Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Doug's December Prayer Letter

(Pictures of me and some men in our church passing out John and Romans.)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

One of the highlights of this month’s activities was when Manolo, who was one of the homeless drunkards of the city, came up to Pedro, a man in our church, who was visiting with me on Saturday. I have seen him living in one of the nearby parks, with his bag and bottle, and always have had a heart for him, inviting him to church and praying for him.

Well, this day, he approached Pedro, and I sat behind them in my car as I was getting ready to leave, just praising the Lord, because he let Pedro lead him through the Bible. Pedro called me a few minutes later with the great news that Manolo had given himself to the Lord! We both rejoiced, praising God, and Manolo came to church on Sunday for both services in the morning, and gave a testimony with a tear in his eye, that he was ‘glad that he entered into a new family!’ He has not been to church the last two Sundays, so I am asking special prayer for him.

We have been to a couple of the hospitals lately witnessing, giving gospel tracts and John and Romans at the entrance. We also have been to the nursing home twice this month singing and preaching the gospel. Pedro is on fire for the Lord, and last Saturday after fasting a few days, preached a sermon on the Good Samaritan on the sidewalk in front of the city mission where many were listening. No one got saved that we know of, but we had two new visitors because of it on Sunday. Pray for Roakim and Ernesto’s salvation and also for Ceasar, a first time visitor.

I have mentioned the fact that I am trying to get into the prison here to minister on a personal basis and also conduct church services. They have not answered my calls, so now I am writing a letter to the Director about this. The inmates have also written requests to her, asking that she would allow me to come in and preach. Please make this a matter of prayer, as I believe that this is God’s will, and many souls could be saved and lives changed.

Church is going well, and God is blessing the services. I am having a great time preaching and teaching, and by the way, singing, of all things--as I am also the song leader! Well, sometimes I do mess up, and start on a bad note or something, so Carolee has to bail me out from time to time. Amen! We also are going to hold a free dinner at church for all the homeless at the mission across the street. We will preach the gospel, so please pray for these souls.

Thank you for all you do for us,

The Schwaderer Family serving God in the Canary Islands.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Odds and Ends

This is a mixture of thoughts, so I named it "Odds and Ends." Actually, that was the name of the newspaper column my Grandmother Dorothy used to write in the Port Charlotte, Florida local newspaper every week. She was an interesting person--and was influential in starting the first library in our home town, New Lebanon, Ohio, and was very active in community affairs.

Thinking of her, one of the things I remember most about her was how she used to tell me about surviving the Great Depression. She was raising her family during that time, and my grandfather was operating a greenhouse/nursery business and they all pulled together to stay afloat during those tough economical times.

Living through something like that certainly would leave an impression on you, so it is no wonder she used to tell us how she saved money by purchasing her clothes at the Goodwill (back then we thought it was kind of funny that she did that--but it is something that I have done myself throughout the years). She rarely threw something away that might be useful, from empty bread bags, reusing aluminum foil, saving rubber bands, etc. We used to laugh at her frugal ways at times, but she was very smart with her money and was able to retire and have a comfortable living.

Today I had to laugh when my husband came back from taking out the trash to the dumpster at the end of our street. In a hurry as always, as he was running late for a church activity, I was surprised when I heard his car pull up after he had just left a few minutes before.

He brought back a mattress that was sitting outside the dumpster. My first thought was GROSS! Without even looking at it, I didn't want it in our garage because I could just imagine cockroaches coming out of it. I could hear him unloading it, telling the girls how it was brand new, still in the plastic..... and then I heard Leanna excitingly chime in, "Yea, it looks brand new." At that point I knew it must be OK if it met the girls approval (they must think like Mom).

It had only been sitting out there for a day--but Doug was right, it was BRAND NEW! It was still in the factory plastic. The only thing that I can think of is that the man down the street drives a delivery truck for a very ritzy department store here in Tenerife, and perhaps he had this on his truck and for some reason needed to get rid of it.

Anyway, it will be a very nice Christmas present for a couple in our church who are in need--a brand new matrimonial size mattress!

Monday, December 15, 2008

"What's Up with That?"

The other day Doug and I were sitting in our parked van (Doug was getting ready to go in and talk to our mechanic) when a teenager started to back up his sports coupe--right toward our van--where I was sitting! As I watched the car back into us, I wondered how long it would take until he realized what he was doing, and if I was going to be affected in the impact! Doug tried to honk the horn, but since the engine was off it wouldn't sound.

The guy pulled up after he realized what happened and jumped out of his car. I was expecting an apology-- but much to my surprise he got out of his car and was angry with us as he inspected the damage done to his car! What did we do, I asked myself. He asked us for our insurance information, and proceeded to tell us how his car was brand new--he was obviously nervous and shook up.

What really made me irritated was how he started telling everyone that we were trying to go around him and that we hit him! I couldn't believe my ears. Our vehicle wasn't even moving!! Doug and I both were trying to set the record straight, but I don't think he was ever convinced that he was in the wrong. This was our first experience with a "fender bender" here so we weren't exactly sure if we were supposed to call the police, or just exchange information.

I remembered that my cell phone had a camera, so I also began snapping photos "just in case." Doug called our insurance agent, and they didn't seem concerned. She said they normally fault the person backing up. Fortunately it wasn't serious, with only minimal damage. More than anything it was merely a frustration, especially when wrongfully accused--especially as they tend to distrust foreigners in the first place. Doug was very kind to they young man, and was able to give him a "Smiley" face Bible-- hopefully it will give him something to think about as we left on good terms, not getting angry at him for hitting our van!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Family, Friends, and The Dollar Store

Yesterday Leanna was up in her room for a while, and whenever it gets really quiet, I know she is up to something (several times she has given herself or her dolls haircuts). So I called up the stairs, and she said she was packing.

"Packing? What for?" I asked.

"For furlough," she responded in a rather matter of fact tone.

"Furlough?" I chuckled. We probably won't be going on furlough for a few years. What gave you the idea to pack for it so soon?"

"I just don't want to forget anything." she said.

Leanna had her favorite little suitcase filled with her favorite clothes, as well as a green duffel bag. She brought them downstairs to show me.

I couldn't convince her to go upstairs and unpack everything. I realized she was having too much fun.

"So, what is it that you miss the most about the states?" I asked.

"My sisters", she said.

What else?

My friends at church.

Anything else?

Oh yea. The Dollar Store. When I go to the states I want to go to the Dollar Store and buy a bunch of suckers. (She likes the ones that are 4 for a $1.00 that have gum in the middle).

Kids are funny aren't they? They are so honest.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Pictures

Here are some pictures I took on Thanksgiving Day. I love the way my kitchen turned out, it is so cozy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Attitude of Gratitude

This morning as I went into the kitchen and looked at the stack of dishes piled in the sink, I was tempted to think--I just did a sink load of dishes before we went to bed--what happened? But, today being Thanksgiving--and my thoughts focused on giving thanks (which for the Christian, should be our daily attitude, not just on special days the world sets aside for such a thing), I was reminded to be thankful even for the full sink of dishes. After all, a sink full of dishes represents a family that has plenty of food to eat.

