8.31.2008

Introducing...

The new Calvary Chapel Panama website!!!

Currently, the english site is going to be in the format of a blog, to make it easier for us to post photos and updates. I will begin working on the spanish site soon. You will find an easy link to the CC Panama blog in the sidebar to the right of this post. Please check the blog often, as we will be keeping you up to date on what the Lord is doing here in Panama!

8.28.2008

WHOOOO HOOOOO!

Check it out folks! The Lord has smiled upon me today... we had city water for over 2 hours! I was able to do 2 huge loads of laundry and take a "real" shower! I was so proud of my full clotheslines that I felt I simply MUST take a photo to share with you (note- I even stood on top of the washing machine to get the optimal view of the clean apparel). Hooray for daytime laundry!

8.27.2008

chicken wire

Before our trip to the states, we had a cheap fence built in our front yard made out of used lumber. The guy who made it left fairly large gaps in the slats and Dewey, who was much smaller at the time, was able to escape. To remedy the problem, Eric bought 30 feet of chicken wire to staple along the bottom of the fence to keep Dewey securely in the yard. Today Eric decided that the chicken wire was no longer necessary since Dewey is HUGE and that is should come down so Anna doesn't cut herself on the now rusty metal.

After pulling all the wire off of the wooden fence, Eric dumped it in a pile on the street for the trash collectors to pick up. But Luci, who was here today to help with Anna while I organized the house and unpacked, asked Eric if she could take it home. Luci helps support her family by raising chickens and selling them fresh (they taste so yummy). She told us that old the chicken wire would be perfect for making a bigger coop so that she could raise more chickens to sell. She tediously rolled up the metal and put it in a large trashbag to take home, excited about the prospects of a bigger coop, more chickens, and thus more income for her family.

Nothing is trash here... and I'm learning how truly wasteful we are in America. It's my culture to throw away old, dirty, obsolete things... and only to give away items that are clean and still in good condition. But here, everything can be fixed, recylcled and reused.

8.25.2008

Lots of Praises!

We made it! The Lord's hand of blessing and provision was on us the entire trip! I am so thankful for your prayers, and want to share all the little blessings I experienced as Anna and I traveled back to Panama.

I arrived at LAX at 12:15 am Sunday morning with 4 suitcases, a huge carseat, a diaper bag, stroller and a one year old! We were at the very end of a long check-in line, and waited over an hour to reach the ticket counter. Anna never made a peep despite being woken up only 3 hours into her normal night's sleep. I watched for over an hour as every person's bag was weighed and people were frantically transfering stuff around to avoid paying the overweight baggage fees (Eric had to fork out $100 in fees when he left!). I was panicing by the time I reached the desk, that I would be charged for all 4 bags... but the woman at the counter looked at me, with all my stuff, and Anna in the stroller... and she just slapped the stickers on each bag and sent me on my way... she never even placed any of the bags on the scale! Thank you Jesus!

With carseat slung over one shoulder, diaper bag over the other, and pushing the stroller with my free hand, I headed toward security. The guard ran over to me and asked if he could escort us up the elevator to the front of the security line! YES! When we got to the Xray machines, I placed all our stuff up there, including my shoes and the stroller, and walked through the scanner holding Anna in my arms. Just as I stepped through, one of the workers came running over with my shoes and put them down on the floor in front of me. While I put my shoes on, they opened the stroller and helped me get all of my gear off of the conveyer belt! Thank you!

As we arrived at the gate, boarding had already begun, and I was able to slip quickly to the front of the line and drop off my stroller and board. I set up Anna's carseat against the window, grabbed the new glow worm I bought her for the trip, and settled in. It seemed that the plane was loaded and taxiing to the runway in no time at all! (I had long feared that pre-boarding was going to leave us sitting on the empty plane watching people slowly trickle in for an hour!)

Before the plane took off, the flight attendant filled up Anna's sippy cup with apple juice, and we were ready to go! Five minutes after take off (2:15am) Anna was fast asleep in her carseat, lights off in the cabin. I threw on the plastic earphones and settled in to watch "Kung Fu Panda" on the screen above my head. I finished watching the movie, dozed off for at least an hour (which I NEVER am able to do on a plane), made it to the restroom and stretched my legs, all before Anna woke up. She woke up as the sun began peering through the windows, about 3 1/2 hours into the 6 1/2 hour flight! Not too bad!!!

For the remainder of the flight, Anna played with her new toys and watched Baby Einstein on the portable DVD player I propped up on my tray table. 45 minutes before landing, I let her stand in her carseat and look around the plane. She babbled and talked to everyone she could make eye contact... it was so cute! (And of course everyone around us was very happy because she had not made a peep the whole flight!!!)

