Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Not too long before my husband passed away, I talked to him about the possibility of a mission trip that summer. The concern is always having enough in the account for the summer bills, whether I go or not - mine is a ten month job. Usually the tax return gets us through and then some. I already had enough donations held by the church to pay for the airfare. Of course there were the concerns for my husband's health and medical expenses, but we'd seen God come through time and time again. And I was sensing the urging of the Holy Spirit that it was time to go. Still, I didn't want to just cut and run. If my husband preferred me to stay home because of how he was feeling, I was willing. And I was submitted.
Well, the same man who a few years ago had told me he was proud of what I did when our senior pastor accompanied me, glad that the pastor could see me in action, so to speak, this time said to me, "I think you're obsessed." It took me aback. I told him I did not agree, BUT, I was willing to go to our pastors to get an objective look at this. I told him I was submitted to his authority and would stay, but I was pretty sure that I had a CALLING, and if I did not go again while he lived, I would answer the call after he passed away.
We never ended up going to the pastors - the Lord called him home. I DID bring the matter before them - and they were in agreement with me, as long as I met other financial obligations such as the credit debt that had risen largely due to his health issues This I was able to do from the insurance I went that year..and unexpectedly reconnected with Levi.
I still long to return. I love to share about Christ, whether it's from a church pulpit, or in a home. But I know I have something else to do this year, which is get this hip taken care of. And I know that wherever I am, whatever I do - whether working at the school, "driving Miss Daisy," or recovering from hip surgery - I'll be following hard after the Lord.
HE is my obsession, "the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc."(from dictionary.com). And He is magnificent! www.youtube.com/watch?v=cel_O-qy0i0
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
It took a while before we got a PC. My son was a senior in high school and he'd gotten a scholarship for ONE evening class at the University of Rochester. And the assignments were given online. Soooooo...we had to get a computer. Oh, I recall my Dad had one and we used to play silly little games like popcorn and try some of the computer drawing, but we didn't have internet, and had no practical use for it. But when we got this one for my son, he got me set up with my hotmail account, which I STILL have, and I have gradually increased my variety of usage of the thing (of course we no longer have the original - I think this may be our third or fourth, I forget.) I've made videos, especially about my missionary work - if this is the first time you're reading one of my blogs, here's a "f'rinstance" -
I've played around and made drawings and powerpoints. And i do a LOT of communication via my two email accounts and of course facebook - and SPARK is one of the main sites I use!
In all this I am way ahead of Levi, technologically. He just doesn't "do" internet. I mostly chat with his nieces online.
But HE has been ahead of ME in another area of technology. Until TONIGHT. I finally got a cellphone.
Mind you, it's for emergencies only. I don't like using a landline except when absolutley necessary. Same with cell phone. So I'm okay now, if the car breaks down. Or something like that. It's very basic, a Tracphone, with big number buttons so I can hit ONE AT A TIME. I will not text because I am persnickety about writing everything out. I do NOT "LOL" - I teehee, hehehehe, hahahaha, and PAHAHAHAHA. (or JAJAJAJA if in Spanish) No one has to worry about me smashing into them from texting while driving, like someone nearly did to ME.
And I got a "year's" worth of minutes, which were doubled on this deal, and they roll over, so, it should probably last...oh, three or four years! Maybe until I feel confident enough with this new bit of technology, and can go on to something fancier. But for now, folks should be glad I have a cell for emergencies.
Although God has always been easily available at no charge. Well...only the cost of His Son...
Monday, January 14, 2013
So today was the blood drive at school. I'm not super busy in my present assignment, and my friend who started teaching at my school this year had enlisted my help in the previous blood drive, so she asked me again this time. I can't give blood any more, having been to a "malarial" country, but I can at least do this!
I don't do MUCH. In fact I think my main purpose is to make sure the student volunteers (they get community service credits for their PIG classes) don't consume the snacks and drinks that are supposed to be for the donors.
I brought my writing materials and finished the packet of letters to folks at Pastor Gregorio's church, Manantial de Vida, in Villa el Salvador. The kids talked among themselves, and things were just regular, till about the last half hour, forty-five minutes. The girl next to me and I struck a little conversation. When she knew I wrote Spanish she asked in Spanish if I was Puerto Rican (with an understandably doubtful look in her eye) and I answered in Spanish, giving her the background of myparents' divorce and Dad's remarriage to a Puerto Rican lawyer, ya-da ya-da. In the course of the conversation I explained about all my writing (she had commented, "Miss, you like to write, don't you?") and also about my engagement to Levi. When it dawned on her that he was still in Peru, she gasped and said, "You're in a long-distance relationship TOO!" So we started talking about this. I told her about my younger daughter who'd met someone online, run off just shy of her 17th birthday to meet him in person, got caught, brought back, he drove up (from Texas to New York, 24 hours straight!)...The girl said she is SIXTEEN, and wants to do the same, to go meet her guy face-to-face (but at least HE'S only in PENNSYLVANIA!) I urged her not to do this but to wait. And I got to thinking, hm, I've been wanting to go visit my sis in MD , maybe during Spring Break, since I haven't seen her since Mom passed away. (Learned this girl's mom ALSO passed away.) I said I COULD feasibly take her down with me, with her father's permission, as chaperone to meet this young man and if she was willing to spring for a motel we could stay a couple of days and then maybe go on together to my sister's and go to DC (about an hour away) for some sites before heading back. So...This is all a MAYBE, of course, but it's so fun how God hooks people up who, on the surface may look like they have nothing in common, but makes these connections...Even if we DON'T pull off such a road trip, we are friending each other on facebook, and she'll be another prayer target. And I don't know if she has a step-mom, or an important influential adult female in her life (like an aunty or grandma) but hey - "Here I am, Lord".