I began to ponder all the other unpleasant tasks I face each day, and how I view them. Being thankful for cleaning the bathrooms--and that we have a home with indoor plumbing and hot water. And for all the dirty clothes in the hamper--we have clothes to wear, to keep us warm, and I am blessed to have a washing machine and dryer, not to mention a nice house to live in, and a car for transportation--much more than most in the world can boast.

Looking back, I am thankful for every dirty diaper I ever changed, all the toys scattered around the house, and fingerprints on the walls. Now I am reaping the benefits of all the time invested in motherhood. Could you imagine a home without the giggles and laughter of little ones--even though at times our patience is tried.

I am thankful for a husband who practices what he preaches. Even though it isn't always easy to be married-- it is a blessing to have a husband who is my best friend, and I know he truly loves me for who I am.

I am thankful for having children and grandchildren scattered around the globe, even though I would love to be with them today. It gives me great satisfaction knowing that the Lord is answering my prayers, that all of our children would be serving Him.

Most of all, I am thankful for a loving God and Saviour, who gave His life so that I could be forgiven of my sin, and be given a new life in Christ. With God in our life, we have everything!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Hard to believe that this is our second Thanksgiving in the Canary Islands, and we are thankful for all the Lord has done in our lives, and the blessing of being able to serve him here in Tenerife.

Today was a busy day--Doug traveled with a fellow missionary, Rudy Thomas (he is from Germany), and another church member, to the island of La Palma. Doug called me this afternoon and told me it was a fruitful day so far. Rudy was able to counsel with a woman who attends a church over there, and she accepted the Lord as her Saviour.

I took advantage of the "free" day to finish hanging the wallpaper and border in my kitchen. I ordered the border from the states, and found a plain pattern here in Santa Cruz to match for the bottom of the wall. I absolutely love it! My kitchen looks so much brighter and cheerful. It was really easy to put up, for which I am thankful--as I get older these projects aren't as easy as they used to be. I am sure I will need some ibuprofen tonight when I go to bed!

After finishing the wallpaper, I had to make the homemade pumpkin pie that I promised Rebekah. I say home made--but actually that is the only kind you could get here anyway since there is no such thing as pumpkin pie here! We cooked the pumpkin (shhh-- don't tell Rebekah but I also used some sweet potatoes). I have never seen a whole pumpkin here, but I imagine if I looked in the farmer's markets I could probably find one. They sell pumpkin in the grocery stores in sections--the Canary people buy it to cut up and put in their famous "Puchero Canario" (stew) and it has green skin, not orange .

True to tradition, they already cut into the pie--even though it was still warm! I tried to tell them it will taste better the next day, but no one ever wants to wait. That is why I always make two! Doug said it was one of the best I have made in a long time (well, it has been a long time--this is the first pumpkin pie I ever made since we have been in the CIs).

To all of our friends and family, we wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Talk Show Host Calls Homeschooled Kids "Demented"

Yesterday I read a home school blog and watched a video clip as talk show hosts sat around a table on the TV program "The View" (which I don't watch and do not endorse-- I am in the Canary Islands and don't have American TV--I just happened to read about this) discussing where the Obama children should attend school. Someone brought up the idea of them being educated in the White House, and Joy Behar quipped something to the effect--not home schooling--a lot of those kids are demented. Another lady, the more conservative of the bunch--came to the defense of home schooling. Behar also said home schoolers were "scared" of other children.

Does that mean all the kids in the public and private schools are "normal"? Just read the news-- they have their share of problems. Home schoolers aren't perfect either, but I think demented is definitely uncalled for. It just reinforces the sterotype that many have about anything that is "different" than the norm.

I don't know where she has been lately, but I would encourage her to be a little more open minded ( the same way the liberals are always encouraging us to be) and put aside some of her prejudices. Her comment was clearly inflammatory and derogatory. I hope she reconsiders her comment and gets to know a few home schooled children personally. Maybe she would change that to delightful!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Leanna Gets a Dog

My husband could hardly believe it when a few months back we adopted a dog for Rebekah--she had always wanted one, and she found one on the Internet at the local pet shelter that we all liked. Petunia's personality is much like Rebekah's, relatively calm, obedient, and affectionate. They say it is really uncanny how a dog can be like their owner.

A woman in our church is moving to another island, and couldn't take her pet. I agreed to take it home one night for a trial, mostly to see how it got along with Petunia. He immediately took a liking to Leanna. Doug was shocked when I agreed to keep him. But how can you refuse two little girls with such hopeful looks on their faces?

We named him Blackie, and it is amazing how much he is like Leanna. Blackie is a little more playful, not quite as calm as Petunia, and a little scruffier. Leanna finally has someone to boss around--being the baby of the family she needed someone to do what she says for a change!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Welcome to the World Jeremiah!

Last night we received a call on our cell phone all the way from South Africa telling us that we were grandparents once again! They couldn't have asked for a better delivery, from what they said everything went beautifully, until five minutes after he was born, the electricity went out! What perfect timing! We are thankful that mother and baby are doing well. Congratulations Nathan and Emily.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Signs of the Times

Photo courtesy of Fox News.

If you saw my post a few weeks back I commented on how the British Humanist society were promoting a godless society by advertising on London buses. Now the American Humanist Society has brought the same message to buses in Washington, DC.

I find it interesting that they chose Washington, D. C. in light of the last election promoting "change." I wonder how much change for the better will occur? God's people need to get down to business, praying for our country, and getting back to the only thing that will bring about a real change--a "changed" heart by the regeneration brought about through faith in Jesus Christ.

It is impossible to live a good life without God, and His word. How do you define what is good and evil without God's holy standard? Every man will do what is right in his own sight. We have already seen the effects of a society without God--just read the headlines of the newspaper or listen to the evening news.

Their question is "why believe in a god?" I don't have enough space on this page or time to give my response but can say truly, I wouldn't want to live in a world without Him!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November News

Singing and praying prior to baptism. Tenni, the one being baptized, is the woman in the red shirt. That is her four month old baby being held by Diego, who I wrote about in a prior post--he recently got baptized as well. We did it in the evening, not realizing it got dark so early.

November has been an interesting month so far. We kicked off the month celebrating Leanna's 6th birthday (her real b-date is Oct. 31) and this was her second one here in the Canary Islands. We had a few of our missionary friends over to help share in the fun.

Doug had the privilege to baptize a young lady named Tenni. She recently asked the Lord to be her Saviour and wanted to be obedient to the Lord in baptism. Once again we went down to the Atlantic Ocean for this wonderful event. She has been coming to church and Doug is studying with her, and she has brought some of her family members as well. Tomorrow we are supposed to be having another baptism, praise the Lord!

The ministry is at times joyful, but can be full of trials, and emotionally draining as well. Doug has been discipling a young man who recently has been going through some really tough times emotionally, and mentally. Without going into great detail, at one point Doug was called to help this man as in desperation he tried to take his own life. He is a Christian believer as far as we can tell, but has grown up in a very dysfunctional family. Doug took him to the hospital, and has been spending a lot of time with him, counseling and trying to give him hope through the living Word of God. He seems to be doing better, but please keep this man in prayer.

We are eagerly awaiting news from Nathan and Emily as they have traveled to South Africa for the arrival of Jeremiah George Schwaderer. They are staying in a missionary guest house, and a doctor and midwife will deliver the baby there. Supposedly it is safer than going to a hospital. Should the need arise, they are only 5 minutes away from one. Emily's mother and brother are visiting for a few months, which will be a great help and encouragement. We are praying for a timely and safe arrival.

