Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post

Hello all! If it seems like it’s been months since we’ve made contact and updated this blog it’s because it actually HAS been months.  I AM working on a recap of some of the highlights, but in the meantime, I am so happy to present our first-ever-post on this blog by a guest!!! Two friends from our church back home, Melissa and Ben, came to visit us this month!!  Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Melissa after a nice three week visit. :(  It helps to ease the pain having Ben around until the beginning of October, but we all miss Melissa’s sweet, fun presence around here!  I love the intention with which she engages people in conversation.  She asks great questions, and is transparent and open in her own answers.   Melissa is quick to...

Quick update!

Quick update!

If you read through the last blog posts, you might recall us asking for prayer for Orlando who was spiritually in a state of actively seeking God, but not yet ready to surrender to Him completely.  About three days after that post, Orlando shared that he was ready to receive the gift of salvation and is now a brother in Christ.  What a joy it is to know one day we will be together with him worshiping the Lord together!!  Thank you to all who prayed for him, please continue to lift him up as the Spirit leads you. Camille made a celebratory, so-glad-we’re-brothers-and-sisters-in-Christ cake, and we had a little get together to celebrate this new life in Christ. We continue to meet weekly with Simon and Amalia, and Orlando and Yamilet for a Bible Study...

A Long, Long-overdue Post, part 2

A Long, Long-overdue Post, part 2

Here are some random highlights of life around here the past month or two: Here’s the vegetable stand we go to every week for our produce.  This is what it looks like empty, right before they begin unloading the truck on Tuesday mornings. Here are some South African friends, Steve and Di, with whom we love spending time.  We love visiting with them on their sailboat or having them over and I have to tell you, the most delicious meals come out of this little galley and into our bellies.  Amazing!  Have I ever mentioned how much we love South Africans???  Ethan took most of these photos: More fun times with Steve and Di and good friends Chris and Pam, people who make our life here richer!   And more gourmet foods from Di’s kitchen. ...

A Long, Long-overdo Post part 1

A Long, Long-overdo Post part 1

Well, I confess that it’s been so long since we’ve written a blog update, I had to go back and re-read what we’d already written to even know where to begin!  I will attempt to set aside my predisposition for giving way too much detail and summarize the past few months as briefly as I can. At the end of October, our beloved friends who are more like family, Seth, Janelle and their three kids returned to the States to relocate to a new surgical position in the NW.  Our kids felt the pain of saying goodbye to these precious friends…and of course, so did Bobby and I!  I can’t overstate the fact that when you are in community with “soul” brothers and sisters, it’s beautiful.  It’s whets my appetite for deeper,...

In The US

In The US

Hello family and friends! We made it home after a really long but really smooth two days of travel from Panama! The kids were beyond excited as the day to leave approached.  Even Ethan actually seemed to understand the concept that we had to get on a total of one boat, three planes and a few car rides before arriving at our final destination, our favorite airport in the world, PDX. Stunning Mt. Hood as we prepared to land in Portland! The beauty of the Northwest! Here is what was waiting for us on the other side of the security check point after getting off of the plane. I wish you could hear the cheer and hoots that accompanied this Welcome Home crowd! So...

5-7-12-28-14

5-7-12-28-14

Random numbers, wouldn’t you say?  No, they aren’t plays from a football playbook or an old combination to my high school locker. ;)  God really knows what this little family of five needs and in the past few months we’ve experienced living in community with 7, then 12, then 28 and now 14.  Community living is great.  It’s hard, it’s rewarding, it’s complicated and stretching yet in many ways much more efficient, simple and fun.  God hones and shapes us and gets to the deeper, “meatier” parts of us that aren’t always exposed and are more easily kept hidden.  It isn’t about God trying to expose us in front of others so that we feel shame.  It’s about iron sharpening iron and revelation for...

Nana y Papa y Noviembre

Nana y Papa y Noviembre

Much to our delight, my parents made a trip to visit us for two weeks in November.  Because of the uncertainty of my dad’s health, Mom thought it best not to share the news of their plans to come down with the kids, just in case they had to cancel plans at the last minute.  With much prayer support behind them, a wonderful doctor’s kit filled with “in case of” meds, and armed with gifts and goodies, they arrived a day earlier than we expected (yay for no night-stay in Panama City!), and here is the reaction of the girls… I (Shirlene) put a movie on for them to avoid any early detection of my parents as they came up the walkway. I let my mom and dad in, and they walked into the room where the girls were watching their movie.  It...

