Monday, February 28, 2011

Water Filters

Hey All,

It's been 7 months since I got home from Chiapas and I still haven't posted about one of the most important ministries that we did down there: Water Filters!!!

First I should start by explaining the process (as much as I can, being a girl who doesn't really pay attention to things that are mechanical or tools or anything). Nathan and Julie Terrell, the missionaries we helped down in San Cristobal, have a ministry of translating the Gospel into the Zoque and Ch'ol languages and also recording it onto audio cd to hand out with the water filters in the villages. Water filters are incredibly useful to the people because the water is not clean at all so they have to boil it before they can use it. With the filter, they just pour the water through the top, and it comes out clean! There is more to the process then that but I don't remember all the little details. Bottom line, I can help put together a filter and that is all that matters :)

The whole system consists of 2 buckets, the filter, and some screws or bolts or something. The buckets are turned on top of each other and the filter is fixed in the middle of them through a hole that you screw.

Eden with the literature that we include with each filter. The people really appreciate this.

Part of our team with the buckets. We loaded them onto a trailer that was pulled behind the Yukon. This was for the Ch'ol trip.

We first drilled holes into the buckets. One of the holes is for the filter to fit through.

The actual filter. You can clean it and depending how much it gets used, it lasts for 6 months to 1 1/2 years.

We had to screw the filter into the bucket through a hole.

Me putting a filter into the bucket at one of the houses.

Steven explaining how to use and take care of the filter. He also uses this time to make a comparison to how the filter is like the Lord. The dirty water at the top is us but after we are born again, the Lord makes us clean just like the filter makes the water clean. (That is a very loose paraphrase.)

This picture makes me smile. I love the faces Steven and Jacob are making. After the filter is screwed in, the guys snapped the buckets together and then someone (aka me) disinfected the whole thing with bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

After the whole process is complete, we take a picture of the family for Nathan's records. Here are a few of the satisfied customers:

And that, my dear blogger friends, is the process of installing a water filter. Yeah, I know I don't do a good job of explaining things but at least there's pictures :) Blessings to you all!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Hey All,
I found this video on another blog and thought it was hysterical but SO true! It is very important to learn the language of the people you are going to reach instead of always going through interpreters. Please pray that I will continue to learn Spanish better and better. Have a great night!

Favorite Memories....

Hey All,

As June 4th gets closer and closer, I've been doing alot of thinking about Mexico. (Actually, I haven't really stopped thinking about it since my trip last summer.) But lately I've been remembering specific memories of my time there. I have some of those captured on film and thought I'd sure a few with you all.

This is our team on the first night in my favorite village, Llano Grande. We sat in the guys' house and sang songs in Spanish and in English together and many of the people came and sat and listened. A precious time for sure!

One of my favorite memories of the trip was riding on the Pathfinder with my dear friends Pete and Hannah at night. There's nothing quite like riding through the mountains with the breeze blowing our hair, singing at the top of our lungs. I smile just thinking of it :) And yes, I am the girl in the middle looking slightly possessed :D

Washing our hair in the jungle was an experience! This was our last night in Ch'ol and we were sticky and dirty and just wanted clean hair so us girls decided to have a hair washing party at the sink outside. Very cold and refreshing!

A girl in one of the villages we stopped at to do a kids program. She had long hair so we just sat together and I played with her hair. She didn't even speak good Spanish let alone english so I couldn't communicate well with her verbally. But I will always remember the moments I spent with this sweet girl.

A lady from one of the villages with two of her children. I'll never forget her either. She told us that her husband has been working in the States for 4 years now. He sends money sometimes but usually, she never hears from him. Her house is very small. Maybe 3 rooms with a dirt floor and a tin roof. Her 14 year old son was sleeping in a hammock when we came. He looked so young to me. She said pray for him. He needs a dad and he is getting into drugs and alcohol and refuses to attend church. Oh, how my heart breaks for her! Such a strong lady but having to care for 4 children alone is so hard. I don't even know her name but she will always be in my heart, too.

