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  • Uncomfortable

     

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    I’ve been uncomfortable lately.

    It has to do with my shower.

    Our boiler had a break down and was replaced with a new fancy looking “instant” boiler.  Instead of holding decent amount of gloriously hot water, this new fancy thing heats water instantly, saving propane.

    Sounds great, right?   I’m all about saving resources and money of course… IF the darn thing would keep my water hot for more than 30 seconds.

    That’s right, it heats up to a perfect hot temperature and then turns cold in under a minute.  Then I have to turn off the shower completetly and start all over again.  It has something to do with the water pressure not being strong enough to keep the hot water on.  It’s brutal. #thirdworldproblems

    One of my most favourite things in life used to be a long hot shower.  Now I just long for 60 seconds of hot water at a time, you know, long enough to get the shampoo out and for my  sore baby holding muscles to relax a bit.

    My perspective has changed.

    When I think about the purpose of my writing, it also has to do with perspective.  My life has changed in so many ways since I moved to Mexico.   I see so many things differently than I used to and I am better because of it.

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    I know most people won’t have the opportunity to experience many of the things I have, so I can’t help but share them with you.  Who know’s, maybe your perspective will change too?

    Discomfort does that to us in the best way.

     

    Update:  We moved and I thankfully I am soaking in the goodness of hot showers every day.  I am sooooooooo thankful.  You have no idea!

  • Up Close – Our Growing Family

    IMG_6579I’m trying to make writing a regular part of my life again.  Its something I have been longing to do for awhile, and I am determined to make time for it.  Even if it means typing with my left hand and nursing a baby at the same time, which I may be doing right now.   Maybe.

    Confession, I actually started this post months ago and had to update info and photos.

    So here we go…

    I feel like an update is needed.

    To start off, our family has grown!

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    Meet Solana Ruby born October 9th, 3 weeks before her due date.  Her name means bright, gracious and merciful, and is truly a treasure to us! She is fairly easy going,  only cries when really hangry (who can blame her) and loves to be held and cuddled.  Solana is adored by every family member and has no lack of hugs and kisses.  She is the perfect addition to our family!

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    Solana is not the only new member of our family.  We have also welcomed a sweet young lady, Dalia, into our home.  We have known Dalia since she was a baby, as she grew up in the same orphanage as our  older kids.  She is currently in the process of being adopted by a very close and dear friend of ours.  We are simply stepping in as tios (aunt and uncle) until she gets to go home to Canada to a very loving and eagerly waiting family.  Dalia was in a not very good place and God worked it out for her to be moved from there into our home as a foster family.  We are glad to have her with us but ask that you join us to pray for her adoption to go through quickly so she can go to her forever  family where she most desires to be.

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    Brielle is a very proud big sister.  She has always wanted to be a big sister, so Solana is a dream come true for her.   I am thankful for her eagerness to help with the baby when ever she can, its truly a blessing!    She is doing well in 1st grade and is loving taking ballet classes.

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    Kayden has really grown this past year in both height and maturity.  We are proud of how hard he works at school and how he treats his fellow classmates.  On our recent trip to Canada he especially loved the cool playgrounds we visited and our frequent stops for Tim Horton donuts, but he was eager to come home to see his friends.

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    Moy started his first year of high school in a small private school.  He is not loving it, but is working very hard and getting good grades!   We are so proud of him.  He is growing into a very hard working, kind, trust worthy young man.  He spends his spare time pursuing his goals of running competitively and becoming more fit.

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    Gloria works for a local ministry called Eternal Anchor that works with and teaches children with disabilities.  She is really loving working with the kids and is excited to  learn more.  She is also finishing up her high school to get her diploma.  About two months ago she decided pursue independacne and moved out, a decision we have supported her with as much as possible.  We are proud of her wanting to be more responsible.  She lives with two friends near by and we welcome her for visits as much as possible!  Gloria has big dreams for the future and we ae excited to see whats next for her.

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    IMG_6830Saul has been working for Live Different as community advisor, but he will soon be leaving that position.  He has really enjoyed working for them the past 2 years but is looking forward to pursuing other passions and dreams.

