Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Busy First Week

Forgive us for any typos, but this entry is written on a Spanish Language keyboard and not all the keys are in the same place! We are in Antigua for a few days... one more than expected... to trade partners for the week. Dr. and Mrs. Street were with us for the last week, helping us to find many of the clinics we´ll be working at, meeting lots of people, teaching, teaching, and then teaching some more. We dropped them off at the Guatemala City Airport this morning, then waited to pick up Carrie and Russell, who will be helping us with some more administrative and non-medical stuff. We only got Russ, though, because they wouldn´t let Carrie on the plane in Houston. Apparently her overworked passport didn´t look like it was up to the task of one more trip, so they told her she could come down on Tuesday with a new passport. So we wait here in beautiful Antigua. Like my friend Trip says, if this is the worst thing that happens to us all day, it´ll be okay.

Anyway, we had a busy first week. We travelled to about 10 or 12 different places in Guatemala, met lots of awesome people, and were presented with several enticing possibilities for further work and exploration. One involves Heidi´s passion for teaching OB/GYN. Another involves doing some significant pre-natal work in outlying areas. We´re sure that many are yet to come. We will be praying for guidance. As we were told before coming down, the needs far exceed our resources and we want to make sure that we´re doing what God wants us to be doing, not what we want to do. (With any luck, they´ll be the same thing!!!)

Well, that´s all for now. We´ll be posting pictures when we get home to our own computer. We have lots, but we´ll spare you the ones of 6 inch moths and Guatemalan Coke Cans...

Lots of love and we´ll chat more soon!!!

Forgive us for any typos, but this one is written on a

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Pictures... Finally!

Sorry it took us so long to get these pictures posted... They are the ones described below that never made it. I don't know why "blogger" didn't seem to want to post them for us, but I finally listened to Matt (He always reminds me that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!"...) and found another way! So here they are, several days later. We will try to update again very soon, with lots more pictures. We have had an amazing and wonderful (and slightly overwhelming, but in a good way!) week, and will look forward to sharing more details soon. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers this week and always... Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 24, 2006

Our New Home

Well, here we are in Guatemala. Thanks to many weeks of work by Russ, Bethany, and Carrie, the house now has high speed internet. What a life saver!!

Our first night in Guatemala was spent in Antigua with Savior´s Sons and Renew, men´s and women´s mission groups from Houston who were here a week before us. We were so fortunate to meet them and hear about their awesome week of service prior to our arrival.

The next morning, we came up the mountain to our new home and got settled in. On the way here we met with John and Sharon Harvey at ASELSI in Chichicanstenango. They have an awesome mission and we will be learning a lot from them about Guatemalan medicine. There are also some very exciting opportunities there for Heidi to do some OB work. We´ll see if that´s what God has in his plan for us.

When we got to the house to unpack, we found that we´re missing a few things from the pile of stuff we sent down, but it will all work out, we´re sure. Worst case is that we have to buy Heidi a lot more pants!!!

Today we met with the hospital staff here in Quich√© and were presented with our first urgent need... for computers for the hospital. And in this case, they need NEW, state of the art, American computers. They have been directed by the government to install an electronic medical records system and the software they have to use only runs on new XP machines. Okay, we´ll work on that.

After our meeting with them, we drove to Canill√° to meet with the Ficker Family. They also have an awesome mission working with severely underserved people in a remote region of Guatemala. In addition, they have taken in several Guatemalan children, one of whom was badly burned when she had a seizure and landed in the open flame her family cooked on inside their house. Her name is Martina. She has a variety of other medical problems, but is a very gentle and loving child. Leslie Ficker has several clinics and will be also helping Heidi learn about Guatemalan medicine in the next few months. Dwayne, her husband, is a pilot. The Lord has provided them with a twin engine plane which they will use to serve the people here as they are directed. They are building a hangar now and will be bringing the plane here from the US in a few months. How exciting!!!!

Anyway, this was supposed to be short, but we never are, so there you have it. Our first few days in Guatemala.

Thanks for stopping by and pray for the people of Guatemala, and for us that we might help them as God wants us to.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Getting Closer!!

