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Friday, April 23, 2010

This is what I shared with the work team. I had given them each a little frog I made as a memento of their time at my house. The t-shirt says "FCWC 2010" on the front

and "Fully Rely On God " on the back.

Fully Rely On God. A cute little reminder. But let's take a closer look at FROGs They are amphibeans. They breed and lay their eggs in water, and eventually hang around on land - but when in danger, they head for the water. That's really where they're in their element. Thay can live okay on land, but they're meant for the water.
If you're a Christian, you've been born again from above - there's new life in you, you're a new creation. You can get around okay while you're here on earth But now you're just IN the world, not OF it. You're MEANT for Heaven. And when danger threatens, running to the world's way of doing things is a bad move. We need to head for the Depths of God's wisdom - deep calling to deep. The depths of His love. Of His Spirit.
If a frog is away from water for too long, he can die - that skin needs to be moist. We, too, need to be immersed in the Holy Spirit, to have the Rivers of Living Water inundating us.Did you know, a frog can "breathe" through his skin? That's why he can be under water for so long. The Holy Spirit is our Living Water - but also He is the air we breathe.
Another thing about frogs. They eat bugs. Zap 'em with their tongues. You may or may not know that another name for satan, the devil, is Beelzebub - or Ba'al Zevuv, which is Hebrew for Lord of the Flies. You know, we're made in God's image, and part of that is having power in what we say. And in Christ, you have authority over satan and all the other little demon "flies" - Speak God's Word at them and they're toast. ZAP!
So yes...Fully Rely On God, and remember what that means!
This family has had to Fully Rely On God...You need to cultivate your relationship with the Lord - immerse yourself - so you don't dry up! When the attic rooms were left in such uninhabitable estate, we had no recourse to make repairs. My DH is on disability but that goes to pay our credit debt. DD's on public assistance. I am the only one working. We have been crying out to the Lord for "the fix-um-ups" of the house, especially the attic rooms.
Flower City Work Camp is part of an answer to prayer. Each member of the team is one of the "jars of clay" that contains the precious treasure of God's presence. His love can move us, as it has moved them, to give of our time and energy to serve the Lord. Every now and then my gratitude to Him in working through FCWC has welled up in tears, even sobs - and I pray He will pour out blessings on them, multiplied - so that when they face trials (which they will!) they will also be blessed by God moving through other kids of His to help them.
I love to hear testimonies of peoples' salvation. I knew ABOUT God, ABOUT Him having a Son, Jesus, born on Christmas, crucified, even the "story" of resurrection, but I had no inkling as to how it all applied to me, personally - until my senior year in high school. I was looking for something more to life. I'd begun to smoke"weed". When a friend told me about this coffeehouse where people were "high on Jesus" I wondered if this was what I was looking for. We went - stoned on a quarter tab of mesc. Someone sat down with me and explained the gospel to me - and the Holy Spirit convicted me that, as "good" as I had considered myself, I was far short of heaven's requirements, and if I were to die that night, I'd be in BIG trouble. I was convinced of my separation from God, and when asked if I wanted to receive Christ as my savior, I said yes. I received His death on my behalf, and the forgiveness of my sins. And ALSO when I told them of my drugged state, they prayed for me and I was immediately freed from its effects.
I have faced numerous trials in my 39 years in the Lord. My first and worst crisis of faith was when I had an emergency C-section on Christmas Eve but still lost my first child. I didn't know I if I wanted to trust God any more - but finally decided, if I couldn't trust HIM, whom COULD I trust? And I really did (and do) believe He is GOOD, He is WISE, and He LOVES me - and so I determined that I would trust Him, come what may. He has seen me through a near divorce (DH and I will celebrate 37 years together in October), problems when my kids were teens, the violent murder of my father and step-mother, marital problems and financial problems - because I have learned to Fully Rely On God.
I've made 7 mssion trips to Peru and acquired a lot of "spiritual kids," my favorite 2 having lost their own moms when they were very little. When I was loving on the Lord and thanking Him for the great joy they bring me, He reminded me that it was because I trusted Him back when I lost my first-born, that I was able to come to be a missionary and so gain oh-so-many spiritual kids who give me such joy and delight - a joy I could never have imagined or anticipated those years ago.
Fully Rely On God. I testify that in Him, any hardship you face will be worth it. They purify the gold of your faith. Proverbs 3:5, 6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Now here are some pix of the work they accomplished.
They painted the kitchen ceiling...

