Sunday, December 24, 2006
Honduras, Part 2
We just returned from a Christmas Eve service where we reflected on the birth of Christ, and as we took communion the pastor reminded us to see Jesus in others which was basically the theme of our mission trip this past week. Each evening as we held our "debriefing" session we shared many ways we saw Jesus in each other and especially the loving Honduran people.
The pastors and members of the small rural churches prepared a delicious Honduran meal for our lunch each day, sharing with us from their own food supply. The children shared their smiles and hugs. Several grandparents brought their grandchildren to be seen, and often kissed us on the cheek as they left.
Our team consisted of two dentists, eleven dental students and three support persons plus an interpreter. All of the dentists and dental students pulled teeth every day. The girl in the red top is my daughter Mandy pulling a tooth. Since I was one of the three team members without any dental training, I spent most of my time in the pharmacy dispensing the pain medicine and antibiotics the dentists prescribed. I also helped some with sterilization of the instruments and passed out coloring sheets and crayons to the children.
Our group began each clinic with a prayer circle for the work to be done that day, and the people we would see. In our morning and evening devotions our interpreter, Pedro, often played his guitar and sang songs both in Spanish and English. One of the songs we knew so we sang in English while he continued in Spanish. The sound of the languages blending together gave me a glimpse of what heaven might sound like with the saints "from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9) praising God for eternity.
Our team was led by Dr. David Sperow who lived with his wife Marti as missionaries in Honduras for two years. The mission statement for LaCima missions is: "To spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ by partnering with local churches and missionaries around the globe. We will use our time, talents, and resources to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the impoverished peoples of the world." For more info please check out his website at www.lacimaworldmissions.org
I'll close with a short piece I wrote and shared with the group our last evening there entitled "Dichotomy"
When I saw Jesus in you, I saw
A gentleness, yet a fierceness
Joy mixed with sorrow
Meekness and bravery
Laughter and tears
The heart of a child mixed with a growing maturity
Skillful, yet willing to seek help when necessary
My prayer is that you may always be guided
by Him Who is the
Alpha and the Omega.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Greetings from the lovely country of Honduras. Our dental mission team is staying in San Pedro Sula and holding dental clinics in the surounding countryside. Our first clinic went very smoothly today, seeing 22 patients in the afternoon following church services at an English speaking congregation. Our leader, Dr. Dave Sperrow told us last night to look for Jesus today, and one of the first songs we sang this morning was "Open my eyes, Lord. I want to see Jesus." And God answered that prayer in many ways--from the smiling faces of the children to the loving spirit at the church to the spirit of servanthood shown by the team members.
Please pray for our team to continue to see Jesus and follow His lead. I'll report more later.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friends and Family
Sorry I didn't post last weekend due to my hubby and I being on the road. We were gone 10 days and put over 2,000 miles on our car. We spent the first night with Judy, a friend from college who lives in Alabama. The picture at the bottom left shows us sitting with her on her couch. In her bedroom was a plaque that sums up our relationship: "Friends are a gift from God." We then spent one night at Dauphin Island, AL, our only hotel stay of the trip.
The next day we were off to New Orleans where most of my family now live to spend Thanksgiving with them. My two sisters and their families are still living in FEMA trailers more than a year after Katrina. The picture of the two ladies in teal shirts are my two sisters wearing the shirts my daughter sent them as an early Christmas gift. Butterflies were our mother's trademark. The other two pictures are of my husband and brother-in-law working on the house--running wiring and shoring up a broken timber under the house. We would appreciate all prayers for them to have speedy success in getting back into their home soon.
Our last stop was Lake Charles, Louisiana, where we spent two days with one of my "forever friends." (see October 15 post) Sandi and I went through school from 7th grade through college. The pic above of the three ladies with "flowers in their hair" is from a previous visit at Sandi's. Phyllis, my college roommmate was also there at the same time and we had a blast!
I am so thankful for my family and friends, both silver and gold. Next week I will be making many new friends on a dental mission trip to Honduras with my youngest daughter and some of her fellow dental students. Prayers for all aspects of this trip are much appreciated, too. I'll report about the journey next time.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Dear Friends, I am delighted to share with you a book review by a friend and fellow-chocolate lover, Michelle Sutton. I have read the book and agree with everything she says (including crying at the end!), so I am copying the review in its entirety with her permission. I hope you will also check out Michelle's blog listed at the end of the review, and that you will order this great read from Heartsong Presents.
Anna's Journey by Nancy Toback just came out and I devoured it. It's the best Heartsong I've ever read to date.