We're almost finished with our "Mooch Tour 2006". Since we moved out of our apartment in Houston on June 29, we've been travelling around the country, visiting friends and family. And we've only paid for lodging two nights. Maybe we're more excited about that than we should be, but it's fun anyway. Here's a brief rundown:

June 29 - fly from Houston to Anchorage, Alaska and stay with Al and Kay Olson (Matt's cousins)
June 30 - glass-top train to Denali Lodge
July 1 - bus to McKinley Lodge
July 2 - glass-top train back to Anchorage and stay wth Al and Kay again.
July 3 - enjoy Anchorage and stay with Al and Kay
July 4 - family reunion on Nancy Lake in Willow, Alaska and stay with Bob and Mary McCain (Matt's cousins)
July 5 - go flying with Bob in his float plane and drive back to Anchorage and stay with Al and Kay.
July 6 - take a day cruise from Whittier, Alaska to see glaciers. Drive back to Anchorage and stay with Al and Kay
July 7 - enjoy Anchorage and fly back to Houston (overnight flight)
July 8 - land in Houston, drive to Patsy and Ray Shaw's house, sleep a few hours and head towards Michigan.
July 9 - arrive in Albion, Michigan after driving 19 hours straight (all night) and spend a day with Matt's Grandma and Grandpa Arquette and Aunt Carol and Uncle Dave. Spend night with Arquettes.
July 10 - drive to Battle Creek, Michigan and spend day and night with Matt's Grandma and Grandpa Bell (including dinner with Aunt Sug)
July 11 - drive to Temperance, Michigan, spend time with Matt's mom and dad, then drive to Cleveland, Ohio and spend night with Matt's sister Catherine and brother-in-law Joe Kubera (plus our niece, Sophia - who is almost 2!)
July 12 - drive to Sandusky, Ohio, take a boat to Put-In-Bay, an island in Lake Erie, then spend the night at Joe's boss's condo.
July 13 - Spend day at Cedar Point amusement park with Catherine and spend night with Joe and Catherine.
July 14 - Spend day with Catherine and Sophia and leave at 11pm for North Carolina.
July 15 - Drive all night and arrive in Durham, North Carolina at Todd and Heidi Durham's house and sleep a few hours. Then comes THE LUAU!!! Spend the night at Trudi Allen's (the Durham's neighbor).
July 16 - Drive to Salisbury, North Carolina and spend the day with Heidi's Dad and Step-mom, including a party in our honor in Salisbury. Spend the night with Dad and Judy.
July 17 - Spend the day with Heidi's dad and go out to dinner with Dad, Judy, and Heidi's sister, Autumn Michael, her husband, Jeff, and our nephew, Boone (just turned 1!). Spend the night with Dad and Judy.
July 18 - Drive to Cary, North Carolina and spend the day with Heidi's Aunt, Mary Ann. Spend the night with Mary Ann.
July 19 - Spend the day with Mary Ann, meet Heidi's friend, Amy, for lunch, and go out to dinner with Heidi's cousin, Brent, and his family. Spend the night with Mary Ann.
July 20 - Spend the morning with Mary Ann and Heidi's friend Marcy. Leave for Texas. Stop in Atlanta and see Matt's friend Jared. Drive all night.
July 21 - Arrive back in Texas. Visit Matt's friend Billy in Beaumont. Going Away Party with Agape In Action team in Houston. Spend the night with Kathleen Street.
July 22 - Fly to Guatemala. Meet Dr. Street. Spend the day with Savior's Sons. Spend the night in Antigua.
July 23 - Drive to Santa Cruz and get to work!

Of course, not all of this has happened at "press time" but that's what we anticipate. Anyway, our next post will be FROM Guatemala. Pray for us!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

God's Handiwork

As I write this, I'm looking out the window at the highest peak in North America. Mt. McKinley is 20,320 feet high and defies description. Alaska is breathtakingly beautiful and also huge beyond your wildest imagination. It's a simple, silent reminder that God is not only far bigger and more powerful than we can fathom, but that he's an incredible artist. Nothing we will ever do can compare.

The pictures are beautiful but can't even begin to capture what's here. It's like trying to understand God. The people who understand Him the best are merely trading in two dimensional snapshots of the minutest slice of what He really is. Most of us don't even get that far.