Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things as they are

Mommy and Joshie are back from a wonderful visit across the country with Linn Dappen, a dear sister in the Lord. She is currently spending time with her 87 year old mother, also a dear sister in the Lord! Catching up on our families was great. Also catching up on the needs in Mexico.

In the town where Linn's family lived for over 15 years (I forget how long), there are at least a half dozen drug related MURDERS each month. At least! There are no families in that town who are unaffected, ALL have lost multiple family members.

In the hills around town, there are children living up in the mountains, where drugs are grown for sale, without parents. What good are children up there? They cultivate the plants, of course. Without parents (or often even with parents) the children learn to run in gangs and often follow in the same paths of sin as their parents. With the entrance of the television in this town, sin has increased dramatically, fueling the fire...

In southern Mexico, families are the same. They need the light of the gospel. So many parents effectively abandon their children to the streets. These parents, if present at all, shuffle children out of the home at increasingly earlier ages, leaving them vulnerable to all manner of dangers. Not too different from life here or anywhere else. They are symptoms of real problem: sin

There are places in southern Mexico right now where a missionary family could just move in and start caring for orphans...feeding them and teaching them in the name of the Lord.

Some new friends of the Dappens, also doing work with orphans in southern Mexico. They fetch and care for the children of imprisoned criminals. They recently posted this on their blog, and it seemed worth passing on here:

What makes us missionaries is that along with our good works we take the good news message of the gospel to a lost and dying world. What good is a prolonged life of good health and comfortable surroundings if a person’s ultimate destiny is to live forever separated from the only true and living God in a place of terrible torment? Answer: there is nothing good about that scenario; we would only be making it more comfortable for the lost while on their way to hell.

Here is a post from the same blog
, but its about what the Dappen's are doing, more recently.

The title of this post comes from a book written by the missionary, Amy Carmichael, also called to work with orphans. In her book, Things as They Are, she revealed the revolting, heartbreaking conditions of many poor children in India. Here is an excerpt that is really convicting to us as christians, and also as homeschooling parents:

Are these things truth or are they imagination ? If they are imagination — then let the paper on which they are written be burnt, burnt till it curls up and the words fall into dust. But if they are true — then what are we going to do? Not what are we going to say or sing, or even feel or pray — but what are we going to do?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's elementary!

Yes, we finally figured out that we should REMOVE OUR SHOES before entering our house.

For some reason, it never dawned on us to impose such a requirement, as we don't really have the kind of house that one would associate with the need for removing your shoes. E.g. we don't have white carpeting.

However, when you have 14 walking family members, live in a sandy flood plain, have a constant stream of garden/landscape/car repair projects, and have no paved walkway...to most people it would be pretty obvious.

So, we gave it a try; it took all of 3 hours before we realized the new no shoe rule was the solution.


A few weeks ago, Rebekah (10) was doing her Bible copy, and was in Exodus 6. She had just been copying verses 16-20:

And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years.
The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families.
And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years.
And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations.
And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

Bekah looked up thoughtfully and remarked, "Levi was Moses' and Aaron's great grandfather."

When asked her how she knew that, she said, "I was copying the geneologies, and Levi had Kohath, Kohath had Amram, and Amram married Jochabed and had Moses."

Wow! Wouldn't most of us assume that going through geneologies would be so tedious and boring? Yet they are there for a good reason, and we are thankful our children have the opportunity to realize it!

There seems to be such a big market for "Bible" curricula. What did families do before Bible story books and children's Bibles? It once seemed so intimidating to us, but the Bible IS curricula! It is so sad that we parents can be unknowingly limiting our children's instruction in the Bible, through our well-meaning dependence on dumbed-down "children's" lessons.

We are learning that little ones, taught by their parents (or siblings) can sit through normal Bible reading sessions (stopping for elaboration and definitions), with no flannelgraphs or talking vegetables, and grasp much of what they are hearing.

When our fellowship began a study of Galatians, and Abraham's name came up, our three year old instantly tuned in attentively. Actually, it took some work to keep him listening, as he knew a thing or two about Abraham, and wanted to make sure we were informed!

[I wanted to link here to a neat article we have on our site inkleinations.com, but I just noticed all the PDF's are gone. We'll get those back working ASAP, Lord willing. ]