Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crazy Week at work...

Ok I just thought that since I actually have a moment to do this, I would talk about this insane week of work we've got going on here. One of our girls, Carmen, is turning 15. Actually, she turned 15 in June but were celebrating now. Hey it may be 5 months later, but it's better than nothing! Ha! Especially since we're in Mexico. And in Mexico turning 15 is a big deal...like in America we do 'sweet 16s', well here we do 'quinceneras.' Go ahead take as much time as you need to try to pronounce that word.

Anyways, it's a huge deal. Exactly like a wedding Some families spend every penny they have {practically} for these parties. There's a giant fancy cake, decor, a band, a dress and on and on. Yes, imagine all that goes on to prepare for a wedding {even a small and simple wedding} and that's what we're doing in 1 week's time. And making due with whatever is available. It's crunch time and it's crazy! SO our girl Carmen is pretty psyched for her party on Saturday. We have to decorate this room behind the church the girls go to and it's a completely unfinished room....with no power, cement floors and exposed wall studs!. No power means no lights. We're just a touch psaztic trying to decorate this place and make it functionable never the less pretty. So not only are we doing that every single day, we've got our own kids to do something with. As much as I'd love my 4 year old to watch my 2 and 1 year olds, that ain't gonna happen, so Theo and I are switching baby duties. Plus fitting in some sort of educational thing for Stella that we can call school,  ballet, and tutoring the girls from Casa de Esther. {We'll call is just Casa from now on.} Also- trying to maintain some sort of normal and not frazzled-to-death home life and time with friends to keep us sane. Thank God for friends who are like family...aka Nic and Michelle Brouwer. Whew, God is good and brought us some amazing friends that we can call forever friends. Anyways, I didn't mention that we just got back from Thanksgiving break and still have our unpacked bags sitting in our room along with the mini mountain of laundry that never got put away before we left for Thanksgiving. So you ask why in the world am I sitting here writing about all of this rather than doing laundry? Well, because this is my version of 'venting' and getting whatever is in my head out in a decent way and not causing harm to my husband or children. :)  Now......off to do laundry and finish newsletters!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The buzz

Thanksgiving is this week and I've got that Holiday buzz coming on strong this year! It's a funny thing too b/c there are several things that I'd think would keep the buzz from hitting. First of all, we're not in America where the holiday traditions fly. We're not in a place where you see the seasons come and go. No orange and red leaves...no snow. And we're not with either of our families where usually we feed off of eachother about holiday decor, food and family/personal traditions. And yet, here I am, in Mexico feeling the excitement of celebrating all that we are Thankful for, and the excitement of celebrating the day of our savior's birth! Ah! Yes, I'm really excited about putting up a Christmas tree and letting the girls decorate it. I haven't figured out yet if the fact that christmas trees are a pagan thing, along with a ton of other holiday celebrations, makes it reason enough for us to not just celebrate what we intend that holiday to be and let my family enjoy the festivities. So for now, we will! Thank Him for freedom in Christ, right?! Whew, thank you Lord for freedom from pointless shackels!

Anyways, hopefully I'll find a few fun ideas of crafts and decor to do this year with the kids...I'm sure I'll find some good stuff from mi amiga Jami Nato....and several other crafty ladies. Thanks girls for your creativity and willingness to share with peeps like me, who only gets creative once in a blue moon. You might well be saving us from the dull life. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

God is awesome...

So a few days after my recent post about my tough past with a family member, that family member called me. They read my blog and decided to call to apologize for all these years of pain. I was beyond shocked especially since I don't ever talk to him. And the previous day I was told that an actual conversation about this would never happen. I would be hung up on if I ever tried to bring it up. And here he was calling me! I obviously knew that the Lord was doing something and I just started praying and asking God to give me the words to say. My heart was pounding! He gets on the phone and I could hear emotion on the line. A slight quiver in his voice as he apologized and reassured me that he has never done that again and will never do it to anyone again. I couldn't believe it. I've thought it over so many times and thought that if I ever did have that conversation it might be on his death bed or something....never under these seemingly normal conditions.

Wow, what was God doing? I burst into tears when I hung up a bit overwhelmed at what just happened. Do these kind of situations ever end with such an apology and peace? Wow. I thanked God for allowing that phone call to happen. I couldn't believe how much tension and pain left my heart just hearing this person vocalize to me that he was sorry. And to see what it did to my husband...bringing him relief and peace...it was incredible! God is so good!

This past week in our Bible study review the very first letter is "Every turn-around starts with a step."
I guess Beth Moore is right. The simple step of posting what was on my heart {coupled with years of praying, actually} and suddenly something happened! Something great happened. An act from a tender and repentant heart. Thank you Lord. I'm continuing to pray and see what awesome thing might happen next!

Friday, November 4, 2011

"The Love Letter"

        So today was such an awesome day at home with my family. We're here in Mexico and for the very first time since we've been here, it's raining! All day long. Actually, now it's pouring. It's awesome! Of course the downers are that this evening we found, count them, 4 leaks in the house. And this is after the landlords had a guy come seal the roof. Bad news for them. And it's a hogs heaven outside with how muddy it is. Good thing we're getting more gravel for our yard on Saturday. Anyways, so today Theo and I spent real quality time {basically just alot of play time} with the girls while we did chores around the house. And we got pretty caught up on organizing things and laundry, which felt so good for both of us. Then I found it.
"The Love Letter."

