Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our Ft. Worth Home: OVERWHELMING

Many of you read about our horrible situation with our past tenants in our Ft. Worth home. Here is the link Horrible Home Situation. And many of you read about our situation with our house back in 2008 when we were trying to leave the country to come to Ecuador and our property manager majorily dropped the ball but God provided in ways beyond our imagination. Here is the link Property Manager drops the ball.
All of those experiences mentioned above were overwhelming to say the least but God constantly showed us that He is in control. 
Since our last tenants, Ms. Barbara Terry,  we have not been able to rent our home.  She made it impossible to rent because she would not sign a release of agreement on our home.  The renters help pay for our mortgage so this was getting even more overwhelming. Finally, at the end of October she did sign.  In November, we decided to go with another property manager other than Bridge Lease because we felt like they did not represent us well in the midst of all of the problems we had with the previous tenants.  Our new property manager went into our home and shared with us all of the minor/ major work our house needed.  It was a long list so once again we were overwhelmed wondering how could our house have gotten in such horrible shape when we had so many contracted people "overseeing" our home. We were later told that we possibly had a leak in the foundation.  Those of you who have never had that done lets just say its thousands of dollars to repair and our home warranty company would not cover it.  So a 2nd opinion was done on our home and they reported that there wasn't a leak (praise the Lord) we just needed  more work done on the foundation.  This was still a lot of money but not even close to what we were looking at if it were a leak.

In the midst of what seemed like a bleak and yes once again overwhelming situation the Lord brought some wonderful people into our lives to remind us of His goodness, provision, love and care for us.  My eyes are filled with tears as I write this because HE overwhelms us with His goodness!  Our friends/neighbors had at some point mentioned that if we needed anything like help in getting the house cleaned up etc.. to call on them and they could gather a group of friends from church to help out.  We didn't take them up on this offer right away because it just seemed like a lot of work.  Finally, after looking at our budget and the cost of all these things we thought lets just give them a call because at this point any kind of help would mean one less person to hire. 
Our neighbor, Carrie, got on it right away and started to organize a group of church friends to help out.  At some point she was talking with her boss (one of our supporters) about our home situation and that she was in the middle of organizing a group to come out and work on it.  Her boss mentioned that he would share this with his Christian Business Mens group and see what would come about.  These men whom we have never met took on our home as a project and they each pitched in to contract someone to paint, put new carpet, fix tile, cabinets etc... in our home.  Isn't that AMAZING!  God uses complete strangers to be vessels of His love and answers to prayer!!  Once again the Lord shows us that He is the I AM, the Provider, the Sovereign Lord and that he LOVES us, and once again we are overwhelmed in a beautiful way.  Thank you business men, friends and family for being vessels of His Love in despondent times.

The adventures of having a baby in another country

He was so tiny he fit in our stocking!  
It has definitely been an adventure to have had a baby in another country.  Some adventures we loved some made us wish he was born on US soil.

When your pregnant or have a baby in your hand in this country:
  • you get bumped up in lines (awesome b/c sometimes you have to wait for hrs.)
  • people are very helpful (normally everyone minds their own business and does their own thing) 
  •  people move out of the way in the side walk (usually they just bump into you not thinking twice about it, it's not meant to be rude).
  • your rude apt manager forgets they hate you (Yes!)
  • everyone including little kids feel the need to give you advice & comment on your body
-We had our baby at a birthing ctr. it was a great experience
- Gave birth on a birthing stool
- To get his birth cert. was a huge headache:
  • hours (not exaggerating) of waiting in line to then be told we needed another document that's not on the requirements list they gave us hours ago.
  • it took 3 wks w/the same thing mentioned above happening every time
  • insisted on putting me down as a single mother. Their arguement was your not considered married when your in another country.
  • advised to get married in this country
Diapers, wipes, formula all cost about the same as it does in he US w/ the exception that there are no coupons or discounts.

It's been fabulous to receive baby packages from so many friends & family!

Mari gets 3 months of maternity leave and returning only 80% of her scheduled hours.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

10 Best Family Moments in 2010

1. Mateo Asher joining our family.
2. Mari becoming an American Citizen.
3. Mari's sister and mom coming to visit.
4. Our Valentines date was great fun!
5. Making Operation Brown Bag lunches with 2 other missionary families.
6. Ben's sister visiting us.
7. Thankful that we only lost 4 supporters!
8. Mari's surprise skype baby shower from friends in Ft. Worth.
9. Watching the boys enjoy our Christmas advent calendar activities.
10. While walking I hurt my leg. Ethan says "mommy lets stop and pray b/c God can heal it".

