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.

30 June 2011

Abundant opportunity...

Please pray for the teens who regularly attend Sunday School and/or Saturday youth meetings at Iglesia Bíblica Maranatha in Pando.

They and so many like them have had abundant opportunity; they have been recipients of abundant light.

Please pray specifically for a one-day camp for them, scheduled for tomorrow, July 1st. Pray that our loving Shepherd would enlighten the eyes of their understanding. (Ephesians 1)

To Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21)

29 June 2011


A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
(Proverbs 17:17)

Much can be said on the topic of friendship. The Scriptures (especially the Wisdom Books) are rich with it...

The following quote by C.H. Spurgeon, often called Prince of Preachers, has recently become a favorite:
Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life. Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend.
During the twenty months of Jonas battle with cancer – and especially during the last, most difficult month – we, as extended family, were blessed with many such friends. And we thank God for you.

Were thankful for your continued prayers. The following note, received via FaceBook in late May, has been a special blessing to me personally. I must admit that when I first read it, I even cried tears of thankfulness...
I was thinking of you the other night at midnight and praying and remembering Jonas challenging nights. I wondered if maybe nights are especially hard for you now because everything is quiet, and thoughts can swirl, and memories are not quiet. We ache with you and his parents and brother for the empty places and are praying that God will help.
What I wrote in response is still true for us now:
Your note was a great encouragement... Nights continue to be very hard. Thoughts do swirl, and memories of difficult moments tend to sharpen in focus. The reality of it all is just now beginning to sink in...
Im so thankful for Jonas testimony – for Gods amazing grace in his life. I sorrow not for him but for his family, for myself, for my children who lost such an amazing cousin, for my six-month-old son who lost such a mentor...
God is giving grace and strength and comfort, but our hearts ache. The empty places are becoming more and more noticeable now...
Thank-you! to all of you who have loved at all times and been brothers and sisters to us in our time of adversity. Thank-you for praying! Please continue!

21 June 2011

Sorrow – not without hope!

Yesterday marked two months since our dear Jonas home-going. His maternal grandmother (my own dear mother) went Home twelve years ago on May 31; June 18 was her birthday...

We are sorrowing – yet not without hope...

Some may ask: Is it right for a Christian, one who is genuinely trusting Christ for eternal salvation, to grieve – to cry?

I raise the question here because this blog has been a means of chronicling our extended family’s sorrow and because in this very real area of life on a fallen planet, we desire to seek and act according to what God reveals in His Word, the Bible.

This question and many others like it will undoubtedly lead to profitable, long-term study; but some thoughts come immediately to mind:
  • Christ Himself, our greatest and ultimate example, shed tears at the gravesite of His friend, Lazarus. Undoubtedly, there were multiple reasons for His tears, but those immediately surrounding Him saw those tears as evidence of His grief: “See how He loved him!” (John 11)
  • Paul’s encouragement to believers in Thessalonica that “you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope” implies that we do, in fact, grieve. However, our sorrow – in contrast to that of those who have no eternal hope – finds comfort in God who is our ultimate hope. (I Thess. 4)
  • I, personally, find it interesting that our Savior does not take away our tears when He saves us from the penalty of our sins; instead, He waits until one day when we are in eternity with Him – when “there will no longer be any death, [or] mourning, or crying, or pain” – to “wipe away every tear from [our] eyes...” (Revelation 21)
  • In a passage rich with instruction for overcoming evil, we are commanded as believers in Christ to “weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12)
  • Godly leaders of the past (on whose shoulders we are privileged to stand) recognize tears as part of this earthly pilgrimage. Included in an earlier post is an excellent quote: Do not waste your sorrows.
Scripture is undoubtedly rich with this topic, and I plan to continue studying – and writing. Feel free to listen in...

18 June 2011

Look who’s getting older!

Thursday marked three weeks since our arrival in Uruguay. In some ways, it seems longer. Weve been busy in many good (but also tiring) ways.

Its been three months since I last posted “milestone” pictures of DJM. (Where does time go?!) So, this will be an attempt at a (brief) catch-up post.

