September 2017
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Archive for the ‘Sarie’s Scribbles’ Category

Going to Callao!!

Hilda and Irene

What do these two ladies have in common?  They are both from Iquitos, Peru, and they both go to church in Callao, Lima, Peru!  Matt met them a couple of Sundays ago.  I believe I wrote to you about Callao a while back.  Matt has been going every Sunday with Guido (Deaf).  Matt had started going with Guido because Frank (Deaf) had gone to Pulcallpa.  Frank came back from Pulcallpa this week, and a change was in order!  It was decided that Frank would go to with Matt to Callao this coming Sunday.  But it’s even better than that – the kids and I get to go with Matt and Frank this week to Callao!  It is looking like this will be a long-term arrangement, and I am so excited!  When Matt told me, Martha and Ian were standing close by….I started jumping up and down, and soon Martha was jumping up and down too!  I told her we were going to go with Daddy to Callao, and soon she was singing, “We’re going to Callao, we’re going to Callao!”  She really doesn’t know what it is all about, but it is a blessing to see her excited to serve the Lord with Mommy and Daddy!  I know that our excitement is contagious, and it was so funny to see her hopping up and down with no clue as to why she was hopping!

Guido teaching the Deaf


Matt teaching the Deaf








We look forward to being involved with God’s plan for the Deaf in Callao.  Please pray for us!  We will be visiting the Deaf in Callao this Saturday.  Please pray that God will open the doors and windows of Heaven and pour out His blessings on us, and on the Deaf of Callao!

A trip to the Market

Fruit Vendor from Belen

This man was so happy for us to take his picture.  He hadn’t been doing much of anything when we walked past.  We stopped to look at the fruit he was selling, and we asked him if we could take his picture.  He said yes and sprang into action!  That gray blur that you see in the picture is his “fly-swatter.”  I don’t think it would actually aid in diminishing the fly population, but it certainly would cause them to go elsewhere for the time being!

When I first started learning about Iquitos, I thought about how neat it would be to live in a city that can only be reached by boat or by plane.  And I’ll admit, that still holds a certain fascination for me!  But now when I think of Iquitos, I think mostly of all the people there – the people I met, the people I saw in passing, all the people who need Christ – like this fruit vendor.  I don’t know his name, but God does.  I have never been to his house, but God knows exactly where he lives.  God also knows where this man will live for eternity – who will share the Gospel with this precious soul?

Life on the River Itaya

We road on a boat called a “peque-peque” – the best way to describe it would be to say it is a john boat with a long outboard motor on it. (Matt can explain it better than I can!)  Up and down the river there are houses, businesses, and people everywhere.  They live, work, and play on the river.  The river is their life.  What they need most is the River Of Life – Jesus.  Again I wonder – who will reach these children for Christ?


Giant Cuy (Guinea Pig)

If you are hungry and very adventurous, you can find all kinds of things to eat in the Belen Market.  Since living in the Philippines, I have made it a personal rule to try everything at least once.  That rule has been a blessing to me and to the people I have lived and worked with.  Nothing captures the heart of the people more than for the missionary to eat their food and speak their language!  Having said that, I will now take you on a tour of what is available in the Belen Market for your dining pleasure!  This woman is selling Majas(Giant Cuy – a.k.a. Giant Guinea Pig).  I tried the Giant Cuy while we were there – not my favorite, but I would eat it again.  Not the type of meat your looking for?  How about a nice fresh turtle – and I mean fresh – he was still trying to get away when I walked by this stall!


Live Turtle


Escargot, anyone?







If your tastebuds are more refined, they have a fine selection of Escargot (Snails) awaiting you!  One lady was cooking Gusanos (Slugs) when I walked by.  Sorry!  I didn’t get a picture of that!  I kind of wish I had!


Fish of all Kinds!

If you prefer meat that is crispy and crunchy – chicharon is right for you! Simply buy the amount you want (in kilos, of course), take it home, and warm it up in a sauce pan.  You are now ready to add it to your mashed plantains or simply eat it by itself!


When you are ready for the familiar – there is an abundance of fish – fresh from the rivers!  We got to have “Paiche” while we were there.  ”Paiche” is the Spanish word for Arapaima – an Amazon river fish – said to be one of the largest fresh-water fishes in the world!  Yummy!

