Saturday, September 24, 2016

Brokenness, Divine Appointments and Joys in the Journey

This is what I recently wrote a dear friend.

I haven't updated my blog in several weeks/2.5 months.  Thank you for praying for us. NOTE: this email was started a week ago and I am finally getting around to sending it to you.

We have been traveling - visiting friends, supporters, and several churches.  Here is a summary.  Our purpose was to reconnect with folks, present our work and gain new financial partners.

From July 6 - Sept 14
10,600 miles
40 beds
crossed through 26 states
countless tears as we heard peoples' stories and their struggles.
We are currently in Denver visiting the g'kids for several days, before we head to OKC to attend mission conference Sept 25-28, then we'll fly back to GUATEMALA.
We thoroughly loved reconnecting with old friends, making new friends and sharing about our Pastoral Care ministry in Guatemala with those we had coffee or visited over a meal with.  We reconnected with missionary kids who have returned to their college campuses, had coffee with old high school friends, lunch with old colleagues from Bolivia days and dinner with long time prayer warriors for our ministry.  We laughed.  We smiled.  We cried. We are blessed!

We are emotionally drained from the intense interactions as we intentionally met with old and new friends.  We are physically exhausted as we have kept on a fast paced schedule with our RAV 4 to travel on to our next visits.  But more so, we are even more emotionally exhausted and sad as we spoke with so many people who shared some of their deep hurts and challenges.  People are dealing with  -  challenges with their adult children, addictions, disappointments with other missionaries,  unexpected deaths, aging parents, job losses, loneliness and misunderstandings. Our hearts are hurting and softened.  We listened, we cried and we prayed with our friends. The overall "take-away" -People are hurting.

I mean, it was like a two by four hit us up side the head as we saw the "brokenness of the world".
  We live in a broken and sinful world.

We prayed for "divine appointments" and we saw that God provided over and over again.  Even last week at Northwest Bible Church, we connected with a new appointee with Camino who is also a Dallas Theological Seminary student from Mexico heading for Spain.  We met in line as we were getting our dinner there at church.   A divine appointment.  Another example, we were following the GPS, and made a wrong turn, which led us down Mitchell Road. When we saw the Mitchell Road School in Greenville, SC, which reminded us of Neil and Dianna Thomas (they lived and worked in Guatemala for several years) - we called them up and had a quick unexpected/unplanned visit with them. What a blessing!  We could definitely see the hand of God as he directed our steps and confirmed our different meetings.Another divine appointment.  We shared Jesus with an elderly man sitting at the picnic table outside of Chic-fil-A in Lynchburg, Virginia. A divine appointment. 


PS  All this to say, please pray for us as we are weary, discouraged - yet encouraged as we'll be participating in a new supporting church Mission conference next week.

This is what I wrote some time ago, like the first part of August...

It has now been over a month since I posted anything on my blog. Glenn and I have been traveling across the NE, visiting with family and friends along the way.

Just so you know that we haven't fallen off the end of the world...  So far, we have driven over 8,000 miles, slept in 29 different beds, visited nearly 80 people, shared the gospel several times and have found 12 different Letterboxes on our journey.

Our main objective is to visit family and friends, share the Word, continue on our partnership development goals, and if we have time we'll do some "touristy" stuff.  Here are just a few of the "touristy" things we have done.

 Aspen Trees
Bike Riding Glenwood Springs Canyon
Marble, CO
Glenn petting a deer
Rosenberger family
Going for a bike ride

Sound asleep
Family Shot
2 days spent sailing on Lake Erie
Niagara Falls
Glenn's 50th State
License plate barn
DL Moody burial - Northfield, Massachusetts
Pemaquaid Light House
Pink Sky
Full Moon and light house
A few hours at the Mall in DC
Washington Monument
Enola Gay at the Smithsonian
The Discovery

Blue Ridge Parkway

I will get back to posting more regular "blogs" in the next few weeks.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Neighborhood Parade

On Monday, July 4th, we walked up the alley to the annual local neighborhood parade.  What fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Several weeks ago, I flew from Guatemala City to arrive into DFW just before Ellen and her family were arriving into Dallas from Nicaragua.

David was anxious to hand me the seat-back emergency procedures card.
Emily's first words were, "Where is GrandDad?"
Lucy loved me towing her on the carry-on piece of luggage.

Little Lucy was a happy camper as she rode on my "carry-on" luggage!

Ellen with her grandparents

Little Lucy slept through lunch, but enjoyed left-overs from El Fenix once she woke up.
Above photos - compliments of Luke R.