School is going really well--if any of you read my post on Leanna's first day of school--I am happy to report that she is learning to read, and my earlier fears that she wasn't paying attention seem to be put to rest. Sometimes it amazes me as I listen to her "play" school and she is imitating her teachers and retelling her Bible story, or explaining how to count by 5's. It is an opportunity that I am grateful for, to spend so much time giving her my full attention, which I would not be doing otherwise.

Rebekah is a little lady, growing in grace each day. She is such a blessing, comfort, and companion to me here on the field. Jenny and Hannah are doing well at college--before you know it they will have finished the semester. They plan to visit a friend's house in Michigan during Thanksgiving, and spend the Christmas holidays in Ohio with relatives.

Thanks so much for your prayers!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Joys of Doing Business

The other day I decided to order some wallpaper border for my kitchen online, mostly because here in the Islands there is very little selection to choose from, so I got on the internet and found some I liked, and ordered a roll.

I received an email today that my desired border was on back order, and wouldn't be available for at least 4 weeks. Meanwhile, I went online again and found another company that sold the same kind much cheaper--so I ordered it from them, and cancelled the first one.

When I called to cancel it, I asked them if the order had been charged to my credit card yet since it was on back order. Yes, it had been, the same day I ordered it (of course). I asked them how long it would take for me to see the credit on my statement, and was shocked when she said "two billing cycles""--in other words, two whole months!!

Why is it that they can charge you immediately for an item they can't even ship because they don't have it in stock, yet wait so long to return your money--for something you never received? Doesn't seem right to me!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tagged--Random things about me :)

I've been tagged by Jenna to list 6 random things about myself.
Rules:1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. List 6 unspectacular quirks you have.
4. Tag 6 bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each taggee's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

I usually don't do things like this (chain letters, forwarding emails, etc.) but this one sounds like fun--tell six things about myself that you probably wouldn't know otherwise. (Well, there are a few things I would never tell anyone.) So here it goes!

1. My most annoying habit (for others and my poor teeth) is that I chew ice. Ever since my last pregnancy, I crave ice. Some say it is due to an iron deficiency. My sister has a severe iron deficiency and she said she does the same thing. On the positive side, at least I am getting some water in my diet, and there aren't any calories in ice!

2. I never dreamed I would end up living in a foreign county, and married to a missionary. I didn't even know what a missionary was when I met my husband, and he told me he was called to be a missionary. I had never been exposed to missionaries or evangelists growing up, so I didn't really know what it was all about. I was a young Christian and had surrendered my life to the Lord, and was willing, but I often feel very unqualified.

3. I used to drive a school bus (yes, the big yellow ones) for a Christian school that my kids attended. I had to get my commercial driver's license which was a hair raising experience for me. It was probably the least favorite job I ever had. I was a very strict bus driver--the kids weren't allowed to get out of their seats, and had to behave on my bus. I took safety very seriously, and they probably didn't have as much fun on my bus!

4. I never wanted to home school my kids--we always believed in Christian education, but I didn't see myself as a "home school" mom. I worked as a school teacher, English and Spanish tutor--but never could see myself teaching my own kids--I didn't think I would have the patience with my own children like I would in a school setting. It wasn't until after I taught in a Christian school that I began to realize that maybe I could do it, and it could actually be a more efficient use of our time.

5. I am more of a "loner." My husband is my best friend, and I have a few female friends but we don't really do things together or talk on the phone much. My oldest daughters, sisters, and mom are probably my best friends. In high school I was very involved in organizations, but I still just had one or two close friends that I hung out with.

6. In general, I am more of a leader than a follower. I would much rather be in charge of a project than just be a helper. I enjoy being creative and enjoy organizing projects and events. In high school and college when we had to do "group" projects, I always preferred to be the one in charge to make sure things got done. I am happiest when I have some type of project, event, or activity to accomplish. (In the context of the home and church, I know that it is my role to be under the leadership of my husband and pastors, and not to upsurp the authority of men, so everything has its proper order--but there are situations where women are called upon to lead other women, children, etc.).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gateway to Joy/Getting Out of Bed in the Morning

When my children were smaller and were attending Christian school, I used to have the opportunity to tune into the radio broadcast "Gateway to Joy" by Elisabeth Elliot. I am sure most of you know who she is, and how she served the Lord on the mission field and has had a great impact on the lives of many Christians all over the world whether through her books, radio programs, or speaking engagements.

I recall one program where she was talking about the importance of having a quiet time every morning. Her father used to get up every day at 5 am to read his Bible and pray. No one was allowed to eat breakfast until they had read their Bible.

I am thankful that my husband has always set the same example for our family. I know that my husband would much rather read his Bible than eat breakfast if he had to choose between the two. It became a part of our daily routine, and nothing was ever allowed to come before our quiet time in the morning. You wouldn't even think about reading a newspaper or emails before the Bible. If Dad saw one of the kids playing, or reading something that wasn't the Bible, he frequently would ask "Have you read your Bible yet?"

For this very reason I prefer to schedule appointments in the late morning/afternoon whenever possible--otherwise the early morning becomes too hectic, rushing out the door, and before you know it the Bible time is pushed aside for the day. That is one benefit of home schooling, you can schedule Bible reading as part of your early morning activities--rather than having to catch the bus at 7 am our children can spend a little extra time in their Bibles. My girls at Bible college have to be up at 6:30 am, and at breakfast by 7, then choir at 7:30. That means if they are going to have a good time in the Bible, they probably have to be up at 5 or 5:30. That can be a little rough at times.

I remember Mrs. Elliot saying that "there is no such thing as a morning/night person." In all due respect, I will have to admit that even though I may be officially out of bed, I am not a person who can just jump out of bed and feel ready to meet the day. I go downstairs, make a cup of coffee, and head to the living room for my devotions, and by the time I am through I will start the rest of the preparations for the day. But on the way to making my coffee, sometimes I feel like a disaster waiting to happen. Things fall on the floor, coffee spills on the counter, and my coordination is all out of whack. My husband, on the other hand, pretty much hits the floor, ready to go, always with a cheerful smile to face the day.

Someone asked Mrs. Elliot how she got up so early every day, and was so disciplined in her life. Her reply was, "When the alarm clock goes off, I put my feet on the floor, and pull my body out of bed. I don't even think about it. In other words, just do it." She also tried to go to bed by nine o'clock every evening.

Living here in Spain, that is about next to impossible for us. Spaniards don't even eat dinner until 9 pm as a rule. I find myself staying up way too late. I enjoy the quiet hours of the evening--reading, catching up on things that I didn't get to do during the school day--after all, sometimes it is a mother's only chance to be alone. I would have to say that I am definitely a night person but by reason of necessity I manage to somehow make it through the morning : ).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Athiests Advertising on London Buses

Photo source: BBC News

Buses in London will soon be decorated with advertisements saying "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." In other words--eat, drink, and be merry. The British Humanist Society has raised a considerable amount of money in order to promote their philosophy that there is no God.

In an effort not to offend religious people, they added the word "probably." I find that interesting. There "probably" is no God? I challenge them to think about "what if you are wrong?" The Bible tells us that the fool hath said in his heart there is no God.

