December, 24, 2007

May the love of Christ be proclaimed this holiday season.
Because He came to earth, we can have eternal life!

Ken and Jayme returned safely from their Pacaya climb. They were really excited to have been able to see lava close-up. (In one spot, it was about 5-6 ft. away!) It was incredibly hot in the area. Here are some great pictures. They roasted marshmallows over a hot spot (without the molten lava).

Here is another one - the real thing! We saw this lava river from our house the other night - glowing bright red.

And to prove that Ken was there...

These aren't your normal Christmas pictures, are they??? Oh well, that's life in Guatemala!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jayme arrived home safely on Dec. 14, for the Christmas holidays!! We're having fun making Christmas cookies. So far we've made our traditional lebkuchen, date cookies, springerle and honey cookies. We hope to make mint fudge too.

Ken went to Patzún this afternoon for the Alfa & Omega board meeting, and Jayme went to a Christmas party given by some of her friends from our church here in the capital. I stayed home and finished baking the honey cookies along with doing other 'odds and ends.' At about 10:30 p.m. both got home and announced that Pacaya (the volcano south of Guatemala City) was acting up. We climbed our water tower in our backyard and saw the sight. (Quite a feat for me who doesn't like heights!) Here's a picture. If you look closely, you can see the main flow of lava is coming out of the side - not the top of the volcano. (There is a little red glow at the top.) Interesting. Jayme and Ken have plans to climb Pacaya this coming Saturday. At the moment, I don't know if this will change their plans or not. (No one has been able to climb to the top for a few years now, because of all the activity. ) Jayme was told this afternoon that people roast hot-dogs and marshmallows over the lava. Sounds scary to me!

I've also been making a few more Temari balls. (See Sept. 11's post) Here's one that is made with a different technique than most of the others I've made. The threads are wrapped instead of stitched. It was a little confusing at first, but once I got the pattern established, it wasn't too bad.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Appreciation Lunch

Serving French fries

On Sunday (Dec. 2) Ken and I hosted an appreciation lunch for the Alfa & Omega board members and their families - in Patzún. 25 people attended. (One family wasn't able to come.) We served Pollo Campero (the Guatemalan answer to Kentucky Fried Chicken), the ever present tortillas, drinks and cakes that I had made. We had a great time with everyone. They are a great bunch of people.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Please pray for Ministerios Alfa y Omega. They are in the process of buying the 3 acre property in Patzún. A down-payment of $67,000 (dollars) has been paid (including $17,500 for the sales tax). $100,000 is still needed. (Land in Guatemala is not cheap.)

God is faithful!

The second year of the school ('colegio') ended in October. (The school year here in Guatemala is from January to October.) They had 36 students this year, and already have 50 students enrolled for this coming January.

Sunday, November 24, 2007

We hope you all had a wonderfully, THANKFUL Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for all God has done for us, especially the salvation He provides through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Yesterday, we made a trip to Patzún (also Iximche and Panajachel) taking four men from a Christian school in South Carolina to see Ministerios Alfa & Omega.

They are interested in partnering with the school, and were impressed with it. Two of the Alfa & Omega board members were there to present the work. They reported that, so far, there are 50 students enrolled to start in January! Thank you, Lord. (The first year they had 25 students, this year - 36.) That is very encouraging. However, they also reported that they need 90 students to cover the costs of paying the teachers. Please pray for God's will to be done. At the moment, we don't know where we would put 90 students!

On a family note: Jayme was able to spend her Thanksgiving holiday with Erin, Scott and Isaiah in PA. She really enjoyed her time there. (She had only seen Isaiah for one hour {in Sept.} before now.) Drew, Rachel and Evan went to Rachel's parent's home nearby, and Kyle spent the day with Ashleigh's family in California. We spent the day with fellow missionaries in Antigua.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Yesterday Ken took me to my Intermissions committee meeting in Antigua. He decided to sit in on the meeting, and was drafted into service! He will help with the facilities part of the conference as much as he can. Our Canadian work team comes the two weeks before the conference, (This coming March, they leave on the day the conference starts.) so that makes for busy times right before the conference. I will again make the name-tags for everyone who attends (around 600 people).

Today I baked a turkey to take to the CAM Guatemala Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow in Antigua. Tomorrow morning, I'll make gravy and dressing. It's always fun to get together with the other CAM missionaries on Thanksgiving.

Jayme is in Pennsylvania this weekend with Scott, Erin and Isaiah! A fellow student took her to within 3 hours of where Scott and Erin live. She is so excited to be able to spend the time with them. She had only seen Isaiah for one hour - in September - before this week-end!


November 16, 2007

So sorry for not posting in such a long time. Oct. 19-29 we attended the mission conference at LakeRidge in Dallas. We had fun seeing friends and meeting new people.

One day we were able to go to Fort Worth and visit with Cindy's cousin and 92 year old aunt (who still lives alone.) She is an amazing lady. You'd never know by looking at her or talking with her that she is 92. What a great time. Another day we went to Dallas Baptist University to see Josh, one of our last summer's interns.

