Pursuing Fluency 1

Less Than Two Months Till…

“Christmas is just two months away!” is a post I read on a friend’s Facebook that started to focus my thinking on what the next two months hold for my team, my ministry and my family in Peru.  I thought, “Ha! the Christmas season for me will be about five days long, from the time we land in Arkansas until Christmas and there are a ton of things to do, people to say goodbye to and a thousand emotions we’ll feel between now and then.”

As we hand over ministry and think about the logistics of moving, my thoughts fly backward over the last two years and forward over the next two months, then five months in the States, then on to Ecuador.  And in both directions, doubts creep in.  Did I do enough?  What should I have done differently?  Was I enough for the task God gave me?  Could I have been more ________?  Can I get everything done while we’re in the States and still connect with friends and family and rest and recharge and…and…and?  What did I not do as a mom in Peru that I want to provide for my girls in the States?  In Ecuador?  And on and on…

This morning I was reading a post from A Life Overseas, a blog about living cross culturally from the perspective of missionaries, aid workers and others.  While reading, the Lord reassured me through words of a woman I’ve never met, who is living and ministering in Bolivia.

I finished the post in tears.

Confident that I am enough because God has called me, not because of my own ability.

Reminded to see the beauty in each place that God leads us.  That by accepting change instead of trying to fight it or control it (or beat it’s effects to death with an army of lists), I acknowledge that God is in control (and not me).

Challenged to not focus so much on the doing as the being with and loving the people around me while we’re still together.

I’m so grateful for that encouraging word this morning.

I recommitted the next two months to the Lord and to leave any human regrets in His hands and reoriented my thoughts and heart to God’s purposes for the next two months and beyond.

Please pray for my family, my team and for me as the next two months are huge.  Pray for the goodbyes, hellos and all the activity that makes them possible.



Genna Report 3

Story of a Broken Wrist

Last Saturday, Genna broke her wrist.  Here’s an interview of what happened from her perspective.  (I’ll do the typing.) 😉

A: Tell me how you broke your wrist.

G: I was riding my scooter, racing a girl that I know (kind of).  And we were racing and there was a big crack in the sidewalk at the park.  My scooter stopped and I didn’t.  I fell wrist down and I hit my side.  And that’s it.


A: Did you think it was serious when you fell?

G: Well, I was kind of, well, I kept on saying, “Go get my Dad!  My Dad!” and Dad was already coming and I didn’t know how serious it was.


A: How did we know to go to the doctor?

G: Well, mom said that with a few more hours, she would have probably taken me to the doctor, but we went right after lunch the next day [Sunday] because the mom of my friend said that we should probably go to the doctor.  So we did. [We went to an emergency room, since it was Sunday.]


A: What happened at the doctor?

G: I waited for a little bit and I got an x-ray and the doctor said it was a hairline fracture.  He started with a sock-like thing and he put cotton on it.  Then he dipped something in hot water and wrapped it around and around and around and around the cotton.  Then he did another roll of the same stuff.  Then it dried and I had my cast on.


A: What happened with the doctor since the emergency room?

G: We went went back on Thursday and he made sure my fingers weren’t swelling. Then today [Monday] he took a not-sharp tool that made my cast shake and it tickled a lot.  He cut my cast to a short-arm cast.


A: How do you feel about being able to bend your elbow now?

G: Great!  I can do everything a lot easier now.


A: How much longer will you have your cast?

G: Two weeks.


So, Genna’s healing just fine and isn’t in any pain.  So, that’s good news.


That’s the Genna Report!

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A Little Saturday Night Fun

We had a little girlie fun tonight before bed.  We’ll see how the curls turn out tomorrow!

Along with the photos, here’s a quick update on the girls.

Lately, Genna’s been reading up a storm, enjoying Charlotte’s Web (twice!) and Little House on the Prairie.  I’ve picked up a couple of free children’s mysteries for kindle lately that she’s going to love.  She’s getting tired of her cast, but it isn’t slowing her down much.  We went to a restaurant with a huge playground for lunch today and she had a great time playing.

