Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Prayer

I thought this poem very appropriate for this season. On Easter Sunday the Bible churches of the Bajio (Central Mexico) all join together at Camp Koinonia for an Easter service, and everyone takes their dinner along to share with others. It's a beautiful time of remembering what Jesus did for us on the cross and how He rose again for our redemption!

By Betty Henry Taylor

O Lord, grant to me, I pray
a fresh new look at Who You are.
Let me see the nail
prints in your Hands . . .
The scars upon your brow,
remembering the anguish
pouring from your soul
as You bled and died for me.

But, O dear Lord, please
take me past the Cross and Tomb
to glorious Resurrection morn--
beyond the grief and scorn--
to where You rose for me,
that I may know with You
new Life fulfilled and free. . .

Free of condemnation,
since You took it
and nailed it to a tree;
conquering its power
to slay or conquer me.
Because You died I live;
because You rose I give
my ransomed life to You!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Baby shower for Brenda Paola and her baby Renata Paola

What a fun Baby Shower we celebrated Friday evening with Brenda and her soon-to-arrive baby, Renata. She and her mom provided the cute favors and a friend brought the diaper "cake". I don't know who brought the coke, but it was gone before the evening was over!

I gave Brenda a bag-full of gifts to remind her to stay close to the Lord (a New Testament), to value and protect her marriage (a book on Marriage), to play and spend time with her baby (a toy), to always pray (a booklet on prayer), etc. As you can see, the sun was shining brightly - that's why I'm so bright!

About 20 of us, plus a few kiddos attended. I was happy to see so many. Brenda got pregnant (at age 16!) and got married after, which isn't the right way to do it, but we all love her and care about her baby, so it was the right thing to do to hold a celebration
with her!

Sorry, we didn't get many good pictures of the mother-to-be. Here Ivonne is presenting her with the diaper cake.

And of COURSE, the FOOD! Everyone brought something to share and we all dug in! The tinga (left in the green dish) was to KILL for! Wow! Brenda (in the middle) serves herself some yummies.

Friday, March 26, 2010

What´s for lunch?

What´s cookin´at our house today?


´Cause Bethie took a break and we went to Doña Meche´s for lunch,
Bethie, Dayton and me.

We didn´t even have to make the lemonade - Doña Meche´s lemonade
and jamaica are to die for! (Well, almost!)

Bethie´s choice today were the albondigas (meatballs) and rice. Delicious!

On Fridays I always choose the chiles rellenos - poblano pepper stuffed with cheese and cooked in a creamy sauce. DELICIOUS!

Dayton? He always has rice and adds beans - see them there by my plate? The table is always covered with delicious items - tortillas, beans, cheese and bread. There´s no way you can go away hungry! So, if you do, it´s no one´s fault but your own!

Best restaurant in town - at least we think so!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Visiting is an INTERESTING experience

M and I visited C who has missed church for a couple weeks. Well, it turns out that C has shingles! As we were talking, she said she had no idea how she got them, so I explained about the chicken pox and how when you've had them, eventually you may develop shingles when you get older. "But I've never had chicken pox, only measles." I told her how I THOUGHT I hadn't had them either, but apparently had a light case, because I had shingles some years ago while we were living in Chesterton, IN. She still couldn't understand it.

Later in the conversation, C again wondered how and why she got this weird, awful sickness. So, M explained that it's been pretty windy and dusty lately and she probably got it that way. Go figure!

So much for "doctorally" correct explanations! Why don't I keep my mouth shut???

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Every time I am asked to pray,
I think of the old fellow who always prayed,
After hearing him pray that prayer many times,
someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently.

He answered.
Well, sir, you see, it's like this...
I got an old barn out back.
It's been there a long time;
It's withstood a lot of weather;
It's gone through a lot of storms,
And it's stood for many years.
It's still standing.
But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit.
So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up
on it's leaning side so it wouldn't fall.

