Saturday, August 27, 2011


If there's one thing I'm pretty good at, it's finding freebies.  Some freebies are funner than others (like little samples that come in the mail, most with high value coupons.)  Then there's the new kind of freebie I just got involved with. 

Did you know you can get a free Kindle Reader for your PC?  AND, you can get free e-books for it?  The United States is FULL of freebies.  No wonder we can more or less survive on 20% support level right now!  Now, if I could find free electricity, water, and some of our other utilities...  (Although, we are trying to find odd and end jobs to supplement our current support ~ if you have any for us, let us know!)

But I digress.

Yes, free Kindle Reader.  You too can download this wonderful tool at:
(And no, it does not come with Jiu Jitzu Knives... but you might find a book about it you can download!)

So, I was having some "Becky time" tonight and decided to see what free e-books were available.  Came across a really neat RV cookbook one.  Don't know how long it will be free to download (it changes constantly) but the link is:
It has a FUN recipe of making omlets in a bag!

Another interesting one I found (home schoolers will be more interested in this than most of you probably...) is "American Leaders and Heroes" about United States history (people like DeSoto, Lincoln, etc...)

Another one I found was the Stonyfield, "Dinners Made Easy".

Check it out.  There's some really neat free e-books.  You have to do a little bit of searching, but hey, it's FREE!! 

Seven Grain Bread

Mmmm....  The smell of fresh baked bread is tantalizing.  Especially when you've made it yourself.  I modified a recipe (more than 1/2 of it), so I guess I can technically claim this recipe as my own.

I shared photos before but haven't shared the recipe, so... since I made some this morning, I thought I would post this while it's fresh (no pun intended) on my mind.  Enjoy!!!

Seven Grain Bread(Makes 2 Loaves)

In a mixer ( I use a Kitchen Aid), add and mix well:
1 1/2 C Bread Flour + 1 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tb Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
5 tsp Active or Dry (regular) yeast (or 2 packages)

Heat either on stove or in microwave until very warm (120 - 130 degrees), NOT hot:

2 C Milk
1/2 C Water

Add to flour mix.  Beat on low for about 3 minutes.

Add the following and use a bread hook (if you have one ~ this makes it SO much easier):

1/4 C Cornmeal (optional)
1/2 C Millet
1/2 C Wheat Germ
3/4 Bulgar Wheat
1 C Oats (quick or regular ~ I only had regular this time)

Here's what I used.  I like Bobs Red Mill for the cornmeal and wheatgerm, Arrowhead Mills for the millet, and usually I try to buy the unbleached flours.  Any kind of Bulgar wheat works too.  And not pictured is the oats (any kind as well).

(5 whole grains above + the white and whole wheat flours = 7 grains)

Use the bread hook or your hands to make a nice dough.  Add more bread flour if needed to get the right consistency: much like play dough, possibly a little "softer".

Grease a baking pan and sprinkle some cornmeal on it. 

Make 2 separate bread doughs by "rolling" the dough in mid-air with your hands, or on a counter if you prefer.  Mine came out to about 16 long and 3 inches wide.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slash tops diagonally if you'd like and let rise for 45 minutes.  Yep, this only needs to rise once and it will be ready to go into the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are a nice golden brown.  YUM!!!  Enjoy your hearty and textured HEALTHY bread!  I like to slice mine diagonally and freeze one of the loaves.

And here's how the inside looks.  Wholesome goodness WITHOUT most of the preservatives you find in store bought breads.  Mmm,  mnn, mmm!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's a missionary! No, it's a painter! No, it's the Rowley's!

A funny thought caught Bill's attention the other day.

He paused in mid-action (he was painting) and said, "You know, in the last 3 weeks we have done all kinds of things.  A marriage, a mission trip, and now we are painters.  And I'm sure you could throw in a few other things too."

It seems there is almost nothing we haven't done.  Or places we haven't been (35+ States and 12+ Countries, poor areas, rich areas, etc.)  Or experiences we haven't lived (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, accidents, sickness, 15,000ft+, etc.)  Or people we haven't met (addicts, criminals, foreigners, political figures, religious figures, etc.)  And the list goes on.  It seems funny when we compare our life to the average person.  In any country.

The normal people live in one home, work one job, send their kids to school (or at least school in the same place), and watch regular TV shows.  We don't have cable, we live out of our RV for practically 1/2 the year (or other places), home school all over the State, and are in the middle of raising support and trying to supplement it by doing odd jobs here and there.

