Another old post.

Wrote this on Saturday, but we had no power for the day, so I was unable to publish it…

Well, my husband’s in the jungle. He left yesterday and will be gone until July 10. The longest we’ve been apart before now is just four days and that about killed me. I am not looking forward to two weeks without him. But, at least I live here on the campus and have a lot of people to keep me company. One of the American Bible school girls is staying with me at night as well, so that helps. I have resolved to write on my blog every day while he’s gone. We’ll see how that goes. This counts, even though it’s not posted on the same day. We’re having internet issues, so there’s no internet tonight (Saturday) while I write this. I’ll post it when I get internet back.

One of the things that I’m for sure going to occupy my time with is helping one of the missionary girls learn English. She’s such a sweetheart. Her goal is to get to China and the only thing left for her to do is learn English. Her teammates will be English speakers and once she arrives, they’ll be helping her learn Mandarin. She’s going as a nurse, but she’d like to work with children.

Yesterday while I was working with her, I asked her a little about her plans and her life. She opened up to me and shared her heart. She’s from the jungle and she’s literally left everything to go to China. Her family has been begging her to come home (she’s close to her mother) for the past couple of years, but she’s told them no. She told me that if she were to return to the jungle, she would never learn English and never reach her goal of going to China. She said if she returned, then everything she’s done for the past few years would have been worthless. She said as hard as it’s been to learn English, she’s not going to give up. God has put it in her heart to go to China and she will get there, no matter how hard it is.

English has been very hard for her. I’m trying to help her actually speak. She’d rather write in English, but she lacks the ability to converse. My goal this year is to get her conversational – as quick as possible. She needs to get to China; I hope I can help her get there.            I helped fix her prayer letter and this is one paragraph that explains her heart so well:

“I decided to leave all and to serve my God.

I left my parents, friends, work, family, and hometown to allow God to do His work in my life.

I am willing to work wherever he would have me serve for my lifetime.”

            I’m so proud of her. I hope I can help her get English as quick as possible so she can get there soon.

Old Writing.

I wrote this while we were traveling to Peru, back in March. I’d completely forgotten about it! So, here ya go…

We’re finally in Clearwater, FL, with my uncle, brother, and sister-in-law. I have a few free minutes, but I can’t connect to the internet, so I thought I’d just write and post this later.

My brother is letting me borrow a book that he thinks is absolutely amazing. For my brother to say a book is amazing, means there’s gotta be something really profound about it. He handed this book to me with a man on the cover, literally covered in tattoes, long, nasty beard, and an odd title: “Save Me From Myself” by Brian “Head” Welch. Former lead guitarist of Korn. If you’re not familiar with Korn, talk to someone from my generation who’s into heavy rock music. Korn was fairly new when I was in high school and then sky-rocketed up the charts as I was finishing high school (2000, 2001). They’re still making albums and they’re still fairly popular.

When Korn first came out, they were the “new” thing in rock music. I had friends who were so into their music and just floored that there was a band like them. Most all of my friends had their CD’s tucked into their cars and basically all of my guy friends would’ve given their left arm to be a part of Korn. Personally, I never liked their music. I knew their music, knew exactly who they were, and really did my best to stay away from them. They were a little too heavy for me and I just couldn’t stomach the lyrics, although my favorite band when I hit college was Linkin Park. But, that’s a story for another day.

I say all that to kind of preface what this book is about. In 2005, the lead guitarist and one of the founders of Korn, became a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. He quit the band, got his life straightened out, and is following the Lord. This book has been absolutely fascinating and the best book I’ve read in quite awhile (which says a lot…I read probably way too much). When my brother handed it to me, I thought, sure, he found “religion” like a lot of people find “religion.” This should be interesting. I kind of expected it to be, well, shallow. I know… don’t judge a book by its cover. Do you blame me, though?

However, I was completely proven wrong. This is not a book I would hand a child. It’s quite graphic in some respects. He doesn’t sugarcoat his past. It is as honest as any autobiography I’ve ever read. But, man. God’s grace is amazing. This man literally went to hell and back, lived to talk about it, and will never see hell again – in this life or the next. He gave up a life most everybody dreams of in order to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He knows the Lord personally and intimately and is not ashamed to tell you so.

What I wouldn’t give, though, to talk with the men who witnessed to him. They should be the example for anybody trying to witness to someone that anybody else would’ve deemed hopeless. They weren’t pushy, forceful, rude, and never used “Christianese” (you know, that secret language we Christians like to use when we try to persuade people to follow the Lord. Sometimes, I think you DO need a Bible degree to follow along in our explanations of the Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.). They let Brian come to them with questions, but they didn’t miss opportunities to just outright tell him that Jesus loves him and wants a relationship with him.