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    Since returning from our recent trip to Canada I have spent most of my time at home getting settled into life with a new baby and managing a household of 8 (now 7).  I have been forcing myself not to jump into any extra activities as my family needs my most attention right now, and I want to give them my best.. not leftovers after serving others who I also care about.  I find myself googling things like “big family blogs ” or “big family recipes”  because I need to up my skills of running this house a bit better. Hopefully in the future I can continue to be more active in some of the community projects that I really care about, but for right now my main ministry is to loving and serving those in my home, and I am totally ok with that!

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    We moved recently.  I will share more details about that in the future, but God has really blessed us with a beautiful home.  We moved at the end of April and are still getting settled.  Saul is working on adding a couple rooms and a kitchen renovation project in his spare time.  We are so thankful for Gods constant provision for our family!

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    We were so blessed to spend lots of time with friends and family on our last trip to Canada.   We enjoyed every visit and conversation with those from back “home” and were truly blessed in many ways by many people.  Thanks to all who gave time to us, invited us for a meal, or gave us a baby gift.   Our time in Canada was really restful and encouraging.    We truly appreciate the love and support we have from people like you that care enough to check in on our family!

    Lots of Love from the Machados!

  • Las Aves Afterschool Program

    IMG_0319I was visiting my friend Celia a couple of weeks ago, she lives in Las Aves, a community I care about dearly.   While I was chatting with my friend, her brother walked in carrying a piece of paper.  His wife was already at the house, and as soon as he walked in, he went excitedly to show her.   I was’t really paying much attention, as I was busy chatting with my friend and her kids.

    Ask “la hermana” (the sister),” I heard them say a couple minutes later and suddenly the piece of paper was shoved into my hands.  Confused, I looked down to find there sons’s most recent second grade report card, resting on my fingers.

    “Is he passing?”  they asked me.

    I was happy to be able to report to them that he was passing, even though it was barely.  They smiled proudly.  School is important to them, they never got to go.  They can’t read… not even their own son’s report card, but  their son, he’s going to be different.

    I glanced at the notes of the teacher saying he needed to learn his letters better and that he should practice writing numbers from 1-200.  Skills he should have mastered in first grade, if he had had the help and support needed.

    I didn’t mention that to his parents, for the obvious reason… How would they be able to help him if they can not read and write themselves?

    Instead I asked an important question that could really make a difference for this boy “Has your son been choosen for the new after school program?”

    “Yes!” they told me excitedly.

    “They will help him improve where he needs help !” I told them, relieved to offer a real practical solution.

    A friend of ours started a very successful after school program, called Oasis in other community a few years ago, to support kids just like this one with their education.  Its a program that kids are  involved with after school twice a week that includes tutoring, help with home work, a bible lesson and a healthy meal or snack.  In the last couple years we have  talked about starting a similar program in Las Aves, as the need to support children in school is great.  Currently in that community of a few hundred people there is only one student in high school, as most kids drop out long before.  A few years ago, Saul and I made it our personal mission to ensure this boy finished high school, and have advocated on his behalf many times to make sure he had what was needed to be able to continue his education.  We knew that for his life to be different, to break the cycle of poverty in his family, and to keep him from field work he needed to finish school.  Thankfully, due to his hard work and persistence, and the generosity of local organizations and some dear friends of ours, he is going to graduate this June.  He has already registered in University for the upcoming year.  The thought of all he has accomplished and will continue to accomplish bring me to tears. This is so big.  So uncommon, for where he comes from.

    He is just one… but we dream of all the kids in his community to have the same opportunity.IMG_0208

    We are currently working on making this dream a reality, and we are helping to start an Oasis Las Aves after school program, that is scheduled to open the first week of April.  The local elementary school has hand picked the first 20 children with the most need, to be the first kids in the program.  There will be a teacher for every 5 children enrolled, and a cook to help with an afternoon snack.   We hope to grow and expand the program in the future, to include as many children as possible, and employ local people from the community.  Our friend Karly really took the initiative to get the ball rolling in starting the program, and we are supporting her in any way possible.   We have a building to use, staff in place, and we are eagerly waiting to open the doors in a few short weeks.  A generous donation was given to get the program started, but we want to see it run long term, grow to accept more children, and see all the children thrive with the loving support they need for many years to come.IMG_0189

    This is where you can help… Please consider being a part of a project that we truly believe in.  We have a goal to raise an additional $10,000 that will  ensure the program continues for the next 2 years.  So that in the future every family involved will have children that graduates from high school and continues their education, breaking cycles of poverty that have seemed impossible to get out of on their own.  This is the “what”  something we can all do to make a difference and bring change.

