Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Big Tuesday

Tuesdays are always quite busy for us. This one is no exception. Bible Study this morning was power packed and filled with blessings and thoughts to carry throughout the day, week, year and life. When Pastor Martie entitled her message "Pitch Your Tent in the Land of Hope" I had an affirmation from God ring quite loudly in my ears. One of the things we are working on for our trip to Ecuador in July is how and where to house the volunteers. We are doing construction on the side of a mountain at over 10,000 feet elevation! There are no hotels, no bed and breakfasts, no power and no running water! As I have been working on this a suggestion was made that the volunteers bring their own tents! At the time I did think it was the perfect solution and when she gave the title to her message this morning God affirmed that it IS the answer I have been looking for! That mountain will indeed be transformed into a mountain of Hope and each volunteer that comes will be Hope in the physical sense! As I returned home and got on the computer to email a document to the gentleman taking care of the website for the church (stonegatefaithcenter.org) I found an email that I have been waiting on for weeks! Our dear friend from West Virginia (who has since moved to Florida) who was responsible for the building of Ms Faye's house in 5 days back in March of 2007 (you can go back through the blog to read all about it) contacted me to say he is definitely interested in Ecuador and will be less than an hour from us next week, on a business trip! We drew up the "design" for Ms Faye's house on a napkin while having dinner one night and I feel another one of "those" nights coming up! And now we are in last minute preparations for our missions training class tonight. We are doing an in depth study of one of the assigned books, "Go to the Ripe Fields First." This is a great book and I know each student will be blessed with this teaching. Not to mention blessed by all the snacks that have started appearing each week! After all, food always makes the evening better, doesn't it! So, another Tuesday filled with blessings, relationships and God speaking out with the things we need. I am so thankful that we don't have to "figure this stuff out" all by ourselves! How about you? Stuck on something? Have you asked God? If so, have you been quiet enough to hear His answer? Until next time . . . continue to be blessed and be a blessing! Susan and Monty

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Greatest Victories . . .

First of all --- as a response to the comment left on the last blog from "George" -- our testimonies are not recorded anywhere, just day by day through this blog. Thank you for your kindness and yes, God is in the business of miracles and transforming lives! And He is a perfectionist! In my Bible studies a few days ago I ran across a comment that I had to write down -- it really spoke to me and although I wasn't sure why, at the time, the past few days have brought about the answer. "The greatest victories can only come out of the greatest conflicts." It seems conflicts have not only surrounded me personally, but my entire family lately! There really is no need to go into details as the details aren't the important part. We all know about conflicts and I always have to go back to one of the things Monty stands on ... "I always know I'm on the narrow path if satan is beating me up along the way." I think my whole family has more than their fair share of bumps, bruises, scrapes and scratches from the recent "conflicts." "But God !!!!" God ALWAYS has a plan, a perfect plan, the ultimate plan! We are just too blinded by the conflicts to see it. And we are amazed as we see it unfold page by page, paragraph by paragraph! Even more amazing is how God goes about accomplishing His plan -- the "surprise" person He uses to speak through! This is what is happening in my family. Probably the one we all least expected has risen to the "challenge" and listened to what God told him to do -- to reach out, to share personally, to lift up those struggling and to help bring peace to everyone! I love the scripture "blessed are the peacemakers . . ." So if you find yourself in conflict (and who doesn't !!) --- remember that God does have the plan and He is trying His best to teach us something through that conflict. None of us like correction, no matter what our ages! But sometimes it's necessary and in that correction the truth comes to the surface, the problems can be addressed, healing can take place, love can be restored and even strengthened -- and the one you least expect can be the peacemaker! Oh, what an awesome God we serve! Until next time . . . Happy Birthday to my brother, Johnny!!!! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Boggled Mind

There's been so much going on the past few days I hope I can remember it all! I love it when God is busy showing us new and exciting things!

