but a broken spirit dries the bones."
A smile ministry? Don't be too quick to dismiss this as silliness!! As Christians we are supposed to be filled with the joy of the Lord, but my, how many Christians I know walk around with a perpetual scowl!! What others see when they look at us is called our countenance...new-agers call it our aura...in either case our countenance either consciously or unconsciously attracts or repels others. A SMILE communicates so many things to others...it tells others you are friendly, open, positive, that you care....isn't that the image you want to project? Do you realize that when you scowl and make eye contact with another, many people will, in the depths of their mind, wonder if you dislike them, if something is wrong with them? A scowl also says something about you as a Christian...you all know the scripture about our being the light...well, a smile (show teeth even!!) is one of the greatest ministry tools we have (and a benefit is that our smile creates within us a positive mindset...it is a fact that the look on your face portrays what's going on in your mind!!) Try this out today...look others in the eye today and give them a big smile and see if the world doesn't become just that much better! God bless you today! -- Alan
As we are drawing closer to the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I find this "call to joy" very timely! The Apostle Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord always!!!" in Philippians 4:4 and then he goes on in verse 6 to say "make your requests to God with thanksgiving." Sounds like joy and thanksgiving should go hand in hand! I pray that you are able to reflect joy and thankfulness in all you do as you go about your day.
God has been so faithful to our family and ministry here in Mexico! We are indeed thankful and joyful!
Doug returned home from a two-week visit to the States in October. We are SO glad to have him home! To all of you who opened your homes and hearts to him during his time there, "Thank you!!!" He came home tired physically, but refreshed spiritually -- and I think he gained 10 pounds! What did you feed him?!?!
Speaking of growing things, we found homes for all of our puppies! Thank you, Lord! Puppies can be rather hard to find good homes for here. Here's a shot of Evie with the two that we're keeping. One is Esteban's, which we are taking care of for a while. He can't have puppies at his property because there is something in the dirt which kills pups. We think it may be parvo. So, puppy stays with us for now!
Well, fall has finally fallen in Mexico!!! Hurrah!!! It's currently 85* and 58% humidity!!! Time to break out the sweatshirts and slippers!
From Sarah's Blog "Go Therefore and Be Light!":
Just to let you all know the weather here is finally cooling off!! As of right now the temperature is 85* 68% humidity. I know that most of you probablythink that I'm crazy to be thinking that this is a good temperature. But, compared to that of the last 5 months, this is great!! I actually slept without a fan last night! I'm hoping that this time the temperature will STAY cool. The last few times that it started to leave it just ended up being a trick to taunt us. You know, like a taste of cake and being told that you can eat the rest for another month! ;) The heat can be a very big test of patience. It's hard to be a blessing to those around you when the heat is causing you to be so frustrated! Still, I do thank God for the heat. I'm not sure what good it does though...
Wait! Papaya! I forgot that Papaya grow wonderfully in this climate! There is no getting along without that stuff!!! HaHaHa! :^) Read the rest of this article here.
November marks the one-year anniversary of our family "blogging" adventure. Something special that we've found ourselves involved in this month are the annual Homeschool Blog Awards. Our family actually ended up with 4 blogs nominated in various categories. If you have a few moments free, click over to Rebecca's site where you can vote for our blogs. You don't have to be a "blogger" and you don't need any special accounts. Just point and "click" (Sorry, only one vote per computer!).
We had a little excitement at the end of October! At 4 o'clock one afternoon, we received a call from Esteban telling us that we needed to be at the beach in Boca del Rio by 6 that evening if we wanted to see some turtles. Turtles??? The university in Guasave harvested over 100 sea turtle eggs from the beach of Boca del Rio a few months ago. They hatched at the last full moon! Practically the whole town turned out to see these little miracles! In Spanish, their name is Tortuga Delfin. Anyone know what variety that is in English? Read the rest of this article and see more photos here.
School is back in swing at our house. Now that the heat has somewhat abated, we feel like we can finally concentrate on such things as math and history. The kids, believe it or not, are pretty excited to get back into a routine. Not all the kids are avid readers, but they all love to dig into "projects".
