Thursday, November 22, 2012


My thoughts have been so disjointed lately, that I figured that was the best title for this post!

We have officially become homeless.  It sounds worse than what it really is.  We have moved out of our RV and will be selling it.  Meanwhile, through a series of events, we ended up house-sitting for a Florida family who live off a canal and have a pool.  We see yachts every time we look out the back windows.  Sheesh. 

Robert and Andrew helping clean one of the yachts.

The boys have been eating up every minute here.  Josh has caught and cooked a crab every night.  Robert drives his RC boat in the canal every chance he gets.  Andrew can't believe how many kids channels there are on TV.  Bill and I are enjoying the amount of space.  I am specifically enjoying cooking and baking.

From here we move into a friend's home on the 25th of November and fly to Brazil on December 13.  We have been sorting through all our RV things to decide what absolutely needs to come to Brazil with us and what needs to go on pallets to get put in a container that probably won't arrive until another 3 months from now.  Ouch.

Since houses in Brazil don't have basic appliances like refrigerators, ovens/stoves, and even cabinets, we hope to take either a microwave or counter top large toaster oven and maybe even a burner or two.

Typical kitchen in Brazil (especially a rental house)

We will do one last International Dinner fundraiser December 1 in Fort Lauderdale.  The Brazilian bible study group we have been attending will be helping with the meal.  Yum!!

There is so much going on that the reality of moving to Brazil to live there hasn't really hit us.  In the back of my mind I know what it will be like, but I worry for the rest of the family who has never done anything like this before, nor speak the language.  A few positive things are: we do know some people there already and the Brazilians are VERY caring and giving.

Christmas will be different this year.  Not only because it will be celebrated in another country, but because I realized these last few days that whatever presents we try to buy need to fit in our luggage, along with the microwave or toaster oven, all our clothes, kitchen items, bedding....  You get the picture.  Gift cards are not an option as there is no such thing as a Walmart or Target there. So, I haven't figured out what to do.  Maybe we can celebrate Christmas 3 months from now when our container arrives...

I am still homeschooling the kids.  Robert is doing an online program, but it is not the same.  The good news is it is accredited so if we stick with it he can go to any college when he graduates.  Josh is doing SOS (Switched-On-Schoolhouse) which is a computer program.  Andrew and I are doing the usual workbook system.

I am amazed I have not gone insane.  What doesn't kill you, strengthens you?

On that note, I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!  We will have a PO Box here in the States.  Our faithful volunteer has been checking it for us weekly and lists all the mail we receive.  Not sure if we will have her send accumulated mail to us or just ask her to scan letters so we can at least view them online.  If you just want to communicate with us, email will be best.

Bill and Becky Rowley
PO Box 374
Pelham AL 35124

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This thing called Life

There's our organic side of life.  You know, the bones, muscles, major organs (thus the word "organic"), and the other physical aspects, or living tissue. 

In a way, sometimes we become preoccupied with this side of life.  Hey, when my stomach starts to rumble, food becomes a priority.  I think we can all agree on that one.  And clothing is a pretty staple part of living.  No argument there.  Everyone, no matter what race or time in history you come/came from needs these things, albeit in differing ways.

The inorganic side of life, the unseen force/will that controls the physical -most of the time, is an enigma to most of us, just like the word itself.  [Enigma - a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation.]

But that's just it.  They are so intertwined that you can't have one without the other.  A physical occurrence elicits a response from our soul/mind.  Something as small as a mosquito bite creates an itch and mental irritation.  Or something huge like an accident elicits bigger responses.  Anything.  Isn't that amazing?  There.  Just reading this (physical words) creates a thought in your head.

This thing called Life is amazing, wonderful, hurtful, challenging, tiring, and intriguing, just to name a few. 

So, here's another thought:  why would God do that? 

OK, let's go a little deeper now.  After sin entered the world, were mankinds' responses different?  Yes, I believe that is what changed. 

If you would oblige me, could you read the following?

"The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ."
I Corinthians 2:10b-16
The believer gets his eyes opened to understanding, but we still have this war with our flesh.  The non-believer doesn't have the Spirit to filter their decisions.  Greed, pride, power, etc.; in essence, they are all related to selfishness. 
OK, hang with me a little longer.  I just can't leave this passage out.  It explains the whole thing one step farther:
"22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." Romans 8:22-27

And now I'm going to go deeper.  Mmm.  Just take a moment.  Take a few deep breathes in and out, and listen with the Spirit of God to one last thought:

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

Do not conform.  To the pattern of this world.  Selfishness.  Giving in to my fleshly desires.  They can be strong sometimes and can hurt others or others have been hurt by it. 

