July 28, 2007

Reunion Time!!!

Only the Lord could have orchestrated the timing of this reunion....
Katie and I met each other, I guess almost three years ago, here in Antigua....we were both living here, she was learning Spanish and I was here "fostering" my little sisters, Alli and Amanda. We met at an English Bible Study and our friendship was almost instant. We grew close during our time here and have stayed close ever since. Katie is one of those refreshingly honest people who has a beautiful way of expressing her heart and who is insightfully discerning. So often as we have journeyed together through different events in our lives, time and time again Katie would express what was going on in my own heart when I didn't have the words...definitely on the same wave length to say the least, but she also just has this amazing gift! We both returned to the states for a while and then Katie flew back to Guatemala to serve in Jalapa where her life changed dramatically as she met and married her husband, Carlos! Anyway, Katie, Carlos and her parents all just happened to be here in Guatemala for a couple weeks and I can't even tell you how much fun it has been to be together again.

The Lord can change your life in a year, that's for sure...neither one of us would have ever dreamed we would be where we are today!!

We are counting the days until my good friend Alison and her baby Samuel fly in from California on Tuesday to stay for TWO WEEKS! Yeah, pretty much ridiculously happy about that visit!! Alison has been to Guatemala once before when she flew in to help me care for little Lauren Rosenow when we were losing her due to her serious heart condition, but her visit was limited to us going back and forth from the hotel in the city to UNICAR cardiologist hospital, so I am excited to introduce her to everyone and have her live life here in Guatie with me for a few weeks! The time will go too fast, it always does!

July 27, 2007

Two are better than one....

"Two are better than one...

for if either of them falls...

the one will lift up his companion....

Is there anything sweeter than little girls??? Madi has taken off and is walking EVERYWHERE...such a fun stage as she has just become my little companion...she is such a happy baby, and keeps me on my toes as she was blessed in the uhhhh, well the spunky personality department. She reminds me so much of myself, except it's usually the part I subconsciously try to cover and not show too often!!! :-) Ha! My favorite is watching her dance. She bobs up and down with this silly "Aren't you proud of me" smile on her cute chubby face...we both just laugh. She is going to keep me from ever getting too serious and settled in life, that's for sure. Not sure life has ever been so perfect......


Friends we had over for pizza dinner this week!

I had the opportunity to spend the day with Donie ( co-director of Casa Bernabe) and some of the Casa Bernabe staff this week, as we met with some of our attorneys and then visited an orphanage in the city who had asked for help and support. It was such an unbelievably rich day on every front, but my time with Donie was especially memorable as we talked for hours, she counseled and imparted without even knowing that she was what she was doing and the wisdom and depth of her walk with the Lord just flowed as she shared so much of her life and testimony. If it had been at all natural, I would have asked to pull out a notebook and write as she spoke...I could have written a book. She has been on the front lines of orphan ministry for over 40 years, the testimonies and miracles abounded as His word and love went forth through this simple woman whose credentials were only that she was yielded and listening. I didn't want to forget any of it..it's just this desire that wells up in your heart to grab on to the depths that you see of God's hand working in someone's life, which is your own hunger for Him...the desire to sidetrack all of the things that bog us down... bog me down and learn from someone who has grown to know nothing but the cross of Christ and the life He brings, in the simplicity and purity of the gospel.I don't want to waste time, years in being sidetracked, distracted, or bogged down with the unimportant. Mentoring, wow is it ever important and vital. I WANT to hear what God is speaking to someone who has been serving and loving Him longer than I have been alive, that kind of opportunity is an incredible gift. A gift I have been given my whole life with my own mom, someone who believed God for the lives of her children and someone who dreamed big... that each one of her children would love Jesus with every portion of their hearts. She was my "Eli" when I would pad into her room at night and say "Mom, I think God just laid this on my heart" ..she would teach me to go back and say "Speak Lord for your servant is listening" She taught me to hear His voice by her faith. And then I look at Madi, perfect, spunky, darling little Madi...where do I start mentoring her, how could I ever be an accurate picture to her of the Lord, I want her to know His greatness, have her life changed by His love. I could easily be overwhelmed by the "what if's" and the responsibility of leading this little one to the cross...but then, maybe it is more simple than I am making it, maybe it just all starts ( and ends ) with "Jesus loves me this I know"

July 22, 2007

Another week.....

Seriously, you guys, you have got to be the sweetest, most loyal, supportive friends in the world...thanks for your e-mails checking on us and phone calls too ( and for friends here in Guatemala who offered to baby-sit, come to visit, grocery shop...we felt so loved, thank you!)...we are alive and kicking and gearing up for a busy week ahead of us! My brother Caleb was here for the past two weeks ( he stayed on when the mission team from my home church left) and we have been sicker than sick with some wretched bug and literally would go from the bed, to the couch to the sprite bottle (on the good days)...yeah, not a fun one and it hit all three of us! I kept telling Caleb how sorry I was he was so sick ( he was the sickest of all of us, for two weeks straight) as I knew his "To Do" list for his time in Guatie was long and detailed and instead he was sick on my couch and he just kept saying "Heck, I love being sick with you!" Talk about a true brother to the core! Yesterday was our first really "well" day and we hit the town, walked for hours, ate dinner at good ole' Pollo Campero and treated ourselves to unbelievable chocalate crepes!!!!

Caleb left early this morning at 4:00 and Madi and I went to church and then met friends in the park to say goodbye to another good friend who is going home after living here during the adoption process for their twin girls! Another unbelievable couple with a testimony that would bring tears to your eyes...I could write a book full of the testimonies I have seen and heard during my time in Guatemala! Seriously!!

.....Matt, Emily and GIRLS!

