Friday, March 21, 2014


I had a friend e-mail me recently with a request to see a picture of my "nice, round self"!  So, here I am!
Martha's Birthday Cupcakes
This time next Friday, I should be already at the hospital awaiting Phebe's arrival!  Martha and Ian are excited!  I don't think they realize how small Phebe will be - though I have make it a point to show them "tiny babies" when we see them.  They have both been bringing different toys and telling me, "This is for Phebe!"  I love the generosity springing from their hearts.  It makes it hard for me to tell them that Phebe won't be playing with that toy for a while!  So, I just tell them to save it, and when Phebe's a little bigger, they'll be able to play with her with that toy!
Martha's 5th Birthday
 Martha requested "Ladybug Cupcakes" for her birthday this year.  Thankfully there is another missionary wife here who is an expert in all things related to cakes and cupcakes!  I asked her if she would be willing to make the cupcakes for Martha's birthday.  She was, and Martha was delighted!  It was a joy to watch her decide who she would share her cupcakes with!  What a blessing to see that giving spirit shining through!

Ian at the Post Office
I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but the ladies at the Post Office LOVE my children!  My children will go back to the States thinking it is normal to go behind the counter and help out!  I am so grateful for the goodness of these ladies in the lives of my children!  Martha and Ian think it's the greatest thing ever to go with Daddy to the Post Office and visit "Hermana Nora."  (Then again, the REAL attraction may be the play area at the KFC that gets visited after the trip to the P.O.!)  We have given tracts to Nora and prayed for her since we met her.  Matt learned recently that she is already saved!
What a joy it is to serve the Lord!  It is also a joy to teach my children the value and importance of having a good testimony everywhere we go.  We had gotten in the habit of saying, "SeƱora Nora" (Mrs. Nora) because we didn't know if she was saved, but now we get to call her, "Hermana Nora" (Sister-in-Christ Nora) because we know she is saved.  When the kids expressed confusion over the name change, we were able to explain that Hermana Nora had given a clear testimony of her salvation.  We also explained that because Jesus helped us to have a good testimony before her, we were able to learn of her salvation!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Testimony of Love

   As I sat across from *Tabitha, I found myself marveling at God's goodness in her life.  She sat at my kitchen table sharing her life and testimony with me.  She then told me a story that touched my heart and convicted me at the same time.
   She told me of a day before she was saved - the day she met a Christian lady.  The lady knew Tabitha's mom - knew her mom had been praying for the salvation of her daughter.  Tabitha told me how this lady had given her a hug and told her, "I love you."  She continued her story by telling me how strange this seemed to her - a lady she didn't know telling her she loved her.  As Tabitha continued, she shared some of her past.  She told me how the lady's words had affected her.  She had heard those words from people in the world, but this time was different.  She explained how she could sense that this "I love you" was different - these words were sincere - they held weight - and they lingered in her heart and mind long after they had been spoken.  Tabitha told me how odd she had felt - how strange it was that every time she met this lady, the lady would give her a hug and say, "I love you."  She told me that this lady was the first person she had ever met in her entire life that had spoken those words to her - and meant it.  She went on to share how she had gotten saved at a Youth Meeting.  She told me how the first three messages had little affect on her heart.  then she head the fourth message.  It was on the theme of "Love."  "Hmmm," she had thought.  "How interesting…was this not the same thing that lady kept saying to her?"  God used that message to convict her heart.  She hesitated, then decided - she would accept Christ as her Saviour.  Like a modern-day Mary Magdalene, she accepted the unconditional love of the Saviour.  She placed her faith in Him as her Redeemer.  She was saved, and from that moment on her life was changed.  She is now a trophy of grace - determined to follow her Saviour, and never go back to the mire of the world.
   I sat there, listening to her story, mesmerized by this young woman's testimony of love in action.  I sat there convicted.  I was convicted for all the times when I have failed to show Christ's love to the lost.  I was convinced of the difference the words "I love you" could make in the life of someone drifting in a world of sin.  I sat there with tears in my eyes - challenged by the thought of how much that lady loved Tabitha.  The lady had known nothing of Tabitha's past, yet she said, "I love you."  Because of Tabitha's mom, the lady had only known that Tabitha needed Christ and needed someone to show her the love of Christ.  I found myself wondering what kind of influence I could have on the lost world around me, simply by showing Christ's love and saying to the unloveable, "I love you" - and meaning it.
*Name has been changed.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Praying for the Missionary

   We have all heard "Pray for your missionaries" many times!  It seems redundant to even write a post about the importance of praying for the missionary, but when the Lord leads, you should act.  I've learned this the last few days.  I received an e-mail today from a dear friend of mine.  She has family members serving as missionaries in a country full of unrest at this time.  The Lord used that e-mail to urge me to write this post.
   We all know we should pray for our missionaries.  Many times we've read list after list of how to pray for the missionary or even specific requests from the missionary.  Sometimes we simply pray, "Lord, bless, Missionary So-and-So.  You know what they need.  In Jesus' Name, Amen."  We pray that way because we don't really know what the missionary needs.  We think, "I would pray specifically, but the missionary won't give specifics!"  But did you know that sometimes the missionary can't give you specifics?  We missionaries want and need your prayers.  But sometimes we aren't specific because we don't want our families back in the States to worry.  Sometimes it is a matter of confidentiality or safety for the missionary or the national.  Some missionaries live and work in restricted access countries.
   As parents, it is our joy and privilege to teach our children to pray.  I cannot explain to you the sweet and precious blessing it is to hear our children praying for others - sometimes people they don't even know. For example:  Martha prays for the salvation of a Japanese man she has never met.  Ian prays for two Deaf people in Kenya, Africa to be saved.  I love to hear the confidence they manifest in their prayers - the confidence that their prayers are already answered - we're just waiting to hear the official announcement!  As missionary parents, it is our blessed privilege to teach our children not only to be thankful for the prayers of others for us, but also to pray for other missionaries and their needs.
   So how exactly should we be praying for our missionaries?
Pray for our safety.  It was a comfort and blessing to me, when I was a single missionary, to know there were people praying for our safety during a time of bombing in our city.  It is a comfort and blessing to me as a wife and mommy to know there are people praying for our safety here in Peru.
Pray for our health.  We recently experienced a time here when many of the children Martha and Ian play with had chicken pox!  I'll admit that was the last thing I really wanted to deal with this close to having Phebe!  But I know there were people praying…most of the children had mild cases, and God protected my children from having chicken pox at all!  I am NOT rejoicing in the sickness of others…it's coming in the future for us, I know…and that's fine.  God just knew I had enough on my plate at the moment and spared us.  Someone was praying.
Pray for the people we are called to reach for Christ.  Pray for open doors, opportunities to witness, chances to be a great testimony for Christ.  Pray that the hearts of the people would be soft and responsive to the Gospel.  Pray for the spiritual growth and maturity of those who are saved.
Pray for more laborers.  We hear that one preached quite often - in fact, I just heard a message about that very topic from one of my favorite preachers!  I recently read a blog about an unreached city in Greenland.  How I wished I could go, but God has called me to Peru.  Today I heard about another ministry here in Peru that is without a pastor - we wanted to go, but for now God has called us to stay.  So what can we do?  Pray for more laborers.
James 5:16  "…and pray one for another…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."  Remember, the same God who knows what you need, knows what we missionaries need.  He will answer.  And what a blessed time we'll have sharing our prayers and our answers to those prayers with each other!  We may not know those prayers or answers here on earth, but for sure in Heaven for all eternity - with the One who answered!