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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.


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!


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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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    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,

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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


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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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 Amaņe, 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.

24 - leave Rochester 12:15pm (traveling via Chicago and Miami)
25 - arrival in LIMA 4:30am
25 - 30 LIMA
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!
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
1-3 - Lima
3- leave 10:45pm
4 - arrive ROC 4:25pm

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWFLAKELILYM9 3/20/2011 4:44PM


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


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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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Memorial Service

Monday, March 14, 2011

The memorial service for Ansel was wonderful. I had a lot of people tell me that it was such a joyful service. Some came because they were his friends and family-in-Christ me; many came because they knew me and were being supportive - like my supervisor from work! I'll have to tell her, she puts the SUPER in supervisor! It was nice to have all my kids together, and my son did myhusband proud by leading in Take Me Out to the Ball Game - getting the lyrics right by inserting the name of OUR ball team (Red Wings) and saying, "If they don't win, so, what's new?" There was healing laughter amid the tears for those of us who knew and loved him. And my pastora gave a message of comfort and salvation in her usual sweet way. Then later that night when my two younger kids stopped by to pick up the dog, my son blessed me even more by apologizing for meanness towards me, and reaffirmed his love for me. It was all very good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 3/16/2011 9:34PM

    Continuing prayers for you and your family. Thank you for sharing the memories...

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MUJU71 3/16/2011 5:08AM

    Praise God!

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GIRLINBRAZIL 3/15/2011 9:42PM

    Been praying for you. Glad to hear it went well.


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DIANEMAR 3/15/2011 8:19PM

    Thank you for sharing, shell. There is nothing sweeter than a well deserved home-going!!!I remember funerals before i was a christian, and they were dismal affairs!!! Truly a 'blessed hope'. Take care of you, love,diana.

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Changing Seasons

Monday, March 07, 2011

It's March, and spring is on the way...but winter doesn't just let go all at once. It has to throw a few snowstorms now and then, even when the calendar says that technically it is spring.
That's how it is in my life too. I've just come out of a long winter in my marriage to Ansel. His health was deteriorating more rapidly until finally his heart gave out. So it's a new chapter in my life - but like that in-between time before the warmth and hours of sunlight build up and new growth can finally appear - there's stuff going on that can't be seen yet while a few snow flurries still flutter around occasionally. But I know that eventually the snow will recede for good and the new growth will be seen - slowly at first but then with sudden vigor - SPRINGING into blossom. I still don't know if I may go to Peru - I COULD, financially...when my pastors are back from vacation they'll give me the input of their combined wisdom as to whether I need to wait yet a little while. I'm bracing myself. But it's okay. Sometimes before new growth appears, old thatch has to be removed, the soil has to be turned and fertilized. I've waited this long. God's grace will enable me to continue. Don't want to plant too soon or a frost might ruin things.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRLINBRAZIL 3/14/2011 7:31PM

    Thinking of you, Mama! I'll be praying as you make the right decision about the timing of your next trip!


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LUV-BEING-NANA 3/8/2011 10:44AM

    Blessings to you Shel as you seek the Lord and His will for your life. You are in Perfect Hands.


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SJG1953 3/8/2011 1:22AM

    God bless you Shel. I pray God's wisdom and will on your life, along with His loving care. Hugs, Shirley

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SAGE150 3/7/2011 9:50PM

    I think you've got a good attitude, Shel. You don't want to be hastey in your new life changes before you are able to process everything that has happened. I think your comparison of it to the seasons changing is very good, very descriptive. God is with you through it all. I'm sure with His and your pastors' help, you will make the right decision for you regarding Peru.

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