Saturday, August 30, 2014

Without words

I wanted to share photos from our Friday trip to Amealco but first I would like to explain what we did.

We went to visit Carolina our new friend who is deaf. Carolina does not yet sign, does not yet communicate, does not keep her focus for more than a few seconds on one thing. Carolina is our friend.
Last week we asked her mother if we could come every Friday and just be with her, let her get to know our faces and our hearts. Eventually the plan is to not only teach her LSM but also how to take care of herself as a 21 year old woman who has a daughter with 1 or 2 years. One -step -at -a -time.

Yesterday, Friday, I was given the responsibility this week to "teach" her. I brought with me 4x6 notecards with pictures of everyday life things glued to the cards. In this case, everyday life would include corn, tortillas, dogs, flowers... very very simple NOT a polar bear or "top fashion".
I thought I would have our former student Isabel do most of the teaching because she is deaf and was recently in the same shoes as Carolina. As a human that can communicate AND who is now a Christ follower, Isabel is hope to the lost and broken, a voice with her hands to the voiceless. Able to disciple Carolina better than I ever could. : )

Well showed up at the house and it seemed that no one was home. Walking around the back Carolina was there sitting in the grass alone. Carolina saw us and she mimicked what everyone else does, a hand shake. A few of us woman including Isabel's mom (who is Otomi) sat down next to Carolina. She kept looking around at different things very distracted. I really didn't know how to start so we prayed and I played worship music on my phone and left it on the whole time. I pulled out the flash cards and Isabel, who was very patient and who with us was learning on the spot, tried to get Carolina's attention and would sign. Carolina did not understand any of it EXCEPT that with each new picture she would put her face down and SMELL/KISS the photo! It seemed that she had never seen a photo and was determining what to do with it. When we got to the flower/ plant photo Carolina did the coolest thing. She looked around the grass which we sat on and pulled grass and flowers and put them onto the flash card. Making the connection that they were the same we all nodded yes and smiled with her, that was cool. When we got to the corn photo we pulled out some of my rice cake and tried to make the connection with her-food. She recognized that both were food and she wanted some, haha, We signed "food" and tried to help her form the hand shape but it didn't really happen...
that was alright. We DID see however that she was hungry and well, we brought one extra torta : ) she saw it gave a hungry hopeful smile. She was very thankful and trusting (without words we could still clearly see these emotions).
What happened next was a woah moment for all of us. She lay her head down onto my lap and ate. I was shocked. Here such a trusting, precious, and vulnerable woman lay almost in featle position on my lap... what do I do? I looked around and while she ate we prayed a prayer of thanks to Jesus. Thanksgiving and praise. With her head in my lap I started to stroke her hair, remembering my mom stroking my hair. This simple touch is needed, something so simple that we all long for, love. When I would stop playing with her hair she would sit up and look at me like, "hey, why did you stop?"

We sat there with her and every few bites Carolina would offer a piece to us but we told her to eat it and she did. One thing I saw is that this girl knows how to share. Next time we will have to bring more food and eat along with her.
In this time with Carolina we all forgot about the lice and dirt in all the wrong places. I asked Isabel to help me braid the hair out of Carolina's face and then it was time to go. Leaving her was difficult. But at least she will see us coming every Friday to spend time with her and to give her a future and a hope. Its not pity but rather hope for this child of God and anticipation to see many miracles.

Later that evening we went to the church and taught a class to 20 something kids about Jesus.
The kids learned Rev 4:8 from the Bible in LSM, it was a fun time.

Marisela Laura helping to sign the verse

coloring what they think Rev 4:8 looks like

night time in Amealco

                                               The other day on a walk, Laura and I
looking to the city

This is the amazing Laura/Marisela who I am and will be living with this year. She has learned LSM in one year and had a heart for deaf people and for God's love. I am happy to come along side of her as a team.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Better out than in

Hello! Thought I should say how things are, a little update. But first here is something fun that happened on the 17th, my day of traveling:

We were late to the airport (well not late but not within the hour instructed, they told us) and the workers needed to search my THREE bags and quickly. I kept hugging my Mexican family and they kept hugging me so that took more time. But because I was "late" and all the luggage was already under the plane they quickly took my luggage and put them all on with the rest. Because I was late they didn't charge me extra for the weight (which were for sure over the limit) or for theTWO extra bags I carried with. (I didn't end up realizing this until I got to Mexico City. I am thankful for sure. I was fully expecting to pay for all of that. )
Then once in Mexico City because of my THREE big bags, I needed help carrying then from the carasul to the buses (a far far walk down the airport terminal). I actually I made sure to have hired help. I found a kind man who helped me the whole way and wheeled my bags down to the waiting area, gave me a stool and told me to wait here ha. He cut every line and then put tags on my THREE bags and took care of them under the bus. Once again I didn't pay for the THREE bags. Wow I was stoked. And I didn't kill myself trying to carry everything alone.

Later I found out that both my parents had prayed that morning for someone to guide me straight through.

