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 March 2010

little musician

Elizabeth has been singing música do (her name for Brahms Lullaby and a few others) for over a year and a half now. (Interestingly enough, I learned during this trip to Uruguay that singing solfege is taught in Europe as an aid to developing both reading and listening skills in music.)

On a very hot bus ride into Montevideo, Elizabeth came up with her own transcription of música do, using what she calls her drawing machine. (Thanks, Auntie Amy!)

She started by showing me the top picture, asking me which notes were sol.

Theyre the ones that look like suns, of course!

A little later, she asked me how to draw si. Being distracted, I heard sea, so I drew a series of little waves. She then proceeded to explain to me that what she had written so far was:

Mi, mi, sol. Mi, mi, sol. Mi, sol, do, si...

(Note that mi is represented by a dot, sol by a sun, do by a circle, and si by waves.)

She then proceeded to ask how to draw la, re, and fa!

(We came up with a line, a check mark, and something else I now dont even remember for la, re, and fa.)

While running to catch our second bus, we dropped the drawing machine and so did not get a picture of the almost complete transcription of Brahms Lullaby...

But, oh, the fun we had on that very hot bus ride! (Look at the smile on Elizabeths Daddys face!)

25 March 2010

March 25: Update on Jonatán

Last Thursday (one week ago), Jonatán had the long-awaited lung scan. (This is the one that was going to be done in February but had not yet been done.) We are praising God for answered prayer! The scan came back normal – with no sign of cancer in the lungs!

Jona went into the hospital last Friday afternoon for the five-day chemo treatment. This is one of the new chemos with stronger medicines that can cause blood counts to go down dramatically. When I called Esteban for an update today, he was at the hospital with Jona who was getting a blood transfusion. Thankfully, it's the first one he has had to have – and only because of the doctor's insisting that it would help him feel better.

Please pray that Jona's blood counts would not drop so far that he has to be in isolation (as he was at the end of January for a few days after this same chemo.) He is apparently feeling quite well today – well enough to attend an evening service at the Bible Conference taking place this week on campus!

Please continue to pray! Esther said that the Lord is giving them many opportunities at the hospital with other families of cancer patients and with the medical staff as well as in the community and at church. Please continue to pray for the Lord's grace and strength for the whole family as they go through this trial.

Thank-you for praying!

Spring is in the air!

Every year, as seasons come and go, we marvel at the intricacies of God's wonderful creation – even in our own back yard!

And it's so much fun to see the details again through the eyes of a (very enthusiastic!) child...

24 March 2010

Even more pictures of our trip...

Before leaving Pando for a week of Family Camp on the coast, we again had opportunity to minister with Iglesia Bíblica Maranatha on the outskirts of the city. There is great need for the Word of God to change hearts in this area north of Pando, where sin has broken many lives and destroyed many homes. We're thankful for and inspired by the faithful example of my Dad and Pat, working hard in a hard place – and trusting the Lord of the harvest for fruit that will remain!

Will you pause to pray for these precious souls?

18 March 2010

More pictures of our trip...

During our second week, we went to camp to visit the children from Pando who were there. It was exciting to see all the new (for me) games at the camp.

Elizabeth and Maxi became fast friends!

I wouldve loved to have been the proverbial fly on that little wall! We cant help but wonder what they were talking about there – especially since Elizabeth had begun to talk Spanish in earnest only days before...

March 18: Update on Jonatán

Please pray for Jonatán today. Later this afternoon, he is supposed to be having a scan of his lungs.

Apparently, this is the test that was being talked about in February but was not done then. The doctors do not suspect anything, but they do not want to see any spots there.

Please continue to pray for complete healing for Jonatán.

14 March 2010

March 14: Update on Jonatán

Please continue to pray for Jona. He was admitted to the hospital this past Friday for another four-hour chemo. This is the kind that has to be flushed out of his system; that process usually takes at least three days but has been taking longer the last few times. The side effects are unpleasant, to say the least, but the main concern, of course, is the toxicity of the medications.

Jona continues to be encouraged, looking to the Lord. He is counting down the remaining chemos. This current one is #10 – nine more to go! (If we've figured correctly, he'll be done by the first week in July.)

