Over the weekend, we had David with us. This little boy loves to swim! He did great in the pool. Each day he was pretty tired.
On Friday morning, as we were eating breakfast, we had the biggest surprise of them all. We got a call via Skype at about 8:30am. Glenn handed the smart phone for David to see his parents, but instead, there was little Emily. What a surprise to all of us. Ellen had sent several email messages the night before and then early in the morning to let us know that she was in labor and going to the hospital. But we didn't have internet connection in our hotel room. But then again, as Grandparents, we were pretty tired out and needed our sleep too, much like Boy David.
Most of the meals we fed David in the highchair on the balcony of our hotel room. What a view.
Then on the last day, just before we headed back into the city, Jenny offered to let David have one last swim. He didn't complain.
GrandDad puts David right in the middle of the van, so he can look out the front window and see the winding road ahead. This also keeps David from getting car sick from all of the winding roads.
Our daughter, Ellen Kay, delivered a baby girl this morning in Nicaragua.
Mom and our new granddaughter are doing fine.
They named her
7 pounds and 11 ozs
born at 4:35am, February 22, 2013
photos courtesy of Luke R
Luke and Ellen
We currently have David with us in Guatemala, thinking this little baby girl wouldn't arrive until closer to her due date on March 8. We finally got on Skype to talk with Ellen this morning and immediately handed the smart phone for David to see his Mama. But there was a beautiful picture of baby Emily. We had no idea that Ellen was even in labor through the night. Ellen had delivered 2 weeks early. David smiled really big when he saw his new baby sister.
Mike Stephenson, Camino missionary for 30 years here in Guatemala, suffered a heart attack while at the Doctor's office. Glenn and Mike would on occasion walk together in the mornings. Mike had a sweet spirit about him and will be deeply missed here in Guatemala by fellow missionaries and by the Mam people with whom he worked for so many years.
This is the email that Glenn sent out recently. I thought it was important to include it in a blog format.
Sunday February 17,
days ago, February 7,the perfect number, our friend, Mike Stephenson
passed away after struggling with some health issues, from a massive
heart attack. He was buried on Saturday, February 9th in San Sebastian
surrounded by over 500 Mam people bearing witness to his life and
ministry. A number of Camino missionaries were also in attendance.
regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to
those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any
longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have
nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since
Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring
back to life those who died in Jesus....So reassure one another with these words." I Thess 4:13,14...18
Friday, February 15, we met with our president, Doug Livingston, along with
newly named VP of Global Ministries, David Ruiz, for an afternoon meeting. After
the formal gathering, we had a time of reflecting on Mike's life. It was a
bitter-sweet time with many tears. We closed the time remembering those
whom we have lost in recent years such as Mike Stephenson, Ed Sywulka, Abel
Morales, Esther de Nuñez, David Ekstrom, Wayne Berger, Pauline Sywulka
and Pauline Williams. Incidentally, we had our gathering in the Pauline
Williams room at SETECA.
Saturday afternoon, February 16, our good friends, Jeff and Kathy, missionaries with South America Mission, joined Mike's family and a few friends, about 20 people in all,
at the Paulo's 3s Company Restaurant, in Dania, FL, for lunch. Mike's
older brother, Tom, asked Jeff to say the blessing for the meal. Later,
Jeff was given about 15 minutes to share. The restaurant was closed to
customers on Saturday, so there were no interruptions and the Gospel was
clearly presented. Jeff reports that not only was there instant rapport
with the family and much appreciation expressed on behalf of the family
that Jeff and Kathy would be there representing Camino, but that God
was doing a work in people's hearts.
Three accepted Christ, including
Mike's aunt. We Praise the Lord. Jeff told Jacqueline, Mike's mother, that God really
loves her. She responded, "Now I really know that is true." Thank y'all
didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our
Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life.
Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with
him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll
all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know
you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it." I Thessalonians
Now David has to pump the stroller tires so he can go on a morning walk with Grammie and Mama.
I've flown to Nicaragua to pick up David and take him back to Grammie and GrandDad's house. In the mean time, I'm enjoying the Grammie Duty here in Nicaragua. David will fly with me back on Monday and will be with us in Guatemala for 10 days.
Ellen is teasing me that she thinks I can "potty train" David in the short 10 days, but I can't say I have experience in that category. Thank you Grandmommy (my mom) for potty training all 3 of our kids years ago.
Then I'll return with David back to Nicaragua and wait for BabyGirl to arrive soon afterwards (that's the plan, but you know newborns can have other ideas.) Ellen's due date is March 8th.
Ellen and Luke are in the midst of a new addition to their home and there are workers coming in and out of the house. There is dirt, cement, banging, hammering and electric sawing going on daily. But the end result will be nice...they will have a new 2nd bathroom along with a closet and laundry room.
Again, I am in awe at how the Lord brings new people into our lives. And we didn't even ask. Just the day before we were to arrive in Chicago, Nancy, the Alumni Director, sent me an email saying that "some alumni was offering her home to anyone who would like to stay with them instead of paying for a hotel room during Founder's Week." Well, that was a "no-brainer" for Glenn and me.
Thanks ClarLyn for your gracious hospitality!
And then on top of that, we were able to meet other new friends who were staying with ClarLyn also. It was good to meet Bonnie and Amos also.
We had several FULL days at Moody, re-connecting with old friends, making new ones, having dinner with old classmates, talking with new Moody student about their upcoming summer internships with Camino, and even staying our last day with old friends from Foster Avenue Baptist Church I knew as a MBI student years ago.
Again, my heart is blessed to see how the Lord puts old friends (Thanks Pam and Ken) and new friends (Thank you, ClarLyn, David, Bonnie, Amos) in our lives to encourage us on our journey. I am reminded that I can be "intentional" with relationships (old and new) and that the Lord puts folks in our pathway to bless us by offering us housing, a warm meal and a pleasant smile.
And I get moved each time that I see the parade of flags of nations. Each nation represented by a Moody Student has a flag displayed. Over 50 flags were on parade.
I love meeting new friends. Hearing their stories. Meeting Alumni from all over the world - especially those returning for their 50th Class reunion. Watching old friends reconnecting after so many years was thrilling! I thoroughly was energized by reconnecting with class mates from 35 years ago.
I loved hearing the messages and special music from the great historic
I remember listening to his voice over the PA system at Bible Memory Association Camp back in the 1970's. And then in 2002, I worked with his son and daughter-in-law, Kathy, while working for the BGEA team and the Dallas Billy Graham Crusade (Metroplex Mission).