Mason the whole pregnancy.)

We know that as shocking as this was to us it was no surprise to God and he knew that we would become pregnant here in Mexico. We seem to think that there is reason for that and we also feel we are right where He wants us. Right now we are just starting to settle into the food program and feel that we still have ALLOT to to before we are ready to call it quits. We are very attached to the children and have no peace about coming home at this point. We are also starting to see potential growth and are excited to sit down with the team in October to discuss what the future holds for the program.

Please remember me and our family in your prayers. Also remember the children in Fatima.

Love Clarissa

(Brian says its a Girl)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Great Morning

Hola Amigos,

We had a really great morning at the kids program. We had an all time record of 75 children show up to eat. (highest we have seen since we have been here anyway) We need to pick up more plastic plates and cups as we are running out and having to resort to Styrofoam. Its not a bad thing but as look to the future we are going to need to increase supply.
Yesterday we had a donation of 500 lb of potatoes!!! Catch was they were on the verge of turning bad. We estimated they had another 2-3 days before they started to get stinky. LOL So, the pastor and his family went door to door and handed them out to the community. We are thankful that we could disperse them that way. It is so encouraging to the families here that these potato's were donated. It shows them that people do care about them. This morning we obviously served potatoes, diced wieners, with beans and corn tortilla's. It was a standard breakfast but it went over really well again. On Thursday evening we served "Mexican Pizza Buns" which went over REALLY well. They are simply a bun with beans spread over top and mozzarella cheese on top of that. The children pigged out. It was crazy! They were crazy! They were soooo hungry but I'm pretty positive than none left hungry. Oh, we brought them banana's. That is always a real treat too. It was an awesome night.
We are growing really close to all the children. We always get our hugs and kisses. This morning I fed little Alex his breakfast. I managed to get a smile out of him. He is a real awesome little dude!
We are missing all our family and friends back home. A special hello to our church family. We miss you guys. As a family we are doing well. Clarissa has been under the weather so keep her in your prayers.

Blessings from San Carlos


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Broken World

A video for you to enjoy.

Click Here

some birthday wishes you just can't buy

My birthday was defiantly special. I got what I wanted for my birthday, and that was to see little Alex smile. :) He just LOVED his bath, he played and loved everything about it. I think all you mothers know exactly what I mean. There is nothing like the joy you feel when a little one is happy. That was the middle of my day, but I should probably start at the beginning.....
Dear friends of ours willingly came along to check out the food program to see how they could help. They are with Kings Kids Orphanage. We started our drive out to Fatima at 8:00 in the morning. When we arrived, Maricela was outside waiting for me, and told me that we had to go right now. (Which is not normal. We usually bring our bags in and then start our trek to gather the kids. I thought for sure that we were late or something. We had to go now. After 2 trips collecting kids with the truck, we arrived at the house with the door shut. (odd as well) I heard a lot of kids inside (odd as well) and when I opened the door, all the kids were there waiting for me and they sang happy birthday to me and gave me many hugs. :) It was wonderful. So many of them had either written me a note or made me a paper card. Precious.
We saw new faces again this morning. (Which is great!) Along with the new faces was a girl that was in need of some medical attention. She had a large skin infection around her mouth and neck. Very sad. We got to chat with her mother and saw that her sister also had the same infection. We came to the conclusion that it was contagious, we brought the family to the doctor to get the proper meds before it spread further. I am thankful that God is presenting these cases one at a time, otherwise we would be overwhelmed with the medical need. We hope to see this family again to check up on how they are doing. :)
We had a big shower day for the girls. The girls are always the first to want a shower and "new" clothes. Next Saturday it will be the boys day to shower.
When the children were all sent home, the rest of us (friends, family and helpers) had cake and coke to celebrate my birthday. It was great to hang out with the adults and build friendships even if the language is minimal. :) After a day this busy, all I wanted was to shower and sit in a/c and relax. Brian was great in providing me my last birthday wish with pizza and a movie. I defiantly missed my friends and family back home, the tears often were ready to spill. But God heard my heart and gave me what I so wanted to see, and that was to see Alex smile. (And boy did he smile.) :) Love you, and miss you.

A special request brought to us.

Hi Everyone,

We are coming to you with a specific need. This need is not necessarily for the children but it does impact the program We have a special young lady that is involved in the food program. For those of you that were here in January you will remember her as Dulce, one of Pastor Rafael's son's (Absalom) girlfriends. She is planning to enter her final year of studying Psychology and is in need of $200.00 for registration tomorrow. They have done some fundraising and raised part of the funds but have come up a $200.00 short.
Dulce is a beautiful and sweet girl that has committed her life to service, she is active at each program and is involved in the worship team at church. She has become close friends of Clarissa. She has studied Psychology so that she can help the children work through some of the trauma that the are experiencing in Fatima. Clarissa and I are not really in a position to help out right now so we are going to present this need before God and you.
It encourages me that Dulce has taken on the challenge of studying for a degree. It is uncommon here. Her life has been a life a positive influence for the children and she has modeled that anything is possible with God and if you set your mind to it.
Please take this need into consideration and if you feel led to help her please contact us personally through our email address and we can discuss details. The deadline for registration is tomorrow.

