Sunday, August 31, 2008

We are EXHAUSTED!!!


We did it!! I moved everything (which is a TON of stuff) from our house to my new house today.....in the middle of MAJOR RAIN!!!!! I was all over Antigua today. I had to find a hotel for us until Thursday. If you could have only seen me....pretty much the only person running around Antigua in the pouring rain. I had to keep ringing out my skirt....I looked like a sight. Then, I found a random taxi driver to help me get my luggage to the other house. But, Eliana and I are safe and sound in the hotel. We will be here until Thursday. I had my first hot shower in about 2 weeks (we ran out of gas). It was heavenly!! And tonight, we sleep on a king size bed instead of a twin. I miss my old roomies....but am looking forward to this new chapter. Eliana will be in a house full of boys. I'm sure I will have tons of stories.

Love you all,
Lindsey

P.S. Pray that we will get good news from RENAP tomorrow!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

My diaper bag was stolen....BUMMER!!!!



I brought the matching clutch to my diaper bag to Guatemala to go in Eliana's stroller. Seriously, just the other day I was thinking...."wow, I have been here for more than two months and nothing has been stolen." Well, today a lady snatched it out of my stroller in the market. She must have thought it was my purse. She sure will be disappointed when she opens it up to find diapers, wipes and Gerber baby food. It has been a pretty tough few days anyway, so it just made me miss home even more. On a positive note, it was not my purse or my precious Eliana....so we are doing okay!!

Love you all,
Lindsey

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Tribute to Casa 36.....


What do I say about Casa 36?! So much has happened in the last two months. We all flew to Guatemala only to find out that our other house we were supposed to rent had been given away. After a few firm phone calls from my husband....we were given Casa 36. We have made so many memories. I will never forget our dinners....our walks around the city....our "wonderful" house cleaner....our cold showers....our microwaved baths....our Pops two times a day....our Diary of a Mad Black woman sayings....the trips to the Bodegona....the ants....the thousands of diapers....Hotel Antigua...."Mama don't play"....McDonald's....Domino's on double day....checking our e-mail obsessively....watching our kiddos grow....birthday parties (Auri's definitely wins the award)....the Baby Whisperer....tears....prayers....and cheering each other on as we get to go home. I love you Deanna, Kelsey, Melodie, and Staci.



Eliana wins the award for "Most likely to be bitten non-stop."


Fernanda wins the award for "Most mama's said by anyone in two months than most people say in a lifetime."


Andrew wins the award for "Most imaginative speaking abilities and best back-bends."


Auri wins the award for "Most likely to be best-dressed her senior year in high school."


Rosa wins the award for "Most likely to become the biter biscuit spokesperson for Gerber."

It is hard to believe that I will be starting a new chapter in Guatemala on Sunday when Auri and Deanna are gone. I am sad to say goodbye to this house....but I am really looking forward to Casa 5. Get ready....I am sure there will be lots of stories. That adventure begins Sept. the 4th!!

Love you all,
Lindsey and Eliana

P.S. No news on her case....we are hoping to hear good news soon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Some more PINK for my roomies!!


After a long 21 months in this process.....Staci and Andrew are going HOME!!!! YEAH!!! I am so excited. They have walked a tough road the last few years....and they got their PINK slip today. We are going to miss them terribly. I will miss Staci saying "Mama don't play" and Andrew's crazy language. Congrats friends!!

Love y'all,
Lindsey

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Lindsey!



It's Your 29th Birthday so...
Here's 29 Things I Love About Lindsey!
1. I love your compassion for people.
2. I love your honesty.
3. I love your zeal for life.
4. I love your heart for Guatemala.
5. I love your dancing skills.
6. I love how you listen.
7. I love how you exemplify God's grace.
8. I love how generous you are.
9. I love your gift of hospitality.
10. I love your patience.
11. I love how persevering you are.
12. I love your willingness to sacrifice your comforts.
13. I love your decorating skills.
14. I love your fashion sense.
15. I love your sincerity.
16. I love your since of right and wrong.
17. I love your love of justice.
18. I love your passion for the things of God.
19. I love the way you pray.
20. I love your selfless desire to serve others.
21. I love your heart for the poor.
22. I love your sass and your spunk.
23. I love your bargain hunting.
24. I love your hobby of "star watching."
25. I love how you mother Eliana.
26. I love your capacity to forgive.
27. I love your creativity.
28. I love how you give such thought filled gifts.
29. I love your free spirit.


I love you more than you'll ever know! You're my best friend and hero. I have no idea how I made it 24 years without you in my life! You taught me about grace and God's unconditional love. If it weren't for you I'd still be a legalistic self-righteous prideful fool.

I love how you love people. You care for those around you so deeply. I'm always so excited for new people to meet you because I get to watch them discover how amazing you are all over again!

