Clarity

While all is not clear, I am at peace with where we are at in a way that has been absent these last six months.

Here is what I know:

If God had said to me, “sell all you own and move to Madras Oregon.” I certainly would not have freed myself of so many of the possessions that held me and I would not think so long and hard about what we add back into our lives.

Walking back from Starbucks

If we had not journeyed to New Mexico, besides not meeting so many wonderful friend and family, I may not have so readily remembered that I am called to preach, to bring the Good News, to encourage others to seek God with all their hearts.

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If we had not moved to Arequipa and lived there I would not be able to do the job I am currently called to (Social Media coordinator) effectively.

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An finally if we had not moved back to Madras, I believe  we would not have the space and resources for Robin to heal. I fully expect this time will prove fruitful in making our family more fully available to God.

our front steps

Sometimes when things don’t work out the way that we envision we question our actions and decisions.  However as I look back, I see us being as obedient to God’s call as we knew how to be and I trust that the obedient sacrifices we made and you have made supporting this ministry will bear much fruit.

Let’s see what God can do with us this year!

Reworking

My mother-in-law has a stitching group ( ladies that get together and work on knitting, crocheting ect), they like to say they get together to stitch and rip.  Meaning at least once nearly everyone in the group pulls out what they had been stitching and starts again.  If you have ever stitched (knitting, crocheting, sewing) you know that it is likely in any given project you will have to be removing stitches, pulling out your work and starting over.

I don’t know when exactly I learned to crochet and I am not sure who taught me (either my Mom or my aunt Pam, probably both) but I have been crocheting for a while.  Recently I came across a kind of crocheting I had never done before it is called Amigurumi.  basically it is crocheting stuffed animals.  I had always made flat things, in fact that was my favorite line to describe my crocheting project, “I only make flat things”, meaning blankets.  But these cute little animals called and I thought, how hard can it be.  And to tell the truth I rarely undid anything on a blanket anymore.  I had mastered the ability to crochet “flat things”.  Amigurumi has changed the way I crochet. Amigurumi requires reworking. Here it is in pictures a reworking of Jarren’s Christmas present, an Angry Birds Pig.

The pattern and anticipation

The pattern and anticipation

halfway done

halfway done

a friend thought this looked like a ramen monster

a friend thought this looked like a ramen monster

Here he is Christmas Eve and before Midnight a reworked Piggy

Here he is Christmas Eve and before Midnight a reworked Piggy

Life right now feels a bit like a stitching project.  We had hoped when we got on the plane headed for Peru last June we would be in Arequipa for 18 months, we had hoped when we got on the plane to the States in November to seek medical treatment we would be headed back to Arequipa in a few months.  Right now we seem to be in a ripping out, reworking stage.

Robin’s medical treatment is taking longer then we had hoped, it is more complicated than we thought.  We are moving forward and treatment is going well, but we have had to make some hard decisions about where we will live and work for the next few months.  Because this is Extreme’s last year in Peru when we are cleared to return to the field we will go to Ecuador, where the next projects are scheduled.  In the mean time, both of our jobs are possible to do remotely and since Jarren has been in and out of schools 3 or 4 times in the last calender year we are going to be staying here in Madras at least until school is out (June).  It is our hearts desire and call from God to be in ministry and at this time with Extreme Nazarene, helping to send and support 40/40 church planters in South America.  Right now we will be doing this from Madras, Oregon. Here are a few of our praises and prayer requests:

Jarren is really enjoying school.  He is making friends and is doing well.

Renna has a preschool, that she is enjoying

We were very blessed to be able to spend the Holidays with family

Please pray for our continued financial support, living in the States is more expensive than Peru and was not part of our budget.

Robin’s ongoing treatment.

For the new team of 40/40s that is in training right now, they will be the first team sent to Ecuador.

