Friday, December 17, 2010

Tis the Season!

Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas time? Especially here in Mexico! The past two weeks have been packed with parties, events, outings, and cheer. Let's recap...

Thursday: Staff Women Ornament Exchange

Friday: Staff Kid Christmas Party

& Single Ladies Christmas Party

Saturday: Rio Christmas Party

Sunday: The Nutcracker with SMCA kids

Monday: Spa Night for the Teens

Tuesday: Ice Skating & Dinner with MDA Girls

Wednesday: What? No party? That's odd!

Thursday: SMCA Christmas Program

Friday: SMCA Christmas Party

Goodness gracious, I think I need a nap! But instead I am off to catch a flight home to Michigan for round 2 of Christmas Cheer!

Adios Amigos!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas in the Rio

Last weekend we celebrated Christmas in the Rio! About 200 people came out for a meal, worship, gifts, crafts, and of course... a pinata!

Everyone packed out in the Soup Kitchen for worship!

Muncie and Valeria enjoying the party!

The kids watching the skit...

Mary and Joseph...

I played "Evil"... I tried to take Jesus' crown and he killed me!

Pinata time!

Working on some crafts!

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this such a special day for the families in the Rio!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Stroll Through the Neighborhood

On Monday we took the SMCA kids on an outreach though our neighborhood. Last year our candy canes were such a hit that we decided to hand them out again this year. It was such a beautiful sunny day... 70 degrees in December! This Michigan girl could get used to this kind of winter! :) While we were out strolling (haha right... as if it was that peaceful) through the neighborhood I was once again amazed that this is indeed my neighborhood and this is my home. The sights and sounds have become so natural to me. I took a few snaps while we were out to show you where I live... in this neighborhood that is vibrant, colorful and full of life!

Quick group shot before we head out!

When we left our property we ran into Oben, a precious boy who lives next door.

This is the street that I live off of...
Here is the little tienda... Coka Lite anyone? :)

This woman saw us coming with our Candy Canes and got so excited. She said she remembered when we came last year and that she had saved her Candy Cane and story! I was so encouraged by this sweet woman.

When you walk down the streets where I live you will see a heartbreaking mix of extravagance and poverty.

Bougainvilleas are everywhere! I love the splashes of color!

Anybody home...?

A woman up the road recently lost her husband, so we brought her family some extra special Christmas gifts. They loved them!
They are so beautiful!

One of the most common things around the neighborhood are the wide assortment of roaming animals.


Goats... ya know, the usual!
This goat seemed to be all tangeled up, poor thing! Or so I thought... I was soon told that he was in Time Out because he had been naughty! This struck me as very funny, so I had to take a quick picture!

One neighbor wanted to give us something in return for the Candy Canes, so he plucked a few lemons from his tree... did I say lemons? I meant to say GIANT lemons!! This one was as big as Sofia's head! When life (or a generous neighbor) gives you 10 giant lemons... make lots and lots of lemonade!
So those are a few of the sights around my street. I hope you enjoyed them! I know it sure doesn't look like Christmas time, due to all the sunshine and summer heat, so I thought I had better leave you with just a dab of Christmas cheer...
Lawn ornaments anyone? :)

Feliz Navidad!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I just wanted to take a moment to share some exciting news!! I just read my dear friend Corrie's blog and found out that Little Mary has been adopted!! Little Mary was one of the children that I was blessed to meet when I was in Nigeria over the summer. She lived at OLA and absolutely captured my heart. I am bursting with joy at the thought of this sweet baby girl being loved and cared for by a family of her very own. Praise the Lord!!

The thought of adoption has been on my heart more than usual lately. It is the desire of my heart to adopt one day, and every time I hear an adoption story my eyes can quickly well up with tears of joy. I know it is not easy and I have the utmost respect for those of you who have adopted, are in the process of adopting, or have helped others to adopt. My prayers are with you and I pray that God showers you with his blessings. Adoption is the heart of God. I truly believe that, and I see it in my own life. I have been adopted into God's family and that means that I have gone from the "orphanage" of fear, slavery to sin, uncertainty, and death- to the "mansion" of freedom, joy, security and life. Life is not perfect, it is not easy, but I am never without the love of my Heavenly Father. Adoption is at the heart of the Gospel message.

Romans 8:15
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received a Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'."

Because I am adopted as a child of God...

I am forgiven, redeemed and beautiful.
I can call on God at any time.
I am his heir and co-heirs with Christ.
I have the Holy Spirit and His power is at work in my life.
I am never alone.
I do not have to fear being alone.
I can trust the Lord with my future.
I don't have to try and prove myself or gain approval from others.
I am freed from fear of death.

=Romans 8:14-17=Galatians 3:22-23=Galatians 4:1-7=Hebrews 2:10-15=

Right now Little Mary is getting a taste of this freedom and love through her earthly adoption, but I pray that one day she will also experience the ultimate adoption into the family of God!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We're Thankful For...

Thanksgiving break flew by and I just realized that I have yet to post about the fun SMCA Thanksgiving traditions that we have! Every year we have a Thanksgiving Luncheon with all the students and parents. A huge thanks to Beth and my mom for putting together such a delicious lunch!
I'm thankful for all of my wonderful students!
Luke is thankful for the food!

Sofia is thankful for and excited about the avocados!

Another fun SMCA tradition is making Thankful Trees! These trees are the centerpiece decorations at the big Back2Back Thanksgiving dinner. This year the SMCA kids also put on a skit at the dinner to share the story of the first Thanksgiving. They did such a great job, I was so proud!
Here is our Thankful Tree...

One thing that I love about living on the B2B campus is that American holidays and Mexican holidays are celebrated by all. Our staff is a mix of Mexicans and Americans and it is so fun to share our cultures and holidays with one another!