Friday, January 25, 2013

Hello everyone from me, Chelly! It’s my turn to share with all of you. A lot has happened since our last update so, I’ll make it brief. If you call two pages brief. • The Holidays Our last update was in mid October which means that we’ve done our share of celebrating since then. We hosted our annual Thanks Giving Dinner and gave thanks to our Lord with about 30 people. Everything went surprisingly perfect! This year’s tamale cook yielded the most ever. The volunteers this time around were three sweet German girls who are serving in a ministry just 20minutes to the west. With the help of our new friends we made 220 tamales in record time!
Christmas was a true time of blessing. For the first time in 8 years the Mini Schockeys had both sets of Grandparents present at Christmas! And, instead of spending money on lots of presents, we spent it on making memories with their Nana and Papa. That means we took a few short trips and had a ton of fun! New Years was a blast. Even though Nolan used all his fireworks on Christmas Eve (a Costa Rican tradition), we still shot off the ones the girls gave him for Christmas. There was family, games, food and a great view of several displays. All this in a country where there are very few limitations on everyone’s favorite colorful explosions. • The Mini Schockeys have been dancing fools these past few months. You may recall that their Nana gave them all ballet lessons for the year. That has proven to be an excellent investment. Rya has come out of her shell, made some friends, and improved her understanding of Spanish. Ali has gained poise and grace quite shocking for a Tomboy who spends most of her time on all fours. Zoe stepped out of the shadows and proudly leads her group. We have discovered that Ava, who is now in a more advanced class, has a true passion for dance and shows promise. As I mentioned earlier, these little cuties have been rather busy with performances throughout the holiday season. Between school and ballet, they each participated in 4-5 programs which included 2-3 routines per program. Please note that the girls have an excellent teacher. Because of her competence and dedication their particular company has become a well known request at local events.
• Chelly has found her nitch. During all the end of the year activities I was flattered to be the only “stylist” recommended to the entire studio, and preschool. Between individual appointments and the hairstyling classes I now offer, I was able to earn and contribute money toward the coast of all the costumes required of my little performing artists. In just 8 weeks I completed over 160 styles at 5 events, and loved it! The best part is that this new role has allowed me to build relationships with women who wouldn’t normally open up to a missionary. Strangers are now bringing other strangers in to my home where, being a wife and mother, my testimony is the strongest. God is great! • The Marriage Retreat was awesome! Seven missionary couples and their 15 children attended the 3 day event. For many of us this is the only time we can relax and completely focus on our marriage. Thanks to Curtis, Annie and Darwin, who put it all together, everything ran like clockwork. That is impressive considering that 12 kids arrived with just 3 couples. Everyone was enlightened and encouraged by Kent and Rebecca Nolley’s teaching entitled The Mission of Marriage. All were blessed. Just spending time with other like minded couples who share in similar struggles is like a week at the spa. Add good teaching and fresh mountain air to that, and that’s enough for most of us to go another 12 months.
• Women’s Ministry is going strong. I’ve shared in the past about troubles with commitment and trust amongst the women in our area. We had a small, but major break through last May at our Ladies Retreat and asked prayer for God to continue that work. In the last few months while teaching on dedication, I have seen the Lord soften the women of our Saturday study. They interact and share more in the study. Even more wonderful, our group has grown a little! Some new young ladies and a return visitor or two have joined our group. Plus two sisters of the late German have started attending as well, which is another prayer answered! • Up Next The Second annual beach trip with the rehab guys is next week. They are all supper excited about this, and will enjoy one entire day in the sand and Son. • Coming Soon Women’s retreat in May • Please Lift Up Darwin and Aaron, who will be teaching at the beach trip. Ballet moms, to act on their curiosity about the God of my family. My sister Bethel, who is studying for the MCATs, already has a job waiting and just needs to pass. Selling my Mom’s house, it has become a burden to manage since we are all out of state. My Grandpa French, his wife of 65 years joined my mother in heaven just 12 after Christmas. He’s not saved, and at 85 I know there is not much time left. Sonya, our long time friend, severely broke her hand in December. In rout to the marriage retreat she fell just before the entrance. I rushed her to the hospital where she waited 4 weeks for the emergency surgery! After surgery she was sent home with a plate held in place by two large screws on either side of her wrist that extend about 2.5 inches from her skin. Sonya must clean and change the bandages daily herself. Every now and then she returns to have the screws tightened. Sonya is currently waiting for an X-ray which will determine how successful the surgery was, and how much longer she will need the screws. Please pray all heals well for our dear friend.