We were setting up our spare room as an office/guest room and I was going through a box of old journals and random things. A handwritten letter fell out and I started reading it outloud to Theo. I was completely 100% sure it was from him, until I got to the middle of the letter when I read something about 'me having his heart for the last 3 1/2 years' or something like that...and I knew from the language in the letter that we weren't married 'yet.' There was all kinds of 'when we get married' talk, so I was a little confused. Theo and I were only together for 2 years before we got married. Thats around the point when I stopped reading out loud. And of course Theo looks at me and asks whats wrong. As he looked at the letter, he noticed that it wasn't his handwriting! He looking at the letter and saying, "thats not how I write my G's and that's not how I write my exclamation marks!" So I started laughing hysterically apparently trying to cover my total shock and nervousness.... and also because I was still kind of convinced that somehow this was from my wonderful and amazing husband and maybe there was just some sort of mix up! Ha! I know.

       Thing is that whoever wrote me that letter signed it "Love, Me." Great. Thanks alot, "Me!" And when I first started reading it I said to Theo, babe I wish you would date your letters so we could look back years later and see how long it's been. Today we've been together for 8 years! Never once did I come across this letter. Or maybe I did and didn't read the whole thing through and just assumed it was from my husband! Another tricky thing about this is that unfortunately I did date a few guys which were long term relationships...so I totally truly have no idea who this 'Love Letter' is from. And I don't keep calling it the "Love Letter" to be cheeky.... the very first line of the actual letter is "Well here it is...my 'Love Letter' to you" or something like that. It's kinda a crazy thing to find something like this after 6 years of marriage and to realize it's been traveling around with us this whole time but it's not from Theo...and we're just finding it now.

So thank God my husband is secure and trusts me....and with ALL REASON, he should! But of course just to make sure, I reassured him that this is super old and means nothing at all to me. And that all my love and thoughts are for him alone. He assured me back that he loves me and knows it's nothing. Whew. For some reason this kind of threw me for a loop for a second!

Hours passed and I started doing the dishes. I was alone in the kitchen with no distraction and what pops into my mind? Yes, the letter. There were some really lovey mushy things written there and suddenly I did find myself thinking, "who was that?!" I started thinking back on the few guys I was serious with in the past...  As a woman this is totally the kind of thing that would throw me into a little emotional whirlwind if I'm not careful, right?!

Then minutes later {honestly not very long} by the grace of God, I snapped out of it! "This is totally a trap!" This very morning when I was alone with the Lord, reading the Word, I literally felt compelled to stay in the book of Proverbs and I was literally praying for God to give me wisdom for my life. I went through several chapters, taking my time,  just trying to soak it all in...

Although I didn't come across any proverb that told me that if I suddenly find a love letter from an old boyfriend, 6 years into my marriage, just throw it out and don't waste your time and energy dwelling on it... I knew thats what should be done. That is wisdom. And the verse that came to mind was this... "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

As Theo and I learn to love one another and be good partners for eachother in this life, it's not hard to see that our enemy hates us. He hates a God loving family. And we know he'll do anything, even ridiculous things like an old love letter, to try to bring division between us. So I called Theo over, explained to him everything I was thinking and we prayed together. I thank God for a God-fearing husband who prays and has discernment and love in his heart! We recognized this a a blatant attempt from the enemy to trip me up and the Lord allowing it to test my heart! Thank you Lord for your grace to handle this with wisdom today. I pray for this kind of response if anything else should ever rise up. Keep my heart pure and keep my marriage safe, God!

Ladies, it's not just men who the enemy wants to trip up...get wisdom, pray for your husbands and your marriages!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Steinhauer Family Missions Letter- November

Hola Amigos!

Can you believe it’s November already?! This year is coming to an end so soon and we’re trying to recap in our own minds, everything that has happened. This has been such a non-boring year for our family. We had another baby and moved as missionaries to a foreign country! Not to mention daily life raising 3 little girls! How much ‘adventure’ can a single family handle?! Well apparently that isn’t enough. We currently have no vehicle! For those of you who didn’t already know, our van died on our trip across the country from south Florida. We rented a truck for the rest of the way to get here and have been borrowing another missionary couple’s van. But as of today, their van has been returned and we are without a vehicle. Nothing like trials to purify our hearts, and see how much we actually trust God for our needs, huh?

So since our last missions letter, we celebrated our baby girl Olivia’s 1st birthday after home church here at our house. It was a sweet gathering of new friends, great food and of course, cupcakes! Liv tore through her very first cupcake and was an adorable mess by the end.

Stella and Naya are also doing well. It’s one of those times in life when it seems they literally grow overnight. Clothes and shoes fit them for about 1 week and suddenly nothing fits anymore. One week is an exaggeration, but not by far! I guess this is where hand me downs come in “handy.”