 

It’s COLD here

We have been back in the US for almost two weeks and slowly things are beginning to settle into a normal pattern. (see the last blog for more details as to why we are here now) Jarren had his first day at school today (they had the whole week of Thanksgiving off).  I am trying to get into a regular work schedule and for now I am working out of Grammy’s craft room.  We have also found an affordable place to live in Madras while we are here in the States and I’m starting to feel like it might be Christmas soon (we are going to get a tree this weekend).  We hope to be moved in on Friday. Here are a few pictures of the last two weeks.  My favorite is the one of Jarren tricking Grandpa into eating asparagus (we put cream cheese on it and put it on a plate full of celery dressed the same way) And yes it is COLD here, but Jarren has big plans for when it snows!

When traveling parents sometimes allow strange food choices (they did eat normal breakfast food too).

Renna in the Lima Airport eating cheese tres (cheetos) for breakfast

Jarren on the plane to Miami drinking Inka Cola with his breakfast

Living in the city with taxis and most things in reasonable walking distance it was a bit of a shock remembering how isolated the suburbs can be.  On our first day back we took a long walk to Starbucks. We did get to enjoy left over fall leaves and surprising sunshine.

Walking back from Starbucks

 

 

Jarren tricking Grandpa into eating asparagus ( along running joke between the two of them) on Thanksgiving day.

 

 

ready to race

 

After the race

Here are a few specific prayer requests:

That Jarren would adjust to and enjoy school while we are here

A good preschool or childcare option for Renna

Discipline in studying Spanish as a family

We are so thankful for all of your prayers and support as we continue on this journey following God’s call and serving Him in missions from where ever we happen to be.

Aside

Dear friends and family,

I just needed to take a minute to update you on the current status of our ministry. Due to a buildup of various issues it has become necessary for me to return to the United States to seek medical treatment. I will not be performing any of my job responsibilities until cleared to do so by a doctor. Brandi however will be continuing to work in her current position with Extreme Nazarene Ministries from the United States. We anticipate that we will be in the United States for a period of 2-3 months, though it is possible that treatment could take longer. We do anticipate returning to Peru at the end of my treatment.

We would ask that you continue your contributions to the Extreme Nazarene Ministries during this time, as we will continue to rely on these funds for living and continuing ministry.

We arrived in Portland the night of Tuesday, November 13.  We will be staying in Madras where the kids can be near Grammy and Grandpa and Jarren can attend school. Already God is providing what we need!  Please continue to pray that we would be able to find suitable living accommodations.

If you have any questions or concerns, or just want to chat, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. We would love to talk with you and share some of our excitement over the things the God is doing down here in Peru. We have also included a ministry update with a few pictures.

Robin DeWhitt

Hardware Manager

Extreme Nazarene Ministries

Ministry Highlights from July to November 2012

We started off our time in Peru with a surprise; the person who had been doing our jobs was leaving in a month! This meant that we needed to train and study Spanish at the same time and then start taking on some job responsibilities. While this has slowed down our language acquisition, we have gotten to experience other parts of the ministry here. The whole family is progressing in learning Spanish and both Robin and I have completed the first book and can limp along in a conversation. We have a ways to go but we are making progress. Some of the highlights from the last few months are listed below with a few pictures.

Robin

Most of Robin’s work is done in the office, but is vital to the operation of the ministry. Shortly before we arrived someone hacked our phone server account. This allowed Robin to spend a good bit of time getting to know the phone system that allows us to connect with the US, the one part of the hardware that he had the least experience with. It also allowed a much needed upgrade to the system. Robin also built the network for a new office in Arequipa, and has been working on the plans for the new office in Quito, Ecuador.

Brandi

My job keeps me on the computer much more than I am accustomed to. This is both good and a challenge. My everyday duties include posting updates and monitoring activity on Facebook, checking for new volunteer blogs and sorting through and posting pictures taken by the short term teams. I also write up the feature articles that highlight one family or 40/40 pair every two weeks. During the last short term team that came to Arequipa I was able to attend some of the events, which I really enjoyed. Currently I am thinking up new ways to use the internet and social media to spread the word about what God is doing here in South America. As always I have way more ideas then I can possibly do, but stay tuned I have a few things already underway!

The Family

Jarren and Renna have both been attending school here in Arequipa and enjoying it. Next year we will hopefully have them at the same school. They also enjoy attending church. Right now we are attending the new church plant La Puerta Abierta, this gives the kids a chance interact regularly with the other missionaries and missionary kids. In October we had a short term team come to Arequipa and we were able to attend some of the impact events. We attended the cooking demonstration as a family and Renna and I went to a government run daycare. At the daycare the team did a children’s program and passed out hygiene kits. They were also able to bless the teachers with gifts.

