Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary

There are some perks to living in Mexico, especially if you get excited about things like fresh produce.  Sam and I have always been health conscience, but this year I really went all out crunchy granola with our food.  We were traveling and we didn't always have control over what we ate, but when we did it was 2/3 raw, green smoothie, all natural sins sugar and white flour.  We just couldn't afford to be sick, and Sam's cholesterol had gotten a little out of control, just to name a few reasons I'm so weird about food.  I don't want to live forever, but I do want the time I do live to be able to do all I can for God.  So naturally finding good food sources was a high priority here in Mexico and I am always budget minded.  Sunday was one of my first opportunities to get out a really look around.  Sunday is the big market day for Jerez.  I can't believe all the healthy things I can feed my family for a fraction of the cost I would pay in the States!  Hence the title The Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary.
Can you believe I paid less than $5.50 for the entire 35 lb bag of oranges?  Fresh squeezed OJ never happened in the States.  Sometimes I would make a little fresh OJ then mix  it with carrot or some other juice, but never fresh squeezed OJ by itself.  It taste amazing.  I want to find an orange press at a consignment store maybe, because a few more 35 lb bags and I have a feeling our little electric citrus juicer will give up the ghost.
Sam was first introduced to tamarind when he was doing his predeployment training in Puerto Rico.  He sent us a package with some.  We have found them in the States, but here they are at every store.  They are chewy, sour, and sweet. A little like sour gummy bears without sugar and artificial colors, but with vitamins instead.
 Guayabas are another local fruit that we all enjoy, although the Benedict's have a different opinion.  It taste something like a cross between a kiwi and a cantaloupe....maybe.  And today the kids had coconut for a snack.  I haven't been able to find young coconut yet.  I was told by friends down in Chiapas that it's seasonal, so I would imagine it's seasonal here also.  I'm keeping a look out.

Avocados are the other thing I'm really excited about.  I paid less than $2 for over 2 lbs at the market.  In the States, I was happy if I got 3 avocados for that price.  They are so good for you and now I don't have to ration them as much!

We also had are first experience cooking nopales (cactus) out at the children's home last week.  It turned out really well, if I do say so myself.  It was Bro. Steve's recipe and he called it Prickly Pork...too fun.  The children's home is actually surrounded by a Nopales farm and later this year they will bear tasty fruit called Tunas, which an adventure, but I'll save that for another blog.  Maybe I should have titled this blog, Everyday Exotic.

I think I will be able to get back to my food log.  So today we had green smoothie for breakfast, about a cup each.  It had 5 stalks celery juiced ,1/3 coconut oil (a tbsp for each person), 2 cups homemade Kefir (that's another blog), plenty of spinach (at least 7 cups), and 4 1/2 bananas.  It turned out really yummy.  We had watermelon and a boiled egg throughout the morning.  Lunch was a big salad with avocado :), nuts, flax seed, a few olives and olive oil and vinegar.  I added a little red onion today and expected rioting, but the only one who said anything was Hannah.  We had coconut and a good handful of nuts and pumpkin seeds for snacks this afternoon.  For dinner we are having Paco's Fish Tacos in Lettuce Wraps with quinoa.  Yummo!  It's a Rachel Ray recipe.  You can find it here.  Quinoa is a Latin American grain that is very high in protein, but I haven't seen it here yet.  I brought some I had from the States.  I'll miss it when it's gone. :)

Oh and Sam made homemade ice cream, so I'm sure we will all have a bowl of that in a little while.  I consider homemade ice cream a health snack in moderation, especially when it's made with raw milk.  We haven't tracked down a milk farmer yet, but I know there are raw milk sources.