I hope you have enjoyed our little tour through the Belen Market!  If you ever come to visit, I promise not to feed you anything exotic unless you want to try it!  But remember – I’ll have to learn to cook it first!

White Unto Harvest


Growing up in church you hear certain verses preached often.  As a child or even as a young adult you don’t think of the reality of those verses.  This past week, I saw the reality of John 4:35, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your yes, and look on the fields; for they are white already unto harvest.”

This week I saw a city white unto harvest.  There are people everywhere in Iquitos.  The people there are very kind and friendly, but you could see in their eyes and in their faces the cry of Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”  Oh, yes – they have their religions, but their religions do not satisfy.  They have their amusements, but their amusements leave them empty and searching for the next thrill.  While we were there, I saw 5 Mormon buildings, and thought, “There is much being done for the devil, but what is being done for Christ?”

My heart is full this morning-Full of love for a city filled with people who deserve to hear the Gospel of Christ-Full of excitement to see all the open doors of opportunity that God has opened-Full of sadness to know that the cults are doing more than the Christians.

While we were there, we went to a part of the city known as Belen.  Belen was described to us as a modern-day “Sodom and Gomorrah.”  We found ourselves wondering, “Who is reaching the people of Belen for Christ?”  One day, we met an American at the ice cream shop.  Please pray for Mr. Walker.  He has a better opinion of Baptists now, but what he needs most is Christ.  Matt was able to witness to him, but he didn’t get saved that day.  On our last day in Iquitos, I met a young woman named Tani.  I bought a purse and a fan from her at her booth in the open-air Artisan market.  She was so kind and generous to me and my children.  She gave Martha and I each a bracelet and gave Ian a keychain.  We were able to leave a Gospel tract with her, but I was not able to witness to her.  As we left, the tears started flowing down my face as I wondered who would reach her with the Gospel.

Michael - Our Boat Guide

We have been told there are about 2,000 Deaf in Iquitos.  How will they hear the Gospel?  Tarapoto, another city about 3-4 hours away from Iquitos has about 500 Deaf.  How will they hear the Gospel?  I was ready to stay in Iquitos, but I want God’s perfect will, not my own emotional will!  We have prayed about this city for a long time, and we are continuing to pray.  We are waiting on the Lord to know His perfect will for us.  God gave us some wonderful opportunities this past week, and we are excited to see how the Lord will use those opportunities in the future.  In the meantime, we are busy with learning Spanish and Peruvian Sign Language.  We are determined to work for the Lord where He has put us now.

Matthew 9:37-38 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

His Unspeakable Gift

Good Morning!

I’ve been reading through 2 Corinthians during my quiet time and today I read 2 Corinthians 9.  Have you ever stopped to think about verse 15?  ”Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”  Did you ever find yourself wondering, “Just what IS His unspeakable gift?”  The first thing that naturally comes to my mind is my salvation.  How often am I truly thankful for my salvation?  Having grown up in a Christian home, it is sometimes easy to become complacent with my gift of salvation.  Then the Lord puts someone in my life to remind me how precious salvation should be to those of us who are saved.

As I read that verse this morning, I thought about the other “unspeakable gifts” that God has given to me.  I thought about my Bible and how so many people don’t have a Bible at all, and I am blessed to have one in English and one in Spanish.  I also have one in the States that is written in Cebuano!  My Deaf friend Claudia came to church again yesterday.  Please continue to pray for her salvation.  Pastor Antonio gave her a Bible from the church and asked me to write her name in it.  I saw that look of joy and wonder on Claudia’s face as I handed the Bible to her and she realized it was for her!  As I watched her accept that Bible, I thought, “When is the last time I felt that way about MY Bible?  Yes, I love my Bible, and I teach my children to love the Bible, but when is the last time I felt such overwhelming joy to know that my Bible is MINE?”

Unspeakable gift…..seeing a young man named Gianmarco….having the chance to say, “Thank you for letting God use you in my life.”  He may be struggling spiritually, but that doesn’t change the fact that God used Gianmarco in my life.  God used him to break my heart for the Deaf of Peru.  God used him to fill my heart with His unspeakable gift of love for the lost of Peru.