This thing called Life.

There's more than meets the eye, huh?  It doesn't happen overnight.  But there's freedom, joy, fulfilled needed desires, and in one way you could say the "nirvana" of real Christianity. 

I think the Holy Spirit works overtime with wordless groans for all of us sometimes.  But He is seeking those who want to renew their minds. 

This journey of starting Believer's Bridge has certainly been a test of not conforming to this world.  Loss of home, loss of steady income, and living in an RV for about 2 years total has been a transformation all right. 

I know many of you have been going through your own journey, and I love the intertwining of our journies together to the glory of God as we wait for the redemption of our bodies. 

Don't give up.  It will be hard, because the flesh groans for the things of this world.  
Romans 8:28

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Houses are overrated anyway, right?

Funny thing about homes is you become attached to them.  Literally.  And most homes are securely attached to the ground.  Honey, they ain't movin'.  And most of the time, neither are you. 

Unless you join the military.  Or work on the mission field.  Or your company moves you.

There are probably other things like being born to a nomad or circus family.  I shudder to think of that lifestyle.  In fact, it makes our current lifestyle sound downright stable.  (And apologies to anyone who lives the nomadic or circus lifestyle...kudos to you.)

Let's see, in the last 2 years-ish, we have lived out of our RV for 19-20 months, total.  As you can imagine, everytime we returned to our secure home (the one without the wheels attached), we hugged the ground.  Well, not really.  But it did seem we got easily lost in there...2,200+ ft of space vs our 200 sq ft of RV space.

Speaking of lost, where was I?  Oh yes, living in a tiny RV for that long can drive one crazy.  Wait, that's the wrong topic for this subject, although it does have it's merits.  I'm fine.  Really.

What I was going to say is, I never realized how flexible one can become when one literally has no home.  Our secure home (the one without wheels and 2,200+sq ft) recently became a rental home.  And in our quest to make the best possible decision on what to do with our furnishings, and data we had accumalated from friends in south Brazil, we sold or gave away 3/4 of what we owned.  On a side note, we now know we will need to take furnishings down in a container b/c it actually costs less.  The cost of living in south Brazil is, interestingly enough, much less than in north Brazil.

Anywho, when we moved out of our real home, our youngest son commented, "We're actually homeless!"  To which I responded, "Not homeless, just houseless."  After all, houses are overrated anyway, right? 

The epitome of our houselessness (there's a mouthful!) came a few days ago when we had to take the RV in to get the transmission fixed.  It created a kind of funny and interesting situation.  What does one do when one's home is "in the shop"?  Imagine trying to explain that to your kids! 

The first night we stayed in a hotel.  But the next day when we were supposed to pick up the RV, we were told they needed another day to fix it.  We really did not want to spend more money on another hotel.  In short, while mentioning our dilema to a group, one lady spoke up and mentioned we could stay in a camper they had.  Very nice.

At the end of that day, Andrew asked, "So, where's our home tonight?"  Now, how many kids do you know (including yours) that wouldn't whine or complain about not having a "real" house to live in?  If nothing else, at least our kids are fine with whatever comes. 

One of the homes we visited in Brazil had chains running from the gutter to the ground.  Bill decided to take a photo and send it to Andrew to tell him that the homes in south Brazil had to be chained to the ground so they wouldn't drop off the earth...  That's just Bill's personality.  Life is never dull.  So, thought I would share that since we've been talking about "secure" houses.

By the way, can you guess what the real purpose of the chains are?  Hint: it has something to do with the gutters when it rains.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What Compels

My personality loves to think deeply.  I like to analyze.  To a fault probably, but it's who I am.  And I love seeing/understanding all sides to a situation. 

Which has me thinking as I sit here in what may become our future home in Belem, Brazil.  Bill and I decided several weeks back we needed to plan this trip to come down and investigate what we are getting ourselves into and meet with people in the area.  Smart guy.

I think life is like certain combinations.  For example, let's say that those who live by the beach fit into 3 different colors: yellow, blue, and green.  So people with purple, orange, and blue would not fit into the beach lifestyle and vice-versa.  Someone who had yellow, purple, and red could relate 1/3. 

You see where I am going with this.  As people, we have this combination in us that makes it easier or harder to live in certain place, relate to things or people.  There might even be layers of combinations.  Age would be another layer. 

