MAMISHELI53   113,804
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Me and Levi

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm editing a previous post ("In a Relationship") with photos and more details.

For those who want to know... I'd met Levi Utia initially in 1997 in Iquitos,
(he's 5th from the left in the back row...I'm the gringa in back, wearing the denim skirt!)



but didn't really get to KNOW him know him till 2007. He was one of a few who accompanied me to re-visit some jungle churches in Nuevo Kuwait and Jorge Chavez by boat from Iquitos. He was NOT originally slotted to come with me - I think it was DIVINE INTERVENTION. Because actually, Foreman was supposed to join me, together with Esli and Abel, and Ps Johel. But Foreman was having work done on his house, so he sent his mother (my good friend Marleni) and his friend Levi, who, he said, likes doing that kind of thing anyway.















I like getting to know people when we get to spend any time together, so I asked about how he met the Lord and such. He told me about a failed marriage, a broken heart, and his present desire just to focus on Christ. We didn't spend a LOT of time together, but enough to be friends. My "son" Abel had some good times with him while we were in Iquitos, since they both like fishing. We saw each other again in 2008 - again, friends. But enough friends that when we were all at a park, he said, "Next time you come, I wish you'd bring me a 'gringa.' " And I joked, "Or you can wait till I'm, a widow and take ME." My husband's health had been deteriorating for years - a congenital heart disease was the main problem but he had oodles of other health issues that made me have to face the possibility of sudden widowhood for YEARS. And recently he was going downhill more rapidly - I still held hope of a miracle, but it didn't seem likely. So...the jest - but with a note of earnest, because I DID see qualities in him that I WOULD look for "if ever I were to remarry."



I admired and respected Levi then, and always heard good reports about him from others who knew him better. But Abel especially suggested that it might be a good idea for me to consider, after Ansel's passing . "Ma, I'd like to see you happy...Levi is a very good man: He loves the Lord, he loves missions and preaching. It would be good for you to have a partner. " Well, with Dany's help Abel found out where Levi was (he had moved to Pucallpa by then) and gave me the address and phone. So he was among the many I notified when Ansel passed away; among the many who knew I'd be going to Peru this summer. I gave him the name and phone of the church in Lima where I'd be staying.

He told me later that he had tried a few times to get hold of me there, but once was told it was a wrong number, and a couple of times was told I wasn't there (and in fact we were en route to Chiclayo). He was about ready to give up but his sister-in-law (God bless Sonia!) stepped in, got the church number, and managed thus to get the cell phone of my traveling companion, Vicky Campos. She called me via Vicky's phone and said she was calling on behalf of Levi. Did my heart suddenly skip a beat? She gave me his cell phone number. Vicky couldn't call it - didn't have the minutes. The pastor kindly loaned HIS phone, so I stepped into the other room to speak to Levi. Well..we didn't say anything WEIGHTY, but when I returned to the others, Vicky began to comment about how my eyes were shining. So SOMETHING in me was responding.
We connected by phone from time to time - just MINUTES at a time, either Vicky's or Dany's or SOMEONE's cell phone...or a pay phone...I wished Levi was computer savvy! We talked about the Lord and about how maybe we could be more than friends. Levi knows very little English, but it was he who first said, while I was in Chiclayo, "I love you." Dany often played go-between, because he and Levy had long been friends. The slang they use is that they are of the same "mancha" (literally, stain!) - folks that hang around together; members call each other "manchita" (little stain). And Dany would reassure me, "Ma, he is DEFINITELY interested in you."

Well, Levi was unable to get away from work, but wondered if I could go to Pucallpa. I had my doubts, with the full agenda. But when I had time to think and pray about the matter, I saw I did have time - but didn't want to go by bus again (24 hours one way from Lima over the mountains!). BUT my last 2 paychecks were more than anticipated, and Abel got a deal for me with Lan airlines (however, afterwards we discovered it was invalid for non-residents, so I have to pay a tariff, BUT, that's all right...) and Dany accompanied me - "to protect my virtue" - since he knows Pucallpa and is known there.Sabina, Vicky's sister, was very protective of me - she sternly charged Dany to watch out for me, because I was well loved and no one wanted anyone to take advantage of me.