One project we've had in various stages for the past month is a small motorbike our friend Esteban has "loaned" to Andrew. Andrew is in his element when his hands are covered with grease. I remember one instance almost 2 years ago when Andrew was helping me fix the shower head. From Rebecca's blog:
The little holes were clogged with sediment and I needed to drill them out, but I couldn't get the drill to work. Andrew, then only 8 years old, said, "Give me that, Mom. I'll see if I can fix it." I handed him the drill and then went back to poking the drill bit in the hole and wiggling it around (not very effective). Half an hour later, Andrew brings back the drill and says, "Here ya go, Mom. I took it apart and the wire was busted inside, so I rewired it. Works fine now." At that moment, I knew he had found his vocation. Read the rest of this article here.
We praise God that we have been able to create an environment for our kids which encourages them to pursue their passions. I, Rebecca, was asked this week what one experience has done the most to ignite passion in our kids' lives. My answer was, hands-down, moving to Mexico. We pray that our children will always be so passionate about their Creator God that they would gladly walk away from anything that would threaten to quench that passion.
We've been working the website for our ministry, FLOW international. Well, it's finally ready to go! The address is: flowinternational.blogspot.com We still have more we want to add, but there's a lot of good info there. We're hoping to make the FLOW international site very informational -- a place where folks can read about ministry and mission trip opportunities for the American church, as well as background and cultural information about our area and the Mexican church with which we work. This month, we've been digging through old emails and re-constructing our update letters from 2007 and 2006. Do you remember this photo? It's from our update letter May 2006.
I often found myself shaking my head in wonder as I read through those old letters! God has brought us so far! In big things like constructing our home, and in small things such as learning to insert photos into emails, God has proven Himself faithful time and again! Three years ago we were despairing of ever understanding the people around us, let alone speaking Spanish coherently. Now we're preaching and teaching in Spanish. Wow!
Do you realize how much God is using you in our ministry?
- You are our prayer partners.
- You send encouraging emails at just the right moment.
- You send cards on our birthdays.
- You open your homes to us when we're traveling. ALL of us!
- You supply us with coffee and peanut butter and beef jerky! ;^)
- You have fixed our van's air conditioning, replaced our tires, repaired our transmission, fixed the hole in our roof, bought our gas.
- You fixed our computer when it crashed.
- You replaced the computer which was struck by lightning.
- You supply our school materials and ministry materials.
- You bless us with all sorts of special things to share with the people around us.
- You give Bibles to the people of our village.
- You support us financially, which enables us to continue living and serving in Mexico.
You, the Body of Christ, are ministering in Mexcio as we minister. You have a hand in Mexico. Thank you for being part of this ministry! His ministry!
Serving Him wholeheartedly,Doug and Rebecca and the kids
Prayers and Praises:
- Praise God that Doug was able to attend his Grandma's memorial service and that he made it home safely!
- Praise God for His care and protection over the house and household in Doug's absence.
- Pray for Doug this Sunday as he teaches at the church (in Spanish!). Pray for clear thoughts and good verb conjugation and that God would be speaking what He wants the people to hear.
- Pray for some of the ladies in the church...Cristina pulled a ligament in her foot, Pily threw out her back and Armida sprained her wrist. Pray for quick healing for these sisters in Christ.
- Pray for Esteban's extended family. We are hoping that they will all want to be involved in the biblical parenting study we will be starting soon.
- Pray that God would give us wisdom in that parenting class. We are in the process of translating a study we have from English to Spanish. It's slow-going, but God is faithful!
- Pray for the youth and families of Boca del Rio and Las Glorias. Our ministry focuses on family relationships. Pray that we would be lights in our community.
- Pray for the mission teams that are making plans to come to Mexico this coming year.
- A mission team from Washington arrived at the Petit's on Tuesday. Pray for this team -- that God would be glorified during their time here and that lives would be impacted for Christ.
- Pray that God would continue to provide for our needs here in Mexico. He is always faithful!