Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good bye.....

Hey All,

Today I had to say goodbye to my dearest, bestest friend. Well, of the canine variety anyway. My beautiful dog Gretchen Faithful died today. She was 12 years old. I can't put into words how much it hurts. She has been my tried and true friend for years and years. She watched me grow up. She never back stabbed or talked mean about me. She always was willing to listen and was quick to wag her tail or lick my hand. I've spent many a night sobbing all over her because of the big, mean world. Some days I would come home from school and feel very lonely. Gretchen always cheered me up. I will miss her so stinkin' much.

Maybe some people think it's lame to be so attatched to a dog. I realize there are much bigger issues in the world than this but she meant so much to me. God gave me a beautiful gift for 12 years. I am so thankful and will always have the memories of her. Thank You Jesus!

Gretchen will always be my first dog. I love her so incredibly much and miss her. She's beautiful and I'll never forget her no matter how many dogs I own.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Same Old Same Old....

Hey All,

I feel like I've written a post identical to this many times before. Posts about trusting the Lord, struggling to walk by faith and not by sight. Why is it so hard to learn this lesson? Why do I keep taking my eyes off of Christ and fixing them on the problems of this life? Just when I think I've conquered this, something comes up and reminds me I have such a long way to go. I read verses in Matthew about not worrying and how it doesn't add a cubit to my stature (Matt. 6:25-34) but I don't take them to heart obviously.

I got an email from the college today saying my tuition of $1,300 is due by March 18. I wrote a letter a few weeks ago explaining my situation but they obviously have decided that I need to pay. So now, all the months of saving are for naught it would seem. I have less than 3 months 'til my trip to Chiapas and while that is incredibly exciting, it's crazy scary as well because now I don't have money to go. The Lord is teaching me to trust in Him COMPLETELY for all my needs. All I need to do is trust Him to take care of all my needs. God gave me a verse a long time ago when I was struggling with doubts and fears about Papua New Guinea. It's Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." What a comfort!

Please pray for me that I will trust the Lord for everything. That I will lay my burdens at His feet and not try to take them up again. Thanks to you all who are keeping me in your prayers. I appreciate it so much. Dios les bendiga! (God bless you all!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Village

Hey All,

Llano Grande was the first village our team visited after arriving in Chiapas. We were all nervous I think, not knowing what to expect or exactly what to do but the people there made us so welcome and gave up their homes for us to sleep in. They gave us food even though we brought our own and taught us so much.

It wasn't so much the place that drew me, but the people there. One family in particular took me in and accepted me and all my language short comings. They treated me like their daughter and sister and friend. They don't have much in material possessions but they make up for it with an abundance of love and happiness. Some days, I miss those people so much it hurts. They became my family and I can't wait to return one day and see them again.

Llano Grande is in the mountains so the view is stunning

The house we stayed at was very nice by Mexican standards. There was a shower and toilet inside the house for the guy's house. The girls had to use an outhouse.

The kitchen we used to cook in was separate from the house and made from mud. It as definitely an adjustment learning to cook with no stove!

The bathroom us girls used. To the left is a cistern we used to flush the toilet. There was no running water so we used the bucket to flush. Plumbing in Mexico leaves much to be desired.

Some of the girls slept in hammocks while the rest shared double beds. It was an experience for sure!

I spent every possible moment with the people, learning Spanish and building relationships.

With two very dear ladies. The one on the left is the mom and the one on the right is Marvel, the daughter in law.

Olga, the other daughter in law asked to braid mine, Hannah's, and Amy C's hair.

The ladies tried to teach me and some of the others to make tortillas. Not hard, right? It was extremely difficult! I did not get the hang of it at all. Those ladies are champions for all their hard work!

Me and Meli, an extremely helpful and friendly eight year old who loved to teach me Spanish and other things.

My beautiful hermanita (little sister) Saili. She is so precious to me. This little girl will grow up without a daddy because he did not want the responsibility of taking care of her. He is missing out on a wonderful opportunity. She will grow up with men in her life. Her grandpa, uncles, and cousins. But it is not the same as having a daddy of her own.

David, Eden and Me with part of my wonderful family. I will never forget them and all they did for our team.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Hey All,
I've been thinking today about my journey and how the Lord has brought me to where I am today. There are so many things He's still working on in my heart and life but He has been helping me to conquer certain things in my life.

When I went to Papua New Guinea, I had 3 big fears:

1) Getting lost in Atlanta airport as I had never flown before. The Lord provided a travling companion and we got through the airport ok though, Praise the Lord.

2) Flying. Well, more specifically, falling out of the sky and crashing and dying. But the Lord got me over that fear too. Actually, flying is fun! I like the smaller airplanes because you can feel the bounce around more than on a big plane.

And 3) Snakes. My biggest fear of all time is snakes of any size, shape, color, or kind. I am terrified of pictures of snakes, movies, and snakes in cages. But especially in the wild. When I went to PNG, I was so terrified the Lord would trap me in a small space with a snake and make me get over my fear of snakes.

