Five Years with Cristina

Starting the month of March I decided it would be a celebration month. I didn’t decide what to celebrate, but wanted to find something every day. Today is very special. I only have two hours left. I haven’t been able to write before because Thursdays is my day to do my weekly Spanish story. The story included the Remembrance Circle, so it took all day.

Don’t worry. It’s coming in English, too!

But now I want to celebrate that Christina has worked with me for five years. Cristina is my Assistant. Yesterday was her birthday, so she had the day off. I don’t remember ever getting a day off for my birthday, but that doesn’t hinder me in doing it for others. I worked on my birthday, but then I’m a workaholic. Id’ rather call it a “work lover.”

Five years ago was not a happy birthday for Cristina. She had been dismissed from her job and was walking the streets of Lima in desperation. Did I say that she is from Peru? We work via Skype!

Cristina had been doing some drawings for my children’s stories on a volunteer basis. I had secretly wished that she could work full-time for me, but I figured that since she had her job that was not feasible.

Why she called me, I don’t know. I guess she just needed someone to talk to. So she confided in me about her situation. I did some quick calculations in my head, and figured that if I continued getting the freelance work I had, I could hire Cristina. So I asked if she wanted to work for me.

Then are there, five years ago, over the phone, from Springfield, Missouri to Lima, Peru I hired her. Little did I know the devastation that would hit me the next day. It came like a hurricane! Due to a misunderstanding, I was informed that there would be no more freelance translations from the source I was counting on.

I don’t have words to describe the range of emotions that battled inside me. What would I do? I prayed to my Father and told him I could not let Cristina go, that it would not be fair to get her hopes up one day and scatter them the next one. Since my ministry is a work of love for Jesus I would trust him to provide some other way.

Did God ever provide! I was offered a translation job by another publishing house; a job that fitted me to the tee, to translate children’s curriculum. I was given a three-year contract, and they paid me one year in advance!

To tell you the whole story would be too long (it’s somewhere in the old blogs). Let me say that those three years turned into five. Now the projects are done and there is no more work. So I am back where Cristina and I started. I write yearly contracts with her. But I will not doubt God’s provision. At the end of this month we will sign a new contract. We have too many ideas and projects to quit. Your prayers would be appreciated.

Cristina has a little niece called Alejandra, Ale for short. She has been our model these past years, to show some of the projects. I put together a little collage. Ale’s participation is an extra bonus. Here is a picture of Ale and Cristina on Ale’s first day of school, entering first grade. She loves her uniform!

Cristina and Alejandra

And here is a collage of some of her modeling volunteer jobs!

After five years of working from one country to another Cristina and I have finally come to an understanding about scheduling and reporting (it has not been easy). We have overcome the difficult hurdles in communication. I love that girl! I especially appreciate that she is very particular in doing a good job. She makes me look good!

I just wanted to give a little testimony to the glory of God. I prayed diligently for him to send me an artist. God has sent me two! I will have to tell you another day about the miracle of Ab-Shalom, the man who soon will have illustrated the entire Bible for me!

Do you have a need? Do you have a secret desire? Don’t lose heart! If God could do these miracle for me he surely can do much more for you! Be diligent in prayer. Nothing is impossible for our God.

To celebrate five years with Cristina is a miracle. I’m excited to see how the next five years are going to come together. We’ll take it one year at a time. One story at a time. One illustration at a time. One prayer at a time.

I am Kerstin.

My Assistant is Cristina.

Both names have the same origin.

They come from Christian.

Swedish “Christian” and Peruvian “Christian”

make a pretty good team!

We are in it for the cause of Christ!

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Ten Years Cancer Free

This is a day of remembrance! Seventy-two years ago I saw the light. I thought about writing “72 and still going strong” for the title, but opted for the celebration of ten years CF = Cancer Free.

CF makes me think of the three decades of my life when our family lived with cystic fibrosis. I will write about that later this month when it comes time to celebrate the life of my first-born (see the upper left corner of the picture below).

I’ve made a circle of remembrance for this month, leading up to the glorious Day of Resurrection. I’ll expand on that in an up-coming blog. Today I’m using the circle to remember my life, to reflect on God’s never-ending mercies, and to rejoice because of the hope of glory. The best is yet to come!

