Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

 I will be spending the evening in the company of my family enjoying some movies and chocolate pie!

 Here on the border with Brazil, in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, we get two rounds of celebratory fireworks due to the difference in the time zones of the two countries!

 How will you be receiving the New Year?

Where will you be spending New Year's Eve?

What will you be eating?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Sunday Morning

On the way to church I saw a guy riding a motorcycle in flip flops and no helmet and he was TEXTING! On the way home from church I saw one motorcycle towing another one on the highway, using a sheet to do the towing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Map of Memories

My husband posted the following  a while ago and this year I surprised him by having his map framed for his office.

(A note from Yekwanaman)

I just unpacked a hand drawn survey map of the Caura/Erebato river basin in Venezuela, made sometime after MAF first entered Venezuela back in the late 1950´s. It shows the rivers, rapids and different villages, (Chajuraña is on there). Those pilots flew many hours just to record what was down below. Perhaps they were the first to do it. I will be framing it and putting on my office wall here in Paraguay as a connection to the life I will never forget.

It was given to me by a missionary in Venezuela who at one time was with the Orinoco River Mission. He and his wife lived on a house boat with their 6 children  as they traveled to preach in different villages along the Orinoco. They, and others, wanted to go deeper into the jungle, but they needed help. That was when MAF came into the picture.

Another  missionary family with ORM was in the village of Chajuraña traveling in and out by canoe. They loved the MAF plane and the pilots. They helped us with advice and counsel on our way there 20+ years later .

I see places on the map in the jungle where I slept, where the men went hunting, and rapids where some of my friends died.

To touch the map is like touching almost 60 years of missions history, most of it will be forgotten in a few decades and the world will never know of the pilots, missionaries and tribal people who lived in that region. But the people who have lived and worked there, who know Jesus Christ as their Savior, will one day be reunited as family. We will eat Washadi ,(Tapir), Cawaadi (Deer), casabe (manioc bread) and waddue (hot peppers sauce) and drink as much manñoco and Yucuta as we possibly can.

And we will laugh like Ye'kwanas. because it is so much fun.

Yep, I am gonna frame that map and hang it to remember.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Paraguayan Spider Lace ~ Ñandutí

A new Ñandutí table runner and its ORANGE! :)

 Here is the Guarani legend of the origins of Ñandutí (Spider Lace)
Two young men loved the Cacique's (Chief's) daughter. While he alone determined her destiny, he loved his daughter and desired her happiness. He devised a contest that would be sure to show which young man would be best suited to marry his daughter. Each one must bring a gift. But not just any gift. A unique gift. One that would cause the Cacique to release his daughter to marriage.

One young man was very rich, and there was nothing he could not buy. He gathered every kind of animal and prepared them to be taken to the Cacique.

But the other young man was beyond poor (you knew it would be so, surely). He had nothing, and no way to buy anything for his beloved. As he wandered through the woods, he looked up and saw an elaborate spider web hanging from a branch. He thought to himself, "How perfect! I will take this as my gift!" But as he reached up to grab it, it dissolved in his hands. He left the forest weeping, completely defeated.

His mother heard his cries and found him. As he poured out his dilemma, she assured him that all would be well. She found another spider web and sat down to mimic it's pattern and create her own beautiful web. Using the hair from her own head, a stunning salt and pepper, she weaved the first ñandutí.

When the poor young man presented his gift, the Cacique gave his daughter to him. Since that day women all over Paraguay have been creating ñandutíi out of lovely colored thread.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Not Only on Christmas Day

Lord, this is my prayer
Not only on Christmas Day
But until I see You face to face
May I live my life this way:

Just like the baby Jesus
I ever hope to be,
Resting in Your loving arms
Trusting in Your sovereignty.

And like the growing Christ child
In wisdom daily learning,
May I ever seek to know You
With my mind and spirit yearning.

Like the Son so faithful
Let me follow in Your light,
Meek and bold, humble and strong
Not afraid to face the night.

Nor cowardly to suffer
And stand for truth alone,
Knowing that Your kingdom
Awaits my going home.

Not afraid to sacrifice
Though great may be the cost,
Mindful how You rescued me
From broken-hearted loss.

Like my risen Savior
The babe, the child, the Son,
May my life forever speak
Of who You are and all You've done.

So while this world rejoices
And celebrates Your birth,
I treasure You, the greatest gift
Unequaled in Your worth.

I long to hear the same words
That welcomed home Your Son,
"Come, good and faithful servant,"
Your Master says, "Well done."

And may heaven welcome others
Who will join with me in praise
Because I lived for Jesus Christ
Not only Christmas Day

-- Mary Fairchild

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Southern Cone

 It was 50 degrees today here. 
That is 50 degrees Celsius.
Do you know how hot that is in Fahrenheit?