There is no one on the planet like you! I hope with all my heart that Eliana grows up to be just exactly like you!

I so deeply wish I could be there with you today to celebrate your birthday, but know that I am praying for you all day here in Franklin!

Happy Birthday Baby!
Love,
chris

video

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Say it's your birthday.....Happy B-day Sister!


Happy 26th sister (Lauren)!! I hope you have the greatest day....I so wish that we lived close to you and Corby. Thanks for supporting us so much on this adventure....thank you for loving Eliana so much! Thank you for praying constantly and for listening when I need to have a break down or share good news with someone. I love you so much.

Love,
Lindsey

P.S. MY SISTER IS PREGNANT!!!! Eliana is going to have a cousin!! YEAH!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Late Nights


I (Chris) keep re-reading Psalm 40...
Verse one:"I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry."
Verse four: "Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust..."
Verse thirteen: "Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!" and Verse seventeen: As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!"

I miss my girls...I can't wait till they can come HOME. During the day it's not as bad because I keep myself so busy...but at night when I'm getting ready for bed- that's when it hits you all over again. Consequently I never really get to bed till after 12:30...or sometimes 2. Missing Lindsey is like an ache in my heart that never quite lets up. We were made to be together, so this being apart stuff is rough.

I cannot possibly tell you how proud I am of Lindsey and her ability to manage life in Guatemala! She is taking excellent care of our baby girl without Target right up the street! (When she needs groceries she pushes the stroller to the market, loads up the stroller underneath or hangs bags off the handle and pushes it home!) Lindsey is such a good MOM! She's constantly teaching Eliana and playing silly games with her and investing in her! I jokingly tell Linds that when she gets home I'll take care of Eliana till she's 16 to make up for all her parenting alone right now!

Please pray for comfort for my precious wife. We miss each other so bad and as much as we're grateful for this time Lindsey's had to spend with Eliana in Guatemala, we're really ready for them to come home!

We're still in RENAP (the office recently created that issues Birth Certificates). Please pray we get out of RENAP this week! We have been in for over 3 weeks and got kicked out this week. (A "kick-out" is like standing in line, getting to the front and being told you have to go the back of the line and try again.) No one knows exactly when they'll look at our file again...so we're waiting and praying that it's soon.

Pray also for Eliana's cough. She still has this same croupy-wheezy cough that her little body can't kick (though she's been on medicine for several weeks).

Lindsey and I are both more dependent on the LORD than we've ever been in our lives. Or to rephrase that, we're both now so keenly aware of just how dependent we've always been.

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements- they mean so much to us!
Grace and Peace
-Chris

P.S. Polly Esther (our Pomeranian) says Hi... she so wishes she could type.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our roomie is leaving tomorrow.....we are so sad!!


I can't even begin to tell ya'll what a blessing Kelsey has been to our family! God chose to cross our paths in Guatemala....and we had no idea what she would mean to us in such a short time. Kelsey, we love you so much. Thank you for loving Eliana so much. We will miss looking up in the loft and seeing your smile! Eliana will miss saying "Boo" to you each morning. We will miss our walking partner....our everything friend. Pops won't be the same without you. You will always be a part of the Wheeler family. We can't wait to follow your journey....God is going to do BIG THINGS through you. Love you friend!!

Love,
Lindsey and Eliana

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sweet Eliana Hope....


Tonight is a very rare night....sweet girl actually fell asleep before 10:30. Oh, I love her so much. She has grown and changed so much since I have been here....it amazes me. She is walking everywhere. She loves, loves, loves to give kisses (she gives at least 10 in a row). She kisses the other kiddos. She kisses the mommas. She kisses the couch. It cracks me up. She is so loving. She is beginning to talk up a storm....she says "da da da" all of the time. I assume she is missing Chris as much as me. She loves milk.....she loves McDonald's nuggets.....she loves pretending like she is talking on a cell phone. She even uses her foot as a phone. She has a hilarious new smile.....she squints her eyes and has the cheesiest grin. She knows that she is funny too. She snorts when she laughs (like her Kay-Kay)! She is growing so fast (but is still the tiniest thing)....I am so grateful for every minute I have with her. I can't wait for everyone at home to fall in love with this little girl. She brings such joy to my life. Thank you Lord for Eliana Hope.

Love you all,
Lindsey

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Time with Tia Leah!!!






We are still missing our Tia Leah....she left a few days ago! It was SO GOOD!!! Eliana instantly bonded with Leah....and loves her so much. Leah took a ton of pics of sweet girl. Every single time Leah took out her camera, Eliana would smile so big. It was so hard to see her go for a lot of different reasons. We love you so much Leah!!

Life has been really crazy the last few days....there are a lot of changes in our house. Keep praying for our case...it seems stuck in RENAP.

