Wednesday, December 3, 2014

When Cultures Collide

I would like to tell you a story this morning.  It is a true story.  I don't want you to pity the missionary children - I want you to  know how to pray for missionary children better.
As we all know, missionary children grow up in a different culture.  Yes, they are American, and we parents do our best to instill a love of America into our children.  But what happens when they come back to the States?  Sometimes two cultures collide.  When those cultures collide, many different emotions are experienced - by the children, by the parents, and by the loving people who happen to see the "collision."
Opening Scene:  One Sunday morning as Lucy and her family are heading to church.  Lucy and her brother pepper their parents with questions:  "Is there a children's class?"  "Can I go to the kids' class?"  "May I have an offering?"  The parents try not to be frustrated with the long list of questions.  As the family arrives at yet another new church, Mama and Daddy take the kids and head into the church.  A dear lady offers to help Mama by showing her to the kids' classes.  Lucy and her brother, Bud, are SO excited!!!  Lil' Sister doesn't really care - she has Mama and that's all that matters!
Scene 2:  Mama, Bud, and Lucy sitting together in church.  Lucy and Bud are doing their best to follow the service - stand, sit, stand, sing, shake hands, sit......  Then Mama and Bud sing a special.  After the special, Lucy and Bud go to children's church.
Scene 3:  Mama goes to pick up the children from their classes.  Mama notices that Bud is sitting on a bench with the other children.  She tells him to stay right there - she has to go get Lucy and Lil' Sister.  Bud smiles and goes back to his bag of goodies from class.  As Mama peeks into Lucy's class, she sees Lucy sitting by herself with her head down.  Mama immediately assumes that Lucy is needing a "gratitude adjustment."  Teacher explains that the children were playing "Musical Chairs" and Lucy ended up "out."  When Lucy comes to Mama, Lucy is crying.  Mama stops and tries to find out why Lucy is sobbing!  In frustration and despair, Lucy blurts out, "Nobody would let me sit down!  They wouldn't let me have a chair!  The children wouldn't let me sit in a chair!"
*Do you see the "collision"?  Lucy has never played "Musical Chairs," and if she has, she didn't recognize the game because she has played it in another language.  (We smile at the thought of doing things in another language, and not recognizing it in our native tongue, but it happens - especially to missionary children.)  In her mind, the children were being rude to her and not sharing a chair with her.  In Teacher's mind, Lucy is upset because she is "out."  Mama has mixed emotions.  She's feels hurt for her daughter, who doesn't understand a game that is normal for other American children.  She feels as if she has failed her daughter by not teaching her a simple American child's game.  She wants to laugh, but this is a crisis to Lucy.  Mama also feels unprepared and thoughtless - yet how could she have known such a thing would happen?
Closing Scene:  Amid all the people walking around, Mama kneels and gives Lucy a hug and tries to explain.  Mama, Lucy, and Bud play the game together in the hotel that afternoon, using pillows instead of chairs.  Teacher sees Mama before the evening service and asks about Lucy.  Teacher is afraid Lucy didn't enjoy herself in class.  Mama explains why Lucy was upset.  Teacher nods in relief.
It is my opinion that Missionary Kids are heroes.  They sit in a car for hours on end, they go to places they've never been, they meet people who have known them since they were born, but they don't know those people, they have no schedule or routine.  Are they perfect?  No.  They struggle just like any other child.  The only difference is geographical.
So when you are praying for your missionaries, please remember to pray especially for the missionary children.  Pray for the missionary parents to have wisdom to properly handle the "collisions" that will occur.  But pray for the missionary children who experience the "collisions" first hand.  Pray that we (parents, children, and loving by-standers) will let these "collisions" become a tool to help each of us to be closer to our Saviour and bring honor to Him!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Don't Despise your Heritage