    Please join us.  You can help here.

     

    *Photo credits to Megan McCoy

  • Why or What?

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    Why does poverty exist? Asked my oldest son.  We had just stopped at the store where a sweet little girl not much older than Bri was sent to our car by her Mother, where she begged us to buy a bag of  mushy, pink tomatoes (which I bought, and then threw away, sigh).   Then pulling out of the parking lot, we saw a friend from Las Aves, a sweet old (like really old) lady carrying a large sack on her head, with her rowdy grandson trailing behind.  We knew it was filled with hand made items her and her daughter had made, and that she was headed to the park to sell in the Friday market.  We also knew she returned home many Fridays with not an extra peso in her pocket, despite all her hard effort to get there.

    I must admit, I don’t think much about the question of why there is poverty.  I know that God loves us enough to give us free will to live how we want.  As a result of that their is lot of things God never wanted us to experience, including poverty, sickness, deep sadness and so many other things.  When man choose to sin, he unknowingly chose life to be lot harder.  Poverty is just a result of that.  That’s what I told my son.

    His question rang in my heart all day… and stirred up another one, a much more important one, in my opinion.

    What are we going to do about it?

    This question has always been on my heart, and I imagine as long as I face the reality of people struggling to eat day to day, it will never leave.  At least I hope not.

    As follower of Jesus, I simply can not ignore those who live with so much need.

    Can you?

    If you are like me and can’t ignore those living without, please watch out for my next post… I have a way you can help!

  • The “M” Word

    I hardly ever use the “M” word when I describe myself and what I “do”.  Pretty much the only time you will me hear say it is when I am at the Mexico/US border, and am asked “What are you doing in Mexico?”  and I quickly reply “I’m a missionary”.  It gets me through with out any hassle.

    It’s not that I am embarressed to be a M…. you know.  I’m not.  I love that my “job” is serving Jesus in another country “full time”.  It’s just that I know I do not live up to the “Holy” status that comes along with that word.   Missionary’s are not saints.  Nope.  But some people think we are, and its hard living up to that unrealistic standard.

    The truth is, I am pretty normal.

    I don’t get up at 4 every day to pray.

    I’ve never seen anyone risen from the dead.

    Occasionally you may hear me say a bad word when I’m angry (gasp).

    I like Starbucks, shopping and Grey’s Anatomy (I can’t believe I just admitted that here).

    I have never done a 40 day fast or even been to bible school.

    I’m incredably unqualified for any type of holy title, and I am fully aware that I am not worthy to be up on any type of pedistle that other people try to put me on.

    I’m just like you.

    Fears, doubts, issues, unsure of myself, selfish and so much more.

    But here is the thing, what makes my life all the more beautiful.  You don’t have to be a special type of person to do good things.

    When Jesus showed up, He changed everything.  He came to a culture that was all about trying to be Holy, where those trying to live a godly  life were willing to do everything and anything possible to receive a righteous title…  Jesus came and put it all to a royal hault.

    “2 things,” he said.  Thats all that is required.

    Love me.

    Love people.

    That’s it.

    Sounds so simple and easy doesn’t it?

    Not so much.  He meant all people.  Not just the ones you like.

    He meant the rude ones, the smelly, the poor, the down right crazy ones, the judgemental ones that make you feel like crap,  the “friends” who talk behind your back, those family members you just can’t get along with, the ones that hurt you more than you ever thought imaginable, the ones you can’t understand and just don’t like being around.

    We are all in the same boat, titles and labels aside, learning to love like Jesus asks us to, because we believe in Him enough that we can’t ignore what He says.

    The good news is, we don’t have to do it alone.  Thank goodness.  He holds our hands and walks us through it.

    Love.

    Thats the mission.

    If you believe in Him, His message and mission… technically you are a missionary too.

    Welcome to the team.

    Now go and do something, because you were not made to stand on the side lines watching others do good.

     

    P.S.  I wear skinny jeans (not flowered patterned skirts or dresses).  I thought you should know.