June 30, 2010

What Jesus Can Do

Wow, what a testimony!

Thanks, bloggy queen, for posting! :) I hope everybody watches this one!

June 29, 2010

I Am Apprehended

from yesterday's My Utmost for His Highest...

"If that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended." Philippians 3:12

Never choose to be a worker; but when once God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or to the left. We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has apprehended us. There is never any thought of - "Oh, well, I am not fitted for this."...

"I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do . . ."

Am I Called?

I don't know if other people think about this question, but I do often. I love what New Tribes Mission says to all believers in response to this question (from their website):

Am I called?

Yes. God's called all believers to "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). So you need to discover what He specifically wants you to do. He's not hiding that from you; God desires to lead and guide us. You should spend time in prayer and in His Word, and seek godly counsel. And please consider this: You are already reading a website designed to help you take part in planting churches among unreached tribal people. Look for His guidance and follow His lead, one step at a time.


June 28, 2010

Why I Love John Piper

To be quite honest, this video message makes me sick to my stomach. I don't know why, exactly. Maybe because it's true. Maybe because it's hard. Maybe because I'm afraid the message is for me, and I don't want it to be for me. I don't know. I just know it's true.

June 26, 2010

June 24, 2010


Every once in a while Tony and I remind each other that we live in Disneyland. That's what life is like here in America, compared to life for 4/5ths of the world.

Today's post over at Paradox Uganda reminded me of this important truth.

June 23, 2010

Go, Send, or Disobey

I just finished rereading Bruchko by Bruce Olson. I think it's one of my all-time favorite missionary stories.

An excerpt (pp.38-39):

The church was full. I had been reading about New Guinea and was looking forward to a firsthand report.

Mr. Rayburn showed movies that he had taken. In one scene, a man was eating a rat. You could see the tail hanging out of the man's mouth - then, phht, it was gone.

"That fellow eating the rat there. He's not a Christian," Mr. Rayburn said.

Poor fellow, I thought, remembering how miserable I had been before becoming a Christian.

There were other pictures: some of extreme poverty in the midst of modern cities, some of "natives" and their odd clothes, houses and eating habits. Then Mr. Rayburn made his appeal.

"These people are starving, dying of disease, living in ignorance, eating rats. But most of all they are starving for the knowledge of Jesus Christ. They are dying lost, without knowing how Jesus Christ can save them from their sins. Can you sit comfortably in your seats and accept that? They're dying, damned to eternal condemnation! And what do you do? Maybe if you're really virtuous you put a little money in the collection plate on Sunday morning. Maybe you put in a dollar to reach these people starving for the gospel.

"But Jesus wants more of you. He wants more than your lip service to the great cause of missions. It's your responsibility to take the gospel of Christ to these people. Otherwise their blood will be required of you."

That is exactly how I feel.

John Piper put it this way, "Go, send, or disobey."

And my heart resounds in agreement with Amanda Berry Smith: "To stay here and disobey God — I can't afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed."


June 21, 2010

Bees, a four letter word

Our whole yard is a blanket of clover right now.

And therefore, one big blanket of BEES.

I hate bees. I don't care if they give us honey. They are evil, as far as I'm concerned. But, then again, I'm allergic. So that probably affects my opinion somewhat.

This spring I was sitting outside, watching the kids play in the cool of the day, Epipen by my side, when I saw it. The first bee of the season. My heart sunk. They ruin everything, those bees. So I began praying, yet again, what I pray every spring. "Oh, LORD, please don't let me get stung, ever again, for as long as I shall live. InJesusName. Amen."

Now, I've only ever been stung once, when I was 6 or 7, but once was enough. When my arm swelled up to four times its normal size, we realized I may have a slight allergy.

This year I began to pray a special prayer, "Oh, LORD, please, please, please don't let my kids get stung by any bees this summer. Unless they are not allergic. Then, please do let them be stung, but just once, so I'll know that they are not."

Then I tried to forget about the prayer and just trust and rest in God's protection. All the while continuing to bark at the kids to "put flip-flops on if you're going to go outside!".

But do they listen... NOoooooo! So, I chose to shrug my worries off and just let them run over fields of clover in bare feet if they so chose.

"Alright," I would say, "you may get stung by a beeeeee. Just so you knooowww..."

So guess who stepped on a bee this weekend?

