January 20 2017

I woke up at 6 today, I got ready then I went to Anne&Diedrichs around 6:45. We had coffee, and shortly after 7 people started arriving! I was going to help her with kind of like a garage sale. She had gotten clothes from an old 2nd hand store,
because they knew she knew people who were in need of clothes. So she sold each item for 2 B’s each, (which is about 35 cents each). So I helped out with that a little and relaxed there. When I left around 10, she invited me for lunch! So around 11, I went
back to their place, Diedrichs sister and her youngest son were there as well. We had varaniki and melanasa! It tasted really good! Diedrich gave me a ride home around 1 because it was so hot, which was super kind of him. I had maddach shloap until 3. Then
we cleaned up the house completely! As we were done and taking a break, Anne pulls up to our yard, she brings us a plate of homemade mennonite cheese!! After, I make a few calls back home. It’s so good to talk to people from home. I miss them all so much.
For supper, we had leftovers from lunch (scalloped potatoes.) After supper, I showered and we (Gabi, Melanie & I) sat around talking for a little while. Now it’s 9:00 here and I’m about ready to hit the hay! Almost done my 2nd week here!!

January 21 2017

Got up around 8:30 today. Gabby went to Santa Cruz with a friend she knows from there. So I sat outside and had my coffee while reading, then went in to make a banana smoothie and sat outside to read some more. Went inside cleaned up a bit, Melanie
came over with her stuff, she is going to stay here until Friday of next week. We made chicken and rice for lunch. Then it was time for my favorite part of the day, MADDACH SHLOAP! I often don’t sleep, but I like having time alone and just relaxing. After,
I washed the dishes and cleaned up a bit. Then sat around. Gabby came home around 5. Before supper I sat outside on the deck to read. After supper, I showered and Melanie and I played UNO for a while. Now it’s almost 9 and I am pooped! Feeling very drained

today. Excited for church tomorrow!:)

January 22 2017

Got up at 7, to attempt to do my hair today. It was a fail lol, but I tried and got ready for church. Sat outside with my coffee and then the 3 of us (Gabi, Melanie and I) headed of to church! John Froese (he used to be the pastor here, now lives in Canada) did the service today, it was about the importance of faith, it was really good!:) At church Iliana invited me over for terere at her house, so I went there for a while. I really like her already! She seems so kind and genuine:) Then came home to Casa Blanca and had lunch. Then it was time for maddach shloap. But I just talked with some people from back home. Really missing home today. Although it is good here, I still miss my people. They are my home. So yeah, now everyone is sleeping here, and everyone is in church at home. And I am thinking.. and thinking.. and thinking. Not all bad things, but many good things. I am so thankful for everyone back hometoday. I know that although I may not be with everyone at home physically, but I am in their thoughts and prayers:) I pray God will use me here. He has me here for a reason. Although it may only be for a short while, that He can still shine through me, and that others may see Christ in me.

This morning has already been a bit of an eye opener for me. God has just really made Himself known. I am so unworthy of His love. I fail time and time again. Only because I take things into my own hands. I only look to myself and my selfish desires. I am
here to please our Heavenly Father! If that means giving a year away from loved ones, so be it, if it means a lifetime away from them, let it be. Whatever pleases the Lord, that is what I want. Lately I feel like I have been drifting away from Him. I feel sorry for myself. I am having a bit of a pity party. I am being so selfish. I regret so many things I have thought, said and done this past while. The Lord should ALWAYS be #1 in my life. HIM above all else. I can not do anything without our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I need the Lord for everything in my life. I know that I grow the most in hard times. I think that is a big reason God has placed me here. He knows that I will try to do this myself and sink and sink and sink until I just don’t know where to turn, then I will once again look to Him and see His strength and love and grace. I seem to look to Him and seem to need the Lord most when I am going through trials. It’s not how it should be.. I need to learn how to praise him in the storm, as well on the days of sunshine. God never waivers. His love, mercy, grace, strength, everything about Him stand strong. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I long to have a faith that does not waiver, that my faith will stand strong on His promises, not matter the situation. and it was only Tina and I. We started talking about meeting new people and such, so she decides that I’ll come with her to meet a lady, since she needed to bring her a key anyway! So we walk over to this house where the lady lives, (she’s a widow) and she had company! As we knocked on the door, before we even really say hi, she rushes us inside, makes us sit down at the table, where there is a lot of food prepared! There was a man sitting at the table and another woman in the living room, they are the youth leaders. The older lady brings us coffee and keeps adding more and more to the table!! As we sit and eat she tells a lot of stories, she seems super sweet. After we left, Tina and I take a walk along the main road, she explained to me where different people lived and such, then a guy invites us onto the yard and tells us to come for terere. So we walk over and sit there with about 4 other girls and the guy, I was really awkward, they mainly spoke spanish so I was lost lol. When we left, we went over to her brothers
yard to feed her pigs and cow! Was pretty cool. I was back home around 6:45 so I quickly showered and got ready, Tina came back around 7:30,with her Moto and I hopped on and off to yougant shtun we were! I met many more people there! A lot of couples. I really liked it though, people were sitting around drinking terere and talking. The youth leaders had been in germany so they showed many stories and pictures! After, we had more terere and they made crepes on a stick, filled with cheese and ham, it tasted really good! I was back home around 10:00. What an eventful day! After I got home I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and really started missing my family and friends. Although my day had been really good so far, it felt very overwhelming to not have people from home
to share it with. ❤

