Thursday, June 30, 2011

What a difference a day makes...

Yesterday was a pain filled day for me.  Part of the joy of fibromyalgia.

I have good days and bad. After getting a full night of sleep today was a fairly good day.

Anyway, we spent the day working in the counseling office, we had a prayer meeting at the Child Development Foundation to pray over all of the upcoming events and tonight I am speaking at church.  So you could say it was a full day.  Usually these long days are stressful and stress is a trigger for pain.  But today I didn't really feel stressed.  And that is a good thing.  A blessing actually.

I had some time at work to put a handout together for my teaching tonight.  I thought it might be helpful for some of the new believers that we have in our meeting.   We will look at knowing who we are in God.  You will notice this is  not a comprehensive list of all of who we are...but it is a start.   Some of the people are new to studying the Bible so I tried to follow the principle of keeping it simple.

  Know Who You Are!
John 1:12- You are His child
John 5: 24 -You have eternal life
2 Corinthians 5:17 -You are made new
1 John 1:9 -You are forgiven
Romans 8:1-You are set free from condemnation
Ephesians 2:13 -You are brought close to Him
Philippians 4:19 -You will be taken care of
1 Peter 2:9 -You are chosen
Romans 5:8 -You are loved
1 Corinthians 15:57 -You are victorious

You were made for more than to just live the same type of life that everyone around you is living...
You have an identity in Christ. 
Remember who you are.

I am grateful for this opportunity to teach tonight and really looking forward to our day off tomorrow!  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

I have not done any canning since we left Russia...I am looking forward to making a batch of apple butter once we have a free weekend. This is a repost of the recipe I use to make it. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Apple Butter
12 cups of apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
4 cups sugar
1/3 cup apple juice
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp each, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves
Mix spices in with the sugar and then place apples, sugar mixture and juice into crock pot and turn it on low and let it cook all night.

In the morning, there will be some liquid that came out of the apples as it cooked. Dip the fruit & liquid out by the cupfuls and place in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Be careful not to put too large a batch in the blender at one time and, because the mix is very hot, do not place the lid completely on the blender, but allow space for steam to escape. After blending a couple of cups from the crock pot, place it in another large bowl. After blending all the contents of the crock pot, return mixture to crock pot.

Cook on high with the lid off until the apple butter is as thick as you want it to be. Place in clean, hot canning jars and place lid on immediately. Tighten jar lid. Place the jars upside down until they are completely cool to help them seal better with all the heat against the seal.

Monday, June 27, 2011

what's in the news where you live?

Here is one of the stories in the news here in Belize.  After a little research on Google I found more info on the clinic they worked at and where the doctors are from.  I added those links into the article.

Belize Cataracts "Difficult to Remove"
June 22,2011

Cataracts are among the leading causes of blindness in Belize and a visiting eye specialist from the United states says the cataracts he's seen in Belize are the toughest and most difficult to remove he's ever encountered.

We found Dr. George Pronesti and Dr. Don Sivick in action at the BCVI clinic today where they were taking out cataracts - with great difficulty. Here's the story.

Jules Vasquez Reporting:
Dr. George Pronesti from Philadelphia does about 15 surgeries a day for his four days in Belize. He says the cataracts he encounters here are nothing like the ones back home.

Dr. George Pronesti - Ophthalmologist
"The cataracts here are generally worse than the ones that we in the United States because we take them out earlier, and when you take them out earlier, they're a bit softer - they're a bit easier to do. Here they're in for a long time; people don't have the same access to the care, so by the time we get them, they're very hard. And a harder lense is much more difficult to remove. Cataracts take a long time to get the the stage that we're seeing them. They go through stages from 1 to 4, and many of these are 4+; they're beyond 4. And it takes years to get to 4."

Carla Musa - Public relations, BCVI
"I think a lot of people just brush it off, and you still somewhat see, or you're afraid to access the treatment. You're afraid of surgery, and people don't come in and get the treatment. They don't realize how easy it actually is."

So easy that the procedure is wrapped up in a few minutes:
Dr. George Pronesti - Ophthalmologist
"Surgery in our facility takes about 4 minutes. I think my kids timed me one time when we were in there. The best I've done is 3 minutes and 9 seconds. So it's a very quick procedure. Here, It's averaging 15 to 20 minutes."
And those longer, more difficult surgeries are benefitting this doctor.
Dr. George Pronesti - Ophthalmologist
"Seeing 15 in a row is going to make me better doing surgery, but the anology I use is like a baseball batter. I'm swinging like 8 bats before I get up to the plates; by the time a get to the plate, the bat seems very light to me. So when I get home, I'm going to be swinging a light bat, no problem."
And while he gets practice in extreme cases, for patients, the reward is, vision:
Carla Musa - Public relations, BCVI
"In most cases, we can definitely see an improvement in the patient's vision the day after the surgery. I will not be 100%, but as we had with a case yesterday with a husband and wife, the lady had not seen her daughter in 2 years, and had her patch removed, had her glasses removed, and she saw her daughter for the first time. So it's as immediate as that. There are occasions where there is some swelling, and some blurriness to the vison, but it's generally the day after, you can notice the results."
But with early detection, most can avoid losing sight completely; so here's what to look for:
Dr. George Pronesti - Ophthalmologist
"Blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night, halos and starbursts around lights, lights bothering your eyes, just lights shining in your eyes making it more difficult to see. Those are the kind of things you look for. If it's blurry at all, come and see someone. It's much better to get seen earlier than to wait until you're blind. If you wait until you're blind, it's a very difficult complicated surgery to do. If you do it earlier, it's actually very simple."
Carla Musa - Public relations, BCVI
"There are thousands of Belizeans who can definitely benefit from these treatments. And it's not just cataracts; that's one of the leading causes of blindness, but we also have glaucoma; we have diabetic retinopathy. And I think the main concern from a BCVI perspective is prevention; the earlier you come in, the earlier you get your eyes tested, the earlier you're diagnosed, the easier it is to treat."
The medical team got supplies donated for all the procedures. They wrap up on Thursday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Update

