Saturday, September 04, 2010
I've put some photos of my ceramic animals in my gallery, as well as some of myself MAKING them...included are some close-ups of what I call my Teeny Tiny T'ings, with a penny to show the scale. They are INDEED "teeny tiny." I try to see how small I can make a thing and still have it look like what it is. Sometimes these itsy bitsies make all the difference in the success of an art show. I have collectors who come to me with their children saying, "When I was little I bought these from you - now I'm bringing my daughter to collect them!" I have been makinganimals from clay since I was 2, starting with plasticene and "graduating" to the fired clay in my teens. I had a road-side stand where I sold my "Ceramic Critters and Stuff" that accumulated from sculpture and ceramics classes while in my teens...then I started selling at local art and craft shows, often winning awards, included the coveted Merit Award at the Clothesline Arts Festival in Rochester, NY, in which I have participated every year since 1977.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I got together with 3 friends from high school days - Carol (from Spencerport, like me), Sue and Vikki (from Hilton) - and the four of us went camping at Letchworth State Park. It was drizzly and rainy the first two days of course, and the sun came out as we broke camp. But still, we were pretty hardy for being in our 50's. I managed some good hiking before my feet and joints complained too much (Sue had aceteminophen, Vikki had ibuprofen, so I was set!) It brought back memories, as the park was where my family had picnicked many a Memorial Day. My friends hadn't seen what were my family's two favorite spots - Wolf Creek and Inspiration Point. Carol hoped to see a bear - I was glad we did not! But we did see plenty of chipmunks and deer. I've posted photos from the campout in my gallery.
I met a kindred spirit who has an outreach called The Bridge/ El Puente in the village of Mount Morris. And Sue won every Scrabble game we played in the dark by flashlight and battery-operated lantern.
Sue doesn't hesitate to use a dictionary.
I'm thinking, "I hope she doesn't take my spot!"
By the look on her face, I think Carol's spot was taken.
Vikki tries to figure out what she can do. "You say 'ZA' is a word?"
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I was made aware of foreign missions when, as a young Christian in college I was invited to attend a Wycliffe Bilbe Translator dinner, where they told about what they did. Since then, I wanted to be one who "GOES" out into the mission field. When we had missionaries visit whatever church I was member of at the time, I would eagerly listen to their testimonies of what the Lord was doing, and willingly give a special offering to support their work. I occasionally wrote letters of encouragement to missionaries supported by the church where we were members. In 91 I started to study Spanish and our church sent a medical missionary to Peru. So I began to write to her, and also to write in Spanish to the church mission where she was based. After a while, I got a couple of letters - from the native pastor, Hugo, and from one of the prayer leaders, Marleni. Thus began a friendship by correspondence. There were a few others too. I would write individual letters to whomever took the time to write me. It was in 97 after my younger daughter Cass had gone through her corrective hip surgery that we actually had the finances where I could GO. I had been wanting to go for years, but hubby wouldn't let me - and almost put the kibosh on it this first time, but older daughterAbi interceded for me, saying I deserved to be allowed to go. So he capitulated. Cass came too - she'd spent several weeks in a body cast and was wanting to taste some freedom! Since she was not yet 11, I got a discount for her flight. I did raise some funds - my church allowed for tax deductible donations to support my going. We were no longer with the church that sent the missionary, and she was no longer with that church mission, but I had maintained correspondence and cultivated the friendships. So being there in person for 3 weeks strengthened those relationships, and formed more. Marleni took me to visit some people, and Hugo took me to visit others. By that time my Spanish was good enough for conversations. I had also been asked to share - "preach" - at the Ladies' Society anniversary dinner. I thought I'd be speaking to 40-50 women. But it was of all the churches established by this mission, some 20+ - so there were over 200 women there. I had written everything out in English and then translated it into Spanish and read from what I wrote.
When I left I didn't know when I would ever be able to return - but from the first evening I spent there, staying with Cass at the mission in the guest house, I felt a sense of belonging - like I had a place there.
