Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Might Be A Missionary If...

Being on the mission field for any length of time makes an indelible mark on the missionary family. Sometimes we complain, but most of the time we enjoy the wonderful, sweet, fulfilling, and funny aspects of life in a foreign country!

During our first term on the field, my friend Dotti and I compiled this list of You Might Be A Missionary If's... At the time, she and her family were missionaries in Guatemala, too, and she inspired the idea. Some of these pertain especially to Guatemala, but I think missionaries in other countries will identify with most of them.

I hope you enjoy these, and if you are or ever have been a foreign missionary, I invite you to add your own in the comments!


You Might Be A Missionary If...

...You're getting directions from someone, and they point with their lips.

...You answer your phone with your customary greeting, only it's starting to sound more like, "Alo?"

...Your children speak the foreign language better than you do and they don't even study.

...You catch your oldest child toting the baby around on her back.

...You drive your family car places that a Hummer has only dreamed of going.

...The shocks on your vehicle need to be changed once a year.

...Brahma bulls head you off in oncoming traffic as though you are in their way.

...Stomach issues are a way of life.

...Strangers pick your children up and kiss them as though they are family.

...Living without electricity and water is not just what they did "in the old days".

...You are buried the same day you die.

...When you do, the casket shop is conveniently located across the street from the free public hospital.

...You're eating a typical meal at a wedding or birthday party, and the guy next to you leans over to give you advice on how to keep it down.

...All the locals standing around try to help you back up your vehicle, every one giving different directions.

...Small children carry loads on their backs that would make most men tired.

...You cannot get away from the beautiful mountain and volcano views.

...Religious processions block main streets for hours.

...A car crash can do the same thing, and the people simply park in the street and socialize.

...You wouldn't dream of drinking water from the faucet.

...You have ever been late for church because of a burning tire road block protest.

...You have ever ordered lunch and at the same time had your car windshield washed at a red light.

...The "Marketplace" is not a Winn Dixie grocery store.

...You have ever crammed 36 Guatemalans into an eight-passenger van.

...Airline buddy passes are like gold.

...You speak two languages and can't spell in either.

...You have bars on the windows of your home.

...The traffic through town resembles an arcade game, only with chicken buses and beat-up Toyota pick-ups.

...You find yourself looking around you at the strangely dressed people and their strange customs, and you suddenly realize you really love these people.

...When questioned by U.S. Customs whether you have brought any animals across the border, you say "Only amoebas."

...Emails from the States brighten your day.

...Sharing the Gospel and seeing folks get saved makes it all worth while!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Special Guests

Bob and Nalani Stevenson, with Carpenters for Christ, came to stay with us a couple of nights, and what a fun time we had! While "Uncle Bob" and Daniel worked on making plans for our roof, the children and I kept "Aunt Nalani" busy.

Nalani (pronounced /Nuh-LAH-nee/) is Hawaiian. Here she is drawing us a map of the Big Island. She shared her salvation testimony with us, how she was raised Catholic, but didn't know Jesus as her Saviour until after she married and had moved away from her home state. When they returned to Hawaii some years later, they helped start an Independent Baptist Church in South Point.

She was born on the island of Kawaii, which is the one she is pointing to. South Point is located at the southern-most tip of the Big Island. Say a prayer for the church there, as they are looking for a pastor who speaks English and Spanish. Anybody want to pastor a church on a beautiful tropical island?

This couple is such a neat testimony of God's grace, and of living the Christ-life here on earth! It was a pleasure to have them in our home, even if the visit was all too brief.

...I heard that Nalani used to be a hula dancer! I'll have to get her to teach me some of those graceful hand motions next time we see each other.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Food on Fridays

Chiles Rellenos

This is a dish I tried to make a few years ago, and Daniel was not crazy about it. But the other day, he brought home these beauties:

What could I do?

This is what I did...

Remove the tops and seeds, then blanch them in boiling water for just about ten minutes. (Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.)