Big A has been stung several times, so I know he is not allergic, but the two younger girls haven't ever been stung. There was a while there that I was just gripped by the fear of bees and dying by bee-sting (I know, I can be somewhat neurotic - I'm working on it, okay?). I was so afraid of hitting the mission field, walking along some deserted mountain road, and stepping on a hornets nest or something. Dead. By bee sting. That, and drowning, or being eaten by sharks, are my greatest fears. Oh, and heights.

Don't you feel better about yourself now? Chris is completely neurotic. Take heart - you're most likely not as bad as me.

Anway, I am so glad God answers prayer. Especially when you are least expecting it.

Little M stepped on a bee this weekend. And, boy, was she LOUD about it! Good thing I was not obsessing about bees at the moment, because I was able to go over to her, completely and miraculously CALM, and see what she was crying about (although I could guess, since she was bent over her foot and screaming bloody murder). The stinger and attached venom sack were still sticking out of her big toe. I had Tony pull out the stinger - 'cause you know, what if it sticks me or something? I watched her closely for the next five or ten minutes.

Fortunately, she does not seem to be allergic like her Mommy. Yay for answered prayer!

Whew. Glad that one's over. Now baby. I pray she gets doesn't get stung for at least another year or two...

I have a whole list of other prayer requests I'm waiting on the Lord to answer before we are able to take off for lands unknown. Maybe bees don't sound important to you, but the Lord knows I just need peace of mind in certain areas. If I am the only one allergic, then that's one less Epipen we have to carry around (if you can indeed get them there) and one less Mommy-worry for Mommy.

"Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:5


June 17, 2010

Reverse Reverse Culture Shock and more Missionary Training

Culture shock is what happens to you when you are immersed in a new culture. Reverse culture shock is what happens to you when you return to your culture after being immersed for a long enough time in another culture. Reverse reverse culture shock is when that other culture comes to live with you in your culture.

{Okay, so I made that last part up. But it should have a name - because it's real, too.)

So I mentioned we had visitors from the southern hemisphere for five days. Reverse reverse culture shock. Totally. We had a great time. But they're gone now. And I'm enjoying not having to eat dinner at 10 o'clock anymore.

Paul says, "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1 Cor. 9:22)

Ah, yes, couldn't be more true when I think of Argentines. Adapt, adapt, adapt!

Key word here.

There were many instances that I came face to face with this issue this past week. I couldn't number them all, but yes, situationally being forced to eat dinner at 10 o'clock would be one. You get used to it if you live there, but we live here, and my baby and my stomach are used to eating by 6pm. Ah yes, choosing to become all things to all people in the hopes to win a few can certainly be a bit of a sacrifice. Especially when you're cranky because you're hungry, it would be offensive to eat dinner by yourself in front of your guests, and you are asked, not for the first time, in astonishment at 6pm, "Dinner? Already?? Isn't it early?". I'm now finding the five pounds I gained in five days from basically eating two dinners rather annoying.

But all for eternity, right?
Anyway, we had tons of fun with them. They are a lovely couple and were great guests. Marcelo is an old friend and co-worker from Tony's former life as a TV cameraman. I had also met his wife, Patricia, several times, but didn't have much of a chance to really get to know either one of them that well while we lived in BA 10 years ago. A great couple.

So, of course, we had to take them downtown to see the sights; but we stopped by to see our mechanic on the way...

Our mechanic is Puerto Rican and lives in the WORST neighborhood I have ever been to in my life (stateside, that is). Even our guests, who've seen their share of bad hoods in BA, were afraid to get out of the car. It's not uncommon to see drug dealers (brand new shiny cars with tinted windows, blaring rap, with a 20 year-old driver circling around at high noon), prostitutes, and many a sketchy character. I was actually laughing at them (well not at them, but at myself) in recognition, because I used to be afraid just as they were. I was laughing in part because God has done such a tremendous work in my life in this area over the years. For years I hated going down there, so would avoid it at all costs. I would get mad at Tony for making me, and upset at myself for my own feelings of fear. When I had to go, I would grip the wheel and pray frantically to just be able to get out of there alive. I used to white-knuckle the steering wheel in fear asking God, "Why are you doing this to me??" and repeating to myself, "I could never be a missionary, I could never be a missionary..." over and over again, all the while shaking my head. There came a moment in time where I just had to hand it over to God and trust I wouldn't die before my time. And neither would my kids that were always in the car with me. I'm glad for the experience now, even though I hated it at the time. I can go down there now with little problem. It is a very dangerous place, but I have to say, excellent missionary training. They need Christ, too. And Tony is always faithful to share Him with them. 