One of my duties was making sure the guys working on the roof properly cared for their cuts. They often went for hours without cleaning them out so I was the bandaid police.

Me and my beautiful amiga Gabriella. We had SO much fun and many good laughs together. We were tanning, Spanish speaking, mountain climbing, serious girl talking buddies. I love her very much and can't wait to see her in 3 months!!!

In Llano Grande one of the women asked if she could braid my hair so even though it was really dirty, I let her. As usual, I had a very attentive audience. I can't really express how much the people in this village high in the mountains mean to me. They are so dear to my heart and I can't wait to revisit them.

These are just a few of the thousands of memories I have from my time in Chiapas. I wish I had the time to write about each one but I don't. I hope you all enjoyed another glimpse into life in Mexico. Please keep praying for me as the trip gets closer and closer. Blessings!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hey All,

As you know, I am planning to return to Chiapas this June and staying until Christmas at least, hopefully after. I have been working and saving money up for the past 6 months and working towards this goal. I never realized how expensive having a car and insurance is until I started saving towards something :) All part of growing up.

I enrolled for classes at my community college this past fall thinking that I was going to work towards a degree. But the Lord redirected me and I ended up not. I thought I had withdrawn from the classes but the college kept emailing me saying my tuition was due. So I got online and tried to log into my college account so I could withdraw my classes but it said I didn't have an account with the college. So I figured I must have withdrawn and just didn't remember. I received a few more emails about tuition and each time, I tried to log on to withdraw but it wouldn't let me. Finally, the day after classes started, it let me on and I withdrew from the college. A few days later I got a letter from the college saying I owe $1,200 because I didn't unenroll soon enough. Originally, I had applied for financial aid but had withdrawn from that because I wasn't going to college. So now, I owe $1,200 to the college for classes I didn't even attend. I am writing a letter explaining my situation to the college. Please pray that it will be straightened out so I won't have to pay the money. This would be a huge blow to my finances. I only have 3 months to save up money as it is and this would be really bad.

So this has all been on my mind lately. The other day, I was praying about it and came across the book God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew. An AMAZING book! I recommend it to anyone. I started reading it and was incredibly blessed by the testimony of God's faithfulness and provision. If He wants me in Mexico permanently, He is going to provide for me y punto. Even if I don't have a cent to my name, He WILL provide. Does this mean I will never ever fret about anything again? I wish but I probably will take my eyes off of Christ and look at the "waves" around me. He is faithful and will keep reminding me to keep my eyes on Him though.

All that to say, I am SO EXCITED to be going back to Chiapas!!!!!! IN 3 short months I will Lord willing be there with a totally new group of people. I can't wait!!!! Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to press on toward the goal of going to Mexico as a full time missionary. Blessings!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Little Country Church...

Hey All,

Have you ever been to a place where you are completely accepted and loved for who you are? Where the people are warm and caring and welcome you with open arms? Where it doesn't matter how you dress or from what station of life you come from, you are loved for you.

Nineteen years ago, my parents and older sister Katy came to a place where the people welcomed them with open arms. And our family has been there ever since. I'm talking about my church, and more specifically my church family.

We are not a big church as far as size goes. We are out in the middle of the country surrounded by fields and woods. There are 60 people on a full Sunday. The inside of the church is nothing fancy. It's well over 150 years old and there is so much history jammed into that one little building. The Lord has kept the church where I go alive since 1825. It has survived the Civil War, both World Wars, the Great Depression, and many more catastrophes. It's neat to see how He loves and takes care of us. When I'm discouraged by how bad our world is today, I just think of how God has brought His people through so much. He remains faithful and will keep us preserved 'til His coming back.

Our church is not perfect. There have been some really hard times just in the 13 years my dad has been pastor. But the Lord has brought us through them. He is cleansing the church and purifying it.

Now what does the Bible say about church attendance?