I got to thinking recently about how special each person is to God.  He created us in His image.  I could stop right there, and spend all day just marveling in the fact that He loves me so much that He created me to be like Him!
As I continued to think about people, the Lord reminded me of something very important.  Not only did He create us in His image, but He fashioned each one of us differently.  He put us into different families, different circumstances in life, different cultures.  Maybe I think about things like this because God allows me to be a missionary (maybe I'm just weird - I don't know), but many times I have met fellow missionaries and I think about how God has fitted that person exactly for the country to which God has called him.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I get my eyes on what I am not, rather than on what God has asked me to do for Him.  I become discontented with what God has given me, and I forget that God is the one who has given me the heritage that is mine.  Many people love to study out their family trees and trace their genealogies as far back as they can.  They like to discover if their family heritage is German, Italian, English, French, etc.  To some people, it is important to embrace the culture of their family tree.  Others try to escape it, and be part of another culture.
Maybe sometimes we despise our heritage.  But God gave us that heritage and there are no accidents with the Lord.  God gives us our heritage, our circumstances, our experiences so that we may be a help and a blessing to someone else.  We get the opportunity to use all these things that God has placed in our lives to point another soul to Christ.
You know, when we are saved, God gives us His heritage.  Psalm 16:6 says, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."  I've heard this verse used in reference to  the "goodly heritage" of growing up in a Christian home.  But what if you didn't grow up in a Christian home?  Can you still have a "goodly heritage"?  YES!!  Through salvation, Christ has given each of us a "goodly heritage"! No matter what our nationality, our past, our family situation, or our circumstances in life, God has given us a "goodly heritage" through His Son Jesus.  God made us exactly how He wanted.  He placed us in the family we have, with the heritage of that family.  He wants us to use everything He has given us for His honor and glory.  When I remember that God made me exactly how He wanted, it helps me get my eyes off of what I don't have, what I am not, what I can't do, or what I have done.  It helps me get my eyes back on Jesus and back on my feet and going forward for the Lord!  Let's not despise the heritage God has given us.  Let's let God use it to please Him.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Do you ever have those moments in your life when you just stop and look around you and then say, "Wow!"?
Today is one of those days for me. Let me share some of my"Wow!" moments with you this morning.
I am in Alaska. Wow! Alaska is one of those places that I have only dreamed of going to and I get to be here! It is definitely my kind of place - beautiful views, friendly people, and a coffee barn on every corner! Wow!
Speaking of coffee, did you know that today is National Coffee Day? And I get to be in a place where drinking coffee isn't just a hobby, it's a way of life! Wow!
Martha and Ian are experiencing something new this morning. They went to school today. The church we were with yesterday has a Christian school. My kids get to go to school with somebody besides Mommy and each other! I miss them! I love homeschooling my kids and being a homeschool Mom, but as I was scrambling to get the kids ready this morning, I had another "Wow!" moment. My "Wow!" moment came in the form of admiration for the moms that get their kids up, fed, dressed, and out the door on time for school 5 days a week - not to mention Sunday too! WOW!
So here I am in Alaska (did I say WOW yet?), celebrating the"Wows" in my life. You know, saying "WOW!" really is just another way of saying "Thank you, Lord!" and showing gratitude. So what makes you say "WOW!" today?
I think I'll just go get a cup of coffee from one of those Alaskan coffee barns to celebrate all the WOWS in my life - including National Coffee Day! WOW!

Monday, September 8, 2014

First Impressions

As I write to you this morning, I am in New Mexico, drinking a Banana Nut Cappuccino - Mmmmmm!  So far, America has had quite an impression on Martha and Ian.  It's so much fun to see things through their eyes!
I am grateful for each of you who have been praying for our trip here.  The kids did so great with all the flying, tight connections, and just sitting and waiting in the airports!  Ian got a little upset right before one of our flights.  They had us sit and wait so they could redo our boarding passes (and put us sitting all together instead of all spread out!).  Ian started crying as he watched the other people getting on the plane ahead of us - he was SURE the plane would leave without us!  It didn't and God gave us a special blessing - a man and a lady offered to switch places with Martha, Phebe, and me so we could sit right behind Matt and Ian!  What a hug from Jesus that was!
When we got into the Atlanta airport, the kids saw something they had never seen before.  They tugged on my hand, and started pointing, saying, "Mommy, what is THAT?!"  I looked to see what they were pointing at and began laughing.  It was a drinking fountain.  We don't have drinking fountains in Peru, and if you do find one, you can't drink the water!  I took them over to the "water fall" as Ian calls it, showed them how it worked, and let them try it.  They loved it!!  Now we can't go past any drinking fountain without trying it out!  Fortunately, I remembered to tell them not to put their mouths on the spout!  Unfortunately, I didn't think about telling Ian not to lick the water out of the basin!  Oops!
So we have been here almost a week.  It is amazing to Ian and Martha that Mommy knows how to drive!  They have seen Matt drive - he has his Peruvian driver's license.  They didn't know that Mommy could drive too!  Martha asked me yesterday with a tone of awe in her voice, "Are you going to drive today, Mommy?"
I'm sure we'll have many more stories to add to our storehouse of memories before we head back to Peru!  I think about how delightful it is to watch my children make these discoveries - things that I have known, but to them it is all new and exciting!  It makes the "hum-drum" things exciting to me once more!  Then I think about our Heavenly Father and how delightful it is to Him when He sees His children making spiritual discoveries!  What a joy it is to serve the Lord as a family!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Epistles in Our Hearts

