Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wanna Bike?

Each Sunday morning, a major boulevard in Guatemala City is blocked off for runners, joggers, walkers, dogs and bicyclists to enjoy the open road.

The workers are relaxing before they have to unload ALL those bikes. 

 I wonder how many are in each pick-up truck?  I know that each bike that is rented out, will bring smiles and joy to the children who will ride them alongside their parents.

Friday, August 28, 2015

O Taste and See



O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
 Psalms 34:8

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Corruption and Elections and Public Outcry

The upcoming presidential election will be held here in Guatemala on September 6.
The President and Vice-President have been accused of stealing funds from the Guatemalan "IRS".  Just last week, the VP was held hostage in a local hospital then escorted to prison after she had resigned in the face of immense pressure by the media and Guatemalan's general population.  The members of the current President's cabinet have just recently been resigning.  Read more here.
There have been regular protests in the central plaza calling for the resignation of the current President. The news stations are covering the mostly peaceful protests.
Pray for safety, discernment and wisdom for all in light of the unsettling events occurring here in Guatemala.
  Pray for a peaceful election on Sept 6 and that God would be honored.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lunch and Tracts


Last week, Glenn and I headed up to San Lucas to have lunch with Patricia.  Besides eating at one of my favorite places, San Martín, we had a time of encouragement, reflection and some team goal settings and conversation.

The Selfie

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Psalms 118:24


This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24

Friday, August 21, 2015

Food Truck - Meals on Wheels

I know Food Trucks are very popular these days in the United States.

I was surprised to see a Food Truck here in Guatemala.
This is a Chinese Food Truck!
Don't shoot! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

TV Delivery

Close
Closer
Closest!

That's one way to get your TV back home.

I hope there resolution is more clear than these pictures, taken on the move.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Emotional Week

This past week, my personal emotions have felt like an ECG graph reading.

Up and Down

Off the chart at both ends

I'm asking the Lord, what's next?  If you asked me how I was doing, I would have to sum it up like this.
  
Disappointment, 
Happiness, 
Shock, 
Scared, 
Challenging, 
Joyful, 
Worried, 
Grateful, 
and Blessed.


On Sunday night, we received a discouraging email from a mega church declining our support partnership.  Ugh.  My heart sank.  Why?  We had filled out the application form and we felt very encouraged.  It took a while for that disappointment to settle into reality.


Then on Monday, our emotions did an upswing.  We saw pictures of baby Callie (insert blog here about Callie) born to my niece.  That put everything into perspectives. My parents had become Great Grand Parents again for the 7th time.  What an accomplishment.  Our emotions were leveling out.  I felt like God was in control again and near to us.


Tuesday, I read on-line that the Mission Pastor from a former supporting church, who had mysteriously disappear several weeks early, had died of self-inflicted wounds.  My heart sank to the lowest level.  How could this happen?  We cried.  We prayed.  At times likes these, I really start thinking about life.  The meaning of life.  Our witness and testimony to those around us.  I start thinking about depression and how it can take a stronghold on any life.  So my ECG graph hit rock bottom here.


Later that evening, Glenn and I were on the other-side-town, when there were 4 simultaneous shootings at 4 different locations, targeting the red city bus drivers.  Traffic came to a halt.  People were angry and took things into their own hands with protests about the lack of protection and the need for more security into these poverty-stricken neighborhoods. I became thankful that I was not harmed.


Wednesday we spent a good chunk of the day ministering to a missionary couple who are dealing with challenges about interpersonal relationships with some of their co-workers.  We talked about solutions, Satan's attack on our ministry and how we need to focus on Him.  This made me start thinking how we can become distracted.  My focus needs to remained on God who is in control.  My ECG chart was recovering.


My ECG chart had a high peak on Thursday, when I opened up monthly giving records and noticed a special, one-time gift of $600.00 from a friend we had just met only 6 weeks earlier.  My heart jumped for joy.  I thought to myself, "Wow, Lord, you are good.  You encouraged us with this special gift from practically a stranger, in the midst of our rough emotional week."  I felt encouraged and more hopeful.

