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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Heading Home

Good morning from Mendoza! We are packing and will be loading up vehicles in the next hour to start our journey home. Our time in Mendoza has been amazing! God has worked in us and through us, and it has been great. Now we are excited to return home and share what we have experienced with you!

Pray for safety and health on our return trip. Thanks again for your prayers and support for us on this trip!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday Report

I wanted to get some pictures up from yesterday for you to see. When planning this trip to Mendoza, we looked for a way to reach out and show Christ's love in a tangible way to the family of the kids in AMAD. We decided to provide a free family portrait session for the families. Because of the multiple disabilities of most of the kids, going to a photographer for a portrait session would be difficult if not impossible, but since we were able to bring a "portrait studio" to them we hoped several families would be able to take advantage of it.

We set up in the largest indoor space available (a section of a hallway) not knowing how many or how few would take us up on our offer. Soon they started to trickle in. When the workers started to see the pictures on the back of the camera, they started organizing "class photos" for each of the separate groups in AMAD. We were only sometimes successful in getting the 3-4 students at a time and their teacher looking at the camera at the same time, but we had fun trying! By the end of the day, we had Below are a very few of the final products!

We ended the day with a farewell dinner of incredible chicken and veggies! There was tears and laughter as we shared together with the staff at AMAD. They presented us with a special poster that had the hand prints of several of the children on it with a message of thanks. We will cherish the memories of AMAD forever!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our Last Day At AMAD

Today was our last day at AMAD, and a much better end than yesterday. We took professional pictures of the families with studio backdrops and lighting, added panels to the ceiling of the gym, painted doors out by the pool, and cleaned up the construction area.

As Nathan took pictures with Vince and Joel making crazy faces and motions to get the kids to smile, several parents approached us and thanked us for all the work that we had done this week. What an encouragement!

After lunch, most of us went home to rest as we have a late night tonight back at AMAD for a send-off banquet. Pictures from today will be up either very late tonight or some time in the morning. Until then, be praying that the attendees (around 80) will be receptive to our message as several of us will be giving our testimony.

Hasta luego!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Helpers

Today was possibly the busiest day of our trip yet! We are exhausted, but God is faithful. He even sent a special group of kids to help us paint. I am just going to post some pictures tonight. You will have to think of your own captions!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday at AMAD

Today was another productive day at AMAD. Our work project is going well and is keeping us sore! Several guys were complaining this eveing about their newly discovered "shovel muscle." We also were able to spend some more time with the kids. I thought today I would picture some of them for you!
This little boy broke into huge smiles when seeing himself on the back of my camera!

I love Tigger's message on this young man's T-shirt. "The One and Only!" How unique and special are each of these students.

This young man was learning how to swallow. He is clapping for his ability to keep the last bite of yogurt down.

This boy was very curious about the camera and loved every time the flash went off.

The lesson of the day for this young lady was to differentiate an apple from an orange, and plastic versions from their real ones.

The staff at AMAD are doing some amazing work in the current facility, but our project is helping to improve it. Below are some worksite pictures.

With the precision of doctors, Steve and Isaac mark the metal used to make the ceiling grid.

Isaac proved himself capable with the grinder and many pieces of grid were completed today.

Lucas did the smart thing to block out some of the noise of the grinder.

A second coat was painted on the walls and speckled on the painters.

Thanks for your prayers! Keep them up! God is answering them in ways we can't wait to share with you when we get home!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday in Mendoza

Today at the work site, we were able to see the therapy pool we helped drop in the ground yesterday be filled with water. We also were able to help clear some of the excess dirt around their future multipurpose gym we will be working on the rest of the week.

