Friday, June 29, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Climbing Mountains

LIFE LESSONS: Climbing Mountains

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2

My hubby’s family decided to build a church in memory of his father, Rev. Glenn Spaulding. After years of serving in missions, he was deeply moved by the needs in Haiti. He oftened spoke about their need for places of worship. Listening to his heart spurred us to serve.

 Plans were made and all was ready. A month before the journey, civil unrest was so severe that travel was not safe. The trip was cancelled. But God rerouted us.

An urgent need was discovered in Guatemala. Like Haiti, there had been serious uprisings in the mountains. Our denomination had established an orphanage for children who were roaming the hills. Their parents had been murdered by rebels. A dormitory was desperately needed. I boarded the plane excited about what the Lord had in store. My life was changed forever.

After arriving in Guatemala City, we were directed to a holding spot to wait for our bus. The bus was BIG! Too big to be traveling these very narrow roads. We traveled for hours, climbing higher. We were warned about the dangers of traveling these mountains: gun-toting rebels, no room to pass another vehicle, and curves too sharp to see around the bend. The Bible calls these “perils of every kind”. Looking out the window brought instant anxiety. Only a few feet of berm separated the bus from the cliff’s edge. There were no side rails! It was straight down, girly!

We were only a few thousand feet above the valley. The guys were laughing. Great timing! To me this was serious business. No time for folly! Only time for prayer. I quietly cried to the Lord, “HELP ME!” He quietly spoke, “FEAR NOT!”

Peace stilled my heart. Finally, our driver told us we were near our destination, Hogar Del Nino, Home of the Child. Then he said, “Listen.”

A hush fell over the crowded bus. Singing! We heard singing as we rounded the bend. Then, we saw hundreds of children lining the dirt road. Ragged, dirty, shoelessly awaiting our arrival. Tears rolled down my cheeks. The children were smiling, singing and welcoming us to their new home. Getting off the bus, I looked at these children, imagining their journey through the mountains. Heartache, pain, and suffering. Thirst and hunger. Loneliness and fear. Yet, they arrived with a song! They had found a safe place. Arms of love embraced them. Grace was found.

This is a familiar journey to me. Just like these precious children, I have traveled dangerous roads, climbed rocky mountains. I’ve faced trials along the way but my Savior came to my rescue. Facing perils of every kind, I’ve claimed God’s promise in Romans 8: 37, “We are more than conquerors.”

Just as He took care of these children on their journey, He has cared for me! And I know He will care for you. As we walk, run, slip, and fall along the road of life, let’s keep a song in our hearts and on our lips! Let’s reach out a hand to help each other up.
In Ps: 121, God promises that when our journey is in the mountains, He is there to help us. He won’t let us fall. He watches and protects us and He knows where we are!

This is my favorite poem. As you read it, take time to reflect on your journey. Thank God for the mountains you have climbed, for lessons learned. Look for His grace in your current situation. And SING!

“For every hill I had to climb
For every stone that bruised my feet
For all the dust and dirt and grime
For blinding storms and burning heat
My heart sings but a joyful song
These were the things that made me strong.”


It's a pleasure to introduce you to Toni. Our paths have crossed in many arenas over the years, most of which were ministry opportunities. I know for a fact that she cares deeply about others and loves to serve God.

Toni has been married to Dave for 43 years and a pastor's wife for 32 years. They have two married children, Dawn and Jonathon, and four grandchildren.

Toni has been the owner/operator of Curves in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, for the past 12 years. Curves has been an amazing ministry opportunity, allowing her to reach out to women in need. She also serves as Director of Women’s Ministry at Mount Vernon First Church of the Nazarene.

She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!
Thank you Toni! We look forward to hearing more from you this summer! ~~Cindy


  1. Thanks for that reminder- we tend to forget

  2. So touching, Toni. You took us right there with you. A great reminder of how small our mountains are in comparison to what others face. Thank you!


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