Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Climb, my Fall, my Rescue

A re post ~
Flying over Mt. Duida, Amazonas, Venezuela


I must reach my God! I must see His face, hear His voice. He dwells upon the mount. The mount that looms above me. I am here below, in a deep, dark chasm, a pit. Yet, I know the way to Him lies above and I must go.

The path leading up is steep and dark. Treacherous, but I must risk it, for He has placed with in my soul a need to see Him, face to face. And so, I reach upwards, searching for a hand hold. First one hand, then the other, and with stumbling feet, I try to find a path to God.

I gain a bit, a foothold here, then stretching forth my hand, I slip! Slip backward and lose my ground! Striving, grasping, but I seem to not advance at all, and yet, with the weakening of my flesh, my soul does strive still!

My very heart cries out to climb to God, but I do not seem to progress. I know He resides above and that is where I must go. There is no other place of peace. I must go! Upward, upward! Go!

At that moment, I feel the strength of my arm falter, at that very moment, I lose my grip...and fall. Down, down...I fall to the lowest place. It is as if I had not attempted the climb at all. I am filled with despair knowing I had given it my all. I can not climb to my God. There is no hope for me. I am to die and forever be here in the depths of darkness.

And as I lay there, waiting for death, broken and afraid, I hear a sound upon the path. The sound of footsteps coming down the very way I had trod. The path that led to my fall. To where I now lay dismayed. Hearing the footsteps, I feel a glimmer of hope rekindled in my soul. Upon opening my eyes, I see my God, coming down for me! He reaches out His nail scared hand for me, He lifts me up, in His strong embrace, and all my fears dissolve.

Lovingly, He carries me to the mountain top. He places me upon my feet to stand in that blessed spot. And what a view I now behold as I stand atop the Mount of God!

I feel as if sunlight is in my soul, even as I hear the thunder of a storm below. I am calm on this height where I stand beside my God, for no storm or cloud can reach me. I am under clear, blue skies that reach for all eternity. I am strong in this place! No one can harm me. I am secure, at peace with all.

This is life! This is joy! My God has found me! He lifted me up to see His face! To hear His voice!
And now, His love I know!


I John 4:19

We love him, because he first loved us.

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Isaiah 26:4  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

These are thoughts I write down in my devotional journal. At times I must fight depression with chronic pain and find writing to be helpful in organizing my thoughts and reminding me of truths. I rarely share them with anyone, but decided to do so here. The mountain pictured is what was in my mind's eye.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

baby monkey riding on a pig!




So

So... when I watch this, it makes makes me hungry!  Both of these make for some good eatin'!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

IF

We profess to be strangers and pilgrims, seeking after a country of our own, yet we settle down in the most un-stranger-like fashion, exactly as if we were quite at home and meant to stay as long as we could. I don't wonder apostolic miracles have died. Apostolic living certainly has."
Amy Carmichael


In the book 'If' by Amy Carmichael it says:




If I ask to be delivered from trial rather
than for deliverance out of it,
to the praise of His glory;
If I forget that the way of the cross
leads to the cross
and not to a bank of flowers;
If I regulate my life on these lines,
or even unconsciously my
thinking,
so that I am surprised when the
way is rough and think it
strange, though the word is,
"Think it not strange,"
"Count it all joy."
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Its her birthday~ share a word of wisdom!

Happy Birthday to my baby girl!








 She is 19 years old today.

 What advice would you share with a 19 year old young lady?
Leave me a comment so that I may share it with her.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Something gets lost in the translation...

My husband was supposed to translate this poem, on the fly, during a bi-lingual wedding a few years ago. he first attempted to use the help of a Windows translation tool. ( I especially loved the translation of the author's name)

The Spanish Version

¿QUÉ ES CASARSE?
Salvador Rueda

Formar una pasión de dos pasiones,
Fundir en un derecho dos derechos,
Fraguar un noble lecho de dos lechos,
Y atar a una ambición dos ambiciones.
Juntar en un soñar dos ilusiones
Forjar un techo santo de dos techos,
Hacer un pecho puro de dos pechos,
Aunar un solo amor de dos amores.
Anudar en un lazo dos divisas,
Formar un solo trino de dos risas,
Con dos miradas fundir una mirada,
Con dos llantos enlazar un solo llanto.
Con dos canciones hacer un solo canto,
¡Esto es casarse! Lo demás no es nada.

 The Computerized Version

WHAT IS TO MARRY?
Rescuing Wheel

To form a passion of two passions,
To fuse in a right two rights,
To forge a noble bed of two beds,
and to tie to an ambition two ambitions.
To join in dreaming two illusions
To forge a ceiling santo of two ceilings,
To make a chest pure of two chests,
To combine a single love of two loves.
To tie in a bow two currencies,
To form a single trino of two laughter,
With two watched to fuse a glance,
two weeping to connect a single weeping.
With two songs to make a single song,
This is to marry!
The others are not nothing.



Here is the new version we translated together. I think we did a little better than Windows.

What Makes a Marriage?
Salvador Rueda

To take the emotions of two and make them one passion
To weld the rights of two individuals into the union of a couple,
To make a Honeymoon suite from two lonely rooms
To bind the ambitions of two people into one goal
To join in one dream the hopes of two people
To form a loving home out of two separate dwellings
To take two hearts and make them one
To combine two loves into one adoration
To tie a lovely bow from two separate ribbons
To blend the laughter of two into one melody
To take two perspectives and form one panorama
To transform the heartaches of loneliness into a cry of joy
To blend two separate melodies into a harmonious duet
That’s what makes a marriage. Nothing else really matters.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Meet the Family!


 I am so proud of my family! They are just awesome people! Let me introduce them to you!



You may see them as Captain America and Wonder Woman, but this is really my  son in law and oldest daughter! They are real life Super Heroes!




Meet my son and his wife, Mr. And Mrs. Angry Birds! If you want to have a fun time, hang out with them!


This is my only red headed child, isn't she beautiful??? She is capable of just about anything!



 And I can't forget the baby of the family! She is always clowning around!

I really do not know why they feel the need to disguise themselves with parent's like us!



 Now they even have the grand daughters masking their identity!  





Thursday, August 15, 2013

Five years later

 I have now lived in Paraguay for 5 years.

 As I watch the Presidential Inauguration ceremonies today, I am reminded of this post I wrote  5 years ago after the last presidential inauguration. I have outlasted that president as he was removed from office last year. It feels a little strange to see a transition of government after having lived in Venezuela for so many years, under the government of one man, for the majority of that time.