Tony has taught me a LOT about how to handle myself as a white girl in the hood. Spanish hood, that is. He always, always, always tells me that if we get separated or I get lost to SPEAK SPANISH. When I do speak (which isn't at all, if possible), the cold, steely, angry faces suddenly change into shock, then amazment, then quickly melt into a great big grin as they wave and smile. Once you've earned confidence in the hood, they'll bend over backwards to help you. There are just "codigos", Tony says. You gotta know the rules.

So here are some shots from our scenic drive...

(notice drug dealer car in background)


 crackhouse, or maybe not - but sure looks like one, doesn't it?

And more pics...

asado (meat on the grill Argentinian style)


all the souls in Little Italy

*all pics taken with our friends' cameras
**mental note to self: must purchase good camera

Research, Gospel Translations, and Company

I've been spending a lot of time this week in research. Researching the people of Patagonia, the ministries (or lack thereof) going on there, and searching online for as much info as I can find.

We also had company from Argentina.

Tony, Pollo (Tony's friend and former co-worker), and Patri

It was great to be able to talk to them about how things actually are down there right now. The economy (bad), crime (very bad), and Bariloche (which they have been to, not so bad).

I had also forgotten how open Argentians are. They came right out and asked me when I was converted. And listened intently as I shared my testimony and the way of salvation. Tony also witnessed to them a lot on and off the entire 5 days they were in our home. So amazing. Salvation is of the Lord, but it was so fun to be able to openly share with people who actually listen to you, and respectfully. Wow. Refreshing.

Anyway, we've been praying alot, too, about what on earth God would specifically have us do there. There is a lot to do, that is for sure, so I've been having a good time continuing to research info and online resources, and posting a lot of the links above on our new Missions Links page. Fun!

This one I find a tremendous blessing and extremely helpful for sure, since we can print them out on the field!



June 11, 2010

God Can Use You

This is so cool I can't even stand it. This article is from this month's Answers (in Genesis) magazine:

(To read: click to enlarge, then click on image again to enlarge type)

What's amazing is that I found their blog back in 2007 before we went to Ecuador. Look what they are doing now! To think that the wife went to teach at a school for MKs... and to see how God is using her now to spread the Gospel! Even an artist can be an amazing evangelist. SO COOL!

God can use anyone. He can use the very talents, abilities, and skills He has already given you.

To see more amazing Creation Murals click HERE.
Description and photos from one of the trips here.
And their website here.


June 10, 2010


Patagonia is the area we feel God is calling us to. That could change, I suppose, but that's what we are looking at right now as a home base for missions. I had mentioned before that it is where the largest concentration of indigenous Mapuche, Tehuelche, and Ona peoples are in Argentina. Most, including 90 plus percent of the rest of the poplulation, have never clearly heard the Gospel, and many leaders of the indigenous churches that do exist do not even know how to read enough to read their Bibles. 

Here's a map I found today:

And an interesting blog resource: http://bloggersinargentina.blogspot.com/

Gotta love the internet. I'm kind of wondering what we are actually leaving behind... missions is not necessarily the austere sacrifice it used to be.


June 9, 2010

Nate Saint on Things That Hold Us Back

I have about 10 books I'm reading right now, piled precariously high on my bedside table. One is Jungle Pilot: The Life and Witness of Nate Saint - the inventive genius of Operation Auca by Russell T. Hitt.

I had a friend over today and we were talking about missions. We were discussing why more American Christians aren't willing to leave it all and serve Christ with their lives in places that are in desperate need of hearing the Gospel. Even Nate Saint wondered about it, too, and relates it this way:

"We make sure that we don't carry anything in the airplane that isn't necessary. When our mission bought the plane, it had nice, soft seats in it. But we found that these seats weighed amost eight pounds each. So we decided to use harder seats that weighed only one pound, and take seven pounds of extra food and cargo.

On the wheels of the plane there were nice streamlined fenders - or pants as they call them. They looked very nice but inside they were full of heavy mud. We decided to take them off too.