Yeah. Helping with the blood drive.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Ever since I met the Jesus Christ, I have loved going to church, to get in on the corporate worship and the teaching, as well as building relationships with the other members. I've found Him in different denominations and NON-denominations. I don't believe in "church-hopping." And while I don't mind visiting a very large church, I prefer being part of a smaller one for the sake of being KNOWN - having accountability for the safe-guard of my soul.
In 1986 my first husband and I went before the Presbytery where we received some prophetic words. One was about visitation in the House of the Lord, and at first I just thought of visiting members of my present church. But His House is SO much bigger! I started going to evening services at other churches just to visit, while maintaining my morning attendance at my regular church. When I began to study Spanish, I included bi-lingual or hispanic churches (my city has a large latino population).
When we're faithful in the small things - responding to the Lord's Word by making those steps in my own community - He gives us bigger things. Hence my start with visiting churches in OTHER countries. It started with one church in Iquitos,Peru, where my church had supported a mission. Then it was a few churches. Then it was some churches in Lima as well as Iquitos. Then it was some jungle churches as well as the others, and a church in Chiclayo. Then it was Cuzco and surrounding villages. Then more churches in Lima and Iquitos and the jungle churches and Chiclayo. Then one Ipiales, COLOMBIA, through someone I knew from Iquitos. That same person got me into churches in Quito and Tulcan in ECUADOR. Another contact got me into churches in Puerto Maldonado and Iberia. Another brought me to Tuman, Santa Ana, Casa Blanca, Chepen, Ucupe, and Tucume. And I've been to numerous churches throughout Lima's districts.
And it's been LOVELY to be in His dwelling place, and I've always felt at home, whatever the size of the church, its construction and location. I love my present "home" church, a bilingual Assembly of God. But my God has a big BIG House.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
My sister in Christ, dear friend, and "spiritually adopted" sister Vicky Campos would always use this phrase in response to the usual greeting of "How are you?" I met her first in 2006, the first time I went to Chiclayo with her flesh-n-blood sister Sabina and brother-in-law Pastor Jorge Samelvino. That first time I was put up in a hotel, but her father said, "She must be so lonely, all by herself - the next time she comes, she has to stay HERE." "Papito Maximo" adopted ME as HIS "spiritual daughter" the following summer when I returned to Chiclayo. I have become very close to Vicky and Sabina since then. And when asked how I am, I try to remember Vicky's declaration.
This is a little video of my "home away from home" in Chiclayo:
I can't begin to count the ways I am blessed. But since this is my Spark blog, I'll mention some things having to do with THAT. Spark itself is such a blessing, and it's a blessing to be able to have my own PC and internet at home. The tracking has been a great help. The articles have helped me, AND my sparkbuddy daughter Raptormelon/Glitterfairy, to make wiser selections in the grocery store and meal planning.
I'm a Teacher Assistant, so I don't get super grand wages. BUT, after tithing (yes, 10% BEFORE taxes) I am able to meet my financial obligations and sometimes even help Levi, and even do an occasional special (HEALTHY) treat.That's the FINACIAL prosperity. I am prospering SPIRITUALLY - drawing closer to my Lord, more in love with Him. My SOUL is prospering, as I just enjoy life in general, even with all its trials and tribulations- see yesterday's blog! - (of course, Jesus Christ has everything to do with THAT, too!)
En Victoria/In Victory:
I have managed to keep my sodium within limits for six out of seven days, thanks to Spark's nutrition tracker so I can plan my meals. When I stepped on the scale this morning, it was TWO-OH-FOUR. It is always hardest to break through those 5-pound marks: It seemed I'd never get below 220...215....210....and then 205! I hope to hit 200 by the end of the month! Also, I tried on my "skinny jeans" - some size 16's that I've held onto from when I'd managed to get as low as 180 before injuring myself and the slow creep back up. With pulling in my tummy I was actually able to FASTEN them. NOT zip - YET. But I FASTENED them! That's a PHYSICAL victory.
A victory of soul and spirit - hard to distinguish - is the peace about Levi's situation.And I called him the following day to see what was going on. He sounded hopeful that his case was being considered - he is caring for his ailing, elderly parents, he has his own health issues, and he has had periods of unemployment. "I don't know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future."
Vicky and I, on our way to the Telesferico in Quito, Ecuador, 2011
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