We become who we are by our surroundings -includes all kinds of things, like culture- and personalities.  Throw in age and gender, maybe even physical or mental challenges and we tend to become comfortable with what we know (the color combination that makes us).

A person limited to only 3 colors their whole life will not adjust very well to other color combinations.  They'd rather not change.  Or better yet, maybe they are black and white.  They can't create other colors.  A person with yellow, blue and red can create green, purple, magenta, etc.  if they choose to.

I have the advantage of having been exposed to various color combinations when I was younger so I have an ability to recall that to the surface.    As I interact with the Brazilians on this trip, that's exactly what's happening. 

However, the reality of living in Belem has given me mixed emotions.  The place we are staying may become our home when we move.  It is very different than 1) where I have lived in the US for the last 22 years and 2) very different than my childhood homes of South Brazil.  The area is more underdeveloped.  It is normal to not have a yard, you don't put TP in the toilet (the plumping here is not designed for it), there seems to be no way to get rid of the sugar ants that take up residence along with you, and there are 3 layers of gates/ locks from house to street.

SO, as I sat here processing all this and deciding if I could live, really live, that way for several years, my little analytical mind almost made my mouth burst out in laughter as I tried to place other people who have the black and white personalities in my shoes.  It wouldn't happen. 

So what compels?  Can anyone adjust?  The short answer is yes.  It might take longer for some, but the key would be the one color that everyone receives when they become a Christian.  I have no idea what that color would be, maybe the magical color that can turn into anything depending on the situation.  The trick is learning how to work it.   And some choose not to.

That's what compels. 

One dictionary meaning of compel is : to force or drive, especially to a course of action.

I believe the best key to unlock the magical color we receive as Christians is love.  It will sustain the course of action we choose because it is done out of the right motive.  Most everything will fall apart because it comes from self. 

My biggest prayer as we continue working with this mission is that we will be compelled by love and God's Spirit. 

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us [AKA - that magical color],  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. "  Ephesians 3:20-21  Emphasis and addition mine.

Front of house (there's another gate outside the photo to left)

Front full view of house

View from house

View from kitchen

"Back yard"

We visited a botanical zoo that is close to the house.  HUGE water lily pads!
The reflected skyscraper made a neat photo too.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Life Changes

Life has so many stages that can happen naturally.  First we are children, and things are taken care of for us.  Next, we branch out on our own, most of us attending college.  Getting married brings on a whole new aspect of life.  Add a few kids for another phase.  Then those kids become teens and adults, and so on.  The phases are just a natural part of life, anywhere in the world.

But what about the phases that are cognative choices, and not "natural"?

Those take a little more incentive and commitment.  Those are life changes.  We (Bill and I) have been known to live outside the box to begin with.  So, the moment we decided to begin a mission organization wasn't too far out of line for our personalities.  What we couldn't have forseen was how much determination and obedience it would take.

I want to give an extremely strong emotional response right now to the changes we have gone through since starting Believer's Bridge.  But I can't think of a way to communicate that effectively.  The movie, "The Ultimate Gift" comes to mind.  So, go watch that, then come back and read the rest... or you can just keep reading and make a note to get the movie at another time.  It will be worth your while.

Although we did not start off with millions of dollars, Bill was a top EO for several companies before God derailed us off that path (Bentley (CAD makers), Kinkos, Watsco, and others).  But I am convinced that all that had a part in our abilities to run a mission organization.

So, fast forward literally from birth to now.  Turns out my being born in Brazil wasn't just a chance happening either.  It seems Brazil is cracking down on Visas and many missionaries are pulling out.  My dual citizenship allows me to live in Brazil w/o any problems.  Even the boys have dual citizenship. 

Which is one reason why the timing seems to be now for us to go work in Belem, Brazil.  We looked at it about 2 years ago, but things in Peru weren't completely set up yet.  Now that we have the Rigg's (American missionaries) and 2 national workers in Andahuaylas, things seem to be settled there and our attention is on Brazil. 

We have chosen to enter a phase of life probably many never experience, because it takes an absurd amount of courage and obedience.  (Yes, I am bragging... now hoping lightening doesn't hit.)  As we look at working in Belem, we decided to sell or give more than 3/4 of what we owned.  I'm sitting in our RV outside our empty home typing this.

Out of the 1/4 that's left, some very special things are being stored across the country with several people.  The rest we will be packing in footlockers to take when we have full financial support.  Meanwhile, we will be living in our 200 sq ft space RV. 

