Volcanoes anyone?

Since we live in Guatemala I thought it would be cool to start studying volcanoes and coffee. So I've begun reading things on the web and researching volcanoes - coffee will be next.

In particular I am interested in a volcano named Santa Maria and another little one near it named Santiaguito.

This is a picture I took one morning. The volcano on the right is Santa Maria. The little one going off in front is Santiaguito. If you're interested or just bored head to Wikipedia

We actually live on the other side of the big volcano but we see Santiaguito vent every day from our house. We're really close to it. Santa Maria erupted in 1902 and blew the SW part off into a crater. Santiaguito (the little one) formed in 1922.

I read that between 1,500-5,000 folks were killed in these eruptions and in 1902 1/2 a meter of ash was dumped on Xela (the city where we live) during the 19 day eruption. Ash made it as far as San Francisco.

So that gets me thinking. I live within photo distance of one of the Decade Volcanoes: a group of volcanoes that are active and near a lot of people. And I guess there is a level of danger that is present that I wouldn't have back in the FlowerPlex. I know there are tornadoes and flash floods but they aren't quite as far-reaching as a volcano eruption. I'm in the process of preparing disaster kits in the honestly unlikely event of Santa Maria blowing her top - but what else do you do? The Lord called us to Guatemala. There are volcanoes and earthquakes here. Most of the time it's no big deal, but there is always the threat of something pretty awful happening here with the volcano dumping ash everywhere.

I will prepare, but the reality is that we could be killed in a volcano eruption just as we would be killed in a tornado in Texas and there's isn't a whole lot I can do about it and I refuse to live life here on planet earth paralyzed by the fear of the unknowable - even if it is a probable unknown.
So - I'll study volcanoes and if whoever keeps an eye on things says Santa Maria is about to blow I reckon we'll head out of town. And we'll trust the Lord to take care of us. He was King over the flood, right?

How do you deal with this type of thing?


Spring anyone?

It's funny the things you miss.

So Spring has always been my favorite season in Texas. I'm not sure why, really, I just like it. Maybe it's the end of cold weather (although I like cold weather) but I think it's that earth wakes back up in the spring. Grass turns green again, trees pop out another round of leaves and flowers pop up everywhere - it's bluebonnet time. The weather is great - I love big storms - and, I don't know - I just like it.

There is no spring in Guatemala. Just 'winter' and 'summer'. There is a rainy season and a dry one and depending on who you ask the rainy one is winter and the dry one is summer but no one agrees on that. There are 4 'seasons' but just because the US has them and we have the year broken up into quarters. But really, there's no huge shifts in temperature where we live. It's between 40-80 degrees most days. Rarely hotter than 80 and rarely colder than 40. I mean, it's great. Perfect weather.

But I miss the spring. Spring breaks happened and we had no idea here. All the markers we had for what time of year it is have changed. I can look at a calendar but that just tells me what the date is - it doesn't 'feel' like spring here. I reckon it will in the future, but for now, it's got me a little off kilter.

See, here, it feels like April-almost-May to every Guatemalan. But I'm not a Guatemalan. And so I don't feel the seasons like they do. The only difference here is that it's a little colder or hotter and it either rains or it doesn't. And I'm just not used to that. So its weird. Deacon will grow up 'feeling' the seasons like a Guatemalan so maybe I can ask him to explain it to me in a couple of years.

But for now, I miss the Spring.

Oh, here's a picture of our puppy, Bela:

Yeah, she's cute. Because of her we now get up at 5:45, but at least we can get some things done that way. I'm actually just now starting to like her. She's almost house-broken. I know, I know, how could you not like such a cute puppy? Well, I can give you a list I guess but I like her now. At least more than I used to. The reality is that we wanted a DOG not a puppy but this seemed like the best way to reach our desired goal. Valer la pena - it's worth it.


Ah, Life

I promise pictures of the puppy soon - maybe later today. And some updated pictures of Deacon. He's sleeping right now which is probably the best time to get a picture of him that isn't blurry.