Juliana is looking forward to our upcoming time in the States.  Every time we talk about going somewhere, she asks, “Are we going on the plane to Arkansas?”  She had a really great time during our September short term team, making friends and stealing hearts.  She calls Darren, one of the team members, “my favorite boy.”  The love that is lavished on our girls and the friendships they make are just a couple of the sweet benefits that we have as we meet and host so many great members of the body of Christ.

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Looking Back: Genna’s New Bed

After Love Extreme and a new job role in Extreme that starts January 1st plus getting ready for back-to-school for Genna and I have tons on blog post ideas.  But first…a look back and one of my favorite home movies.  This is Genna’s reaction to the big-girl-room makeover we did when she was four.  You have my permission to laugh.  I still giggle every time I even think about this video.

*No children were harmed in the making of this video.



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Making Plans…

So last week we announced to friends that our next ministry assignment when our Arequipa project is finished is with Extreme as Short Term Volunteer Manager in Quito, Ecuador.  I’ll write more about that in a later post.  (It’s really exciting!)

For the last couple of weeks Chris and I have been going back and forth with “what about this” or “how are we going to fit this in” or, at one point, “If we spend six weeks in Quito in February and March, what if we let Genna continue school and see if one or more of our parents would bring her to Quito for two weeks in the middle so she only misses two weeks of school and I don’t die from not seeing her for six weeks?”  After some discussion we decided it isn’t necessary for us to spend six weeks in Quito in February, but we do need to be there for about a week.

Then it gets a little complicated.  Two friends have weddings planned for February.  On two different continents.  Five days apart.  (Not to each other.)

Since we need to be in Quito in February, we can plan that to coincide with the wedding in South America.  (Maximize those plane tickets!)  The wedding’s in a city ten hours or so by bus from Quito.  The first of the two weddings is 10 or so hours by car from Rogers.  (Yay, road trip!)

So, Chris and I were talking about driving up to the first wedding on a Friday (probably without the girls), wedding on Saturday, driving back on Sunday. Then fly out on Monday  (with the girls) for Quito, arrive on Tuesday, get on a bus on Tuesday to arrive late Tuesday or early Wednesday, celebrate the second wedding on Thursday and then within a couple of days bus back to Quito to jump in with our work responsibilities for a week or more then fly back to the States.

This seems like a pretty full schedule to me.  Then Chris kept trying to figure out how to fit in some visits with friends along the route to the first wedding.  (Maximize that road trip!)  He stopped when I put it into perspective for him.

“I really think that two weddings on two different continents in five days is plenty.”

I really just feel blessed that two amazing couples from two different continents want us to celebrate with them.  And I hope I survive the trip.


We really would love to sit down with you and talk about how God is working in South America and how you could be a part of the fulfilling of the Great Commission here!  Email us at anndee@stringerfamily.org to set up a time.  We’ll be in the States from January to May 2014.  (Except for two weeks in February.)

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Rudy’s Story – Part Five

Today we conclude this series of Rudy’s testimony, but his story continues.  Pray for Rudy that he will continue growing in his relationship with Christ and will not be deterred, discouraged or distracted.


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Rudy’s Story – Part Four

Today’s video contains a truly beautiful full-circle moment in Rudy’s story.  In May, Rudy helped us with evangelism events just a few blocks away from where we first met him.  It was really great to watch him pray with the people he talked to.


Click here for Part Five.

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Chris the Chef!

On Fridays we have team lunch.  (We also cook Sunday lunch for the team.)  Chris has really taken to cooking the team lunches.

Today was a simple, yummy, feels-like-home kind of lunch.  He fixed grilled cheese with carrots, broccoli and ranch.  For an extra-special treat he made chocolate pudding with whipped cream.

It’s been neat to see him develop cooking into a hobby.  He has his own allrecipies.com account and is now a master pancake-maker.  The team is a little wary of any of his recipes that use the blender, though.  It’s one small lapse in judgement where he put the chicken into the blender with the sauce that none of us lets him forget.

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