I would not want to live in a world that didn't have God. Everything that is beautiful, good, virtuous, and pure is from the nature of God. He is merciful, loving, and satisfies the longing soul. Man has made a mess of what God has designed, yet God gets a lot of the blame.

The farther away man gets from God and the truths of the Bible, the worse our world is becoming. Families are falling apart, killing one another (literally). Mothers are killing their babies, kids in the school yard are shooting each other, and the hearts of man are growing colder and colder. Do you really want to live in this kind of world?

The eat, drink, and be merry type of life is empty at best. As a pastor's (missionary's) wife, I get to hear all the heartache and suffering from people who have chosen that route. Lives that have been ravaged by what they thought were "good" times but have led them down a road of destruction. The party scene is not where true peace and happiness is found.

Who knows, maybe these signs will actually make people think. If there "probably" is no God, according to them, then on the flip side "there probably is a God." What if God exists in the part that you don't know for sure? I would rather live my life believing there is a God, than in the other side that says there isn't.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Doug's Prayer Letter Photos

Here are some pictures of some of the events that took place in our church during the month of October. One picture shows Diego, the man who recently accepted the Lord as his saviour and was baptized. Another photo shows Doug preaching in the morning service.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Doug's Prayer Letter, October 2008

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

We would like to thank all of you for praying for the requests mentioned in the last letter, as God has been answering them. Robson, for whom I asked prayer concerning his marriage, told me last week that he and his wife have been reconciled, and will be together in a few days.

Pedro, a faithful man in church, who heads up a men's refuge for homeless, jobless men that have a desire to change their life, spent six days fasting and seeking the Lord. God certainly came through for him, as when he returned home, his wife Margarita, who consistently opposed his walk with the Lord and his ministry, decided to repent and accept the Lord as her Saviour! She came to church this Sunday, and also their older daughter and baby came too for the first time! God is restoring some families and we are excited about that. Please continue to pray for this family.

One of the ladies who had called about the church did come and visit, and Juan, the man who did prison time has been doing quite well, although keep praying for him as he has had some slips. He has brought a number of people to church, has been helping others who have need of food, as well as preaching the gospel to many people. While in prison, he led a man named Carmona to Christ, and Carmona has been growing in the Lord. He has already read the first five books of the Bible and is sharing his knowledge with others in prison. At least five inmates are requesting Bible Studies, which I provide when I go in to see Carmona.

Both Juan and I have a desire to be able to enter the prison and do ministry there. Please pray for this, as it can be difficult to get into prison ministry here, although we have a contact person who may be able to help us to do that. For now I have been able to get in through visiting people that have requested that I come. Pray for Francisco, a man who is in the immigration jail (he is from Bolivia and was working here without papers), as I have been visiting him weekly. He has led two African Muslims to the Lord, and has asked for more tracts to be able to witness to more.

We thank the Lord for two ladies, Rosa and Marta who have accepted the Lord as their Saviour, but do need your prayers as they have some difficult problems that need to be overcome. Rosa has come to church several times, and Marta has not yet come, but we are asking God to do a work in her life.

Yesterday I met a man downtown and spoke to him about the Lord, and he asked Jesus Christ to come into his heart. His name is Diego. He gave his testimony in church this morning, and was baptized in the Atlantic Ocean today.

Carolee is doing a great job in homeschooling Leanna and Rebekah, and it certainly is a blessing to see them grow in the Lord through it. Thank you for all your prayers, love, and support! The Schwaderer family

Monday, September 29, 2008

On the Brighter Side

Thought I would post something a little bit lighter, and brighter. Yesterday we made these beautiful butterflies in Sunday School class. It was so much fun, first we painted the coffee filters, and then twisted them up with chenille pipe cleaners. Each one was different, and the kids were very pleased with their creations. Thanks to the Bob Jones Distance Learning program for giving so many creative ideas.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Beverly Hillbillies and the Other World Banking System

This morning before we started school I quickly checked my email, and couldn't help but notice the latest headlines about another big bank failure-- WaMu being purchased by JP Morgan. I was commenting about it to my husband, as we were discussing how it will affect those of us living overseas who must deal with the falling dollar. The government is scrambling to rescue the banks and economy, and we are seeing a domino effect as one by one banks are being bought out by even bigger banks. You have to wonder when it is going to stop. WaMu assured the investors that on Friday, "everything will be business as usual."

It reminded me of the television show I used to watch as a young girl, "The Beverly Hillbillies." Jed Clampett became a millionaire after discovering oil on his property back in the hills, then moved to Beverly Hills, California, and put it all in Mr. Drysdale's bank--as he was assured it was the safest place to keep his millions. Every once in a while Jed would get the notion to go withdraw his money, and Mr. Drysdale would panic--and would do everything he could to convince Mr. Clampett not to withdraw his money--little did Jed know that "his" money was not really sitting in Mr. Drysdale's bank--it had been invested somewhere else, hopefully wisely and the bank could be trusted to do this for him. One time Mr. Clampett even went to the bank just to "check" on his money and asked Mr. Drysdale if he could see it.

Ever since we got married, my husband and I have been investing in this really great bank that we both committed ourselves to. (It really helps when both the husband and wife are in agreement when it comes to finances.) We decided that we would try our best to live debt free, and put as much as we can into this bank. It pays great dividends, and all the investments are backed in solid gold and precious stones, and only prime real estate. Some investments pay hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

At the current time, we have far reaching interests at home and abroad, in the U.S. and countries such as Papua New Guinea, Italy, China, Ukraine, Poland, India, the Canary Islands, and a few in Africa. We know our future is secure with our resources and assets going there, and fully trust the Sovereign Governor of our trust fund, because of his government there shall be no end.

Where are you putting your investments? I know I will someday regret not laying up more where thieves can not steal, and where moth and rust doth not corrupt.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Being Fruitful and Multiplying

I got a call from my daughter Amy last Tuesday evening, and normally she doesn't call during the week because they don't have "free" minutes except on the weekend, so I knew something was up. Her voice sounded cheerful so I knew it was good news.

"Hi Mom, she said. Well...it looks like you are going to be a grandma again."

Somehow I knew that was the reason for the call. My mom says that her mother always could guess when she was breaking that news to her as well. It must have something to do with the tone of voice.

We only have two married children, and I would say that between the two of them we are doing pretty well. This makes number 5, and we are very happy for them. I wish we could see them all, but hopefully one day, if the Lord permits, we can schedule our furlough together with Nathan, and have a nice family reunion.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Facing Uncertain Times

Is it just me, or is anyone else out there getting depressed reading the news? I say "reading" because most of the news I get from the U.S. is from reading on the Internet. Thousands are homeless and devastated by hurricane Ike, Wall Street is plunging, taxpayers are bailing out financial institutions, and they say there is more bad news to come.

People are looking to the upcoming elections for solutions. Guess what?.... No matter who gets elected to office, they will not be able to solve our nation's problems.

Here in the Canary Islands, people are complaining about how difficult it is for them too. Many are struggling to make ends meet. People are scared--not sure what the future will bring. There is a multitude of immigrants who come to the Canary Islands from Western Africa, fleeing in small, crowded boats--risking their lives--in hopes of finding a better place to live and work, only to get here and find it difficult to obtain employment. There are also large numbers from Romania, South America, and Cuba. Our Wednesday night prayer meeting is filled with requests for people to find jobs.

