Saturday, July 28, 2007

Who's in charge?

Abi and I like to sit on our hammock and talk about life. Recently, I asked her if she had names for her toes. She said no, so I suggested some names for her toes--Bob, Frita, Leonard, etc.

She said, "No Daddy, they're our family!"

"Oh, so am I the big toe?"

"No, that's Mommy!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007


When I was a kid, we had a boat on the Ohio River. Because rivers have bends and curves, it's easy to run aground. When my dad let me drive, he advised me to keep my eyes on a point in the distance and aim for that point. That's been great advise for my life. I want to share some thoughts about the importance of purpose--living a "purpose driven life," and living toward a target. If you don't pick a target, you'll run aground. Your life will be, literally, "pointless." If you state that you have a target, but you're not making decisions to actually get there, you're like an arrow without feathers--flying fast through the air, but not any closer to the target. Living purposefully is one of the most important traits of a successful life and is, undoubtedly, the primary character trait of Jesus and the Apostle Paul.

Matthew 16:21-24 is just one example of Jesus knowing and living toward his purpose. In this passage, he defines part of our purpose; i.e., to follow him.

Mt 16:21-24: From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

We received our call to Peru in December of 2003. It's been a long haul since then. I knew when we received the call, that it would be about 4 years before we actually made it to the field. It became a target in the distance and we've been living "toward" it ever since. There are a lot of opportunities to "run aground" in four years. But, thankfully, the Holy Spirit's job is to keep us afloat. I'm grateful that we're now able to see the light at the end of this long tunnel. Lord willing, we'll be in Peru shortly. Purpose, in life, is like the rings of a target. There's often more than one ring--though they all circle around or point to the center point. For us, the center point is Jesus and the advancement of the kingdom by preaching the Gospel. For us, the rings around this center will be working with Latin America Childcare, teaching, preaching, evangelizing, hosting teams and falling in love with the people of Peru.
(The pictures: 1) My beloved Ohio River, taken from Eden Park. 2) Colton shooting an arrow at a Royal Ranger camp-out here in Costa Rica. Shooting an arrow gives you a great idea of how important it is to keep your eye on the target and how easy it is to lose your arrows in the weeds.)


Abi is by far the cutest missionary on the Shrader team. She'll turn 3 in a few weeks. Three is one of my favorite ages because kids say ridiculous and cute things. Since she's not three yet, she's just now starting to say funny things. Before now, she's made up for her tiny vocabulary with a mighty attitude. It's clear that Abi and Will have an edge on the rest of us with regard to learning Spanish. Tonight, Abi said to me (in Spanish), "You're Daddy! Papa and Daddy. And, Mommy is Mama and Mommy!" Lena laughed and said, "I wondered how long it would take her to figure out that she's speaking two languages."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Covetousness is like an itchy welt

Covetousness is like the type of mosquito bite that leaves a huge welt and itches for days. We don't have a car in Costa Rica. We walk or take taxis, which makes our experience much closer to that of the average Costa Rican. Most of the time it's no problem, but it does require one to think and plan ahead. I've always loved cars and have owned one or more for the past 30 years--until we arrived in Costa Rica. So, for the fun of it, we rented a car this past weekend. Since there are 6 in our family, we needed something more than a small sedan. The nice minivans were all rented, so we ended up in a 2002 Kia Joice. It's the size of a Toyota Corolla with seating for 7. It was an old, run-down, undependable rental car--and I loved it! When it was time to turn it in, it hurt. Having the car for two days gave me a taste for car freedom. It whet my appetite for more. Now I'm left with the nasty, itchy welt that I mentioned before. In a few days, the welt will disappear and the itch will fade away. There's a reason why the Lord forbids covetousness in his list of the big 10--it robs one of joy and clouds your vision from seeing all the wonderful gifts you already have.