Left side, top to bottom:

  1. My first Mother’s Day with my first-born Eva-Marie, 1970
  2. With my grandchildren, the year of cancer treatment, 2008
  3. Our little missionary family, photo taken in Sweden 1973

Right side, top to bottom:

  1. Holding the “globe” to signify reaching children around the world, 2011
  2. My Royal Palm World Mission blog: MX1414.
  3. Television program for children in Huancayo, Peru, 1966

Jesus is in the center of my life. I have loved him since I was a child. I love him more every day. My greatest desire is to reach others with the message of his love.

The first birthday greeting this time I received on social media came with this message, one of my favorite passages of the Bible:

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
                                              Psalm 103:1-5

I will never forget all God’s benefits. If you want to read testimonies of my life, look under the category MY LIFE.

I’ve celebrated birthdays in six different countries: Sweden, Chile, Canada, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, and the USA. The most exciting and unexpected one was the time God made my leg grow. I had not even asked for it! I’ve written about it in a story for children. Have you read it?

Read here:  70 The Leg that Grew

Ten years ago this day was not a very happy one. I had lost my husband a few month earlier and I was in the middle of aggressive cancer treatment. I was living in Springfield, Missouri and my daughter and her family were in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. It was a lonely and painful time. I thank God for my friend Majetta, who took me to the treatments. God had told her to stand alongside me.

During that lonely year, sunshine broke through. God gave me my precious granddaughter Sarah. She has brought so much joy to my life.

I’m sharing these pictures as I remember what was and how pathetic I looked. Cancer is not fun. But by God’s grace I’ve been free from that devastating disease for ten years. I have reason to celebrate!

You don’t have cancer? You have not had cancer? You have double the reason to celebrate.

It was during that most dark time in my life that the brightest light shone through.  Apart from the birth of precious Sarah, something was birthed in my heart! I was given the assignment to put all my Bible lessons and stories online for free download. And that is what I’ve been doing ever since!

I Remember, I Reflect, and I Rejoice! I have a constant reminder of where I’ve come from. The neuropathy in hands and feet will not let me forget. But here I am, ten years later, still going strong. It’s all by the grace of God. I’m proud and happy to be 72. It’s a number I see if I check the calendar. But my heart is young. Not a day past 20!

As a testimony of what has been and where I am today, I greet you with a smile. I praise God for giving me one more birthday celebration!

I’m a blessed 72-years young missionary for life!

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Billy Graham, More Alive Than Ever

I just finished listening to Billy Graham’s funeral service. What a time of rejoicing! Such glory to have the hope of Heaven!

While still with us, this faithful servant of God said that if we heard he was dead, we should not believe it. It’s true! He is more alive today than ever!

One of the speakers said Billy Graham had given him this advice: “Don’t talk about yourself, talk about Jesus.” Yes, Jesus! Wonderful Jesus! He has been welcomed into the arms of Jesus. My welcome is awaiting. I have the same hope of glory. Do you have that hope?

Early this morning I was listening to accounts on Facebook about this man. I marveled that he laid in honor at our nation’s Capitol. Through this, the name of Jesus has been honored. What a national treasure we have in the memory of this servant!

His favorite Bible verse, his son Franklin said, was John 3:16. I was inspired through this to do an activity for Easter. Cristina, my assistant, will be working on it. Here is a preview. This verse is for sure the Bible in miniature. It has God’s message to us in a nutshell. This is what Billy Graham preached at every crusade.




WHOEVER believes.

(I will never forget these memorable dates. On my youngest brother’s birthday, Billy Graham went to heaven. The day of his funeral, one of my nephews was married. Just a little personal parenthesis!)

On FOX Network, Sunday March 4th, there will be a memorial program. 7-8 ET. If you have the opportunity to watch it, don’t miss it!

Jesus is coming soon! Be ready to meet him!

Eternity with Jesus is going to be awesome!

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I Wish You Peace

More than 350 times the word PEACE appears in the Bible. God is a God of Peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In the last discourse to his disciples, He left them peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:23

Every time Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, his greeting was “Peace be with you.”

In Ephesians chapter 2 we can read about Jesus, who “himself is our peace.”

The Gospel is a gospel of peace.

When Jesus was born the angels announced, “peace on earth.”

I received a card for Christmas a few years ago that carries the message of peace. I want to pass that message on to you. I love the card! The little red cardinal, perched on one of the letters, brings me a sense of peace.

Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:14

My late husband learned from his mother: “if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18). He was a man of peace.

I could go on and on; as I said there are more than 350 mentions of peace in the Bible.

The devil is a destroyer of peace. He is a liar! Don’t let him steal your peace.