During the month I was at the Interface campus I didn't see any (Praise the Lord)but when we went to the bush, the Lord decided it was time for me to get over my fear. I had to sleep in the same room with a green python in a cage!!!!! At night, I had to listen to him thud onto the floor while I was trying to sleep! By the end of my time there, I decided I was going to hold that stinkin' snake if it killed me! So I did and here's a video of it for proof. Remember, I was two years younger and very sunburned :)

In Chiapas, I only saw two snakes and I knew where they were when I came upon them so that was a blessing. I'm hoping my "luck" won't run out this trip and I'll have a snake-free trip. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Modes of Transportation

Hey All!

Today's post is about transportation in MX. There are so many different ways to get around. Our team used the Yukon and Pathfinder mostly and taxis but also walked. Here are some pictures:

Rachel, me and Steven riding in a combi which is a truck with a tarp over the bed and benches to ride on. Usually, the Mexican people stuff themselves into 'til it's overflowing. Guess there aren't too many traffic laws there :)

The Pathfinder heading up an incredibly steep hill on the way to Llano Grande. If you look close at the road in front of it, there is a scrape. That's from the Yukon, which went up first!

There is an overabundance of punch bugs in San Cris. Our team enthusiastically played the punch on the arm game everytime we saw one, which was every few minutes it seemed.

Passing on jungle roads can be tricky. This is the Yukon and a combi that just barely squeezed past. We were all unconsciously holding our breaths 'til it got past I think.

On the way out of Ch'ol, Nathan asked if anyone wanted to ride on the roof. Chyeah! Eden, Amy K., Jacob, and I had a really good long talk about our dreams up on that roof. One of my fondest memories.

David and Amy K. with Julie. This is somewhat typical of a Mexican car. They don't just stop because there are 5 seatbelts, they will keep cramming people in. Poor David :)

Mountain roads have alot of falling rocks. These were already on the road when we drove by thankfully. Word to the wise: Use caution when driving in the mountains of Chiapas! :)

We did alot of walking to the market in downtown San Cristobal. It felt nice to actually walk and not drive everywhere for once.

Of course no post about transportation would be complete without a picture of a burro :) Contrary to popular stereotypes, not all Mexicans ride burros. There are cars and people do use them regularly. Hard to believe, I know :) We didn't actually ride this guy, just took a picture for everyone to see an authentic burro.

The roads in Mexico are at best like a seasonal highway here in the States. The cities have nicer roads but once you're out in the jungle, they are pretty interesting to drive on sometimes. They were better than the ones in Papua New Guinea however.

I hope you all have an amazing day. Keep seeking after the Lord. Blessing to you all!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Construction Projects

Hey All,

I am slowly, oh so slowly posting more aspects about my trip. It's only taken 7 months to do. When the team wasn't in the jungle, we stayed at the Terrells' house in San Cristobal. Nathan has been building a third story onto his home for awhile. They summer teams that come and stay with them live downstairs in an apartment and he and Julie and their girls live upstairs in a small 2 bedroom house. The addition will include more bedrooms and living space which will be a huge help.

There were several projects we worked on while in San Cris. There was a painting team consisting of some of the girls. The living room needed painting so our team bought the paint and the girls painted it over a couple of days.

Another project was to scrape some putty (I don't know another word for it) off the downstairs windows and to reputty them. Hannah was in charge of that project. I had the priviledge of working on the roof with the guys. Construction in MX is very different from in the States (not that I have experience with either but from what the guys said, it is different). My job was cutting wires and bending them for the guys to use to tie walls together. I eventually learned to do that, too.

Another project we worked on was hanging the garage door. That took all afternoon! Nathan, Jacob, Amy K. and I worked on that. It was a very interesting afternoon to say the least complete with lizards and dead scorpions. Nathan sent me to get a door stretcher for him and Jacob to use. I went and looked in the toolshop for it but couldn't find it so he told me to go ask Julie what it was. I went up to the house and asked her and she was like "Oh Abby, those guys are so mean. There is no such thing as a door stretcher..." Well, how was I supposed to know! :)

The girls hung a sign to keep people (and dogs) out of the living room

The painting team: Katie, Amy C., Amy K., and Rachel

Cutting wires for tying walls together

Me and Jacob in what will be the hallway.

Hanging walls was challenging sometimes especially figuring out how to fit them and cut them correctly for corners and the furnaces and closets.

Me tying walls together. Christopher, the team leader, didn't let me do too many outside walls for fear I would fall.

Pete, the electrician of the group trying to figure out how to wire the place with no instructions.

Hanging the garage door, a very dirty job for sure!

The guys got sick of working I guess and decided to goof off instead :)

I had never worked construction projects before and it was very fun learning to do things. What a blessing for us to be able to help the Terrells! Just a fact for everyone: When you are overseas, don't expect things to work like they do in America. Maybe we do have a better way of doing things, but the nationals have their own way of doing things, too. Construction might be delayed ovver and over for various reasons. God sure does teach patience! Blessings to you all!