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


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.
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


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.

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).

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