When we got off the plane, we made our way down to customs. I had already filled out all of our paperwork, and got at the end of the very long line. I had been in the line only 30 seconds, when a worker came and got me and took me to the front! WHAT??? YAY!!! I was through customs and at the baggage claim carousel in 3 minutes!!! As I waited for my luggage (noticing that the very few carts in the area had long been claimed) I was wondering how I was going to get me, Anna and ALL our stuff out through the immigration area. As I stood there, an airport worker walked by and I mentioned that I was in need of a cart.... he took off and came back 5 minutes later with a cart. Yay again!

After loading all the suitcases on the cart and trying to push that cart and Anna's stroller at the same time, I realized I would need some help. So I stood still for just a second... and my first thought was "Okay, let's see how God's going to provide for this need once again" and before I had even finished the thought, a nice young man ran up and asked in spanish "Are you alone?" I said yes, and he immediately took the cart and told me he would help me all the way through immigration. LORD!!! Thank you!

The nice young Colombian man and I talked as we waited (I actually was able to communicate with him... well mostly). He loaded all of my bags onto the xray machines and waited until they had all gone through. I thanked him profusely and gave the bellhop a few dollars to take my stuff the rest of the way. Two minutes later we were walking out of the airport and saw Eric waiting for us!

PHEW!!! What a trip! It was long and challenging, but so amazing to see how the Lord cared for every little detail! Thank you Lord... You are so faithful!

8.22.2008

Please Pray For Us!

Tomorrow Anna and I head home! I can't wait to get back to my husband, and to my new home in Panama. I am, however, very nervous about taking the red eye flight with Anna all by myself! On the way down here, she screamed and howled for a good portion of the flight... I felt so awful that we were keeping everyone on the plane awake in the middle of the night! I have all the tricks, a bag of new little toys, lollipops, even baby Einstein videos on our portable player. I just pray that Anna would be calm, relaxed and peaceful and that we would make it home with little difficulty! We would appreciate your prayers for safety and peace on the flight! Thank you!

8.16.2008

13 years of friendship!

Jenny, Emily, Daisha, Me & Anna, Lindsey Sue These beautiful girls are my dearest friends from the high school era! I have only had the opportunity to meet with them on a handful of occasions in recent years, and each time has been such a blessing. Daisha and I, however, hadn't seen each other since graduation... over 9 years ago! I was so incredibly excited to hear that she was in town for just a few days, and was thrilled to spend just an hour at Starbucks visiting. So much has changed in the past decade, but some things remain the same. Sitting around the table with these girls... it was as if no time had passed at all! (Except this time I was chasing a one year old around the patio!)

8.13.2008

Six Months In Panama...

video

Eric and I just want to thank all of you who support us in prayer and with financial support. The Lord is doing an amazing work in Panama, and you are all a very important part of it!

Muchas Gracias!

8.12.2008

Come see us! (And there's also this Panama Canal thing that's pretty cool...)

Normally, roundtrip airfare from LAX to Panama City (PTY) costs anywhere from $650 on a really good day to $950+ on a bad day. But last night, I was searching flights for my mom on http://www.expedia.com/ and Copa is selling roundtrip, direct flights from LAX to PTY for only $419!!!! This is unheard of!!! I purchased two tickets for my mother to come in January and again in May. So... email me if you are thinking of coming down and take advantage of this huge sale.

8.06.2008

Getting into trouble!

Here is a photo of our darling, sweet Anna trying to recover a CD that she threw into the toilet. (Sorry Eric, it's one of your CD's that was left behind!) This kid is keeping me on my toes more and more everday!!!

8.03.2008

Back to Life

We had a blast! Danae, Olivia, Jenny and I spent 2 full days relaxing and eating in Palm Springs. The house we stayed in was beautiful, complete with a pool and jacuzzi. Temps were in the 110-120 range during the day, so we mostly stayed indoors. But each evening we went to dinner and walked around the shops and had just a wonderful time of fellowship. I was so encouraged by these precious sisters, and will keep this weekend in my thoughts as I head back to Panama in a few weeks. Thanks girls for blessing me with your friendship, and a super fun weekend away from real life. I love you guys.

8.01.2008

Can I get a HALLELUJAH and an AMEN?

In just minutes, I will be leaving to meet Danae and Jenny for a kid-free, husband-free weekend in Palm Springs! We know it's going to be like a million degrees there, but Danae's uncle is letting us use his vacation home... complete with air conditioning, and a pool & jacuzzi! Praise the Lord!!!