The odds of me ever meeting a rock star in search of God are very small. But, I do come across people who seem to be living hopeless lives. People who desire more than whatever is going on right now, but aren’t sure how to get there. People who have either dug or fallen into holes that are swallowing them up and they just don’t know how to get out. This book challenged me in how I reach those people. Am I pushy? Do I preach? Or am I too lax and let opportunities slip by because I’m afraid they’ll think I’m “religious”? God used those men in ways they probably never knew possible. One man emailed Brian a couple verses – the ones where Jesus says “Come to me all who labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest…” – and God used those verses over and over and over to show Brian that He was paying attention. Two verses, one email, and one man willing to step out in faith and put his friendship with Brian on the line in order to reach him for Christ. I applaud him. There are big crowns in heaven waiting for those men because they did what so many of us just don’t ever do: reach out to the lost out of true love for them and their eternal souls.

So, if you need a book to remind you why it’s so important to live a consistent Christian walk so others can recognize it, this is the one. It all started with a next-door neighbor family who lived the love of Christ daily and dared to share it with a lost 13 year old boy. It continued with friends who gently poured the love of God, never judging him for his lifestyle, never preaching at him, and listening to the Lord to know when it was the right time to talk and when they should just be quiet. It finished off with the Lord leading people from Brian’s past to Himself and even more friends in his life living out their faith in front of him. It was so cool to see how every aspect of his life was orchestrated by God Almighty.

“Save Me From Myself.” I wish I could give it to every guy I went to high school with who idolized this band and are now lost themselves. I encourage you to branch out and read it. It’ll shock you and shake you and hopefully challenge you as much as it did me.

Looking forward to meeting you one day, Brian Welch. Welcome to the family.

www.brianheadwelch.com

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Feliz Aniversario a nosotros.

Today’s our 4th Anniversary. The last few years have been crazy. Let me see if I can recap some highlights… We were married June 18, 2005. The next day, we went to Niagara Falls for our wonderful

honeymoon. After a week there, we road-tripped across the U.S. and ended up here 000_0115(rev 0) – at our first apartment that we’d never actually seen. We rented it, after seeing one like it, since there was no other apartment complex that would rent to us two months in advance (Brian had to finish Bible school before we could get married, but we weren’t going to be back to South Dakota until after the wedding, hence the rental in April). This particular picture was taken the day we were moving out to… deck3(rev 0) here. We weren’t sure where God was taking us and after some work plans and ministry plans fell through, we decided we’d buy a house and stick around in South Dakota until God led us elsewhere. A little over a year after we were married, we moved into our first home. Brian worked at a lumber/hardware store where he was the handyman – building, fixing, repairing everything and anything. I worked at Curves International and as a Creative Memories consultant. We both had no idea what was in store for us! party 037 A year after we bought the house, almost to the day, we sold it. Above is a picture of the giant load of STUFF that we sold at our yardsale…held in 110 degree South Dakota heat! Then, we stuck around with these lovely folks: party 036 who just also happen to be the people we lived with for a month last year as well. After a month with Hexon and Terri, we road-tripped (again) back across country.  travels 001  travels travels 028 After about a week on the road, we ended up back in good ol’ Scranton, PA, in my old bedroom in my parent’s house.

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Ah, the joys of deputation! 🙂 Candidate Orientation,

candidate orientation

Deputation,

conference

Cultural Training,

last days and charlotte

More Deputation,

may-june

another cross-country road-trip (both ways),

roadtrip

More Deputation, trips to get our visas…and VOILA – we’re in Peru! 🙂 (that would be the end of 2007 through 2008 in a nutshell, in case you were wondering).

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So, here we are. Four years, countless miles, and many memories later…and still going strong. We’re finally in the place where a child seems like the next logical step. We’re homeowners (more or less) for the second time in four years. We’re living so far south the equator is a couple days north of us. 🙂 We’re enjoying our lives, our jobs, our ministry… God has been so good to us. I am so thankful for my husband. He’s everything I could ever want, need, hope for, or dream of. I love you, Brian. Happy Anniversary! Here’s to many more adventures, cross-world trips, and memories together. I wouldn’t dream of sharing this with anyone else.

Missionary Life.