So...we arrived on a Saturday night in Pucallpa's heat. We were the last off the plane cuz Dany wanted his pic taken in the cockpit (he has dreams of being a pilot).


Levi and his brother Victor and niece Ruth were there to greet us (Levi wildly waving).



I have to say, Levi was handsomer than I remembered, but I think that's because I wasn't really LOOKING at him that way before. I got behind him on his motorcycle - I had requested he come thus so that I COULD ride thus behind him - while Dany went in Victor's motokar with the luggage. We arrived at the family home - his parents Pastor Eladio and Marleni and son Joshua (age 22) and aunt Mercedes...later joined by Uncle Armando and Aunt Teresa...and we stayed up late talking. And we had a little private time to talk during which we agreed we shared enough of the same passions that we decided we'd each make a good half of a dynamic duo. He gave me a kiss that even now brings to mind that song - www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYUdldNzLNA "Your Kiss Is on My List" . Funny thing, I'd dreamed that I'd asked if I could give him a little kiss and he smiled and gave me a kiss that took my breath away. And it was something like!!! emoticon

Sunday night we almost all went to the home of Levi's older sister Marita where I was intro'd to a slough of nephews and 2 nieces...and had a home-style church meeting. Levi led, and I found myself more enamored of him as I could hear his love for the Lord. There was a lot of singing - and Levi sings very well,
www.youtube.com/watch?v=63CGF7WgIP4
writes some of his own songs - and I knew a good number of the choruses so could join in. After some sharing from the word, we had a little snack of hot cocoa and bread, and more singing, and then Levi made the official announcement that we'd come to the conclusion that the Lord had brought us together and were going to be taking steps to make everything official.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KRztq3osj4

Anyway...I seem to be related through Levi to about half of Pucallpa...AND there's a bunch in Iquitos as well....I love my in-laws - and am very happy.

I have a phone plan that for $20 per month gives me 1000 minutes international long distance - so we're doing most of our courtship by phone. Some may think it's too soon, but as I said, I had already been grieving a long time...It's nice to be HAPPY. June 30, 2012 is not too soon!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYVARGAS 11/11/2011 9:38AM

    Que bonito es el amor y cuando Dios está presente es mucho mejor. Tu mereces ser feliz, asi que hacia adelante. emoticon

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CAROLYN0107 10/2/2011 10:43AM

    Thanks for sharing. I tried to check out the last link but my internet is too slow for Youtube right now. Congratulations.

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TWINKIEQUEEN 10/1/2011 9:45AM

    it is so nice to hear how happy you are...i wish the best for you and levi1

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 9/30/2011 1:42PM

    This is between you, Levi and the Lord...and I think the Lord is on your side making it possible for you two to be together. May God continue to bless you both and your families.
Blessings, love and hugs,
Helen

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SJG1953 9/30/2011 1:16AM

    You only have to please the LORD. I wouldn't worry about the thoughts of others. Love and blessings, Shirley

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Mission 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bs4jyxRuB4

I just finished a chronological montage so in less than ten mnutes you can get an idea of what happened during my 10 week misison trip. Not bad!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN0107 10/2/2011 10:18AM

    I'll check it out.Thanks.

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 10/1/2011 11:53PM

    What a beautiful video!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us even if it made me cry. What great works you are doing!! Praise the Lord!!!

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HOLLY_ROSE333 9/28/2011 8:31AM

  Thank you for the BEAUTIFUL video.... You so made my day! emoticontears of joy while watching it! Blessings!

