Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanks be to God, great things He is doing

This week is Thanksgiving in the Sates. I knew this would be a difficult week from before I started support raising. Thanksgiving was hard for me the first time I was here. Some of my favorite traditions and memories are from Thanksgivings in the past. It is also the week that we lost my grandpa 3 years ago. So many things come to play in this week. Instead of being sad that I am missing out I am going to be thankful for the things I do have this week. They are as follows…

Arepas and cafĂ© con leche: this is what I have for breakfast most mornings with my two wonderful, kind and caring teachers, Ana and Luz. It means that I am not only being taught by them but have become part of the family and they take care of me every day. 

Women’s bible studies: There are two fabulous women’s bible studies that are weekly praying for me. I get e-mails from them and encouragement that reminds me of the many people who love and care about me. 

E-mails: This is another wonderful thing that encourages me daily. The people who send thoughts and little pieces of the US to me. It may not be a long letter but I know they were thinking about me and send love and support. 

Videos and pictures: Along the same lines as the e-mails this is a way that I can watch some very special children grow. I am thankful for them and their parents everyday. 

The broken leg of an 8 year old: One of the kids here in La Ceiba (Ismael) broke his leg several months ago. This makes me thankful for Sait and Laideth and the love they have for the Lord that is shown through the way they take care of people. Ismael is now staying with them and they take him to therapy everyday. They love him when no one else would take care of him. It is a joy to watch. I even was a recipient of this love when I hurt my leg and Laideth helped me go to the doctor and get medicine for the infection. I am thankful for them all. 

Mistakes: I may not always be thankful for this one but in the end I will be. It keeps me humble which is a hard thing for me to learn. It also has been a fun way to interact with people here. Everyone loves to share funny things Alicia says with others. It is all in light hearted fun. I don’t hardly ever make the same mistake twice and everyone is more than willing to help me learn. Mistakes also mean that I am learning. People have been telling me for months that my Spanish is getting better. I am thankful that God has given me more grace and understanding in this area, looking forward to the next year of learning more. 

Memory verses said way to fast: Every Thursday I have the joy of going to La Ceiba with a group from the church. We have a service there for the kids in the evening. For a long time I have felt like I wasn’t really “needed” there or that I was even noticed. A few weeks ago one little girl came up to me and said something to me so fast I had no idea what it could have been. I asked to to repeat herself. This time I realized she was saying a verse when I recognized “Efesios” at the end. This touched my heart not only because she had memorized her verse but because she wanted to share it with me. Since then another little girl has picked my lap as her choice place to sit, I may have sore legs at the end of the lesson and don’t understand everything but I now know that I belong to this group and I am very thankful for each and every one of those kids!! 

Supper with friends: One Saturday we had a group of people over to bbq and celebrate my apartment. All 9 of us crammed into my little kitchen and shared a meal together. Sait told me how thankful they were to God for me coming to help them in the ministry here. I told him how thankful I was for all their help in learning and getting to know the area and culture. Not only am I thankful for their help for for their friendship. They have accepted me in to their group so quickly. They are all more than willing to help me with any thing and do an awesome job of explaining things to me when I don’t understand. Laideth’s love for the word of God is so big that she does her best to explain all sorts of things to me that she is learning, some of my most Spiritual conversations have been with her. Thankful for friends!! 

A God that speaks English: There have been many a time in the last 5 months that I have not had the words in Spanish to express an emotion or feeling fully, this is a very difficult place to be. However, no matter how happy or sad or frustrated I am I can always tell God about it because he understands and for that I am very thankful!! 

THANKFUL for each and everyone of you who read this and pray for me. Praise be to God! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Home sweet home

Welcome to my home! Here is the little place I can call my own. Enjoy the tour ;) 
 The outside. 

 Looking at the kitchen from the front door. 

 Looking at the kitchen from the bedroom door. 

 Looking at the kitchen from the fridge. 
My God bring many friends to gather around this table with me. 

 My bedroom from the door. 

 Bedroom looking back toward the kitchen.

 Looking at the Bed from the couch.
Love my bed!! It is so pretty and comfy :) 

 My wonderful couch and dresser by the window. 
Love this place to relax. 

 Bathroom with storage and pretty mirror. 


God is good!! Love this place he has blessed me with. 
Thanks for your prayers and support. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

August and Septemer happenings

Hello everyone!! Sorry this is really late. It has been busy here and I did not have internet where I was living. I am now in my very own apartment!!! Hooray!!! God is good. Thank you so much to everyone who has asked me how I am doing and settling in. I am doing great. I love it here. The people feel like friends now and I am starting to call this place home. Thank you for your prayers, they are being felt. God is in control even when I don't feel like they are. So here is an update with pictures from the last 2 months!! 

August- In August I worked on my apartment for a week. Painting and cleaning. 
The second week of August was Plan Vocational (VBS) in Paso Nuevo. A group of about 10 of us from the church in Puerto Ordaz spent the week in Paso Nuevo, a small village about 2 hours away. We did Plan Vocational in the morning, swam in the river in the afternoon, did home visits to share the gospel and had a church service every evening. Three people came to the Lord this week. It was a long, busy and very special week investing in the lives of the people of the village. I helped Ana with the 7-8 year old class. 