And themselves and each other!

They put in new kitchen cabinets. Here's the "before"



While there wasn't time to finish up the attic rooms, they accomplished enough so that MAYBE DD's BF and friends can finish things up:
The North room is most finished, and has insulation now,which it did not, before

And the South room is MOSTLY done, and could be finished by DD's BF...

The team left us with a signed devotional, a closing prayer, and hugs all around.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLITTERFAIRY77 4/25/2010 10:36AM

I decided to not watch television this morning...much as I want to. I'm listening to my playlist, and I'm trusting God and trying to encourage my DF to do the same...Love you, Mom.

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SAGE150 4/25/2010 6:34AM

    Very uplifting, Shel. Thank you for sharing your hardships with us. It gives us a better understanding of just how much you truly value the joys in your life and your relationship with God. What a positive thing for those young people to come help you out. It's a win win for all around. Thanks for sharing your life and your pictures.

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CAROLYN0107 4/25/2010 12:28AM

    Great Testimony of a Great God!

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SJG1953 4/24/2010 2:24AM

    This is a great blog. I truly enjoyed reading it. The attic looks wonderful and the kitchen cabinets are beautiful! God has blessed you much. Praise the Lord for His goodness and provisions.

The frogs were just too cute!

Blessings my friend, Shirley

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MUJU71 4/24/2010 1:38AM

    What a blessing! Praising God with you for His wonderful provision!

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GIRLINBRAZIL 4/23/2010 6:53PM

    I'm so happy for you, MamaLlama! What an incredible blessing for you and your family and for those who came to do the work! I'm glad to hear more about you and how you came to know the Lord, too! You are a great blessing to all of us here on SP!


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LUV-BEING-NANA 4/23/2010 11:09AM

    What a wonderful blessing!!!

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KAT573 4/23/2010 10:07AM

    lookin' good; patching and painting here, too! Hope you all get together as a team like these kids, and get er done! THE best way to do God's work!
xxoo emoticon

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

You know, I have been so blessed by this answer to prayer. Every now and then I just break out in tears - even sobs - of gratitude before the Lord. Because really, it is because of HIS great love - flowing through others in the Body of Christ - that I am being so blessed. I can even look on it as fruit from what was sown years ago -both my older daughter and my son had participated in the Flower City Work Camp when they were teens, and one year I donated foodstuffs to feed the teams. You reap what you sow- what goes around comes around. This is what they accomplished in the first two days. Today is the last day.

Abigail holds up drywall for new ceiling.

So does Wesley.

On Day one, Dick works with a couple of the girls to prepare the new cellar door.

And there it is!

Day one - you can see how the rolled fiberglass is replacing pumped in super-dusty stuff And not only in the south room, but now the north room is also insulated!

Day two - the team has devotions during lunch break

By end of day two, the drywall is nearly finished -here a covered ceiling.

We get a bonus - today they'll put in new cabinets in the kitchen! My DD Abi and I, being primary workers in the kitchen, were ecstatically clapping our hands. Here's the Before .

All this just leads me to worship the Lord. Here's my song.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SJG1953 4/23/2010 2:03AM

    This is so wonderful! Our God is truly so worthy of our praise! He is so good - yes, all the time. I am so thrilled for your blessings and I too praise His Holy Name!! It is looking great!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 4/22/2010 11:36PM

    Our God is an an emoticonGod!!! It is true that you reap what you sow. God knew you needed help and sent it straight to you. Praise His Holy name!! Can't wait to see pictures of your finished kitchen.
Blessings and hugs,

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JODIRICHARDS 4/22/2010 7:24PM

    emoticon What a mighty, loving God we serve! So excited for you!