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SJG1953 9/26/2011 1:58AM

    emoticon

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In a Relationship!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For those who want to know... I'd met Levi Utia initially in 1997 in Iquitos,
but didn't really get to KNOW him know him till 2007.
I admired and respected him then, and always heard good reports about him from others who knew him better. He was among the many I notified when Ansel passed away; among the many who knew I'd be going to Peru this summer. He managed to contct me via Vicky's (Vicky Campos, being the sister who accompanied me north up Colombia) cell phone when we were in Chepen. He was unable to get away from work, but wondered if I could go to Pucallpa. I had my doubts, with the full agenda. But when I had time to think and pray about the matter, I saw I did have time - but didn't want to go by bus again (24 hours one way from Lima over the mountains!). BUT my last 2 paychecks were more than anticipated, and Abel got a deal for me with Lan airlines (however, afterwards we discovered it was invalid for non-residents, so I have to pay a tariff, BUT, that's all right...) and Dany accompanied me - "to protect my virtue" - since he knows Pucallpa and is known there. So...we arrived Saturday night in Pucallpa's heat. We were the last off the plane cuz Dany wanted his pic taken in the cockpit (he has dreams of being a pilot).
Levi and his brother Victor and niece Ruth were there to greet us (Levi wildly waving).

I have to say, Levi was handsomer than I remembered, but I think that's because I wasn't really LOOKING at him that way before. I got behind him on his motorcycle - to Gwyn and Leigh , that makes THREE of us now...How bout YOU, Pam? while Dany went in Victor's motokar with the luggage. We arrived at the family home - his parents Pastor Eladio and Marleni and son Joshua (age 22) and aunt Mercedes...later joined by Uncle Armando and Aunt Teresa...and we stayed up late talking. And we had a little private time to talk during which we agreed we shared enough of the same passions that we decided we'd each make a good half of a dynamic duo. Sunday we walked to the church where papi Eladio preached (Manantial de Vida) (not to be confused with the one in Villa el Salvador!) It had turned surprisingly cold during the night - had rained (I love the sound of rain on caluminas!) so I dressed as for Lima. Aunt Mercedes made us all lunch of fish, the ubiquitous rice, chicken soup with noodles and potatos, and platanos. (Enough starch???) Aunt Mercedes is a sweety and keeps reminding me "derechita" - about my posture! That night we almost all went to the home of Levi's older sister Marita where I was intro'd to a slough of nephews and 2 nieces...and had a home-style church meeting. Levi led, and I found myself more enamored of him as I ould hear his love for the Lord. There was a lot of singing - and Levi sings very well, writes some of his own songs - and I knew a good number of the choruses so could join in. Papa Eladio encouraged the younger folks to share some of their thoughts, and another brother - don't know if it was Levi's brother or an uncle! - shared something from the word. We had a little snack of hot cocoa and bread, and more singing, and then Levi made the official announcement that we'd come to the conclusion that the Lord had brought us together and were going to be taking steps to make everything official. Anyway...I seem to be related through Levi to about half of Pucallpa...AND there's a bunch in Iquitos as well....I love my in-laws - and am very happy. AND sad since I have to leave on Wed. morning and won't see them again till next year. BUT...I showed Levi how to use gmail and its chat feature, so that should help.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRLINBRAZIL 9/5/2011 7:11PM

    Hey, Mama! Been thinking of you and wondering about your trip. Glad to hear your good news and hope all the details will work out smoothly.

Yours,

Mich
ele in Brazil

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PAMMYTHAI 8/29/2011 1:02PM

    Oh Shel.... I have been away from SP so long that I did not even know of Ansel's passing... I can see that God is leading you to so many new things. Hugs and blessings, and I'm saying a prayer for you now as I finish typing this!

Pam

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CMEEHERNANDEZ 8/27/2011 10:59PM

    Felicidades, Shel! You really are having a great time in Peru!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 8/27/2011 9:38PM

    May the Lord bless you both in this relationship.

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LILLIANBONACHEA 8/27/2011 9:15PM

    Awesome Shel, may God continue to bless you and guide you in this relationship. I love the fact that you guys are giving it all to the Lord and waiting on him for guidance in all that you do. My best to both of you.



Your sister in Christ,

Lillian Bonachea


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SJG1953 8/26/2011 1:44AM

    Congratulations!! My prayer is that you will give it a little time to blossom and grow. You can't go wrong if you are in God's will! God bless you my friend. Hugs and blessings, Shirley

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TWINKIEQUEEN 8/24/2011 11:40AM

    me alegro por ti, shel!!!
*muchos abrazos*

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MUJU71 8/24/2011 8:12AM

    Wow! I'm sure you weren't expecting that during this trip. May the Lord continue to lead in your relationship.