I have been trying to comprehend my feelings of love. Emotions of love I have for more than one country. Perhaps you think that I can not love many places equally, or that in loving one, I love the other less. But that is not the case for me.

As a mother, I love each of my four children equally. But differently. Each occupies a place in my heart that no other can fill.

My first born daughter, Jackie, was born a very independent child. She was mature and handled everything easily. She was quickly to become my friend. My best friend. My love for her is shown in that way.


Along came son, Joshua. He was a serious minded child. Content to play alone, but in need of my presence for security. As he has gotten older, it seems our roles have changed. He now cares for me and brings me security. He does his own thing still, but likes to have loved ones nearby for comfort. I show him my love by being available.


Jewel! She quickly revealed a strength of character we had not yet seen in any child. Strong willed, independent, and very loyal. The life of any party! My role with her was often to be a boundary setter as she knew no limits and thought she could do anything. She usually could, but at times to the detriment of others or endangerment of herself. She is now a young lady  and still is a strong minded individual but has learned to be considerate of others. I show my love by supporting her in her endeavors.


Then the baby, Jayde. She is the social butterfly. She thrives on attention. She does not like to be left to her own devices and prefers to be part of a group. To show her love, is to look her in the eye and communicate. A lot!!!

I love them all greatly, but differently, just as I love my different countries equally and yet completely.

My home land, the USA, is the land of my birth. The land of my heritage. It is where I feel safe and secure. A refuge. The land of my mother tongue, of my sheltered childhood. I could not love another place more!


Venezuela is my adopted country. A place I chose to love and a people who returned my love, mostly. Just as a young bride leaves the home of her parents to begin a new life with her husband, I chose to begin a new life in Venezuela. I gave Venezuela my unconditional love. Yes, I know her faults and difficulties, but I love her still. I could not love another place more!


Then the Ye'kwana tribe. I love them with a passion! My time with them was the culmination of a life long dream. Our lives were filled with excitement and adventure. Emotionally draining at times, but very fulfilling! I could not love another people more!


Now, I am opening my heart to Paraguay. Just as a young person first in love, tentatively, shyly even, I am reaching out to see if that love is returned or spurned. It is exciting and yet terrifying! It could break my heart! Or , bring great joy!

Yes, I have a great love for more than one place, more than one people. One will never replace the other and all will be part of what makes me feel whole and gives me purpose in this life and the one to come.

1 John4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.



 All grown up!







Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Preacher's Wife

I was blessed to be born into a family full of pastors, most of whom were Baptist preachers. This has been normal for me my entire life. I have been related to Baptist preachers in just about every familial relationship possible.


When I was born, I was born to the titles of;


The Preacher's great grand daughter
The Preacher's grand daughter
The Preacher's niece.
The Preacher's cousin.

Upon my father's ordination, I also became,

The Preacher's daughter.

Later when I married, I gained the titles,

The Preacher's wife
The Preacher's sister-in-law.

When my daughter married , I became,

The Preacher's mother-in-law.

My son is not ordained yet, but he is already preaching, so I am also now,

The Preacher's mother.

I have several nephews also in school who are preparing for the ministry and so I have become,

The Preacher's aunt.

However, since we are independent Baptist, the one title I will never have is,

THE PREACHER!

Which probably explains why I have this blog...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Flavor of Words

When one becomes bilingual or multi-lingual, a strange thing happens. Words begin to have flavor. Certain words just taste better when said in certain languages. That is the only way to describe it...flavor.

For instance, English is a great language for technical words and for teaching concrete matters.

Spanish, is very emotive, full of strong feelings.

Ye'kwana is for description. The words often sound like what they mean.

Because of this, our home is full of a mixture of all three languages. A sort of smorgasbord of vocabulary, if you will. Pick and chose whichever your taste buds are desiring.

Some of my favorite words in one language just don't have a good translation into the other. Yes, you can translate its meaning, but not its flavor!

For instance, in Spanish, 'Animado'. Sure, it means excited or motivated but, doesn't 'animado' taste sooooo much better????? ' Animado' has texture and sweetness...like cotton candy.

Or the Venezuelan , 'Na'guara', I mean...Na'guara just oozes excitement and wonder! So much more flavorful than ,"WOW!" It tastes like caramel candy that sticks around on your teeth for awhile and you pick at it all day.

And then in Yekwana, one of my favorite words is....

get ready....

"Töwödäjööque!"

That words just rumbles around in your mouth and explodes out!

"Töwödäjööque!"

It's a great insult because it is so funny sounding, no one could take it too seriously.
"Töwödäjööque!" means 'ugly'. But when you say it, it tastes like a mouth full of red hots!!!!

And the word, "Soto". It means 'people', but not just any people. It means 'us', the tribe. And it is such a proud sounding word, "Soto"! Like biting into a piece of dark chocolate! Sharp, bitter, and needs nothing added!

English has some great words as well. One that just makes me giggle is, "Somebody"! Imagine how that sounds to a non -English speaking person! "Somebody" tastes like sparkling cider, it's a funny sort of fizzy words!

The word "logic" sounds so...'logical'! Boring. But necessary for life...like plain bread.

And lately, a tasty word in my mouth has been..."Politics", that sounds like a string of fire works!
It has a spicy taste, like curry, fine in moderation, but don't go overboard with it!



And speaking of flavors, in the words of Emiril Lagasse ...







You Are Cayenne Pepper



You are very over the top and a bit overwhelming.

You have a fiery personality, and you can give anyone a good jolt.

You can easily take things up a couple notches, no matter what crowd you're running with.





I am wondering if any other bilinguals feel this way about words, and if so, how about a word 'tasting'?

Share some words from your language with us so we can all have a taste! (NO PROFANITY!)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

EEETZ a Voy!



That's what the Venezuelan doctor said to me as he delivered my son.


Happy Birthday, Josh!

A few memories from that day:

My husband made the mistake of telling me, "I know what you are feeling." in the middle of a drug free, natural labor. He never did that again!!!!

My son looked like Yoda when he was born. I cried for the child. Round, wrinkly head with scattered tufts of white fuzz spread around his baldness. Big pointy ears that stood out from his huge head. Poor baby. Thankfully, his looks improved within a few days.

