Thursday, July 18, 2013


Marbella means “beautiful sea,” and that’s such a perfect name for the little girl that we met recently. We first saw her about two weeks ago when we were visiting a small community called Cerro Blanco (White Hill).

Rosa and Marbella

Our friend Rosa (a nursing student from the States) was with us and her first thought was that little Marbella had chicken pox. On that first visit two weeks ago, we didn’t have a chance to talk to her but two days ago we visited again. Poor Marbella was still covered in sores on her face, arms, and legs. After talking to her and her sister, we learned that Marbella had been covered in these sores for over a year! They had taken her to the clinic where she was given a cream, but she was not recovering.

Rosa's Village Clinic

Rosa did some research and talked to the doctor at our clinic. The girl was diagnosed with impetigo. Basically, she had been bitten by mosquitoes and then she scratched. The scratching broke the skin and bacterium was introduced into the open wound. A basic skin infection went untreated, and poor Marbella suffered unnecessarily for over a year!

Rosa with Marbella & her Dad

I thank God for that skin infection though. Sounds strange, but because of it, Rosa was attracted to this little girl. She listened to Marbella’s heart and lungs and heard an abnormality in the girl’s heart. Today, we took Marbella and her dad to their local clinic. The doctor has written up a referral for Marbella to be taken to Tuxtla for further tests and hopefully she’ll receive the treatment that she needs for her heart.
Pray that God will continue to open the doors! Pray for Marbella and her family.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Recently we were without water for four days…or more accurately, we were without water pressure to fill our big tank that sits up on the roof. Fortunately, we still have a tank just outside of the bathroom so we weren’t completely out of water. But it was a good reminder of the things that we take for granted.

I have a beautiful kitchen where Clay plumbed in the water. As long as there is water in the top tank, I have water to wash dishes…or to wash my hands while cooking. (I never realized just how often I wash my hands while cooking until I had to go to a different room to wash.) I also use that water to fill our water filter for clean drinking water.

 The top tank is also where the water comes from to fill our washing machine. With six in our family (plus one adopted Rosa), we produce a lot of laundry. On the fourth day, (and not knowing how much longer we’d be without water pressure) I decided it was time to wash clothes by hand, using the water in the bottom tank. Luckily, I had lots of help!
Ellie, washing clothes
Mathew and Levi, "helping" hang the clothes!

 And then there is the blessing of hot showers…the top tank allows us that treat. Without it, we have a cold shower or a bucket bath. Depending on the time of day, a cold shower or cold bucket bath is actually kind of nice. Our temperatures are in the 80s inside and outside of our house.  And interestingly, our kids usually prefer a bucket bath to a shower. (Bathtubs are VERY rare in Mexico, and the kids miss taking baths.)
It’s interesting to me that during rainy season we didn’t have enough water pressure to fill our tank. But it has caused us to reconsider how we use our water. Obviously we have been cautious by American standards, where clean water is plentiful. Here we live in a rain forest and still don’t always have water, let alone clean water that we can drink. (That’s a whole other rant on water pollution, but I’ll not go there!) There are days when we can’t even fill our lower tank because there simply is no water.

Today I am thankful that I can breathe a sigh of relief. I can wash clothes in my washing machine. I can fill my water filter from the sink. I can wash dishes in the sink without hauling water from the back room. I can take a hot shower. In essence, I am more comfortable today.

But I am reminded that the people around us don’t even have these same “luxuries” of a hot shower, or a kitchen sink. And they probably wouldn’t even know what to do with a washing machine! (And they also probably wouldn’t trust a machine to get their clothes clean anyway.)


A few months ago, we were contacted by Rosa, a friend from our home church in Idaho. She’s a nursing student and was wondering if she could come to Pine Hill and see how she could use her nursing skills within our ministry context. There are many awesome things about Rosa
She likes to run.

She knows how to make amazing refried beans…

            And tortillas…

                        And Mexican rice!
Rosa, teaching me to cook!

My kids adore her! (Matthew can’t say her name, so she’d been nicknamed “Ocha.”)

Rosa, studying with my kids!

She has so much nursing knowledge.

Rosa, playing in the tree house!

She’s bilingual! (Her parents are from Oaxaca, Mexico.)

I'm not sure, but I think Levi kissed Rosa!
She plays board games!

Rosa, playing monopoly with Ryan!
She LOVES a good exploring caves!

Rosa in the cave!

Ants...yep, Rosa even ate one!

From her first day here, she was helping people with her medical knowledge. She’s been able to teach about “basic” prevention techniques. (Sometimes what we consider “basic” has never been taught here.) She is volunteering at our local clinic where she has administered vaccines and given talks to the moms about nutrition and healthcare. And all along, she is sharing the Gospel!

 We are blessed to have Rosa’s help and encouragement.

Please pray for the rest of her time in Mexico
  • That she’ll stay healthy
  • That she’ll shine the light of Jesus everywhere she goes
  • And that God will work in Rosa’s life too

Our Own Little Jungle

I often forget that I live in the rain forest. Life has become mostly “normal” for us, for which I am thankful. We know that we should carry an umbrella in the afternoon. And we know that the lights can go out at any moment…or that the water might not come back on for a few days.

 Recently I was looking at a science book with the kids and decided that we should make a terrarium with the jungle life in our backyard. So, with Daddy’s help, we grabbed a shovel and some plastic jars and headed to the backyard!

Matthew, getting the dirt ready!
Ellie, holding a lime plant.
Adding dirt...
Ryan, digging up a small plant.
Levi, adding a tiny amount of water.
Isn’t it amazing to be able to go in your backyard and find tiny lime trees? I learned something that day too…lime trees send out a lateral root which will sprout a whole new tree!
Now, to observe the growth of our little plants!