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GLITTERFAIRY77 4/22/2010 5:38PM

  I'M still trippin' about Abuela choosing the gaudy awful wallpaper eons and eons ago(that's about 30+ years, I think) that has both the name of my fiance AND his mother aaaalllllll over it!!!

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DIDMIS 4/22/2010 8:12AM

    Really nice and I do believe what goes around comes around or you can't outgive God. emoticon

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LUV-BEING-NANA 4/22/2010 8:06AM

    Look at the progress already!! I love 6 pane doors...looks great. Drywall up on the ceiling and ready to be will be done before you know it Shel!!

Praising the Lord with you

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No, it's not before WEIGHT, it's my ATTIC before the workers came.

A little history:
My Dad and (puertorican)step-mom had owned this house first, and when Dad was getting ready to retire, he gave me the opportunity to rent with option to buy. I ended up assuming the mortgage and paying him monthly - until we hit a snag one year due to DH's health . I had asked Dad if we could wait till after I finished paying off the car, and then continue - and at step-ma Aura's suggestion, he cancelled what we owed, to be considered part of my inheritance; so all we had to pay off was the mortgage. Well, just before my DH became fully disabled, we got the house sided and the bathroom remodeled - so of course that extended the mortgage.
No, Aura had had the attic fixed up into 2 rooms, one of which was insulated. She'd put in some shelves. When Dad retired and moved out, for a time we had a couple staying with us, occupying the room...then another time my sister and her first husband were with us...then my Mom moved in with us, and she fixed the attic rooms up REAL nice, putting in an area rug in the un-insulated room (which became her "sitting room") making a little closet, putting up wallpaper - it was a nice habitation. When she moved out, my youngest daughter took over the rooms. I repapered them for her, making a nice little nook. After she moved out, the attic rooms played host to my Peruvian visitor 3 times.
Then in 2008 the two younger kids and teir spouses returned to Rochester, and I invited them to stay here till they could get jobs and establish themselves. And I suggested perhaps they could consider assumin the mortgage, taking over the house so that when I was ready to retire and move to Peru, it would be easier for me - and it would be an easy way for them to have ahouse.
Great idea! They started thinking about what they wanted to do to fix the placeup, and started knocking out walls in the attic, thinking to make the 2 rooms into one loft - but they hadn't bought the materials to finish the job, and then discovered they couldn't simply assume the mortgage but had to get their own - which they couldn't yet because they hadn't been in the area and employed long enough (stupid banks). So, discouraged, they moved out - and left the attic rooms uninhabitable.

I washeartsick when I saw them - pumped in insulation all over the place...No way did I have te time, know-how, or resources to do anything. So, the attic was closed off, and prayers rose up continually for "the fix-um-ups" of the house.

Back up a bit - the 2 younger kids had pressured my DH into evicting their older sis and her 2 kids, threatening to leave the shambles as it was. Older DD moved out...younger kids moved out...shambles remained. Older daughter and grands were invited back. They continue with us - a BLESSING because unlike her younger sibs, she contributes by cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, and paying rent.

This same DD suggested, in the fall, that I contact Flower City Work Camp. This is a charity similar to Habitats for Humanity - but local, and they do repairs. It's an interdenominational community outreach, showing the love of Jesus in a very practical way, as churches contribute materials and labor is volunteered - professionals or experienced handy-folks, and youths give up their spring break time, and they go y teams to different houses inthe community. So, I emailed my story, and it was passed on, and in the winter - I think it was Jan or Feb - someone came to have a look. Then another call a month or so ago to tell us that our house was one of those selected. I was ecstatic, tearfully grateful to the Lord.