In the delivery room, the nurse asked me for his diapers and clothes! I tried to explain that in my country the hospital provided all of these. They finally wrapped the child up in a doctor's gown and begged a diaper off of another mother. I was so embarrassed for my deprived child! Not only was he ... less than beautiful, he had a moron for a mother!

I was so hungry and the cafeteria was closed. My husband went out in the early morning and bought two arepas. The first I ever ate. After I wolfed them down, I realized he had intended to eat one himself.

When the cafeteria finally did open, they brought me a breakfast tray. I lifted the cover from the dish and to my surprise, everything was white! White arepa, a pile of white, dry, grated cheese, white milk, and white atol. Atol was, in my opinion at the time, glue. White pasty glue. I convinced the doctor to allow me to leave and go home to eat colorful food. I left for home less than 12 hours after delivery.

My son was the calmest, most content baby I ever had. He has always been a blessing and makes me proud!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Making Known His Glory

From:
"Apostolic passion", Floyd McCling,
"Perspectives on the world Christian movement",
1999, William Carey
Library


"Apostolic Passion." Therefore is a deliberate, intentional choice to live for the worship of Jesus in the nations. It has to do with being committed to the point of death to spreading His glory. It's the quality of those who are on fire for Jesus,who dream of the whole earth being covered with the Glory of the Lord. I know when apostolic passion has died in my heart. It happens when I don't spend my quiet time dreaming of the time when Jesus will be worshiped in languages that are not yet heard in heaven. I know it's missing from my life when I sing about heaven, but live as if earth is my home. Apostolic passion is dead in my heart when I dream more about sports, toys, places to go, and people to see, than I do about the nations worshiping Jesus. I have lost it, when I make decisions based on the danger involved, not the glory God will get. Those who have apostolic passion are those that are planning to go, but willing to stay."




THOUGHTS:


AM I,

-Living a life of worship?-Committed to the point of death?-Spending quiet time with God's Word?-Living with an eternal mind frame, or am I living for the here and now?-Working for materialistic things ?-Basing my life decisions on how to bring Glory to God, or on how to stay safe and comfortable?-Planning to go tell others and willing to stay if needed? Or am I planning to stay.

Malachi 1:11
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A year of weight loss

( it was time to do something about it)


   



 This is  me today, 50 pounds lighter.




Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I am BLOG!

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!


La RITA LOCA has been assimilated!

And now, I look like this!


Do you have a blog? Leave us a link?

We will come and 'assimilate' ..uh...visit you!

(and if you do not understand this post...you are obviously NOT a Trekkie!)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Linguistics and Language Learning

I thought you may be interested in seeing how the Ye'kwana language looks in written form.

Awa´deene yaaajäntädaawä Wanaadi cönaamode´nai caju, nono mmaja,


The time and effort put forth to achieve a phonetic break down of the language so that you may be able to transcribe what you are hearing into a phonetic alphabet is staggering. This will allow the translator to be able to reproduce the sounds he is hearing, which will be the first step in the language learning process. This requires listening for phonetic sounds and intonation patterns.

We use two methods to achieve this. TRACKING and MIMICRY.

Tracking is listening to a tribal speaker either on tape or in person, and quietly with your lips, or silently in your mind, repeat exactly what he is saying. Instantaneously mimic everything being said so that you are never more than 4 or 5 syllables behind the speaker. This is difficult at first but will become a real help to hearing and understanding the language in rapid speech. Tracking should become a habit. ( Non- tribal language learners could use this method with radio or television to good effect.)

Mimicry is working with yourself. It is copying the rhythm and pitch you hear in the spoken language. It is mimicking the people. Not just sounds but intonations also. One must take advantage of every opportunity to say things as they do, using their rhythm, pitch and expression. You can not possibly write down everything you hear and maintain the speed and rhythm of the spoken language, but you can mimic a lot as you hear it! Don't get the people to slow down for you, mimic them at their natural rate.

Mimicry is practicing with yourself while alone and when with the people. Lots of talking will cement the material you are learning. Your goal is to be as natural as possible and to sound as much like them as possible.

Memorization without adequate mimicry is a good way to ensure a foreign accent!

Anyone care to venture a guess at what the following means?


Awa´deene yaaajäntädaawä Wanaadi cönaamode´nai caju, nono mmaja,

(based on New tribes Language and Culture learning manual)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Today we celebrate 30 years of marriage!

MY LIFE AS A FAIRY TALE




The People of the Enchanted Forest

Once upon a time there was a land of great wealth and prosperity in the north, and in that land two people were born who were destined to be together. One was a young knight, Marinus who was in the service of his King and country, and the other was a young Lady, Roseus who was waiting for her knight.

Marinus was sent to serve his land in a band of mighty warriors who were the first to fight and were under direct orders of their King. He was of the few and the proud who were the first line of defense of that great land. They were known to be always faithful to that duty. Semper Fidelis was their standard.

As these things usually come about, the two met and were joined in holy matrimony having a great, pure love for one another. Their love would pass the test of time and they would live happily with their four children.

When his days of service to the King were over, young Marinus was released from his duty and the young Knight felt called upon to serve his God in a far away place where His name was not known.

Marinus, Roseus and their children began a journey to the south, the land of a great forest. Some even believed the great forest to be enchanted. In that land of forest and rivers there dwelt a people who had not heard of the ways of God . Marinus was determined to find them and show them the glory of God that they might know it for themselves.

And so they set out upon a long and adventurous journey, their highway was the river and their steed was a dug out canoe. After many days of travel through the enchanted forest, they arrived at a small village and were invited to rest and share the food with the people of the enchanted forest.

The people asked them to stay and share with them the great mysteries of the unknown God. Marinus began to learn their ways and their words. Roseus worked to understand and befriend the women and children of the enchanted forest.

And they were busy. They taught the people of the forest how to mark their words upon white leaves so that their words would never be lost. They taught them to decipher the marked leaves and read the words of others. And they taught them of the ways of God.

Marinus and Roseus shared their knowledge of medicine and healing with the people of the forest, caring for the sick and elderly. Many children were born to the village and their strength was improved. The village became the mightiest in that region.

Roseus helped the elders to gather the children together daily to teach them at a young age how to make the markings upon the white leaves, how to do the ciphers, how to care for their health.

Marinus taught them of God. He showed them the word's of God written upon the white leaves and they could now understand God's words for themselves. Many an evening the elders would sit around the fires and read aloud the words of God to others. Soon so many were eager to hear these words, the people decided to build a large meeting house just for that purpose. It was a place of Hope.

