Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heartland Youth Camp 2009

Last Sunday afternoon, the boys and I headed north from McAllen, TX going to Youth Camp.
My sister Marci picked us up in Indianapolis and drove us to Bedford that night.

Mom and Dad Sankey gave us a delicious breakfast Monday morning before heading to YC!

Camp is in sight!

Getting started with the first service.

My friend Heather's cabin that she let me borrow to stay in again this year...and my father in law's car that he loaned us - thanks so much!

Jordan was chosen to be on Bro. Jim Stroup's team - the Disciples! They did great all week and came in a close Second Place on Friday afternoon. Bro. Stroup is an awesome team leader!

Tug of war afterglow activity - so fun!

On Tuesday, I got to visit with my friends Heather, Michele, Janella, Tamra, and Sarah. Here Jillian is showing me her book.

It rained on Wednesday (and Thursday morning). The kids were great sports and played right through it.
Jordan on kitchen duty - he didn't really care for me taking his picture. :-)

I enjoyed helping in the Snack Bar this year. My friend Michele and I are getting the hot pretzels ready for the campers.

The most important part of Youth Camp..seeking the Lord around the altar.

My handsome boy before Thursday night service.

Hobe Sound Quartet singing in one of the evening services.

We all enjoyed the annointed preaching ministry of Travis Johnson.

Jordan participating in the Afterglow Water Balloon Relay. You had to pass the balloon down the team, run to the bucket, rip open the balloon, spill the water into the bucket, run back and grab the next balloon and start it on its way. The Disciples won this relay!
I forgot to mention that part of winning the relay meant pouring the bucket of water on the team leader. Bro. Stroup was a great sport after getting drenched!

Cameron got in on the action on Friday. During the All-Star Games, the other younger kids got to play in pick up games. Cameron is so looking forward to being a camper next year!

Dustin Muir batting in the Stars vs. Stiffs Softball Game.

My sister Missy and brother in law Gerald came to see me on Friday so I could meet my new niece Jazmine. She's just an adorable princess!

Jordan meeting Jazmine - he's the oldest grandchild on my side of the family and she's the youngest.

Cameron meeting Jazmine

This is the scene on the 4 hour drive home to Bedford...the boys konked out. Yes, Cameron is asleep here - he sleeps with his eyes open.

Jordan snoozing....

Getting to go to Youth Camp was so wonderful....we're so thankful we were able to attend again this year.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Honoring Mom and Dad Sankey

Today Faith Mission Church and many family and friends honored Marc's parents, Leonard and Janet Sankey, for their 30 years of faithful pastoral ministry. Such a wonderful service complete with many beautiful gifts and expressions of love and appreciation. I am so thankful we got to be here for this celebration. Mom and Dad, we love and honor you today!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Final English Class in Part One

On Monday night, our English students successfully completed their English Course Part One (12 classes) and they all did so well. They all got good grades on their final written and oral exams. To celebrate, we invited everyone to our houseafter class for American snacks and to receive their final grades and completion certificates. I felt so bad when everyone left that I had not gotten a group picture of the class. Oh well....

If all goes as planned, we are beginning our second round of English Classes on Monday, August 24 for 8 weeks. We will be offering Part One (for new students) and Part Two (already have 10 pre-registered for this class). We believe this is an open door that God has given us for ministry to our people and also for evangelism in the Saltillo church community. We are, of course, not "making money" on this missionary ministry - only calculating the charge of the instructional materials we've purchased and dividing that cost among the students who are asking for the classes. Any excess registration money goes for buying and reproducing English practice CDs that go along with the course and printer cartridges for producing each week's worksheets.

We are also praying and thinking about beginning English classes in our colonia...several mothers on my street have talked to me and asked me to teach English to their children (and them, they add shyly). This would be a significant time commitment and with me beginning my homeschool responsibilities again soon (with a high schooler in the bunch this time), we're not sure if this is the right time. Please help us pray about that ministry. I believe God would use it as an open door to evangelize our community but I also want to stay true to the priorities He's given me as a mom and a wife. My children will soon be grown and gone, and I can teach English the rest of my life! :-)

The students taking the written part of their final exam.

The littlest English student, Kenya...she's not really enrolled in the class, just occasionally comes in, brings her little notebook and pencil, sits on the bench and copies the English words I write on the white board.