Any here I am today August 20, 2014, I've been here in Querétaro for 3 whole days. I am living with an amazing faith filled family of all women who have been so good to me.
This morning around 3am I woke up with stomach pain, the kind where your not sure which end it will come out... A scary thing. I spent hours on a couch close to the bathroom. Not so great. I was given "bitter tea" and told to "drink this". Yea, bitter is a correct name.  Whatever it is that was inside of me, it's gotta go. This body is not havin it. No. It is done with worms and parasites, this body was not meant for those critters. It is meant for something higher, it has a better job than to host unwelcome critters. This body is meant for glory. This body is made to host yes, but host a Presence. Presence of the Living God.

Wednesdays here in the home LSM classes are given for free. This evening that's what we will be doing.
Friday we will be going to the town Amealco to teach sign language to town kids that go to church with their parents. We will also be teaching them about the Bible, what is it? why read it? And visiting more of the people there that are deaf.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A new thing.

So tomorrow I'll be boarding a plane to Mexico City and hop onto a bus for a few hours to Queretaro Mexico. We will be teaching Mexican Sign Language and JESUS to a community of Deaf people.
A whole other environment there compared to here in Oaxaca. I dont want to sit there comparing the two but instead jump in and accept this new place. Its a new day. A new thing is happening. I WANT to see it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


On Saturday the family I've been living with and I went to Chacalapa where they have other family.  We spent the entire day there eating, making bread from scratch and hanging out. Here are some photos from the day. (not in any specific order)
We drove in a truck there and back and most of us were in the truck bed. Rain was close by but never fell. It was a beautiful day. I am enjoying every bit if this last week here in Oaxaca. 3 days left. Then on to Querétaro México.

The ingredients

this didn't get put in the bread other than a liiiittle bit, on the table, and on hands. No worries

work it

our drive back home

some finished bread out of the oven

beginning cleaning out the bugs from the flour

I even got my hair played with by Katy

this is Katy, love her

in the back of the truck going home

Monday, August 11, 2014

to feel His love. like Father.

August 9, 2014

God knows what I have longed for and even better what I need.
I had asked Him to show me what love looks like. He is teaching me more and more of who He is and what He's like.

Something special is how I've been able to see ways in which my dad bears the image of Father God in my life. It is a blessing to me to have or feel these hints of my Father in and through my dad's life.

Well early, early, to early this morning God relieved to me more of himself with one of my favorite things. He showed me more of who He is by looking to mornings. In the morning He is the first that I see.

When I still lived at home and was going to high school I looked forward to the morning. At that time I dont think I saw it or was at all aware but now I can see clearly.

The only other person up was my dad, already working. Before school in those early mornings while I was packing food for the day, dad was there and coffee ready (I didn't even start to drink coffee until I worked at Rancho Sordo Mudo and then coming home in the summers... anyways..). Sometimes we'd speak or not. But the speaking wasn't what made the time enjoyable. I loved being in his presence without words, sometimes (in high school) that was actually better for me. Words didn't/dont always come but being is what I loved and craved.
Later on while visiting in the summers on break from Rancho Sordo Mudo, it got even better. I felt like I learned to talk to my father and listen. I really laughed with him and talked deeply with him. Dad, most mornings would play Pandora radio or his newest Christian artist finds and there we would be and it was good. There was a period in my life when I was teenager, I HATED that music. Really did. Maybe it was not outwardly expressed but inside it bothered me, especially on Sundays. I remember dads music being blasted throughout the home on Sunday mornings while I was waking up when I should have been sleeping, or so I thought. That music, years later not so loud and not by the name of Keith Green or Steve Green or any other green. A new season of music for our hearts and souls. I LOVED it! And there were some mornings we would talk. We could talk about life, about God, about a sermon he/I heard or about things were at Rancho Sordo Mudo. AND there was always more coffee.

Every once in a while I'd get caught into going on a morning walk with him and Chavez, the pup. I would try to get out the door barefoot but dad wasn't havin it, insisting almost forcing shoes on my feet. I always said it wouldn't hurt my feet, but nope. I needed to protect my feet and off I went to find some shoes.

Oh how I love the mornings. Heavenly Father already knows this well, knew this as He was creating my being. Not many folks here understand... to me it is worth it to go to sleep earlier (8:30pm, 9pm) in order to wake up earlier (5:30am) and be out by 6:30am in the cool of the day. There is breeze even a morning chill. It is worth it to see the sun streak across the sky, to see glory. Its worth it for the quietness around in these mornings annnnd then the sounds come (roosters,ducks,turkeys,birds of all kinds, morning town announcements, advertisements on loud speaker throughout the town, birthday announcements on loud speaker, 10 different versions of the same birthday song including the chipmunk birthday song, and every other sound around here which I now love but you get it...). The sun does rise and the heat does come. A new day is here.

So... here I feel His love communicated toward me. I want to dance with Him through it all. My heart wants to explode with joy and praise. I am full, walking and outside with my Dad again. It is where I feel love. Worship is natural here, flowing from a wellspring within. He too is playing music and singing over me in the morning. All of this forces me out. Out on morning walks with God and Creator to see His creation. This seems to be His way to prepare me for the day, WITH sturdy shoes to stand firm.

These are subtle little things that last with us.
It doesn't take too much, but it is felt much and it is stays with us, this love so strong and sure.