After the mission conference, we went up to Tulsa and Tahlequah to visit our parents. Both sets of parents seem to be doing relatively well. Drew, Rachel and Evan visited us one week-end. It's always great fun being with family!!! Wish we could see everyone. (Cindy's mother counted all the people in their family. By next June, the V. Johnson clan will number 60!)

Ken returned to Guate. on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Lord willing, Cindy will return on Monday, Nov. 19.

September 24, 2007

No, we're not expecting a baby! I've been crocheting baby bonnets and bibs to sell -- to earn money for Ministerios Alfa y Omega in Patzún. So far, I've sold two sets.

September 19, 2007

Today I spent from 8:40 a.m. until 4:20 p.m. making French knots (embroidery stitch). Every year, CAM missionary Wray Ward, one of the professors at Seteca (seminary) makes little gifts for each graduate. This year's gift is a cross-stitched bookmark. She called me last week and said she was desperate for help with making the French knots on each bookmark. So today I made at least 370 French knots! We were able to finish the stitching part of the bookmarks. She still has more to do to finish them completely, but she was thankful for the help. It was fun helping.

Ken spent the day giving orientation to new missionaries - Danny & Daphne Foote - who arrived on Sunday. Welcome to Guatemala! We're so glad to have them here.

September 11, 2007

To catch you up a little with what's been going on:

Last week I (Cindy) finished transcribing Dr. Jobe Martin's, Incredible Creatures I, DVD so that it can be translated into Spanish. Fellow CAMer, Paul Philippi, has agreed to translate it.

In the last couple of weeks, two young people we know have been badly hurt in different automobile accidents. Please pray for our safety on the roads.

Sunday was the presidential election here in Guatemala. Two men will have a run-off next month. Please pray for Guatemala.

We are thankful that Hurricane Felix fizzled when it hit Guatemala. Since we had had a LOT of rain prior to its arrival, and the ground was already soaked, (actually squishy) we were expecting a lot of mud slides and other damage. Praise the Lord, there was little problem.

Yesterday Ken and I spent most of the day (9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.) in a Field Council meeting. We got a lot accomplished in those hours.

Today Ken had planned on going with men from Alfa & Omega to the lawyer's office to finalize the new board, etc. However, they were lacking some paper work due to a holiday relating to the election.

Early tomorrow morning my craft group is going two hours away to see the new week-end home of one of the ladies. We are taking a meal with us which we will eat there before coming back home. Then on Thursday (our usual day for getting together) the ladies will come to my house. (We take turns going to each other's homes.) I will start teaching them how to make Temari balls. (Japanese thread balls. Styrofoam balls wrapped with thread, then decorated with other thread.) Here's one that I made. Click on it to see if up close.

August 28, 2007

Jayme left this afternoon to go back to school. She was asked by the airline if she would be willing to take a flight tomorrow and receive a free round trip ticket to use later. She was willing, but they found they didn't need anyone to give up their seat. No extra day with her, and no free ticket. :( We miss her already. I wish it got easier to see your kids leave. We were blessed to have all of them visit us this summer.
Here's a cute picture of Jayme and her daddy.

August 18, 2007

Alabama Cowboy

I have several things to write about today. First of all, our grandson, Evan, celebrated his first birthday on July 24! He is learning to walk and is doing really well.

That same day, Jayme flew down to visit us! (She finished her summer internship the day before.) She and three other students made guitars and tested the sound quality of the wood. They still lack putting the finish on their guitars. She will be returning to school for her junior year on August 28. :( We will certainly miss her. She and I have been able to make a few needed clothes for her to take back to school.


Iximche, Guatemala

Drew, Rachel and Evan arrived on August 9 for a two week visit. We have had great fun with them. Today Drew had his wisdom teeth out. We have a good oral surgeon who has now extracted Jayme's, Erin's and Drew's wisdom teeth. Anyone else need theirs done??? Drew and family leave August 23 :( - Rachel's birthday. (Also my brother, Kris', birthday.)

Drew, Rachel & Evan

Yesterday, August 17, was Isaiah's first birthday. Our two grandson's are no longer little babies! I envy grandmothers who live close to their grandchildren.

"See this cool rock I found?"

Ken has made several trips to Patzún this past week, working on administrative things for Ministerios Alfa y Omega. Please pray for him that he will make wise decisions.

July 16, 2007 - Our Three Interns

Our summer interns are doing a GREAT job in Patzún. They are living with local families from the church, teaching English in the Ministerios Alfa y Omega school, working with the youth in the church, getting a lot of experience in mixing cement by hand, and building with cinder block. Thanks for all your hard work, Daniel, Sarah and Josh!!! (The above picture was taken at the Mayan ruins, Iximche - the ancient Kakchiquel capital near Tecpán.)