You know, today will be an especially busy day for us.  We have a meeting this morning at Interpol – this is for visas.  Then this afternoon we are taking our final test over Book 2 in Language School.  Sandwiched in between is all the “normal” activities of every day life.  We are also packing for our trip to Iquitos tomorrow!  Pray for us – I am so afraid we will oversleep and miss our flight!  What a blessed reminder 2 Corinthians 9:15 was to me this morning.  A reminder to always be thankful because really everything in my life is an unspeakable gift of God!

Map Making and Open Doors

This past Saturday found me employed once again as “Map-Maker Extraordinaire”!  Matt decided we needed a map of where all the Deaf that we know live in Lomas.  So, on the way home, as I held a sleeping Ian, I drew him a rough map of where the Deaf in Lomas live.  Now I need to get busy and get these maps transferred onto something more permanent than a 3×5 card!


I promised I would tell you about Claudia coming to church.  She came to church last Sunday.  Elena (Deaf) and I went to get her.  It was a dreary, rainy day last Sunday, but if you had seen the joy in Claudia’s face, you wouldn’t have thought any more about the weather!  She was so happy to come to church!  She had gotten up early and cooked lunch ahead of time for her family so she could come to church.  She doesn’t really know a lot of signs, but she sure had a great time at church!  She wasn’t able to come this past Sunday, but keep praying for Claudia.  Please pray also for her family.  She has five children (all grown up, I believe) that need the Saviour as much as she does.  Please pray for wisdom for us as we teach her the Bible, and for Claudia – that her spiritual eyes would be opened and she would be saved.

We have an open door God has set before us.  The city is Iquitos, Loreto, Peru.  You should look up Iquitos on Wikipedia – the city has a very interesting history.  I don’t have time or space to tell you all about this city, but here are some interesting things about Iquitos:  The population is 406,340 souls (Deaf and Hearing).  Included in this population is a Jewish community!  It is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road.  It can only be reached by airplane or by boat.  It is also the largest city in the Peruvian Rainforest.  It is surrounded by three rivers -  the Nanay, the Itaya, and the Amazon.  It is a major port city in the Amazon Basin.  What does all this have to do with us?

God has given us the opportunity to visit this city.  We will be leaving Lima on July 31 and returning on August 6.  Our language teacher is preaching in a Missions Conference there.  We are going with him and his wife.  We are excited to see all that God has for us on this trip.  Matt and I have been praying about this city for a long time.  I started praying about this city when I started praying for Matt as my future husband!  There is a Deaf church there, but it small and in need of some help.  We are waiting patiently (okay, I’m not so patient, but I AM working on it!) to see how the Lord will lead us concerning this city.

A couple of mornings ago, in my quiet time with the Lord, He drew my attention to a verse.  I was not searching for this verse to fit my plans and desires – it was in my Bible reading for that day.  I Corinthians 16:9 says, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”  Again this morning the Lord showed me another verse – “…and a door was opened unto me of the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 2:12b  We believe this door has been opened by the Lord.  There is absolutely nothing that we have done to try to open this door by ourselves.  It is easy to take the first part of that verse without the second part.  But we must always take the Word of God wholly, not just in part.  ”…and there are many adversaries.”  I’ve heard it said many times that Satan fights the hardest when God is about to do something great.  That has certainly been the case for us.  I don’t know what God has in store for us, but I know whatever it is, it will be great.  Whether it is big or small to the eyes of man, it will be GREAT because everything that God does is GREAT!  ”Brethren, pray for us.”  I Thessalonians 5:25

The Little Things

A good cup of coffee on a cold, drizzly day – a little girl spending hours pouring over maps with her Daddy – taking a different route one day on a combi – walking over many dusty roads in the Philippines – a little boy needing Mommy’s comfort because he just fell out of bed – a husband who loves the Lord with all his heart and who will serve Him no matter what – a little girl sitting on my lap while I’m trying to write this post – what do all these things have in common?  Not much really – except that they make up just a tiny part of all the little things that I am thankful for!  Let me explain…

It is a cold, rainy, “wintery” day here this morning – a perfect day for a good cup of coffee.  Those of you who have experienced the delicious flavor of Mónaco, will understand exactly what I am saying here!