Sunday was a great morning at church and immediately after I headed off with my youngest daughter to make a visit to her other grandmother. She fell a couple of weeks ago, had a bout with pneumonia and is now in a local rehab trying to get better. The added problem is that she has been diagnosed with Alheimer's disease and so her mind isn't working as it should be. None of my children have been faced with anything like this from their families and it's a bit more than tough for them. We had a nice visit with her and some other members of the family and also had time to visit with each other. Hopefully we can make another visit before too long.

Monday started with Monty and I making a trip to a couple of mobile homes that Monty had been asked to take a look at to possibly skirt them. We checked them out and then made a stop at the local salvage yard where I learned how much fun it is to check crashed and trashed vehicles for parts! I found a radio that should work in my truck and now all we need is that special little tool "thing" to remove it from the crashed truck. That's for another day because Monty got a call from his step dad and they were ready to move a shed and put up an awning on a trailer they had moved over the weekend. That kept him busy till way after dinner time.

Yesterday was my Bible study day -- one of the best times of my week! Pastor Martie and Susan had asked if I could stay after for a meeting to make further plans for our Ecuador church building trip. We sat in the front of the church for another 2 hours answering questions and creating more. They will be making a "look-see" trip next month and I will be providing them with a list of things we need answers for before we start building. For now it looks like the building will be scheduled for the first part of July -- probably right after the holiday of the 4th. We hope to have a 2 week period to schedule volunteers. The church itself will be cement block and roof so not alot of detail but yet an amazing blessing for the Pastor Francisco and his congregation who all live in the mountains. I promise I will keep you posted with any and all recent updates as I get them. Monty and I will be overseeing the project for its duration. We hope to arrive a few days before the volunteers so we can get the tents set up for housing and materials brought up to the mountain and staged for the build. There are so many preparations that need to be made and I ask for your prayers to cover us both during the planning but also during the building. This is an awesome ministry relationship that is being built and we pray to follow God's direction and His perfect timing in it all.

After that meeting I had a 5 minute stop at home before heading to yet another meeting. It lasted until time to pick up Monty and head off to our missions class. It was good to have everyone back from spring break. Our lesson was a tremendous education on the Muslim religion and very eye opening in so many ways. Everyone got alot out of it and all of us are becoming closer and closer to each other each week. This week the snacks were brought in by quite a few folks and we all had fun -- that joy of the Lord thing again!

This morning Monty was up and out working on the trailer skirting before it was even fully daylight. I was off to my Mom's to help her cater her ladies church dinner held this evening. It was a full dinner for 60 women and we had our day cut out for us! My sister in law also came to help and it's a good thing as we were all 3 busy the entire day! My nieces joined us for the evening to help serve and clean up. My dad and brother came to help dish up the meal so it was quite the family event. I had so much fun and am amazed at how much work my Mom puts into her meals! Everyone there enjoyed every bite and left with huge smiles on their faces and more than full tummies!

So now it's late night and although my body is more than tired my mind hasn't stopped racing! I have phone calls to make tomorrow to hopefully get some more answers on the Ecuador trip, laundry that has piled up and bookwork to tend to. Somehow I know God will give me the rest I need and the renewed spirit to get it all done. Monty will be heading back to contine work on the other trailer skirting so hopefully the weatherman is wrong when he says the temps will only be around 40 tomorrow! It's been in the high 70s the past few days and wonderful!

Be sure and stay tuned and if any of you have any interest in volunteering for the Ecuador trip or making a donation towards it please leave a comment at the end of the blog with your contact information and I will get details to you. Note that the comments you leave will be seen only by me and if you do leave personal information I will not post them for others to see.

We appreciate your support and prayers!

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Thursday, March 17, 2011

She's ready to meet Jesus

I don't know where this week is going? Can it really be Thursday already?