Once Glenn arrived a week later, we took a Stewart family photo shoot. 
Glenn, Grandma Vi and Glenn's only sister, Sarah

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

James 1:17

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Madre Tierra

Sights and Smells
Grilling beef, sausage and onions
Recently we enjoyed a spontaneous lunch with friends, John and Gail and their daughter Lydia.  Thank you for the spur of the moment change of plans and for introducing us to this new restaurant (for us).  Madrea Tierra

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mapping it Out

We are grateful for the partnership we have shared with so many folks over the 30+ years of foreign ministry.  Read my posting about our homes over years. 

From mid-July through mid-September, Glenn and I will be taking a LONG ministry trip from Texas to Colorado all the way over to Boston and down through New York and Virginia and back to Texas.

Because our ministry account is running close to being in the RED and because of the recent losses of a number of major donors to our ministry account, we have sensed the need to visit family and friends face to face, to purposely thank those of you who have been a huge part of our ministry over the years and also to seek opportunities for adding new support.

We will be driving close to 10,000 miles and staying with family and friends along the way.

Our goals for our trip are
  • reconnect with family and friends
  • establish new financial and prayer support
  • raise $20,000 for the Pastoral Care ministry
  • raise $2,000 additional monthly financial partners for our personal support account

Please pray for us as we travel - for safety on the road, for a chance to reconnect with faithful, long time friends and for new contacts and opportunities to establish some new financial support partnerships.

On the road again

Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Letterboxing Stories

On my recent trip to the states, I was able to do several letterboxes.  Our first adventure was with Haley and her boyfriend, Andrew.  We found 2.  G'mommy and G'daddy stayed in the car.

Then I introduced Solomon and Grace, with their mother, to the Letterboxing Adventure.  Fun!

And finally, we took Jim E. to do a letterbox.  We observed and paid tribute to the legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Tom Landry.  This was especially meaningful, as Jim is from Wisconsin (he likes the Green Bay Packers). Hats off to Tom Landry!
Go Cowboys!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Driving Along Interstate 45 - Hope Coffee

 As we drove along interstate 45, North of Corsicana, Texas, we had to take a double take on the bill board we saw.

HOPE Coffee gives 100% of its net profits to spread the gospel in Honduras. By using our high quality HOPE Coffee, you are both supporting missions efforts and bringing high-quality coffee into your home, business or church. Check out the information below to learn more.

Check out Hope Coffee

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What is a Home Anyways?

As I looked at the calendar, I realized that I have lived in this house for 10 whole years.  Is it time to move?  One thing is for sure, it's time to get rid of stuff we have accumulated since our last big move.
Ellen (4) and Karen (2) in 1986
On Friday, June 13, 1986, Glenn (age 31), Ellen (nearly 4), Karen (2) and myself (nearly 30) packed up our belongings into 4 duffle bags, 4 footlockers and 2 hard case Samsonite suitcases and headed South with a one-way ticket, on a Lloyd Aero Boliviano Boeing 727, to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  

That was 30 YEARS ago!

The Rest is History.... 
Las Cristalinas #39  Guatemala City, Guatemala

I grew up in only 2 homes, the house behind the railroad tracks on Dalewood Lane  and the house on Fieldcrest Court near Lake Highlands High School.  However, since going off to college and getting married, it seems that we have
 moved every 3 to 4 years.

Inside my childhood home

 And now we are completing 10 years living in Las Cristalinas without a move in sight.
  I'm not complaining.  I'm just stating the facts. 
Trailwood Home Exterior - Grand Prairie, Texas

1980 - 1982 Hawthorne house - Glenn's parent's house
1982 - 1986 Trailwood home - our first house
1986 - 1989 Carretera Cochabamba, Kilometer 6 (across from Villa Rosita) Santa Cruz, Bolivia
1989 - 1990 Trailwood home
1990 - 1995 Carretera Cochabamba, 4th ring, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
1995 - 1996 Trailwood home
1996 - 2000 Carretera Cochabama, Kilometer 7 (Brooks' house) Santa Cruz, Bolivia
2000 - 2006 Trailwood home (while volunteering at Camino Global office in Dallas)
2006 - current Las Cristalinas #39, Guatemala City, Guatemala 

As I look back, living in 6 different houses in the past 36.5 years, it seems we have a pretty good record, especially when you consider living overseas, having a fast paced and unpredictable lifestyle and dealing with many of the challenges that missionaries face.

Carretera Cochabamba, Km 7 (Brooks' House) Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Carretera Cochabamba, 4th Ring, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

I wonder... "Who else remembers visiting us in these homes?"