All seemed well in the enchanted forest. The people were happy, Marinus and Roseus were happy, but outside of the Enchanted Forest a fear was growing among the people of the cities. A new leader had arisen.

This leader was known as Thugo the Tyrant and he spread his hate and venomous teachings through out that Land of Grace. The numbers of Thugo's followers grew and violently took the land. It was as if a wave of red hatred grew in the hearts of many and spread to the hearts of all those with whom they spoke.The wave of red flowed forth to encompass more and more of the land, but the enchanted forest was far away and still untouched by Thugo or his red thugs.

Slowly, the rumors arrived that the wave of red was ever growing nearer to the enchanted forest. Alas, some of the enchanted people were washed away with the wave of red anger and hatred. Thugo's grip was growing ever nearer, but things were still calm in the village were Marinus and Roseus lived happily among the people of the forest.

Until one fateful day, a decree went forth through out the whole of the land. Thugo the Tyrant spoke and declared that all those who lived in the enchanted forest as emissaries of God must leave and leave at once. Thugo's red thugs arrived to put fear into their hearts. The red thugs began to do evil in the enchanted forest and cause harm to the people ever threatening Marinus and his family.

Marinus and Roseus attempted to seek justice from the peoples of the city. They went into the Palaces of Justice, showing their works were not evil but good. It was to no avail. Thugo the Tyrant would not listen, Thugo's red thugs had lost the ability to see and think on their own and were now completely entranced by Thugo and his evil spell. They would not listen and so, Marinus and Roseus left the enchanted forest with sadness.

They left their friends, the people of the forest, and all were heart broken. Many cried on that day. Marinus beseeched them to never forget the ways of God, to continue to follow in His path and Roseus hugged and cried with the women and children of the forest. But they must leave, and leave they did.

As time went by, Marinus and Roseus moved to a new land and were happy once again. But a part of their heart remained behind in the enchanted forest, a longing and a calling they could feel most everyday, to be with the people of the forest. They learned to trust God with their care.

At times they would receive messages from the enchanted people. Their words marked on white leaves so that Marinus and Roseus might know of their friends and how it went in the enchanted forest. The words were good. The people still followed the ways of God and declared His glory through out the forest, spreading it from village to village. God remained among them even after Marinus and Roseus had been forced to leave them. They had known that He would, but it was a comfort to read the markings.

And so, the people of the enchanted forest were well and Marinus and Roseus were happy. And all lived happily ever after until they would one day be reunited in a beautiful city of lights to live together for all eternity. A place where all was enchanted and the likes of Thugo the Tyrant and his Red Thugs would never be able to reach them again. A place of true peace and rest.
The End

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It seemed like a good idea at the time.


 This is my friend ,Theda Dawson, in front of a Mission Aviation Fellowship plane
on the air strip in the village where she lived and worked at the time.

I  was reminded  by another missionary, Theda Dawson, of the time I had a root canal in her jungle home. That's right, a root canal in a mud and stick house with a palm roof in a Yanomamo village. You see, a dentist was visiting from Puerto Rico and he offered to do it for free. I needed it, he offered, so...

I sat myself down in the middle of a room full of half naked indians, chewing tobacco and spitting it on the floor as they chattered on. They spoke Guiaca, so I had no idea what they might be saying.

 It went quite well, considering. I did not have too much pain and after the root canal we loaded up in a speed boat and headed down river to a Ye'kwana village where we would spend the night. I did fine until night when the Novocain wore off. I spent the night in my hammock tossing and turning which kept everyone else up. In a jungle home built of poles which are all tied together, when one persons swings his hammock, the poles shake and everyone swings with them, others are not always appreciative!

The next day we loaded up in a Cessna, piloted by a missionary friend, to fly to the relative civilization of Puerto Ayacucho. As we began to climb to gain elevation...I knew I was in BIG trouble. The higher we  climbed, the more pain I was in. Tears began to squeeze out of my eyes and I began to bang on the door repeatedly in pain.

That was when I learned that one should not travel in an unpressurized plane immediately after major dental work. My tooth began to grow! and GROW! AND GROW! It was so big it was about to explode and take my head with it!

Eventually, I was able to make the pilot hear me and he tried to fly as low as possible. Unfortunately, the mountain ranges refused to lower themselves and we had to climb repeatedly to cross them. I began to consider the possibilities available for constructing a parachute and taking up sky diving.

About that time, I heard another pilot talking on the radio. He had a young indian girl on his plane headed to the same town. She was having complications with her labor and needed an emergency flight to the hospital. I could hear her screaming in the back ground. Poor thing! After hearing her, I refused to scream, but I did cry and kept right on banging that door. It probably still has a dent in it...

As we neared  town,  we descended to land and  the pain also became less intense. Even so, I went straight to the pharmacy for some pain medication and I never flew again for at least 3 days after I had any dental work, even just a cleaning!

I hate dental work under normal circumstances, and I can not recall why I would have decided to go through a root canal in one sitting, no x-ray machines, in a jungle hut. Maybe one of the witch doctors cursed me to have a lapse of judgment.? Or maybe I was just a poor missionary who really needed free dental work?

Whatever the reason, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rules of Engagement

 OR...
 " How to Drive in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay"

My husband assures me that there are rules for driving in this city. After years of careful observation I have gathered together the following rules of the road as I see them...


Never pull into a continuous stream of traffic with your eyes open.


Horse drawn vehicles should keep to the middle of the road and weave.

Fast vehicles should stay in Asuncion.

If you are coming from a side road onto the main road, you have the right of way. Do not slow down unless you roll over or hit something. Only stop if the object hit appears to have life.

Hand signals should primarily indicate the driver’s mood.

Only stop at a red light if the car in front has stopped.

At a crossroad when turning left, get into the right hand lane.  Beware of the motorcycle!

At a crossroad when turning right, get into the left-hand lane. Beware of the motorcycle!



If a horse cart hits you, you are going too slow.

If a police car hits you, you are driving recklessly.

If you hit a Paraguayan it's your fault.

If you hit a Brazilian its his fault.

If you hit an Argentine go to the nearest police station and claim your prize.

Do not enter spaces narrower than the width of the car, or a taxi narrower than the width of the passenger.

It is necessary to turn on the windshield wiper a few seconds before any stop.  This will keep some of the wind shield washers from spraying your glass with soapy water.