This past Saturday, I found myself employed as “Map-maker Extraordinaire.”  A couple of weeks ago, Matt and Guido met a new Deaf woman named Claudia.  Please be much in prayer for Claudia.  The JW’s have spent time with her.  She knows mostly “home signs,” so it is challenging communicating with her.  We all went to visit her this past Saturday to see about her coming to church.  I was employed as “Map-Maker,” so we would know exactly where she lives.  I thought about all the hours I spent as a little girl with my Daddy pouring over maps, and I was thankful!

When we were done visiting Claudia (who did come to church yesterday – I’ll have to explain more about that in my next post.), we went to Lomas (another area) to visit other Deaf.  We finally found a combi going to Lomas, and as we were going, I started recognizing some of the places we were passing.  I had been that way before – only going in the opposite direction!  I was thankful once again for how God uses the little things in our life!

All the places we visited this past Saturday, were so very dusty!  It reminded me a lot of the Philippines.  Once again, I was thankful for all the time I spent in the Philippines, learning not to mind dusty roads and dirty feet!

I am so thankful for my little family!  Ian fell out of bed this morning – just as I was sitting down to write to this post.  After Mommy comforted him, he went right back to sleep!  Martha is currently sitting beside me – writing my name in her notebook.  I am thankful for the children God has given me.  I am thankful for Matt.  I am so thankful we can serve the Lord together, and teach our children how wonderful it is to serve the Lord!

So, here is my little list of some of the little things that I am thankful for!  I always find it interesting to think of all the little things that God puts into our life.  The little things that we look at as unimportant or of little value – the little details that make us who we are.  I love to think about how God takes all those little things and weaves them into our life – how He uses those little details to bless us and those around us!  Have a wonderful week looking at all those little details God has put into your life to use for good!

Learning to say “Yes!”

How do you tell a 3-year-old girl “No”?  Oh, it is easy to say “No” when it is something she shouldn’t be doing, or something that is a danger to her.  But how do you say “No” when she is asking, nay BEGGING, to help with whatever you are doing at the moment?  Knowing that someday she may not be quite so willing to help wash the dishes, fold the laundry, help prepare meals – how do you say “No”?  Knowing that it will take you twice as long to accomplish whatever task you currently working on if she helps you – how do you say “No”?  So what do you do?  You learn to say, “YES!!”  You learn to take twice as long as you normally would – but in doing so, you are teaching her valuable lessons.  You learn patience as you teach her the proper way to wash the dishes, the proper way to fold the laundry, and the safest way to prepare a meal.  You learn what your own Mom probably went through in teaching you these very same skills.  You learn the joy of having a willing helper in the kitchen, and with other household chores!

Mommy's Helper

As I was thinking about what to share with you all this week, that question kept coming to my mind, “How do you say ‘No’?”  But then the Lord gently showed me that my perspective was all skewed – it isn’t a matter of saying, “No” – it is a matter of learning to say, “Yes!”  I got to thinking about all the times I tell the Lord, “No” and how I have to learn to say, “Yes!” It is a humbling thing to be taught by your children!  But I am so thankful for the lessons they teach me every day.

At this moment, Martha is sitting in the open doorway, and Ian is laying on his tummy beside her.  They are having their own conversation, and what I’m hearing is “No, no, no!”  ”Yes, yes, yes!”  I’m not sure what the topic of discussion is, but it is being vigorously debated!

I recently had the joy of purchasing some plants.  Martha was with me, and asked for her own plant.  I was happy to say, “Yes”!  So my garden is growing – I have two orange marigolds, four petunias (one of which is Martha’s), and another plant (I have no idea the name of it) with pretty blue flowers (when it is in bloom)!  This morning, I planted an avocado seed which we have been keeping in a jar of water until it sprouted.  When I get some more containers, I am going to try my hand at bell pepper plants!  Recently the flower on Martha’s petunia was done blooming, so I picked it off so more could grow.  Martha was rather distraught when she discovered that the flower was gone!