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


BORN ON NOV. 27TH, 2010
Mateo means gift of God
Asher means happy, blessed in abundance
When Mateo was in the womb our last ultrasound picture showed him with a huge smile! He truly is our Gift from God.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Top 10 Ministry Blessing of 2010

1. An entire family coming to Christ b/c their son heard the gospel at school!
2. Sharing Gods hope with a mom whose family was in crisis during a counseling session.
3. 2010 Womens Summer Missions Team from MMBC ministering alongside of  us.
4. Discovering that Mckinney Church moms were getting together with their kiddos to decorate over a 100 Operation Brown Bags to send to us for lunches for the street children.
5. Having some parents of students at our school share "To see  how your family works together to serve is a blessing".
6. Singing at the top of our lungs praise songs in the inner city with 65 poverty stricken children.
7. Having a student I mentored 2 yrs ago write me and share with me how she was blessed by our time together and it has helped her now that she is in college.
8. Started and co-lead a bible study with some of the missionary women in our community has been a blessing!
9.  To discover that one of the Asian students in our bible study 2yrs ago had now come to Christ. We just planted the seed!
10. The joy and desire in our boys faces as they passed out flowers & chocolate to mothers on Mothers day!

Modern Day Knight- Father/Son 6th grade campout

One of the many things future 6th grade boys look foward to is the Father/Son Camp out Ben has put together for them.  For some of these familes camping is a foreign concept and even worse they have never tasted a Smore :).  Ben uses the book Raising a Modern Day Knight as a guide when he meets with the fathers before the camp out.  Then our hope is that the fathers take these principles to connect at a deeper level with their boys and for them to challenge them to be men of virtue.
This year all of the fathers participated! One father in particular travels a lot and at the beginning of the school year when he heard of this outing asked Ben if he could plan it when he was in town so he could be with his son on this special outing.

Virtual Baby Shower

The Lord blessed us with some great friends in Fort Worth who blessed us with a virtual baby shower.  You may ask how does that work?  Well these friends from FW prior to the shower sent me a package with the baby shower themed decorations, napkins, plates, cookies and some candy.  The package also had some beautiful baby clothes for Mateo.  They set this up through Ben (because it was a surprise for me) a date and time for us to Skype and they had invited our friends to come to the Vozeh's house.  Once on Skype ( a computer program) we could see our friends in FW and they could see us here in Ecuador and the shower began!  It was a very special time for me and I felt so blessed!

The school here also planned a shower for us.  Baby items here are very, very expensive so some co -workers contributed in a money gift we were given $175 total to use for all those odds and ends we need.  To give you an idea of the cost of things: 1 onesie $9 (not any particular name brand), 4pk flannel receiving blankets( those thin small ones)- $45 yup i said $45, a car seat about $300 for an average one nothing fancy.

Bens students and their moms threw a shower for him.  We received lots of diapers! Ben and I were touched by their desire to love on us.
We were showered with love!!!

those little feet that wander the street

We had a neat opportunity to join a ministry that has a school on wheels for street children in the historical area of Quito. They meet out there 3 times a week and randomly the children come to get a "break" from their work ridden day. 

As we walked up to the plaza where the tent was set up I saw 2-7 yr olds holding their little wooden case in their hands where they carry their shoe shining equipment.  I saw little ones (still too little to put them to work) just wandering the plaza "playing" while their guardian/parent worked selling candy or other knick knacs, I saw little faces that didn't know how to smile, blood shot eyes that hadn't slept well in days, little bodies that probably haven't eaten a full meal in months. 

Our goal was to be instruments of our Lord by helping put a smile on their face by giving them at least 5 minutes to be a child by coloring, singing and making a craft that would be useful to them.  Many of them rushed as they colored because they would get in trouble if they were caught not selling.  My friend Beth, brought her guitar and she filled the plaza with her melodious voice putting smiles on those little faces (it took a couple of songs before the kids allowed themselves to smile at the silly songs) and drawing a crowd of children and adults to our little huttle. The rest of the time we decorated tote bags that the MMBC Summer Ladies team left this past summer. I left the plaza feeling excited having had a chance to be Jesus to these little ones but I also left feeling overwhelmed by the extreme poverty and horrible experiences many of these children have had in their short little life.  I pray for those little feet that wander the streets on a daily basis early in the morning to late, late nights, may the Lord protect their bodies, hearts and minds.