Meanwhile, brown about a pound of ground beef in a skillet with a chopped onion and a few chopped tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. (I use very lean beef, so there's really not any fat to drain off.)

Then add 2 or 3 shredded potatoes or frozen julienne potatoes, cover and let cook until the potatoes are tender. If you want them a little hot, sprinkle the meat mixture with chile powder, or pour some hotsauce over it. Yum! (I'm cooking for children too, so I didn't.)

Drain the chiles and stuff with the meat mixture, placing them carefully into a greased baking pan. Choose a pan that will just fit all of them, so that the chiles are touching. This supports them so that they stay stuffed, and it also keeps them cozy. :o)

Top each chile with the cheese of your choice. I had extra stuffing left over, so I "stuffed" it in between the chiles in the pan.

Then pop them into the oven for about 45 minutes. If you want, you can make it look more like a casserole and sprinkle shredded cheese over the whole thing. I didn't have that much cheese on hand, though.

I can't remember how I made chiles rellenos last time, but this recipe was a winner with my husband and the children, too! We served it with homemade salsa and guacamole.

It was very filling, and no one could eat more than one chile. So the portion size is easy to plan for the number of people you are going to serve.

It's a colorful, slightly exotic meal that was really inexpensive to make. I might make these again next time we have guests!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day Ten

Here is a quick report of Day Ten of the Shampoo-Free Experiment:

I waited five days again before washing my hair. It was oilier than I like to let it get, but tolerable since I wear my hair up. I expect this to happen until my scalp adjusts to the new washing schedule. The baking soda massage felt soooo good this morning, and I had really been looking forward to it. After rinsing that out, I poured vinegar onto the ends, let it stay for a minute, then rinsed again.

I wasn't sure this wash was going to work so well because of how oily my hair was, but I was once again pleasantly surprised at how well the baking soda worked! My hair came out clean, soft, and tangle-free. This is truly better than any shampoo I've ever used, no matter how much I paid for it.

I did lose as much hair as I used to when shampooing, but I attribute that to an over-zealous massage with the baking soda. (Note to self: Be gentle! lol)

I smelled a little bit of the vinegar after rinsing, but not once my hair had dried. I am using "raw" vinegar, but I think the store-bought kind would work as well.

So that's where I'm at on Day Ten! Thanks, Amy, for letting me know how you liked your baking soda wash. I'd love to hear the stories and opinions of others who try this, too! Just leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shake Awake

We were awakened this morning by an earthquake at about five a.m. I tell you, if you really want to jump out of bed ready to go in the morning, get one of these.

It'll do it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Musings

I've been reading through Ezekiel (in English), and this has been a time when I'm glad I went to Bible College, because little of his visions would be making sense if I hadn't! The four-faced creature in chapter one must have been quite a mystery to the prophet -- it was intended just for us Christians in the church age. Four faces, four gospels. One face was that of a man, which describes the gospel of Luke, which portrayed Christ's humanity. The next face was that of a lion: the gospel of Matthew, which portrays Christ as King. Another face was that of an ox: the gospel of Mark, which showed Christ as Servant. And the last face was that of an eagle: the gospel of John, which takes us to the heights of Heaven, Jesus is God!

I loved verse 8 of chapter 2, "But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee."

...I'd like to use that one on my children sometimes, ha ha.

Then there's the sober warning in chapter three to the Watchman. Those of us who are aware of the danger of God's wrath are obliged to warn others, lest their blood be upon our hands! Heavy stuff.

Some verses in chapter fourteen really grabbed my attention. From verse 22, "Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD."

We are living in an evil day, much like Israel in those days, when many are turning their backs to God, and we will surely face God's judgment as a nation. But there were children raised up back then who loved God and walked in His ways, and it was a comfort to their parents.

I want my children to be part of that remnant in these days!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Righteousness and Mercy

Proverbs 21:21 "He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour."

When I read that proverb with the children this morning, I thought what good companions righteousness and mercy are.

Righteousness without mercy is oppressive, pitiless, hard-hearted and cruel. By itself, righteousness tends to puff up and make one proud, and it will not extend a hand of compassion to the weak.