The horn operation must be checked at least every 10 meters, usually in order to move a cow from the road.

You may also be required to have brakes.

Two lanes are for driving in both directions, whichever side you are on.

The internal mirror is for the use of the driver only - to comb his hair, or hang his icons from.

If you are a foreigner, speed limit signs are in km/h

If you are a native speed limit signs are in m.p.h.

If you are driving on a cobble stone street, the speed limit is as fast as your dental work will allow.

All drivers must comply with the speed limit... or some multiple thereof.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Critters

Insects: In ,on, and under the skin!
It often seemed that while living in the jungle, one was at war with the entire animal kingdom. Fighting off "critters" would become a full time, never ending battle. No matter what you were doing or planned to do, the insects and other critters had to be taken into consideration. They devoured food,destroyed clothing, swam in your water supply, infected children...

All our dry foods had to be kept in large coolers (such as Igloos) with airtight seals. We ordered dry goods only once every three months and if not completely airtight, it would all be ruined in a matter of days. Not to mention the four footed furry vermin!!! or the bats...or snakes...

By far, the most dangerous animal in the jungle is the mosquito. The mosquito carries the dreaded malaria as well as yellow fever, and dengue. Any of these can, and do, kill humans on a regular basis. You begin to be aware of the mosquitoes living habits. You plan to not be out from under screens and nets between 5 -7 a.m.and 5-7 p.m. as this is when the mosquito is out and eating. You sleep under the mosquito net, not only to fight the annoying buzz of the mosquito, but also other flying insects... and bats...rats...snakes...

Another most annoying bug is the nigua. The nigua is everywhere. Due to the dirt floors and the constant contact one has with the dirt and with others who also happen to have niguas, you can never truly avoid this bug. Some refer to it as a burrowing tic, but it is rightly, a sand flea. It is almost impossible to see with the naked eye, but it makes itself known!!!

The nigua will burrow into any exposed skin, most commonly the toes, but also the hands and in small children who play on the floor, I have seen them on the babies bottoms. They must be removed. This is best done with a small thorn from a bush the indians use for this very purpose. I used a needle so that it could be disinfected. Another way to prevent them, is to step in kerosene daily. During dry season, I would keep a shallow pan near the door for this purpose. We also would wash our chancletas (flip flops) in kerosene. Kerosene has no lead so was safe to use in this way.

An indian boy was brought to us once who had both feet so infected by niguas, he could not walk. We had to clean and remove infectious tissue for several days. The Sanema of a certain village were so inundated with niguas, that every member of the village could show you scarred and missing digits from their feet, caused by niguas.

Another common problem was scabies. Yuck!!! So many babies with scabies. I concocted a body shampoo, of sorts, for my family to use regularly in order to not be infected. Part of this shampoo was a dog shampoo. Sounds gross, I know, but ever so much better than scabies. I would say that we saw patients with scabies at least once a week. It is difficult to treat because it also infects clothing and bedding. And since several people share the same hammock...

With the dampness of the rain forest climate, fungal problems were also a concern. You had to stay dry! If you sweated, or were rained on, you had to change to dry clothing quickly or you would end up with rashes and other issues. Closed in shoes were not a good choice for daily use. I have seen a lot of newbys come into the jungle wearing leather military type boots or rubber mud boots, HA!! You knew they would be by asking for medical attention soon. Sandals and plastic flip flops are a much better choice as they can be treated and dried quickly, unless you are actually walking or working in the jungle. I have seen some severe cases of athletes foot! Many fungi respond well to being treated with white gas. We had to constantly come up with economical, yet safe, treatments for common problems.

The constant rain caused a lot of difficulties with clothing. Very hard to get the clothes dry. Many a time, I have had to re-wash all the clothing as it began to mildew while on the clothes line. We often would have everything in the house drying and yet, it would remain wet and begin to smell. When we arrived in town, our clothes smelled rank and mildewy. Eventually, we would keep city clothes in town and jungle clothes in the jungle. I was so happy when Febreeze became available in Venezuela!!!

Parasites were another problem. Dysentery type illnesses were common and we would have to de-worm the entire village every so many months. Since they share a common eating and drinking gourd, when one was ill, all were ill. When ever we ate with the people, we would suffer for a few days with stomach ailments, but we seemed to slowly grow more resistant to the bugs and were able to eat with less problems each year.


Culturally, the Ye'kwanas share gourds and when offered a drink or food it is very rude to deny it. It is the worse possible insult to not take part in the meals. A girl would serve you a large pot of yucuta, made from casava, and you were required to eat or drink it all. You could swallow it and spit it out, but you had to finish the pot. Vomitting it up was NOT rude and much preferred to returning it unfinished. In the common round house, you had to be careful where you stepped as much vomitting is normal. All of this makes a wonderful breeding ground for more parasites!!!

The other problem that was a daily battle was the head lice, as everyone is infected. In the evening, the indian family will sit around and de -louse one another. I am sure you have seen the pictures where they appear to be eating the lice. Actually, they are only using their teeth to kill the lice. If they only remove them and toss them to the ground, they will be back. It is a sign of affection to de-louse someone.I remember my youngest daughter would play at de-lousing her dolls. The indians thought that was so sweet, what a good little mommy she would be!!! We used the same dog shampoo, weekly, in order to not get the lice.

On occasion, it was inevitable and one of the children would end up with lice. The quickest way to get rid of the problem is to cover the head in cooking oil, pop on a plastic shower cap for 24 hours, and then, shampoo out. The oil will smother the lice and even penetrate the nits and end the problem with one treatment.

So many bugs...

My husband became infected with onchocerciasis. This is from the bites of the black fly and can lead to blindness. It also caused some severe itching which he suffered with for years, until finally able to kill the disease completely. The parasite, once in the blood stream, can live for 10-15 years. It causes raised bumps under the skin which are colonies of eggs. Very difficult to treat. There is a large portion of the Sanema tribe of Venezuela who are going blind as I write this, entire villages infected and not receiving treatment. It will eventually cause lesions upon the eye itself and is painful. You can even see the larvae crawling along the inner eye, just under the sclera.

I could go on and on...

We saw some insects that made me think of aliens. I am sure there are a few undiscovered bugs we saw. But the other bug that was a problem was the army ant.

