A NEW BEGINNING
It is a great feeling to be sending you our very first real live missionary
newsletter from the field. God truly can do above and beyond what we can ask or even imagine.
We arrived here in Guadalajara
on August 23rd and hit the ground running. Steve and Kay Carpenter were so wonderful to help us get to Guadalajara in their
van and find a place to live. After settling into our new home, we started our language study the day in which most of you
celebrated Labor Day. Since then we have been hard at work learning to speak Spanish. As we are writing this newsletter, we
have finished the first of four levels at Harvest Language Center and are beginning the second. Little by little we are getting
it. Weve made our share of mistakes already. But it is so exciting to be able to communicate with the Mexican people in Spanish
(And they understand!).
|The Carpenter and Hancock families in our house in Guadalajara
Sometimes I find myself pausing to reflect on where God has brought us. I cant help but feel a sense
of humility and awe at what has happened over the last months and years. As I am looking out the bus window at the city streets,
I think to myself. We are really here. We are not planning to go, we are not praying about where God would have us go, we
are not trying to get to Mexico, where we will share the love of Christ. WE ARE HERE! God has moved in a mighty way and He
made it happen. I remember being challenged in a sermon one time to attempt something so great for the Lord that it was sure
to fail unless He was in it, unless He was the one who made it happen. Well, it is happening! And we wouldnt be here were
it not for the Lords leading and the partnership of His people.
So many times throughout my time here so far, God has
brought to mind so many of you who are praying for us, who have sent us here. I know that it must be the Holy Spirit. Sometimes
a persons face or name will just come to mindtotally unrelated to what I am doing or thinking about. So I pause and think
about that person or people and pray for them and thank God for the relationship we have.
only have we gotten better acquainted with our Mexico City teammates, Steve and Kay Carpenter, but we also have appreciated
getting to know Greg and Vicki Syverson and the other students at the language school. Greg and Vicki have helped us tremendously
by showing us how to get around in Guadalajara on the buses.
We have also developed a great friendship with our landlord,
Antonio. He is a single retired gentleman who lives on the first floor of our two story duplex. He has gone out of his way
to take us under his wing and shown us around and take care of us. He even bought chocolate to have in his house for Mallory
when we come to visit.
Antonios sister, Laura, and her family visit Antonio often and they have a son Mitchells age. Mitchell
and Alexis have enjoyed playing with one another even when they dont understand what one another is saying. We are slowly
becoming an extension of Antonios family. We are enjoying this growing relationship.
able to have our vehicle here in Mexico for a while becausewell its a long story. It worked out to be a good experience for
us. We were forced to use public transportation, which is readily available here in the big city, but it is a little more
difficult with two children. So we started the school year by catching a bus four blocks from our house, but we were late
a few days and thought it might be less stressful, on us parents at least, if we took a taxi. So we had Pepe the taxi driver
pick us up every morning for school. We used the 25 minute drive to school through busy traffic to allow Pepe help us practice
Spanish. He was a great helper and taught us a few things that we might not have learned.
A new experience for Mitchell
and Mallory has been taking baths in our storage containers. Most homes in Mexico do not have bathtubs, only showers. Our
children do not enjoy taking showers, so we came up with an alternative. Now, we can still bathe them at the same time and
they can have their own bathtub. They both really enjoy their bathtubs.
|Sometimes you have to make due with what you've got.
We have enrolled Mitchell and Mallory in Gymnastics class to give them some physical exercise as
well as give us an opportunity to meet other parents of children the same age as ours. This also allows us the opportunity
to work on our language homework. We have met a couple named Luis and Paula who have a daughter in Mallorys gymnastics class.
They recently invited us to go with them to a family gathering at Lake Chapala, where they have a home on the lake. We really
enjoyed spending some time with them and practicing our Spanish. We are hoping to further develop a friendship with them and
be an influence for Christ. It was also a good chance to see another part of Mexico.
By the way, we are enjoying the food
here and are even trying to make some of the Mexican food in our home. Antonio makes sure we try the real, authentic stuff.