Friday, January 16, 2015

Progress Report

Since we sent out the sad notification last summer that XYZ church was dropping their monthly support of $900.00 per month, we have been praying for new partners and also for any who might be able to increase their giving.  

To date:  We have NEW commitments of 565.00 in monthly support! PTL!  

These new supporters have touched our lives over the years in a variety of ways.  Some of these friends are past co-workers, some have visited us here in Guatemala and others we have known for many years.

We have heard from several other people who are praying about the possibility of joining our support team, and we trust God for His leading.

Also, FYI, there was a computer glitch and mail delivery was lost from the US post office to the Camino office back in November. There may have been some checks, one-time gifts and other mail that never got to us via the Camino office, so we are trusting the Lord that this problem will be resolved.  If you mailed a check and it hasn't been cashed, most likely it was lost.  Please re-send.  We are embarrassed and sad for this situation. 

We also thank the Lord for about 10 one-time gifts ranging from $25.00 to $3,000.00. Wow, what a blessing!!  Thank you, Lord!

So, Pray with us for:
Additional monthly supporters
Additional prayer supporters
but most importantly, 

Thank God with us for His wonderful provision.
 He is an ever present help in time of need.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Thursday Night Dinner

It is my favorite meal.  Mexican casserole.  I have made it twice in the past 3 weeks.  It is our "Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner" which we would have as a family while living in Bolivia.  It is easy to prepare and it is good.  Of course it has Ro-tel.

Our guests enjoyed the meal too.  We had lots of laughs and meaningful conversations as we reflected on how the Lord has lead in each of our lives. We drifted from stories of "how did I get to the mission field" to "the Lord is so good" to what are some recent challenges and blessings we have experienced.

How many of you recognize these guests of honor?

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Weekend of Adventures

Over the weekend, we took some friends from Texas out to the lake.  Our normal location was booked, so we drove our van to Panajachel, took a tuk-tuk to the boat dock and then a boat to Casa Del Mundo.

On our way, we enjoyed a picnic lunch at the over-look, on the back road.

Todd would hand-out tracts as we traveled slowly through the villages and towns.  As I looked in the rear-view mirror, I would notice the little kids sitting down and reading these words from God.  
Pray that these tracts would point them to the Living God.

The Ropers visited Nancy's shop and dressed up in typical Kachiquel outfits.
Sunsets are beautiful here.
Our second night was cut short because of a near-by raging fire that was fast approaching the hotel.  Read yesterday's blog.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

"Casa Del Mundo...Get Out, Get Out Now!!"

On Sunday night, just before we were to settle down for our second night at La Casa del Mundo, we looked out our bedroom window and saw a raging brush fire all along the ridge just NE of where we were staying.  It was 2 ridges away.

The staff assured us that this was normal during dry season, not to worry.  Most of the patrons at this small hostel/hotel were outside watching the fire creep slowly towards us.  The winds were horrific, causing the fires to spread quickly.

We could see small flash lights dotted all along the hillside where employees and even residents of the local village of Santa Cruz and Jaibalito were helping by digging trenches and clearing out the underbrush.

After settling down in our room, bags packed and fully clothed we heard at 12:45am in plain English, "Casa Del Mundo - GET OUT!"  We decided it was no use to stay there any longer.  The fire had advanced to the closest ridge by then and was threatening to top the ridge and head down towards us. The smoke was getting thick and the ashes were blowing around.  Glenn contracted with a small water taxi to shuttle the 20 remaining patrons for the 30 minute ride back to Panajachel.  

We counted out - 19 total with 1 boat driver.  We looked around and saw the 7 life jackets stored over-head.  Everyone's luggage was on the roof of the boat, and so we took off.

Today, we called the hotel/hostel to see how the establishment made it through the fire.  It was reported that their "storage shed" was destroyed.  Thankfully no other buildings were destroyed.

Click here to see a Youtube video 

 "It only takes a spark to get the fire going."

Sunday, January 04, 2015


Psalms 65:8
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

New Years Eve, 2014
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Neighborhood Fire

Yesterday, our little neighborhood was filled with some excitement.  Just beyond the Southern walls, there is a steep drop-off, into a ravine filled with pine trees, and it caught on fire from the massive fireworks demonstration throughout the city on New Years Day.  It is virtually impossible to reach because of the steep incline of the hill.

The fire was burning the dry brush.  And it was getting out of control.

The fire trucks arrived, someone said an hour after they were called, apparently with little water.

So, the neighbors got their little garden hoses and ran the water from the house faucets to the trucks and then they, in turn would pump a bit more spray through the large fire hose.

 They had to break a little hole into the retaining wall, to spray to get to the brush fire. Neighbors gathered and used their own garden hoses, strung together to help control the fires.
So, you would think the fire would get put out?  Nope, this morning, two days after it started, all during the nights, I could hear the crackling sound of the fire from somewhere down below.  We smell and see smoke rising over the ridge.  Yep, it is still burning.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Highway Tradition

Between the last of November and through the WHOLE month of December, if you are driving on CA-1, out towards the lake, you will notice kids of all ages sitting by the side of the road,  
waving their hands 
 jumping up and down. 
But, "Why?", you ask.

They are waving in hopes that you will throw wrapped candy out the window for them collect.