Melissa has been part of an amazing Bible study group consisting of about 20 female missionaries in the Ensenada {or outskirts} area. God is faithful to provide such an encouraging and energizing weekly meeting where they can come before the Lord through the Beth Moore study and pursue our beloved Jesus! Melissa also has been making jewelry again and hoping to create a small online business for additional income.

Theo is leading a young men’s discipleship group each week focusing on the Sermon on the Mount scriptures and various other areas in the Word. The fruit coming forth from these meetings are awesome and these young guys are getting noticeably more on fire for God! Pray for them during these pivotal years in their lives where we hope the cement of ‘JESUS’ dries forever! Theo has also been keeping busy working to make the house our ‘home’ by doing all kinds of man work, fixing the yard and building or refinishing various pieces of furniture.

Home Church at our house has truly been a life-giving fountain for us. Theo has been teaching each Sunday along with our longtime friend Sean Cates and also Nic Brouwer. Nic is a musician and new missionary to Ensenada as well. He and his family moved down about a month after we did, from Canada. Our families have been spending a lot of time together in prayer, worship and fellowship. Each Wednesday evening we gather together for worship, and throughout the week we are meeting together for meals and fellowship. This new friendship is proving to be a true blessing from the Lord. We love building solid relationships with like-minded lovers of God, and we’re excited to have found them! We also have been having new visitors come and join us every single Sunday so far. Apparently there are a lot of hungry hearts out there that are finding their way to our humble little church meetings! Praise God for his goodness and faithfulness!

As we briefly mentioned in our last missions letter, we are going to begin serving with a ministry called ‘El Refugio,’ aka ‘The Refuge.’ This is a ministry serving young women and girls who have been abused and/or neglected in the Ensenada area. We have a ‘home’ for these girls called ‘Casa De Esther’ where they live and are taken in free of charge and their children are also taken care of while the girls attend school or work during the day. We are really excited that the Lord has led us to this amazing ministry of caring for the hurting and needy young girls here. By the grace of God, we will both be serving in several different areas including construction to expand the home to now house up to 40 people, teaching the young girls much needed life skills and the young mothers, parenting skills. The girls in the home have been sexually, physically and emotionally abused and are in serious need of love, mentoring and training for their lives. We are super excited to help provide those things as the Lord has provided them for us. Please keep them in your prayers as the Lord begins to transform their lives and us in your prayers as we begin to serve them!

As of now, our hopes and plans to begin ministry with the YUGO team in January still stands. We are excited and eager to see how the Lord will work our service into this ministry in the new year.

We are also still facing the ‘support raising’ giant right now. We are lacking quite a bit of funding to meet our budget and basic needs. We know that God knows, but maybe YOU don’t know and you’d like to be partner with us in ministry?!

For those who aren’t sure what support raising is, here is a basic description and the scoop with us….

 We are not on a salary from a missions agency. We bring our support through Light International. We are fully funded by our own sponsors, including individual friends, family, churches or businesses.

 Some sponsors/supporters give ‘one time gifts’ which are always a blessing.  What we NEED is enough monthly partners to help sustain us in our ministry work.

 Any donation given is a lot more beneficial to us than it may seem and it’s way easier than you think!

Examples of how your donation can help us!

~Your Cup of Starbucks Coffee $3- 5---{Our personal drinking water for the month!}

~ Your Tickets at a movie theater $15 ---------{Home church supplies}

~ Your Dinner out at a restaurant $30----------{Diapers/wipes for baby}

~Your Average cost to fill gas tank $50---------- {Propane for our tanks}

~Your Average grocery bill $150----------------- {Help with our grocery bill}

And so on…

 All financial support sent through LIGHT INTERNATIONAL is tax deductible and you will receive a receipt of your donations each month.

You can go online to http://www.lightinternational.org/  ,  click sponsor a light missionary.

{For first time donors, you’ll have to create an account which will lead you to the page to contribute}, click on

Theo & Melissa Steinhauer, enter your information and you will be emailed a receipt.


You can send a check to:

LIGHT International

P.O. Box 668548

Pompano Beach, Fl 33066

{Please attach a small note with our names on it. Do not write our names on the check itself.}

For questions or problems, please call (954) 876 – 0302.

 You can also donate directly and immediately {no wait and no fees taken out} through

Western Union, or by direct deposit to our bank account. Let us know if you are interested in those options so we can give you details. You can also send a check by snail mail to our US mailing address.

 We get paid our support from Light International at the beginning of the month.

{ONCE A MONTH, only}

 Financial donations need to be given before the last week of the month to be included for the next payment.

We are lacking about $1500 to meet our monthly budget!

We know that sounds like a lot, but we know if a handful of people partner with us, we’ll be able to continue in the place the Lord has us. We trust HIS provision for us through the Body of Christ, friends and family. If you’d like to take part in this ministry, please contact us!

Our US phone line in Mexico is (949) 945- 5956

Theo’s email address: theosteinhauer@gmail.com

Melissa’s email address: melissasteinhauer@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

Love & Blessings to you all…

Theo, Melissa

Stella, Naya & Olivia