So, they arrived yesterday and will be working until and including tomorrow, 9-5. are some pix to give you an idea. (I'll post some during and after later!)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 4/22/2010 11:40PM

    emoticon emoticonon being selected. Can't wait to see more pictures!!

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BANUELOS2148 4/22/2010 3:52AM


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SJG1953 4/22/2010 12:21AM

    I'm glad your house got chosen. Hopefully you will have quite a nice attic when they are finished!

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JODIRICHARDS 4/21/2010 5:11PM

    Wow, looks like they'll be busy but you'll be blessed. Can't wait to see the end result.

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LUV-BEING-NANA 4/21/2010 12:01PM

    Woo hoo, congrats on being selected!! Can't wait to see the AFTER pics!!

Comment edited on: 4/21/2010 5:16:46 PM

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

I was just talking wih one of my Spark Buddies about fishing and fish, and thought I'd blog about some memories and throw in some photos. When I go on missions - ESPECIALLY in the jungle region where fresh fish from the rivers is an inexpensive and delicious meal - I enjoy this source of protein in any way, shape, or form. So much so, that when I come back to the states and it's usually only baked or fried, just so, in your restaurants - I usually don't have any for a couple of months because there's no comparison. And it's so expensive here!But anyway, here are some fish memories.

In a market in Iquitos, a woman removes scales from today's catch. For just 5 soles - about $2.50 - we got about 5 of these fish. (2003)

In the village of Nuevo Kuwait in the jungle, a brunch of grilled fish awaits us.(2007)

Our hostess, Psa Rosa on the left; Ps Johel who came aloong from Iquitos; Marleni; and Me with the best piece of fish, a filet of "dorado"(2007)

The river is relatively low, and it's not unusual for the fish to leap to avoid predators. Marleni threw back this one that landed in our boat.(2007)

In Atun Posa we were served a dinner of a delicious relative of catfish called "carachama" - ugly but yummy!(2006)

In San Juan de Paucar we were served a BREAKFAST of fish soup (2006)

Here's another fish that leaped into our boat.See his sharp teeth?(2006)

Abel took advantage of the port vendors and bought himself some grilled fish. You can't get it so fresh in Lima!(2008)

These are fish Abel caught when we were in the village of Jorge Chavez.(2008)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLINGQ 4/16/2010 7:33AM

    Gracias por las fotos!!
Pescado...ummm, delicioso!!!

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SJG1953 4/16/2010 2:07AM

    Nice fish and pictures! Abel really caught some nice ones. I didn't know you could eat piranhas! Cool!

Those fish jumping in your boat look vicious with those teeth!

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LAURAFP 4/15/2010 10:44PM

    Pescado!!! No te imaginas como extrano el pescado y los mariscos!!! Son algunas de las cosas que estan en mi lista para la proxima vez que vaya a Peru emoticon

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JODIRICHARDS 4/15/2010 5:44PM

    I see the ocean out my front door. I can buy grilled ocean fish with rice and greens for about $3 for a 4-5 oz steak cut. The blessings of serving overseas! emoticon Didn't like fish until I came here, but being raised in CO fresh ocean fish was not not available on our family budget.

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HEALTHYLES 4/15/2010 5:43PM

    Gracias por compartir las fotos Shel. Me hicistes recordar cuando mi mamá nos freia pesacado fresco, con arroz blanco, habichuelas gisanas y un pedazo de aguacate. ¡Priceless!
Que mucho extrañas tu Perú!

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SAGE150 4/15/2010 5:35PM

    ¿Has probado la cola de un pescado frito? ¡Es riquísimo! Es crujiente como papas fritas. ¿Fue chilcano de pescado la sopa? Probé ese una vez y era riquísimo y nos fortaleció bastante por el fósforo de los huesos del pescado. Me dio ganas de dormir. Me gustaron tus fotos. Que lindas.

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MUJU71 4/15/2010 3:48PM

    I live along the southern coast of Africa, so we have excellent fresh fish readily available.