122 degrees Fahrenheit!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I caught Jayde practicing for her upcoming final exams while helping put up our Christmas tree.Notice the fan in the back ground? It is about 100* here in Paraguay this time of year.
 She is doing vocal drills developed by Giuseppe Concone. Anyone ever used his method ?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

One dark night

Written by my daughter, Jewel Vernoy

      There is a legend among the Ye’kwana Indians that if you leave your house and are seen by the death spirit you will die that night. The Indians feared this spirit so much that they never made windows in their houses. A few people had become Christians and no longer feared the spirits in the jungles, but sometimes, in the darkness of the night, it is hard to hold on to that faith in God. Especially difficult when there is no light and you can have a snake an inch away from your face and not even know that it is there, until you feel the fangs pierce your skin and inject their poison into you. This night was no exception, there was no moon or stars to share their glimmer to give hope to the people of the morning, only a dark blanket to cover the village in. It was as though the darkness wanted to hide something, to keep it a secret, but what?
            I had just turned 15 and thought I could handle anything but those dark nights could send chills through even the bravest man on earth. As I slept in my hammock, or attempted to, I heard feet running towards my house, and they were running quickly. Suddenly, someone was banging on the door crying out to us, “Please help! The baby has come, but something is wrong! Please, please come quickly!”
         My father jumped up quickly, grabbed a flashlight and his medical bag, and ran out after the girl who had come to get him. While my father was running towards the small hut where the young mother was giving birth, the light of his flashlight shown on a large puddle of blood pooled on the ground. He stopped the girl and asked her whose blood it was? The girl replied in a gasp, “Sister had gone to the outhouse and on her way back the baby was born. This is where it happened.”
        As my father listened to the girl and looked at the blood on the mud path his worst fears were confirmed, “Why God? Why now of all times? And, also, why to this woman? I don’t understand?”  he thought to himself and he prayed.
            When my father got to the hut he saw the parents of the new baby. His heart hurt for them. How could he tell them? As the man looked at my father with hopeful eyes, my father knelt on one knee and gently placed a hand on the husband’s shoulder, shaking his head. “How long?” the husband asked my father as tears ran down his face and he lovingly held his wife.
       My father was heartbroken over this scene but replied, “I don’t know. It could be an hour or two…or it could be in the next five minutes, but I will try to make her as comfortable as possible.” My father administered some pain killers to the unconscious, hemorrhaging mother.
 The woman had already lost so much blood! If only she was in a hospital, but even there it would be difficult to save her life. My father looked at the mother and the puddle of blood that was now forming under her hammock.  Once again, my father shook his head. “Dear God, why? I don’t understand. She was healthy and this is not her first child so why did she have to hemorrhage?”
 My father stayed with the family until dawn broke and the mother went home to her Savior. In the jungle a body must be buried as quickly as possible or sickness would plague the village. My father also wanted to make the coffin as quickly as possible because the carpenter of the village was also the husband of the woman who has just died.
 As my father and the new widower built a coffin, others went to the burying ground to dig a grave. After her body was placed in the coffin, we took her to the church and held a service.
During that week we had been hosting a soccer tournament in our village. Because of the death in the village the tournament had been canceled. It was to be expected that the villagers would leave out of fear of the death. However, some villages stayed because they were shocked and could not understand the calmness that the Christians of our village had shown even when faced with a death. Three villages stayed and listened to the gospel being preached at the funeral.
As my father looked around at all the unsaved people, he remembered a prayer my mother had heard during a ladies prayer meeting earlier in the month.
 “Dear God, please do whatever it takes during this tournament to let the other Indians hear about your Son. Amen” and then my father under stood that it was God answering a payer through this death. The simple prayer that the gospel would be preached, that prayer had come from the mother who now lay in the coffin.

Monday, December 3, 2012


 We are off for a few days. Hopefully, no doctor's visits, no waiting rooms, no lab work, no ER visits. Just a little R&R for the family after going through a rough month, both emotionally and physically.

I'll tell you all about or trip when we get back, but here are a few clues:

  • We will see a man made beach
  • We will break out in a song from the movie Nacho Libre
  • We will tour century old ruins
  • We hope to catch up with fellow missionaries
  • We might cross a border
  • We will walk jungle paths
  • We may even see the ghost of Dr. Mengele !

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Another one of those things that may not have been such a good idea after all...
("This is a work of fiction - any resemblance to actual persons
living or dead is purely coincidental...maybe".)

After leaving the jungle, we were still under investigation by the authorities. Sometimes this involved having our phone tapped. We had been warned of this and sometimes, you could hear a machine click on and occasionally, even breathing and other background noises.

We had nothing to hide and did not discuss anything private over the phone, certainly not with our lawyer. Even so, it was very irritating.

So... we embraced the situation. If I ever had a toddler in the house I would let them speak, and babble and sing to their hearts content over the phone.

Or, read scripture passages for long stretches!

Give the official listening in the 'Plan of Salvation".

Speak in PIG LATIN!!! Oday ouyay eakspay igpay atinlay???

Our favorite, when calling one another, from the market or some such place, was to speak in Ye'kwana! This is best done in low, grave voices. Oh the evil codes they must have thought we had invented! They may have assumed we were discussing the evil empire and it's plans to dominate, but we were really just discussing what items we needed from the market. Hee, hee!!!

But the most important thing of all is to speak to the officer listening in. Say "Hello, how are you? Are you having a nice day?" If asking a question to the person with whom you are conversing, ask the official what he thinks, "SO, dear official of the day, should he bring home chicken or fish for dinner? We'll have plenty so you all can come by as well! "

And, be nice! You know, like before you hang up say ,"I am not expecting anymore phone calls this evening so why don't you just go ahead and rest now, or get a coffee".

And being a good Venezuelan family, we even ended with, "Bendición?" !