Saturday, August 30, 2008

Venezuela 2008

Ok - I've been having trouble with my computer and I'm in the middle of rebuilding it and doing a fresh installation of Windows. This is why photos and videos of this summer's mission trips have been long coming. Well, I have gypped some that I managed to upload to Facebook and my wife has been able to upload several to her blog with her functioning laptop in Venny. (You may want to check out her photos and posts regarding her trip to the Yukpa Indians. To give you an idea, one of the first things they did when they got there was dig the toilet. Baths were taken in a cold stream at the foot of a steep hill and they cooked outside. Talk about roughing it.)

This is a skit of the gospel done by the Venezuelan youth at the baseball clinics we did.

The lady in the green is who we call "mafia lady". She's pretty boistrous, but loves the people of her neighborhood. As one of the wealthiest people in the neighborhood, she is very generous to her neighbors and allowed us to do a carnival right in her yard. The first year we did anything with her, we did a gospel presentation using her carport as a stage. When those who desired to accept Jesus Christ were asked to raise their hand, she called out, "Everyone raise your hand!" She wasn't a Christian herself at the time, but has since grown to trust Christ as he savior. That same year we did food distribution in her neighborhood and offered prayer for each neighbor we saw. My family met the lady in blue, who is standing next to her in this photograph, and prayed for her. She is raising her four young grandchildren by herself and has a very difficult life.

In Ebenezer, the people heard we were coming and planned a special surprise for us. They taught some of their children, 7 boys and 7 girls, a traditional Venezuelan dance. These 4 girls were part of the troupe.

Here's my daughter, Hope, sitting with the team as we enjoyed lunch one day at the church.

The Olivers brought a guitar. This is the first year we've brought a stringed instrument. The first year we went to Venezuela, Brian and Lisa Souther and their family brought recorder flutes to play, so this isn's the first instrument we've ever brought.

Here are most of our kids sitting on the side one evening during an evangelistic service.

Paul loves his friend Liseth.

We do so many types of activities, it can be said that we wear many different hats. This year we did evanglism, discipleship, construction and visited people in nursing homes. AJ demonstrates this rather literally.

Here are many of the ladies chatting about something. Patti Makar on the far left in the back had come to Venezuela a few years ago, but had taken time off. Her husband, Jimmy, was on the cycle I was on in London.

Here's my wife and her best friend (other than me), Adriana.

I gave my testimony here as Adriana translated.

This was taken at one of the nursing homes. Paul is really wanting down so he can run. That's why he's looking at me funny.

Jeff is probably just interacting with this cool-looking kid in a normal way. However, knowing Jeff it's not hard to imagine that he's tryint to discuss some finer theological point with him.

How proud could a father be that his kids are happy to be in church somewhere in a third-world country?

Melinda was another who took a couple of years away from Venezuela. Actually, she and her family have been spending Summer vacations helping out in areas ravaged by Katrina.

One of the baseball clinics ended in a scrimmage. Here we have some cheering fans.

Shade is a good thing to find most days in the tropics.

Some boys at a baseball clinic.

Hank was playin catcher and batter coach during the scrimmage. One time he called for another batter and didn't get one. On investigation, he realized that the Venezuelan minding the batting queue was busy explaining the gospel to the boys in the queue. Hank would present to gospel after the scrimmage to all the boys and parents there.

One of the Venezuelans helping with the clinic was also the pitcher for the scrimmage.

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