Backing up . . . our Tuesday night missions class was awesome! The teaching was packed with so much valuable information that we all could have stayed around talking for hours! It focused on 21st Century Missions and how we must change with the changing times. So many more things were brought to light for me and things I know God placed directly in front of me to use on this upcoming trip to Ecuador. We also were blessed when the wife of one of our students brought pizza dinner in for everyone! Many thanks to Del and Jean!

Wednesday brought a taste of spring to all of us! Monty was off and running quite early. He had received a phone call from a little elderly lady the night before saying the skylight on her mobile home was leaking. She had been referred to Monty by the park owner who had seen one of the skirting jobs Monty had done. Monty had also made a visit to his office letting him know that if anyone in the park needed help with anything . . . thus the phone call. She had no idea what to do but he reassured her he would be there the following morning to check things out. She couldn't believe he wasn't going to charge her a fee to just come and look!

So off he went. He's always said God puts little elderly ladies in our path and he's always right! He said she was "quite" elderly and in very poor health. He climbed up on the roof to find a seal around the skylight was cracked so he headed to get the parts to do the repair. Within a short time he had it resealed and she was one very happy lady. When he only charged her for the parts she was happier -- and in disbelief. Monty took the time to visit with her and to pray with her. He said she was ready to meet Jesus and was such a joy to visit with! Ministry at its finest once again!

I spent most of the day putting together odds and ends for Ecuador and the volunteers who will be building the church. Forms and more forms with letters of basic information and more forms and more information. Like I said, I don''t know where the time goes.

Today we had an early morning meeting and once again Monty headed off to work. This time his step dad called and needed some help moving a mobile home. It's a great day to be outside as spring is even closed today -- or atleast feels like it with the temps pushing 70!

I got the joy of babysitting my grandchildren this afternoon. We had lunch together and the littlest one decided it was just too nice of a day to waste time taking a nap! Outside they headed and just in time for Mom to take the rest of the day off and come home. They were waiting on Dad and then headed to the park!

It seems we are going in many different directions lately. God is stretching us, teaching us and preparing us for the next step -- whatever that might be. As long as He holds the planning book we're okay. It does break our hearts to watch what all is happening in Japan and we beg of you to please keep them all covered in your prayers! This is a disaster of many proportions and we all need to let those who are experts get in and do what needs to be done. They all need constant prayer and if we all band together the power of those prayers will be unsurpassable!

Until next time . . . blessings and peace! Susan and Monty

Monday, March 14, 2011

The incredible shrinking tree

Don't be fooled by the picture -- I'm not the one who cut down the tree -- I'm the one the rope was tied to and it was my job to pull the branches as Monty was cutting them -- so they wouldn't fall on the house!!! My, oh my did the neighbors get a kick out of watching us over the weekend!
All went well and the tree did "shrink" according to the description of my 2 year old granddaughter! The woodpeckers fought us with each branch being cut -- they literally would land in the tallest remaining branches and squawk and squawk begging us to stop. But they did return after it was cut and seemed quite happy. It really wasn't about the tree -- it was about them not having food hanging in that tree for a couple of days!
The other two pictures are from the mountain in Ecuador where we plan on building the church, hopefully in July. One is Pastor Angel with his family and the other is Pastor Edison digging the foundation. Now we don't even have any building plans to them and yet they are up there diggin away -- trying to get a head start! We might have to re-adjust it a bit but who are we to stop them from preparations! What an exciting adventure this is going to be! I know God has so many miracles just ready to show us and we are thrilled to be a part of this project and to be able to see what He has in store for everyone!
This is spring break here at home so we are able to drive where we want with less traffic, get in and out of check out lines with record speed and even park on campus or downtown if we want to. Sure makes a difference when you live in a large college town!
We are also in the process of making plans to travel to Bettendorf, Iowa to make a visit to one of our very special teams and their church. We are always trying to raise financial support and especially with this overseas project coming up and we haven't been to see our dear friends so we plan on doing both in one trip! They have opened their hearts and homes to us and after a phone call to their Pastor tomorrow I hope we have it all set. We love speaking at churches and sharing our hearts with them and opening their eyes and ears to the calling God has placed on our lives! We hope to get the opportunity to do alot more of those kind of visits!
Until next time . . . pray for all those in Japan who are enduring hardships that really are beyond description. If you are like many who would like to donate financially to this relief effort our suggestion is to donate to UMCOR -- United Methodist Committee on Relief as we know that 100% of your donation does go to the people! Thank you and may God bless you for your helping hearts! Susan and Monty