I feel like a Laura Ingalls Wilder's book.  Not sure if you've read those in awhile, but a good portion of her writing is about food.  How they grew it, scavenged, or hunted for it and how they prepared it.  I think it was because it was so hard to come by.  So thankful that is not the case for us.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hair Cuts and Cinnamon Rolls

Before we can be very effective, we must learn the language.  We are so thankful for the opportunity to be able to work at the children's home.  We are able to serve while we learn and we are constantly forced to speak Spanish.  Sam has already been able to invite people to church, hand out tracts, and do the bus route.  Tomorrow he will preach, with a translator.  

The Josiah, Samuel and Haden came to church Sunday morning sporting new hair cuts, so Monday night some of the boys at the home ask for a hair cuts.
Never trust a bald barber, Nef!

Tuesdays are cinnamon roll day, even the school teachers look forward to it.  It's Bro Steve's recipe and it's yummy.  
5 tbsp yeast
1 liter+1cup
2 cups sugar
2 cups butter
5 tsp salt
10 eggs, lightly beaten
20-21 cups flour

2 cups butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 big bag powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Half bag brown sugar
10 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks butter

I'll let you figure out how to make it for less than 45 people!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sending Service Video


For those who could not make it to our sending service on March 28th, 2010 here's the video of our deputation we showed.  I hope to have time to get it on our web site later this week.

We will be out at the Children's Home this week, so it should be a good opportunity to work on our Spanish.  I feel a very busy week coming.  We are still getting the hang of cooking, caring, ect for 40 children.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Expect Resistance

After all the fun getting to the border and crossing it, we were finally in Mexico. The only thing standing between us and home was a meer 9 hour drive. After 47,000 deputation miles, a 9 hour drive is cake.

As we approached Monterrey, I noticed a bulge in the right trailer tire. I flagged Sam over and we checked. Sure enough the tire had a large gash and the inner tube was bulging out. Because of our experience with the wheel hub, Sam was not confident his jack could do the job, so we decided to look for a place in Monterrey that could change it. We didn't see anything that even resembled a mechanic and shortly outside of Monterrey the tire gave up.

Sam had been thinking and praying and had figured a way to change the tire. He said, "Time me!". I think it took less than ten minutes. I didn't time him, because I didn't realize he was serious.

We took this unplanned stop as a oppurtunity to dispense some of the gifts from the surprise bag Meme had sent along.
It was less than one hundred miles before the second tire bit the dust,  right side again!  This one really bit the dust.  It was really strange, the tire looked like it exploded and it made a huge pop like a canon.  I was beginnig to think the only thing people weren't prayer for was our right trailer tire!

This time we didn't have a spare and it was the Saturday before Easter.  Sam left the kids and I along the side of the road while he and Josiah went to search for an open store to buy a tire from.   About an hour and half later he returned triumphately with a new tire, rim and a new spare....just in case.  About the time Sam got the tire change the highway patrol showed up to help.  Hahaha!  They examined the damaged I did rear ending the trailer, one officier said his wife did the same thing.  They had a good laugh and broke Sam's jack trying to help. :)

We were so thankful we broke down during the day time and were able to get it fixed before dark, we were on a section of road that had a shoulder (not all roads in Mexico do, you know), Sam was able to find a place to purchase new tires, the place we were pulled over at was visible to traffic for at least several miles, among other things.  God is so good and it was good for the kids to see a little pressure put on us in a new way.  Their spiritual maturity amazes me sometimes.  While Sam was gone, I had to make a field expedient potty, but I'll spare you.  Just know this mama can!!  

The trip went smoothly from that point, except it had obviously taken longer and now we were traveling in the dark.  Which normally wouldn't bother us.  We were both naturally a little concerned about another flat, but the new tire held up just fine.  The really concern was Sabado de Gloria.  This is what the Benedicts wrote about it in their weekly update:

Last week Jerez turned into Satan's playground.  They celebrate the "Holy Week" culminating on Saturday which they call, Sabado de Gloria (the glorious Saturday).  Our city here, on that day, is known as the largest Cantina in the world.  They close off all of the downtown area except for pedestrians and horse traffic.  Every year people die during this party.  You hear non-stop ambulances throughout the day and night as they transport the injured and dead to the hospital.  It's very sad.  They celebrate the day that Jesus was in the tomb.  They don't look at it from that point of view, but we have been able to plant that seed in the minds of some of them. They get pretty serious when you point that out.  