You know, lots of things are like that - they feel nice, or they look nice but they don't help us to get the job done. They hold us back, so we need to get rid of them. The job that the Lord Jesus Christ has for you and me is not an easy one. If you want to serve Him, if you want to help win others to Christ, you will have to choose one thing or another. It may be something you like very much but something that will hold you back. When life's flight is over, and we unload our cargo at the other end, the fellow who got rid of unnecessary weight will have the most valuable cargo to present to the Lord. Not only that. There's another secret. Two airplanes may look alike, but one may be able to lift twice the load into the air. The difference is the horsepower of the engine. Bible reading is the power of the Christian life. Dead weight doesn't do you any good and a big plane with little horsepower doesn't go anywhere."


June 6, 2010

Another Missions Opportunity

So, got another invitation to the mission field yesterday.


That's all I have to say (okay, not really).

And this video:

It's important to note that the inivitation is NOT FOR US ONLY(*see below). I find it simply amazing that Campus Crusade for Christ, a world-reknowned ministry with a fantastic reputation, is basically saying, "Please come and help us reach Argentina for Christ". Even if you're not part of CCC. Stunning.

I was talking to Tony tonight about how Americans wouldn't really believe me if I told them that they are welcome, begged even, to come and help spread the Gospel and minister in other parts of the world. We have this notion here in America that we're not "qualified", not "called", "well God would never use me" or "Me? No, what would I do?" mentality. It's just not true. You are NEEDED abroad. NEEDED. Let me say it again, NEEDED. I was so encouraged to read my friends' appeal for help, "God can use your gifts, talents, and abilities on this trip." They have opened up their mission trip next month to the NW of Argentina because the fields are ripe, but the laborers are few.

This is the Director of Campus Crusade for Christ in all of Argentina opening up their mission trip to anyone to come and help spread the Gospel and minister to the needs of the people of the NW region of his country... these are friends of mine. I know them. I've been there. I've seen the need. They are not kidding.

We would go if we had a few thousand dollars laying around. We would take our kids. Children are not a nuisance, hindrance, or inconvenience in most parts of the world, they are a normal part of life. And missions. I know that if I told our friends we were coming with our kids for three weeks to help evangelize the NW of Argentina with them they would say, "Great! Welcome. Thank you! Many blessings:)".

They would.

It's different abroad. It's DIFFERENT. There is such need that there is not the luxury of saying, "Oh, you're not from my denomination, so I can't work with you.", "Oh, well, we have doctrinal differences, so therefore I don't think we can work together", or "Well, it's not a mission trip through my church, therefore I can not go." This does not exist outside of America! We are 60 million Christians in this country. Sixty. Million. We focus on these minor differences. Because we can. Abroad, in a country of 40 million where maybe a 5% or 1% or 0.5% are Christians, there is not that luxury.

Go. Just go. Instead of going to Disney this year, take your family on a mission trip. You will not regret it. And neither will the ones who fall all over themselves to thank you, thank you, thank you for coming. If you are thinking, "Oh, but we need a vacation," did you know that it is actually very relaxing being in a foreign country where no one is in a hurry? It may possibly be one of the nicest vacations you've ever had. God might bless you in ways you could never imagine. His economy says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." He blesses you and fills you when you follow Him. In Him rest is found, even if you are outwardly "working". We definately found this to be true when we went to Ecuador.

"Freely you have recieved, freely give." Mt. 10:8

*Argentina Mission Trip - Calchaquies Valley (CCCI)

Saturday, July 10-31, 2010
Valle Calchaquies: Salta, Tucuman, and Catamarca Provinces
NW Argentina


Calchaqui Valley is an area in NW Argentina, adopted by Campus Crusade, where every winter (northern hemisphere's summer) since 2004 groups of 150 students, professionals and other volunteers have gone into dozens of villages, in teams of 10-15, to serve the people, to help with their needs, and to share how to have a relationship with God, as well as help them grow in their faith.

During these three weeks in July, 2010 we will have the opportunity to continue the on-going mission and social work in this region.

If you are a student, block out a couple weeks of your vacation time and come participate.

The health needs in this area are many (much needed medical supplies are many times not available, or a person has to travel many miles just to see a doctor). This is why we especially invite professionals in the medical and dental field who would like to participate by offering their services to the people for one, two, or three weeks.

