Monday, February 27, 2006

To My Most Amiable Readers;

Here's the lowdown on us: we just got back from Valdivia, a small city to the north of us, three hours by car, where we went to cheer on and spend time with the rowing team as they competed in the nationals. It was overall a disapointing time for the club, though one of the youngest girls got a gold medal. I was amazed by the eight-person boats; due to their length, they come apart in the middle for transport! While in Valdivia we watched a boat parade at night and visited an old Spanish fort. We also grilled a Cierra fish, which is one of the only fish I've ever tasted that "tastes like chicken". Truly.

Sophia looks like she has chicken-pox due to the dozens of small bites on her body. They are either fleas or bed bugs or a combination of both. I wonder how many parents give serious consideration to putting flea collars on their children? Please pray that the bugs would die a swift death and give our little one some peace.

Wednesday we leave with Eduardo and Juanita for the mountains on a mission trip. Please pray for safety and that hearts would be open to receive God's message of reconciliation.

Your Devoted Sarah

Monday, February 20, 2006

Far Side Wisdom

A funny on the importance of pulling with equal strength on both sides...
In training we use one red oar and one green one. When you pull unevenly you hear a shout, "Rojo!" or "Verde!", but most feared of all "Yacht!"

Saturday, February 18, 2006

From the Bottom of the Dogpile

To my most excellent readers;

I've seen dogpiles happen, I've even participated in a few, throwing myself atop a mass of giggling, jostling people, though I carefully avoided the "shoe in the face, knee in the gut, no way to breathe" positions of the lower layers. Well, as of yesterday I have been the laughing, breathless poor soul on the bottom of four or five dogpiles, which consisted of from ten to fifteen 9-12 year old children. You don't have to do anything special for cracked ribs, right?

Yesterday we went out to the Tenglo Island property where our house church is hosting a three-day camp for children from a children's home (not a true orphanage, the children return to their homes to sleep). The children's home circumstances are such that they are not cared for properly by their parents and so spend their days at the "Casa de Los Ninos".

Well, I'm not sure how it happened, but we developed a game, whereby I got a small headstart running, and they all chased me and tried to tackle me. Once they got me down, by tripping or full out tackles, they all jumped on top of me to my exclamations, "OOOoooff! Ha ha hah aha! OOOoooof! Ayudame!!! (help me) Ha ha ha haha hee! Oof! I can't breathe! (resorting to English in my panic) ha hahahah aha!".

It was good times. The kids got to pick blackberries all day and swim in the ocean, interspersed with Bible teaching and roughhousing the gringos. One of my high points of the day was combing out the long tangled-up hair of a small timid girl. She looked so bereft and I was overcome by a surge of "mothering". A longing filled my heart to somehow make her my daughter and take care of her forever. Maybe someday the Lord will lead us to adopt!

Thank you, fellow pilgrims (I just read Pilgrim's Progress and very much like the analogy),

Your Devoted Sarah

Friday, February 17, 2006

Us and our wee ones. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Wow. I found this picture of Antarctica and thought to share it with you. That's a person in front of it. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New-Found Delight

To my most amiable readers:

Some of you may recall the scene in "What About Bob" where Bill Murray has conquered his fear of sailing ("conquered" being roped to the mast and forced to sail). He belts out in a joyous voice "I sail now! I'm a sailor! I sail!!!!"

Well, friends, "I row now! I'm a rower! I row!!!"

Today I went out in a double boat with my instructor, at the ripe old age of fourteen, behind me coaching me as I rowed up the channel. It was awesome. I was cruising!!! "I row!!!"'ll have to excuse my outbursts, I get a little over-excited about my new hobby.

Now there is much yet to master; like rowing in a straight line not willy-nilly all over the channel, rowing in rhythm with my partner rather than clobbering his oars with mine, avoiding bloodying up my hands by catching them on the other hand's nails while crossing them in front of me, not running into other boats, not getting my shirt gobbled up by my rolling seat, not rowing unevenly at different depths, and so on.

Funny thing is, beginner that I am, I possibly could compete in my age group at the Nationals this month. I'm not a huge fan of humiliation, but hey, who can say they've competed in a foreign rowing finals?? But no, I'll go and cheer on my friends and hopefully learn a thing or two.

It's so great getting to know the rowing kids and their families. With God's help I hope to be his ambassador there, showing the joy and love of Christ.

Your devoted Sarah
Edison and I at Lake Chinquihue, where Dustin and I were chaperoning the rowing team camping trip. Posted by Picasa
Our little Sophia Grace. Posted by Picasa
Here we are in front of the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest cruiseliner, which docked in Puerto Montt for twelve hours. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 02, 2006

One of the youth. Posted by Picasa
Don Angel Posted by Picasa

Milk Jug Megaphone

To my faithful readers,

Today I accompanied Deborah and Jordan (our coworkers children) to their rowing practice due to my increasing interest in the sport after viewing them compete in the Nationals. The director allowed me to follow them with him in his motor-powered boat as they did drills and endurance training. Sea, wind, and sunshine...and Don Angel shouting through an open-ended milk jug. Don Angel...the characteristic sea-boat captain, old, weathered, felt hat in place, suspenders, and a touching burden for the youth of Puerto Montt.

Upon reaching the club house, a few of the kids taught me basic rowing form on the training machine. It's great because it shows the strength of your pull, the miles per hour, and the time. It's more complicated than I thought, timing the arms with the legs and the posture, and I'm not even in a boat yet! They encouraged me though, saying that I was a quick learner and had potential. Don Angel has invited me to join, and at five dollars a month (covering training, use of boats), I think that's a no-brainer. I hope I'll understand what he shouts at me through the milk jug!

Furthermore, it's been a blessing to get to know the kids on the rowing team. We chaperoned their camping trip last weekend, and it looks like we'll have many more opportunities to share our lives with them, and hopefully, Christ's love.

I've got a few prayer requests:
-childcare for when I am rowing
-that God would speak to Daniel (a dear friend who wants to know if God is real)
-that we would be a blessing

Your Devoted Sarah