We love you all (and miss home like crazy),
Lindsey

P.S. The last picture is the t-shirt that Tia Leah stitched for Eliana....it is so cute!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Seen Too Much


While visiting Lindsey and Eliana last week I got to visit several ministry sites and places of great need in Guatemala that I had only heard of. It's taken me a while to blog about it because I'm still trying to get my mind and heart around what I saw. At each location I kept asking what the "Wheeler's" response to this was to be. I've seen too much, I'm now among the accountable. Scripture is full of verses that are very clear about not neglecting the poor. At this point I know that we're to be a mouth-piece, a catalyst, a bridge...to connect people here in the States with the great needs in Guatemala.

I'm to tell the stories as loudly and as often as I can...so here are three of the places that impacted me the most:


This is El Basurero (The Dump).
This is the largest city dump in all of Latin America. It is over 24 football fields in size and has 1500 TONS of trash delivered 6 days a week. The stench of this place makes your eyes water, and the skies are swarming with vultures. It is literally too big for your eyes to take in at once. It's like trying to see all of the Grand Canyon with one gaze. Semi trucks on the other side look like tiny pencil dots. Your eyes strain to focus, to pick out objects among the mottled mosaic of garbage. As you stare you realize that it's all moving...those are the vultures scowering the ground. Then as you look through the vultures you begin to pick out people! There are 11 THOUSAND people who live here and make their living by picking through the trash trying to find anything they can recycle or sell. 6000 of them are children! It is the most heart wrenching thing I've ever seen. The work is extremely dangerous. Recently, there was an avalanche of trash that buried 18 people alive...not to mention the toxic nature of what they're digging through.

There is a ministry we visited called The Potter's House that is making a difference among these precious people at the dump. It was begun 22 years ago by a sweet Guatemalan couple named Edgar and Gladys. They have a feeding program, a Christian school, plus micro-enterprise, health and community support. The people of Guatemala refer to those that live at the dump as Guajeros (Scavengers) but The Potter's House calls them Tesoros (Treasures)! How beautifully redemptive is that!
Please check out their work at http://pottershouse.org.gt/index.htm


This is La Lemonada (Lemonade).
It is a ghetto/slum of 60 THOUSAND people. The homes are shacks built into the muddy hillsides of this giant ditch. Mudslides from the torrential rains can wipe a home right out. There is a river of raw sewage that runs right down through the middle of La Lemonada. In the midst of it all there is Hermana Tita (Sister Tita).
Tita is this radiant person of peace in the midst of the heart ache. (As we stood and talked with her, children and families passed by happily calling out her name.) She carries the Gospel to these people in need and runs La Escuelita (The Little School) in the middle of La Lemonada (It's the red building you see at the bottom). La Lemonada has a strong reputation for being a very dangerous place due to gang violence and shootings. Tita said, "It is more dangerous to disobey God, than to obey God in a dangerous place." We asked Tita what she needs. She said, "Crazy People in Love with Jesus." Please join us in praying daily for Tita and her awesome ministry to these families.


This is Shorty. He has an incredible testimony of how God redeemed his life! He is a former gang member who now runs a Christian rehab center for guys who want to get their lives and families straightened out. He lives a life of faith like I've never seen. He gets death threats all the time and his response is, "If i die, I die...I get to be with Jesus." He literally lives out daily what Paul says in Philippians 2:21, "To live is Christ, to die is gain." He told me that he's not just "being tough." Shorty said, "I don't fear them, I fear God...I respect God."

Oh that I might live with this kind of faith. That we all might follow the examples of Shorty, Tita, Edgar and Gladys.

That Jesus would be more precious to us than our comforts and even our very lives.
-Chris


P.S. Pray for the health of my girls: Eiana, has Bronchitis and an infection in her lungs (she's on an antibiotic now)...Lindsey is sick too with a little of what Eliana has.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My love and my baby....



I miss you Chris....with all of my heart.

Love y'all,
Lindsey

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!


Mom, I hope that you are having an amazing birthday!! I so wish that we were there to help celebrate....but know that we ate ice cream tonight in your honor! :-) You are one incredible mom and Kay-Kay to Eliana. We love you so much. Thank you for loving us all so well. You are beautiful in every way! I hope that I can be a mom just like you. I love you so much.

Lindsey

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tia Leah is COMING TOMORROW.....YEAH!!!


This is how excited Eliana is that her Tia (aunt) Leah is coming to Antigua tomorrow!!! SHE IS SO READY TO FINALLY MEET HER!!!!!! We can't wait.

Love you all,
Lindsey

P.S. THERE IS SO MUCH TO BLOG ABOUT.....but there has been no time this week. I have so much on my heart and mind, but will fill y'all in later. Chris is here until Monday and my sis comes tomorrow!