It seems our family could be a Reality TV show in itself.  Maybe we could call it, "Where in the World are the Rowley's Today?", with the subtitle of, "Don't Try this at Home.  It Might Make You Dizzy."

We've been home for 24 hours now and it has been nice to sleep in familiar beds, eat at a familiar table, eat familiar food, and just plain ole' relax.

In fact, we watched the movie, "Soul Surfer" last night.  Wow.  Really neat story about a surfing teenager who lost her arm to a shark.  Christian family in Hawaii who attend a Calvary Chapel (woo hoo for Calvary Chapels!)  It was especially neat to see the real girl in the interviews and special features at the end of the movie.  What struck me was the peace she had overall.  She seems to live life as it comes, being at peace with whatever it may dish out.

I think that is what is helping us cope with our constant change.  I can't say we have constant peace, but it is easier to roll with the punches when we take each event as opportunities, not headaches. 

"So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."  Philippians 2:12-13

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

96 Hours and Counting

Welcome to the whirlwind tour of Lima, Peru, with a final destination of Centreville, MD (for about a week.) 

So much has happened since my last post on Saturday that this should prove interesting to consolidate everything into this post.  But, I will endeavor to do my best!

We'll start with what really happened Saturday.  As you know, I was left behind to help decorate for the Seminary party.  What you don't know is what happened to the rest of the team.  They went to Los Angeles (Peru) as scheduled, worked with the children, taught a Bible class, and performed a wedding (which the photos of the bride and groom just crack me up b/c the groom looks SO serious, not to mention they are both in their 60's.) 

On their trip up there, the bus was having problems, so after they were dropped off, the driver took it to get it fixed.  Well, it did not make it back to the village in time, so the team decided to start walking back.  The bus finally met them and they were able to travel back.  Since there was no cell service, no one was able to contact us to let us know what had happened.  For all we knew, they could have gone flying off the side of the mountain.  When they finally reached a cell area, Martin was able to call and let us know what happened.

The team went straight to the Seminary party (exhausted and dusty) where we were the guests of honor.  I don't think we made it to bed until 1am. 

Sunday, Silvi left and Sam, Bill, and Mike all went 3 separate ways to preach at 3 different churches.  The evening was the same thing.  We were able to go to the street market to get a few things.  Shopping in Peru is also another "must" experience. 

Monday we left at 5:30am to fly to Lima.  We were supposed to take the bus, but it was still having problems from the trip to Los Angeles.  So two taxis took us to the airport.  After a short flight, we landed and headed to Calvary Chapel Peru where we were greeted by the pastor who was able to put us up for the night.  They have rooms available for teams and this worked out great.

Monday was spent talking with the Calvary folks and a first attempt to meet with the Scout Peru office.  The person we were supposed to meet with had the wrong day and we did not meet.  But it was nice to have a relaxing day.

Tuesday was the day of taxis and meetings.  Or the attempt thereof.  We (Bill, Mike, Robert and I) were able to make 2 out of the 4 meetings planned.  Sam and Chris went to a public school to share the gospel.  We were able to meet with the head of the IEP (Evangelical Peruvian Church or Iglesia Evangelica Peruana) and talk about how we can partner to help teach the Quechua.  We were all on the same page even before the meeting started, which confirmed this was definitely a God plan.

The second meeting we could not find the building.  Just as the frustration started, Bill looked at Mike and said, "Let's stop and see what God has planned for us."  Not even 5 seconds after he said this, a gal from Calvary Chapel Peru showed up and asked how she could help!!  To make a long story short, we had to cancel that meeting so we could make it to the next one.  She helped by letting us use her cell phone and flag down a taxi.  God is awesome!!

As the taxi is dropping us off and we all step out of the car, a man comes toward us and Mike says, "Brother Victor!"  It turns out this was the man who had set up the meeting and he was on his way to the building (which was good, b/c we weren't sure where that building was either!) 

The meeting went well, we were able to make it back to Calvary Chapel, finish packing our bags, hop in the taxi van we had scheduled to pick us up and get to the airport with enough time to spare before our flight back to the USA. 

We landed this morning and are on our way to Maryland, where we will be reunited with our other two sons (who are anxious to see us) and spend sometime with Bill's family before we head back to Alabama.

Phew!!  What an interesting last 4+ days!  I am looking forward to a good night's sleep.  Thanks to all who prayed and continue to do so.  There's some awesome stuff happening in Peru and with those who want to partner with us in the USA to help those in Peru.  Looking forward to some more God moments.

“But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 NIV

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Seminary Party and a Quechua Wedding

When it rains, it pours. 