We also invite anyone who would like to be a part of this service project by simply coming as a volunteer.

Ways you can participate, by:

*GOING: traveling and working together with a team in one of the villages (if you are a medical professional, you would participate by offering your services to the people)

*DONATING: the list of needs is updated every year. The greatest need is for shoes (especially children's shoes), school supplies, medicine (ask for the list of supplies by email), tools and paint. Donations are to be taken with you to Argentina, or you may also donate funds to buy needed supplies or in order to support someone going on this trip.

*PRAYING: join us in prayer for social and spiritual change in this region.

*SHARING: We need people to help spread the word so that more are able to participate in order to help the people of this region in Argentina. You may spread the word by mouth, by email (request the promo video by email and we will send it to you), sharing the blog above, by Facebook, or any other means.
Your gifts, talents, and abilities can be used to serve on this trip.


Cost per week: 300 Argentine pesos (approx. US$80) includes all meals and lodging during the trip, a retreat between the first and second week, also includes some assistance in travel expenses to reach the places in which you will be working
Registration: 30 pesos (approx. US$8)
Cost does NOT include transportation to and from Calchaquies Valley.

Note: Registration is for weeks in full, no half weeks or days permitted, in order to be able to count on a full group/team per week per village. There are also minimum group size requirements in order to carry out the work planned in each area each week.

Map of Argentina: http://www.argentina.gov.ar/argentina/portal/documentos/rafisicoypol300.pdf
Search YouTube: Proyecto Valles Calchaquíes
Blog: http://www.proyectovalles.blogspot.com/

**CONTACT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE: Cruzada Estudiantil y Profesional para Cristo Argentina**

*UPDATE 7/26/10: see photos of the trip HERE.

June 4, 2010

So I met George Winston...

Okay, so let me just say that one of the reasons I homeschool my kids is because I was so immensely unaware in my life, I just don't want the same thing to happen to my kids!

My husband still makes fun of me, daily, that I'm just a space cadet who lives on Mars, and is so spacey I can't even hold onto the salad I'm trying to serve him at dinner. I drop everything! I blame it on motherhood. He blames it on me and my spaciness. He's mean.

It's these kids, I say!

Anyway, I just realized that I met George Winston (I know, name-dropper, don't hate me). Like 15 years after the fact. If that gives any inclination to the depth of my spaciness. Upon adding some of his incredibly beautiful piano pieces to my bloggy music I'm thinking to myself..., "wait a minute..." didn't I meet that guy?? And yes, I did. He actually came over my house for dinner in college.

And I just realize this 15 years later.

I grew up in such a bubble. Nevermind... I think I still live there lol!

I had the COOLEST roommate in college, she was so neat, loved people, invited them over all the time. So, because we lived in Missoula, MT and George Winston, who also lives in MT because, duh, he grew up there, was in town often playing his piano in concerts and stuff yadda yadda means little to me... So my ever so cool roommate who loves people goes up to him after a concert and invites him over for dinner. And to share the gospel, of course. And he comes.

All I remember is that he was kinda cool, nice, normal, and a crunchy Montana guy like all the other guys in Montana. And he's been to Costa Rica. And apparently the girls are really pretty there. And I was thoroughly unimpressed.


yep, that's him alright. older, but that's him...

I am homeschooling my kids so the same pathetic fate does not happen to them.

What planet do I live on?????? I am certain there is no cure for me. I forgot my own wedding anniversary last week. Now this.

Hopeless! Pray for me.


June 3, 2010

June 1, 2010

What is So Rare As a Day in June

Printed out this free Nature Calendar for the month of June here.

Now that we are officially done "official" school (whew), time for the fun, relaxing stuff. Which, I think to myself, is what we should be doing anyway all the time...

The following poem is the Natural Science activity for June 1st: "Read 'What is So Rare As a Day in June'":

AND what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o'errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,

And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

Now is the high-tide of the year,
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For our couriers we should not lack;
We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,
And hark! How clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!

Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
Everything is happy now,
Everything is upward striving;
'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true
As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,
'Tis for the natural way of living:
Who knows whither the clouds have fled?
In the unscarred heaven they leave not wake,
And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
The heart forgets its sorrow and ache;
The soul partakes the season's youth,
And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe
Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth,
Like burnt-out craters healed with snow.

~James Russell Lowell
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