Mercy without righteousness is spineless, does not deal with sin, nor conform the heart and life to God's will. Mercy on its own has no character or compulsion to do what is right.

But righteousness and mercy, hand-in-hand, are the perfect balance! Jesus Christ is our example of that balance. This Psalm speaks of him:

Psalm 85

9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

We can follow Christ's example by walking in His steps (righteousness) and extending His hand to others (mercy) and giving them the Gospel! Therein is found abundant life, true righteousness, and honour for the Christian (though we deserve none).

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Shampoo-Free Experiment

Today is the fifth day since I used shampoo, and I was going to wait longer before I posted about my experiment again. But today for the first time I used baking soda to massage my scalp, and I am so amazed at how good it felt when I rinsed it!

I followed these directions: In a small cup mix 1 Tbsp. baking soda with just enough water to make a paste. In another cup, put 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar. Wet hair, then massage baking soda paste onto scalp, starting at the crown, then working to the back and sides, using small circular motions with your fingertips. (This is the same way I used to shampoo.) Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Then pour the vinegar onto the ends (not the scalp) and allow it to stay for a minute or two, then rinse again.

That's it. My hair felt so nice and soft, and it doesn't even smell like vinegar. Usually after I shampoo, I have to apply some sort of conditioner or detangler, and I also lose a good amount of hair each time I wash. But today, I did not need a detangler, and lost half the amount of hair I usually collect in my comb.

I am pretty impressed! I plan to wash this way about every five days, or maybe eventually every seven days. I'll post again about it in a week or so.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The No 'Poo Movement

(Don't worry, it has nothing to do with constipation.)

I keep seeing news bits about people who are giving up shampoo and turning to alternative hair-care methods. Have you heard of this yet? I can hear your reactions, "Ewwwwww! No shampoo? Gross!" And that was my first reaction, too!

There are several reasons for doing it. Some cite health reasons, some are looking for "greener" ways of living or ways to be more frugal, and others simply have sensitive skin and want to try going without the shampoos that irritate their scalps.

In light of the recent news of carcinogens (!!) detected in children's shampoo products, and the fact that most commercial shampoos do contain toxic ingredients that should not come in contact with our skin, I'm inclined to give it a try. After all, my grandma didn't wash her hair every day, and her hair looks great in all the pictures! Maybe the women of her day were on to something...

One article I read showed photos of a woman before and after her no 'poo experiment. Before, her hair was straight and lifeless. After, she had discovered that her hair has a nice, natural wave, and it has more body. She said it was much healthier, and she didn't have to fuss over her hair so much after she stopped using shampoo.

Anyway, here is one article that I found very helpful. And if you're interested, you can do a search online of "No 'Poo", and you will find plenty to read about it.

I'm going to give it a try for a few weeks, or until I can't stand it anymore, ha ha. The last time I washed my hair with shampoo was Sunday morning, March 15th. I will let you know how things go!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Letting God Control the Womb

There were some very good, though-provoking comments on my last post, and the discussion was going to get too long, so I decided to write another post. My friend Tammy was referring to this post I think, when she said that I bring this up a lot. I don't think I post about it very much, but it is an issue that I have thought about and discussed with my husband a lot.

Her comment brought a different dimension to the discussion: What about women who have forseeable complications, especially life-threatening? I know a family (the Lockwoods) who just came through a gravely dangerous pregnancy, and both mother and baby are doing well, thank the Lord. (Their blog is in my right column under missionaries, if you are interested to read their story.) It seems that God gave them sufficient grace to get through a difficult pregnancy, and He has truly blessed them.

I realize that every situation is different. But what I truly want to have, and provoke others to have, is the mind of God on the issue. Many, many couples use birth control because they don't think they can afford to have a baby, or they have plans for their life that don't include children. Some want to "space" their children out. Some just find pregnancy uncomfortable or inconvenient. (Incidentally, the sister I mentioned in this post has never had any complications, does not even get morning sickness, and hardly knew it when she went into labor.) I am talking about couples who are married, who are Christians and say they trust God, yet they lean on their own understanding when it comes to having children.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pro-Life Thinking

Almost everyone I know personally would say that they are pro-life. What most people mean when they say that is that they are anti-abortion, meaning they think it is wrong to destroy a life that has been conceived. I have known many people who believe that, and yet they are not quite pro-life.

