Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
This is a picture of the community that the school is located in. The picture below is the inside of the school. You can see that it is a heaven for the kids within a really rough neighborhood. Those two gringo kids are pretty good looking too!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Vince Hogg of Wormit, Scotland was arrested after tearing out the hair of his live-in girlfriend and slamming her against a wall. The Daily Record reports the two apparently have had a stormy relationship and he became incensed because a leaky shower was causing the carpet to get wet. All of this has caused Hogg problems with his job, as an anger management counselor. But Hogg is still on the payroll of the National Health Service, which runs the "zero tolerance campaign" against domestic violence, where he worked. Hogg was, however, demoted and reassigned.
The article can be found at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312006,00.html
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
What is Costa Rica like?
Costa Rica is a really lovely place to learn Spanish. We live in San Jose, which is about halfway up the mountains, and it is almost always in the 60s y 70s. We can drive 2-5 hours to the beach once in a while, but most of the time we stay here and do our homework! We live in the city, so we don’t get to see all the cool animals who live in the jungle much, but that is pretty normal for a Costa Rican, because they don’t normally have the money to travel and see their beautiful country the way we do! Most Costa Rican people don’t earn as much in a week as a poor American does in a month, and cars are way more expensive here. We take taxis everywhere, and they mostly don’t have seat belts, so that was a big thing to get used to—not being able to put my kids in car seats. I pray a lot more now when we go somewhere as a family!
They eat a LOT of rice and black beans here, and I have been perfecting my version of it. Why? It is really cheap to eat rice and beans—and many Costa Ricans eat it for every meal and only get meat once or twice a month. And Costa Rica is one of the richest Latin American countries.
Would we rather be missionaries or billionaires?
Missionaries! I think it is more fun.
What made us want to be missionaries?
When God calls someone to be a missionary, He lets them know! He speaks to your heart and is very patient. Every person’s story is different, but we felt the call in our hearts first, and had it confirmed many, many times, in ways that were little miracles in our lives. It was a very exciting time. God wanting us to be missionaries made us want to be missionaries.
Do missionaries get killed telling people about the Lord?
This is definitely something that everyone who decides to become a missionary has to think about. It is true that people sometimes give their lives for the gospel, but more of them die because of difficult or unsafe conditions in the places they live. The biggest risk for us in Peru will be the traffic. There are very many car accidents in Peru, and we will have to be very careful. The air is really dirty there, too, because the air isn’t able to go over the mountains, and the pollution stays in the city. Sometimes we will go to the jungle, and that will have other risks, but most of our time will be in the city. We will need your prayers for our protection from thieves, too, as this is another real danger.
(The picture at the top is of our family in a traditional Costa Rican cart. The picture at the bottom is one I took on a city street in Lima. You can see how compromised the air quality is. Perhaps even more dangerous, though, is the taxi. It's a 3-wheeled motorcycle with a tent on the back!)
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Just as I was contemplating culture shock and my inability to embrace a strawberries and cream bathroom, in walked one of my professors (Alex Garro). His expression said it all—it wasn’t culture shock and Latinos don’t like strawberry scented urinals! It just happened to be the air freshener that was around when the air needed freshening. Mmmmmm, that smells sweet.
Note: Alex’s expression is a reenactment. No actual bathroom usage was taking place during the photo journalistic phase of this blog entry.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Lena and I liked this one so much, we tried it at home. But, since I don't have a handkerchief, I had to chase her with toilet paper.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
(The picture above is of the Yagua tribe.)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Our daughter, Hannah, turned 13 this week. A lot of parents dread the teenage years, but for us, the last few days have been just as fabulous as the 4383 that preceded them. Hannah is beautiful, funny and very charismatic. I'm so glad that I get to be her dad. Here are a few shots of her through the years.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
At this time the official death toll is 510, the injured are 1,150 and those left homeless are 80,000.