Lucas and Tito moved a lot of dirt around the pool with Elisabeth Lloyd (not pictured) taking wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load to another pile of fill dirt.
Chachi along with several others got the first coat of paint on the inside of the gym. Because of the texture of the wall and the type of rollers used, it was impossible not to be covered in little white speckles at the end of the project. Chachi has spent a long time after work trying to figure out how to get all of the little splatters off of his skin. Last I saw him he was looking for steel wool.
Tomas, Rachel, and Joel pose for a quick picture between taking loads of sand to help fill in around the pool. Rachel missed the wheelbarrow with her shovelful of dirt one time, and Tomas and Joel razzed her for the rest of the afternoon about it!
Elisa, Vince, and Nathan spent most of the day interviewing various workers at AMAD for a video that we will be working on for the rest of the week. It was great to hear the stories of God's provision for the school and their dreams for AMAD's future.
We interviewed professionals in many theropy disciplines, and the had a chance to follow them on theropy sessions with the kids at AMAD. It was a blessing to see the commitment of these workers and their love for the kids. They are doing an amazing job under not always ideal conditions!
Tomorrow there will be more filming as well as more work to be done. Consistantly though in our evening debriefing times, the team points to their time with the students and the workers at AMAD as their highlights. The language barrier has been tough for most, but not even a little language is needed to interact with these precious kids.

Pray for us as we continue to seek to show Christ's love to everyone we come in contact with!

Fotos de Ayer

Hello all,

This is actually Elisa doing the updating today, and I've great news - pictures from our first work day! So here we go.This is the giant hole where the pool would go. Digging with the paid workers are Tomas, Lucas, and Esteban. The man bending over in the white hat some of the guys called "Teddy". I don't really know the whole story here, but apparently he was supernaturally strong.These are some of the kids Elizabeth was able to observe during a break in the construction work at AMAD.Chachi and Elizabeth also really enjoyed their time observing the children.This was definitely a favorite memory of the day. Lucas was able to laugh as well, once he got the feeling back in his ears :)
Yep, you guessed it! The twins dressed very similarly for the 2nd day in a row without meaning to. Joel's accessorizing gave him a little differentiation, but got him more teasing from the group.

Finally, by the end of the day, we were able to lower the pool into the pit! It was not as easy as you might think - it took the gys 3 times to fit the pool into the hole. If you can see, that's me up on the ladder getting a bird's eye view.

Well, I'm signing off here - got to deliver lunch to the team after spending the morning filming an interview with Rosa, the director of AMAD. This video is coming together really nicely so far.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quick report

Hello friends and family,

Today was a great day! My camera alone, we took 399 pictures! The irony of that is we pushed so much into today, that I will have to wait until tomorrow to post any of them. :-(

We met the staff and students at AMAD today and were moved by the school and its mission to the disabled. It gave us a renewed vision ourselves for why we were here. The work project ran into some snags throughout the day, but that just meant we had more time to interact with the kids which was great!

It is approaching 1 AM here and we have another early morning, so there will be more details tomorrow. You can pray that our work project will move ahead while we still remember that the people are the real reason we are here. You can also pray for our video project as several important interviews will be happening throughout the day. We are one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time, so you can place us in time as you pray as well. I hope that all made sense! I need to head to bed.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday in Mendoza

Today after a hearing from the Archers about their time in Argentina, we spent today discovering a little of the city of Mendoza. We had an amazing steak dinner at Don Mario.

Vince is holding part of one serving of steak. It was nearly as thick as it was wide, and it was delicious! The 16 of us ordered 12 servings and had enough steak left over for steak sandwiches this evening for supper!

The desserts were impressive too!

After lunch, we walked off some of our meal downtown with a visit to the main plaza. It was pretty quiet because we were there during siesta, but it was a good chance to get another team picture.

In the park we also ran into an interesting man who rode his bicycle around with his chicken and duck getting suckers like us to pay him for pictures of the anomaly. He claimed that he had been doing it for 5 years with this current pair, but that he was training some younger birds to take their place someday. I probably wouldn't have believed him if I didn't see this duo lean into each turn with the bicycle as they rode off.

We also spent some of the day making fun of Joel and Eric for dressing so much alike and not even noticing it until it was pointed out to them. We also found that they could both talk like ducks, had the same Meyers-Briggs score, and brought virtually the same swimming trunks to Argentina!

Scary isn't it!

Tomorrow we start our work project at the AMAD school. Pray for strength safety as we work. Pray that we might be able to show Christ's love to the students and professionals at AMAD.