Whatever you are struggling with today, “may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Jude 1:2

Finally, brothers,

  • ·       whatever is true,
  • ·       whatever is honorable,
  • ·       whatever is just,
  • ·       whatever is pure,
  • ·       whatever is lovely,
  • ·       whatever is commendable,

if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things… practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-10

Grace and peace be yours in abundance
through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1:2



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Anonther Hero of the Faith Called Home

The man who’s verse for life was Galatians 6:14, about not boasting except in the cross of Christ, has been called home.  Imagine what a welcome party there is in heaven!

As a teenager in Peru, in 1962, I met this man. I even have a photograph of him and my dad sharing some thoughts. This hero is Billy Graham.

Short of two month ago my personal hero of the faith finished his journey. In a week it will be two month since my dad left this earth. Ten and a half years ago my dear husband went to be with Jesus. The men I admired are not here anymore.

Who will pick up the mantle? That’s the question I had when finding the news on my Facebook page. And my thoughts went to Elijah and Elisha, two great prophets of God.

When Elijah sensed that it was his time to go, he said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.”

Elisha had seen the hand of God on this man and there was only one thing he wished for, so he said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”

He had asked for a hard thing, but if he saw Elijah being taken from him, it would come to pass. So, as they still went on and talked, “chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”

Then Elisha took up the cloak  that had fallen of Elijah. His question was, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then he did the same thing that Elijah had done, he struck the water at the bank of Jordan, and the water was parted, and Elisha went over.

The same God that was with the prophets of old, the God that was with the hundreds of millions that have gone before us, the same God is with us. His arm is not shortened.

“The Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear.” Isaiah 59:1

Elisha got his “double portion.” Read 2 Kings the beginning chapters and see some of the miracles performed by him. Even after his death there was a miracle.

Read it here: 2 Kings 13:20.

Billy Graham was called “God’s Ambassador.” He was a good and faithful ambassador. He wanted to be remembered as a faithful servant. Jesus has probably already taken his hand, welcoming him with the words, “You good and faithful servant.”

I have appointments to keep, or I would go on and on. Let me just mention some of the heroes of the faith, who have gone before. Others have picked up their mantles. I want to be one of those picking up Billy Graham’s mantle of bringing the Gospel to the world. You also can pick up the mantle!

  • The Apostle Paul, the missionary of all ages
  • Martin Luther, the reformator
  • William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions
  • William Tyndale, one of the many Bible translators
  • D.L. Moody, preacher and soul-winner
  • Amy Charmichael, who poured out her life for needy girls and boys in India
  • Kathryn Kulhman, a remarkable God’s servant

The list would go on, and on… but I have to keep my appointments.

Let’s pick up Billy Graham’s mantle and bring the love of Jesus to the world!



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Rooted and Grounded in Love

Yesterday I was going over time and again the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, that they would be rooted and grounded in love.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory

  • he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
  •  so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith—that you,
  •  being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to
  •  comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
  •  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
  •  that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

When we are rooted and grounded in love, our life will display the fruit of the Spirit and the qualities of Christian living, all to the glory of God (see Colossians 3:12-15).

Listening to a broadcast with Beth Moore in the evening, she elaborated on this theme, speaking of the importance of the soil in which the tree is planted. It has to be soft, so that the roots can penetrate and grow.

My assistant Cristina has made a tree to show the fruit you will display when you are rooted and grounded in love. I will include here all the different components. You can find the instructions for this tree in Tree of Love

This morning I received a very important call from one of the teachers that receives my teaching materials. To protect her privacy I will not mention the country or any detailed information. But a brief recount of our more than one-hour call may help someone.

I will call her Maria.

Maria was sad because the relation with her husband is deteriorating. They have talked about splitting up, and have even made a plan about what to do with the children. This was a very sad notice for me, and  I felt especially sad for the children. Any rupture in a marriage has very sad consequences.

My responsibility was to give her godly council. What should Maria do? Go ahead with the splitting? In no way, shape or form! I had the inspiration to tell Maria that she should start treating her husband as if he were Jesus. If Jesus walked in his shoes, how would she treat him? Of course, the first step was to swallow her pride!

I reminded Maria about how Jesus humbled himself, and was obedient to go to the cross. We are instructed to have the same mindset. When I was a young wife I also went through some rocky times. I attended a women’s Bible study where we learned to silently treat our husband as a king. We were not supposed to talk about anything we learned, just put it to practice! It worked. Kindness always works!

