Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ezra turned 2!

Can you believe this boy is 2 already?! I barely can. For his birthday he had a small party at his class.
He had fun at school and then on his birthday got to go to the party of another friend where he played a lot.
He slept really good that night.
Happy birthday, Ezra, we love you!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Next Chapter: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

As you may have noticed, the beginning of a new year is also usually when many schools begin their hiring process for the next school year. This means, usually around March or April, we know where we have been contracted to move next.

This time we have something we have never done before: Asia! It is a land where the local people went through horrific war where the educated, fair and even those who wore glasses were targeted and killed. To survive many people had to learn to eat insects and find non-traditional nutrition options. Even today you can find snake-on-a-stick, deep fried tarantula, crickets (like Mexico) and other insects for sale in the markets.

We will be going to the capital city of Cambodia: Phnom Penh. We are excited that Benjamin will get a chance as secondary principal and I will be teaching 5th grade again. Our children will attend the school there, like they do here. I am excited to be working with many Filipinos again, like in Abu Dhabi, and just being closer to the lovely friends I have in the Philippines again.

Of course, the hardest part of this move is leaving so much of our hearts behind. Mexico is a beautiful place. It's so nice to speak the language! The people we've met here have impacted us on a deep level. It's the kind of place to which I hope to one day return.

But there is also excitement in a new adventure. Asia is completely new to us and the pictures are beautiful. Khmer (pronounced kuh-m.eye) is another new alphabet to learn. Come along with us and see the pictures as it unfolds!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Palabra de Vida Rehabilitation Center, San Jose del Cabo

As we travel around the world, one of the things we always look for is a way to give back.  In San José del Cabo, the opportunity worked out without us even trying. In church one day, the pastor asked Ben as a gentleman walked by, "Have you met Bill?" This was the beginning of our relationship with Palabra de Vida.
Here, Bill is helping Talia get in position to whack the pinata.

Palabra de Vida is, as they say a "Rehabilitation Center [that] seeks to provide the necessary tools for the drug addict and alcoholic to be restored through God’s Word, to be equipped to live and lead a Christian life and to be successfully and safely integrated back into the community as a healthy and wholly transformed person." Ben and I both have worked here as translators, and Ben also teaches English. I don't say any of this feeling special or to get attention. Actually, we've gotten more than we've been able to give. Palabra de Vida and Bill and Jacki have played a very special and important part in our stop here in Mexico. They are very generous and kind people who we look up to and who felt called to start a non-exploitive rehabilitation center here. (I won't even go into how other centers here exploit the addicts. It makes me sick to my stomach.)

Beautiful Jacki
 Everywhere we go, I feel like God has brought key people into our lives to help us grow. I'm very thankful for the ways Bill and Jacki have been part of our Cabo family and let us be a part of the Center (Jacki would want that spelled the Canadian way: Centre). Our kids have been over there for piñatas and love playing with the Center's dogs. 
Talia whacking the pinata!

 I love being at the Center. It feels peaceful and purposeful. They provide classes to the addicts who choose to be there. The guys can leave at any time, though a normal cycle usually lasts 10 months.
They are provided with healthy meals, lessons in practical things like health, resume building, how to make a budget, English, Bible and many other things for no charge to the men. Many, many lives have been changed for the better here. I'm so glad we got to meet them. They are definitely a cause worth supporting.