The McKendree Family
 "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:  forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."  2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Matt, Sarah, Juan, Martha, Ian, & Phebe

The McKendree Family with Pepe and Lupe


Jose, Eli, Coco, Olga, Isabel, Hilda

Efata Baptist Deaf Church - Callao Dulanto
Ian the Hero

Martha the Lady

Dorcas the Hija (Daughter)

Pastoral Duties?

Irene with her family, the McKendree Family with Esther

Pepe & Betty with grandchildren and the McKendree Family

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Glimpse of Heaven

In my last post, I mentioned listening to my friend's Japanese Radio Station.  Yes, I'm listening to it as I type these thoughts.  While listening to the station recently, I heard "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" sung in Japanese.  This morning I heard "How Great Thou Art."
It's a funny thing about knowing a foreign language.  After a while you begin to think in that language.  I still find myself thinking in Cebuano occasionally - usually when I 'm trying to "wax eloquent" in Spanish!
Anyways, as I was listening to "How Great Thou Art" in Japanese, I found myself singing the words in Spanish.  The same thought crossed my mind this morning as it did when I heard "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" being sung in Japanese.
Beloved, how often do we stop to think of how wonderful Heaven will really be?  "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."  Revelation 7:9-10
Can you imagine hearing something like "The Hallelujah Chorus" being sung in many different languages?  Wow!  To me, that is something exciting to think about!  I think of all the friends that God has given me who are missionaries.  I have friends who know Swahili, French, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, English, Cebuano, Portuguese, and Sign Language -  just to name a few!  What a beautiful sight and sound it will be in Heaven to hear all those languages!  Will the Deaf need to use Sign Language in Heaven?  I don't think so, but I think we'll use it anyway - it is truly a beautiful language!
I really have to laugh at myself!  I listen to a Japanese Radio Station, and find myself singing the songs in Spanish, English, or Sign Language.  Yet, what a beautiful glimpse of Heaven my Lord gives me!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