As we went on talking I told Maria about the Tree of Love, about being rooted and grounded in love. It’s one of the teaching aids I have on my home page, so she knew about it. Maria is going to print a big copy and put it on the wall, just like I have a copy on my wall. It is a sure reminder of what our lives should be, a tree full of the fruit of the Spirit.

After the long conversation with Maria she already had ideas in her head of what she is going to do. She and I are the kind of people who get bombarded with ideas!

Maria’s husband has not yet committed his life to Christ. Maria will show in action what the love of Christ looks like. She is probably in for a roller coaster ride. I warned her it might not be easy, but I am positive that there will be good results. God is a repairer and healer. He is not a destroyer but a restorer. He wants to mend what is broken.

Maybe if you have something going on in your life that is difficult and upsetting, try the approach of acting like Jesus would. How would he handle the situation? You might have seen the bracelet with WWJD. What Would Jesus Do? Ask him! I do it all the time. I have some things I’m debating about, and I ask him daily what he would do.

This is my greeting for the day. I hope you can take away something useful. Whoever it is that rubs you the wrong way, think about how you would treat the person if she was Jesus. Be rooted and grounded in love!

I’m excited about following Maria, to see the healing God will bring in her marriage. When we finished the phone call she sounded like a different person and she was ready to start practicing some new ideas that had popped in her head. When her husband comes home tonight, I know someone who is going to greet him with a smile. Who knows? Maybe he’ll get his favorite dinner!

Use this tree as a visual reminder of the fruit that God wants to reproduce in the lives of his children. Print the tree and put it in a strategic place in your home or classroom. Use it to teach about love. The deeper you are rooted in God’s love, the stronger and healthier your life will be.

Instructions:   tree-of-love-instructions

Choose from this different options:

If you use this in the Autumn, the leaves can be colored in beautiful fall colors.

Tree of Love   love-tree-1-pag-a-co    love-tree-1-pag-b-co

Tree of Love for coloring   love-tree-1a-bw    love-tree-1b-bw

Big tree of love   love-tree-big-co

Glue both pages together to make a big poster.

Big tree of love for coloring   love-tree-big-bw

Two trees per sheet   love-tree-2-pag-co

Two trees per sheet for coloring    love-tree-2-bw

Bookmarks  love-tree-bookmarks-co

Bookmarks for coloring    love-tree-bookmarks

Here is a blank tree. Children can fill in words themselves about love and acting lovingly. They can draw pictures in the leaves instead of writing words. The tree can also be used as an attendance booster. A child will color a leaf for each time she comes to class.

Blank tree    love-tree-blank    love-tree-big-blank

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Love Walked Among Them

It’s Valentine’s Day! In Spanish they call it the Love and Friendship Day. True to my “Spanish” heritage (although I’m Swedish) I was thinking this morning about friends I’ve had over the years, and how friends come and go.

I made a list in my Prayer Journal and offered a prayer for each one, most of them far away. Then I started thinking about my Best Friend, about how awesome it must have been to walk with him, all those 2000 years ago. I thought of Mary Magdalene. How she must have loved Jesus! I though of Susanna, Joanna, the other Mary’s, Martha… the list goes on. LOVE walked among them! God is love, so walking with the Son of God is walking with Love!

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. Luke 8:1-3 ESV

I picture myself with Jesus, strolling down the shores of Galilee, walking on the dusty roads of Judea, visiting the Temple in Jerusalem. Mary, Susanna, Joanna, and many others provided for Jesus “out of their means.” What a privilege!

I can only picture myself with the “flesh and blood” Jesus. I can only walk with him in my imagination. But I have Jesus with me every minute of the day. He lives with me and in me. My life is his. My house is his. My time is his. Everything is dedicated to him. He’s my Savior. He deserves everything!

How I wish I could be with him in person.

  • Enoch of old walked with God.
  • Abraham was God’s friend.
  • The disciples were Jesus’ friends.
  • David was a man after God’s own heart.
  • Noah pleased the Lord.
  • Moses talked to God face to face.
  • John had visions of Jesus.

LOVE walked among them.

James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon grew up with Jesus. He was their big brother! Jesus also had sisters. Mary and Joseph parented the Son of God. Awesome thought!

Today, when the world celebrates love, you can have the Author of Love with you and in you. Yes, Jesus walked among them 2000 years ago. But if you accept the Creator and Savior as your personal Savior, your Lord and Master, LOVE will walk with you!

Just a thought, wishing you a blessed and lovely day!


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