Then I got to thinking about that and how much
I was like that old barn.
I've been around a long time...
I've withstood a lot of life's storms.
I've withstood a lot of bad weather in my life,
I've withstood a lot of hard times,
and I'm still standing too.

But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time,
so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side,
'cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning at times.

Sometimes we get to
leaning toward anger,
leaning toward bitterness,
leaning toward hatred,
leaning toward cussing,
leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn't.
So we need to pray:


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I realized after writing the last post, that I didn't write to you about the first funeral, just about the second one (Daniel Kendal) and the third one (Alfonso). My Uncle Walter suddenly died about three weeks ago. I was stunned. When in high school, my sister and I lived with Uncle Walt and Aunt Loretha and their three children in Des Moines, Iowa. They were like second parents to us, loving us, giving of their time and love to us. They definitely loved us unconditionally and were so giving.

My first memories of Uncle Walt were when I was 8. My family was in Des Moines (up from Mexico City) for my Aunt Lola's wedding to Uncle Nils (another beloved uncle!). A bunch of us kids were sitting on Grandpa and Grandma's swing on their front porch, surrounding a very much loved uncle - Uncle Walt. He was so much fun, always laughing, teasing a lot, loving us even more. How we loved him!

I wasn't around my relatives a lot growing up, because I lived in Mexico and most of them lived either in the U.S., Venezuela or China! But we kept in close touch, and when Uncle Walt and Aunt Loretha offered to house Elaine and me during high school, my parents jumped at the opportunity. And I'm so glad! What wonderful memories of two wonderful people!

My dad and his two brothers are now in heaven waiting for the rest of us to show up! I miss all of them, but treasure the time I had with them on this earth.


Last night I was enjoying a Karen Kingsley book when the phone rang. Alfonso, a man in our church, had died about 6:30 in the evening. A few minutes later the phone rang again - again for me! Someone else telling me. A few minutes later – you guessed it! So, I decided that if THREE people were calling to let me know, I really should get dressed and head for the funeral parlor. I got there at 10 and there were about 20 people from our church, plus a good number of other people. Here in Mexico, after a death, there is usually an all-night wake at the funeral parlor and sometimes in the home of the deceased.

Miguel, our elder, gave a small service where we sang and he gave a very good message. The daughter and wife of Alfonso were very friendly (they don’t come to our church) and almost begged us to have a meeting. Some of us then left, a few stayed a little while longer.

Alfonso came to our Jornada Espiritual office several years ago holding a World Cup tract. He said, "I found this on the ground and want to know more." He was hard to understand when he talked and we found out later that we was basically an alcoholic who had lost his family because of his habit. We asked Dan Kendal to study the Bible with him, he accepted the Lord and his life was turned around, but of course he suffered a lot of physical problems because of his drinking. One of his drinking buddies, Felipe, became a Christian because of Alfonso’s testimony to him and he’s part of our church, always with a huge smile and singing at the top of his lungs (off-key, but that's OK! We love hearing him sing!). Alfonso has been very ill for quite some time. His family came back and was caring for him – especially his daughter. A lot of the neighbors looked out for him too, as did several people from our church. His daughter is very grateful for all we’ve done for Alfonso and what we meant to him.

Hopefully no more funerals for awhile.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

You are invited....

Can't read it? Well, whether you can or not, you are invited to join us for camp this coming summer! There are camps planned at Camp Koinonia for ages 9 and older - up to whatever age you are! If you'll click on the post card, you'll be able to read the absolutely fantastic prices for camp. You've never been to a more economical camp in the States, I'm sure! Be sure to note that those are prices in PESOS, not dollars! ('Course you'll probably have to pay for the flight down, but never mind that!)

So, spread the word!


You've heard the complaints:

"Our church kitchen just isn't big enough"

"We need more cabinet space"

[Picture: This is a CHURCH KITCHEN??? No, it's a Sunday

School room/bodega/everything-room, but for today

it's a "kitchen!" And notice the "board" being used for

coating the chicken breasts - yes! It's the top of a bin!

We're very resourceful!]