Our church is across the street from a government operated city mission for homeless people. We have had opportunity to minister to many of them. I tend to be rather critical and judgemental, (unlike my husband, so fortunately we balance each other out) having preconceived ideas and stereo-types of what these people are like, that they don't really want to work, and that their self destructive behaviors of drug and alcohol abuse, and character issues have put them in this situation. I am sure there is an element of truth to my observations in some of the cases.

Then I watched video clips of the destruction caused by hurricane Ike. Many lost everything they owned, and can not return to the community where they lived. Many will have no way to work, and will start the painful process of rebuilding their lives. That is when it struck me that but by the grace of God, I could be in any of their shoes. It really made me rethink this homeless issue in a new light. I need to quit being so full of pride, (thinking it could never happen to me) and be more thankful for the provision that God has made for me, and not take it for granted. God is also showing me that I need more compassion. It is so easy to get hard and cold when you see so many in need. After all, we that know the Lord need to show others how we can trust Him in these uncertain times.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mozambique Missions

Update from Mozambique

Many of you know that our son Nathan and his family are missionaries to the country of Mozambique, Africa. Last week they had the privilege of hosting a mission group from our home church in Rochester, NY for a week. They had a great time together, and held a one day seminar for the church with several messages, teaching, and fellowship. I am posting a few pictures so you can see a little glimpse into the work they are doing there.

Nathan, Emily, and the kids are doing well, and the paperwork for their visas was accepted by the Mozambique government which is an answer to prayer. Lord willing, they will be going to neighboring South Africa around the first of November for the birth of their third child, which is a boy. They have decided to have a home birth (well, not really at their home, but at the quarters where they will be living temporarily), attended by an experienced doctor and midwife. The doctor actually advised a home birth over a hospital birth, stating in their country it is actually better/safer than the hospitals. Please keep them in your prayers that everything will go smoothly.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Question of Why, and What

Today our nation is remembering one of the most tragic events in our nation's history, one day that changed our country forever. I remember watching the second airplane as it flew directly into the World Trade Center, and both of the towers collapsing on live TV. It looked like something right out of a movie, but this was for real. I recall feeling shock and depression for several weeks.

Following the events of 9/11, there seemed to be a real unity of the American people. We put aside some of our differences, and pulled together to do anything we could to help; many gave financially of their resources, and also of their time to the relief effort. Christians all around the nation were calling for prayer for our leaders, the victims and their families. We vowed that we would never forget and some of us drew nearer to God to help us find answers to the many questions that were being asked.

One of the most frequently asked questions though, is why? I have heard some TV reporters mock God, and say that if God would allow tragedies and such human suffering, then "He isn't very nice."

I always wonder, why is God the first one to get blamed for everything that goes wrong, but when we need help in time of deep trouble, it seems embedded in our conscience to cry out to God. They say there is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole, and I tend to agree.

I don't have all the answers, but the Bible does (even if I don't always understand it as I should). God allows people to suffer for different reasons, but most of all to draw a world that desperately needs redemption closer to the Saviour that can deliver them in the time of need. If you study the character of God, you will learn that He is good, merciful, loving, and takes no pleasure in death and human tragedy. He gave his only begotten Son to suffer, die, and rise again from the grave, and has conquered it. The Bible tells us that He has taken the sting out of death.

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15: 55-57

I am in no way minimizing the pain that others feel, and many people have suffered things far worse than I can even begin to imagine. But there have been times of suffering in my own life when I have asked God why, but that is when my faith draws me back to realize that it isn't God's fault. Sometimes the suffering, trial, or temptation has been a result of my own rebellion, failures, or perhaps decisions made, etc.

Other times it is the goodness of God, a gentle or sometimes harsh chastening (because we need it) from a loving Heavenly Father, that is drawing us into a closer relationship with Him. We can not trust our own human reasoning to figure it all out. I just try to believe and put faith in the promises that I do know for sure, and pray and ask God for wisdom to understand the rest that I don't.

The Word of God is a treasure chest of promises, wisdom, and comfort to those who seek it. Maybe we are asking God the wrong question--instead of why--we should ask what, as in "What would you have me to do Lord Jesus?"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Righteousness Exalteth a Nation

With the start of school this week, I am looking back on my own schooling experience, and thinking how different it is now than what it was when I attended public school in the 1970's. One of my fondest memories is when every morning, my third grade teacher, Mrs. Dillon, had us say the pledge of allegiance, and then proceeded to open the Bible that sat on her desk and we recited Psalm 100. She didn't expound on it--or talk about her religion, we just read it, and proceeded with our studies.

I enjoyed that part of my school day--it was a comforting passage, and even though I really didn't know much about the Bible, it had planted a seed in my heart that we were God's people, and the sheep of His pasture, hence, we were created by God and had a duty toward Him. It was unlike any other book. I also recall my second grade teacher, Mrs. Hawkins, reading the story of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors. I can still remember it clearly, and to this day, Joseph is one of my favorite Bible characters. Our math rulers had the phrase "Remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In fifth grade, the Gideon's were allowed to come into the school and give us all a pocket New Testament, which I treasured, and kept in my desk.

My parents didn't have to worry when I got on the school bus that there might be a shooting in the classroom. We were allowed to walk up to town by ourselves, and no one ever thought about child molesters or kidnappers lurking--although my mom told me to never go up to a car that pulled over and engage in conversation with a stranger--but she wasn't afraid to let us go because things like that were rare. Now a parent can't let their kids play in their own backyard without keeping a watchful eye.

To my knowledge, parents never complained about the teacher's violating their child's rights when they read the Bible, or said the pledge of allegiance, with the phrase, "One Nation Under God." It was part of our American heritage. We had Christmas parties and Thanksgiving celebrations where the pilgrims' story was taught. We also had Halloween parties (which glorifies witches and evil spirits), Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, etc. I am sure that somewhere down the line some one's religion was offended, but the school board didn't have to worry about being so politically correct, and making everything so generic so as to never mention God, religion, or the Bible.

It is a very different world today. Heaven forbid we teach a child about the ten commandments, but be sure to let them know about how to have safe sex and what the school's emergency plan is in case of a lock down because someone is in the school with a loaded gun.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Leanna and Rebekah's First Day of School

Today we started school, yes, on Labor Day--but over here it isn't a holiday. Rebekah is in the fifth grade, and Leanna is starting first grade. This is her first year to use the Bob Jones DVD distance learning program, and she was excited.

First thing this morning Leanna came down for breakfast, ready to start school. I told her to go back upstairs, comb her hair and put on a pair of socks and shoes . I know this is "home school" but somehow it goes against my grain to do school in bare feet and messy hair. Rebekah enjoys dressing up everyday, carefully selecting a "school" outfit--and when she finishes school she will change into something else. Leanna, on the other hand, pulls the first thing she can find out of her drawer, where she stuffs everything in together, clean or dirty. It can make for some very unusual outfits.

She came back downstairs, marching like the VonTrapp children in the Sound of Music when their father blows his whistle. We started Bible class, and 10 minutes into the teaching she informs me that she is hungry. No, she will have to wait til break time. About 3 subjects into the school day, she impatiently asks me how much more school til we are through. I am getting a little agitated as I watch her chew her pencil, lift her desk up off the floor, look out the window---while her teacher is explaining her phonics lesson. Will this girl ever learn anything? Would she be doing this if she was in a traditional classroom setting, with a teacher that wasn't her mom?