Oh Glorious Day!

Oh Glorious Day!

Oh Glorious Day! Many of you know that my parents are about to board a plane to begin to the journey down here to see us.  Oh glorious day!  I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am!!  We left PDX airport in the middle of March, making a stop-over in Virginia to say goodbye to dear friends, and arrived in Panama on March 29th.   It’s been 7 ½ months since we’ve seen any of family “in the flesh” and in the words of our Bella, “that is just too long, Mommy!”  I agree.  One of the downfalls to having a wonderful, loving family, in case you were wondering, is that when you are apart from them, the pain is much greater! Because of Dad’s uncertain health (he’s been living with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for over 25 years now, a beautiful miracle...

Panamanian Food

Panamanian Food

This is Shirlene, blogging yet again about, you guessed it…FOOD!  It seems I am unable to refrain myself from sharing more about food and all things “food” related. It’s amazing to me how varied foods can be from one place to the next.  I’ve been wanting to learn what a true Panamanian meal looks like and to learn how to make it, from the time we arrived.  A simple undertaking you might think, or so I did, however I found this was no small feat.   I naturally learned that rice, beans, seafood and chicken were staples to their diet locally.  When I asked some of the indigenous what a typical meal looked like, however, they stared back at me, rather blankly.  So I prompted, “what do you eat for breakfast, for instance, and...

Ouch!

Ouch!

Warning:  this post is not for the faint of stomach and includes some photos that might be graphic for young eyes. Sore throats, poop, blood and more blood…yesterday was a doozy of a day! As some of you know I have been fighting what appears to be something like Strep throat so my throat is incredibly sore, I’ve had a low grade fever for a couple of days, been mostly useless around here so I finally started taking some antibiotics and am waiting to start to feel a lot better. So yesterday morning I was feeling pretty crummy.  I am so thankful to have Liz here who made lunch for the family and dinner too!  I was in the kitchen when Ellie calls to me from their room, “Quick Mommy, come here!”  Upon entering the room, what do I find but...

In the city of David…

In the city of David…

…a child is born.  Somewhere there I’m sure this is true as David is the second largest city in Panama.  We took a trip South to visit David and spent three nights there.  Dale and Kimberly from the local YWAM base were kind (and brave) enough to make the trek with the 5 of us!  Our journey began with a 25 minute boat ride to the mainland town of Almirante where we then caught a bus to travel across the country, nearly to the Pacific coast.  It sounds like a long trip when I say, “travel across the country” doesn’t it?  This country happens to be a lot smaller than the one we hail from, so it’s not as impressive, but the journey there still felt long and I will elaborate, as usual. Let’s talk a little about the...

Tortillas & Miracles

Tortillas & Miracles

  Tortillas and miracles…sometimes they are one and the same. A lot of you know that home made corn tortillas are a staple for my family back home.  Many a kind Mexican woman has attempted over the years to help we Sonntag girls learn the art of corn tortilla making.  Camille particularly put forth a lot of effort into studiously applying the many principles offered by these women.  We had many failed attempts over the years and eventually, success!  Now that we know what principles seem to work (most of the time), and because the ingredients are simple (special corn flour, regular flour and water), tortillas are something we make quite regularly. The Maseca corn flour, though readily found in our area of Washington state,  is not something that...

Shirlene’s First Blog Entry

Shirlene’s First Blog Entry

How’s that for a title? :)  Bobby and I have both pretty much always considered ourselves “non-blog” people.  I enjoy reading things other people post and like everyone, I have my favorites.  You and I both know there are those really talented bloggers out there and those tend to be the ones I find the most entertaining and my mind finds great delight in.  Those are the bloggers that could be writers and aren’t, you know the the ones I’m talking about.  They write mind tantalizing posts with just the right amount of wit, humor, creative writing and interesting facts that your mind just gobbles up what has been written and you’re left feeling a little more informed, a little more inspired, and a little more alive inside. ...