Let us run the race

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bolivian Father's Day

Bolivian Silpancho

   Today is Bolivian Father's Day. Chuck was honored when Amelia showed up with two plates of Silpancho, a Cochabamba special dish. I got the blessing also, I didn't have to cook today. On Saturday night we had a special church service for fathers. As I sat watching it all, I had to hold back the tears as all the kids hugged their dads, and Chuck received hugs from church members.

   Yes, sometimes it is hard being away from family and friends, but God fills the void. Our little Quechua family honors and blesses us at Rumi Rancho, and our churches and friends here remember we are far from our homeland and come to our side to help fill the void. They even bring Silpancho.

2 pounds beef cut VERY thin (your butcher can do this for you) (should be about 6 large, thin slices)
6 large potatoes
6 eggs
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup fresh onion (very finely chopped, you can even grate it if you prefer)
2 tomatoes chopped small (firm, Roma tomatoes work best)
1 fresh locoto (the small green pepper pictured above—you can use a serrano or other chili pepper), chopped tiny
1 1/2 cups of cooked rice
One meat pounding hammer


Wash and peel the potatoes, and boil them whole until they are tender and edible, not mushy. When they are done, cut each potatoe into thick slices and toast in a pan with a little oil until golden brown (like french fries).

Boil 3-4 cups of water, set aside.

Toast the rice in a hot pan, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. (You don’t want it to get black, you just want to toast any humidity out of it for about 3 minutes.)

Simmer the rice in 3 cups of the hot water, with a little salt, slowly, very low heat, until fully cooked.

While the rice is simmering, take each thin piece of beef, place on a cutting board sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pound it until it is very tender (it will stretch out—you need it to be as thin as possible.)

Heat a pan with some oil, not too hot, you don’t want it to burn or smoke. Press the beef into the breadcrumbs and ensure each piece is completely covered with breadcrumbs, then place into the hot oil. Fry on both sides until the beef is cooked. Carefully turn it several times so the breadcrumbs don’t burn. When finished, set aside.

Fry your eggs.

On a plate, place a large amount of rice. On top of the rice place one silpancho (the beef). On top of the silpancho place one fried egg and “decorate” it with the chopped tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers. Place a few of the fried potatoes on the side, serve and ENJOY!

I John 3:1a "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
 that we should be called the children of God;"

Friday, March 16, 2012

nobodies exalting Somebody

 We are often asked why we are missionaries. We are just doing what God asked us to do––share His Word that will stand forever, with those who haven't yet heard Somebody loves them.

Missionaries are very human folks just doing what they're asked. 
 Simply a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.   - Jim Elliot

Daily Bread

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
- Charles Dickens


We had a special gift to buy bread for children this past Christmas. We fed many hungry children, and their parents. They heard about God as they enjoyed the bread. Now they have joy daily as they enjoy the Bread of Life. They first saw God through bread, now they see Him through His Word, and have Him in their hearts.

Matthew 4:4  But He answered and said,"It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Antique Aunt

I John 4:7 "Dear friends, let us love one another, 
for love comes from God."

   When I was a child I spent many hours with my great aunt, Aunt Flora. She was in her golden years and loved to crochet. I like to think of her as my antique aunt, cherished, valuable and not forgotten. 

    The beautiful dress in this picture was crocheted by Aunt Flora, just for me. Actually, it was for my doll, but now it is on my bear that was given to me by a friend. Both are reminders to me of lasting friendships.

   Many children in Bolivia call me aunt. It is a form of respect for your elders in this culture. I often wonder if they will remember me as I remember my aunt. Aunt Flora was more than an aunt, she was my friend. When I had a problem I could go to her house, and she would take time to talk, sometimes for hours. Looking back, it was love that came from God. 

   Aunt Flora is gone now, but her memory is lasting. She was a mirror of God's love for me when I was a child. I hope I am a mirror of God's love for children, an antique aunt like Aunt Flora.

   The tiny book sitting on the bear's lap was a gift from a close friend. In it is a quote that sums up Aunt Flora's life. She left a lasting impression of God on my heart.

Some people touch our 
lives only briefly...
while others leave a
 lasting impression and
 are never forgotten. 
 from...  FRIENDS
 are the family we
 choose for ourselves
A Book of Quotations For Friends

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Faith Not Fear

   Yesterday we encountered a dangerous situation when armed intruders entered our area. The problem was confronted while God's people prayed. Prayers were answered, and everything returned to normal in a short time.

   Often we fret first, then pray, when we should pray first and not fret. One of our greatest blessings in the ministry is our faithful prayer partners. We know they pray evening, morning and noon, and we see God answer. Prayer changes things.

   "Can you imagine life without fear? What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats?"
    --Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine your Life Without Fear

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mud ~ Marriages ~ Mesh

Psalms 127:1 "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it;"

   When we started building Rumi Rancho, the local people found it strange that we were working together as a couple in every detail of the construction. We know this because our neighbor, who is the president of our community, told us years later. They call us, Tórtolos, love birds.

   Tórtolos are similar to mourning doves in our area; their name in Spanish translates, love birds. They are known for working together to build their mud bird houses, and they mate for life. Their houses are so meshed together with mud and twigs they never come apart. The birds can always be seen working together. Sometimes you can hear them squabbling, but they always return to their mud house together. 

   God's creation, these love birds, gives an example for marriage. A marriage may not be perfect, but God's plan is perfect. When we come apart, God can mesh us together again. The more we are meshed together, the harder for us to come apart. God's perfect plan is to let Him build the house, so we don't labor in vain. 

             The Lord can build our house and mesh us together, 
           so we won't come apart. Mates for life, like the Tórtolos.
   "Nature is God's first missionary. Where there is no Bible there are sparkling stars. Where there are no preachers there are spring times...
    If a person has nothing but nature, then nature is enough to reveal something about God."---Max Lucado                               

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gorgeous George

Acts 13:36a “Now when David had served God’s purpose,
 in his own generation, he feel asleep;”

   George was gorgeous and lovable and fulfilled his purpose here in Rumi Rancho. He wasn't a watch dog as much as he was a watched dog, watched by all the kids. They loved to see him come running when they called for him. He would barrel towards them and give them kisses with lots of slobber; they loved it, and him. The smiles and laughs he brought into kids' lives couldn't have been given by anyone else, in the same manner, except by him.

   George only had six short years on earth and then fell asleep; but his memory is etched in the heart of many kids forever. He gave joy and love to all who knew him. He had a purpose in Rumi Rancho. If God can use a dog to give joy, how much more He desires to use us. When we fall asleep for the last time, will we have served God's purpose like David? Will there be slobber of love on smiling faces from us, as the love George left on kids' faces? God has a purpose for each of us. Are we serving our purpose?

    I know not everyone believes in doggy heaven or the story that follows, but I think this quote from Billy Graham gives pet owners comfort. And I like to think George is waiting at Rainbow Bridge.

    "God will prepare everything for my happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there." Rev. Billy Graham

   By the edge of a wood, at the foot of a hill,
is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
when their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
for here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
the time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,
has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
and then side-by-side,
they cross over...together.

                            at Rainbow Bridge
                                   Inspired by a Norse legend