Now, this is no ordinary ant! These ants would come out of the jungle, swathing through everything. The largest group I saw were about 4 feet across and walked through the village for an entire day. They eat everything in their path and you can not stop them. Not by water, fire, nothing. You must get out of their way and remove anything organic you do not want to be eaten. The indians tell stories of babies being eaten while asleep, as these ants would march by.

These ants will cross creeks and rivers by making boats of large leaves. Very freaky!!! You can hear them coming in the distance as they eat. Chomp! Chomp! We had to cancel classes a few times while we waited for them to walk through our class room. My kids loved that, as we had no snow days, so they loved Ant Days! There is even a hot sauce the indians make from ants which my husband eats and enjoys. But, my daughter prefers termites! Easily accessible at night while attracted to the inside light, all one must do is scrape them off the window screen and pop them in the mouth. Our screens became the fast food joint for many children!!

And of course, the infamous 24 ant. Yes, it exists. It is a large, black ant measuring a good 2 inches or so. It not only bites with pincers but stings with its wasp like tail. It feels as if it tears skin away while biting and does cause slight bleeding. The toxin it injects with its stinger is like liquid fire and quickly causes the entire muscle area where bitten to burn for several hours, thus ,called the 24 ant. It wont kill you, but for 24 hours you will wish it had! And yes, I am speaking from experience! (And my children had better not tell any more details about it!!!!)


Although controversial, we treated many snake bites and 24 bites with electrical shock. We had a small ammo box which was converted to a kit. Inside was a small magnito attached to a handle outside which could be cranked to produce a small, high voltage low amperage shock, similar to a taser. Leads were attached on either side of the bite. This only works on certain toxins and must not be used except on extremities. If applied quickly, it greatly reduces the swelling involved in most bites and we have seen it used this way several times. It changes the molecular structure of the toxin.


I haven't even mentioned spiders...


I remember reading the Apostle Paul's book of Romans while dealing with a bad case of niguas and seeing it in a whole new light.


Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

At times, I felt as if my body was a living sacrifice! Being consumed daily by the critters!


Roaches and chagas deserve a post of their own!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Aicha

My grand daughter, Elena (age 7) took this photo of me. She calls me 'Aicha' which is the Ye'kwana word for grandmother. It's fun to see things from a child's perspective. :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How to marry the perfect man

This broom was photographed by my oldest daughter and it does indeed serve it's intended purpose. It is mainly used as an outdoor broom to clean patios and yards. I have noticed that Paraguayans tend to keep a very neat yard even when they live in a humble home.

While mentioning this to my neighbor, she shared a Guarani 'wives' tale' with me. It seems that the mothers and grand mothers are always telling the young girls to do a thorough sweeping of the yard, porch, and house.

This sweeping needs to be done in a methodical, meticulous manner because it will effect the future of the young lady. A girl needs to be extremely cautious while sweeping so as not to leave behind any litter or dust bunnies because each one left behind represents a flaw in her future husband.

So a lazy, careless girl will undoubtedly end up married to a man with many character flaws, where as a diligent girl will find herself betrothed to a nearly flawless man.

No wonder my neighbor's daughter gets up early and sweeps the yard almost every day. Even the sidewalk! Her husband will certainly be a saint! Personally, I am not so sure I would enjoy being married to a perfect man. I would probably leave a few dust bunnies just to make sure my future husband had a little 'rascal' left in him!

 My dream man!

(artwork by BRIT ART)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Old memories awakened by the news of the death of Hugo Chavez

The death of President Hugo Chavez has brought back a flood of emotions and memories as well as concerns for the future of Venezuela. I am reposting this as I gather my thoughts for an article about his death.



This is an article that we had written for our missions magazine in 2006. I thought it might explain our situation a little better for some of you who do not know us. We are now relocated to Paraguay where we continue to serve as Baptist missionaries.



From the window of the Cessna 206 aircraft we took one last, long heart–wrenching look at the jungle village that had been our home. Circumstances beyond our control had forced us to leave a decade of work in the jungles of Venezuela. How do you simply fly away from ten years of working to learn a language…to establish a home, and to build relationships with some of the most precious people on earth? We had shared our lives with theirs, mingling our joys and sadness. We had become family with these Indian tribesmen through the blood of Jesus Christ! Through tear–stained eyes, we said good–bye to our Ye’kwana family, and the village they called Chajuraña.
Before we moved to the village, we had ministered for 8 years in the city of Barquisimeto. During those years, God was preparing us for the more primitive, tribal ministry in the jungle village. (The nearest town from Chajuraña is a two–week trip by canoe or a two-hour flight by mission plane.) We first visited Chajuraña in 1994 to preach the Gospel and to see churches planted throughout the Caura river valley.






Now our journey had unexpectedly brought us back to where it had all begun.
Our wounds were still fresh as we visited the church in Barquisimeto during a Wednesday evening service. Political tensions between the US and Venezuela had escalated in the expulsion of all missionaries from the jungle villages. We were expelled from our jungle ministry, and the future of our airplane was in question. That evening, as my wife and I read through I Thessalonians 2 with the believers in Barquisimeto, God’s Word spoke to our hearts in a very pointed and personal way.
From the window of the airplane, a disturbing thought had plagued my mind–was it all in vain? A businessman might say, “yes.” At first glance, it seemed that the costs were greater than the benefits. But God would have the final word. Right there in verse one, Paul reminded me of what I already knew… “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain.”
No, it was not in vain! It was not in vain because we left something in that jungle village that could not be expelled with us. We were as verse 4 says, “allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel.” What a precious gift was entrusted to us to deliver to the people of Chajuraña! God used us to carry the Gospel to them! We were not the first. Cederico and Florinda Eddings of the Orinoco River Mission had spent years there in the 70’s struggling to minister under extremely primitive conditions. New Tribes missionaries, in other parts of the jungle, had worked to translate the New Testament into the Ye’kwana language. The hearts of some were ready to receive the Gospel while others were hard and needed patience and love to prepare their hearts for the Good News. When the Eddings left, they saw some fruit, but not as much as they had desired. Regardless, they too realized that their time was not in vain.