"I wish we had nicer tile floors"

[Picture: Well, the tile floor is beautiful in this

"kitchen" for a day!]

"Our stove's getting pretty old and really doesn't look nice."

[Picture: That's our church stove! Nice, huh? And yes, there's a

tank setting off to the side that provides gas for it. Works good.]

"The sinks in the kitchen are too small!"

"Wouldn't it be nice to have TWO commercial size sinks in our

church kitchen?"

[Picture: Our sink. It's outside, it's not really a "kitchen" sink,

it's what we call a "lavadero" or "pila". It works great. No hot

water of course, but at least we have water!

We're thankful for that!]

Any more complaints???

Today several of us used this wonderful kitchen to prepare a delicious meal for the workshop

mentioned below. First was breakfast of yogurt, fruit, granola, sweetbread, coffee, tea and

hot chocolate. Later dinner was fried flattened chicken breasts, Russian vegetable salad

which is cooked vegetables smothered in mayo and cream (delicious), rice, frijoles charros

cowboy beans!), tortillas, salsas and jello for dessert. It couldn't have tasted any better

coming from the most modern beautiful kitchen around!

I was privileged to be a part of this group of servant ladies!

Servant Leaders

Today, all day, we held a seminar at our church especially for men leaders, but really for everyone. Several ladies came too as well as two entire families from one church!

Fred Campbell, on the left, was our speaker and Tim O'Brien on the right interpreted. Fred spoke on SERVANT LEADERSHIP, something we all need to remember to do and be everyday of our lives. It was a wonderful, wonderful workshop. He will be sending me a copy of the workshop and I will happily be putting it up on our web page Obrerofiel! So, look for it sometime in the near future when you're perusing the web page!

Groups from each church gathered in small groups to discuss how to put all this into practice. The group from San Juan was fairly large.

Not a huge group, but a VERY interested group of leaders and their families.

After dinner, several of us sneaked away to PARTY! Ilse Fernanda here with her "galanes" celebrated her 15th birthday today with a huge fancy party. I, along with several others, just stayed for the message, the ceremony of the giving of the Bible, ring, pillow and doll, as well as the meal they served us. We headed back to the church (just two blocks away) to help clean up after the workshop.

It was a shame both activities were planned for the same day, but at least we showed up and Ilse and her parents appreciated that! A number of the church folks stayed for the rest of the party - which I'm sure is still going on at 8:48!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Friend and Hermano (Brother)

Friend and brother Daniel Kendal, went to heaven this evening. In 1969 when Ken and I arrived on the mission field, Dan and his wife Beverly were some of the first we worked with. When Kim was just 4 months old, we packed up our two girls, Bethie 1 1/2 and Kim 4 months, and held a campaign in the town of San Marcos, Guatemala, where Dan and Beverly lived. It was COOOOOLD there - I bundled the girls up, but Kim still got quite sick with a bad cold and cough. But, it was worth it all!

Ken was so new - his Spanish was "fledgling" and rough, but God blessed and people came to know Jesus during that time. And from that day on, Ken and Dan worked in many different areas, in Guatemala City, in Panama, in Nicaragua, in El Salvador, holding campaigns. Soon after we moved to Mexico, they came and started a church in Celaya, Mexico. Then on to San Juan del Rio where they've been serving several years.

Dan was a wonderful Bible teacher and the Mexicans - and Guatemalans - loved him. He will be missed. Just tonight, while talking to Mauricio Perez, he said they had planned to invite Dan to give leadership training in Celaya - but now they'll be inviting Mauricio! And, as he said, Much of the old guard is gone now!

But God is still at work, using the younger set - and using them in great ways. May the work go on, may the troops go on, faithful in the service of the King!

I Love a Bean

As I watched my grandson struggle with his veggies, I thought of this poem:

I Love a Bean

by Debra C. Barnes

I love a bean!



red or green



some with spring
(funny bumping jumping bean)



I'm a fan

of pork and beans right from

the can!



wax and pea

I'm full of beans from a to z!