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The planning begins

My mother made it back from Florida and her little dog made it back to her! My dogs haven't stopped sleeping even today - exhausted from their little visitor!

Tonight is our first official meeting about Ecuador and building a church there. Please keep us in your prayers as this isn't like building a church here in the states. Monty and I have volunteered our services - we agree to go and stay for the duration of the build. Many, many things will need to be put together - both ahead of time and while there. We do not have a time plan at this point but will let you know the minute we do.

Please keep us, Pastors Jan and Martie and Schel and Susan in your prayers as we meet this evening to "get the ball rolling." Pray that we are right in line with God's plan and His perfect timing!

Until next time . . . blessings to all. Susan and Monty

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Always Learning!

Incredibly powerful Bible study this morning! I found out I'm not the only one being beaten up by satan! Seems many of us were in the same boat! It was so helpful, so spiritually refilling, so uplifting, so energizing to learn more about how to operate in our annointing and our calling! Thanks Pastor Martie!

From there I enjoyed a non-planned lunch with a couple of the women who also drive from Bloomington to Bedford for this study. We all ended up at good ole' Wendy's and spent quite some time getting to know each other better and continuing to fill each other up. Thanks Bev and Donna!

Now we put together the final plans for our missions training school class tonight. Everyones homework is graded and ready for them to pick up. The DVD for tonight is entitled "Hungry Decisions" and really good. All the studens will also get information on their research paper that they will be writing. We have handouts and plenty of instructions to go with them! They will be selecting an "unreached" people group and after introducing us to them - in great detail - they will be writing about a "plan" they would use to reach those unreached people with the Word of God. It's detailed, takes alot of research and preparation and reading and typing -- but it's a wonderful project when completed. Please keep them in your prayers.

And tomorrow morning I will be meeting my Mom to return her little dog to her. She is flying back from Florida as I write this and won't arrive home until late this evening so we will meet half way tomorrow. I hate to tell her but he (Humphrey) has made the decision to stay!! Of course our dogs, Bitty and Samson, aren't so sure that would be the right decision! The green eyed monster of jealousy runs through their veins!!! :)

Tuesdays are always a day of learning for me. A day of wonderful revelations, of remembering what I already knew and forgot and of learning new things -- new ways to feel the love of God and new ways to follow Him and the calling He has placed on my life!

I love Tuesdays!

What have you learned today?

Until next time . . . blessings to all of you! Susan and Monty

Sunday, March 06, 2011


The past few days have been a bit busier than usual. My mother is in Florida visiting some of her other grandchildren and great grandchildren! She loves going to visit them and my dad is a bit more content at home. I think he's actually started clearing another wooded area!!! If you don't know what I mean, look back a few blog entries and see his picture!

Anyway, my parents have a little white fluffy dog -- if it were only that easy! This little feller has a really tough time in life! He is a Bischon mix and more than enough skin problems for an entire litter of dogs! He itches constantly and has bare patches all over his little body. Mom has made numerous trips to the vet, tried nearly everything known to man and still he itches and scratches himself raw. Yes, completely raw! He has a special diet and meds to be applied to his skin not to mention keeping a kids size shirt on to keep the itching from doing so much damage. He is just too much for my dad to care for alone so he's with us.

If you already know us you know we have 2 small dogs of our own. They have their routines, whether we are living in our camper trailer out in the field or here at home in our house. But now those routines have been "interrupted" and watching them fret is hilarious! Today is day 4 and we can see some "settling" starting to happen!

