Thursday, February 26, 2009

First Day of Ministry Sites...

Yesterday our first team arrived. The size of this group is 39 people. 36 are from a Christian high school in Florida and the other 3 are college students from New York. This is the smallest team we will have, the rest of the teams we will see are estimated to be over 40 people and when the summer arrives we have six 2-week outreaches with over 60 people in them.

Last night we did an orientation with the students and today they are serving their first day at their ministry sites. While the students are working at the ministry sites we stay busy by preparing and planning for the upcoming activities. Most days we will at least go out to one or two ministry sites to check on the students and see how things are going. Today we went into town to change all of the student's money from US dollars into pesos, which can be a long process. I do enjoy that process because it gets me into town and it is one of the things that Vicki and I both enjoy most. We like going to town because we get to interact and meet new people. We also love to take that opportunity to practice our Spanish. Everyone is so friendly and usually very patient with our poor Spanish.

I also went to the Sports site for my first time since being here and that was a lot of fun for me being able to see my old friends from the summers past. It is always a cool feeling to know that you are remembered. They were in the middle of a baseball game when I arrived and so they asked me to umpire for them. For some reason it can be a lot of fun to call someone out on strikes.

Please continue to pray for us as we minister and serve this group that is here. They leave next Saturday, March 7th. We hope that during their time here they will be able to grow in their relationship with Jesus or if they do not have one or do not know what a personal relationship with Jesus is, that they will learn about that during this time. Our jobs are to serve the student's and hopefully create an atmosphere where they will be able to experience and encounter Christ while they are here. We ask that you pray that through the student's working in the different ministry sites that they learn to serve God while being a physical therapist, a doctor, a teacher etc. etc. and that when they go back to the States they will carry that lesson with them into their school, jobs, hobbies and whatever else it may be.

.... and some side notes from Vicki.....

Today has been yet another gorgeous day. It's amazing the change in energy I find I have when there is sun to look forward to nearly everyday.

Josh and I have spent the past several days in preparation for this team and are so glad that they have arrived. We are enjoying this experiencing of learning, however we are anxious to call this job our own.

For all of you who are freaked out by all of my bug stories... and who maybe don't want to come and visit because of them, you may be happy to know that we have hired an exterminator to come and spray our yard, trees, house, etc. tomorrow. This will rid our house of all pests!!! I can't wait. Then hopefully, Josh and I will be able to screen the rest of the house before more make our house theirs :)

God has been so faithful to provide and protect us, and we just can't thank our prayer warriors and financial supporters enough for all of your help. We are so happy to be here - sometimes I still wake up and can't believe that it's real.



Deborah said...

God is so awesome. I just know you two are doing an amazing job and reaching the people in your group. I had no idea the groups would be so big but its neat to hear there are that many people over there helping, even if for a short time.

How is your Spanish coming? You said that its bad, but I'm sure you'll both be fluent in no time

Yeah, exterminators!! I would have done the same thing :-) Though, I thought maybe the bugs were all mosquitoes and a net around your bed would have done the trick.

Love you guys and will being praying for your requests :-)

Josh and Vicki Mathews said...

Our Spanish is coming along very slowly. Because we work around English speakers most of the time, we don't get many chances to speak Spanish, but it is better than when we first arrived... it's just happening very slowly.

Hiring the exterminator was such a great choice on our part, we have been bug free since then. We finally just hung a mosquito net but we hadn't planned on having one. I only put it up b/c one night I was laying in bed and lizard poop fell right on my chest! GROSS! The next day I put up a net. Right now our ceiling is very poor so bugs have easy access to the inside of our home, but we are going to get something to fix that more permanently here soon.