So, as we do each year, we joined in on the tradition.  Carrying bags of candy, we threw handfuls of sweetness to them out the window.  Occasionally, we would stop and give them tracts and larger amounts of candy. 

Of course you have to make sure that all of the candy lands OFF the road, so as not to endanger the kids.

They loved it.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Karen's Quick Visit

Just a 5 days before Christmas, Karen flew down to Guatemala to spend 7 days with us.  We had so much fun, that we extended her stay by 2 extra days.  This was a last minute trip and a wonderful Christmas present for us.  I know Guatemala is not "home" for Karen, but its where we live and it always feels good to have the kids come home where we live.  Karen had not been "home" since 2007 when she was here for Gary's graduation from High School.

We were able to spend 2 days out at the lake. 

After a boat-ride to Casa del Mundo and eating a delicious breakfast, we hiked up and down the foot path, 1.5 kilometers, to the small village of Santa Cruz.

We shopped at Nancy's store and Karen purchased a few items.
We enjoyed the Sunrise.
We took Karen to some malls to see the Christmas decorations.
And of course we took the typical Antigua photo shots.

Karen wanted to see the Pacific Ocean, so we drove down to Puerto Quetzal to have a fish lunch and watch the iguanas play among the rocks. 
We chilled in the hammocks as we breathed the ocean air.
It was a special time for all of us.  We made some good memories.  It was fun to have some one-on-one time.  We played lots of Skip Bo and Phase 10 card games, watched House Hunters International and enjoyed meals out on the patio overlooking the valley.

One of the highlights was the Christmas Eve celebrations that really got going at midnight with the sky lighting up with an unforgettable fireworks "display."

Thank you Karen for coming down to visit us.  We put her on the plane this morning, sending her back to Thomas, refreshed and tired at the same time.  We love you. 
 Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

36 years ago TODAY!!

What statements are true?

Then -- 1978

  • "Oh, Judy, you don't have to drive all the way down to Duncanville and see Tom and Mary." 
  • "Oh, but Mom, who knows I might meet my husband."
  • I had lunch with my high-school friend, Donna, at a hamburger place, once an old Gasoline station now hamburger joint on Greenville, Ave. 
  • I drove 35 miles south of home and visited old college friends of mine, Tom and Mary, who were not currently home, but were out doing last minute Christmas shopping.
  • Shy Glenn came over to the Beekman's home also before Tom and Mary return and we were able to meet for the VERY-FIRST-TIME.
  • Dec 23, 1978, 6 months after graduating from college, I met Glenn Stewart.  5 days later, December 28, 1978, we had our first date. 
 I am so glad I met you.  I love you, Glenn

now - 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Stamping Day

I am so blessed to have friendships that expand over  
25 years and over
 2 continents.

Linda served in Bolivia with us, along with her husband and children.  We made memories together by playing racquetball,  raising our kids together, enjoying crafts such as stamping and making home-made cards and serving together.  

Fast forward.  

All of our kids are grown.  Linda has grandchildren.  I have grandchildren.  Linda has children serving on the mission field.  I have children serving on the mission field.

Linda and Dean are spending their Christmas holiday with their adult child, daughter-in-law and grandchildren that are serving the Lord here in Guatemala with us.  So, in honor of our friendship, we kept up the tradition of stamping.

Did you know?  

That when I was trying to decide what my grandkids would call me, I decided to go with "Grammie", just like Linda's kids call her.  The only difference, Linda is known as Grammy and I'm known as Grammie, the slight spelling difference.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Karen Meets Karen - DFW Encounter

Karen is on her way to Guatemala to spend Christmas here!

I'm thrilled to have Karen come and spend Christmas holidays with us.  Although, Karen didn't grow up here, we are so super excited that she'll spend the holiday with us here at "home".

Friday night, Karen was on "standby" from DFW to Guatemala.  As she was waiting to "be called", a flight attendant came up to her and asked, "Are you going to be on my flight?" To which Karen replied, "I sure hope so!"

And THIS flight attendant is no ordinary flight attendant. This is our good friend from our days in Bolivia.

To Karen's surprise, it was another Karen. 

Karen B. meet Karen J, again.
Sure enough she was working AA1013 heading to Guatemala City.  An old friend.  We've known Karen since 1991 when as a single gal, she flew down to Santa Cruz to visit a real "missionary family".  She spent 2 weeks with us learning and enjoying our crazy family.

 So began a beautiful friendship. 

 Our paths with Karen have crossed many times. When Gary was only 5 years old, he and I flew up in 1993 to attend Karen's wedding to Kirk.  She has helped us with child care during our Bolivia Field Conference back in the late 90's.  And most recently, Karen has flown down to Guatemala bringing her family with her along with another family and they exposed their children to missionary life.  

Thank you Karen for your sweet friendship over the years.

My Karen did not get on the Friday night flight.  But, isn't the Lord good to give Karen a chance to "reconnect" with Karen even though it was a short 10 min. visit in front of gate D18?

My Karen caught the Saturday morning non-stop flight. Can't wait to see her.  Bring it on!  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Where's the Beef?

 I had to laugh when we passed a parked cattle truck, loaded with about 10 cows, parked outside of the Burger King.

Where's the Beef?
Always a good laugh!