Then I think to myself how I would keep from going crazy if I was an elementary teacher with 25 six-year olds in one room, trying to make sure they hold their pencil correctly, form their letters just like the textbook tells you too, etc. Fortunately I get a little taste of it trying to teach my Sunday school class, which has two boys who never want to sit down--so I can imagine the frustration they must feel. It also helps me realize Leanna isn't that much different than other children her age.
Leanna surprised me, as I listened to her telling her daddy all the things she learned today, and proudly showing him all her worktext papers. Sometimes kids learn more than you think. Patience is the key!

Friday, August 29, 2008

How Do They Do It?

Jenny called the other day to tell me her schedule for the Fall semester. Wow, I hope she has time to breathe!! She is taking 18 credit hours. Part of this includes playing piano for the college choir and ensemble, and also piano lessons, which means at least six hours of piano practice a week. On Saturdays and Sundays she will be involved in evangelism outreach, and working on a bus route. She will also be traveling some Wednesdays and weekends with the college ensemble. Hannah has a similar schedule, and plays in the college orchestra.

One thing they hopefully will learn at Fairhaven is time management. The day begins at 6:30 am for room check (I am sure many girls get up earlier than this for devotions and to make sure they get their morning shower). Breakfast is at 7, and on some days choir practice is at 7:30--I don't know about you, but I can hardly talk at that time in the morning, let alone sing! Classes start at 8 and usually go anywhere from 12-2 depending on their schedule. They don't have classes on Wednesday, but that time slot is quickly filled with all the other demands and assignments they have. They also have cleaning assignments, daily devotions, and prayer time in the dorm, and most students work part time jobs to help pay for their expenses. Lights go out at 11 pm.

I remember about 12 years ago when Doug decided to complete his Bachelor's degree. He was working a full time job, had a ministry in a youth detention center a few days a week, and was carrying a full load of classes--not to mention being the father of 4 (this was pre-Rebekah and Leanna days). It seemed like an impossible task, but somehow he made it. As a result, he was able to become a Spanish teacher for the Christian school my kids attended, and I am sure it has helped in the ministry we are in as he majored in Spanish.

My life is not nearly as busy as it was back then, and I marvel how we ever made it through, but somehow we did. I look at Jenny and Hannah and hope they don't get overwhelmed, and at times they do...but they are young and energetic. Certainly they will have their work cut out for them. They will need God's strength and encouragement along the way.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Roots and Wings

Hannah and Jenny are headed back to the states, and haven't even crossed the Atlantic Ocean yet, but Rebekah has already taken over their former bedroom. At 9 am, she was hard at work, putting her books in the nightstand where Jenny had hers, hanging her clothes in the closet, and filling a plastic bin with the remnants of what they left behind. Rebekah didn't even give me a chance to visit the room as it was, and reflect on the great summer we had together, in what may very well be the last one for a few years.

As I sifted through the photo albums, journals, and notebooks they couldn't fit in their suitcases, I thought of a sermon I had listened to several years ago. It was one of the best messages I ever listened to on parenting and was entitled "Roots and Wings."

As Christian parents, we spend most of our adult life endeavoring to teach our children good character, moral values, and to love the Lord with their whole heart, mind, and strength. These are the roots that will take them through life, and prepare them for the challenges they are sure to face once they leave your home. Our greatest joy is seeing our children grow and develop a close, personal walk with the Lord of their own.

Giving them wings, on the other hand, is when you let them go, pursuing some interests, goals or desires they may have, or just giving them some space to think and make decisions on their own to see how "deep" their Christian faith really is.

None of us want our children to fail--but sometimes parents make the mistake of making every decision for them, and then a child never learns to have confidence in his/her own ability to think for himself. They will need these survival skills when they are faced with the trials and temptations that are going to come their way. The ability to make wise decisions comes from a parent teaching their children when they are young, and showing them by example, how the Word of God, the leading of the Holy Spirit , and seeking godly counsel, is our guide through life. They must be able to discern good and evil for themselves and stand strong when they face opposition and temptation.

As missionaries we had to make some difficult decisions about what our two oldest daughters would be doing in the next few years before the Lord would see fit to perhaps allow them to have a family of their own. Staying on the mission field or going to the states for Bible college were two options. The Lord allowed for them to be with us on the mission field when we first came to Tenerife, and also again this summer. We sought the Lord, and He led us to send them to Fairhaven Baptist College during the school year. We know they are in God's will and He has a plan for them.

There is no "one size fits all" plan for what God has for your children once they graduate from high school. Parents, along with their son/daughter need to prayerfully seek God's direction. Everyone's needs and situation is different. Many may not understand how we can send our young daughters across the ocean and allow them to live apart from us. First of all, we know Fairhaven is a good Christian school and church with like-minded values, and the girls are in a protected environment. But even with all that, it isn't always easy, but we know they are in God's hands, and that He is able to keep them under the shelter of His wings.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to School, Already?

I read where school has already begun in some places in the U.S., and next week my own daughters will be heading back to college as well. Like most of us, I am asking, where did the summer go?

My internal calendar is linked to the seasons. Going back to school meant one last backyard barbeque on Labor Day weekend, and getting all your back to school supplies and clothes. I remember my mom taking all of us to JC Penney to buy shoes. We each got one pair of school shoes, and a pair of gym shoes. Usually they were black and white saddle oxfords, and they matched everything, and the gym shoes were simple white canvas Converse or Keds. I remember my parents paying somewhere around $200-$300 just for shoes for the six of us kids--which back then was a lot of money! Business was a little slower in August in the flower shop--my mom attributed it to the fact that parents were spending all their money on back to school necessities. There weren't any Walmart's back then either!

Ever since we came to the Canary Islands, my internal calendar is out of sync because here in Tenerife, we experience what they call "eternal spring." Average year-round daily temperatures are in the 70's. Sounds pretty appealing, doesn't it? I have to admit, the climate is very pleasant, and I don't miss winter too much--I could handle one month of it as long as there was some pretty snow to look at.
I actually have to stop and think what month it is sometimes. I miss the colors of fall, decorating with pumpkins, Indian corn, and gourds, and celebrating Thanksgiving with family. And there is something comforting and nostalgic about sitting in front of a fireplace on a cold winter day, drinking a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, longing for spring. I even miss rainy days sometimes! What about the Fourth of July? Just another day in summer here--no fireworks.

I am not complaining though. When I get homesick for a fall day, I put a golden autumn landscape on my computer's screen saver and reminisce of my homeland--and sometime in December I change it to a snowy landscape. Funny though, when we lived in Rochester, New York, during the long, dreary winter months I had a picture of a tropical island on my screen saver! We always seem to long for what we don't have, don't we?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Romans 8: 28

Thursday we were all set to have our last nursing home service before our oldest daughters return to the states. With Jenny playing the piano and Hannah the violin, it adds a much needed boost to our music repertoire.

We loaded the van, which includes taking our digital piano apart, and putting all the necessary equipment in the van (something we also have to do every Sunday for our church services as we rent a building). There is barely room for the girls in the back but fortunately Rebekah and Leanna are able to squeeze into small spaces.