My Flower Garden


Martha & her Petunia

So, here we are in a new week with new opportunities to serve the Lord, and new opportunities to learn to say, “Yes!”  Is it always easy and convenient?  No, but the blessings, both now and in the future, far outweigh the inconveniences of the moment!  Have a wonderful week in the Lord learning to say, “Yes!”

The Blessing of Being Busy!

Tres Leches



What you see here are Matt’s birthday cakes!  Yes, there were two of them.  One for his physical birthday and one for his spiritual birthday – both of which were this past Tuesday.  I planned a surprise party, and actually managed to pull it off!  A special thank you to each one of you who sent a birthday greeting!!  We are still getting birthday greetings – thank you for those also!  He told me he was suspicious at the very end, but overall – he was very surprised!  We had a whole house full of people and it was great fun!  Until this morning, Martha and Ian were still playing with the balloons!  We had “beautiful things” (Martha’s name for the streamers) also, but they didn’t survive that long.  We let the Efata children enjoy the balloons this morning.  Matt mentioned to me a couple of days ago about dropping the balloons out of Ian’s bedroom window when the children were playing on the playground.  We decided that would be a marvelous thing to do with the balloons, so that is what we did this morning.

There may be some of you wondering what kind of schedule we have.  I would like to give you a glimpse of a “normal” week for us (is there any such thing as a “normal” week?) – We have Language school every morning Tuesday -Friday.  It is going well.  We are now in book 2 – learning PAST TENSE VERBS (said in a deep, booming voice!).  The Lord has been so good and gracious to us in helping us to learn Spanish.

On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, we have practice with the Deaf Choir.  They are doing really well.  Our next special is the last Sunday of this month.  The guys are doing a special – we girls get to sit and watch!  Wednesday evening is church.  Martha and Ian normally sit with us in the service on Wednesdays and Sunday nights.  Friday nights is Deaf Youth Group Meeting.  Since Frank (Deaf) is in Pucallpa, Matt is helping Pastor Antonio Suarez with the Youth Meeting.  Matt is in charge of the “concurso” (game) time!  I would just like to take a moment here and publish the fact that although there were only two girls last week – the girls won the competition!

Saturdays are soul-winning and visitation days.  We got to go as a family this past Saturday!  What a joy it is to me to see my children handing out tracts to the people around them!  We give Martha and Ian each a couple of tracts, and soon they are asking for more!  I have started making sure that Martha wears a dress with pockets in it on Saturdays – then I can put tracts in her pocket.  When her pocket is empty – she asks for more!

Matt started going with Ghuido (Deaf) to Callao on Sunday mornings.  Callao is another city about an hour away (more or less).  A Deaf ministry was started at the hearing church there because some Deaf showed up one Sunday morning.  Ghuido had been going with Frank, and now Matt is able to go with Ghuido.  Yesterday, they had one Deaf man show up.  His name is Jose.  Jose has been influenced by the JW’s.  It is not clear whether or not Jose is saved.  Matt and Ghuido were able to witness to him.  Please pray with me that God will bring more Deaf to the church in Callao, souls will be saved, and lives will be changed.

So you see, my weeks are fairly busy – but what a blessing to be busy in the work of the Lord!  What a privilege to be able to teach my children to serve the Lord!  Have a blessed busy week!


More Than Conquerors

I recently started reading through the Epistles for my devotions.  I am currently enjoying the Book of Romans!  There are so many treasures – I am really considering rereading it before going on to the next Epistle!  I read chapter 8 this morning, and God really caused one verse to jump out at me.  Growing up in a Christian home, I have probably read this verse hundreds of times, and never has it spoken to my heart like it did this morning!  After a long list of negative things that can happen to us, Paul gives us verse 37 – “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  I read right through that verse this morning and didn’t really think twice about it – until the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Back up and read that verse again.”  So I read it again thinking, “I know that verse, Lord.  What about it?”  Then He showed me – “…we ARE more than conquerors…”  Not will be at some point in the future, not someday when we set foot in Heaven, not can be or hope to be – but ARE – right now, present tense, this very moment!  Now, since I haven’t really experienced any persecution lately, or peril or swords (v.35), how did this apply to me?  One word there in verse 35 – “distress.”  How many times in a day do I experience distress – distress over chores not done, distress over my children – the list goes on…..But this morning God showed me the solution.  I AM more than a conqueror!  Now let me share with you some of the ways I am “more than conqueror today!”

