Packing and painting--a new Christmas tradition

Well, it is Christmas Eve, and we are once again packing and painting. This is our third time to be packing and moving between Christmas and the New Year since we came to Peru.
The first year it was because we just finished language school.
The second year because the landlady needed her house back because her sister decided to come back from Italy and needed the apartment that she was living in.
And this year because I had surgery and we had to postpone the move.
Not my favorite Christmas tradition!

Praise God that it's really about His amazing gift of Jesus Christ and the redeeming love that God has for us!
Praise Him for the provision and encouragement He keeps on providing for us!

Walking and leaping and praising God!

Well, not exactly leaping, yet, but certainly walking and praising!

I went to my weekly Dr. appointment and am released from the surgeon's care. I just have to keep using the elastic bandages until the end of January!

Wow! Now I am free to clean up the house. :) And pack!

In His Love,

Thank you, Prayer Supporter Man

Yesterday, I wrote that we needed prayer--lots of expenses, money that didnt arrive, Christmas, a move, obstacles, and yes, (in my case) frustration at not being able to do anything. Everything seemed, from a human viewpoint, discouraging.

Thank you for praying!

We did a skit when we were deputating:
Melba Missionary is writing her prayer letter to supporters--
she tells about hair-raising taxi rides with cheating drivers who overcharge her,
how the officials in immigration deny her requests for the most trivial reasons (what kind of shoes she has on),
and her loud-mouthed neighbor who won't listen to gospel, puts her down, and borrows her stuff all the time.
Melba is coming unglued.
Her prayer letter arrives in the States:
Mild-mannered Clark Christian picks up the prayer letter, steps into his prayer closet, and becomes....
Prayer Supporter Man!
Melba receives money to buy a car,
Her visa is approved,
And her neighbor humbly asks her to talk to him and his wife about the Bible.
Melba thinks someone must be praying for her.

Really, that is so many times the way it is. We received both some money and a lot of encouragement--because y'all prayed.

Thank you, Prayer Supporter Man.

In Christ,


There is always a question of transparency in missions communication. How much should we tell? Do we report the problems in communication? The lack of money? The meal of rice and gravy? Will this "poormouthing" "let down the side?" But if it is relentless cheerful good news why read it?

I used to get a newsletter from an organization that evidently had a policy of "no bad news". So I got used to reading reports like this:

Praise God that Tina's broken arm has nearly healed (What? Broken arm? How did that happen?) This is a real blessing as we are working 24/7 and have nearly repaired all the storm damage (There was a storm?).

Eventually I started praying for whatever the missionaries needed without opening the newsletter--because I wouldn't find out there.

Then there are ministries that are always in a crisis! Must have money now or got to leave the field! Those leave an even sourer taste in the mouth... and a "please take my name off this mailing list."

But I think between the two extremes there is room for honesty. And one of my purposes in writing this blog is to let supporters, friends and prospective missionaries know what life really is like on the field. So transparency is necessary to accomplish that purpose.

Right now we are having a difficult time because of all the extra surgery expenses. Just as with anybody else, there are expenses that insurance doesn't pay and are not reimbursable. For example, I can't go anywhere by bus, and have to have a taxi take me to my weekly appointment. Mike and Colin can't cook as cheaply as I can. Also they don't know how to wash clothes by hand--so we have to send out to a laundry. Several churches said that they were sending money (without our asking--all their idea--praise God!) But so far, we haven't received it. But we HAVE received the expenses. And, for some reason, not the money. Usually we receive a few Christmas gifts from churches and supporters...and we haven't gotten those, either.

So here it is, time for the move, time for Christmas, and....

God IS faithful and he WILL provide. And ultimately we all don't depend on anyone but Him. So please just pray for us.

Love in Christ,