Of whom do I speak? Of those women who say it is their right to close their own womb.

"For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb."

Our Creator fashioned a beautiful plan called the family. One man and one woman unite in a unique, holy, spiritual and physical union that God blesses and said from the beginning that it is good. The natural blessing of that union is children, which are to be received with thanksgiving and love, as gifts from God. Why then do we turn away His blessings, taking the reins in our own hands? By doing so, we not only insult the Creator, but we deny ourselves the blessings that He would bestow upon us.

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."

Who is it that is the Giver of Life? It is the Lord. How often does He want to give new life to the family He wants to bless? If we will take our controls off the womb, we will find out what His will is. But it has even been declared "irresponsible" to have more than -x- number of children. Does that attitude come from God?

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Why is it that we can trust Him for our salvation, but we can't trust Him to form our families? Do we know what is best, better than our Creator does? Of course not. Then why do we wrest from His creative hands the right to create a life? We have become arrogant and self-serving. We block the womb, and then dare God to work a miracle if He wants us to have another child. What wickedness!

"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:"

Satan has attacked the very cradle of life: the woman's body. He has whispered a lie in her ear that it's her body, and she believed the lie. This one lie has led to both abortion and to birth control. Why is Satan concerned with the fruit of the womb?

"As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth."

Children, raised up in a loving, godly home, are the offensive weapons against Satan! Open your eyes, Christians!

"Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Testimony: How I Came to Wear a Veil

I have only lately in life worn a headcovering. I had never heard it taught, and the few times I had ever wondered about I Cor 11, I was convinced that vs. 15 meant that a woman's long hair is her covering.

We had been on the mission field for a few years when I began to reconsider. I had met some Mennonites here, and one young Guatemalan lady in particular was friendly to me, and had done some sewing for me. One day I just came out and asked her why she wore the cap, and she directed me to I Cor. 11.

I went home and read it again. And again. I was not convinced that it was talking about a veil besides the long hair, yet it didn't seem truly "settled" in my soul. I discussed it once with the wife of another Baptist missionary, and she said, "You know, if my husband wanted me to wear a veil, I would wear it in a heartbeat." I told her I was sure that the long hair is the covering, and we dismissed the issue.

For about three months I kept finding the veil mentioned in various passages in my regular Bible reading. I prayed about it. I talked to my sweet husband about it. I finally just begged the Lord to show me the truth, I was so tired of feeling unsettled about it! And that's when He opened up verse six to me:

"For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered."

I tried to read this verse with my long-hair veil in mind, and it did not make any sense. "For if the woman (have short hair), let her also (cut her hair short)??" Nonsense. The verse only makes sense if it is referring to a veil besides the hair. Looking at it that way, the whole rest of the passage falls into place, too.

I showed that to my husband, and he had no misgivings about me wearing a headcovering. I started right away.

Soon after that, we left for a furlough in the States. I was a little nervous about my new appearance and what waves we would make as we visited our supporting churches and our family. But it was silly to worry, and we had a wonderful time. Didn't even lose any support over it! I never felt ridiculed. In fact, I felt that we were just as loved and respected as ever. And a special bonus was that I came across other Baptist ladies who covered, and some others who don't cover but confided in me that they knew in their hearts that they should. I was amazed, and I thought, "Why haven't I ever met women like this before??"