OK, so here's the thing:  I was hyper-ventilating when we made the decision to sell/give our things instead of taking them to Brazil (think $10-20 K each way just for a container to get the stuff there).  I finally stopped myself and asked God to give us peace if this was what He wanted us doing.  And He did!!!  (and !!)  It was amazing! 

I didn't ask God to provide $$$$ to get our stuff there.  I didn't ask for a new RV (even though I would love for that to happen).  I didn't even ask for full support right now so we wouldn't have to live in the RV.  Although, I do think it will all come together.  I asked God from a willing heart to provide peace if this crazy, insane plan was what He wanted.  I think I'm starting to understand how Abraham felt. 

So, I suggested a movie.  I'd like to suggest a song as well:  "Crazy" by Mercy Me.  Just Google it.

There's nothing wrong with natural life phases, but the richness of character-enhancing living comes from a heart that accepts life changes.  "The Ultimate Gift"... you need to watch it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Words cannot express the full extent of what it feels like to be home.  The only comparison that keeps coming up in my mind over and over again is what it will be like when we are in our resurrected bodies in our real homes.  Just like living in the RV pails in comparison to living in a real home, so I can only imagine it will be when all believers are home with our Creator.  "Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere..."  Psalm 84:10a

A fun stop-over at a beach in Florida

The long traveling is now over.  We are home to stay for awhile.  We have experienced things that many will never know, much less attempt.  But, like Paul with his missionary journeys, it was needed.  We had to visit churches, family, and friends to share about the ministry in Peru, and possibly soon to be in Brazil.  We have applied to several churches for financial support, shared the need for Bible teachers, whether on a Bible study level or seminary level, and best of all made some new friends and saw old ones.

Presenting our "Pennies for Pastors" program to an AWANA's group 

Display board

As a family, we homeschooled and got to see some amazing places and scenery.  When we first started, we set out November 2011, leaving our home on the market to sell since Bill had been let go July 2010 and we weren't even making enough to pay mortgage.  We went ahead and applied for a home loan modification, leaving the results in God's hands, knowing that if we had to sell we weren't sure where we would live.  One thing remained true:  we felt sure God wanted us to stay in ministry.  The faces of the Peruvians who had cried out for help to send teachers kept coming to mind.  Who would step up to the call? 

Painting the house to sell

We lived in our RV from November 2010 to February 2011, visiting Texas, Utah, and California.  At the beginning of February we got the news that we finally qualified for a home loan.  We took the house off the market, ecstatic God had allowed us to keep it.  We returned home for about 3 weeks before heading back out to visit friends and churches in Florida, Texas, back to Florida and several other places. 

We came back home for maybe one week every month, the details have become blurry in my mind.  All the while we continued to homeschool, up until June, sometimes having some fascinating places to visit, like St. Augustine, the Alamo, several science museums in various states, some of the missions in California, and who knows where else!  Most of the time we sat in the main section of our RV doing "regular" school.

Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, FL 

Free cookies and hot chocolate, compliments of coupons to Flying J/Pilot

Josh studying about the Titan Missile II in Tuscon, AZ

For one week in August 2011, Bill, Robert, and I took a mission trip to Andahuaylas, taking 2 others who helped teach classes to the Quechua.  This was my first time meeting our national missionaries, and they couldn't wait to meet the wife of the "jefe" (Spanish for "chief").  Seeing photos of the people and area was one thing, but visiting was something else.  The grateful hearts were evident as we worked together, sharing truths of what God's Word had to say.  After all, this is what they wanted to hear.  To know and understand the meaning of Scripture so they could teach it to others.

Lunch time!

Celebration at the seminary in Andahuaylas, Peru

We came back for 2-3 weeks, I believe, and soon after started homeschooling and traveling again, mostly to Florida.  After much discussion, we agreed we needed to make another trip out West to continue seeking financial support and follow up on the interest in working with Believer's Bridge to send teachers to Andahuaylas.  Once more, we left in November (2011).  This time we found a renter who needed a place to stay.  We didn't have much time to evaluate this person's habits, but felt God had orchestrated the events.  We needed some extra money and they needed a place to stay and could not afford a regular rental place.

Once again, we visited Texas, Utah, and California, with one exception.  During the previous summer (July 2011), we had hosted a team from Faith Bible Church in Phoenix, AZ who came out to do some tornado relief work.  We needed a place to leave our RV while we drove to Utah (were we celebrated Thanksgiving and my parent's 50th wedding anniversary) and a family in their church offered their home.  So, after returning from Utah, we spent a little bit of time with them and their church.  My aunt is also in the area, and we were able to visit her and her church, which happened to be a church that used to support my parents.

