Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Praise and Prayer, and everything in-between

We left our house Thursday, November 10th, heading west, with stops in Texas, Arizona, Utah, and eventually California. 

Praise: We were able to speak at two Sunday School classes at Kingwood Bible Church and reconnect again with some new supporters.  (We had a salsa and chips "picnic" in the parking lot as we sat around and talked.) 

Praise:  We were also able to see family on Bill's side who "happen" to live in the same town (most assuredly a God coincidence.)  They treated us out to eat and boy, did our kids eat!  Good thing both places were buffets.  At any rate, it was good to catch up.

Another praise:  About 1 1/2 weeks before we left, we were able to get renters for our basement.  It is only temporary, but helps keep the house occupied while we are gone and also will help our support.  However, we had been using it for our office and had to move everything out (and think about packing for a 3+ month trip.) 

Prayer:  We ended up with colds, all at different times and various degrees.  Not fun, and added more stress.  Please pray we will recover soon as we still have coughs and some yucky stuff.

Here are some photos of time spent with family in Texas.  We went to a park and it just happened to be Pioneer Days.  They had hey rides, rope tying and all kinds of other things.

Reproduction of a storage area.

Fun on stilts.

Homemade see-saw.

Hmmm, barely enough room for four.

Since we were in Texas and we had to go through this area, we decided to stop by.  Can you guess where we went?  (btw, this became a field trip for the boys... how fun!)

The famous Alamo church building/fort.

Our next stop was Arizona.  So, we stopped by the PIMA Air Museum.
There are hundreds of airplanes!  And the kids had fun pulling each other in the green wagon...

A retired Presidential airplane.

Our next stop was Ogden, UT to visit Becky's family. 
We made it there just before the snow started falling.

There's a few more praises:  we have set up a new program called, "Pennies for Pastors".  This is a way that anyone can help an indigenous leader/pastor just by giving loose change.  So many pastors in the Andes region of Peru where we work go without basic needs that we set this program up to be used in churches, classes, organizations, you name it, to encourage anyone ages preschool-100yrs+ to help other believers with basic needs.  Due to the exchange rate, pennies and loose change can make a HUGE difference to someone in another country.

We set up a website for it at:   www.penniesforpastors.org

SO, the main praise is:  we will be launching the program with Washington Heights Church's Awana program starting January 2012.  If you think your church or organization would be interested, let us know!!

Also, we will be speaking to the pre-K-2nd grade next Sunday at Washington Heights about our mission work, and then onto the Spanish church (also part of Washington Heights) to present to them.

It has been good to see family again and soon to celebrate Thanksgiving.  And on Saturday we will be celebrating Becky's parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. 

There is a LOT to be thankful for!!  We hope "y'all" have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Again and again. Then again...

The rat race can wear a person down.  I can't even imagine being Moses leading a bunch of obstinate people through the desert.   I know he must have had moments of despair.  I probably would have thrown in the towel after the first 1-2 years.

So what keeps a person going when the odds are against them?  You've seen it over and over again in movies. Read it in books.  Heard the stories.  The guy is in dire straights and he takes out a beat up photo of his girl.  The memory of her is enough to keep him going.

I finally realized that's the same way with us.  We take out our Bibles and read about the love our Father has for us and the encouragement He whispers when the going gets tough.

It's a tricky thing being in any kind of position.  I have a heart for people who get put in the spotlight and set on a peddle stool.  What is it about humans that we make them out to be larger than life?  Moments of feeling broken down are natural for everyone, including the person in the spotlight.  Especially the person in the spotlight.

So, yes.  I have felt weary lately.  Not only physically (which I either have a pinched nerve or fractured rib in my back- the Dr.s haven't been able to determine exactly so I have to monitor myself) but also mentally.  Which can get to the spiritual.  And that's when your roots are going to grow deeper.

But it takes a conscious decision to make good and right choices when you feel weary.  There's a verse in I Corinthians 15:58 that says,

     "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Man, that is powerful.  It's a shot in the arm to keep going.  

So, we are less than a week away from heading out in our RV again.  

For 2-3 months. 

To continue raising support.

To continue finding teachers for Believer's Bridge Institutes and Seminary.

I have consciously started to cringe at the thought of being in 200 sq feet of space for 90+ days again.  Homeschooling kids and making do in a tiny kitchen with an oven that doesn't work right.  My only comfort is knowing that we'll be in the warmer climate of San Diego and we'll get to see our old friends and new friends again.  There are some quality people out there.

Good thing I'll have a photo, uh, book to look at that will remind me why we are doing what we do.