On Friday, Glenn called my neurologist to find out the latest reports of some blood work that was done the previous week.  The Dr. is now recommending me to see a Rheumatologist doctor to determine what, besides my neuropathy may be causing the pains I have in my feet and legs.  What's next, I'm thinking?  The Doctor's appointment is not until the end of the month. Please be in prayer with us.

Then Saturday we received a call on our Internet phone. We hardly receive calls on this phone line.  It was encouraging to hear the voice on the other end, a voice from a long time friend, friends of 30+ years.  She mentioned her husband had recently joined her in 'retirement'.  I congratulated them both.  Then she sadly mentioned that because of their new retirement status, that they would have to discontinued their monthly support for us.  Ugh.  It was a significant amount.  She reinforced the fact that they will continue to pray for us in the months and years to come.


Then the Lord did it again.  Before I went to bed on Saturday night, I opened up my email to receive an encouraging note from a dear retired missionary friend.  She thanked me for our friendship and mentioned that the check I mailed to her had arrived.  I smiled and count the days until I get to see her again.  34 days.

Wow, what a way to end the week.

It started off with  Discouragement.  Birth. Unexpected Death.  Shootings. Health. And ended with words of encouragement.  He did it again.  The Lord proved his sovereignty.  He is in control.

So what does this  coming week have in store for us?
  I don't know.  

During my devotions last week,  I was reading Psalm 38 - 40.  It describes how I actually felt.  Anguish.  Despair.  Disappointment.  Sadness.  As I continued reading, I was encouraged by the psalmist in Psalms 40.  There is Hope and Assurance.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
 He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Callie


Last Monday, my niece, Catherine, and husband Clay, became proud parents of new beautiful baby girl.
This makes 7 Great Grand Children for my parents.

{photo courtesy of Bev M}
 Karen, along with cousins Brenda and Catherine with baby Callie. 

{photo courtesy of Bev M}
Karen and Thomas visiting sweet Callie

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It Took a Miracle


1. My Father is omnipotent, and that you can't deny;
A God of might and miracles, ´tis written in the sky.

CHORUS:
It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when he saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace

"It Took A Miracle" was a song I sang throughout my teenage years at the small Baptist church I attended and also at Bible Memory Camp.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Like a Rose


The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
Isaiah 35:1

Monday, August 10, 2015

I'm on a Roll!


The Toilet Paper Roll at the Women's Restroom in a local Pollo Campero Restaurant is locked up on the back of the door.

The management doesn't want anybody stealing the roll of toilet paper.

Hmmm....The Things you see here in Guatemala.  

Its not Wrong, its just Different.

I usually have my own handy Kleenex in my purse for those "just in case" moments.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Mexican Casserole


An all time Stewart family favorite is a recipe from my mom (Frances Marr).

INGREDIENTS
12 Tortillas
1.5 pound of ground beef
1 onion chopped
3 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 large can of Ranch Style Beans
1 pound of chopped Velveeta Cheese
1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can of Ro-tel

Preparation - Preheat over to 350 degrees

Take 6 Tortillas and butter the bottom, and place face down on the 9x13 pan.

Brown the ground beef and onions.  Add Chili Powder.  Drain fat.
Pour of the lined tortillas.  Pour Ranch Style Beans on top.
Chop the Velveeta Cheese and place on top of the Beans.
Add remaining 6 tortillas and place on top of the Velveeta Cheese.
Mix Cream of Chicken Soup with 1 can of Ro-tel.
Pour on top.

Cook for 45 min - 1 hour.  Serve with salad and chips plus salsa.




I get asked for this recipe all the time, so I thought I would post it on my blog.  Then I have access to this delicious dish all the time. 

We would make this recipe for Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving and even special birthday celebrations.  Fast and easy to prepare.  It is a hit every-time.  It is a standard request that I make each time we visit Ellen and Luke in Nicaragua.  Can't live without my Tex-Mex fix.