We were reminded of how precious our new friends had become to us when we read in verse 8, “ye were dear unto us.” We found it necessary to not only impart the Gospel but to share our very souls. Often times in a tribal situation, because of language and cultural barriers, words alone are not enough. One must become the very Bible that they read. The only way for them to comprehend the love of Christ is by seeing it lived out in a person’s daily life. That is not to imply that it came easily.
To the contrary, we found the words of verse 9 to ring especially true, “for laboring night and day.” We found living among them to be more demanding than we had ever imagined. Not only were we forced to build a house from materials totally alien to us, we also had to experience first hand the rigors of malaria and other tropical diseases. At the same time we were raising our four young children without the convenience of electricity, running water, or for that matter–floors! We have seen first-hand the tremendous toll that jungle illnesses can have on missionaries. Our co–workers were forced to leave tribal ministry after experiencing many bouts of sickness. I was of necessity the preacher, teacher, doctor, dentist, pharmacist, midwife, airstrip builder, village mechanic and carpenter. On a regular basis we were awakened at night to attend to the sick or to deliver babies.


So, why did we do it? Again, Paul’s words in verse 12 echo our hearts cry…“That ye would walk worthy of God.” Our motivation for being in this ministry was so that we could preach the Gospel to the Indians and see their lives changed by the power of the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit. As Paul also said in I Thessalonians 1:9, we saw many who “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Even as I write this I can see their faces, Ye’kwana men and women who left their heathen ways and now “walk worthy of God.”
Ramon – He heard the Gospel for nearly 40 years before he believed and became an example of faithfulness.
Luis Milano – He was the worst drunk and womanizer in the village with four wives and nearly 30 children. He came to know Christ after the death of his Christian son.
Petra – She was the wife of the witch doctor. She was the first believer in the village and prayed for years that someone would come and teach her more of the Word of God.
Magdelena – Through her own death, she became a witness to over 500 Indians from other villages.
Space does not permit me to tell each and every story, but you can someday hear their stories in Heaven.



We do thank God for the privilege of being His witnesses among these people. It is a fearful thing to be the one called upon to deliver God’s message to men when they do not have God’s Word written in their own language. That’s why the words of verse 13 were especially applicable to us: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” We have seen the power of the Word of God and the work that it brings forth in the lives of the people when they receive it, whether it be from our mouths or from the written page. For this reason, while we are still allowed to remain in the country of Venezuela, we feel strongly that we should dedicate ourselves to the unfinished work of translating the Old Testament into the Ye’kwana language so that they may read it for themselves.


Verse 14 also resonated in our hearts: “for ye have also suffered like things of your own countrymen.” When President Chavez decreed that evangelical missionaries must leave the tribal areas, Indian believers began to suffer at the hands of their own countrymen. The missionary pastors that were forced to leave are often the only medical help available to jungle tribes. Missionary pilots are also no longer allowed to fly the sick to the hospitals. Two natives from our area have already died needlessly because of this decision. There is no longer medicine available in the dispensary, as this also came through mission donations.
At this time, missionaries are not allowed to minister in the tribal areas. We understand Paul’s experience in verse 16: “Forbidding us to speak.” In most cases the Christian Indians are also cut off from each other due to lack of communication and transportation. Additionally, many mission bases are being converted into military posts. There are psychological operations in place for the purpose of re–indoctrinating the Indians who have been under missionary influence. They are being told to return to their old ways and religion. In our last church service in Chajuraña, Victor, the pastor, said, “They can take the missionaries out of our village, but they cannot take the Holy Spirit from our hearts.’



We like Paul are “…being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart.” (Vs. 17) Although we are not able to be with our congregation in Chajuraña, they remain in our hearts. Even our youngest daughter has cried in church services wishing she could be in our Indian church. God has put a love in our hearts that goes beyond the physical separation. Not a day goes by that we are not thinking of them, praying for them. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” (Vs. 19) Whatever hardships we have experienced in the past, whatever difficulties we may experience in the future, we will never regret the years in Chajuraña at the Good Hope Baptist Church! The joy of seeing people come to Christ cannot be taken from us. Even if we had our doubts today, imagine the rejoicing we will share at the Second Coming of Christ. We look forward to walking on heavenly streets in the company of our Ye’kwana believers.
Over the years many people have questioned why we would isolate ourselves deep in the jungle to reach tribal people or how we could be happy raising our children in primitive conditions. Verse 20 says it all: “For ye are our glory and joy.” Any glory and joy that we have in eternity will far outweigh our past and present trials. The Ye’kwana people will never read these words but some of them will be in heaven with us – thanks to the prayer and financial support of people they will never meet in this life. For ye…Victor, Antonio, Maria, Magdalena, Joel, and my many other Ye’kwana brothers and sisters’ye are our glory and joy!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dorotea's bucket






One night, our youngest daughter was experiencing croup. A bad case of croup. She was about 2 at the time. We were in the jungle and no doctor or hospital was available, we couldn't even call for an emergency flight to come get us. The Cessnas cant land at night on a dark airstrip. So, we did all we could. We set up a pop tent and I boiled kettles and kettles of water while she and her dad laid inside the sauna like environment, hoping to loosen the phlegm which was blocking her breathing. Finally, around 3 a.m. She was able to get rid of the phlegm and promptly fell into a deep sleep.

My husband and I prepared to get some sleep as well. A few minutes after we had gone to bed, just on the verge of that wonderful sleep...we began to hear something.

Rustling!

We went out of our room in time to see our son (10 years old or so) run by on his way outside! The 2 older girls were right behind him. We could hear indians beginning to run past our house, calling out...something!

We grabbed the little one and ran out as well. You see, children always learn a foreign language faster than their parents and Josh had understood the screams of the indians.

He heard them yelling, "FIRE! THE ROOF IS ON FIRE!", and as he rolled over and looked out his window, he saw the flames VERY close to our roof. He thought OUR roof was on fire.

We had taught the children that if our palm roof EVER caught on fire..Get out FAST! Dry leaves go up in flame very quickly and there is no time to grab anything. He took us at our word, and with only a yell over his shoulder to his siblings, he was out the door.

Once outside we realized the fire was at Tito and Dorotea's house, about 100 meters or so away.

My husband began to run towards the jungle path that led to our water pump. Their house was lost, but we hoped to be able to save the houses near it, including our own, by wetting down the roofs.

Clint ran out, barefoot, into the dark jungle. The indian trails are narrow and only wide enough to walk on in single file. Staying on the trail in the dark was not easy. The pump was about 500 meters or so down to the river. There was no moon light, and the jungle at night can be scary. I ran in and grabbed a flash light and tossed it to him.

(a narrow jungle trail)

In the mean time, I climbed up our water tower to unhook the flexible pipe which filled the barrels we used for a water storage tank.