One More Year

Today is a very special day.  Today is the day I celebrate one more year of being a Daughter of the King!  Yes, today is my spiritual birthday.  God has given me 28 years to love Him and serve Him.  I'll admit, I haven't always done my best, and sometimes I'm not a very good soldier.  How grateful I am that His mercies are new every morning!!
As I am typing this, I am listening to the radio station that my missionary friends in Japan have.   About the only word I understand in Japanese is "Konichiwa" (I had to check and make sure I spelled that right!), but they play a lot of instrumental music.  Every song this morning has been exactly what I have needed to hear!  (This radio station is extra-special, because the missionary's wife (who is one of my dearest friends) and I have the same spiritual birthday!)
In my mind's eye, I see a little girl sitting in church.  She normally sits right next to her parents, but this Sunday she is sitting at the other end of the pew.  It is invitation time, and her heart is quaking.  She has just heard her Preacher preach a message about unsaved church members.  She is wondering how Preacher knew the condition of her heart, when she realizes the Holy Spirit is prompting her to go forward and get her salvation settled.  "How can I?" she thinks.  "Everyone thinks I'm already saved.  What will people say?"  Putting her pride and the opinions of people aside, she goes forward and tells her Preacher that she needs to be saved.  Her Preacher's wife takes her to Preacher's office and shows her the plan of salvation.  The verses were not new - she has known those verses for a long time!  But this Sunday is different...she moved those verses and that knowledge from her head to her heart!  She prayed and received Christ as her personal Saviour!
28 years later.....Now that little girl is all grown up.  She is married and has three dear children of her own.  She has had the privilege of living in the Philippines, and now she gets to live in Peru.  She has the blessing of serving the Lord with her family.  They work together to reach the Deaf for Christ.
I never could have imagined all the things the Lord had in store for me that Sunday morning I sat in Preacher's office and asked Jesus to live in my heart!  Now I sit here typing these words, listening to a Japanese radio station play "Wonderful Grace of Jesus."  I have a little boy sitting on my lap, asking me if the song on the radio is about Jesus in Heaven.  I find myself thinking about that song "Wonderful Grace of Jesus."  I used to sing that song with my Mom when we were in the car on our way to town.  I always loved singing that song with Mom, along with "Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul."  I liked them because they were the longest songs in the songbook!  I loved them because my Mom would sing them to me during thunderstorms so I wouldn't be afraid.  I love them now because they remind me of my Mom, who is now in Heaven.  I love them because they remind me that the grace of Jesus really IS wonderful!
28 years....the years have gone by so quickly!  How grateful I am that Jesus died to save me!  Beloved, do you know that Jesus died to save you?  He is no respecter of persons.  He died on the cross for you - no matter what you've done or where you've been.  He loves you.  If you have never accepted His free gift of salvation, won't you accept Him today?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Unnoticed Blessings

I thought you would like to see some recent pictures of my growing kiddos!  Hubby and I are so very blessed to have these three treasures!
Martha and Ian love Phebe so much!  I didn't have the camera handy recently when Ian and Phebe were looking at each other...I wish I could have captured that moment.  Ian was looking at Phebe, and she was giving her big brother such a sweet, adoring look.  It was certainly one of those "Awww!!!" moments!

 Martha is my "Little Mama"!  She loves holding Phebe and reading books to her.  While I do have to remind both Martha and Ian that Phebe is not a dolly, I am grateful that they love her so much!

 Phebe is growing so quickly!  She is rolling over, and taking great delight in wiggling herself around.  She'll be crawling before I know it!  I giggle to myself as I remind Martha and Ian that one of these days Phebe will be following them around everywhere!

I am grateful for the blessings God has given me.  You know, sometimes I get so focused on the "big" blessings (answers to prayers, a kindness received, etc.) that I forget about the "Unnoticed" blessings (an hour of sunshine on a mostly cloudy day, a good bargain at the grocery store, a hug and a sticky kiss from one of my kids, etc.)!
It's easy to be thankful for the big blessings.  What "unnoticed" blessings have we been blessed with today?

Monday, July 28, 2014

"The Year of the Tough Books"

The Chinese have a different animal representing every year.  We've all heard "The Year of the Horse" or "The Year of the Tiger."  For me, this has been "The Year of the Tough Books"!  Let me explain....
God in His wisdom has led me through some of the "tough books" in the Bible this year for my quiet time with Him!  You know - those books full of genealogies and prophecies - the ones you were tempted to skim through for your required reading for your Old Testament Survey class in Bible College?  Okay, let's be honest, maybe some of us Bible College graduates DID skim through those books!  Perhaps it's just the season of life that I am currently in, perhaps I appreciate these books more now that I'm older.  Whatever the reason, I am here to tell you that I am thankful for the Old Testament books God has led me to read this year!
Looking back through my Bible reading journal, I am blessed to see all the nuggets God has given me from these books - books like 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Leviticus, Jeremiah, Ezekiel.  Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying - ALL the Bible is a blessing, but God has allowed these particular books of the Bible to be SPECIAL blessings to me this year!
Right now I am reading through Ezekiel.  Yesterday I read chapter 36 and today I was in chapter 37.  What a blessing to see God's heart for Israel!  It was a particular blessing to me to see God's heart in the matter of restoration - how He longs to draw not only Israel close to Himself, but us also!  I know the book of Ezekiel was written to Israel, but how precious to know that my Lord wants to include ME in the blessings and applications of those precious promises!  He is waiting to include ANY person in those same blessings and promises!
As I read these verses, I began to think about the ministry the Lord has allowed us to have here in Peru.  For the past 2 years, He has allowed us to work alongside hurting people.  It is not a ministry I would ever have imagined (or maybe even chosen), but what a joy and blessing to be used as a channel to bring healing and restoration to hurting people!  I will miss the Deaf of Callao.  And yet...I look forward to the ministry that God has for us in Iquitos.
My heart breaks when I think of all the hurting people there are around me - hurting for different reasons...a life of sin, a rebellious child, unsaved family members, offenses from a brother or sister in Christ...the list goes on and on.  How comforting it is to rest in God's promise of love and care!  How sweet to see God's heart and concern for the hurting!  How blessed to see God's desire for restoration!    How humbling to think that I can let God use me to bring healing to those around me!
Have there been some tough moments reading through these Old Testament books?  YES!!  Some days I struggle to understand as I read through the genealogies and the prophecies.  But this I can say...just when I start to give in to the despair of not understanding, the Lord gives me one verse or sometimes a whole chapter that is such a blessing and encouragement!  My heart rejoices when the Lord shows me these wonderful treasures from His Word.  It is exciting to see how these verses apply to my life and the situations I face every day.  I can honestly say that I am grateful the Lord has given me "The Year of the Tough Books" for my quiet time with Him!