Friday, August 07, 2015

4 Teens and a Sponsor


For the past few days, we hosted and connected with 4 teens from Illinois.  All the girls are home-schooled and Allison is their Spanish teacher.  After spending a week in Spanish language classes in Antigua and doing various activities of community service in the afternoons, the group of 5 headed to Tikal for a quick weekend trip to experience the jungles and beauty of the Mayan ruins.

On Monday, they returned to Guatemala City at which time we connected with them to serve at Casita Benjamín for several days.  We also wanted them to experience different ministries and meet different people throughout the city.


The team learned about the culture in and around the Guatemala City Dump.  They later watched the video, "Reparando."  Check out the 'trailer' above.

We drove through the local cemetery.
We saw men near the dump organizing the scrap metal that they had found or had purchased.
The team spent 3 days volunteering at the Casita Benjamín Day Care Center near SETECA.  They loved hugging on and playing with the children.

Thank you, Allison, and team for your volunteering and service these past few days.  We appreciate your willingness to learn and also for being flexible.
The girls were challenged and impressed by hearing the missionary stories from Bob H.  We also hosted 2 other Camino families and 1 Intern for my famous Mexican Casserole dinner topped off with homemade brownies and Lemon Pie.
What is a mission trip without enjoying Argentina steak at our favorite restaurant, Media Cancha?
Dinner at Pollo Campero.
Relaxing at Santa Terresita Hot Springs.
Thanks for coming and blessing the children at Casita Benjamín!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

UT in Guatemala

You never know what you are going to see on the back of a Tuk - Tuk.

University of Texas Longhorns


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Tree with Character



I thought that this tree in the middle of the intersection here in Guatemala had some character.

Psalms 92:12
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Something to Think About


Before the mountains were born
 or you brought forth the whole world,
 from everlasting to everlasting
 you are God.
Psalms 90:2
 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Glenn's 60th Birthday

On Sunday Glenn celebrated his 60th birthday.  I absolutely had nothing planned special for him.  He knew that.  However, we made it special anyway.

We decided to drive 45 minutes away to the Santa Domingo Hotel in Antigua and have a leisurely breakfast at the Sunday Buffet.  We had never been there for breakfast before.  Wow!  It was delicious.  We sat at the table and slowly worked through specialty omelets and crepes made to order, fruit of all kinds, café con leche, etc., all of which were delicious. This turned out to be our brunch.

We sat at the table watching the FaceBook Birthday greetings.  Our children had a special 'posting' of 60 things that they are thankful for about their dad.  

Read their post here or read below.

Words cannot adequately describe what a great husband, father, friend, servant, and leader you are. Here is our attempt (your kids and their spouses) to appreciate and honor you on your special day.
 