Journey to Granada Nicaragua

Every 90 days, we have to cross the border in order to renew our visas for Costa Rica. This month, we visited Granada Nicaragua. It was my favorite town, so far, in Central America. It had the rustic charm of a Spanish outpost from 200 years ago. It also had a discotech playing Mexican polka music late into the night. Charm and polka--it doesn't get any better than that! There's a huge lake near Granada, with 2 Volcanoes in the lake. For a much better view of the pictures, along with my comments about each, please visit:

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Machu Pichu--7 Wonders of the World

The New 7 Wonders of the World have been voted on by people all over the world and Machu Pichu is on the list.

Here is a link to an lovely MSN slide show of the 7 wonders. All are amazing. The statue of "Christ the Redeemer" in Brazil is really inspiring. There is a copy of it in Peru, though it isn't as impressively situated over a major city.

Machu Pichu from MSN Travel: "Rediscovered in 1911 and believed to be the legendary "lost city of the Incas", the dramatic ruins of Machu Picchu, set high in Peru's Andes Mountains, are the only significant Incan site to remain unharmed by the 16th-century Spanish conquistadors. Theories about the site's role in the Inca Empire continue to inspire intellectual curiosity, but its stunning landscape—the way the limestone temples, steep terraces, and aqueducts complement the land, in keeping with the Incan veneration of nature, and the way daybreak slowly creeps over the majestic peaks, unveiling the ruins stone by stone—is what makes Machu Picchu one of the most spectacular sights in South America—and the world over."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Peru--Stark & Beautiful Slideshow

This is a slideshow I put together a while back about the geography, economy and people of Peru. I'm posting it here as a little reminder of where and why we're going. Now that we've hit the half-way point of our language school studies, we're getting mighty eager to be in the land of God's calling. To control the slide show, just click on the pictures. To see a larger & slower version, so you can actually read the slides, click on this link:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cool facts about Peru

Some cool trivia tidbits about Peru: (adapted from

The Lima bean is Peruvian.

The tomato, taken to Europe by the Spaniards, is Peruvian.

The potato: More than 5.000 varieties of potatoes originated in Peru, some of which were taken to Europe by the Spaniards around 1560 and by the English around 1580.

Quinua, a high-protein grain with more than 25 varieties, is Peruvian.

The Paso horse—it has a very funky gate, whereby it throws its feet out to the side, rather than in front.

Alpaca (a type of llama) are Peruvian.

The finest cotton in the world is Peruvian: Pima and Tanguis.

Peru has some of the best waves to surf in the world. (Seen somewhat in the photo of Lima, above).

Peru has 468 different dishes, which according to The Guinness Book of World Records is the largest variety in the world.

The weeping willow tree, which contains a component that is the base for aspirin, is Peruvian.

The University of San Marcos (in Lima), established in 1551, is the oldest University in the Americas.

In Peru there are more than 50 mountains over 6,000 m.a.s.l. (19,685 >ft.)

84 of the 103 ecosystems that exist in the world are in Peru.

4 of the ten cereals that exist in the world are native to Peru. The quinoa, maize, cañihua, and kiwicha. The latter has been considered by NASA as an important element in an astronauts diet.

ANTAMINA, the largest mine in the world, is located in Peru's central highlands.

Lake Titicaca, shared by Peru and Bolivia, is the highest navigable lake in the world.

The official government gazette, El Peruano, is the oldest daily in South America. It was founded in 1825 by Simón Bolívar.

28 different types of climates develop in Perú, placing it among the 5 most biologically diversified countries in the world.

In the Oriental Andes region one can find more than 2,800 varieties of orchids, of which 2,000 have been classified to date.

The Peruvian ocean offers 700 different varieties of fish and 400 varieties of shellfish.

It’s the oldest habitat for humans in the western hemisphere; i.e., the oldest mummies and archaeological finds are Peruvian. The oldest mummy in the Americas is called “Señor of Sipán.” It is only comparable to that of Tutankamon in Egypt.

The Nazca lines located app. 460 km south of Lima.

And without any doubt "MACHU PICCHU."