Saturday, May 03, 2014

Back to class

The counseling classes are in full swing again. We had 19 students in class today. It is so exciting to see people learning and growing personally. It's such a joy to know how many lives can be changed through these students as they reach out to help others.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Baptism highlights...

Last Sunday we had 10 people get baptized out the Palacio family farm. 
Here are a few memories from that beautiful day!

Afterwards we had a barbecue and there was plenty of time for swimming in the creek.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bloom where you're planted!

As I was pulling into our driveway this little flower caught my eye. Tucked into the rocks but still growing. What a metaphor for life. The setting for this flower is not ideal and yet it is blooming. Have you ever been in a tough spot like this before? I know I have. And somehow, some way, in His timing, by His grace, and in His strength, we survive. This is the secret Paul talks about in Philippians 4. And like Paul we can learn to thrive under less than perfect conditions through the lessons God provides. We find a way to adapt to our environment and we move forward.

Next time I'm feeling like I'm in a jam I will think of this flower and use it as inspiration to bloom!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Catching up...

I'm so far behind with giving updates on our work and life here. Please forgive me. It's been a bit hectic lately. Here are a few snapshots of what we've been up to!

Tom and I had a fun night celebrating with other couples at a dinner on Valentine's Day.

Our church is in it's new building and we're growing!

Tom and I are enjoying getting to know Pastor Han and Sarah. 

Sarah prepared a wonderful Korean dinner for us.
 Bulgogi, kimchi, potato pancakes, tofu, served with rice & veggies.

CDF had it's annual Women's Conference

A new counseling class is in session

We got to deliver shoes, socks, and underwear to needy kids

And all of that was just in the past few weeks!! 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Something old, something new

On Sunday after church Tom and I found a little Indian place tucked back among the stalls across from the bus station.  The smells and tastes of the food brought back memories from our time in India.  Each Sunday after church we would walk a few blocks to George's and enjoy their awesome food.  

We weren't quite sure what to order. And I cannot even tell you the names of everything we ate. There was a young man sitting at a table enjoying his lunch so we asked him what he was eating and then ordered what he had!! I love it when people are excited to share their culture with others. He directed us to a table and ordered the food for us. Everything he ordered was tasty and I'm sure we'll eat there again.  

This little place has been there for years.  We just hadn't ever walked back there before.  So we got to experience a new place that wasn't exactly new!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pray for Ukraine

Tom and I visited Kiev, Ukraine many times during the five years we lived in Russia. Often we would stay for 2 or more weeks at a time for Tom to teach there and for us to renew our Russian visas. Our youngest son, Spencer, lived there for a year. We have friends there. We know missionaries serving there now that attended language school with us in Russia.  Last night several of our friends were posting on Facebook about the young man in the photo.  He was 20 years old and was killed by the police. Protests have been going on in Ukraine since November. But, last night they turned deadly.

You can read about the violence here:

CNN:   Ukraine protest movement: At least 4 killed in clashes with police

Reuters: Ukraine opposition say they'll brave bullets after talks with Yanukovich fail

Washington Post: Ukraine’s protests are back. Here’s why.

Buzzfeed: World Economic Forum Drops Ukrainian Prime Minister As Protesters Die In Kiev

I won't print anyone's name, but, one friend said that things are getting worse and not better.  One said that it is very scary there.  One friend reported that television signals had been turned off and fears that they will lose their internet connection as well.  And yet another said that their only hope is in Christ and the prayers of believers.  All we can do from afar is watch and pray.  Please pray with us for Ukraine, her government, and her people.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

treasures of darkness...

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Along the journey of life there are treasures in darkness and there are riches to be gleaned.  Late one night back in November I was feeling like there was very little light in my life. I was grieving over some personal losses, feeling like there was not much hope, and was unable to sleep. God spoke to me in the midst of my sorrow and out of that darkness came the treasure of a song.

I made a recording that night so that I would not forget the tune. And then I got a little bolder and sent that rough recording to a music producer for Roots and Honor Records here in Belize. Tom and I met with him a few days later and during that meeting the producer, Mervin, encouraged and challenged me to write more songs.  We met again last week and I sang him several of the songs that I've written over the past few months.  It was nerve-wracking and exhilarating at the same time to sit there, vulnerable, just my voice and my words, baring my soul before the people in the room. However, I am thrilled to be able to say that we will begin working on my first CD in February!  

My precious daughter-in-love sent me the above verse after she heard that my word for this year is Hard.  I am so grateful for the prayers and encouragement to look for the treasures inside the challenges of life that I face.  It is because of this verse that I can look back at November and see that out of a very rough patch came the beginning of the realization of  lifelong dream.  I started singing in church when I was 10 years old.  I've been performing for 40 years. After experiencing the absolute joy of singing at Spencer and Meesha's wedding reception I knew that I wanted to do more with music while I still have a voice left to sing with.  I am so grateful for all that brought me to this point.  

Do you want to know the title of the song I wrote that dark night in November?  It's called 'He's Still There'. And let me tell you...He is still here, right beside me, guiding me every step of the way!