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.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mile 2480 - Fruita, CO

A few days here visiting my parents and grandpa. Everyone is very tired of spending time in the truck, but happy to see grandma and grandpa and spend time with them. As the photo shows, we are a long way from Oaxaca and Honduras - our kids are the ones standing in the snowbank in flip-flops.

A couple of announcements / prayer requests - the first relates to our financial support for the work in Oaxaca. To be honest, as we have been looking at the numbers and working through the accounting of what we feel we need to continue working in Mexico and the level of our current support, we are more and more seeing that we need more money on a monthly basis to continue in Mexico, and are praying that God will make our path straight and his will obvious to us. Specifically, we feel we need at least an additional $1500 a month in order to return to Mexico long-term. Our trip north is in part related to this need, and we are still available to speak and share with people the work we are involved with. Honestly, this is the hardest part of our work; neither Faith nor I like asking for money, and perhaps we don't make our needs known like we should. We do want all gifts given to our ministry to be Spirit-led, and we feel that if God doesn't lead His people to give what is needed then we should look for his leading in a different direction.

The second item is that I will be looking for short-term work while in the Vancouver area. We will arrive the first part of June and plan to be there through at least mid-August. If anyone in the area has Mechanical Engineering work, welding work, or you need your yard mowed or your horse barn shoveled out, let me know.

- Alan

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bloomington, New Mexico

That's as far as we've made it today. Tomorrow we're on to CO. Prayers for our time and meetings in CO would be much appreciated.

Wow - road trips - I will admit, I have *not* missed you.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Culture Shock Snapshots....

or maybe better titled "Reverse-Culture Shock". It's a true phenomenen.

Culture Shock by definition: anxiety and feelings (of surprise, disorientation, uncertainty, confusion, etc.) felt when people have to operate within a different and unknown culture such as one may encounter in a foreign country. It grows out of the difficulties in assimilating the new culture, causing difficulty in knowing what is appropriate and what is not.

And just for kicks: Reverse Culture Shock - returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as described above. This results from the psychosomatic and psychological consequences of the readjustment process to the primary culture. The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with than the original culture shock.

Thank you Wikipedia.

Now - having moved a zillion miles (twice) over 3 borders, 2 languages and 3 very. different. cultures., I can honestly say that this is not hugely surprising, this time. I did it badly once being caught off guard and promised my family and myself that I would NEVER be that uninformed again. Well, being informed and handling things well are two different animals, just in case you were wondering.

The usual issues for us:

1. Language. One of our children is constantly asking us, "What language are we speaking here?" It's right up there with 'What's for breakfast?' on her gotta know list. Once we clear that up (we 99% of the time speak ENGLISH outside the home in the USA) she's off and rollin'. Now, here in the southern US we've managed to hear quite a bit of Spanish and it's not unusual for my kids to wind up overhearing AND RESPONDING to other people's conversations. You should see the heads snap in the line. I'm trying to work on them with that but that's just something people do in Mexico - it's community conversation.

2. Toilet Paper - South of the border - you don't flush it. North of the border - YOU FLUSH IT. The retraining every time is exhausting and kind of gross. I feel a bit like I'm in never ending potty training.

3. You don't wander around. Mexico we live in a little town off a dirt road and know most of our neighbors. Plus you walk EVERYWHERE. But - here the big question is "Why can't we go to X by ourselves?" Right.

4. On that note - our kids haven't realized neighborhood boundaries. Our friend was explaining to Riley, who was riding his rip-stick up and down everyone's driveways, that usually people aren't too keen on strangers being in their house space and he just didn't get it. Good thing he's obeying anyway.

For Alan and I the BIGGEST thing we've noticed is that we drive the oldest thing on the road. Gee wiz - when did a '91 become ancient?

Other funnies:

Produce in the store looks so UNIFORM and I've completely forgotten about peeling off all those little stickers that are on every. single. piece. of. fruit..

We don't recognize any of the music.

We wonder if we've landed in 1984 regarding new fashion. This is fine by me - because now the Goodwill is stocked with all those cute styles I really liked a few years ago that are now 'out'. :)

I'm *sure* there will be more...hmmm...maybe this will grow to be a weekly posting option.

Working it out so that I'm semi-normal by the time I see you,


Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Song for Thought.....

I've always loved this song. Even sang it in church once, albeit badly. *note to self - DON'T sing in front of people. You are NOT Alison Krauss.*

The meaning for us now is much more profound as the road is rougher than we had expected but one that will eventually give us stronger feet for our faith.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Texas two-step

After dropping off the radar for a few weeks, we are more or less back in the swing of things. Still in San Antonio, though the extra time here has been a blessing.

Faith miscarried not long after we arrived. This was very unexpected - no pun intended - and it has taken a while to bounce back. The past couple weeks have been spent recovering, physically as well as emotionally. We had some family that were passing through town that we were able to spend some time with as well; we all enjoyed that. The family that has very graciously hosted us for our time here is going on vacation later this week, and we have decided to stay a little while longer here to house-sit for them.

Last week we had the chance to meet up with some home-school friends from the area; we spent the morning at a park, and then visited a local reptile-house / zoo appropriately named the 'snake farm'. Of course, Riley had no interest in anything there.

We have arranged a couple of meetings next week to talk about the work in Mexico, with a couple more potential meet-ups pending, so our extra time here will not be ill-spent. In addition, we would love to talk with anyone else in the San Antonio / Austin / South Texas area who would like to hear more about the work that we are involved with. At this point it looks like we will be here for a couple more weeks, and then moving on toward the Denver area after that.

Many thanks to all those who have been praying for us over the past weeks. It seems the entire missionary community in Mitla has been under a spiritual oppression the past months, directed at selected families but affecting us all. The oppression continues, with more than 30 people now suffering the effects of an e. coli outbreak. In addition, Luke Jensen, the local 9-year-old hero of our home church in Hockinson, Wa, finally succumbed to a 3-year battle with Leukemia this past week, and Zury, the three-year-old daughter of good friends in Madera, Chihuahua, was diagnosed with a similar strain of Leukemia a couple weeks ago. In addition to our own problems, we feel the weight of the struggles and burdens of our friends and family in Christ as well, and ask that you would remember them as well in your prayers.