 New Jerusalem Mission in Roaring Creek is a church that was started by a young pastor and his wife about a year and a half ago.  We attended their services on Sunday night and were blown away by the worship team.  The drummer was probably seven years old, the keyboard player was maybe ten and the rest of team; 3 singers and a guitarist were all young teens.  They were absolutely incredible.  I was reduced to tears by their talent and their passion.

Tom and I were asked by the pastor if we would be willing to help out now and then and we agreed to step in when we can.  So, today I am putting the finishing touches on a message that I am giving on Saturday at a Women's event they are having. Their theme is "A Time of Refreshing" and I am speaking on Being Encouraged in Heart and United in Love.

Tom is preparing a message for Sunday at New Life Ministries...and he is also attending the event with me on Saturday.  We have been sitting diligently in front of our computers with our Bibles...studying and writing. 

It is also time for us to get our visitor's permits renewed so we will be going over to the Immigration office today as well.  We thought we would be slowing down now that the baptisms, wedding and baby dedication are over at New Life..but apparently we are just getting started.

What plans do you have for the weekend?  Do you get to rest or will it be a busy one for you too?!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thought for Today

I love seeing old worn out Bibles that are falling apart..they are usually owned by someone who isn't!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme....yum!

After eating this candy bar I am no longer thinking about the one and a half inch gecko I found crawling across our bed.  All better now!  Wish all of life's problems could be solved with a bar of chocolate.

So what is your 'go to' treat in times of distress?

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Our First Belizean Wedding

We went to our first Belizean wedding yesterday.  It was such a long day for us and I have not edited all of the photos I took.  So this is just a glimpse of what we experienced!  The bride was radiant and relaxed.  The groom seemed a bit nervous.  It was a two hour ceremony which I was told was typical.  Following the wedding there was a reception and we were told after the dinner there would be a dance.  We didn't make it to the dance.  Maybe next time.  We even missed out on the cake...which I rarely let happen!

We always like to learn about wedding traditions in various countries.  We are used to seeing people in the US pin money to the bride's dress to pay for a dance with her...this was done at my cousin Joseph's wedding and people put out big bucks to dance with his bride, Michelle.  In Russia there was a tradition of auctioning off the first piece of wedding cake.  And Tom managed to be the highest bidder when our 'adopted' daughter, Olga, got married on my birthday last year.  But here we saw yet another twist.  Not only were people given the opportunity to bless the couple by pinning money to the bride's dress but there was also the option to put coins in the groom's shoe.    Not much was pinned to the dress...but his shoe filled up quickly.  What a striking difference to witness. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Life Baptism

Our slide show is finally ready... Enjoy! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Power Washing, Painting and Praising!

This is how the big wall at the furniture factory used to look

 And there was a lot of shellac and varnish on the floor

Last Saturday some of the guys got together to clean and paint 

They power washed the wall and floor

They worked well as a team...

Everyone taking on a piece of the wall

And the benefit for us all was a cleaner, more inviting place to worship.

Tom is also planning something else for that stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thought for Today

This photo was taken in the Rivera area of Belmopan, Belize 
following our fellowship's baptism down at the river.

May He find us worthy and fill us with His presence always.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

photo credit
Mennonite Girls Can Cook
These Tex Mex burgers sound perfect right about now.  
I found this recipe over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  This blog is one of my favorite food blogs and I am always eager to try their recipes.  I am thinking we will be be enjoying these burgers one night this week!

And maybe this Jelly Roll would be good for dessert...Yum!

Each time I read one of their posts I come away hungry...go check em' out!

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Down By the Riverside

Tom had the privilege of baptizing seven people from our little fellowship.   Right now we are calling the fellowship, New Life, and the baptism represents the new life that each of these people have entered into.








Before and after the baptism we had a time of playing in the water and bonding as a group.  I am still working on a slide show of all of the photos from the baptism and river fun.  Hopefully, I will have it done by Friday.  We want to include photos of them getting their certificates and that won't be done until Thursday night.

Next weekend we have a baby dedication and a wedding to look forward too!

Friday, June 10, 2011

You know you're in Belize when...

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When you see Mennonites selling their wares on the side of the road.
My favorite is a wagon load of watermelon...we have gotten some sweet & juicy ones this year!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Here or there?

After my trip to Texas I was back in the office on Monday. No vacation from my little vacation. I am still a bit tired but it is probably just the heat.  Anyway, here is where I am today.  Back at the office.  Not a complaint, mind you, a simple statement of fact.

However, I keep daydreaming about going down to Maya Beach and reading a book or studying the waves.
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Maya Beach will have to wait until our anniversary in December.  But, a girl can dream, right?!

Until then, maybe I should change the screensaver on my computer.

So tell me, where are you now and where are you daydreaming about being?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Thought for Today

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This photo was taken at Guanacaste National Park...
an awesome place for hiking and taking in God's handiwork.

His designs are so intricate, so beautiful and so elaborate.  I love His attention to  minute details.
May we always take time to pause and joyfully appreciate His creation all the days of our lives.

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