August 17th I started classes with Ana and Luz here in Puerto Ordaz. I have class with Ana in the morning from 8-11 and class with Luz in the afternoons from 3-6. We work on grammar, pronunciation, reading, memorizing bible verses, vocabulary and culture. 
One Sunday I shared the Romans road verses I have memorized during the church service. Here is a small clip of that evening :) 

Every Thursday evening I go with the group (Said, Laideth, Ana and Catherine) to La Ceiba, another small village 30 mins away, for a service with the kids. We sing songs, Laideth gives a lesson, play games and have snacks. This has been a great way to practice Spanish and get to know more kids. 

One weekend in September a group of us from Puerto Ordaz went to Paso Nuevo for a baptism. Two young people were baptized in the river there. It was a special day celebrating what God is doing in their hearts and lives. 

This past week I went to Cruacao for a few days, I have to leave Venezuela every three months for my visa. A contact that Dean (from FIM) has there, Joice, took very good care of me!! Praise the Lord for other believers and for getting me back to Venezuela safely. 

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. 
A few prayer requests: 

  • Strength as I continue to learn Spanish and wisdom for my teachers as they teach. 
  • Ismael (an 8year old who has a hard home life) he is recovering from an infected and broken leg.  
  • Praise that God brought me safely back to Venezuela for another 3 months. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

In His time

Things have been so busy here the last month....yeah I will have been here for one month the 10th!! Yikes!! Where has the time gone?? There have been many ups and a few downs. But God is good through it all.

The big down is that my apartment is not ready for me yet. I am working on getting the walls ready to paint and then when Guillermo comes again he can finish the kitchen. I'm looking forward to this day.

Ups: Both Bible Schools we have had have gone really well!! Met lots of new friends and worked on my Spanish. Our last one is the week of August 10th. We will stay the week in Paso Nuevo and serve the kids there. My classes in Spanish start August 17th. I am super excited for these to start but know I need prayers in strength and humility.

Thanks for all your prayers!!

One specific pray request comes from a friend of mine. Please pray that God would send youth to our churches. We are lacking in the youth.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hola from Venezuela!

God is good! The trip to Venezuela went smoothly. Eveyone and luggage arrived safely here. Thank you for your many prayers and well wishes.

Things have been good so far too. Seeing old friends has been encouraging. Also meeting many new people. We attened church in La Ceiba and Puerto Ordaz on Sunday. I had never been to the new church plant in La Ceiba. The kids were very welcoming. I also spent Wednesday at VBS there. It was a busy and fun morning!!

Marcia (cousin) and I have been busy going through things and shopping for things I will need in my apartment.

The transition has been smooth and the Spanish has come back fairly quickly. I look forward to making more new friends and starting Spanish classes.

Thanks for your prayers!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Spring happenings

At the end of April I “moved” to Grandma Hinrich’s house. For two weeks we worked on getting things ready for the garage sale. Thank you to all those who helped and donated things and came and found treasures!! After pricing and setting things up for four days we realized we had more than would fit in Grandma’s garage, with more continuing to come in. So we decided to open the garage sale a week early and did a full Saturday garage sale. This gave us space for the 20 boxes of things waiting for us on the porch. That first Saturday was a HUGE success. It gave us room for more things the next week. That second weekend of garage sale was yet another blessing and HUGE success. It was forecasted to rain everyday that week, God blessed us with only a few rain showers and most storms in the night. Praise the LORD!! God was not done with the blessings He showered on me through this  garage sale, we made enough money for me to get a new computer that will help me in Venezuela and to continue to connect with my supporters back home. God is good!!! 

The rest of May was filled with graduation parties, visiting family and finishing up packing and preparations for Venezuela. 

Looking ahead to the rest of my time here and a few prayer requests are below. 
June 15th- going to Chicago to hand in the papers for my Visa. Pray this is processed quickly! 
June 16-19th- Trip to the home office in Pennsylvania, FIM. For my exit interview. 
June 28th- commissioning service during the Sunday morning church service at Oakdale. 
July 5th- Farewell party in Des Moines (more details to follow) A time to share in fellowship. 
July 9th- Depart for Venezuela!!! 

If you are in the Meriden area on the 28th I welcome you to come and be a part of my commissioning service during the morning worship service at Oakdale E Free church in Meriden, 10:30AM. 

 Thank you for your prayers and support!! God is good and continues to prove himself faithful. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Things are falling in to place

Things are getting very exciting!! This past month Marcia, Guillermo and I went to the Venezuela consulate in Chicago to turn in visa paper work. Good news; I have all the paper work they need for my visa and it won’t take 3 months to process, it should only take a few weeks. However, I will have to go back in June to turn all of them in, so that the dates they give me are closer to when I actually leave.

