Thursday, September 16, 2010
This picture was taken on Tuesday as we had our orientation at El Monte. We're sitting on a rock that overlooks a big drop off.....I was VERY nervous that one of the kids was going to fall right over. There have been LOTS of moments in the last three days that have tested my "mom-sense", and I've had to let go a lot. El Monte is so much bigger than I had in my mind...it's literally a whole mountain. I guess that's why it's called El Monte! :) So after getting in late Monday night, having orientation on Tuesday morning...just after lunch Tim went right to work on the electrical issues, the boys joined some of the kids for P.E., and Janie and I went with Roxanne for a grocery trip. So we jumped right in to figuring out money, what we needed for two weeks, what we could get in Mexico that we would normally use at home, etc. The WalMart (where they do their big shopping trips) is an hour away, so the trip took about four hours. Other small trips are made here in town at the little storefronts. On the way there and back, we got to just take in the towns, houses, people, and dwellings. I did not realize how very different it would be.
So Tuesday was work and groceries. A little bit of carsickness and a bit of being overwhelmed by the necessity of looking for scorpions under pillows before bed. Lots of adjusting! :)
Wednesday, Tim went to work...the kids and I stayed at the house and did a little spring cleaning. We took a hike around the mountain and got our bearings a little. We were in for a huge dose of culture Wednesday night. Today (Thursday) marks the bicentennial celebration of Mexican Independence Day. So they have HUGE celebrations the night before as well. The Wilson's church in Ticuman had a special service (hopefully we'll be able to share video), and then a huge party that lasted until midnight! TONS of homemade food, singing, contests.....there is a tradition of filling drained eggshells with flour and confetti and smashing them over everyone's heads! The boys LOVED that! It was a blast! My favorite part? Singing praise songs at the church service...we could follow along pretty well with the Spanish words on the overhead (the first song was "Come, Now is the time to worship"!)...the people at their church SING THEIR HEARTS OUT! It was awesome!
So today we woke up early to get to town at 8am for the parade and festivities. We learned so much about the people and culture, and also the spiritual culture here. I really can't explain how much my eyes have been opened....more about that later. Then we had lunch with the staff at El Monte and Tim went back to work.
So that's kind of the basic update. I will have to wait until later (i.e. when I'm not listening for squirrely boys getting into mischief :) to go into more detail of what we're learning about the camp and it's vision to reach this valley....what the spiritual needs are. I have to admit that the adjustment has been WAY harder than I expected! But God is teaching me a LOT...about the world, about His people, and about myself. And He doesn't promise that it will be easy! :) But we are being stretched, we are learning, and we feel PRIVILEGED to be here. I can't tell you what a privilege it is to be here. It has been so great to get to know all the staff and how they all work together. It is a huge vision here at El Monte, and God is providing every step of the way.
If you would like specific prayer requests, here are a few:
-Tim has a long list of jobs, and he'll have to scrap much of his U.S. electrical ways...
-pray for me to not be too worried about scorpion stings, etc. I've had a harder time with this than I expected....and overall "getting our bearings"
...next post I will do lots of pictures and captions, I hope!
We miss you all and can't wait to share in person!