We have also enjoyed exploring the city and were able to visit the beach recently. We are really enjoying getting to know Peruvian culture and of course Robin in enjoying eating Peruvian food.

Please pray for us as we journey back to the Sates for this brief period as it is our hearts desire to be back in Peru.

Blessings, Robin, Brandi, Jarren and Renna

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Jarren’s Baptism

At Easter every year there is a baptism service at church.  This last year Jarren had talked about being baptised, so we had a talk about what that ment and told him that if he was ready he could talk to Pastor Kevin about being baptised.  Well he got thinking about the water and being under the water and decided that he was too afraid of water to be baptised then.  We said ok, and told him that there would come a point where God’s love would overcome his fear of water.  That time happened about a month ago.  During devotion time before bed he brought up that next time he was at camp he would like to be baptised ( we had been to a baptism service when we visited Bonita Park, a Nazarene camp in New Mexico, on our road trip).  We told him that he didn’t have to wait until camp to be baptised if he was ready now and in fact the church we are attending here in Peru (Puerta Abierta) was having a baptism service that Sunday.  Here are some pictures from that day:

Worship time before the baptisms

We had given Jarren the verse Joshua 1:8-9 in a plastic bag to hold while he was being baptized. Here Robin is telling Jarren that you never need to be afraid to do what God has asked you to do.

 

 

The view from my dryer

When I was younger I remember occasionally hanging clothes out on the line to dry. All of my adult life I have used a dryer. Having moved to a country where dryers are rare and really not necessary since the sun is out and the air is dry for most of the year I have found a new-found appreciation of laundry. Now don;t get me wrong, I still have a PILE of laundry waiting to be done and a PILE of laundry waiting to be folded and put away but there is something about the roof in the morning with the mountains to one side and the dusty hills on the other, the blare of the construction workers radio and the noise of th city traffic below or the bright stars above and the lights creeping up the hillsides where communities are taking shape on the slopes of the mountains coupled with the rhythm of pinning up or taking down the day”s laundry, something grounding, something sacred. Many spiritual writers have extolled the virtues of daily chores as catalyst for the spiritual life, I have always had a hard time finding the same virtues until now.  Maybe it is because there is a newness in this rhythm.

Getting Settled

So we have been in Peru about two months, and it has flown by.  We have really enjoyed having our own space again.  The kids have especially enjoyed getting to watch the sheep graze on the harvested field these last few weeks.

out our bedroom windows we watched sheep cleaning up the field after harvest

Jarren is hoping that he will get to see them plow the field with a team of oxen. (They have three growing seasons here due to the mild climate)

Most of our time so far has been spent getting adjusted to new ways of doing things.  Everything just take a little bit longer and in some cases more planning.  For instance I can’t just jump in my car and run to the grocery store if I don’t have what I need for dinner.  Some things we can buy at the neighborhood tiendas (stores) but anything perishable needs to be bought at the larger grocery stores.  Getting to the larger stores requires walking to the neighborhood entrance and catch a taxi.  The trick is making sure the taxi knows where you want to go.  I once asked to go to Real Plaza ( a mall with a grocery store in it near my house) and I got taken to the Plaza de Armas ( the central plaza in Arequipa) fortunately there is another grocery store near by so the taxi took me there instead.

We have also been working on getting settled in schools (the kids), our jobs and in learning the language.  Renna started almost immediately in a Jardin ( preschool) and we just recently got Jarren settled in his school.  Here they are in their uniforms.

Renna excited to make new friends

Jarren ready for school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also we have added a new member to our family, a cat, its name is spots but mostly he gets called kitty, or el gato or sometimes by Jarren, Mr. Pollo.  Spots is a great little kitten even if he does feel the need to climb up Robin’s leg every time Robin is in the kitchen doing the dishes.

Spots decided Renna’s castle was a good thing to climb much to the delight of Jarren and Renna

Thats all for now but I hope to post more often as we settle in even more.