Friday, July 24, 2009

A Gift from Our Garden.

Today, Lujan came in and surprised me with a tray-full of produce fresh from our garden!

This picture is a bonus to illustrate that Abi has become a great helper around the house. Because she sees the other kids doing their chores, she wants to help with all of my chores. She brings me clothes from the washer out to the line and now she is learning how to sweep. Believe it or not, she is the one that asks to be able to "sweep."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hans and Pigs Have Arrived- Bakery up and Running- Meet Carlos- Mennonite Work Team

It has been a while since we have posted a blog. We have been busy and are so excited about all that is developing here on the property.

One of the most exciting developments has been the addition to our team. Through an English teacher that we lived with last year in Guatemala, we met Hans Burkholder, originally from Virginia, shortly after arriving in Paraguay. He was teaching last year at a Christian school in Asuncion. Hans was looking for a place to continue his work in Paraguay and has come to work here at Hogar Ganar. He has already began several projects in the farming area of the ministry and has great ideas for helping the kids learn valuable farming skills. He also plays the guitar, which makes our worship services much more enjoyable. We feel so blessed that the Lord is continuing to send talented people our way to help us mentor and develop the children in our home.

Hans and Gloria with the new rabbits, one of Han's projects.

The pigs that I had mentioned in an earlier blog have finally arrived. We have four little piglets intended to be used as breeding stock so that in the future we will no longer have to buy our own pork. The garden is continuing to grow as well, and more and more of the veggies are ripening to harvest.

I don't really know how to take a "good" picture of pigs.

Back in March, I posted a blog concerning the professional bakery that had been donated by the Rotary Club of Asuncion. We finally have a nice schedule with the bakery and are making weekly use of it for the consumption of the kids in the home. The kids are even helping out in the bakery- and they LOVE it. They roll the dough and form the little "kokitos" on the baking sheet.

One of our senior helpers in the bakery is Carlos. He had actually worked in a bakery as a child, but told us that he loved the work. So the last two weeks, he has helped on the day that we bake bread (usually we only bake one day a week). He had his 12th birthday last week. Carlos is the oldest boy in House 1 and he is in the forth grade. He is extremely helpful and has the greatest crooked smile. He loves working in the bakery and doing any type of work that requires taking things apart or putting things together. He also loves the computer class he is taking at the "community center." He is always polite and kind. You can't help but to love Carlos!

Carlos with a fresh batch of kokitos.

Finally, we hosted a work team of youth from the Mennonite World Conference that was held here in Paraguay this year. They brought about 40 young people from several different countries and parts of Paraguay to help with cleaning. I was amazed at how much work they accomplished in one day. We broke the group into teams and they were each assigned a house or bathroom to clean. They worked willingly and cheerfully, and they were a huge blessing! Thank you, Mennonite World Conference.

The group.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Meet Cristina.

The 4th of July was not just the United States' birthday, it was also Cristina's (from House 1) 5th birthday!

Cristina is a little bundle of energy. She is pictured in the last blog playing in the dirt with Abi. She does well in her pre-school class and is very affectionate and talkative. She has four older siblings (Nilda, Carlos, Ever, and Rocio). She has a funny little scratchy voice, and the cutest smile in the world. She likes to sing in church and especially loves to do the motions to the songs.

Cristina in her new birthday outfit.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Six Teeth Pulled and Zero Tears!

The dentist that has been working on disinfecting and cleaning our dental clinic came for a surprise visit last Saturday and brought her twin sister (also a dentist) and a dental assistant. They readied the clinic and pulled teeth from six of our kids. Much to my astonishment, not a single child cried! That is what I call some good dentistry. I watched them work and was thanking the Lord for sending such skilled workers to the children's home.

Lujan getting a numbing shot.

Junior and the twin dentists!

Keep the children in your prayers as several have been sick with cold and flu-like symptoms. Most seem to be on the way to recovery (thank you, Lord), but with the weather fluctuating every day from hot to cold, we would like the Lord to protect them from becoming ill again.

Abi and Cristina playing in the dirt.

An update on the tilapia pond: because of the arrival of winter, the agricultural engineers have suggested that we wait until after winter to bring in the fish so that there will be greater stability in the ponds. The pigs that we are buying have been born and as soon as they are weaned will be moved to our facility. Also, the "worm" farm that Mario (our garden expert) has been preparing should start up sometime in the next two weeks. From that, we will be developing better compost to use on our organic garden, which by the way is producing a lot of veggies already!

The sunsets on our property are spectacular!

Happy 4th of July!