Once down, my son and I began to pull the 2 inch hose towards the fire. A two inch hose full of water is HEAVY! We were pulling and had gotten to the edge of a thick piece of jungle we needed to get through to reach the fire. My young son's voice was a little frightened as he asked, "Mommy, are we going to walk through there without a light?!"

I answered in my own frightened voice, "I guess we have to." At that same moment, something SWOOSHED by us and we felt the hose pulled from our hands!



All this time, my husband is experiencing his own adventure! The flashlight I had tossed him...well, the batteries were dead. So he was running through the jungle in the pitch black! Now, unless you have been in the jungle on a moonless night, under the canopy of the forest without a light, you have NO idea how DARK it can get!

As
he ran, he prayed aloud, "Please God! No snakes!"

Later, he said he wished he had prayed "No thorns". I had to pull 13 thorns, some up to an inch long, out of his feet later. But he did make it to the pump house and he did get the pump started.

Josh and I felt the hose taken from us. It was so dark we couldn't see who, or what! had ran by until one of the Indians said, "We got it now".

Whew! I was glad to not have to go through that dark jungle!

After fighting the fire for several hours the village was able to save all but the one house.

The thing I remember most was poor Dorotea! She was crying, "My new bucket! I lost my new bucket!"

That was her prized possession! A plastic bucket.

I ask you, if you had a fire, would you be crying over a bucket? That kind of puts it in perspective for me. We are so wealthy.

Lets remember to be grateful! God has blessed us with so much in our country, we don't even comprehend how wealthy we are. So next time you (or I) feel like whining about not having something, think of Dorotea and her bucket.




(This is a typical Indian house)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Life as a Fairy Tale

The People of the Enchanted Forest

Once upon a time there was a land of great wealth and prosperity in the north, and in that land two people were born who were destined to be together. One was a young knight, Marinus who was in the service of his King and country, and the other was a young Lady, Roseus who was waiting for her knight.

Marinus was sent to serve his land in a band of mighty warriors who were the first to fight and were under direct orders of their King. He was of the few and the proud who were the first line of defense of that great land. They were known to be always faithful to that duty. Semper Fidelis was their standard.

As these things usually come about, the two met and were joined in holy matrimony having a great, pure love for one another. Their love would pass the test of time and they would live happily with their four children.

When his days of service to the King were over, young Marinus was released from his duty and the young Knight felt called upon to serve his God in a far away place where His name was not known.

Marinus, Roseus and their children began a journey to the south, the land of a great forest. Some even believed the great forest to be enchanted. In that land of forest and rivers there dwelt a people who had not heard of the ways of God . Marinus was determined to find them and show them the glory of God that they might know it for themselves.

And so they set out upon a long and adventurous journey, their highway was the river and their steed was a dug out canoe. After many days of travel through the enchanted forest, they arrived at a small village and were invited to rest and share the food with the people of the enchanted forest.

The people asked them to stay and share with them the great mysteries of the unknown God. Marinus began to learn their ways and their words. Roseus worked to understand and befriend the women and children of the enchanted forest.

And they were busy. They taught the people of the forest how to mark their words upon white leaves so that their words would never be lost. They taught them to decipher the marked leaves and read the words of others. And they taught them of the ways of God.

Marinus and Roseus shared their knowledge of medicine and healing with the people of the forest, caring for the sick and elderly. Many children were born to the village and their strength was improved. The village became the mightiest in that region.

Roseus helped the elders to gather the children together daily to teach them at a young age how to make the markings upon the white leaves, how to do the ciphers, how to care for their health.

Marinus taught them of God. He showed them the word's of God written upon the white leaves and they could now understand God's words for themselves. Many an evening the elders would sit around the fires and read aloud the words of God to others. Soon so many were eager to hear these words, the people decided to build a large meeting house just for that purpose. It was a place of Hope.

All seemed well in the enchanted forest. The people were happy, Marinus and Roseus were happy, but outside of the Enchanted Forest a fear was growing among the people of the cities. A new leader had arisen.

This leader was known as Thugo the Tyrant and he spread his hate and venomous teachings through out that Land of Grace. The numbers of Thugo's followers grew and violently took the land. It was as if a wave of red hatred grew in the hearts of many and spread to the hearts of all those with whom they spoke.The wave of red flowed forth to encompass more and more of the land, but the enchanted forest was far away and still untouched by Thugo or his red thugs.

Slowly, the rumors arrived that the wave of red was ever growing nearer to the enchanted forest. Alas, some of the enchanted people were washed away with the wave of red anger and hatred. Thugo's grip was growing ever nearer, but things were still calm in the village were Marinus and Roseus lived happily among the people of the forest.

Until one fateful day, a decree went forth through out the whole of the land. Thugo the Tyrant spoke and declared that all those who lived in the enchanted forest as emissaries of God must leave and leave at once. Thugo's red thugs arrived to put fear into their hearts. The red thugs began to do evil in the enchanted forest and cause harm to the people ever threatening Marinus and his family.

Marinus and Roseus attempted to seek justice from the peoples of the city. They went into the Palaces of Justice, showing their works were not evil but good. It was to no avail. Thugo the Tyrant would not listen, Thugo's red thugs had lost the ability to see and think on their own and were now completely entranced by Thugo and his evil spell. They would not listen and so, Marinus and Roseus left the enchanted forest with sadness.

They left their friends, the people of the forest, and all were heart broken. Many cried on that day. Marinus beseeched them to never forget the ways of God, to continue to follow in His path and Roseus hugged and cried with the women and children of the forest. But they must leave, and leave they did.

As time went by, Marinus and Roseus moved to a new land and were happy once again. But a part of their heart remained behind in the enchanted forest, a longing and a calling they could feel most everyday, to be with the people of the forest. They learned to trust God with their care.

At times they would receive messages from the enchanted people. Their words marked on white leaves so that Marinus and Roseus might know of their friends and how it went in the enchanted forest. The words were good. The people still followed the ways of God and declared His glory through out the forest, spreading it from village to village. God remained among them even after Marinus and Roseus had been forced to leave them. They had known that He would, but it was a comfort to read the markings.

And so, the people of the enchanted forest were well and Marinus and Roseus were happy. And all lived happily ever after until they would one day be reunited in a beautiful city of lights to live together for all eternity. A place where all was enchanted and the likes of Thugo the Tyrant and his Red Thugs would never be able to reach them again. A place of true peace and rest.
The End