First Canoe Ride, Iquitos 1997
The second time I went was in 2003. We had gotten a computer for our son Ben because he had a scholarship to an evening class at the University of Rochester while he was still in HS and they put the homework on a website. So I set up my email account, and when I wrote to Pastor Hugo, I gave him the address. They have public computers there. He emailed me to say he was getting married. Now, he was no longer with that mission but was pastoring another church. I had maintained our pen-friendship. So I wanted very much to go, and the Lord answered the cry of my heart. Again, I had my church's support, and raised the funds. This time I went alone. Of course I did not go JUST for the wedding - it's too expnsive to travel for such a short time! I planned to stay longer.Hugo found a room for rent with modern conveniences: toilet, running water, electricity - for $50 a month. I stayed 3 weeks and Marleni stayed with me, and this further strengthened our friendship. We were like a couple of high school girls, staying up late into the night. Well, Hugo was in fellowship with some other native pastors, and they worked it out that Marleni took me to go visit among the intercessors of her church, and Hugo took me to visit among his church members and other pastors. He invited me to share my testimony at his church, and after doing so, he commented the next day that I had a real gift for preaching. He asked if I preached at MY church, and I told him I did NOT, although I was always ready with a testimony. He said he was going to be praying that the Lord develop the gift in me so that when I returned the next year, I should be prepared to preach from the pulpit. He also arranged with another pastor friend, Mario Gonzales, to interview me on Christian radio, after which I spoke in his church. I made more friends, and so when I was back stateside, I wrote letters regularly.
First Interview on Christian Radio, Iquitos 2003
I returned the following year in 2004. It was originally to be for the marriage of Marleni's oldest son Foreman, but that was postponed because his bride Yeli got cold feet. But I had already made the plans, bought the tickets, and again, it wasn't JUST for the wedding. This time Hugo had arranged with another pastor to have me stay in a guest room. Also, we spent a week in Lima first, with his pastor brother Jorge, and I was taken to visit a few other churches. I had prepared sermons ahead of time, all written out in English, which I translated and read from. I made more friends - to whom I still write. Also, it was good that we had the internet, because there were problems with the Peruvian airline and we had to change our plans - and it was easier to make the plans with the rapid communication of internet! Instead of flying to Iquitos from Lima, we took a 23 hour bus ride over the mountains to Pucallpa, when we caught a boatride that lasted about 5 days. That was a wonderful experience, and precious to be able to get to spend the extra time with Hugo, to know him better. In Iquitos, I was reunited with some pastors I'd met the previous year, and introduced to others. After time with Hugo and preaching in different churches, I stayed a couple of days with Marleni and visited friends. I flew back to Lima and stayed with her #2 son Clay who was a new father, and helped him our by paying the hospital bill.
PREACHING?! ME!? Iquitos, 2004
The following year, my friend Hugo passed away. He'd been afflicted with stomach cancer, and finally succombed to severe anemia from bleeding ulcers. Not long before, his friend Pastor Mario had passed away from kidney disease. But he had given my email to his son Esli, and we connected on the instant messenger. We built a friendship thus.(He met me in 2006 in Iquitos, and in 2007 accompanied me for part of the mission,and in 2008 for most of it.) In 2006 I was going to return - Hugo was no longer there to coordinate visits, but his brother Ps. Jorge was. Jorge told me about some jungle churches that Hugo had visited and was going to take me to visit them, While Jorge was in Iquitos for the funeral arrangements a letter had arrived for Hugo asking when he was coming, and Jorge informed them what happened. But he told them HE would bring me to them - and so this was the plan. That year the Lord led me to pay for my Puerto Rican Pastora friend, Sonia, to come with me. She did not stay the entire time, nor come for the jungle trip. But she was with me our first night in Lima and had the honor of preaching. Then we flew together to Iquitos where Jorge, Sabina, and 4 lads who became dear sons - their son Moises, and Jhon, Elvis, and Cesar. I'd met them before but now we had time to get to know each other. For a few days Sonia and I stayed with Marleni, and Jorge got me daily to go to different churches. He and the others stayed with his mother. Later that week, Moises stayed behind in Iquitos with his grandmother, while the other boys joined us on the trip to visit the jungle villages. That took up about a week. Afterwards, the Christian radio station invited us to share from the word throughout the following weekm and I reconnected with some churches, and met others. And then we returned to Lima, where I spent another week and the best birthday party ever as Jorge included the other pastors I'd come to know and anyone who could come - Sabina said there were about 100 people, judging by the used up cake plates!
with spiritual son Cesar outside Christian Radio station, Iquitos, 2006
Well...That's how I got STARTED, and each time I return, my borders are extended. It's a long story how I ended up going TWICE in 2007...Maybe another time. But meanwhile, even when I am not there, I am THERE - vicariously - "visiting" with the letters I write. ...to over 200 people.
Translating for my pastor Al Hack in Cuzco, February 2007
Preaching again - Iquitos, summer 2007 (Getting the hang of this!)
Ministering in Lima, 2008
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