The American snacks I served at the party. (an extra cheese plate was making its way to the table to fill the empty spot)

And we weren't done yet...the twins Christy and Kenya love looking at my English/Spanish pop-up flaps book and were having me say EVERY English word in the book so they could repeat it.
If I got distracted talking to someone else in the room, their taps on my arm would bring me back to task. :-)
Mom Sylvia looking on - Sylvia does so well in English - such a quick learner! And such a good friend of mine...I thank the Lord constantly for her. She's my current "bridge person" - you language/culture learners know what I mean.
Helping the girls with their "th" sounds - these are very difficult for our English students. Three sounds like tree...but we're working on it!

I don't know if loving the people you're called to minister to makes you a good missionary, but I tell you - these people have my heart - every bit of it. Being with them, cooking with them, singing with them, crying and laughing with them, serving God together...nothing fulfills me more.

Update on Logan

Just wanted to let you know that Logan saw his Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Loja, yesterday afternoon and received the release we've all been waiting for. The doctor checked him over and said, "Well, I believe we can consider this situation resolved." Thank the Lord!

I thanked Dr. Loja for his excellent care for Logan and also spoke to the nurses and office personnel - they were all SO kind and great to work with during this whole almost 2 year ordeal.

We are thanking God for His touch on our son!

We love you all and thank you for your prayer support during this difficult time. We felt it so many times and in so many ways.

Melodie and family

Thursday, July 16, 2009

God's Protecting Hand

On Friday morning, we headed north with Nathan and Myranda and the kids to the US border and they started their trip back towards home.

On the way, we had a major blowout about an hour south of Reynosa! Thank the Lord for His protecting hand on us. The blowout happened on a straight stretch of road with little to no traffic. This trip (from Saltillo to the US border) involves stretches of very busy highway traffic and we could easily have been in the middle of Monterrey when it happened. Thank you, Lord.

The "green angel" - traveler assistance vehicle - stopped by while we were changing the tire. He was very kind and helped us wire the fender back on so we could make it the rest of the way to the border.

The tread messed up part of the left passenger door, took out the left rear fender and the light.

Check out that tire - tread gone!

The spare's on - we're ready to roll.

Myranda, Logan and Treyton walked back down the road to drag the huge pieces of tread off the road, before someone wrecked swerving to miss it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our Thursday

Brennan finished up his internship with us here in Mexico and left on Thursday morning to head home. He gave me these beautiful flowers and Marc the M&M's as a thank you gift. So sweet of him! We so much enjoyed having him here - thanks Brennan for everything - come back soon!

We ate at Pollo Loco (again) for lunch on Thursday - I promise I did cook for them while they were here..lol.....then headed down to the villages of San Rafael and La Boca. Marc was talking to this sweet elderly Mexican lady in La Boca.

Jackson, Treyton and Jada in front of the nopales and maguey (cactus) in La Boca. They stood WAY in front of the plants - they have some wicked thorns on them. Ask Jordan.

We stopped at Bro. Daniel Pena's store in San Rafael and as usual, he had everyone come in and choose a bag of chips or cookies and a bottle of Coke.

When we got back to Saltillo, we went to the "slide park" as we call it. My faithful blog readers have seen these slides before. For those who haven't, there's a huge park in Saltillo that has 8 or 9 huge concrete slides to play on. Children and adults alike have a great time. :-) Here's Cameron, Jackson, Jada and Treyton clear at the top.

Jackson and Jada sliding together

Nathan and the kids just "coming in for the landing".

We all took turns signing Jada's cast. It was so cute - she would tell us where to sign and what to write! :-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our Wednesday

Yesterday we went to the market to do some shopping and explore the center of town - the Centro.

All the kids and Brennan lined up on the stone wall inside the cathedral courtyard.

Three pretty great sons...never a dull moment!

And the whole group in front of the Governor's palace in Saltillo. (minus Brennan who took the picture)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday's events

On Tuesday, Nathan and Marc worked more at the office/mission guest house while Myranda and I took the kids and walked to the market here in the Colonia Hidalgo (just down the street from the church). It was a fun experience and the kids enjoyed these "paletas" on the way back.

That afternoon we went to El Gran Bosque that has a huge playground for kids. What you see in this picture is only one of 8 or 9 different play sets that are in the kids' area. It's a pretty neat place.

I made chicken fajitas for dinner and afterwards Pastor Dolores, Sylvia and kids came over for ice cream to celebrate Kenya and Christy's (their twin daughters) kindergarten graduation yesterday morning. Here's some of the kids on the patio enjoying their ice cream. Nathan made delicious hot fudge sauce to go on the ice cream - thanks!