Hebrews 10:25 says "... not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." Does this mean you have to meet in a church building for worship? I don't think so. You can worship anywhere. But it is SO important to be sharpened by your brothers and sisters in Christ. If you aren't currently involved with a church, check your motives. Are you not going because of a past incident where you got hurt? Maybe it's laziness, and having better things to do than go sit for an hour with people. Or maybe you're in between churches right now. Let me exhort you to get into a good, Gospel preaching church.

As alot of you know, I went to Papua New Guinea in 2009 for 5 weeks. While there, I visited my friends who live in the bush where the Lord has blessed their work and they have a thriving New Testament church. The believers there are so on fire for the Lord and look forward to meeting together every week, and more than once a week. When I got home, it was very hard to see the apathy of America's church. (I'm speaking collectively, obviously this is not the case for all churches). We put our time in at church and then live basically how we want to the rest of the week. Why is this? America has had the Gospel for years and years but we are taking it for granted big time. Many people don't even have a written language, much less the Gospel. We have the amazing gift of the bible in our language. We have churches at every corner practically all around the country. When was the last time you picked up your bible and read it? Or when did you last get together and fellowship with believers. Not just for dinner, but to seriously study the Word? Let me challenge you (as well as me) to get involved with a body of solid, bible believing christians. I just heard this quote the other day. No man is an island. We as humans need support and sharpening and challenges for our every day christian walk.

My thoughts are all over the place, but in a nutshell, I am so thankful for my church family and wish that everyone could find a body of believers where they are loved and accepted but also challenged in their faith. Blessings to you all today!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

FL Trip

Hey All!

I admit, this blog has totally fallen by the wayside these past 2 months. In my defense, I HAVE tried to post on here but my internet is lame and won't let me so we'll see how this goes :D

As some of you know, my family and a few friends went to Key West, FL this January for an evangelistic trip/ vacation. I am gonna try to upload some of the pictures from that time.

Our first Key West sunrise. Breathtakingly gorgeous!!!

My sister Katy and her fiancee Jason enjoying the sunrise. Don't they just look in love? :D

Open air ministry on the pier with Bill Welzein.

We got to go parasailing!!!! My brother Danny screamed until I threatened to cut his ropes :D It was SO much fun!

Jenny with an iguana she caught. The iguanas were GINORMOUS in Key West. One time, I was sitting on the pier so the ocean was in front of me and on both sides of me and Cody (one of the guys on the team) came and THREW an iguana tail at me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With nowhere to run, I flipped out because I thought it was a snake. I am so abused :D

More witnessing at Smathers beach

At the Pacific Ocean. WAHOO!!!!!! The locals thought we were crazy for swimming in (only) 70 degree water. We're hardcore New Yorkers so we were constantly in the ocean :)

My super amazing, bestest brother ever. We had so much fun at the beach in Key West!

The group at our house before we began the long trip

We traveled through 11 states during our trip. Let's just say, 10 people in a 12-passenger makes for a loooonnnngggg trip. But it was good. We got to visit friends in VA and GA and also the Creation Museum in Kentucky. It was great and I have about 8 more states to add to my "have visited" list. (My goal is to visit all 50 before I die).

As for my plans for this year, I have the opportunity to return to Chiapas this June for another 3 week trip like what I did last year which is really cool! I also am planning to stay down there for at least 6 months after the trip for language learning and helping at the orphanage down there.

Last night I was up super late thinking (and worrying) about what the next step is and how the Lord will provide. Then this morning I had to wake up at 6 to work and for my devotions, I was reading Proverbs 16. I have been reading a chapter in Proverbs everyday as it corresponds to the date. So the first verse I read was "The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord." I kinda just sat there stunned then read further and in verse 3 it says "Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established." Ok Lord, obviously You are speaking to me and it's totally amazing!!!!! So what am I supposed to do? Commit my way to the Lord. and what does He promise? That my thoughts will be established. How cool is that!

Thank you all for praying for me. Please continue to pray for my guidance and to be sensitive to what the Lord wants for me. Also for the Lord's provision. Not gonna lie, it's scary to step out in faith like this even though the Lord has proved Himself over and over again.