French and soy

but the beans I most enjoy

as they tumble to my belly . . .

are jelly!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Three Cups of Tea

"I can't read it," he said. "I can't read anything. This is the greatest sadness in my life. I'll do anything so the children of my village never have to know this feeling. I'll pay any price so they have the education they deserve."
"Sitting there beside him," Mortenson says, "I realized that everything, all the difficulties I'd gone through, from the time I'd promised to build the school, through the long struggle to complete it, was nothing compared to the sacrifices he was prepared to make for his people. Here was this illiterate man, who's hardly ever left his little village in the Karakoram," Mortenson says, "Yet he was the wisest man I'd ever met."

Imagine never reading. How much you'd miss in life! I just read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin and, as they asked at the end of their book, I want to get the information out there! Read this book! It will change your way of thinking about so many things: about the privilege of education, about reading, about Muslims, about Afghanistan, about Pakistan, about the thousands, perhaps millions of people in the world who don't have the privileges we enjoy and take for granted.

Greg is an amazing person. Here's how Twaha describes him: "We were all worried about Dr. Greg sleeping inside with the smoke and the animals, but he seemed to take no notice of these things. We saw he had peculiar habits, very different from other Europeans. He made no demands for good food and environment. He ate whatever my mother put before him and slept together with us in the smoke like a Balti. Due to Dr. Greg's excellent manners and he never tells a lie, my parents and I came to love him very much."

Now, shouldn't we who are sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ follow such an example? I don't know Greg's spiritual condition, but I know he follows Jesus' example in every aspect of his life. Shouldn't I do the same?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

For those who've never heard of Robertson McQuilkin, when my husband and I were at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC back in the 60's, he was the president, and what a wonderful president! We all loved him and his wife Muriel dearly. Years after we had gone our way, Muriel began to suffer with Alzheimer's Disease. Robertson gave up his presidency to care for her full time. She did not even know who he was, but from what I understand, maintained a beautiful, sweet spirit until she died. People would ask Robertson, "Why don't you put her in a home?" He would answer, "She took care of me all my life. Now it's my turn." I know those years were dark, sad, unkind, perhaps even horrible for him, but God honored him and continues honoring him. This is his testimony.

Let me get home before dark

By Robertson McQuiklin
President Emeritus
Columbia International University

It’s sundown, Lord.
The shadows of my life stretch back
into the dimness of the years long spent.
I fear not death, for that grim foe betrays himself at last,
thrusting me forever into life:
Life with you, unsoiled and free.
But I do fear.
I fear the Dark Spectre may come too soon—
or do I mean, too late?
That I should end before I finish or
finish, but not well.
That I should stain your honor, shame your name,
grieve your loving heart.
Few, they tell me, finish well…
Lord, let me get home before dark.

The darkness of a spirit
grown mean and small, fruit shriveled on the vine,
bitter to the taste of my companions,
burden to be borne by those brave few who love me still.
No, Lord. Let the fruit grow lush and sweet,
a joy to all who taste;
Spirit - sign of God at work,
stronger, fuller, brighter at the end.
Lord, let me get home before dark.

The darkness of tattered gifts,
rust-locked, half-spent or ill-spent,
A life that once was used of God
now set aside.
Grief for glories gone or
Fretting for a task God never gave.
Mourning in the hollow chambers of memory,
Gazing on the faded banners of victories long gone.
Cannot I run well unto the end?
Lord, let me get home before dark.

The outer me decays —
I do not fret or ask reprieve.
The ebbing strength but weans me from mother earth
and grows me up for heaven.
I do not cling to shadows cast by immortality.
I do not patch the scaffold lent to build the real, eternal me.
I do not clutch about me my cocoon,
vainly struggling to hold hostage
a free spirit pressing to be born.
But will I reach the gate
in lingering pain, body distorted, grotesque?
Or will it be a mind
wandering un-tethered among light
fantasies or grim terrors?
Of your grace, Father, I humbly ask…
Let me get home before dark.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The gang's all here

This morning the ObreroFiel gang here in San Juan met to celebrate - yes, with pizza, doughnuts and coke!! - and to discuss what needs to continue to be done to make our new blog PERFECT, or at least as perfect as possible! What a great team! Paul and Grace Becker in front. In back: me, Scott, Ivonne, Yadhira (in front of Ivonne), and Chucho and Zaira. Chucho and Zaira work out of their home office (behind us in the picture!), Yadhira works from home as well. Paul and Grace Becker have a great set-up at their home. It's just Ivonne and I who have a "official" office!