Monday, July 21, 2014

"My Shadow"

One of my favorite poems is called "My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I remember a little girl sitting with her "Pama" (Grandma), listening to her read this poem.  I can still hear her voice as she read to me, and I can still hear my own giggles of delight!  

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Now that I'm all grown up and have children of my own, I often think about this poem.  I took the liberty of changing the words to this favorite poem of mine.  You see, my children are like little shadows that go in and out with me...(Do you know how much fun cleaning a toilet can be?  If you don't think so (like me) - just ask my 5 year old who begged me this morning to let her clean the toilets!  Has a way of changing that "ho-hum" attitude, doesn't it?)

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And how God can use him someday, I can clearly see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him play before me, as with the chores I try to keep ahead!

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow –
Very much like proper children, which to a parent doesn’t see so slow;
For he sometimes acts more grown-up with his attitudes and all,
And he sometimes acts so sweet that I wish he’d stay so small!

He only has a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a teacher of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s eager to learn you can see;
I’d think it wonderful if he sticks to God as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found God’s shining dew on every verse looked up;
And my busy little shadow, like an energetic bumblebee,

Had crept up quietly behind me, waiting to sit upon my knee.

I am reminded of how shadows change and how fleeting they are....just like the time I have with my children.  Martha, Ian, and Phebe - my three little shadows!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Planning, Preparing, and Packing

Efata Baptist Church - Iquitos, Peru
Planning, Preparing, and Packing - that pretty much sums up what I've been doing lately!  With only about 7 weeks left until furlough, I've been trying to get some packing done every day!  Needless to say, my days have been busy!  I'm actually packing twice right now to save having to pack again later.  Packing twice????  Yes, I'm packing for furlough (suitcases, etc.) and I'm also packing up the house so that we'll be ready to move when we get back from furlough.  MOVE?!?!?  Yes, the Lord is moving us to Iquitos, Peru.  We are excited about all that the Lord has for us there.  This city is special to me because when I first started praying about marrying Matt (already knowing he was coming to Peru as a missionary to the Deaf), the Lord directed my attention to this city, and I started praying for this city.  Now I get to live there!  Iquitos is considered to be the world's largest city that is inaccessible by road!  You can only get there by plane or by boat.  Isn't that exciting?!?
Not only are we packing, but we are preparing for furlough and for our ministry in Iquitos.  I've also been busy with school plans for the kids.  I've been trying to get things in order and gather all the school materials I will be needing from now until our next furlough.  I get so wrapped up in my plans sometimes, that I plan myself right into oblivion!  Am I the only Mom who does that?  The kids are doing well.  They are loving school (Martha's in 1st grade and Ian's in K4) and especially loving having a baby sister!  I'm not sure Phebe always appreciates their displays of affection, but I am grateful that Martha and Ian love Phebe!  As I am writing this, Martha and Ian are lying on the floor next to Phebe.  They are telling her stories, making weird noises and laughing hysterically at every reaction of Phebe!
Matt's Birthday Cake
We also recently celebrated Matt's birthday.  We had a family celebration, then about a week after his birthday, the Deaf came to the house to for another celebration!  They brought him a cake and a agenda book.  We had each one of them sign it on the inside.  What a special treasure!  I think it's safe to say he had a great birthday!