I stayed behind today while the rest of the team went back up to Los Angeles (Peru).  Tammy Riggs asked me to help decorate the Seminary (Semenario Evangelico de Apurimac, or SEA) for a Thanksgiving/Graduation party.  In fact, it has already started but I am back at the hotel waiting for the team to get back.

Things like this will always happen when you work in another Latin culture.  Things are not neccessarily built around time, but around relationships.  And you offend people if you don't take time with them, thus being on time does not matter as much. 

Today was a special day in Los Angeles because Bill and Sam were asked to perform a wedding as well as the regular class Sam prepared.  Silvi, Robert, and Chris also went to help with the children.  Needless to say today was a full day.  But it is not done yet.  They are expected to attended the party when they get back.  But again, it's about relationships and the people will want to meet the Americans.

I tried several times and in various ways to download photos to this blog but to no availe.  I think I may try an online photo site and put up a link if I get it downloaded that way.  Otherwise, I was able to download several photos to our Believer's Bridge Facebook site.  So if you have a Facebook account, please go to the Believer's Bridge page (just type "Believer's Bridge" into the search) and check out the photos there!

I was able to rest today, so that is a praise.  However, please pray for the rest of the team: Cayo, Bill, Sam, Walter, and Silvi.  I am sure they are exhausted.  This will be the hardest day because of all the activities.

"We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."  1 Thessalonians 1:3

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mission Roulette with a side of Humor


Welcome to the world of missions, where anything goes, yet you are the honored guest, and expected to know cultural things because, well, that's what they do so why shouldn't you?  It's besides the fact that you are used to a clean bathroom with at least toilet paper.  The proverbial outhouse in 3rd world countries are a far cry from anything resembling one in the USA.  Unless you go camping and make your own.  Than it comes pretty close.

So, moving on.  Next, you will experience the change of plans in route to your destination.  You will be passing off your notes and study you took time to prepare for someone else's study because the natives have requested you teach a certain group and not the one you thought you were going to.  And you will be able to pull this off with a smile on your face and hopefully a translator.  And if no translator is available, you will do your best not to use words that mean something completely opposite of what you thought you were saying.  Looks of horror or bursts of laughter are usually a good indication the previous has happened.

Next on the list of our mission roulette choices is the meal.  At least what the natives consider the meal.  Do not be alarmed if you find eyeballs floating in your soup.  This is especially reserved for the guest of honor.  Than you have a few choices.  A Nehemiah prayer and swallow, or eat around the interesting objects in your plate/bowl, or creatively feed the native animals w/o drawing suspicion.  I honestly prefer the last, but that's the fun thing about missions.  You get to decide how to interact w/o offending them.  If you are with experienced missionaries, they can provide other solutions as well.

Sleeping accomodations can get interesting.  Anything from sleeping outdoors on and in who knows what to some pretty decent places.  For your sanity, I suggest trying to find a decent place.  Personally, the whole lack of sleep with a side of bugs does not appeal, no matter how gung-ho you think you are.  I draw the line at getting a good night's sleep.  Oh, and earplugs and eye mask also come in handy. 

So there you have it.  Your basic package for the typical mission's trip.  So you can easily see how a side of humor greatly helps the whole experience. 

On the other side, you may see more earnest hearts than you ever thought possible.  Something about not having a bunch of material possesions and plenty of time seems to lend itself toward that. 

Today we once again experienced our 2 hour bumpy bus ride and soup-surprise lunch, oh with a detour to see a church project and another surprise meal (which the men prepared because the women were not available - very impressive indeed in a Latin culture.)

But I enjoyed working with the beautiful children that showed up today.  Their little faces eager to participate in whatever activity we had planned.  So as we sat in the field with animal residue mines all around (I thought that was a pretty good way of saying it!), I was happy to hear them recite their memory verse, Proverbs 3:5:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways acknowledge Him..."

Please pray for the children in Los Angeles, Peru today.  That something we teach them will stick in their minds and hearts and they will trust in the Lord.

Well, I was going to attempt to put photos up once again, but it seems Bill obsconded (sp?) with the camera as he went to a Cafe place with Sam, Robert and Chris and I stayed in the hotel room.  Well, to all a good night and more news to come if I get internet and a computer manyana.  Tchau!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In Los Angeles

"But I thought you said you were going to Peru?"

Yes!  And we are.  And we went to Los Angeles today.  In Peru.  And I can guarantee you will never have the kind of commute to Los Angeles, CA that we did to Los Angeles, Peru.

