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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
"You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." -Amy Carmichael, missionary to India
We owe you our most sincere gratitude for the LOVE you have poured out this year to us. As we look forward with anticipation to 2010, can you ask you one thing? Please keep fervently praying for us and for missionaries around the world; it is our greatest need. If anything is accomplished in our lives, it is due to prayer warriors and the team that surrounds us.
Have a purposeful and prayer-filled 2010!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
If you're wondering what Paraguayans do at Christmastime, they have some great traditions, including the "noche buena" meal on Christmas Eve at midnight. They eat lots chipa guasu (a type of corn casserole, stay tuned for a recipe), asado or grilled meat (some eat it cold), salads, especially fruit salad, watermelon and drink mucho terere.
Most Paraguayans do not decorate Christmas trees (we decorate ours in shorts!) or emphasize Santa Claus. Instead, they put beautiful nativities "pesebres" in their yards and in store fronts. Kind of novel to focus on Christ at Christmas, isn't it!
Gift giving is not a Paraguayan focus. Most families only give small gifts, if any, to each other. A favorite gift to give a neighbor or employee is pan dulce (fruit cake) or cidra.
Whatever fun traditions you might have in your family, we wish you a joyful and blessed Christmas celebration!
Friday, December 18, 2009
This Saturday was our second annual Children of Promise Christmas party and wow was it ever a PAR-TAY! You can read about our first fiesta here. Let me show you how you helped knock the Christmas socks off these little ones to give them a celebration they would have never been able to experience...
We started off the day by playing a bunch of ice breaker games. This particular game challenged the kids to fit as many on their team as possible on a square that kept getting smaller. The littlest kids won and were delighted to beat the bigger children!
Then Tia Tabita told a beautiful Christmas story about a Christmas doll and challenged us to give our best to someone in need
We recognized and prayed for the committee that makes the ministry happen! I couldn't do anything without these incredible folks.
The children, including these beautiful girls, Yanina, Laura and Yanina, were so happy to receive their pan dulce (fruit cake), a traditional Christmas gift.
Then, the kids got to go shopping! A doctor in town donated mounds of clothing to be distributed and each child got "coupons" for items. Some children used their coupons for shoes for their brothers or skirts for their mothers. It was so fun to watch them "shop" and try on the items.
While half the kids were shopping, the others were having a ball in the "globo loco"
Next, the kids opened their special presents from their loving sponsors
(located in the U.S., Canada and U.K.)
At the end of the party we gave away 2 (used) bicycles donated by the same kind doctor. This is Richard's first bicycle and boy was he excited!
I want to thank specifically all the sponsors for their generous support of Paraguayan children this past year. Your support and prayers mean more than you will ever know.
If you would like to help provide a child still waiting for schooling, clothes, healthy food and vitamins, click here.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Here's a recap of this week's highlights:
Exploradores campout! The kids had to make their own campsite, food, group name and song. They had such a great time they can't stop talking about it. Tonight is the award's ceremony at church.
Commander Hugo loves the kids!
Norberto's family from Asuncion came to visit so Timmy got to play with his cousin Mateo.
The newest Kurrle cousin, isn't she so sweet!
David (our intern) putting the finishing touches on our portable chicken coop. The only problem is that our lone chicken is so social he prefers sleeping with us and tries hard to get into our house whenever the front door is open! He was last spotted under the kitchen sink.
Making yummy sugar cookies with Erin, who is visiting for 2 weeks
Decorating our Christmas tree was a fun family activity this week. It's fake and I still miss trudging in the snow to pick out our Michigan White pine (think Christmas Vacation), but it works for us! Besides, I don't think decorating a palm tree would have the same effect.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
1. Kill the chicken by either snapping its neck or chopping its head off. We've found that the former method is less messy, but the chopping block is faster. Let the blood drain into a bucket.
2. Plunge the chicken in boiling water for 30 seconds to loosen the skin to facilitate the plucking process.
3. Hang the chicken by its legs and pluck all the feathers
4. Singe the chicken over a fire to get rid of any remaining feather stubs.
5. Take out the gizzards, wash them and preserve in another container for giblet dressing.
The results: The best ever Thanksgiving dinner under our hut!