Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Top 10 of 2011

The Shrader Family’s 

Top 10 of 2011

Greetings Friends & Family!

Dr. Bill & his lovely bride
Each year it is Lena’s practice to put together a Top 10 list of the year.   As we say goodbye to 2011, we have much to celebrate:

10.  Bill graduated with his doctorate in Leadership and celebrated his 50th birthday with a rollicking, crazy, bigger-than-our-wedding party.  Our dear friends and long-term supporters, the Wolfs, hosted it all, and made several runs for more food.  Many friends came from far away, and it was such a touching moment in our lives.  We will never forget it.

9.  The Shrader Family made it back to Peru on time and by the moving of God’s hand in our favor.  Though our missions support was below our projections, God spoke that we were to trust Him to get back on time and by a miracle.  We did and He did—using our circumstances to put His “amen” on our return.  I am so thankful for a God who takes us to the rollercoaster edge of faith and then comes through.  Thanks, also, to all who have partnered with us!

Bill with LACC kids in Peru

8.  We were home through all of the crucial moments in my dad’s illness and in his consequent home going.  It is hard to explain to anyone who has not lived overseas how excruciating it is to think that important family moments are clicking by without you, and that you are missing your own history.  Of course, God is in control and brought us home at just the right time.  I was with my dad, Sam Bellitto, when he went to meet the Lord.  His last words to me were on his birthday, February 17th.  I had plopped myself on his bed in a funny way to try to lighten up the situation, and he responded with a fuzzy, “Hi, Honey!”—the way he always did.  Never, ever, ever have I questioned my dad’s pleasure in my presence.  Now I know what a gift that is.

7.  Bill and I celebrated 20 wonderful years together. Our marriage, like our calling, has been a blessed adventure.

Colton & Hannah
6.  Hannah continues to soar musically.  Hannah continues to grow musically and makes us very proud with her accomplishments.  We love to hear her lead worship—she ushers in the Presence of the Lord in an amazing way—displaying an anointing that goes beyond talent.  I think of the days when I twirled her around during worship because I wanted her to love experiencing God, and my heart overflows with thanksgiving.

5.  Colton becomes a handsome young man, but “keeps his head on straight.”  Colton has grown into an enviable adolescence.  He got a lot of attention from girls in the States, but kept his eyes on the Lord and had a great testimony in our public school system.  He is a wise young man and uses his gifts to influence others for the Lord.  He’s also passed the requirements for the President’s physical fitness award.

4.  Will survives two school transitions and displays great rhythm.  Will enjoys riding his brother’s skateboard and displays natural rhythm playing the bongos. He loves to read (especially super hero stories and Calvin and Hobbes). Previously he struggled to speak Spanish, but he has good comprehension—surprising us when we heard him translating a Spanish children’s book for his little sister.

3.  Abi holds her ground and re-enters Spanish world.  Abi was the best Spanish speaker in the family when we left Peru for the States, but she suffered the most upon our return—having forgotten most of it.  Our first Sunday back in Peru, she had tears streaming down her face and said, “I don’t understand what they’re saying!” She has been a trooper and is regaining much of the Spanish she lost. Nothing touches me like when one of our kids does something brave. 

2.  The Shrader family got to enjoy being home—including snow, blueberries, and American food—but mostly FRIENDS AND FAMILY! 

1. The Shrader family got to return to Peru—including sand, llamas, and Peruvian food—but mostly the blessed adventure of walking with Christ! We’re excited about what God is doing as we preach, teach and direct Latin America ChildCare in Peru. Thanks to LACC and the Wonderful Ohio Women (WOW) of the Assemblies of God for raising funds to build a new High School in Catacaos. Thanks also to the many teams who are coming down to join us in the blessed adventure that is shaping up for 2012!

With much love in Christ,

Lena & Bill Shrader

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Yellow Underwear and a Lucky New Year!

Years ago, a friend asked me if it was true that Peruvians wear yellow underwear to celebrate New Year's. The answer: Yes! It is supposed to bring good luck, though whenever I've worn yellow underwear it's been because of unlucky circumstances. Perhaps being below the equator reverses all of that. Yesterday (New Year's Eve) we went shopping and saw underwear vendors out on the streets, hawking their "wears" for all those needing some fresh luck for the new year.

May God bless your new year regardless of what you're wearing!