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Showing posts from December, 2007

Christmastime in Paraguay

Some people have asked us how Paraguayans celebrate Christmas. You know it’s Christmastime in Paraguay when:

1. You start receiving fruitcakes…from everyone and their brother.
2. Most folks head to the closest river to cool off!
3. The majority of stores and businesses put out an elaborate nativity scenes, pesebre, in their yard
4. Paraguayans hang the pungently fragrant coco flower on their porches
5. The Christmas bug (cicada) starts to come out and make its Christmas music. On a side note, Timmy is fascinated by this bug “la chicarra” and chases it all over the yard.
6. Families gather together for the feast of Noche Buena, Christmas Eve
7. You hear the bells ringing for midnight mass on Dec. 24.
8. Alcoholic cider is all over the place
9. People start buying presents the week of Christmas because they received their 13th (bonus) salary called an aguinaldo
10. When you start hearing fireworks you know it’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s

Whatever cult…

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Imagine a place where it is impossible to recycle old newspapers, glass and plastic...What you just imagined is the place where we live. There is an unbelievably low awareness toward environmental education and preservation in South America. We are surrounded by farmers who burn 10% of Paraguay's pure rain forest every year and it's sickening to see burning smoke every time we travel down the highway. We are a few weeks away from the new year and we have some hopes and dreams to help our community and to cut down on our own consumable energy:

* We would really like to start a recycling effort in our town.
* We are going to start a conservation radio program.
* We are going to attempt to actually build a solar panel for our home.
* We are using geothermal and wind energy to heat our home.
* We are going to plant 200 trees this year. We planted 150 this year and completely covered 4 neighborhood blocks. Some of our neighbors got excited and planted too! We are goi…

The Three Trees

Tonight I'm (Julie) preaching and I'm really excited. It's my first Advent message. I asked God for more opportunities to share and I'm thrilled to say that this last year I've been able to share seven times! I've been working on my Spanish grammar and honing my communication skills. I have a LONG ways to go, but I'm willing and eager.

Here's the story I'm sharing to end the message. My take home question is this:

Is your life pointing others the way to Jesus? Hope you enjoy the illustration:

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: " I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!" The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean. " I want to be traveling might…