Want a review to post?
Product Details# ISBN: 1597891304ISBN-13: 9781597891301# Format: Paperback, 176pp# Publisher: Barbour Publishing, IncorporatedPublication date Sept. 2006
From the back cover:
Anna McCort always wanted to serve the Lord in a third-world orphanage, but she ignored His leading to focus on romance. When her ex-boyfriend threatens violence, the emotionally devastated Anna knows she made the right decision to break up with him. This time around, she won't let anything--or anyone--deter her from her God-given mission. Then, a very handsome stranger from church takes notice of Anna. Can she trust herself to do what's right?
Daniel Boccini never had to work hard for a woman's attention--until he met Anna. No matter how hard he tries, he finds he has to manipulate the situation just to be with her. At least he doesn't have to worry that she will ever want him just for his money. If only he could figure out why she keeps him at arms' length... Will Daniel ever be able to give lower priority to his worldly possessions? Can Anna catch a glimpse of just how much the Lord loves her and wants her to be happy?
My review:Up until I read Anna's Journey, my favorite Heartsong title had always been Love Online (also authored by Nancy Toback) because she has a fabulous gift for drawing the reader in. Many times I find category romances boring, but this story had incredible pull and I devoured it. I loved the believable conflict, the feelings of longing, the tension with the violent ex, the honorable qualities of the hero (and his foreign accent), the innocence of the heroine and her struggle to trust, the character growth, etc. Even the secondary characters like Jane had depth. Nothing cardboard in this story. Just about everything in Anna's Journey plucked my heartstrings. Especially the epilogue. I actually cried real tears of joy. That's a rarity for me. I loved the "edgy" content, especially for a Heartsong, and the kisses were delectable. If Heartsong Presents continues to print novels of this quality I may just have to join their club!
Michelle Sutton (pen name)"Writing truth into fiction"
Great Beginnings finalist2005
Sunday, November 12, 2006
As a writer I have heard many times not to use co-incidences in my stories as that makes them unrealistic, and I don't really believe in co-incidences, but I have had many events happen in my life that can only be explained as God-incidences. I started thinking about this because of the guests we hosted this weekend shown in the picture above. From left to right they are Danai Chowwiwats, John Johnson, Ann Johnson, and Somphet Krongmadee.
We just met Danai and SomPhet yesterday, but felt an immediate bond with them due to their Christian spirit and because they are from Thailand where my husband spent two tours during the Viet Nam war.
We met John and Ann almost fifteen years ago when they moved to KY and bought a farm near ours. They soon became Christians and went to Russia shortly thereafter to pass out tracts in the subway stations. When they returned Ann called me up and said they had met a friend of ours over there--Bro. Earl Mullins. Bro Earl was the minister who had married us in 1968, and he was in Russia to look at some mission opportunities. He and John were stacking Bibles/books one day and one of them said it reminded them of a guy they knew who stacked his hay bales like that. The other one said they knew someone back home that did that also. A few days later they started talking about where they lived and John said he lived outside a small town in KY that Earl had probably never heard of named Cynthiana. That's when Bro. Earl informed John that he knew Rose and Chester from there and that Chester was the farmer he had talked about who stacked his hay bales. John said that we were neighbors of his and that Chester was the guy he knew who did that, too! We are very glad that they got to meet and know Bro. Earl who recently went home to be with the Lord after faithfully serving Him for many years as a Christian school teacher, administrator, and missionary.
John is a printer by trade and he and Ann have formed a ministry named Gutenberg Ministries to print the Bible and Christian literature in many languages. They have travelled in several countries and even lived in Guinea for a year. Another God-incidence occurred a few years ago when they contacted us to tell us they were going to Africa soon and said they needed to contact a missionary who was currently at home on furlough, but they didn't know how to do that. When John told me the missionary's name, I said "He is spending the weekend with us, so why don't you come and visit him while he is here?" He did, and gleaned many helpful bits of information from this veteran missionary that aided in his trip.
We have other connections with the Johnson's also--their son JD (now 16) was the ringbearer in our daughter's wedding over ten years ago. We were happy that they could spend the night with us while in for a church missionary day before attending the national missionary conference in Indianapolis next weekend. They brought Danai and Somphet with them because they are now partnering with them in Southeast Asia Christian Mission (SEACM, pronounced Seek'em). They will also be the American contacts for this organization. So anyone wishing to support this work among the Hmong people in Thailand or wanting more information about it or the printing ministry can contact the Johnson's at GutenbergMinistries@Yahoo.com.