I was reading in Psalm 61 the other day and was drawn again to v.2

"From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I"

I have a dear friend who has a ministry called Higher Rock Ministries
He took the name from this psalm and every time I read it I get to think about his ministry and pray for him. It's a truly wonderful ministry.

So. I love this verse. "From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint". Ever feel like that? Like your at the edge of the world, that one more step and you will forever exit God's creation? Where your heart is so weakened that you can hardly stand? Where you are TIRED and WEAK and just plain out. Where all you can do is raise a hand half-way and say, "I'm done. I'm out." and lay down with a sigh?

I have. A lot. And the other day I read this and though I was sitting in a nice comfortable chair at 6 whatever in the morning with a cup of coffee, I still felt like a man worn out, tired. Like I had laid my head down on the desk in the middle of class and flopped my arms at my side. When my heart was faint, I cried out. Not a loud cry, not even audible, but the Lord doesn't need loud to hear. I just asked the Lord, "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, Lord, because I just, need You to do that."

And so He does. He lifts and puts and cares and comforts because that's who He is. And oh how I need Him to do that.

Ever see the movie Tremors? Whenever the folks were on the ground the big worm things could get them. But on the rocks they were safe.

We're Rock People and we need the Lord to lead us there. I invite you to chew on Psalm 62 a little, to rest, to be lead. Because Lord knows it ain't safe out there when I'm rested and ready for anything. How much less when my heart is faint?

Praise God that He is a leader of the faint-hearted, the end-of-the-earthers! Man.


A little catch-up

Well, eventually, things get done here in Guatemala. We were scheduled to get the DSL the monday after Easter. We got it day before yesterday. And yes, we actually have DSL in Guatemala. Can't drink the water, but at least we're reconnected.

So, what have we been up to?

Let's see.

Spanish: Still in school. I have a tutor come m-f from 2-6. We're moving through the verb tenses (there are 24) and things are good. Jenny's zooming through things and is ahead of me in the language because, we'll, she's really smart. But I'm very happy with things thus far. Good days and bad days as far as that goes. I suggest learning another language to anyone - it's an incredibly humbling experience.

RMI: Our job is learning Spanish so that's prettymuch what we do. Visited a few churches, etc and looking toward the future. Lots of exciting opportunities to serve.

Jenny and Deacon: Man. Jenny's foot is good. She ain't running marathons, but she can at least climb the stairs without crutches. THANK YOU to all of you who prayed for her. She's doing great. May take 6 months for her foot to get back to normal, but we're just so happy it's ok. Deacon is my baby earthquake - that's his nickname here: terremoto. He's a hoot and we just love him so much. He's certainly full of life and loves to RUN and get into things. He eats and runs like a horse.

As for me, well, all in all things are good. Moving to Guatemala ain't easy. Anyone who says it is is lying. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But that's not a bad thing. Hard is good for me. And I'll share more of that later. For now, just know that I'll actually be blogging again. Hopefully those of you who read this will drop back by and poke around. I can tell you that it's a really nice way of staying connected with those we love.

So if you would, praise God with us, because He is faithful and just and good and THERE whenever you call out to Him. And I love Him more now than I ever have. How great the Father's love for us!

Oh - here's a picture of the Xela (shay-luh) valley - we live somewhere in the middle of the picture closer to the foot of the mountains in La Esperanza. Cool view, huh? Especially for a kid from Dallas.


Still alive

Hey there folks....

Please excuse the haitus - we have not had internet access for about a month. We have to go to internet cafes and that doesn't always work. We should be getting service at our house soon - it's been 6 weeks since they said that - but that's just Guatemala.

Jenny is up and walking, Deacon is great and we love you. We'll both update fully when we can.


Hello from Guatemala

Wow. Sorry about that.

We moved out of the guesthouse and into our own house and we don't have an internet connection yet. We're in the City so we have it for now.

8-15 days before installation is just a suggestion here.


Jenny's foot is good. We go to the doctor Wednesday (we think) to get it looked at. She's VERY ready to be back on both feet.

I'll get you updates later. We should have the internet installed this week.