Aww, blogging. I’ve almost forgotten how much I enjoy writing. The last few weeks have been so outrageously busy, I was beginning to wonder when I’d ever get to write again. This past week was long. We knew it would be long going into it, but oh good grief. We’re both still trying to catch up. Literally, my left eye has been twitching all day today. I think I need to go back to bed! But, no. It is not to be. Not until after another meeting tonight that doesn’t begin til 8:30. Ah, the life of a missionary. The reason last week was so long was because we had one week to not only get our house ready for our first guests, but Brian and his team (including three men visiting from PA for two months, just to do construction) had to make a classroom into a dorm, add onto a barely functioning bathroom, turning it into a shower room, and be completely for a team of 10 that showed up early morning on Sunday. Brian spent more time out doing the shopping for the projects than actually here supervising the projects. There were a couple days he was gone all day and didn’t get home til 11pm. He was exhausted. He still IS exhausted, come to think of it. Saturday was the worst day we’ve had since we’ve been here. You know how a few weeks of stress just catch up with you if you’re not careful? That’s how it was Saturday. The stress just roared its ugly head and I honestly wasn’t sure the tears would ever, ever stop! Makes it worse when you have people in and out of your house, you don’t own curtains, and we had no doors on any rooms until Saturday night. Nothing seemed to be going right, I had no privacy, and I was just DONE with the whole construction thing. It was…a long day. But, I made it. We went to bed Saturday night on the first new mattress we’ve ever owned as a married couple. All I wanted to do Saturday was open and close my new bathroom door! Awww the little luxuries that make things feel like home. If I learn anything during this first term, I think I’m going to end up learning how faithful my God really is. Not only has He given me my husband, who knows when to just shut up and hold me (most of the time..he IS still a man 😉 ) , but He’s also given me some good Peruvian friends. I ran into one of them on the way to dinner Saturday night and she knew instantly something was wrong. She held me as I burst into tears and just cried on her shoulder. There’s still somewhat of a language barrier and I couldn’t completely explain why I needed to cry, but she didn’t care. She just knew I needed a friend and a hug. And I am so overly grateful for that…I can’t even express it. Then, Sunday afternoon, we went to an anniversary celebration for a church plant that’s been in existence for five years. Peruvians go ALL OUT in celebrations, let me tell you! Everything is cause for a celebration down here. LONG celebrations at that! This one was pushing four hours long before we finally left. There was lots of music, lots of sharing, a message, more special music (from every BCM church plant in the area that could attend, with as many of their Bible club kids as could attend as well), well-wishes from the local churches, gifts, “Happy Birthday” (two of the five versions), and, of course, cake. And all I could do as I sat there watching was thank the Lord that I’m a part of this now. How awesome is it that I can be here to experience all this? Even though Saturday was a hard day, never once did it cross my mind that I wanted to leave. Never once did I wish I was somewhere else. Sunday just confirmed that yes, I am supposed to be here. Yes, I am supposed to be a part of this. Hard days will come, but God is so faithful. Oh, is He faithful! One of my favorite songs down here is a missions song that gets sung frequently here on campus. The chorus says, “Ir por todo el mundo y predicar el Evangelio por toda criatura. Y quien ira, quien por nosotros hablara? ….enviame mi.” Which means: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. And who will go? Who will speak for us? Send me.” For some reason, in Spanish, it just sounds much more…I don’t know the word… punctuated? Urgent! It sounds much more urgent in Spanish when you’re singing. I love it. And Sunday, as I sat listening to some of our IBYM students singing it as a special, to a church called “Rock of Manchay” who are literally a light in a very, very dark section of Lima, my heart just filled. With love for these people, love for my job, love for my Lord..and humility. I don’t know why He chose me. I don’t know how I’ll ever make a difference down here. But, I went. I heard Him call and I went. I was even teaching my kids this morning about Moses and I got off on a tangent about how Moses was so the most unlikely person to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Not only that, but why did God wait SO LONG before raising up Moses to get His people out of slavery? One of my boys gave the answer I was hoping for: God waited for Moses because that was the purpose of Moses’ life. Just like Esther, God raised up Moses with the background he had, the childhood he had, “for such a time as this.” I told the boys that God has raised them up as well and who knows what God has in store for their lives! At the same time, I catch myself thinking all the time now, I can’t believe God chose THIS for me. I’m so humbled. So… that’s it. That’s life. Our house is almost done. The guys from the States have built me a beautiful awning and are making me a sign for above the door that says, “La familia Biegert.” Yay! I’m just not sure life gets better than this.

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My first inside door that made my Saturday all worth it. 🙂

C’est la vie.

It’s been so long since I’ve written here, I’d almost forgotten I had a personal blog! Every time I thought I’d be able to sit down and write, something would happen and I wouldn’t be able to. I have so much I want to express…I have no idea if I’ll be able to or not.

