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 March 2012

April marks the one-year anniversary of Jona Torres’ homegoing. Several friends, along with his family, have worked very hard to put together a gospel tract and accompanying website, highlighting his response to cancer and the Lord’s work in his life.

Please pray for the success of the gospel this next week as students and faculty from his high school, Bob Jones Academy, take these tracts to New York City on their annual evangelistic trip.

Pray for grace for his family during these anniversary days.

Visit the website and view the tract (in English and Spanish); read, see, and hear Jona’s story; and give glory to Christ for His gracious work!

25 March 2012

Sorrow, Joy, Hope... Grace!

This evening marks the beginning of almost four weeks that hold an anniversary every day. On March 25 (the Friday afternoon of BJU’s Bible Conference last year), Jona took a marked turn for the worse. We were told that evening by the hospice nurse on call that that night would be Jona’s last. But God had other plans, giving him almost four more weeks of ministry among us – and answering our prayer that He deal gently with us.

We would appreciate your continued prayers for us as extended family – and, most of all, for Esteban and Esther and Marcos. We continue to grieve. But we also continue to find our Savior faithful as we walk this valley, and we know that we can trust His words. He is Faithful and True!

Our loving Shepherd continues to answer our prayers, dealing gently with us. We are encouraged as we trace His hand and see His working. He eased the pain of our first Christmas without Jona by giving our extended family ten days together in Uruguay in late December and early January, culminating with the joy of Julia’s and Dilney’s wedding.

And now during these almost four weeks of anniversary dates, He is giving us joy and hope – in spite of our deep sorrow – as we look forward to the printing of a tract containing Jona’s testimony (in both English and Spanish) and an accompanying website. The tract and the website are targeted for realease on March 30. Please pray specifically for God to continue to use Jona’s testimony of faith in the Savior for His glory!

13 March 2012

Our Little Lady

Our Little Lady is six years old. Time has flown! Watching little ones grow seems to augment the speed at which days turn into weeks then into years... With God’s help, we’re trying to cherish the precious, fleeting moments.

Elizabeth continues to be a great source of joy. By God’s grace, we are constantly reminded that she is a trust – on loan from Him. What an awesome, humbling responsibility! (In early February, I paused to jot some notes – lest in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the timing of events and milestones blurs.)

Enjoying her little “Secret Place” in the back yard

In December, Elizabeth became an avid reader. She continues to learn by leaps and bounds. Upon realizing that Spanish has only five vowel sounds, she taught herself to read Spanish, too, while we were in Uruguay in late December and early January. Her doing so is extra special to me because Jona did the same as a young boy...

Having fluctuated between speaking mostly Spanish as a baby and young toddler, to rejecting it while in K-2 and K-3, to picking it back up during short visits to Uruguay, she now speaks more Spanish than ever – thanks mostly to the fact that we speak primarily Spanish to her baby brother. We are constantly amused (and delighted!) as we hear her speak quite fluently to DJM. She loves to tell him what to do – especially if there’s opportunity to tell him not to do something! But, in general, she continues to be “Best Big Sister” to him. And he adores her in return.

On the plane, traveling back from Uruguay

She continues to love drawing and often surprises us with drawings of events or objects she experienced or saw in the past. Some of her latest artwork includes Uruguayan themes! And she continues to love drawing “manger scenes” – with lots of detail.

Probably my all-time favorite!

During the last year or so, she also designed several of what she called “tracts.”

When not drawing or reading, she is constantly on the move. (Her Daddy often says that she went from crawling to running – and has never stopped!) She is a delightful juxtaposition of “princess” and “tom-boy” rolled into one! Favorite pictures of mine include moments when I’ve caught her in mid-air:

At a random rest area in Iowa in early October 2011

At Plaza Independencia in Montevideo in early January 2012

She continues to be tender-hearted, and we’re very thankful.

03 March 2012

News from the Little House and the Big House

The past seven days have comprised “quite the week” for our little family! All four of us are either fighting or trying to recover from a nasty stomach bug (referred to as “12-hour flu”). The little people have also been battling chest colds and congestion. So... Nights have been short (full of “interruptions”), and days have been long. (Welcome to the “real” world of parenting, eh?)

(I’m thankful for the tool FaceBook can be in cases like this, allowing us to put out a request for extra prayer.) The Lord has been answering, giving grace and strength to JM and me – and we’re very thankful! Elizabeth seems to be doing better, though she’s still (uncharacteristically!) tired. And the little guy had a fever this morning but seems happier at the moment.

Last night was definitely an improvement over the night before, and we’re hoping tonight will be even better. Please pray for complete healing for all of us.

In other news...

About a month ago, we were “Celebrating the Little House.” And a week ago on Thursday, we toured part of a very big house – America’s largest, we’re told. We enjoyed a drive up into the NC mountains to one of my favorite places – the Biltmore Estate. (Thank-you, PaPa and Grandma, for the one-day passes!)

DJM was very excited about the size of Comodore, the stone lion!

Our Little Princess is always excited about castles!
(She’s eager to learn more about this one.)

The flowers were just beginning to appear in the gardens.

In the conservatory, we saw abundant testimony of our amazing Creator’s handiwork!

(This is only a small sample...!)

The farm animals and tractor are always a highlight.

This was DJM’s first visit to the Biltmore Estate, and Elizabeth enjoyed his enthusiasm.

(And this is my favorite snapshot of the day!)