Madi is so cute...she loves to worship and last Sunday I looked down and she was raising her hands to one of the songs, I totally cried of course...tears that turned to laughter later that day when she solemnly raised her hands to Dora the Explorer's theme song! Oh well, can't win them all!

July 9, 2007

I know I share alot about Hermano Pedro and the children living within those walls, but I meet the Lord there everytime I walk through the doors...how could I not...His presence flows through and rests in each corridor, because the inhabitants are His very heartbeat...I was there last Saturday and was actually once again at little Alex's crib, and to my surprise from the radio that had been playing Latino love songs, came ( in English...thank you Lord...He didn't want me to get bogged down with translating!) "When you believe" a song from "The Prince of Egypt" and I am sitting there, stroking little Alex's forehead listening to this song and the world just seemed to stop for me ( maybe for both me and Alex) and I stood there at his crib and cried.... most of all convicted how I had shortened the arm of God in my mind and heart, believing that He too saw each child trapped in their cribs and felt hope slip away like I do so many days when I walk away after putting kids back in their cribs and hearing their cries as I walk back out the door into the sunshine of life...but, see that's just it...He doesn't...He doesn't walk away and His arm is not short and His power is GREAT and His love and mercy have no end or beginning. This is the God who split the sea and His people walked through on dry ground, this is the God Who heard the cries of His children and brought them into a Promise Land they could barely even begin to believe existed, this is the God Who met their needs, Who fed them, Who taught them, Who guided them, Who miraculously rescued them from the hands of their enemies...and so last Saturday, He stretched my small faith just a little more and exposed me once again to His heart, His power, His life changing love for the children living in Hermano Pedro.... I have no desire to put the Lord in a box anymore, I have been there, done that...I am all out of answers, just back where I started, at the foot of the cross where the power and love of God can change lives!


Many nights we prayed

With no proof anyone could hear

In our hearts a hope for a song

We barely understood Now we are not afraid

Although we know there is much to fear

We were moving mountains

Long before we knew we could.....

There can be miracles When you believe Though hope is frail

Its hard to kill Who knows what miracles You can achieve When you believe somehow you will You will when you believe.....

In this time of fear Hope seems like the summer bird

Too swiftly flown away

Yet now I'm standing here

My hearts so full, I cant explain

Seeking faith and speaking words I never thought I'd say

There can be miracles When you believe

Though hope is frail

Its hard to kill Who knows what miracles You can achieve

When you believe somehow you will You will when you believe

July 7, 2007


You guys are so great...thanks for all your e-mails wishing us a nice vacation time as a family. When the rest of our mission team and some of my family left last weekend, I had my brother Andrew, his wife Hannah, little sister Virginia and brother Caleb stay on through another week. Andrew and Hannah came to me one afternoon early in the week excited about this amazing deal they found, super cheap and we could stay in this "resort" right on the ocean about 2 1/2 hours from Antigua! We have been talking about going to the ocean so this seemed like the golden opportunity and we loaded up and headed out for three days. I am not sure if we laughed or sweat more....we had one of the best times I can remember. We completely roughed it, Madi loved every second like a little native and the ocean took our breaths away and we fell asleep each night to the crashing of waves...does it honestly get any better than that? We talked for hours, laughed like there was no tomorrow, took naps in hammocks, weren't even a little careful what we ate, "enjoyed" the crabs, bats, and iguanas ( the latter two IN our huts) played in the waves, stayed up late, experienced the whole island losing electricity for an entire night ( so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of your face) got eaten alive by mosquitoes and wore grass skirts....okay, well, we didn't wear grass skirts although it would have been completely appropriate, we decided against it when we thought of the alternative for the guys! Such a fun time...We decided it was perfect and want to do it yearly!

Andrew and Hannah just celebrated their 1st year anniversary....what was really fun is they honeymooned in Guatemala, so the "coming back" part was special for all of us!

The front of our "resort"

We came home to several good bye flings for my dear friend Katie and her baby Eliot, who are going home to hubby and daddy as Eliot's adoption is complete....not only has Katie become a close friend, she has been such an inspiration to me spiritually, has been the trooper of the year during a really tough adoption process and not sure I have laughed at/with anyone more, except my sister....she is so fun and we love the whole Mohr family and are so delighted and rejoicing with them in the hand of the Lord in their life and HOMECOMING!!!

With Bella....Madi's partner in crime and cuteness...works nicely as I love Bella's mommy too!!

Caleb is here and will be staying until the end of the month which is really entirely too good to be true!

July 1, 2007


We just spent an unbelievable day at Amor Del Nino and I wanted to post pictures for all of you who have such a heart for this amazing ministry...seriously the blessing of God is all over every part of what this ministry stands for and who they serve, not to mention the ones who are serving....BEAUTIFUL! The Lord has just been reminding me again of the simplicity, the beautiful profound simplicity of the gospel of Christ....and I want to always keep it simple in my own heart and life and let loose of anything and everything else....today twice for lunch and dinner as the children of Amor Del Nino gathered to eat their meal, they bowed their head and one of the kids lead out in prayer...she would pray a sentence and a chorus would rise up from the other kids who would repeat that sentence, they continued on that way throughout the prayer and then they all jubilantly shouted (in Spanish) "Christ Lives" "Christ Lives" "Christ Lives" ...."Who lives" one called out ..."Christ lives" they responded ..."What's His name"... "Christ" ( or "Cristo" in Spanish) "What is He" and then together they all shouted "VICTORIOUS" ....it doesn't get any more simple, profound and powerful as that and no sweeter worship than coming from those children who He is has plucked from hand of the enemy! He is VICTORIOUS!!!
....we loved on the children....
...did some construction...
....and even squeezed in an adoption meeting!