In order to get there we drove on dirt roads that must have had rocks put under them (just to add to the atmosphere) and corners that took your breath away.  Or maybe that was holding your breath....  and adding a quick prayer of safety. 

Well, whatever the case, we will be traveling back and forth the next few days to Los Angeles (I just love putting that name in there) to work with the Quechua people that are 2 hours from Andahuaylas, where we have a nice hotel to come back to.  It would probably be considered a 1-2 star hotel in the USA but here it is really nice.  And we really appreciate it. 

God reminded me several times today that He works in all people and in all kinds of ways.  I felt so content to listen to my Peruvian brothers and sisters talk about the work God is doing here.  And my heart wraps around theirs as I see them work with us to bring more Biblical understanding to these people who we can only get to by the 2 hour bumpby, dusty, bus ride. 

There are 3 Peruvian families that have really given of themselves to work with Believer's Bridge and Mike and Tammy Riggs, the American missionaries here.  Cayo and Maritza Cardenas, who are national missionaries with Believer's Bridge (Puente in Spanish), have a commitment that is just incredible.  Please, please, please pray for this family.  They are diamonds in a city of lost people here. 

Then there is Martin and his family.  Martin owns a restaurant and has provided the bus for us to use.  We just have to pay the driver and for the gas.  We also come back and have pizza at his restaurant the last two nights.  He gathered us around a table when we asked how much the bill was, and told us that this was his gift to us because he is happy to have us spreading the gospel to his people.  It's his way to be part of the group and do what he can for God.  Again, please pray God will bless his business and his family and that he also will be a light for those around him.

The third family is Walter and Ruth.  Walter, like Cayo, knows both Spanish and Quechua (well, Inca Wasi really - but Quechua is used for the name of the people and language).  He is looking on coming on board as another Believer's Bridge national missionary.  We hope to welcome him on board by next year.  They too have a heart for their own people and a desire to teach them the bible.

It is one thing to read about something, or even see pictures (which help even more than just words) but entirely something else to experience it.  If you have ever been through something traumatic, it's kind of like that.  You can tell people as much as you can about it, but unless they've experienced something similar, you just don't understand. 

If nothing else, I pray God works in your life to glorify Him in whatever situation or place He has you.  Not all are called to do the same thing.  It's a beautiful picture of teamwork when the body of Christ upholds each other in the work God has called each to do.  So, I thank you for praying for us and for those that work with us (everything from financial support to volunteering to teaching.)  You are glorifying God in what you do.

I tried to upload some photos but kept getting a securtiy error notice.  Arg.  Well, maybe manayana.  Meanwhile, thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Battle is the Lord's

Bill, Robert, and I will be heading to Peru today.  We will be there for a one week mission's trip.  But the spiritual battle actually started weeks ago. 

First, our national missionary, Cayo, was in an accident almost 3 weeks ago.  His driver lost control of the vehicle and they both went over the side of a mountain.  Cayo got snagged by a tree branch by the computer bag he was wearing, but broke a few bones on the way there.  He is recuperating, but not fully recovered.  He is our point contact for this trip.  Please pray for full recovery and that he won't overdo himself.

Next, the father of the wife's host family for our Florida stay had by-pass surgery.  Everything looked fine and she came back home only to have to leave again 2 days before we came down.  But the rest of the family has been gracious enough to let us stay and things have worked out.  Please pray for Linda's father, whose name escapes me at the moment, that there will be peace in whatever the outcome.

Then we received news that Sam's father-in-law had kidney failure and his wife had to go be with her dad.   Sam is another man who will be coming down to kick off the Bible Institute in Los Angeles (Peru).  Things seem to be stable with his father-in-law and he is planning on going.  Please pray that his father-in-law will recover and his kidneys will work properly.

The last (current) blow was news that a friend from our church has stage 4 cancer.  They found this out after she gave birth to her 3rd daughter last week because she had a broken collar bone.   She is only in her mid to late twenties.  I think this was the biggest blow.  We had hopes of this family coming to stay on our property as Believer's Bridge hosts/caretakers.  Please pray for their whole family that God give them His peace and if His will, that he completely heal Kristi.  That all their needs be met during this very difficult time.

Even in light of all these events, we are still sure that the battle is the Lord's.  We are His vessels.  We can't give up or be dismayed or discouraged when the enemy throws things at us.  In our weakness, God's strength comes through.  Please pray that our human weakness allows God's strength to shine through.  And as I can, I will try to keep folks updated. 

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. "  Ephesians 6:11-13