Things have been going really well here in Peru, although we have to admit that the third month in a new culture has resulted in more culture shock than usual. We find ourselves in tears over things that three months ago didn’t even phase us. But, we don’t even remotely wish to leave, or even visit back in the States. We are so content to be here; we just have to keep plugging along. It’s not like life was simple in the States, either. It’s just a different set of abnormalities here.

Probably the one thing that really encourages me lately is my Bible study. I’ve been doing the Esther study by Beth Moore. As usual, it’s right on time with what I need in life. The first lesson that hit home hard was Session #5. She talked about waiting and the one phrase she reiterated over and over was, “Never, ever in our wait is God inactive! If God has asked you to wait, then something is going on in the heavenlies. The longer we wait, the more strength is renewed. Don’t wait on the event; wait on the Lord.” We’ve been “waiting” for what seems forever to have this house built. We’ve been raising money for over a year, only to find out that the amount we raised was about $5000 short of the actual cost. So, we have since basically depleted all of our ministry accounts, leaving us relying heavily on personal savings and monthly support checks. This has been horribly stressful. But, God has got to be up to something big. We currently have no idea how He will provide for us; but He always has. It’s already started, too. A group of guys from the States came down for two months to do construction and one of them handed us an envelope of money from his boss – who had wanted him to give it to someone in need. Praise the Lord! Little things like that….well, needless to say, they make our day.

Along the same lines of “waiting”, the last lesson I did was Session #7 and Beth repeated again that God is longing and waiting with us. If He is longing and waiting to bless us, then there must be something worth longing and waiting for! I think of this every time I think about how long we’ve longed and waited for a child of our own. It will be well worth the wait; I just know it. It’s pretty awesome to picture God longing and waiting right along with me, too! She ended that session with saying, “There will be a wait and a wait and a wait until the Lord comes SWIFTLY! Wait and long, but do not fret.”

All in all, though, we have absolutely nothing to complain about. We have a great team of missionaries who work right alongside of us. They have been so generous to us, too. When they found out we don’t have enough money for furnishings, they lent us a bed, tables, microwave, chairs, a couch, curtains, money… And they’ve given of their time like you wouldn’t believe. Everyone here is remarkably busy, 24/7, yet they took a whole Sunday off JUST to get us moved into our house. We COULD be all alone in a strange country, finding our way, but no, God has supplied an amazing amount of incredibly co-workers. And friends. Incredible.

So, as far as what life has consisted of…

  • Teaching from 8:30-12:45, then 1:30-4:45 Monday-Friday.
  • Spanish tutoring from 5-6:30 Monday-Wednesday.
  • Tutoring a girl in English from 2:30-4:45 Wednesday-Friday.
  • Preparing classes for my kids in the evenings.
  • Meetings for my hospitality team every Tuesday from 2:30-4:30.
  • Preparing for two separate teams that are visiting us for 1 month and 2 months, respectively.
  • Moving into our house – which included packing up, cleaning the new house, moving everything into the new house, and then figuring out where everything was that I had so diligently packed.
  • Preparing information for our guests.
  • Writing two newsletters.
  • Shopping for stuff for our house.
  • Chapel every Thursday from 7:15-8:15
  • Gone almost all day Sunday for church and errands.

Hence, blogging got, well, left out for awhile!

But, we love it here. My newest tasks, hospitality and English tutoring, are both so rewarding. They really needed someone who understands English and Peruvian cultures to help with making guests feel welcome. Even though I’m far from bilingual at the moment, at least I know my way around and can answer questions. So, I get to help with getting guests acclimated and adjusted and comfortable and figuring out where they’re going and what they’re participating in, etc. It’s a BLAST. And our house is the new home for leaders who come on trips. So, our very first guests will be coming on Sunday and staying with us for 2 weeks! Sure hope we have a bathroom door and kitchen counters by then… You know, just the little things. 😉

Below are pictures from the past couple of weeks. As you can see, the house has come quite a long ways! Visit our ministry blog (link to the right) to see LOTS of pictures! We’ve also attended a social (that’d be us dressed as crazy animals – a squirrel and a dove), and a brand new nephew was born into the family last Thursday. I’ve also included a picture of our house, taken Saturday. It looks a little different, but not much. We call it “Monster House” because, especially at dusk, it looks like the house from that movie.  Below are pictures of our nephew, Esten, with Brian’s big brother, Jeremy, and our niece, Denali, with Brian’s little brother, Scott.

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house

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June 2009
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