AZ team and some of our church people

This trip turned out a little different than the one in 2010.  We did a lot more "dry-docking", which means we did not have full hook-ups most of the time so we could save money.  It also meant water became like gold and we had to be very frugal with it.   I've said it before, but bares repeating:  there's a reason God only gave us boys!  And these were the hardest times of the whole trip.  And we'll leave it at that.

Desert camping

Meanwhile, back at the "ranch", turns out our renter assumed they should only pay part of the utilities, even though they were the only person using the house.  There were a few other things going on, but I'm only going to mention this.  Ironically, the message at the church we were visiting happened to be on Paul's unfair trial.  So, even though I felt furious over the situation, Bill and I felt God saying, "Vengeance is mine.  Don't get furious, but keep calm.  Yes, it is unfair and you have the right to exact payment, but I'm testing your response to this." 

Our last stop was supposed to be 2-3 weeks in Kingwood, Texas.  After this we had planned to meet with some of our missionaries who are home on furlough, as well as another of our board member.  Within a 2 day span, several things happened.  Bill had a calm discussion with our renter about needing to move out, the church in Kingwood canceled their meetings, and plans for meeting our missionaries and board member also got canceled.  Just like that we were free to go home.  Our anxiety over dealing with our renter long-distance could now be dealt with in person.  And we will leave that situation at that.  The point is not to gossip but to show how God works.

We are excited to be home.  We have space!  And a real office!  We are even more excited to see how God is still working some miracles.  Our dryer's heating element apparently burned out.  It had been having problems before we left.  So we put out a plea on FB and email to see if anyone had an extra one we could have.  That afternoon Bill called me up and said, "Someone we don't even know is going to buy us a new dryer!"  How cool and neat is that?  I love it when God's people work together for good.  Our pastor will be delivering it Sunday from this wonderful anonymous donor.  So, if you are reading this, Thank you!!

Voila!  Office, kitchen table, school room, bedroom - all-in-one.

And last, but not least, please pray we will get financial support from the churches we applied to.  I have not mentioned before how much we are living off of, except to a select few, but our income is only about $1500.  Our paycheck has been $1000 for the last year or so.  Obviously we have been able to pay bills and survive, mostly because we have received some large donations and we have been frugal (we didn't buy any gifts for Christmas this year, not even for the kids.)   Josh also helped start our "tent-making" business of selling jewelry, which helped us pay for gas and we used some to splurge on a Cracker Barrel outing.

And I think that is the point of me feeling free to disclose the amount.  God will be able to use us to encourage others who struggle with finances, because let me tell you, I struggled with it for months.  But now I see that God uses everything to His glory.  It's not about the situation, it's about your heart.  Once we learn this, He can do amazing things through us.

It's good to be home...  Joy unspeakable!!

Here's an awesome verse for you:

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."
II Thessalonians 2:16-17 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh the good of grief!

 I say "Oh good grief!" alot.

Which got me to thinking what a contradictory term it was.  Is there ever any good in grief?  And where did the term originate anyway?  Yes to the first part and who knows to the second.  But lets talk a little about faith, which, surprisingly, will answer the good in grief.

Believe it or not, we are still doing RV traveling, and out of the last 15 months (being home maybe a total of 3 months) we have seen and experienced amazing, crazy, fun, sad, moving, educational, and unbelievable things.  And they have all taught us to grow in obedience toward the Christian life.
The result has been joy.  Not at first.  My fight or flight response is to kick and scream.  Loudly.  Ask my parents.  I was a foot-stomper.

So once I stopped, since it didn't seem to be doing much good, except waste alot of energy, I turned my efforts toward listening.  Alot.  And I thought I'd give a try to what I was hearing.  That's the obedience part.  AKA, faith.  (Faith comes by hearing... Romans 10:17)

Romans 10 is talking about giving the Gentiles the riches God had offered the Jews.  Riches that offer abundant and eternal life.  But verse 21 says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."

Faith requires action.  If faith seems a little fuzzy to you, beyond your understanding, then understand this:  faith is the same thing as obedience.  A faithful person is the one who acts on what they read from the Bible.

 James 2:18 "But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds." (emphasis mine.)

So guess what?  There is good in grief.  Grief in the sense of obeying even when it hurts.  That type of action matures a Christian like nobodies business!! 