1. I have such fun memories of staying up late playing Rook in Samaipata. - Ellen
2. I like how you make Pirate’s Eyes quite delicious. - Karen
3. The time you taught me to ride a bike. - Gary
4. The times you’ve visited us in Nicaragua on my birthday and bought Pops Ice Cream. - Luke
5. I like watching “Spies Like Us” with you.  - Thomas
6. The time you took us out to eat when visiting KC. - Gary and Madison
7. I like how you would frequently pick me up from Iglesia Bautista Biblia Abierta when I was heavily involved with the Deaf ministry. - Karen
8. I loved when you would take me to McDonald’s for breakfast or to a donut shop on the way to school when I was in 2nd grade. - Ellen
9. The time we worked on my scooter I had for a bit. - Gary
10. Talking football with you and watching games on TV together. - Luke
11. I love how much you love Judy and will do anything for her.  - Thomas
12. I loved going to make airport runs with you in Bolivia. - Karen
13. The time you bought us a gift card to a restaurant for our anniversary. - Gary and Madison
14. I love hearing stories about growing up in Mexico or your days at Moody. - Ellen
15. I like how you crossed yourself whenever the Trinity was invoked at an Orthodox church service.  - Thomas
16. The times you took me to go flying in the Cessna. - Gary
17. The time you drove a group of us up to Volcán Pacaya. - Luke
18. I blame you for my addiction to Wendy’s Frostys. I agree, chocolate is the only flavor it should come in! - Karen
19. The time you taught me to curve a soccer ball. - Gary
20. I like riding bikes in Colorado with you.  - Thomas
21. I always think of you when I watch movies involving lots of stunts/action of cars and planes. I think “If Dad was watching this he would tell me exactly why this situation is scientifically, aerodynamically (or whatever) completely unrealistic.” - Ellen
22. The time you took me to the river to go 4-wheeling. - Gary
23. I like how you take Snickers out to go potty when you come to visit. - Karen
24. Always saving the little "free" stuff hotels provide. - Luke
25. The time you fell down the stairs at the Blakely’s house. - Gary and Madison
26. The cruise was the best vacation we’ve ever been on. I’m so glad you convinced Judy to go. Fun times!  - Thomas
27. The time you allowed me to drive the Toyota truck and I got it stuck in the sand. - Gary
28. The time we played chess on a life size chess board in Guatemala. - Luke
29. The time you rescued me when my clutch gave out. - Gary
30. I loved traveling with you to Guatemala for Christmas of ’14. Such a fun time! You made me a giraffe out of cardboard tubes left over from wrapping paper. - Karen
31.That time when I was in first grade and you super-glued my lunch box back together after I had dropped it while riding on your motorcycle with you. - Ellen
32. The times you took me to the junk yards to pull parts for cars. - Gary
33. The time we waited out the rain at the gas station while on motorcycles in Nicaragua. - Luke
34. I love the sound of your breathing machine that lulls me to sleep at night.  zzzzzz  - Thomas
35. The time you rescued me from the roof of the 3rd house. - Gary
36. I loved that you and mom came to Dallas for our marriage ceremony on November 13th …and the dinner afterwards. Very special. - Karen
37. You can always rig up something in any situation. - Ellen
38. The time we rented mopeds in Honduras. - Luke
39. The time we fixed up a car with cardboard and duct tape. - Gary
40. The time we drove to Houston at 2 am to deliver a bed in Granddaddy’s pickup. - Gary
41. I like how you drove us to various Orthodox churches in Colorado.  - Thomas
42. I loved having you get me saltenas as a treat during mid-morning. - Karen
43. The times you taught me all about cars. - Gary
44. I remember helping you at the SAM base during the summer of ’98. I would answer phones, make copies, and pay solitaire. It granted me such secretarial organizational skills I carry on into the present life. - Karen
45.The time we had to stay at the Base several days because our road was too flooded for our truck to make it back home. - Ellen
46. The times we use to play soccer on the xbox. - Gary
47. I liked creating Karen’s Kitchen and making everything out of potatoes because that’s all that we had. ‘This Spuds for you” was an item. - Karen
48. I’m so glad you taught me to play guitar and that we share a love for music. - Ellen
49. The time you painted the H on the Passport for me. - Gary
50. Always looking for ways to fix up stuff in our house or car. - Luke
51. I like helping you make Judy happy with doing the letterboxing and following clues.  - Thomas
52. The infamous chairs you attached on top of our truck. - Ellen
53.The time you haggled the price down of the repair for the 4-wheeler. - Gary
54. I loved that you and mom drove all over Guatemala trying to find me that Orthodox orphanage. 
We finally found it! Maybe next time I’ll go in and visit. - Karen
55.  The time we camped out in the tree house at SAM base. - Gary
56. I like how you make changes in your own schedule to accommodate our need for church. - Thomas
57.  If there is a way to find a pun in a situation, you usually say it. - Luke  
58. The time you allowed me to take the Cessna simulator home to play with. - Gary
59. I loved that you took me to the Orthodox church in Guatemala City on Christmas day. - Karen
60. I’m so thankful for how patient you were with me in middle school when I was in tears over math. - Ellen
WE LOVE YOU, DAD!  Happy 60th Birthday!

Thank you Ellen and Luke for putting this together for Dad.  

Thank you Karen, Thomas, Gary and Madison for being a part of this beautiful message of love for Dad. 

We laughed, we cried, and smiled as we read how you are thankful for your Dad. 

 Happy Birthday, Glenn.