The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose

- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Packing, packing, packing - translation HEADACHE!!!!

Oh boy - here we go again....

We have started the packing process. Interesting that looking around you don't really think you have that much stuff. We're REALLY careful about bringing/having more stuff down here than we need but then it's also hard to balance that with LIVING someplace and having a home. Add to that homeschooling (BOOKS - which are priceless in my opinion), tools (because Alan is basically his own shop), some toys (really - the very basics), and you have an interesting dilemma.

These are the boxes that we have to pack in:

These have been a HUGE goldmine in storage issues for us. I found them through suggestions of other international friends who have been there, done that and found these that really hold up and don't cost the earth. The cheapy (not cheap in the sense of inexpensive mind you...) storage tubs we moved down here with just didn't hold up to the drastic temperatures that we have and structurally they weren't as 'compact and packable'. We have to keep most things packed away because of bugs and other natural enemies such as mice and moisture. The other great thing about these is we'll be using them as our bed frame when we get down there. See, even the 'stuff' has to multi-task! So for the last year we've worked on replacing the ones that have basically become destroyed in our 5 moves in 3 years. One plus with driving is we don't have a weight limit! (Do you know how easy and fast you can get to 50 pounds when you're stocking up on things for 6 months to a year at a time???)

Now we need to get our lives into these little bins. So far I have school packed and it's 5 bins....eeeeeekkkkkkkkssssssssss. This is a non-negotiable for me. This is my kids' education and we don't have libraries where we are. (PLUS - I need books. I'd rather leave clothes out. :)) But, I did realize that I could bless on the cores (levels) that we're done with. Normally I would've held onto these as those are good friends and not just books but we only have so much space. Sigh. :)

Today is 'pack the rest of the books in the shelves' day and that should take one more bin total. Clothes: 1 bin each.
Kitchen: 1 bin
Office stuff: 1 bin
bathroom/rest of house misc: 1 bin possibly 2 with bedding.

Yep - on paper it looks pretty darn simple doesn't it? Why do I feel like I need another aspirin???

Friday, September 5, 2008

3 years down.................

Our family is celebrating an anniversary of sorts. 3 years ago YESTERDAY we pulled our loaded truck out of the church's parking lot in Washington and onto a road....less traveled. This has been more of an adventure than we bargained for and yet, somehow has felt like a step in the right direction.

There have been SO many moments when I've said, "THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!!!" yet that's not true, because we did. We just didn't realize it....

Change has seemed to be the theme for us over the last 3 years. I don't necessarily like change by the way. 4 moves in 3 years. 5 shifts in ministry in 3 years. Then there are things that have stayed constant. Relationships we first began in our early days in Madera that have been like lighthouses for us. S.L.O.W.L.Y. progressing with our Spanish to the point where I was asked to pray in English for a group that was visiting recently and I almost couldn't do it! (I think it had to do with the setting...:) ) Our family learning to work together in difficult circumstances. Our family learning to wait on the LORD and seeing it culminate in my children's perspective - "If God provides, we'll go to Honduras..." was the answer my son recently gave. Very matter of fact; very confident in the provision whatever direction.

We're SO far from perfect it's scary most days and I am the first to admit that I'm a pathetic missionary. I'm having a hard enough time just keeping up with everything. BUT - we've been called and prepared for something haven't we? And I got a BIG news flash recently: It's not for ME. ouch! But then there's comfort in that too - just because things don't work out the way I expect doesn't mean diddly squat in the scheme of things. If I'm faithful, the results are God's business. Thank goodness...

3 years seems like a long learning curve to bring me to that knowledge - but when I look back it was never a boring one. :)

Oh and speaking of curves in the road; a little secret........

We are going to Honduras. God provided, not in MY timing of course but in his, and boy did He provide. We had received our numbers and such for August and felt that the LORD was changing our direction. The evening after we were given the last of the support notices an email came through listing MORE THAN WE HAD EVEN HOPED FOR in extra support for moving.

So - the next update will be filled with dates, details, and probably a distracted me trying to organize our life again down to the back of our truck and a small trailer. (We haven't acculmulated that much other than school; it just is going to take more organization to have it together for 2500 more miles.) SERIOUS road trip here we come..............

'Just call on me....'

Good afternoon praying friends,

I'm sitting here with the kids' school finished more or less for the day and half of the neighborhood in the front porch playing a very loud game. It's something akin to tag; but with more noise. :) Did I mention it's loud here?

One project I've had going on is coordinating with our church in the larger than I thought it would be project of getting together a 'snail mail' list for our friends/family who aren't on the web. Normal missionaries send out monthly newsletters with pretty pictures and fun fonts but for us, that proves a bit more difficult with the mailing opportunities we have. We have only received ONE piece of mail here and it was a Christmas card. It arrived at the end of February when we lived in Chihuahua. Same year though! :) This has made the communication factor a bit interesting. Can I just say how THANKFUL I am for technology!!!!!??? I can't imagine how it was back when people had to write letters or just never expected to be heard from again. Amazing - it makes me feel small in my faith.

So how does it work normally?

You should get a nice little email from me saying that we have new updates on this blog. I usually remember that part. For those that aren't on the web; we've in the past sent out updates every couple of months. There's been changeover with staff, huge neglect on my part, and too many changes for me to keep track of and I will admit that this is one ball I dropped. Rats!

So - now we're getting organized!! (I can dream can't I???) I have the list done. I have many months of little updates emailed to Deb. I am hoping this project doesn't take her down. :)

For response - How do you want to be contacted and/or kept informed??? Are you fine with the blog updates as they are? Would you prefer hard paper notice? Phone calls? Email form of the updates to save the step of going to the blog? Let us know - I'll do what I can! Also, let us know if your emails have changed. There are a few on the list that don't make it through and I don't want you to think we're ignoring you!

Now - I need to go and do you say that in spanish??????

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"It was just a little snake..."

This was the first thing he said to me when he and Alan got home from the days work. I knew where they'd been (La Calandria), I knew what they'd been doing (helping with a horse adventure with a mission's group out there), and I know my son. I was not surprised; and, NO, this is not my definition of small. (Keep in mind this is without the head and the tail - dang, those rattles broke off while he was skinning it.)

YYYYYUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCKKKK. My thoughts NOT his. His were something along the lines of, "BIEN Chido!!!" (spanish for SO cool) The look on his face is PURE JOY.

He's a magnet for creatures. His mother doesn't enjoy creatures BUT I can appreciate his focus on them. He's good at making me see the amazing-ness of the design - whether or not I can appreciate the REASON they were created in the first place. :) Which leads me to the little homeschooling project he's going to start - Creature Corner in the Hayes Zoo. It will be a link with pictures and HIS commentary on the wildlife we run into here.

He killed, cut off the head (WITH dad's boot help) and his own knife, skinned, and gutted said small snake. Homeschooling - I KNOW I get to count this as science and anatomy. Look at how well he did cleaning out that snake! (his room.....another matter....) I might even give him home ec credit as he's now in the back 'yard' building a fire so he can cook it and eat it. I'm NOT that good of a mom. Once is enough for me. So stay tuned for Riley's new project. You'll be entertained, that's for sure. :)