Iquitos, Peru

Monday, June 30, 2014

Straight Forward

I've started reading through Ezekiel and what a blessing it has been so far!  The Lord has certainly been using some of the "toughest" books in the Bible to bring me some of the sweetest blessings!  This morning I read Ezekiel 10.  The very last phrase of chapter 10 (v. 22) says, "…they went every one straight forward."
Pretty profound, isn't it?  Now I realize that Ezekiel was talking about the movement of the cherubims and the wheels.  But that statement arrested my attention:  "…they went every one straight forward."  I went back and looked at the chapter again.  Three times Ezekiel explains the movement of the cherubims and the wheels.  "…they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went" (v. 11).  "…turned not from beside them" (v. 16).  "…they went every one straight forward" (v. 22).
Then I read Proverbs 30.  Can you guess which verse the Lord brought to my attention?  Proverbs 30:30 - "A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;"  The Lord is trying to tell me something!
As I sit here writing to you, Martha is sitting on the floor next to me reading Proverbs  to Phebe.  (I think she is giving her a sermon while she's at it!  I heard some admonishing about modesty…)  Ian just came in and joined the girls.  What a precious sight it is to see my children reading the Bible together - learning to go "straight forward."
One the the desires of my heart is to not only teach my children to love Jesus, but also to teach them to go "straight forward" in their service for Him.  As I think about that phrase "straight forward," I also think about how we should not just GO straight forward for the Lord, but we should BE straight forward for the Lord.  To be honest and bold for our Saviour is something we are trying to teach our children.
Praise the Lord for all the wonderful examples given to us in His Word!  Examples that show us how to do and be what Jesus wants for us.  With the Lord's help, let us apply Ezekiel 10:22b to our lives every day:  "…they went every one straight forward."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Learning to Appreciate

I did something last night that I never thought I would - I sat down on the couch with my family and watched an ENTIRE game of soccer!  Okay, okay, there were two motivating factors that prompted this phenomenon:  1.  The World Cup!  2.  The United States was playing!
When I lived in the Philippines as a single missionary, I learned to appreciate basketball.  Before that time, I didn't have much use for (or know much about) the game of basketball.  The Filipinos LOVE basketball!!  While I must confess that basketball is still not my favorite sport to watch, I have learned to appreciate it.
Now I live in Peru, South America, where soccer is King!  Until now, I have had a half-hearted interest in soccer.  I get excited when Peru wins a game.  But let's be honest - having The World Cup right next door in Brazil - it somehow changes your perspective!  The excitement of the Peruvians is contagious!  I've been keeping up with the scores, and we even watched part of the Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina game!  But something changed for me last night….after all, my home country was playing!  It was a great game (USA won!!!), and it was so much fun watching it as a family (Did I mention that the USA won?!?)!
So, now I am learning to appreciate soccer.  Martha and Ian enjoy playing soccer in the hallway of our house!  And it is yet one more connection I can have with the people God has called us to!
Phebe helping Daddy work!

Watching the construction

Mommy and her Treasures
Martha, Phebe, and Ian with Lis (Deaf)

Daddy and his Treasures

Sunday, May 25, 2014

When Opposition Comes

There's a song that the Lord has allowed to play continually in my mind this past week.  Because it has been such an encouragement to me, I wanted to share it with you.

¨The Fire¨
I've been through a fire
That has deepened my desire
To know the living God more and more;
It hasn't been much fun,
But the work that it has done
In my life has made it worth the hurt.
You see, sometimes we need the hard times
To bring us to our knees -
Otherwise we do as we please
And never heed Him;
But He always knows what's best,
And it's when we are distressed
That we really come to know God as He is.