Yesterday was bath day and haircut day and by the time they were all done I was exhausted, soaked to the skin and covered in dog hair -- and smiling from ear to ear! It was a blast!

And today I got to check facebook and see pictures of my mom in Florida and that also brought a smile -- so glad she is enjoying some time away, some time to play!

And now some "sneak peaks" at what we have going this next week: Monty will be finishing the mobile home skirting job tomorrow and hopefully picking up another in the very near future. He is taking on these jobs to try and bring in more financing for us -- yes, times are more than tough around here but God promises and we believe!

I have grandkids school duty tomorrow, Bible study Tuesday along with our missions training class, more grandkids school and babysitting on Wednesday and hopefully Thursday evening we are having our meeting to discuss the plans to build the church on the mountain in Ecuador! Monty and I are so excited about this next adventure! It will be great to start on some concrete planning. Please keep us, and the entire country of Ecuador in your prayers.

And those things are just what I have written on the calendar! You know how that goes!!!!! :)

Be sure and stay tuned as I know God has some surprises in store. One big one -- my daughter is going to start "trying" to get me in better shape by training me in her gym! Oh my, this should be good! She has her certification and has been busy as can be since her competition last weekend. She even had a fitness photo shoot this past week so I figure I better take full advantage of her offer while she still has openings!! :)

Until next time . . . thank you for all your prayers and support! Susan and Monty

Thursday, March 03, 2011


Yes, today the sun was shining and the temps actually reached the mid 50s! It was great!

Class last night was also great! A really in depth study of prayer and prayer walking. I don't know how many of you have ever been prayer walking. I had never even experienced such a thing until we had a couple of teams of volunteers come and work with us while we were in New Orleans. They had specially appointed team members who prayed over the homes, neighbors homes and properties while the rest of the team worked inside the home. It was quite powerful and even though we may never know the results of any prayer walk I know God answers prayer and the Bible tells us that "wherever two or more are gathered together He is there in the midst of them" so I believe blessings were poured out over those prayers!

We got into some really good discussions last night and were able to minister to one of our classmates who lost her job yesterday for being "too joyful" at work??? It's that "joy of the Lord" thing and for those who don't understand . . . We know God has something great in store for her and all she needs to do is stay obedient and listen for His direction for her life.

Today was my day with my grandchildren -- taking Luke to preschool and babysitting Liv in the afternoon. They are just so much fun and always come up with the funniest things. When we were talking about how Monty and I are going to cut down the tree in front of our house Live was certain we were going to "shrink" it smaller! And she wants to come and watch! Out of the mouths of babes . . .

I also have another very special prayer request this evening. Our own Pastor Dave has a cousin that has been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer! Please cover, really cover, him and his entire family during this tough time. None of us realize the power we have inside of us, God given, and we all need to use it more often and with more faith and trust and power.

An added prayer request -- tomorrow my mother will be flying to Florida to spend some time with her other grandkids so please pray for safe travel and a blessed time with all of them.

Until next time . . . try some prayer walking and see how much better you feel.
Blessings, Susan and Monty

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Tonight is our missions training class and I'm so excited because the lesson on prayer and prayer walking ties directly in with our lesson at Bible study this morning! God must have something big in store since He is covering it in both the morning and the evening!

We always look forward to our weekly classes and it's just amazing how all the students are becoming family in such a short amount of time! I love it that God is all about relationships!

I also received an email from Pastor Edison in Ecuador today! He thanked everyone for their hospitality and prayers while they were all here. They are working away digging the foundation for the new church to be built -- and they are digging by hand! Men along side women, all with shovels in hand and some women with babies strapped on their backs! Literally! There still is no time table for the actual building but they are getting ready and thanking God with every dig of the shovel!

Please keep all of them, and their congregations in your prayers! We are going to the nations and these missions training classes are preparing others to do the same.

Until next time . . . blessings to all of you! Susan and Monty