The thought was that not many people would be leaving the town, so as long as we took the back roads and did not go through the center of the city we would avoid most people, but most likely every car we met would have a drunk driver at the wheel.  Around 11:45, about an hour before Jerez, we began to meet a steady stream of traffic flowing from the city.  The stream became a torrent that look like a bizarre midnight rush hour.  I just began to pray, over and over, please stay on your side.  God sent a big bus, Sam and I got in behind and it acted as our shield to the on slaught of drunk drivers.  Accidents and ambulances added to the confusion.  God gave me song..

I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today; I know that he is living, whatever men may say; I see his hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,  And just the time I need Him, He's alway near.  He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!  He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.  He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!  You ask me how I know he lives?  He lives within my heart.
That is what this city of Jerez de Garcia needs to know!  

We arrived safely near one in the morning.  Thank you again for all the prayers.  If you were prompted to pray for us at any point during our trip, we would love to know about it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How to Turn a 9 Hour Trip Into a 13 Hour Trip OR Expect Resistance

First we turned a one day trip to the border into a three day trip.  Partly because we had an orthodontist appointment before we could leave town, one more meeting in Center, TX and a generator to pick up in Austin, TX.  I started out driving the van with the trailer, but the winds were so strong it was hard to control the trailer.  The winds continued all day and whipped the trailer around so much that by Thursday morning when we started towards Austin, TX, we only made it a few mile outside of town before the right wheel hub broke.
A man from the church we attended Wednesday came over and helped Sam repair it, while the kids and I had a picnic lunch and played ball.  The weather was gorgeous and "whew!" we had gotten our car troubles out of the way before we even crossed the border.

We got to Austin late and had a good time getting to know Mrs. Thompson, the mother of Mona Sloan.  The Sloans are friends and missionaries to Chiapas, Mexico.  I wish had gotten a picture, she is such a wonderful lady.  She sent us on our way with a copy of Where There Is No Doctor and a garlic peeler which works awesome!  Friday we did some errands and continued event free to Laredo, TX.

On Saturday the border crossing went really smooth!  They waved us by and we headed for the immigration office for visas and car tags.  The only hiccup was Adelina's misplaced passport.  I won't go into detail so we don't incriminate ourselves.  To our surprise, despite the fact that it was Easter weekend, everything went quickly, but we knew the 30 km check point would be the hard one.  I was so excited about our smooth crossing, I rear ended the trailer with the Toyota!

When we got to the check point Sam thought the visa and passports had somehow fallen out of the van and did a u turn.  He promptly remember where they were and we did another u turn back to the check point.  At this point the gate guard didn't even care to look at them anymore, which was good because of Adelina.  This time they waved us over and I knew we would be unpacking everything as they searched through it, because that's what the cars on both sides of us were doing!  The guards and Sam stood and looked at the busted trailer.
Sam explained his meujer, literally woman, but an affectionate term for wife, just did it as we were coming across the border.  One guard said his wife rear ended him once and they had a good laugh.  They all decide, with some urging on Sam's part I'm sure, that it could not be reclosed if it was opened and they sent us on our way.

Going across Easter weekend might have helped, and we didn't plan that.

Rear ending the trailer probably helped, and we certainly didn't plan that!

But the Bojie children praying with the faith of David when he defeated Goliath defiantly helped!

Sara Elizabeth Bojie commented on your status:

"Oh no!!!! Praying!!! Seriously, all the Bojies are huddled on the office floor. Keep us updated!!!! "

Thank you to all who have been praying for us.
Now we only had 9 hours of smooth sailing through Mexico....or did we....