Yesterday I failed to include one of our important members - Paul Becker! He has a myriad of jobs which include making copies of the studies, copying the CDs and DVD's, packing orders, and any number of special projects. We couldn't do it without him! We couldn't do it without EACH member of our team!

Yes, we're celebrating!

But we haven't stopped workiing....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Babies, babies, we've got babies!

First came Miguel and Minerva's baby in January. Remember, we had a baby shower for Minerva, then the next day she went and had her baby! She came to church with her mama Sunday - oops! I forgot to ask what her name is! She's beautiful of course. Miguel and Minerva now have 6 very cute, sweet children.

But before that, Damaris was born. She doesn't live here in San Juan, but we love her, her parents Alex and Liz, and big sister Bethany. They are our wonderful missionaries to Turkey! We pray for them each week and keep up on their news. We were delighted that Damaris' grandma from Mexico City was with them for the birth and spent a few days getting to know her granddaughter!

Then along came Jenna Hope O'Brien, whose parents are Tim and Michelle. We had a very fun baby shower for her last Friday and we passed around that beautiful little one and were glad she didn't object! And what a joy to have Julie O'Brien, Tim's mom from Pennsylvania, along! It's always fun to visit with her!

At the baby shower we all had unusual names: Crib, cribsheet, talcum powder, baby tub, etc. You get the picture! It was really hard to remember everyone´s name!

Pin the sucky (or binky - or whatever you call it!) on the baby!!

Jenna Hope entertaining Bethie!

Michelle with daughter Kathryn

Next came Josías Aaron (Josiah Aaron). Several of us visited with him and his mama, Cruz, this afternoon, spending some time singing and praying with her. And how wonderful to hear her testimony of the way God protected her - and Josías! He was born with the cord wound around his neck THREE times, so he´s truly a miracle baby! And he´s beautiful. Big Brother Emmanuel (age 9!) is delighted to have a little brother! And, yes, I took along a gift for Big Brother too!

And who´s next? Brenda´s baby. He/she isn´t born yet, is due in April. Brenda is only 16 and her mom Linda is very active in our women´s group. Brenda and her husband attend another church, but we´re planning a baby shower for her in the near future!

So many babies!


Today's the day we launched our NEW, IMPROVED web page, now blog! Five of us (Yadhira, Church, Zaira, Ivonne and me) have hardly come up for air - or sleep - or food - to get it ready! And Scott definitely hasn't come up for air! We think we're busy - he's even more so! And there are others involved: Grace Becker is putting pictures of the front page of each study, so it's taking awhile! There are more than 4500 articles, studies, resources of all kinds on the blog. Check it out! And, in case you don't know español, right at the beginning there is a little blurb that tells everyone we're doing BIG changes and to PLEASE be patient with us.

Now Yadhira can go back to her Obrerofiel job, Zaira can go back to working with Promesa de Esperanza (selling resources online), Chucho can keep helping us with the techy stuff, and Ivonne can spend a little more time with her family! Oh, and I can spend more time with my family too, I hope! And maybe read a book or three - I haven't even OPENED a "fun" book since coming back from the States! But it's time! I even came home from the office today, sat down on the floor and played Rat-a-Tat (or some such name) with Dayton!

We're hoping and praying this blog will be much much-improved resource of materials for workers around the world. As I go into it, it certainly looks better! And it's easier to find recources. We're very excited to have it ready and in use! May God use it to encourage, edify, enrich, equip and educate around the world!