Upon arrival at the nursing home, Doug was told the electricity was out, and we would be unable to have a normal "service." One of the nurses suggested that we go from room to room and play a few songs for each of the residents. So Doug took his guitar, and plan "B" was put into operation. It actually turned out quite well, as some residents are bedridden and have never been able to attend our services. Doug had been wanting to visit the residents in this way for some time, but hadn't been able to do so. What seemed to be an inconvenience for us, turned out to be a blessing--in addition, it gave us the liberty to speak with the residents on a more personal basis, and hopefully they enjoyed the visits. Just one small example of how the Lord directs our steps, and we need to be flexible and make the most of every opportunity He gives us.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wishing I Could Be There

There are times when living in a foreign country as a missionary, I want to jump on an airplane and be in the states. Today is one of those days. I want to be in Dayton, Ohio--celebrating my dad's 75th birthday with him and my family. I miss the days of backyard picnics, and long to be there--or to have another breakfast or lunch at Bob Evans with my dad.

Or take my mother shopping at Walmart, and go through the drive through at Wendy's--sometimes we would laugh so hard until we cried. Just the simple things we used to do together. Those are the memories I will always cherish.

The past few days have been difficult for me. Hannah and Jenny are getting ready to fly back to Indiana, and I am already dreading the day we go to the airport, and I have to say goodbye, again. I am trying to prepare myself spiritually and emotionally. Life is full of separations, and you think I would be used to it by now. It doesn't get any easier. My heart is torn. I know that we are doing the Lord's work, and for the sake of the gospel we are here, but in my heart I want to be with the ones I love the most.

The Lord spoke to my heart when I read the other day, "But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire." I Thessalonians 2: 17

We may be separated physically, but never in our hearts.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Get Paid to Have a Baby in Spain


Spain has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Abortion rates for the country are one more indication of the plunge into anti-family, anti-life policies the Catholic nation has adopted over the past five years.

The socialist government of Spain has surprised everyone by adopting a pro-natal policy.
Each newborn will receive a check for Euro 2,500 (about 3,938 dollars). If the newborn is born into a family with three or more children, the amount is increased to Euro 3,500.

In announcing the policy, President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said to the Parliament that "In order to continue progressing Spain needs more families with more children. And families need more aid to have more babies and more resources for their upbringing." Working women with children under three years of age also get a monthly payment of about 100 Euros per month.

Along with Italy and Greece, Spain has one of the lowest fertility rates in the EU. Spain's population is aging rapidly, and is on the cusp of absolute population decline. Current birthrate is somewhere around 1.36 for each woman of childbearing age.

It has been my observation that many couples in Spain choose to live together and forgo the traditional family altogether, and if they do have children they postpone it into their 30's, and many just have one child if any. Abortion has contributed to the problem as well. Just another reminder of how far Spain has gone from traditional family values, and from the natural desire of women to bear children in marriage.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Leanna's Salvation Testimony

Our "baby" of the family, Leanna, is 5 1/2 years old, and did something very special today that filled our hearts with joy. Thought you would appreciate hearing about her testimony.

Leanna came to my bedside this morning, waking me up, and with an unusually cheerful voice said "Mom, I got saved!" She said it like she really meant it and was extremely happy--there was a different tone in her voice, one of real sincerity. Earlier in the morning she approached Doug while he was in the kitchen and said something to the extent "I am wrong/I don't feel right" and he asked her what was the matter, and she said "I want to get saved."

Doug said "do you want me to pray first?" and she said no--she just got down on her knees and started praying, saying Lord, please forgive me for my sins, and I want to be saved, please come in my heart, etc.

Yesterday she watched the Bob Jones movie Sheffey and I think it had a real effect on her. Later I asked her about how she got saved, and she said she did something wrong, and felt like she needed to pray, and she said she "repented." It was so cute. Keep praying for her, she is a a child who loves life, and has a lot of spunk, (translated--strong-willed) but hopefully will turn her energies in the right direction and keep a tender heart for the Lord. She is really going to have a difficult time saying goodbye to her older sisters when they go back to college--she adores them. Last year when they left she took it very hard.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 2008 Prayer Letter

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are happy to report that since we have started renting the community building for church services, God has saved two souls, Josue and Eva, both around twenty- two years of age. Both came from the refuge shelter for the homeless, (which conveniently is across the street from the church) and attended the services. Eva, was saved, not in the service, but later on while talking to her about the Lord. She wasted no time to be baptized, and the only place I knew of to be baptized was in the ocean. Here, most of the beaches or shore lines are just rocks, and rather big ones at that. Even after you step in the ocean you are struggling to keep your balance because the ocean floor is covered with rocks as well. Then we had to deal with the waves that were coming in hitting us while trying to keep our footing at the same time. We had a real time of it, but at last we were able to baptize her.

On arriving back to shore as we were rejoicing in the Lord, Eduardo, who has been attending church said he wanted to get baptized. I was thinking “this is great, but we almost drowned the first time and now we’re going to have to do it again!” Well, we did, and it was a great day in the Lord. Eva decided to return to her parents house, which is good, but they live in the mainland, so she will not be with us; however we contacted a pastor in Spain, and she has started attending there. Josue had his life threatened evidently and we have not seen him since, but please pray for him.

I met a young man named Juan one day while witnessing, and he has rededicated his life to the Lord, and started coming to church. He had committed a crime about five years ago, and had to pay a large fine, but was delinquent of around $1000.00, for which cause the police had a warrant out for his arrest and immediate prison time. After counseling, he decided to quit running, and turned himself in, and has just accomplished his 45 day term. I was not able to pick him up the day he was released, but we expect him in church Sunday. He has a fire for the Lord, and was witnessing to many of the inmates in prison and giving them scriptures that we had provided for that purpose. Please pray for him, as I see much potential in him for the Lord.

We have had a good time with our two oldest daughters being home for the summer, as we have had some real good times witnessing together. It will be very difficult to say goodbye to them at the end of the month when they return to Bible college--we will miss them dearly and they have been a great asset to the ministry as well. They invited a Cuban young lady named Yanet to church, and she has been coming ever since, only missing twice. She is a very talented instrumentalist, and has been playing flute in the church services, accompanying the piano and violin (Hannah and Jenny). Pray for her husband to come to church, and also for a Muslim man named Abrim to be saved. He has come for many services, and God is working in his heart.

We decided to move closer to Santa Cruz where the church is, and surprisingly it went fairly smooth, as I had help from men at the church. It was a lot of work however. The weather on the southeast side of the island is dryer and hotter, and we hope that it well help Carolee’s allergies.
God Bless all of you, The Schwaderer family

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Anyone considering becoming a missionary will have to acquire patience in the midst of what can be total frustration. Of course, this is also a prerequisite for anyone in Christian service, or for just living daily life--whether on the foreign field or not, but it seems that in a foreign country frustration can be multiplied.

Nothing ever seems to go smoothly the first time--I would liken it to going to the Bureau of Motor vehicles to register a car or get a title--do you ever have all the required information they want the first time?