This is not a popular issue, and when it does come up it tends to ruffle some feminine feathers. The only reason I can think of for why it has that effect on women is that it touches on our appearance and our pride. I know I love my hair, and enjoy caring for it. I admit, it's very long and beautiful, and it drew the admiration of others when I used to wear it down in public. It is my glory! And that is a good reason cover it, that I might be shamefaced and modest before the Lord and others.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Closing Another Week

For the most part, I am glad this week is over! My sweet hubby and oldest son were out of town Monday through Friday, and they were sorely missed. I have been nursing a Monster Cold since Sunday night -- the pressure in my head and my lethargy reminded me of when I had Hepatitis A. (Not a happy memory.)

...But now our family is back together again, and I am so thankful. Daniel enjoyed a great Pastor's Conference, and came away with some great truths about music that glorifies God (and what doesn't). I can hardly wait to read his notes.

I totally missed posting a Food on Fridays, since I was getting ready for Daniel's arrival. Once he got home we then took a quick trip to the coast to run an errand and make a visit!

To be honest, I woke up this morning uncertain about what day it was. I lay there before getting up, praising the Lord for this glorious new day, the Lord's Day! And looking forward to church later on... Then I realized, it's only Saturday.

Oh, well. This is the day which the LORD hath made! We will rejoice and be glad in it. :o)

Have a blessed Lord's Day, and I will "see" you on Monday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two Special Visitors

Today two little ladies came to my door for a visit, and wanted to give me a tract. They called themselves Jehovah's Witnesses. I was not feeling well but I wanted to talk to these women, and we struck up a conversation.

Indicating their tract with a beautiful portrayal of an earthly paradise, they asked me if I would like to live in a place like that. I told them that the Lord promised me that He is preparing a place for me (John 14), and it is not here on the earth!

I asked them who Jesus is, and of course they told me that he was the Son of God (which is only half of the truth). I told them that Jesus is God in the flesh (Emmanuel - God with us), which is why He allowed people to worship Him.

I pointed out some differences in their "Nuevo Mundo" version from my older, reliable version of the Spanish Bible. Is it not strange that the Watchtower needed to create its own version in order to accommodate its doctrines? Dangerous stuff.

I could not keep them at my door much longer, but as I shared the truth, I looked them in the eye and spoke firmly but compassionately. I pray that something I said planted a seed of truth in their hearts that will lead them out of this dangerous and powerful organization.

We are called to bear the gospel to the lost in Guatemala. Some of them happen to be Jehovah's Witnesses, and they need to know the Jesus of the Bible, too!

I'm brushing up on my knowledge of how to better talk to a JW. Here are a couple of links, in case you would like to be prepared for an encounter:

How to talk Creation with a JW

Witnessing tips from an Ex-Jehovah's Witness Elder

Still alive...

...But barely!

I have been under the weather since Sunday night with a terrible cold. Though this is the third day, it does not seem to be letting up! My children have been so sweet to help out with some housework and entertain themselves while I rest. I don't know how much school is getting done, but at least we are treading water!

I wanted to share some verses that are a blessing to me, as well as to anyone who is in Christ:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39

Have a blessed day!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Food on Fridays

I think I might like to feature some comida típica from time to time for my Food on Fridays posts. The other day my daughters and I went to visit a neighbor who was recovering from surgery. As we sat with her, one of her older daughters came in with steaming cups of what they called pinól.

Humble as it looked, it tasted delicious, and I asked her what it was. She said it is made from toasted corn that is milled into a powder, then whisked into a pot of water. This is set to boil, sometimes with a stick of cinnamon, and sugar is added.

What you get is a delicious (and rather filling) hot drink.

She sent some of the dry meal home with me, and I made some for my husband. He says it reminds him of cream of wheat, but with a corny taste (and it's not as thick). I think the toasting of the corn is what makes it taste so good!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

If the shoe fits...

Recently a thoughtful reader, Amy, brought up a good question and some great points about shoes and modesty that I thought others might find interesting. She wondered if high-heeled shoes are modest apparel, but stating that she feels "funny" and less-than-dressed-up if she doesn't wear them to church since all the other women there do, though she admits that is not a good reason to wear them.

Here is what my response was:

When I was first married, my husband teased me all the time about some of my shoes, especially when I would complain at the end of the day how they hurt my feet. It was an early lesson for me in vanity, and it made me ask myself, "Why do I wear these shoes, anyway??" Of course, for fashion's sake, I continued to wear them. So silly!