Thank You


Friday, September 9, 2011

Who is our leader in times of battle?

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all well and looking forward to fall arriving. We are! According to the locals here we can expect the weather to change on October 15. Apparently we will literally walk outside one morning and the humidity will be gone and the temps will have fallen to a comfortable 25-30 degrees. I guess we will soon see how accurate they are.

I have had a difficult time coming up with the right words to express what my experience in Mexico has been like so far. As I have shared in the past, I experience times where the need totally overwhelms me. In e very direction I look there is some sort of need. Regarding the food program and the children involved. We face physical needs, abuse at home, medical needs, spiritual needs and in many cases abandonment. Each child has a complicated story, each child will more than likely experience disgusting and immoral acts of abuse at some point before they become adults. When I look around the community it honestly makes me question if there is any hope? The enemy is so present here. It is totally overwhelming! Everyone is broken, and for most families, they feel there is no hope! They don't even understand how bad and how lost they are.
Then, I drive out of the community and head towards the city. On the street corners I see homeless people sleeping. Obviously they haven't eaten any kind of quality meal lately, haven't had a haircut, haven't shaved, and haven't changed their clothes in what appears to be months. Can't imagine them even taking a shower in the last month. They look totally disgusting, I'm sure they are crawling with lice and who knows what else. Definitely the kind of person I would walk around if I met up with them on the sidewalk. But then I stop and think... What is their story? Has it always been this way? Why do certain people have to live like this when others are so totally blessed? They didn't choose to be born into this poverty. More importantly it makes me ask, who is loving them? When is the last time they have they felt a physical touch of love? How often does someone walk up to them and demonstrate Christs love? Has anyone cared enough about them to share salvation? I'm not sure if some of you have ever been in a position to look into the eyes of a person that has absolutely no hope? They are empty and black, makes you wonder if someone is even in there?
We see this every time we go to and from our place in San Carlos to Fatima. I have to admit, after time I started to become blind to the men laying on the street corners. They were still there, I just didn't see them for awhile. I became desensitized from driving past them all the time. Sounds horrible doesn't it.
Again, coming from a Country and community where we are very blessed, it is heart breaking to live in a world where people have it so bad. It seems so unfair and we really need to be thankful.
Today, I had breakfast with the Pastor of San Carlos Community Church. He is from the US and has been becoming a friend of mine. He share with me the story of when King Hezekiah and his kingdom fell under attack from Sennacherib, King of Assyria. Sennacherib had captured all the fortified cities of Judah and sent a message to Hezekiah to surrender. Realizing that their situation was hopeless Hezekiah went to the Temple and prayed for deliverance. God heard Hezekiah's prayer and delivered them by sending out an Angel that night to defeat and destroy the Assyrian army of a hundred and eighty five thousand men.
This story has reminded me that with God there is always hope. Even when we look around and feel defeated. This hope held true when King Hezekiah looked out over the army of a hundred and eight five thousand. He knew there was absolutely no way he could defeat them on his own. He must have felt surrounded, trapped and hopeless! So what did he do...he prayed to the one true and living God! This hope also holds true in our lives here in Mexico and also holds true to any "battles" any of you are going through back home. We need to remember that God is in control and that he does answer prayers.
For the program here we need your prayer and ask that God would deliver the people from their poverty, from all the abuse, from the spiritual battles with witch craft and warfare. Pray that we can eventually meet all the needs of all the children here and that somehow the homeless will also be reached. We need to remember that with God, nothing is impossible. He can do more than we ask or imagine.

I realize that it has been a long time since my last report, so I apologize. I am also in the process of completing our August new letter. I hope to email it early next week. I'll finish this letter with a short passage from the book of James chapter 5.

Blessings to all of you. We miss you and look forward to seeing some of you soon.

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

a new week and new experiences

The past week has been an interesting week to say the least. With experiencing a cactus attached to my arm to seeing seals and dolphins up close. The jumping cactus experience wasn't painful, I just wasn't sure how I was going to get it off without getting the needles stuck in my hand. Thanks to Ryan, he showed me how to remove the crazy thing. lol I'm also coming up with a plan to remove the one existing plant at the mission center.
This last week we had our first Thursday feeding. We decided it would be easiest to add a feeding to Thursday, because that is when the kids program is held. It went rather well. It could always be more organized, but the kids were fed. (Apparently carrots aren't a favorite for some kids here too. lol) This coming Monday we are sitting down with Rafael and Maricela to figure out a meal plan for the coming week(s). (I hope for weeks.)
Today went well for feeding as well, the kids are great. It's getting to a point for me that I am noticing when a child isn't at the feeding. The last 2 weeks we've had a family of children that have showed up that this little boy belongs to. When they arrive, us women are quickly to take this boy in our arms and mother him for the morning. I am thankful for this, otherwise we would have never noticed his infections over his body. As well as a large questionable spot on his back. When the children showed up today; Brian, Rafael and Ramone took him in to see the doctor about what we were seeing. We bought medication for his infections on his skin, but the doctor was also concerned about the other skin spot. He advised us to take him to a skin specialist. He was concerned that it was cancerous. So pray for this little boy and the wisdom of the doctors we will bring him to. As we know more, we will inform you. Your prayers have been huge here and we are so thankful for all of you.