DJM is growing by leaps and bounds! We did our best to weigh him on Uncle Daniels scale, and – trying to take squirming into account – were guessing that he now weighs between 9.1 and 9.5 kilograms (i.e. between 20 and 21 pounds!) He finally (in the last week or so) became interested – avidly interested – in solid food. (We had nicknamed him Milk Baby; he was waking me three and even four times per night – genuinely hungry!)

Butternut squash, carrot-sweet potatoes, bananas, and apples, and a bite or two of chicken (all home-cooked!) – in addition to prepared oat cereals – have comprised the menu so far...

Unlike his sister who started crawling at six months, he is as of yet seemingly not at all interested in becoming mobile in that way...

As for temperament: He continues to be as smiley as ever, and he recently began showing a very, uh, shall we say “determined” bent – and in very vocal ways! (Ahem! Its definitely in the genes on both sides of the family – and a lot closer on the family tree than Adam and Eve are!)

Well, here are some “milestone” pictures – the real reason for blog posts of this nature, eh?

5 months old with his beloved Jona!
A snapshot we will treasure forever!

6 months old – with JellyCat, as usual!

Were not sure how “tall” he is, but hes been wearing many 9M clothes for a while now!

We took advantage of a great coupon and got some professional photos, too!

Hes now getting two more teeth – on the top!

7 months old – in Uruguay!
But, Mommy, this isnt the usual lion!

Were thankful – beyond words for our multi-cultural little people!

Were working hard on Spanish and Elizabeth started English reading lessons this week! (Ill be posting more on that exciting aspect of family life as soon as I can make time to do so...)

16 June 2011


I long to see him one more time;
He had a peace sublime.
He did have cancer,
But he had the Answer.
He was a Good friend to me.

He could not frown,
And was never down.
He never complained
Even though he was drained.
He was a Great friend to me.

Bow the Knee
Was his plea.
He asked us to trust
In a God who is just.
He was a True friend to me.

He sang Be Still, my Soul
As death took its toll.
To God be the glory
Was his story.

He was the Best friend to me.

(c) Copyright, April 2011, Willy Walker
(Willy is a dear junior-high friend of Jona's; he included this poem in a card sent to the Torres family after Jona's home-going.)

15 June 2011

Do not waste your sorrows...

Take care that you do not waste your sorrows; that you do not let the precious gifts of disappointment, pain, loss, loneliness, or similar afflictions...mar you instead of mending you... There is no failure of life so terrible as to have the pain without the lesson, the sorrow without the softening.

~ Hugh Black, early 20th-century pastor

14 June 2011

Our Big Trip with Little Jona

On our ministry blog, John Mark shares memories of our big trip with little Jona...

O give thanks unto the LORD;
Call upon His name:
Make known His deeds among the people.
Sing unto Him,
Sing psalms unto Him:
Talk ye of all His wondrous works.
(Psalm 105:1-2)

11 June 2011

Praise God for...Jona Torres!

Debbie Petersen, traveling with a university group to Spain, posted in Praying for Jona (Hona) Torres on FaceBook:
I shared Jona's story with some people here in Petrer, Spain, while witnessing to them... I think the story made them think hard.
Gracias a Dios por la vida de Jona Torres!

Yes! Praise God for the life of Jona Torres! Praise God for amazing saving grace!

10 June 2011

In the news: Chile's Puyehue Volcano

The effects of the volcano that erupted in Chile last Saturday reached us in Uruguay. Yesterday all flights were cancelled to and from the international airport here, and there was also an "orange alert" advising care because of the volcanic ash that shifting wind patterns were carrying this far east.

Credit: NASA's MODIS Rapid Response Team

You can see a short video clip (taken by satellites) of the ash plume at You can also see some amazing and sobering photographs at The Big Picture.

Please pray for those affected by these events.

09 June 2011


We've now been in Uruguay for two weeks. In many ways, we're still getting settled...

We're excited about the abundant ministry opportunities here and would appreciate your praying for grace and strength and wisdom for us.

I have a number of blog posts "brewing" but not much computer time right now. However, I just had to take a few moments to post pictures of our little co-workers!

Elizabeth is making lots of new friends. 

She enjoys helping set out hymnbooks and cushions at church.

DJM smiles at everybody.
(SMILE seems to be his default setting!) 

His soccer loyalty has been decided for him,
and he seems very happy about it!

We're thankful – beyond words – for our dear little co-workers and the many ways they enhance our ministries.