As you may recall, I've been reading through 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles.  I decided to keep going in that part of the Old Testament, so now I am reading through Ezra also.  God has given me so many treasures!  He always gives us just what we need when we need it - doesn't He?  I was so encouraged and blessed when I got to 2 Chronicles 20.  It was just the reminder I needed!  Jehoshaphat faced opposition.  We face opposition.  How Jehoshaphat handled the opposition is a wonderful example of what I should do when I am facing opposition:
1. Pray (Seek the Lord) v. 6-13
2. Hear (and obey) God's instructions v. 15-17
3. Worship v. 18
4. Praise v. 19,21
5. Victory v. 22
6. Gratitude & Joy v. 26-27
7. Rest & Quiet v. 30
The result?  Others are compeled to fear the Lord (v. 29).
I have been praying and trying to hear and heed God's instructions, but I had been especially neglecting number 4 - praise.  I've tried to correct that.  Am I still facing opposition?  Yes, but adding the element of praise has certainly helped ease some of the ache my heart was feeling!  I'm so thankful for all the solutions God has given us in His Word - aren't you?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect?

 So, what have I been up to since you last heard from me?  Turning my living room into a driving course!  Isn't that what every good missionary wife does?  No, this wasn't just a new amusement for Martha and Ian - although they thought it was all great fun!  After much studying, Matt passed his written exam for his Peruvian driver's license.  Those of you who have ever driven (or are currently driving) in a foreign country can appreciate the simplicity of obtaining a driver's license in the good ol' USA!  Back to my story….The next step was to take the driving exam.  Here in Peru, they have a course all set up for the exam.  There are two routes - Ruta A and Ruta B.  They have cameras and watchers placed in different places around the course, and you are allowed 0 mistakes.  Yes, you read it right - 0 (zero) mistakes.  (Gulp!)  After some frustration, the Lord inspired me.  I was desperately searching for a way to be a help and encouragement to my Man!  It started out as sort of a joke when I suggested setting up the driving course in my living room (praise the Lord for a rather large living room)!  Matt took me up on my suggestion and presto - a driving course (complete with a rompe muella - speed bump) fit for a missionary and his two excited children!   I took a video of one of the practice sessions.  I don't know if practice really makes perfect, but it sure helped one missionary pass his driver's test!  The kids and I were so excited to get the phone call telling us he had passed!  We celebrated by going out to eat Chaufa (Chinese food) with three of the men from the church!  The kids were excited that Daddy passed his test, but disappointed that he didn't come home with a new car!
Here are a couple of recent pictures of Phebe.  Hard to believe she is almost 2 months old already!  These pictures were taken the day she received her Peruvian ID card!
On Sunday night (Mother's Day), there was  scuffling sounds on our front porch, then the doorbell rang.  I couldn't imagine who could be at our door at that time of the day, but I had a clue…I could hear one of the Deaf girls laughing!  Sure enough, most of the Deaf girls and their Dorm Moms came by to wish me a "Happy Mother's Day!"  It was the "icing on the cake" for my special Mother's Day!   How I love the special surprises the Lord sends my way!
My Happy Mother's Day Greeting from the Deaf Girls Dorm!

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Hero

He preaches to the Deaf in church.  He has Bible Institute classes with the Deaf.  I watch in amazement as I hear the wisdom of his words.  I gaze in wonder as he brings the Bible to life for the Deaf.
I hear him speak Spanish, and think, "Wow!  What a blessing that he knows this language!  How come I don't know that word???"  I sit and listen to him give counsel and advice, and I find myself wondering, "Where did that wisdom come from?"  Then the Holy Spirit gently reminds me, "Don't you ask ME every day for him to have MY wisdom?"  And with joy my heart replies, "Oh, yes!  And seeing the answer is such a blessing!  Thank you, Lord!"
I see him playing with our children.  While I sit and listen to the laughter of my children, the memories of a happy childhood and time spent with my own Daddy come flooding into my mind.  How grateful I am that my children can know the same joy!  

Who is this man?  Is he perfect?  No, he is a sinner saved by grace - just like me.  He is my precious gift from the Lord.  He is my dear husband.  I love him so much!  He is my Hero.

 What a privilege it is to be married to God's perfect will for my life!  What a joy it is to walk by his side and serve the Lord together!