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GIRLINBRAZIL 4/15/2010 3:16PM

    I like fish, but I sure hate the cleaning! When the boys go out on the big lake here they often come back with 30 piranhas at a time! Good eating, but lots of bones!

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GLEN4536 4/15/2010 9:06AM

  Thank you for sharing those photos, I live in Las Vegas , so our fish are frozen and expensive, whole foods is about the best freshest fish , I grew up in Scotland and the fish was pretty good there, but my son spent time in Chile he used to e-mail me every day about the wonderful seafood so than you for sharing.

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KAT573 4/15/2010 8:26AM

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm wondermost; I am thinking about trying to grill some fish if I ever get a decent grill; smoke capacity too; we shall see. LOVE trying different ways of cooking.
kat emoticon

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Spiritual Kids

Monday, April 12, 2010

Every now and then I think about why I am doing this...pushing myself to get on the exercise bike, to walk my granddaughter to school rather than drive her, to put in Richard Simmons when I'd rather sit around...
I don't have to look farther than my "spiritual kids", the young folks I've come to know and love during mission trips.

There's Cesar, a former gang member until he experienced the love of Christ, and now serves as a worship leader, playing guitar...

There's Esther, who asked me to be her Madrina (Godmother) for "moving up" in school...

There's Michael whose own parents abandoned him, but who discovered the love of the Heavenly Father...

There's "Indiana" Elvis and "Super"Jhon who have been such a blessing at different times...

There's Jose, who was my FIRST spiritual son, whose mother died when he was 5, and whom I met on my first trip to Peru - a devoted son! He even contributed 100 hard-earned dollars to my last mission trip!

There is Abel, my absolute favorite, who has been a source of comfort and encouragement, not to mention a great help both on the mission field and at home, whose own mother died when he was 3...

Shy Lisbeth who asked me to be her "Madrina" for her "quinciñera", the important 15th birthday

And sweet, talented dancer Antonio, who with some other lads took me out to dinner after church one night...

That's just a FEW...I put them in one of my photobucket albums, if you want to see...

I keep in touch with the instant messenger, and with the old-fashioned "snail mail" (I write to over 200 people mostly in Peru, with a smattering in Colombia...)

Love is a great motivator!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 4/13/2010 3:21AM

    Amen! What a great blog, and your friends are such a true inspiration!!! Each of your pictures tell its own story. THANK YOU!! I was so uplifted just enjoying your blog. I will be keeping you in my prayers.
Blessings and hugs,

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SJG1953 4/13/2010 2:05AM

    Amen, Shel!

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LUV-BEING-NANA 4/12/2010 8:09PM

    Shel, you have obviously impacted several lives for Christ...thank you for giving of yourself for the Kingdom!! Blessings to you!!


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MAMISHELI53 4/12/2010 7:52PM

    There are several events pictured here...Any in particular to which you were referring?

In the first one, Cesar and I are sitting outside the christian radio station, MIC, in iquitos, Peru, where our missionary team - me and a group from Lima - were invited to share testimonies and such;

In the second, I'm giving Esther a hug in the open-air kitchen of her home;

In the third, we're on a boat on a tributary of the Amazon, on our way to visit some jungle churches;

In the fourth, we're on a boat on our way BACK from visiting jungle churches;

In the fifth, we're at a friend's house in Iquitos, and Jose was actually helping to blow the nail polish which my hostess insisted on putting on me (USUALLY a missionary does not have manicures!)

In the sixth, we're at his sister's home where we stayed while in Lima that year;

In the seventh, we're at the home of my god-daughter (those are her parents) where they honored me with two whole roasted chickens, about 10 pounds of boiled potatoes, 5 huge omeletes, and a big cake (I gave most of the food to a pastor and his large family!)

and the last is at a church service where we danced before the Lord to some Andean style music.

Comment edited on: 4/12/2010 7:54:08 PM

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1THING 4/12/2010 7:35PM

    looks like a nice event!

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