Catching up: post 2 of 4 – Family

Note:  please see post 1 – Intro, post 2 – Family, post 3 – Work, and post 4 Mission and Ministry

Family – I put this first (before work and ministry updates) because I want you to think that this is always my first priority.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  All too often in these last months my family has had to wait patiently while dad has been away on work trips or down at the hospital helping with patients or otherwise engaged.  My constant conviction is that I need to more available to my dear family.  So, I start with this prayer request: please Lord, give me wisdom about how much to commit to and give me the conviction to be a father and a husband first.  Amen.  Mariah and Benny are growing up so quickly.  All in all, I think that Honduras is the best thing that has ever happened to them.  I can almost hear their minds expanding as we encounter different situations here that they would never encounter in The States and as they learn to express themselves in a new language.   
Mariah was bored a bit this summer – with many of her friends gone over the summer break, but she had the chance to connect in a very deep way with one friend that visited from the US.  She is always worried about how everyone else is doing and worries about her daddy.  I’ve been learning how to communicate with her as a parent of a teenager.  Wow, what a difference God makes in the midst of this!  We have the wonderful shared common ground of God and His Word to base our relationship on and it is such a blessing.  We talk about boys more than she’d like to and she thinks about boys more than I’d like her to.  She likes to disappear into her room (I call it the teenage disappearing act) and in my busyness; I let her do it a little too often.  She is a good kid, serious about school and too grown up for her age.  She is beautiful.  She owns me, and she knows it. 

Benny is also homeschooled full time now and is reading like a machine. His eight year old mind is actively engaged in ways to get out of doing school work and playing jokes on his sister.  He is beginning to be the smartest kid I know.  He does things on the computer that absolutely amaze me.  He has a real aptitude for figuring things out quickly and a quick engaging smile.  Visitors who come here each year quickly ask me “how’s Benny” as soon as they see me.  They may not remember me, but they remember Benny.  He is full of life and always engaged in some imaginary battle.  He is a clown and can get us all laughing at even the most serious family moments.  My challenge with him is learning to parent a kid that often tries to outsmart me and loves the verbal jousting.  When the chips are down, Benny is right there by my side – my trusted amigo, but he also loves to “push my buttons”. 

Marinajo is in a real growth spurt spiritually. Every time I turn around, she is buried in this Bible study or that Chapter in the Bible.  She is helping to teach a sexual purity class (based on the Bible) in the local schools and hosts a weekly Bible study for a couple of girls from a neighboring village.  All indications are that she is having an eternal impact here as she continues to turn her life over to Christ.  She continues to amaze me in the depth and ways that she loves me.  I remember saying to myself early on in our relationship some 23 years ago, that this is a woman who loves deeply.  I am still amazed by this.  We celebrate 20 years of marriage this year.  I’ve promised to take her on a fabulous Caribbean vacation for our twentieth, but she gives me this sideways look (I call it the fish eye) of suspicion, because we already live on the Caribbean and I think that she is afraid that I’ll take over to the next village for supper or something.