I have been waiting for months to get in to see a specialist--we have been in Tenerife now for 15 months and am way overdo for some blood work and tests so I was looking forward to getting that accomplished today. We got up early, drove 45 minutes to the other side of the island, waiting patiently until they called me in for my preliminary medical history before I saw the doctor, and they asked me for a piece of paperwork that my family doctor was supposed to send with all my lab work--which they forgot to do--so they sent me to the university hospital, which was another half hour drive, and when I got there I had to take another number.....only for them to tell me that they couldn't see me there, but I had to go back to the other place!

OK, I said, but why did they tell me they couldn't see me at the other place--so she checked with her coworker and she said, yes, they would see me there, but they would call in a few weeks to give me an appointment. Back to the drawing board.....it will probably be another several months now as I get put back on the waiting list.
The Canary Islands has a fairly decent system of medical care, but if you are in a hurry.......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Getting the Job Done

When I was about six years old, my dad would tell me to clean up my room--it would be such a mess because I had shoved all my clothes and junk in the closet until you couldn't shut the door anymore. I took one look at the clutter, and would just sit down in front of the closet, and cry.
About an hour later my dad would come and check on me to see if I had made any progress, and I would still be sitting there in tears. The task seemed overwhelming. I didn't know where to start.

I was thinking about that today as I was going downstairs to tackle the garage--everything from moving that we didn't know what to do with ended up down there. The rest of the house is pretty much in order, but the garage still has a way to go. Part of me just wants to take one look at the disorder, go back upstairs and forget about it. Let someone else deal with it. Do I really want to get hot and sweaty again--I have already worked so hard--the lazy part of me is saying "do it later," while the other part of me says "you will be glad you did it once you get going."

As a little girl trying to clean my room, one of my older sisters would come along and start showing me where to put things, digging in and helping me to get the job done. Once I got going I learned to actually enjoy working.

The Christian life is somewhat similar--sometimes the task seems overwhelming and we don't know where to start. How can I being one person make a difference? By God's grace, with His strength and the power of teamwork, we can do the job--but we have to start somewhere. Little by little we do what we can, and try not to get discouraged. If we all do something, we can get the job done.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Today as I was cleaning our house, I was thinking how blessed we are to be in our new place of residence--it is so quiet, and we have so much more privacy now. It is nice to be able to unload groceries without having to cross heavy traffic, and Rebekah and Leanna enjoy being able to ride their bikes, walk the dog, etc. on our dead end street.

We are on the southeast side of the island, about 10 minutes south of Santa Cruz, and it is amazing how much different the climate is here than where we were living before in the north. It is very dry, and much sunnier and hotter. I am not so crazy about the warmer temperatures, but we went out and bought a few fans and it is much better. It isn't the humid type of heat that makes you feel miserable.

We are getting things put away pretty quickly--many hands make light work. Now we just need to hang curtains and pictures, and I will be very happy : )

The last place to get organized is the garage....but that is Doug's domain. His office and books are down there and he has very specific ideas how he wants it. I don't mind--every man should have somewhere to call his own and do as he pleases with the space. He pretty much lets me decorate the rest of the house. The garage is very nice and light--it will be a great place for him to get away and study, write sermons, and be alone with the Lord.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Taking a Break

Today is the first day in a long time that I have been able to sit down for a minute and write a blog entry. Moving is such a big job, but somehow we survived. We started packing things several weeks ago and got the moving truck last Friday night. It took five men to get the piano down the stairs from our upstairs apartment, but fortunately it didn't need to go up any stairs at our new house.
Doug made about four trips with the rental truck and numerous other trips with a small work van that he borrowed from a friend. Yesterday we all went to the old apartment to give it a final cleaning--that was the hardest job of all as I wanted to leave it in excellent shape, so Hannah, Jenny, Rebekah and I scrubbed all the walls to try and get off all the marks. I am so wiped out from yesterday that today I am trying to take it a little easier
I will post pics as soon as I get things a little more how I want them to look. We really like being here, it is so much more quiet and peaceful.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Suffer the Little Children

Jesus loves children. That is why we are trying to reach out to them here in the Canary Islands. First we started a Bible Club for kids called "Amigos," and just yesterday my daughter Jenny decided she would start a Sunday school for the children who have been coming to our church services. I appreciate her motivation and energy--I will have to take her place when she leaves to go back to college in the fall but right now she is giving me a reprieve from my duties. Both she and Hannah stayed up late Saturday night making posters, copying songs into Spanish and studying the Bible lesson. Jenny speaks pretty good Spanish and is putting it to good use here.

We were so thankful that our neighbor Evelyn was able to come to church with us. She is a great friend of Rebekah and Leanna and we will miss her when we move next week, but hopefully she will continue to come to our Bible club during the week. Doug gave her a Bible, and she told him today that she has already read seven chapters. Please keep her in your prayers.

Monday, June 30, 2008

How to Overcome Poverty

My dad sent me this quote from Thomas Edison, and it is so true that I wanted to share it on my blog.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Ever since we started our church in the city, right across the street from the city mission for the homeless, the Lord has all0wed us to minister to some people from the streets. We are thankful for this opportunity, as the Lord said that they that are whole need not a physician, but those who are sick. So we try to encourage these people to see that their biggest need in life first is the spiritual, and that the Lord can give them a new life, free from addictions and the lifestyle of sin.

Another great need here is for these people to become responsible for their actions. This is the difficult part. Many have no job skills, or lack legal papers to "officially" work in the Canary Islands, but must work in the underground economy doing construction, cleaning houses, etc. Sometimes it is hard to know when God would want us to help them by providing basic needs, or when we need to back off and let them learn how to become less dependent on others by teaching them the value of hard work and other life skills. We want to have the Lord's direction on this, and not have hearts of stone that becomes indifferent to the needs of the people God has given us to reach, yet also teach them that it is rewarding to work and see how the Lord can prosper those who are willing to obey Biblical principles.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dancing, Singing, and Shouting

There was a huge worship service tonight in Spain and its provinces. No, not the kind of worship service you would normally think of in church. This was a huge gathering, in the stadium, and in the bars, coffee shops, and homes of millions of Spaniards and Europeans. Tonight was the final game of the Euro Cup, and Spain won. The people are celebrating, filled with joy, dancing in the streets here, singing songs of victory. They are passionate about their team--just as many Americans would be at the Super Bowl or World Series. Too bad they don't get excited about God like they do something so temporal as sports. Unfortunately, that is the god they worship. I don't mean to sound self-righteous, as once in a while my husband enjoys a good soccer game or sports event. The sad part is that most of these people spend all their time and energy devoted to the temporal, and when you try to tell them the good news that Jesus died for their sin and rose again so they can have eternal life, it is very difficult to get them too excited.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where is Everyone?

Last evening, Jenny and I went in to Santa Ursula where we usually take a walk in the park because it is the only place in town that is flat--and normally the beautiful walking park is filled with walkers and joggers--but last night it was totally empty. I didn't have to worry about men running me over from behind for once. The streets were empty too. Seemed kind of eerie and strange to me, but then I figured out where everyone was.

On our way home the streets filled again, but horns were blowing and firecrackers going off. No, it isn't a national holiday, but almost--you see, Spain just defeated Russia in the Euro 2008 Semi finals, and here in Spain and many other European countries, futbol, or soccer--is more important than anything. Now Spain will play Germany. Doug told me that he is rooting for Germany (remember his heritage) but he better not tell anyone here that. They may kick him out of the country!