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SAGE150 8/23/2011 9:06PM

    Congratulations. So does this mean you are getting married or are just in a relationship? I was a little confused at the end of the blog.

Many blessings to you both,
Sage

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Here's to Mom...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

who let me believe i was capable of doing anything I set my mind to

who enabled me and encouraged me to develop my talents

who didn't harp on my weakness in history since I was good at other stuff

who disciplined me just enough so I knew right from wrong

who taught me the joy of reading, and how you should read aloud with proper inflection and changing character's voices

who taught me responsibility and domestic skills by giving me chores

who showed that you don't have to have a college degree to be smart and learned

who showed me how to love kids who weren't my own as though they were

who taught me generosity to a fault as she indebted herself to bless us while she lived with us

who patiently endured 2 and 3 letter words playing Scrabble with me

who imparted to me a delight in all creatures great and small - even snakes and mice

who showed me how to garden

who went fishing with me and the kids

who took me and my friends to the museum and art gallery

who allowed me to love Dad even when they divorced

who helped my kids learn to be responsible for their chores and gave them allowances

who helped me learn to cook

who showed me how to make jam and canned tomatoes

who helped me at art shows

and thinking about her thus, brings tears to my eyes as I count how blessed I was by her, how blessed by memories of her. I miss you Mom, but I'll see you later.

The memory of the righteous is blessed (Prov. 10:7)




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWFLAKELILYM9 8/31/2011 9:13AM

    Shel,

What a beautiful tribute and what a beautiful lady in BOTH pictures!



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MOMMA_BEAR_69 5/9/2011 2:57AM

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom!!

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SJG1953 5/9/2011 12:00AM

    so precious are your memories.

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IT'S TIME TO GO!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's been a long wait, through some difficult valleys, not the least of which involved my dear husband Ansel's deteriorating health. But now the Lord has called Ansel home, and I have been released to return to Peru this summer.
For those of you who do detailed prayer, here's an approximate itinerary.
Abel Amañe, one of my Peruvian "sons" will be accompanying me for most, if not all of the trip. Psa. Sabina Campos will be coordinating visits in Peru except for when Abel and I go to Puerto Maldonado in Madre de Dios.
I am hoping she will be able to join us in Ecuador and Colombia.


JUNE
24 - leave Rochester 12:15pm (traveling via Chicago and Miami)
25 - arrival in LIMA 4:30am
25 - 30 LIMA
JULY
1 - 8 - LIMA
9 -30 - (fly) Puerto Maldonado; Iberia; various pueblos in that area; forays into Bolivia/Brazil. (Abel has property in Iberia. Iberia is close to the borders of those two countries) I want to leave Jul 30 pm to arrive in Lima that night to celebrate my birthday in Lima
31 - LIMA - birthday!
AUGUST
1 -6 - (bus)cities on the way to Chiclayo, possibly Trujillo and Cajamarca, where Sabina may know pastors/churches
7 -14 - (bus)Chiclayo - where Sabina has family, including her father and my SPIRITUAL "papito" Maximo.
15 -21 - (bus)Ecuador - Dany Malafay of Peru is ministering in Tulcan, Ec. and has invited me
22 -28 - (bus)Colombia - Ipiales, where I have a standing invitation from last time
29 -31 (bus)return to Lima, passing through Chiclayo, and spend the remaining days in Lima
SEPTEMBER
1-3 - Lima
3- leave 10:45pm
4 - arrive ROC 4:25pm


www.youtube.com/watch?v=H16kIurTDKE&
feature=player_embedded

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWFLAKELILYM9 3/20/2011 4:44PM

    Shel,

Praise the Lord for his unspeakable gifts!!! I am so happy for you.

Hugs,
Margaret

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MUJU71 3/18/2011 6:34AM

    Wow! Looks like you'll be busy!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 3/18/2011 3:36AM

    Your itinerary sounds wonderful. Praying for you that you have a great summer traveling and visiting with your loved ones. Have a very happy birthday in Lima!!! Hope you will be able to let us know how you are doing...

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