Sonidos Serranos

Sonidos Serranos: Sounds of the Sierras...
Reflecting some of my family's interests: God's wonderful creation (especially mountains and hills!), music, and language...

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

31 May 2010

Utah: Part 5

The scenery on the way to Marysvale in southern Utah was quite different from that of the northern portion of the state. (No, we did not make it to Arches National Park; we were in southern Utah on business...)

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Pastor and Mrs. Edwards and the folks at their church. When we arrived, they immediately took us to a barbecue at a "Mountain Man Rendezvous." There were some intriguing displays there.

Elizabeth especially enjoyed exploring the teepee.

John Mark enjoyed taking a tour of the area on a four-wheeler – a significant element of the culture in that area. (No, I did not get pictures; I was enjoying a much-needed nap...)

27 May 2010

More SNOW! (Utah: Part 4)

Between meetings we enjoyed time as a family. We drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon and enjoyed the snow still on the ground at two of the ski resorts (now closed, except for weekends).

We ventured out onto the snow, and I sank through the crusty layer on top, through the powder underneath – all the way up to my knee!

Elizabeth was ecstatic about all the snow!

And the trees were so beautiful, too!

We were told we could cross the mountains a different way than we had come up; when we went to investigate the possibility, this is what we saw:

If you look very closely, you can see that the snow comes up to the word closed on the "Road Closed" sign! So, we went back the way we'd come...

25 May 2010

Utah: Part 3

It's hard to decide which of the many beautiful pictures to post! And, of course, the pictures don't even do justice to the reality of what we experienced... I constantly marvel at both the beauty and intricacies of God's creation.

Elizabeth has decided that someday she's going to learn to ski so she can go skiing with her Daddy! (I must admit that being in these amazing mountains is inspiring me to at least be willing to try to learn, too...)

Everywhere we went, we were surrounded by beauty...

Deer Creek Reservoir in Provo Canyon

A view from the Alpine Loop on Timpanogos, past Sundance

We saw a mule deer on Timpanogos!

She wasn't even afraid of us!

24 May 2010

SNOW! (Utah: Part 2)

It snowed in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah – in late May!

Cascade Mountain and Timpanogos were covered in snow clouds
when we first pulled into Heber City, UT.

The very next day was clear. Look at all that beautiful snow!
(This picture is currently my desktop background!)

It snowed even more two days later. These were the views from our temporary mountain home:

Before the snow...

After the snow...

While the snow was falling...

SO beautiful!

Utah: Part 1

The scenery on the way to Utah was absolutely amazing!

Some was reminiscent of the sierras and pampas in Uruguay.

Some was vastly different from Uruguay:
Look at all that snow – in late May!

Different from what we used to see as kids when we traveled:
No windmills back then! (Elizabeth loves them.)

We saw red squirrels, antelope, and elk!

I kept marveling at the changing topography in the high plains...

May 23: Update on Jonatán

We Steels are out of town, presenting our future ministry in Uruguay, so I'm adapting an update written by Jona's missionary grandparents in Uruguay:

We are praising the Lord for answering prayer!

Jona finished ninth grade – a truly remarkable feat, considering what we thought back in September! We are thankful for God's grace. We are also thankful for the wonderful staff and fellow students at BJA for their help and encouragement during the past school year.

Jona also did well after last week's chemo, and today he started the third day of the five-day chemo. He has done well so far and should be home by Tuesday evening. He won't have another chemo until the week of June 14 – because the family will be going on (an all-expenses-paid!) vacation in early June. Please pray for a wonderful and blessed time for them as a family!

They continue to have many opportunities to minister to other families who have children and grandchildren in the cancer unit. They talked last night with the grandparents and an aunt of a six-year-old who didn't make it through the night. The family assured them that the Lord would give the strength they need in these days. It's encouraging to Esteban and Esther that there are others there who also know the Lord as personal Savior.

Please continue to pray for Jona and his family. This is a difficult experience.

Thank-you for praying!

20 May 2010


We enjoyed wonderful fellowship at the missions conference in Colorado. We met another young missionary family, headed to Kenya with a similar purpose of assisting the churches there in evangelism and ministry training.

Elizabeth especially enjoyed the goodies in the gift bag,
getting her hair braided, and staying with Aunt Dorothy...

We also enjoyed the beauty of God's creation while on a picnic.
It's still early spring out west!

The scenery on the way to Colorado was quite diverse...

12 May 2010

May 12: Update on Jonatán

A very quick update...

Please pray for Jona as he takes final exams this week. By God's grace, he will be finishing ninth grade with no pending schoolwork!

Thank-you for praying!

Jona is scheduled to go back to the hospital for another chemo treatment this weekend. This is the type that is administered for four hours and then flushed out, a process which usually takes several days.

It's hard to see him without hair again... He is counting the weeks until early July, when he is scheduled to be done with chemo.

Please continue to pray for him and his family.

11 May 2010


Reminiscent of our high school and college graduations, we once again stand at a defining moment made up of an end as well as a beginning. Today is John Mark’s last day of employment with The Reynolds Company and mine with The Kidder Group, Inc. Tomorrow will mark the beginning of our new work as we embark on full-time deputation with the goal of being in Uruguay, Lord willing, in April of next year.

This is a poignant time for me as I look back on my time at KGI. There is so much I appreciate: the Christian values and family-friendly environment, the focus on helping others, opportunities to grow and learn new skills – to name a few. I will miss the good folks who have been such an important part of our lives for almost six years.

Like the patriarch Abraham, we leave behind the predictability of what is familiar and comfortable as we step out in faith in spite of all the unknowns, trusting in God’s promises and looking to Him for every need.

God Himself has said: “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you…” (Hebrews 13:5)

“My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:19)

Pray for us!