Sunday, March 29, 2009


I hope you are all having a pleasant Sunday. The weather is overcast and a bit cool today. I'm staying inside.

Sundays at the ministry in Mexico were almost overwhelming. Every child had to be dressed properly, faces and hands clean, memorization finished. For each baby, bottles had to be mixed, diapers loaded into a big bag, and a change of clothes ready "just in case." The school-age kids had to be at church an hour early for Sunday school. They breakfasted early and one of us would take the task while the other was readying babies.

In the church, we sat together as a family. Our little contingent filled 2 pews. I would translate for English speakers who might come with us. The children were amazing. Many kids from small families would run all over the church, first sitting with family, then a friend, then perhaps a grandparent. Our kids stayed in the pews (did they listen to the Word? I like to think so.) as asked and left only for restroom breaks. We had a lot of parents ask us how we got them to sit still. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure except that we told them that they needed to be respectful in the house of God. I guess they listened. Below is a picture of a family breakfast. We only had 16 kids at the time.

The large white barrel at the back is fresh drinking water. We had a larger tank on the roof. To the right are bags and boxes of foodstuffs delivered the afternoon before. The house we were renting was small, just 3 bedrooms. This picture was taken on a school day. Our oldest boy and the infants are not pictured.

Sunday was always a time of blessing for the children. Parent visits were allowed both at church and at the house. Some parents had permission to take their kids for the day. The only hard part for us was not having workers to help with meals, clean-up, etc. Our girls especially were good at helping out with chores and the babies.

Our workers typically averaged $50 a month to come in for 8 hours+ a day. We had a cook, a laundry person and a housekeeper. Both the laundry person and housekeeper doubled as babysitters. This gave us the chance to go shopping or out to lunch on occasion.

We had prayer each morning before the kids went to school and each evening before bed. We also had short bible studies and a time of singing and memorizing verses. The last scripture the children learned before we left in 2004 was the scripture I quoted in my last entry. I was so proud of them! It took 4 weeks for them to read, understand and memorize that long passage.

Today, our home is quiet save for the dogs. We've had a little disappointment this week. On Monday when Rob went to see the Alzheimer's doctor, he was told not to drive. Rob thought it meant for a while, but we received notice yesterday from the DMV that he will no longer be able to drive. He is feeling pretty sad about that. He does love driving. I like having him drive. The good thing is that I also like to drive. We will just have to manage our trips differently. We will find the blessing in this, I am sure.

Our homeless friend Tina has found a place to live. She is coming by today visit. We are committed to helping her get her monthly bus pass and to that end we will have a few chores for her. She is looking for full time work as well. When she comes, we have a time of bible study or teaching as well. It's good for all of us.

Keeping you all in my prayers,


krissy knox said...

Only 16 children, LOL! Goodness gracious, Miss Penny, that's a lot!

So sorry to hear about Rob. Glad to hear about Tina. I am sure you can find some chores for her to do!

krissy knox :)
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Pamela said...

Hi Penny! You are an angel on Earth! You've touched so many lives! I know it was a long time ago, but you touched those young lives more than you will probably ever know.
Sorry to hear about Rob. That disease is just awful. I feel so bad for both of you. It robs you both of the person you know. To lose the privedge of driving would be devastating to me. Give Rob a hug for me, ok?
Am keeping you both in my prayers.

just me said...

So sorry to hear about Rob not being able to drive anymore. I know how devestating that would be to Gordon.
Loved the picture and story about the kids. I can't describe the twinge I felt in my heart when I saw that picture. I so wish I could speak mexican. Maybe someday.
hugs, Barbara

Carolyn said...

What you did must have been so rewarding! I don't know if I could do something like that, but it would be such a neat thing to do something that touched others as what you did and continue to do! I have a son which would have blended in fine in with your church there! He'd be visiting everyone all the service! Unfortunate for that though, that we can't find a church here that would allow that. He is so hyper and when I feel like giving up, thinking he's not paid any attention to our Bible studies, he asks me something that tells me he is learning it! I pray that some day we will find a place that accepts hyper and active kids, because we haven't found one yet. Be sure that some of those rambunctious ones in your church were hearing what they needed to hear! God Bless you and Rob Penny. I am sorry he can't drive anymore- but I will pray that something good will come of that~ love you lots!

Heli gunner Tom said...

Hi Penny,
I love the way you narrate and tell stories about your missionary life. You and Robb are my heros! So sorry about Robb's lose of his license. Tell him I would like to call him soon sometime-- as I am getting pretty lonely here alone except for the hound dog. I am training him more and trying to make better use of my time..Ha!
I get shots in both knees tomorrow morn at the Milwaukee VA, 0900. I actually look forward to them!
God Bless YOU!

Love and Hugs,