Sunday, November 29, 2015

Team Carmody is Going Where?





Get ready Peru... 
Here we come!!

It seems like we've said it 1,000 times..."FMC is currently sending families to China, India, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Haiti and the Philippines. We won't know where they're sending us until our training."  Although it seems like we've been waiting "forever" to find out, it's hard to believe that we finally know!!


As of January, San Hilarion will earn the title of "home".  San Hilarion is a medium-size town in the northern region of Peru, east of the Andes Mountains. It has about 3,500 people.


San Hilarion sits directly on the Huallaga River as shown above.  We've been told that it is in the "high jungle", which means there is a little bit of space between us and the creatures of the Amazon.  The surrounding villages are deep in the jungle so I'm guessing we'll experience that as we venture out for ministry.

You can locate San Hilarion on Google maps at https://goo.gl/maps/SDEsmsw2ddt
There are some street view photos that show exactly what the town is like.

The soon-to-be missionaries shortly after learning our Peruvian placements!

Our family is not going to Peru alone. In January another new missionary family as well as three singles will be moving to towns/villages nearby.  Our Intake group will join those currently serving in Peru: two families, a group of men and a group of woman. 





The Schmidt family is currently living in Caspizapa, a village about 10 minutes away from San Hilarion. They will be our mentors this first year. They're helping us secure housing, sign-up at language school, etc.



We don't know the specifics of our assignment or what types of ministries we'll be involved with, but as soon as we find out we'll post an update!!  Go Team Carmody!! 

Luz Y Colon - 3 Day Mission in Mexico

Each morning after prayer we received the day's agenda during announcements. Usually the activities included time for study, prayer, service work, home visits, etc.  Monday, November 16th was very different.  We learned that we'd be hosting a 3-day mission at Luz Y Colon, a nearby rancho, starting that night and we had only a few hours to prepare.  Come Holy Spirit!!!



The kids spent the afternoon making no-bake cookies. When we went to people's homes to invite them, we said (in Spanish), "Here's something sweet.  Come to the chapel for something sweeter!"  It worked, praise God!!  The chapel was full.



The Holy Spirit told Chris to begin the retreat by explaining the kerygma with pictures.  This was a little crazy because before our training began we'd never even heard the word "kerygma". (Just in case you've forgotten, the kerygma is the bare-bones story of our salvation through Jesus Christ.)  After Chris' captivating intro, a team member gave a talk on God's love and emphasized how much sweeter it is than no-bake cookies.  They loved it all!



During the talks, we played Spanish Church Bingo (Loteria) with the 20+ kids that came. This was another awesome inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  The game boards that we rushed to make that afternoon included squares for Bible, prayer, crown of thorns, the Eucharist, etc. We gave away chili pepper & tamarind lollipops (a local favorite). This is a picture of the kids playing Loteria altogether.



We wrapped up with Spanish praise and worship and then prayed over those asking for intercession.

When preparing for session #2 (the very next day) the Holy Spirit worked through the kids. He inspired them to buy a soccer ball so they could play "football" with the Mexican kids in an old, nearby horse stockade.  It was a HUGE success and they all had a blast!! The missionary kids blessed the kids at the rancho by leaving the soccer ball as a gift when we left.  God works in so many different ways!



Chris took his sax the second night to join in on "Alabare", "Baja El Rio" and some other Spanish praise and worship songs, which they LOVED!  Thank you Jesus for sending Chris this beautiful gift which allows him to share his talents with the world. The second night's teachings were on sin and how Jesus has redeemed us.  We wrapped up with prayer for all those asking for intercessions.


Our talks on night three focused on repentance and belief as well as growth and transformation in Christ.  Part of our message was how to live out Jesus' love.  To make our love (and yours too) more tangible we provided each household with much-needed food, household supplies and personal hygiene items.  To emphasize the importance of supporting one another and living as a community in faith, we wrapped up the mission with a potluck style dinner.  (Sorry, we were so busy we didn't take any pictures of the supplies or the dinner.  It was too hectic.)
 




We saw a big change in the people over the three day period. The first day they were pretty glum and very reserved.  By the end of the third day, there were smiles galore and warm hugs all around.



As we were preparing to leave, one kid kept asking "Cuando, cuando?".  We weren't sure what that meant.  Our hearts ached when we learned that he was asking when we would be coming back.  We've been told that the hardest part of missions is leaving those we meet.


After leaving the rancho we continued praying for all those we met.  During prayer, the Holy Spirit spoke loud and clear: they needed crucifixes to remind them that Jesus is the one that opened the gates of heaven for us.  It's Jesus that has saved us from the damnation we all deserve.  It's Jesus that has saved each and every one of us from our sinful selves.

We bought 17 crucifixes and took them to Luz Y Colon the following Sunday.  Thanks to the VERY generous support we've received from all of you, we were able to bless each household with a beautiful image of Our Lord and Savior.  I wish I could say that they were speechless with gratitude because we don't speak Spanish yet, but it was quite the opposite.  They talked and talked about how thankful they were... Even though we didn't understand anything they were saying, we smiled and nodded just like we were taught. Here is a picture of a couple of the happy recipients of the crucifixes.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Team Carmody Arrives in Mexico

After 18 hours of travel and a miraculous border crossing (we’ll tell you more about that in another blog post), we arrived in General Cepeda, Mexico.  Shouts of joy and songs of praise and thanksgiving filled the air as this next phase of our training came to life before our very eyes. 



FMC owns a historical adobe home on the town square directly across from the church and next to city hall.  These buildings are all over 300 years old and are so beautiful.  Within the adobe walls there are two common plazas, a dining room and several small bedrooms.  This is the one our family gets to call home while we’re here.




We ventured out into town and found the cement slide, which is a favorite pastime for the locals.  This quickly became our favorite spot too.


Our missionary friends helped us compose a basic greeting in Spanish which allows us to offer people wooden crosses when the Spirit inspires us.  Thanks be to God, many have already been blessed by these simple gifts. 



A large part of the ministry here is at the ranchos.  We went to one earlier this week and will go to another tonight.  When we arrive, we visit people in their homes to bring them Jesus' love along with clothing, food and other necessities. 






We invite the people to the rancho chapel for praise and worship.  Here’s a photo of Chris’s debut performance in Mexico as he played “Alabare”. 






We’ve gone on home visits and are learning how to minister to those that come to the door for help.  In addition to the ministry work we’ve begun, we’re also continuing our studies.




Our first week here in Mexico has been glorious…even though there have been some minor adjustments…



Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  
Go TEAM CARMODY!!!