How about you--would you like to share any God-incidences of people God has brought into your life so you can better serve Him?
Sunday, November 05, 2006
ACFW Photos--Take Three
I'm posting three more pictures from the ACFW conference in September. The first one was taken at the crowded chocolate party held in Michelle Hutchinson's room. It's become a well-attended tradition! Yummy! The second one is of me with my roomate for the past three conferences, Jennifer Johnson who had her own book (Kentucky Keepers)to sign at the booksigning this year, and our new friend, Nancy Jo Jenkins (on the left). If you haven't read Nancy Jo's Coldwater Revival yet, please do yourself a favor and add it to the top of your TBR pile. It's a very moving story, and sooo well written! The bottom picture shows me with Liz Curtis Higgs, a fellow-Kentuckian, taken at the book signing. As our keynote speaker, Liz had us running the spectrum from laughing to crying in the same talk. Each attendee received a copy of her latest non-fiction book, Embrace Grace, which is a lovely reminder of God's Grace. I've read several of her other books, too, and love them all! I also enjoy her Bible studies in Today's Christian Woman and used her Bad Girls of the Bible video and book with my Teen MOPS. Treat yourself to one of her books soon! Happy reading!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The first picture above is of me with my dear friend Kim Sawyer. We met at the very first ACFW conference in 2002 and have stayed in touch ever since. The picture in the middle shows me with my former crit partner, Cecilia Dowdy. The bottom photo is of me with Margo Carmichael and MaryAnn Diorio. I remember meeting Margo at a previous conference, and we have sung in the conference choir the past two years together, but this was the first time I had seen MaryAnn in person. She is another dear friend whom I was so happy to finally meet. She won third place in the Genesis contest in the general fiction category. I'm having such a hard time choosing which pictures to post that I am going to add more conference pictures next week, too, so check back then.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I've met many wonderful new friends the past four years through my membership in American Christian Fiction Writers. Each year ACFW holds a national writers' conference. In September, 2006, we met in Dallas at the beautiful Marriott-Galleria. Today and next week I will be posting several pictures taken there of my "new" friends--my friends of silver as the Girl Scout song calls them. The picture at the bottom is of our Kentucky contingent who all flew on the same flight to Dallas. We are (LtoR) Lisa Samson, me, Ruth Seamands, and Jennifer Johnson. The other two pictures were taken at the welcome reception held around the lovely pool area. The picture at top shows Heather Diane Tipton, Paula Moldenhauer, and Lisa Tuttle who sat across from me. In the middle picture are the rest of our tablemates--Jeanne Marie Leach, Kathy Kovacs, Megan DiMaria, Cathy Hake, and myself. Check back next week to see some more of my "silver friends."
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I'm posting a picture of myself on the left with three friends I have dubbed my "Forever Friends." I'm on the back row in the white shirt. Next to me is Bev whom I've known even longer than I can remember back to. I think we were on the Cradle Roll at church together and her mom was the first Sunday School teacher I remember. Bev and I went to the same church until we married and moved away, and the same Christian school since 6th grade. On the front row are Phyllis and Sandi. They joined us in 7th grade and we went all the way thru high school together and even went to the same Christian college for 2 years, so they are three of my nearest and dearest friends. Even if we don't see each other for awhile, we just pick right up where we left off.
The picture at the top above is of the four of us plus two more "golden friends" from our college years, Ena and Yvonne. In fact, the last time we got together we talked about which character in "The Golden Girls" show we would each be! I told them I would have to be Rose, of course! How about you, dear readers? Do you have some golden friends you haven't seen or talked to for awhile? There's no better time than the present to call or email them and renew those everlasting bonds of friendship. Your friend, Rose
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Dear Friends, I am reminded of the Girl Scout song "Make new friends, but keep the old--one is silver, and the other's gold." Whether you are a new cyber-friend or a friend of many years I hope you will leave a comment so we can stay in touch. I will try to post at least once a week on Sunday evening, so check back frequently. Thanks for joining me on my journey into cyber-space! rose, your old/new friend
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Thanks for visiting my website/blog. I want to thank my dear husband for paying for this site as a birthday gift. I also want to thank Janice Thompson for setting it all up so beautifully. She very patiently worked with this cyber-challenged girl to produce a site I am proud to own. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have need of a website. I also want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for giving me the dream to write Christian fiction, and for all the wonderful people He has brought into my life through this ministry. Thanks for joining me on this journey. You are a blessing to me and I pray God's richest blessings on all who enter here.