Regarding shoes and modesty, the only place I can think of in the Bible where the feet are considered was in Isaiah 3:16.

"Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet..."

It seems that the haughty, vain women wore shoes that particularly drew attention with chains or bells of some sort. While that may not be in vogue these days, there are styles of shoes that are intended to attract the attention of men and make the legs appear more "sexy". I can not say here what styles those are (for lack of space), but I think common sense will take over if we let it.

It seems you have already asked yourself why you wear high heels, and answered it with, "Because the other women wear them," and you are right, that is not a good reason to wear them.

Consider also how your shoes treat your feet. Do they squeeze your toes? Cause callouses? Make the ball of your foot ache? If the shoe is not good for your foot, then sheer practicality says don't wear them. Only vanity would say wear them.

Read I Tim 2:9 in light of footwear. "...that women adorn themselves in modest (shoes), with shamefacedness and sobriety..."

Could you describe your shoes as modest and sober?

Now I used to have a pair of classic black shoes with a moderate heel, low and wide. (Liked 'em so much, they are one of the few pairs of shoes I've ever owned that I actually wore out!) They looked dressy and nice, and not as casual as flats, but they did not hurt my feet and did not draw attention to my feet/legs. I would call them "sober". I wish I could find a pair of them here in Guatemala, lol!

But all aspects of our apparel can be looked at through the lens of the Scripture, and the answers are there. God bless you with wisdom as you seek His face!

Part of Amy's response was this: "I have thought before that it is probably vain to wear something that I can't wait to take off because they hurt my feet and back. I've thought that probably isn't God's will."

"Who will wear a shoe that hurts him, because the shoe-maker tells him 'tis well made?"
Algernon Sydney (1623-1683)

Amy also said, "I don't know how to put my finger on it, but there is also quite a difference in the way a woman walks when wearing heels as opposed to wearing flats."

Here she makes a very valid point that I had not thought of. Do a woman's shoes make a difference in the way she walks? I demonstrated for my husband walking flat-footed, then walking with my heels elevated. We agree that there is a definite difference, all the way up. The lower back arches, therefore the bosom is thrust out, as well as the backside, and when walking it causes the hips to sway.

You've probably seen what I am talking about. I thought this funny photo might be a safe way to illustrate what high heeled shoes do to the posture. Observe:

(This photo is not from my house, and not of my child. Not my shoes either, ha ha.)

Now I am having a little fun with it there, but also want to seriously consider the matter.

What do you think? Can shoes be immodest? Do high heels change the way a woman looks when she walks?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday musings

I hope you all enjoyed a blessed Lord's Day. What a refreshing way to start the week, meditating on God's word and fellowshipping with other believers. We need each other! So much the more as we see these last days upon us.

Friday we all went to the Seminary with Daniel, and the children and I did school while he taught his classes. Then we all ran errands and did grocery shopping together - a rare treat! All our business in town took all day, and by the time we got home everybody was exhausted.

It was still too early to go to bed, so we had a bite to eat, then some read books, some colored, some played...

...and some just couldn't last another hour.

Poor children! It was a long, busy day.

On Friday we also "chanced" to meet up with a very nice family from Pennsylvania. They have come down to Guatemala for a family missions trip. They seem to be getting along bravely by themselves, visiting different areas of the country using the bus system.

They accepted our invitation to visit our church on the Lord's Day, and we had a good time of fellowship around God's Word, and later around the table for lunch. Does that look like a crowd, or what? With our six children, and their six children (they have three more that are married), we did make a large, lively group. What fun!

Daniel arranged to transport them to the bus station this week, and they will travel to the airport in the capitol, from whence they will fly home. What a sweet blessing it is to have met these sweet believers, and to be able to help them in some small way. It is amazing how when strangers meet and find one another to be believers in Jesus, they don't regard one another as such "strangers".

May God bless you in a special way this week!