July 14, 2007 - Bible Dedication

Ken arrived back home last night from being away 4 days. Tuesday he picked up the three interns in Patzun. On Wed. he drove to Huehuetenango - then La Democracia, not far from the Mexican border. Early Thurs. morning (3:00 a.m.!) they started driving to San Mateo Ixtatán, for the Bible dedication in the San Mateo Chuj language. The San Mateo Chuj people now have the whole Bible in the language they understand! Over 3,000 Bibles were sold that day. Other dedications in other towns were planned for Friday and Saturday.

Fellow CAMer's David and Helen Ekstrom added this translation to their work of love.

It had rained heavily beforehand and at one point in the road the caravan of 59 cars and trucks going to the dedication came to a very steep switch-back, which caused problems for some of the heavier vehicles. Someone finally called for a grader to clean the mud away. Because of all the muddy roads, the caravan didn't arrive at the site of the dedication at 9:00 a.m. as planned, but three hours later. (They were going to be fed breakfast at 9:00, but that was canceled for obvious reasons. The dedication started at 12:25 p.m. - They still hadn't eaten anything. Ken and the interns finally each got to eat a hot dog around 4:00 p.m. which held them over until they had a real meal at supper time back in Huehuetenango! That made for some hungry people!) One of the interns said that one thing they have learned while being here is that you cannot always make set plans!
By the way, today is my beloved father's 82nd birthday. Happy Birthday, Daddy!!!

July 7, 2007 - Lake St. Louis Group

The group from Lake St. Louis was here from June 19-July 3. They accomplished several things in Patzún. The young people, along with their adult leaders poured a lot of concrete. Mixing the concrete by hand and transporting it in wheel barrows is quite different than calling up the cement company and having them send out a cement truck! They also built several walls (for rooms) with cinder blocks.
Several times they were able to perform a mime they had prepared. They performed it for the church, a national school, and near the market place.
However, not all was hard work and ministry. They were able to go to Iximche, the ancient Kakchiquel capital. The ruins are fun to climb. Behind the ruins, Mayan rituals can be seen. It's sad to see people looking for spiritual help in the wrong place. The group also went to Panajachel and Santiago on beautiful Lake Atitlán.

June 8 2007

The evening of June 6, Erin, Scott and Isaiah left to go back home. We miss them. It's hard not having family close by. However, it was GREAT having them here for three weeks. (Erin even had her wisdom teeth out while she was here!)

The same day, we picked up two summer interns at the airport. Josh and Daniel will be working in Patzun through July. Another intern, Sarah, will be coming on June 18 to also work in Patzun. We are again in Panajachel for Josh and Daniel's orientation , but Ken will be taking them to Patzun today. Ken will go on to the capital on Sunday afternoon. I will stay in Pana. this time. Lord willing Ken will return sometime next week.

A work group of 21 people from Chapel of the Lake is coming June 19-July 3, to work in Patzun.

We'll be busy, but will try to keep you posted on what's going on.

Kids Visit

May 16th was a happy day for us. Daughter, Erin, and family (husband, Scott, and son, Isaiah) and son, Kyle, and his girlfriend, Ashleigh, came down to visit us. We went to places of interest here in the capital, then went to Antigua, Patzún and Panajachel. While in Pana. we went across Lake Atitlán to visit the town of Santiago. Kyle and Ashleigh had to leave to go back to the States on Saturday, May 26. Erin and family are here until June 6. We sure have enjoyed having them all here.

(Son, Drew, and family and daughter, Jayme, will come in August!)

Erin, Scott and Isaiah

Kyle and Ashleigh

LBN Water System

Through June, Ken and I are acting as host and hostess at Las Buenas Nuevas, CAM's rest and retreat center in Panajachel - Lake Atitlan. It is beautiful here. Our 'job' is to help guests (fellow missionaries, Guatemalan pastors, church workers, work teams, etc.) and also make sure things are running smoothly. Also, Ken is working on the water system here. He has spent a lot of time trying to get the water from the well clear and clean. A new water filtration system was installed last year, but recently it hasn't been working quite right. Ken is trying to figure out what needs to be done to rectify the situation.
We are still doing our regular ministry things, so we drive back and forth to the capital 2 1/2 hours away - through Patzun - every few days. It makes for a busy schedule to say the least. We appreciate your prayers!

May 30, 2007 - My First Blog

Here I am posting my very first blog. I'm not sure how or what to do, but here goes:

Alfa & Omega in Patzún is hanging in there. They have met with the bank and have until the middle of July to pay the taxes for the property; and for the papers to be finalized. We are trusting the Lord to supply the monies needed. The monthly payments will be almost impossible for the Patzuneros, but the Lord is faithful.

While work teams are here, I (Cindy) ask some of the Patzún ladies in the church to dress the North American women in the native Patzún 'dress' which is made up of a quipil (blouse - pronounced 'we-peel') and corte (skirt - which has 6-7 yds. of fabric; pronounced 'core-tay'). While the Canadian group was here, the women dressed me -- and then I went to market with them dressed like a Patzunera (except for my tennis shoes, which by the way, did NOT go with the outfit!) I was the talk of the town for weeks, I'm sure. Everyone smiled and pointed at me. I just smiled back, waved and bought my fruits and vegetables!

I'm the tall one!