I went to the market this morning with my friend Ruth.  Naturally, we conversed all the way up to the market and back.  You know what I realized when I got home?  Yes, I still had to stop and think about what to say and how to say it in Spanish – not Cebuano, but I didn’t have to think quite so hard this morning – especially about the PAST TENSE VERBS (Deep, booming voice saying those three words!)  More than conquerors….

Did I still experience some distress over my children?  Yes, but then I stopped to think how many times my children did what they were told, said “Yes, Ma’am” or “Yes Sir,” asked politely for something instead of demanding!  It’s kind of like counting my blessings, but in a little different light.  More than conquerors….

I even conquered two new recipes today!  I made Mexican rice for the first time in my life, AND I made homemade tomato sauce!  I had written the recipe for the rice on just a little piece of paper, and I told Matt, “If this doesn’t come out good, or you don’t like it – I’ll throw that paper away and try again another day with a different recipe!”  He loved it and the kids did, too!  Martha ate about 3 or 4 helpings, I think!  And I had enough tomato sauce left over to use when I make noodles with sauce!  Now, it’s not often that I venture into culinary exploits without a recipe of some sort, but I decided to be a brave missionary wife, and take two recipes for tomato sauce and combine them into my own!  It was a success – praise the Lord!  More than conquerors….

Perhaps there has been something weighing heavily on you – some “distress” you just can’t seem to get past…remember – “we ARE more than conquerors.”  And the blessing of it all is this – we are not just on our own trying to conquer the distresses….we ARE more than conquerors…how?  ”Through him that loved us.”  Wow!  Pretty amazing – don’t you think?

My Eyes and My Heart

Almost every day this past week, the Lord has brought the following verse to my mind:  ”Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.”  Lamentations 3:51

I went to visit a dear sister in Christ in the hospital Monday night.  She has cancer and needs an operation, but because of her heart problems, surgery has to wait until they can get her heart stabilized.  Hermana Miriam and her husband, Pastor Henry, are Peruvian missionaries in the city of Pucallpa.  Please pray much for this precious couple and their children, Dolly and Isai. “Mine eye affecteth mine heart…”

In the evenings, I look out the window of my house at all the city lights.  It is one of my favorite views.  I especially love it when it is dusk, and the lights are just coming on.  I’ve never lived in such a huge city before – for me it is very different to see and hear the hustle and bustle until all hours of the night!  As I look at all the lights of “my city,” I can’t help but wonder how many souls live within the glow of each light that I can see.  How many souls that are still waiting to hear the Good News of Salvation?  Our language teacher recently told us that the Gospel has been here in Peru for only about 60-70 years.  When I think of America, and all she has been given by God – a rich heritage of the Bible – truly “mine eye affecteth mine heart.”

Last week we had Missions Conference.  It was a great week!  Pastor Juan Pacheco was the guest preacher.  The messages were so challenging.  The first night he spoke about our eyes – seeing the need – not just our own personal needs, but the needs of the lost around us.  The next night, he spoke about our mouth – using it to pray – pray for our families, for our missionaries, and for the salvation of the lost.  Then he spoke the next night about our hands – using them to serve others.

On Tuesday, Frank (Deaf) and Jonathan (Hearing) left for Pucallpa.  They will be filling in for Pastor Henry while he is here in Lima.  I look forward to seeing how God is going to use them.  We are already missing them here, but we know God’s plan is perfect!  ”Mine eye affecteth mine heart.”

A couple of the ladies here recently asked me if I liked Peru.  How glad and thankful I was to be able tell them with tears of joy in my eyes how much I love it here!  My eyes sometimes get side-tracked with my own small problems and worries.  When my eyes get focused on my problems, my heart is affected – negatively.  Then the Lord gently reminds me where I should be looking – not inward, but outward and upward.  Upward toward Him, and Outward to the lost around me.  Everywhere I look, there are myriads of houses.  Houses full of families that have never heard perhaps even one time that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again to save them from their sins!

“Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.”  Lamentations 3:51