January 23 2017

Got up around 8:30, got ready and such, Iliana (the other english teacher) had texted me so I went over to her place and we sat outside and had terere a bit then went back inside. I was going to help her with unpacking and organizing but we ended up sitting and talking for a while! Came back home around 11:30 and had lunch, then maddach shloap. At 2, Gabby and I went to a ladys house close by to get our measurements for our school uniform. At 3, I went to Santa Cruz with Eva and her children to pick up a few things, as well as to pick up a teacher from the airport. Were back home around 8:30, then Melanie and I cut up most of my fruit to put into the freezer for smoothies! Showered, now it’s time for bed! Teacher workshop starts tomorrow morning!

January 24 2017

IT RAINED ALL NIGHT!!! Started around 3am, it sounded so amazing. Got up at 7:00, got ready to go to the Teacher Workshops. Gabi, Melanie, Iliana and I got a ride with Arlie to school since it was raining outside. Were in classes from 8:30-3:30. It was A LOT of information. Was about Classroom management and procedures and stuff today. After, I went to Ilianas for coffee… REAL coffee. It was good, Naomi Hall, (the lady who is doing the workshops) came for coffee as well! It was good. Then I came home,
started trying to plan things, had supper, attempted to plan again but just got overwhelmed with not being able to plan most things because I don’t have all the information yet. So I went to have a shower… THERE WAS WARM WATER!!!! By warm I just mean not ice cold, but it was so good.

January 25 2017

Got up at 7. Got ready, walked to the school with Iliana at 8. Were in classes until 3. Today was Fred Jones and Teaching as a ministry. After, went to Ilianas for terere, Whitney came over, I got to offically meet her. She will be filling in for Iliana for 3 months yet. Came home and lay in bed and relaxed a while:) I made supper, fried meat & onions with rice! Melanie and I ate, Gabi was talking to people from home. After, I showered and was in bed by 8! Very exhausted. Was sleeping before 9!

January 26 2017

Got up at 7, felt SOO refreshed. Attempted to make a smoothie, it was a fail, the blender we bought here doesn’t do a great job. Went to school at 8. Was there until 3, was very restless today. Went to Ilianas for a few hours, had terere and talked, it was really good! Came home, chilled in bed, pinterested. Made supper for myself. Was on the phone with Nicole for about an hour. Showered, and here I sit. I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed again these past few days. I am in that “waiting” place again. I don’t have much information about which classes I’ll be teaching, or what to prepare, I haven’t even been able to  look at the curriculum yet! It’s all making me feel very un-prepared and I don’t know what to do about it! Still learning how exactly one “goes with the flow”.  ;P    And in all honestly, I haven’t been spending as much time in the Word as I probably should. I know I need to prioritize my life right now. God always comes first, lately it feels different. Like I haven’t been trying enough. I want to spend time with Him, but towards the end of the day, I am feeling so drained and I don’t find the motivation. I feel very mout-lous. I am trying with all I have not to be real with myself and with God. I don’t want to be real, because that means I will be vulnerable again. I’ve built a bit of a wall since getting here. Ever since leaving Edmonton, flying away. Leaving. I have almost refused myself to feel much. Not joy. Not pain. Nothing. There’s moments while talking to people from home that my heart
aches so much. I want to be back there, but as soon as the phone call is done, I harden my heart again. I dunno. Tomorrow is the last day of training! I think this weekend I’ll have to set aside a whole day just for me and God. 

Prayer Requests

• Patience


•Language Barrier

•Focus on God

Joanna ♡