We have set the date for departure!! I will be leaving on July 9th!! Lord willing all my support will be in by June 15th. I am currently at 87%!! Another huge praise! I need 13 families to support me at $30 a month and I will be at 100%. If you would like to be one of the 13 let me know. E-mail me if you have any questions. God has been answering prayers! 

With this departure date I will be in Venezuela just in time for Vacation Bible school at all three churches!! I am very excited to get to see all kids and participate in this ministry.

Looking ahead to a few things.  I will be presenting my ministry at Oakdale E Free in Meriden, Iowa next Sunday, April 26th at 6:00 pm. Everyone in the area is welcome to come and be a part of this night! Hope to see you there!!

Grandma’s garage is quickly filling with things for our garage sale! So many people have already donated things. It is exciting to see all those who are willing to pitch in and help. If you are in the Des Moines area please come!!
May 8-9th
At Jean Hinrichs’ house 333 NW 72nd Pl Ankeny, IA  50023
We are still taking donations!! I will come pick them up too!

Prayer requests and praises:
God’s faithfulness and provision with getting me to 87%
A good garage sale
That the next few months will be filled with good memories of family and friends.
The leadership in Venezuela, faithfulness and strength.

Thank you for praying!!
Alicia Whitmore

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Marching on!

March has been a month full of ups and downs.

It started off with a pretty big down as we said good-bye to my grandpa (Hinrichs). Early the morning of March 1st while singing hymns to him and holding his hand he passed way. It was a blessing to be there for my family, moments I will not soon forget. The memorial fund was set up to go towards Venezuela and my expenses in moving there. This was an up as many family and friends gave generously to my ministry in memory of Grandpa.

 The rest of the month has been filled with meetings and phone calls to families and friends. I saved the people closest to where I live for this time, so I’m not traveling too much. It has been a blessing to see these people join the team both in finances and prayers! God is good!!

My monthly giving has gone from 60 to 81% in the last month!! What an awesome God we serve!! Thank you for all your prayers, it isn’t possible without you.

I finished my class on Language and Culture learning. It was a great experience and I look forward to using all the things I learned in Venezuela. The teachers were great and I learned a lot about how life does not stop or slow down just because you are taking a class.

Please be in prayer for my visa process. I thought this would be a much simpler process. Come to find out I will have to travel to Chicago to turn in my application and then wait up to three months before receiving it. My target date for Venezuela is now late summer to early autumn. It is all in God’s hands and His timing. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

The garage sale is now for sure happening!!
May 8-9, 2015 
At Jean Hinrichs’ house 333 NW 72nd Pl Ankeny, IA  50023
Let me know if you have any questions or things you would like to donate!! We will take donations starting April 27th. 

Thank you for all your love, support and prayers!!
Alicia Whitmore

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

With a full heart

God is good! My heart and schedule are very full after the last two months.  I have been encouraged by the love and support of the people God has blessed me with. Visits to churches, AWANA groups and individuals have been keeping me busy. I have met with old and new friends.

God has provided for me 60% of my monthly giving and 100% of my one time gifts!! Praise Him!! Thank you so much for your faithful giving and prayers, they are appreciated more than you know.

This past month I started taking a class on Language and Culture learning. It has been very encouraging and helpful in what I will be doing in Venezuela the first two years. The class has given me really good ideas on how to learn the language in new and exciting ways. I am beginning to feel more excited and ready to learn Spanish and be able to minister to the people even in the learning stages.

Later on in May we are planning to have a garage sale in the Ankeny area. All of the proceeds will go towards Venezuela. If you or anyone you know has stuff they would like to get rid of as you begin to spring clean please let me know!! I will come and get it from you. Also if you are in the Des Moines/Ankeny area think about coming and seeing what we have!

Thank you for all of your love and support!!
Alicia Whitmore

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our God is faithful!!

Over half way!! 55% God is good!!

The last two months have had their ups and downs. In December I sent out an update letter to all of my contacts, had a few meetings with individuals, met with churches and enjoyed the Holidays with my family. At the beginning of December I was at 31% and praying to get to 51%.

At the beginning of January I spent a lot of time with the family I was nannying for and helping them pack. January 8th we packed them up and they moved to Stanton, NE. I miss them terribly but know that God will bless their family at their new church. Now my days are filled with contacting people and sending letters. I even had the opportunity to share with a 2nd grade Sunday school about my ministry and missions. That was a fun and exciting morning! There really is no group I can’t share my ministry with, I am more than happy to share God’s plan for Venezuela with any one.

Over the last two months donations and monthly supporters have come in, God is good! I am now at 50%!! Things are going in the right direction. Thank you to everyone who has become a supporter!!

This next month I will start taking a class on how to be a language and culture learner. This will prepare me for learning Spanish and Venezuelan culture once I am in Venezuela.
Prayers and Praises:
  • Being at 55%!! That the next 45% will come in quickly 
  • Meeting with families, churches and groups
  • My language learning class
  • The preparations for my apartment in Venezuela will go well

Thanks so much!!
Alicia Whitmore