Wednesday, December 21, 2016

feliz navidad! its been a busy end of the year...

merry christmas everyone!  what an amazing time of year.  i hope you are rejecting the commercialism and nonsense that always serves as a giant distraction from the miracle incarnation of the son of God!  we get a couple of US channels on tv here, and i am always so saddened at the overwhelming focus on santa, presents, and "christmas magic."  what an unworthy substitute for our king jesus, who offers us eternal life, joy, peace, and adventure!  i could go on forever about this, but i read something a couple of days ago that i'll just share instead.  i found it convicting, refreshing, and energizing!  such a powerful reminder of where our priorities as christians should be this time of year.


its been a while since my last post.  we've been busy with christmas events, and just wrapping up the year at the academy.  honestly, we are just now finding an opportunity to take a breath!  if interested, here's what we've been up to recently...

in october and november we hosted friends from savannah.  we also celebrated the graduation of many of our rhinos.  pictured here are:  allan, enrique and carlos, who all graduated from high school at el centro educativo deepstream, run by our friends the schmidts.

dennilson graduated from his first year of mechanic school.  he did a great job and worked hard every weekend to complete the program and receive his certificate.

finally, josue (amazingly) graduated from high school as well - but from a saturday program while working full-time.  after learning how to read and write his first year in the academy, he went back to middle school and has been working hard to finish high school ever since.  at his school in san lucas, with over 80 kids in his graduating class, josue won the "perseverance award."  i can't think of a more appropriate award to explain the heart and determination of this young man!  we are so proud of all our graduates.

in november we were thankful to have kerrie's mom come visit.  after a few days in BV, we took her (and a few of the rhinos) to lake atitlan - a beautiful wonder of the world with booming volcanoes emerging from the water.  it is truly a guatemalan treasure, and it was nice to get away as a family for a couple days with kerrie's mom and a few of the boys.

soccer, soccer, and more soccer.  we finished the last few months of the year with an aggressive schedule, playing 11v11 games every week.  both our JV and varsity teams finished extremely strong.  we won the majority of our games, despite typically being hugely outsized.  we are really proud of how the boys began to gel towards the end of the season, and it gives us much to look forward to for next year!

december has been extremely busy!  its been crazy but fun scrambling around with the leiva family getting everything done. big props to walda who has handled a ton of the logistics!  we've hosted many events, including:
  • the annual bvsa staff christmas party
  • the annual trophy ceremony with all the rhinos and their parents
  • our annual christmas photo shoot for rhino families
  • 1st annual "decorate the plaza" event, and of course... 
  • our annual rhino christmas party and talent show!  

we were thankful to have our friends from trinity fitness come join the fun as well.

brock, mynor, anthony = the 3 wisemen
decorating the BV plaza

we also were able to take luciana and her friends to "disney on ice" in guatemala city for her 4th birthday!  it was an absolute blast, finished off with some fried chicken at KFC.  (dads favorite)

the first weekend of december, kerrie and i were able to head one country north to mexico - to be a part of our friends' wedding.  mauricio and milena have become special friends to us and it was such an honor for me to be able to share about jesus during their wedding ceremony.

one of the most special moments of the month came somewhat unexpectedly.  in all of the busyness, we had kind of forgotten about our girls team, las rinas.  so we were able to put together a little tournament for them, followed by a trip to Antigua.  it was priceless.  the first time for almost all of them to go out to eat!  they were ecstatic!  and after working with boys for so long, it was refreshing to see the girls express their excitement so openly :)  we're definitely looking forward to what 2017 has in store for our rinas!



Eric Horn said...
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Eric Horn said...

Thanks for all the great news! Josue getting a perseverance award is so fitting after seeing him work so hard over the years to become such a Godly man. I love that so many great things are happening at the Academy because of the work God is doing through you guys.
As for Christmas vs "Christmas", it is definitely easy to get caught up in the "Christmas" spirit and forget the true meaning, even among believers. Our true King was born and that celebration is what we must remember to keep in the forefront of our minds and I love that you are calling attention to that as a reminder to us all.
Feliz Navidad to you, your families, the Rinos and the Rinas, their families, and everyone in Buena Vista and may everyone truly celebrate what Christmas is TRULY about!

Angela Arbogast said...

Wonderful to hear all that God is doing! ¡Feliz navidad a todos!

Betty Ospina said...

Merry Christmas, Rhinos! I can't believe how big Jake is now!