By God's grace, Jona has been able to keep up with school. At this rate, he should be able to finish out the school year on schedule. The faculty and staff and students at BJA have been an amazing encouragement to Jona (and to us!); we are very thankful!

Please continue to pray specifically:
  • Pray that Christ's name would be made big in the earth – in Jona's life, in the lives of extended family, in the medical community here, in the eyes of others on the oncology floor, in our churches, in Jona's school, and in the lives of Christians all over the world who are praying.
  • Pray for wisdom for Esteban and Esther and the doctors as they make major decisions day by day.
  • Pray for wisdom in dealing with insurance providers; pray that all details (i.e. red tape) will be worked out smoothly.
  • Pray that the LORD, the Great Physician, would completely heal Jona.
Thank-you for praying!

11 March 2010

Pictures of our trip...

Our first few days in Uruguay were spent...

Enjoying catching up with family!

Running errands (and enjoying life!) in Montevideo.

Celebrating Lucía's birthday!

And ministering at Iglesia Bíblica Maranatha in Pando.

We're thankful for God's goodness, grace, and provision in giving us so much opportunity!

10 March 2010

¡Uruguay, te queremos!

We’re back in the USA after almost five (very busy!) weeks in Uruguay. We’re sad to have left Uruguay but content to be in the place of God’s current appointment for us. (Of course, I'm always sad to leave when it’s Uruguay.) Added to the usual emotions was the fact that my Dad had just been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. He insisted that we leave, as planned. Thankfully, he is doing much better and is at home now.

We arrived “home” to a very cold house and soon discovered that the furnace was out of commission. Upper 40s and low 50s (with low 30s at night) feel extra cold when you’ve just come from 70s, 80s, and 90s! Thankfully, the furnace required only a simple fix. And the weather has been in the upper 60s for the past few days, making the furnace nonessential.

Elizabeth and I spent a profitable couple of hours outside yesterday, restoring the weed patches flower beds in the front yard. Spring is almost here. The yellow crocuses are now in bloom, and the daffodils are just starting to show. Beautiful!

By God’s grace, our days in Uruguay were profitable. You can read our “official” Winter 2010 Ministry Report on our ministry blog.

Highlights of the trip for me included (in random order):
  • Hearing John Mark preach over thirty times – in Spanish!
  • Experiencing a warm and enthusiastic reception from our future co-workers in Uruguay.
  • Fellowshipping with believers from all over the country at the Family Camp.
  • Meeting some of the Bible Institute students we’ll be ministering to and with.
  • Spending time with family – in Pando, at camp, and at the “ranch” in Totoral del Sauce.
  • Ministering at Iglesia Bíblica Maranatha in Pando
  • Celebrating Lucía’s birthday – twice!
  • Enjoying some of our favorite Uruguayan specialties – ravioles, chivitos, sandwiches olímpicos, tarta de jamón y queso, asado, pan de galleta, biscochos, dulce de leche, masitas, etc.!
  • Watching Elizabeth’s growing enthusiasm about speaking castellano – and she’s still eager to continue doing so! (Praise the Lord!)
  • Traveling to three churches in the interior, including one area I had never visited before.
  • Seeing God at work, advancing His kingdom in the hearts of those He is saving from sin!
We are now excited about the next steps in our journey toward full-time ministry in Uruguay. In early May, we expect to leave our current jobs and begin full-time travel. (I must honestly admit some nervous anticipation along with the excitement as we leave the “predictability” of our jobs.) We know that the Lord is faithful! Already we have seen the Lord graciously provide a (much more reliable) vehicle, a 1999 Toyota Camry, to make extended trips possible.

This spring we have meetings scheduled in North Carolina, Iowa, and Colorado. We then plan to continue through Idaho and Alberta and on to Alaska. Our goals are to introduce ourselves and the work in Uruguay, to request prayer, and to serve among the Lord’s people as He gives opportunity. We trust that this will result in our soon return to Uruguay – in early 2011 if the Lord should so allow. Please pray with us to that end!

[Pictures pending…]