Rich and Wanda Ferguson
An update from AGRelief can be found at http://www.agrelief.net/peru/reports-peru.cfm
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
By Associated Press
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland was ranked as the nation's fourth poorest big city Tuesday after spending two of the last three years at the top of the U.S. Census Bureau's list. Cleveland was behind Detroit, Buffalo, N.Y., and Cincinnati, which jumped from No. 8 on last year's list, according to data from the American Community Survey. The rankings reflect the number of people living below the poverty level in 2006. The survey indicates that 27 percent of Cleveland's population was below the poverty level last year, compared with 32.4 percent in 2005.
Cincinnati, which had 27.8 percent of its residents living in poverty in 2006, has seen increases in each of the last three years. The Ohio River city was No. 22 in 2004 with 19.6 percent and last year entered the top 10 with 25 percent living in poverty. Although Cincinnati ranked one spot ahead of Cleveland, when accounting for the margin of error, the estimates for the two cities were not significantly different.
The ranking includes all U.S. cities with 250,000 or more people.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
This photo, as well as a slide show of the devastation, can be found on the NPR web site here: http://www.npr.org/news/images/2007/aug/16/peru_slideshow/index.html
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
On August 2, 1635, a woman found a small, black stone carving of Mary holding the baby Jesus on top of another stone. She took it home and hid it in a basket. The next day she found a black carving of a snake in the same spot. She took it home and, when she went to put it in the basket with the statue of Mary, found the original statue missing. The next day she found the statue of Mary back on the rock. She took it home and found the statue of the snake missing. After this happened a few more times, it was concluded that Mary wanted a Cathedral built on the spot. So, the cathedral of "the Virgin of the Angels," was built and now houses the statue. There is a small stream nearby which is believed to have healing powers. In 1824, the Costa Rican government declared the statue to be the patron saint of Costa Rica.
It's important to note that the idol is in the center front of the church. The church, even though Catholic, does not revolve around the image or story of Jesus. The church revolves around the adoration of a small stone statue. When I ask Costa Ricans if the statue is Mary or what the meaning of the statue is, they don't know. Latin culture is far less interested in making things make sense than North American culture. They don't care that their patron saint was never actually a person, since Mary is not the patron saint. Rather, the little black statue "La Nagrita" is the patron saint.
The fact that over a million people endure difficulty to beg a stone statue for a blessing is evidence of spiritual hunger. It is continued evidence of the need to bring a message of power and hope to this hungry people.
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty. 2Co 6:16-18
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
She said, "No Daddy, they're our family!"
"Oh, so am I the big toe?"
"No, that's Mommy!"
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Mt 16:21-24: From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"
Monday, July 16, 2007
Every 90 days, we have to cross the border in order to renew our visas for Costa Rica. This month, we visited Granada Nicaragua. It was my favorite town, so far, in Central America. It had the rustic charm of a Spanish outpost from 200 years ago. It also had a discotech playing Mexican polka music late into the night. Charm and polka--it doesn't get any better than that! There's a huge lake near Granada, with 2 Volcanoes in the lake. For a much better view of the pictures, along with my comments about each, please visit: http://picasaweb.google.com/BillandLenaPics/GranadaNicaragua
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
This is a slideshow I put together a while back about the geography, economy and people of Peru. I'm posting it here as a little reminder of where and why we're going. Now that we've hit the half-way point of our language school studies, we're getting mighty eager to be in the land of God's calling. To control the slide show, just click on the pictures. To see a larger & slower version, so you can actually read the slides, click on this link: http://picasaweb.google.com/BillandLenaPics/PeruStarkBeautiful
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
The Lima bean is Peruvian.
The tomato, taken to Europe by the Spaniards, is Peruvian.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Good news: Hannah and Colton passed onto their respective grades (7th & 4th) and are now on summer break. The really good news is that they still go to school! They do get home an hour earlier and their classes don't give homework. It's like attending an academic summer camp. Their classes include science (mostly fun experiments), drama and (of course) Spanish. Recently, Colton confessed that Spanish is his favorite subject. That's a big jump from his previous favorites: Gym and recess. Today I was very proud when one of our Spanish teachers said that Colton asked her a question yesterday (in Spanish) and understood her answer. The irony is that this professor speaks perfect English. Don't tell Colton.