Somehow we have managed to stay sane, still find time to homeschool (much to our kid's chagrin), continue ministry work, and make/sell jewelry, all while living and traveling in 200 sq ft of space. (Obedience...)  :-)
I will include a few photos of our travels as soon as we get to an area with high speed internet.  Meanwhile, I'll see if I can put a few up on Facebook. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

"What are you doing here?"

"He [Elijah] came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep."  I Kings 19:4-5a

"I have had enough, LORD", I said as we came to the end of the year last year.  Oh sure, just like Elijah I had seen some great miracles and been part of things that one knows are only done through God's hands.  But just like Elijah, I too felt like the amount of effort and energy one puts into going against the flow is exhausting.  Especially when many churches have focused inward and raising support in this economy is difficult at best. 

I have felt bitter toward many churches whom we have visited seeking financial and partnership support. Partnership in the sense of prayer involvement and finding new teachers that would be willing to go to Peru for a week or two.  More have been willing to partner with prayer and teachers, which is very needed, but nevertheless, after almost 2 years of trying to raise support, we are still only at about 18%.

So, like Elijah, I had given up, which is why I haven't blogged lately.  You know the saying, "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say it at all"?  Yep.  It is better to keep your mouth shut at times than to rant and rave.  Besides, I think I've done enough of that with my family... poor guys.

"All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again."  I Kings 19: 5b-6

I LOVE God's compassion and mercy. 

Even in Elijah's depression and bitterness, God restores his physical and probably emotional state.

"The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night."  I Kings 19:7-9a


[ri-stawr, -stohr] Show IPA
verb (used with object), -stored, -stor·ing.
to bring back into existence, use, or the like; reestablish: to restore order.
to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition, as a building, statue, or painting.
to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor.
to put back to a former place, or to a former position, rank, etc.: to restore the king to his throne.
to give back; make return or restitution of (anything taken away or lost).

Just reading the definitions is invigorating.   Who doesn't want to be restored when they feel drug through the mud?!  And God does that.  He didn't give Elijah "one upside the head" ,as my brother used to like saying, but restored his health knowing the journey would be too much if he didn't.
And here's the first thing God asks him after all that:
"And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” "  I Kings 19:9b (Emphasis mine.)
I've always just read right over that thinknig it just meant, What are you doing here on this mountain?  Shouldn't you be somewhere else?
I think it means something a little deeper:  What is the reason you are here?  But Elijah must be tihnking what I originally thought because look at his answer:
"He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” "  I Kings 19:10
And I replied, "Lord, we are trying to get people on board with us so we don't go under and can continue training Peruvians in the Bible but all the churches have rejected us and we seem to be the only ones doing your work!"  So, yes, I am prone to exageration but there's a lot of truth in there.
But God replies:
"The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”    Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  I Kings 19:11-13a

I have been through hurricanes but never any that could shatter rocks or tear a mountain apart.  That must have been intense.  I've also been in an 7 point earthquake.  Let me tell you, things get moved!  I'm curious how huge the fire was, but if it follows the magnitude of everything else, it must have been ginormous!

But it was only the whisper that God was in and Elijah came out (with cloak over his face.)

"A gentle answer turns away wrath,
   but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

And God asks the same question:

"Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” "  I Kings 19:13b

Interesting, because Elijah gives the same answer but I have a feeling there wasn't anymore bitterness in Elijah's tone.  Just a statement of truth:

"He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” "  I Kings 19:14

God must have been satisfied with Elijah's state of heart and restored condition because God's answer is:

"The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”"  I Kings 19:15-18

God restores Elijah's health, takes him into his confidence on a mountain, and helps him see the purpose of his life.  Which in his case was to continue the journey he had started, while at the same time God gives him specific directions which probably were very encouraging for Elijah.  He was finally going to see some results.  But his heart had to get back on track first.

"What are you doing here?"  Here on earth, living this life that God gave us.  Are you bitter at other Christians right now?  Or feeling depressed?  Get restored.  Realign your heart to listen to the truth of God, who comes in a gentle and caring manner.  He cares for your current state-of-being and once you are ready to listen with a contrite heart, He's ready to work with you and you Him. 

SO, want to help us financially?  We've started a jewelry business as our "tent-making business" (Paul in the Bible used to make tents to help provide extra income when the churches didn't give.) 

You can visit our website at:  and see if there's something you like and help us out too!  Thanks!!!  We also do jewelry parties.  If you'd like to help host one when we are in your neck of the woods, that would be wonderful!  Just leave me a comment and I will get back to you.