Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Peggy Cunningham. As a long-term missionary to Bolivia, Peggy has found her calling ministering to children, and writing children’s books. She has also recently published a devotional for adults, Dancing With Bees. The catchy title on the beautiful cover immediately draws you in.
What books have fortified you as a writer? How?
Peggy: Three books fortified and propelled my writing. The Bible, of course, is my inspiration to write for God. I believe I’m called to write for Him. His Word guides and fortifies me. And, God uses other authors to help me hone my skills.
Yes, You Can! by Nancy I. Sanders propelled my writing for children. It’s an excellent source for anyone who writes for children. It gave me step-by-step instructions that helped me establish a foundation to write for children.
Unleash the Writer Within by Cecil Murphey encouraged me to begin writing non-fiction and gave me various tools to start writing for magazines and anthologies. A quote from Mr. Murphey’s book, “Be you when you write” helped unleashed my soul to write from my heart. My first non-fiction book released in October of this year––Dancing Like Bees is a devotional for adults.
You’ve provided a good variety of craft-strengthening books, here. So, next question…
What secret talents do you have?
Peggy: I think my secret talent is related to my hair––blonde with streaks of white. Can hair be a secret talent? Maybe. But, maybe it’s not my hair at all that’s a secret talent, but what my hair can do––attract little girls like a magic magnet. I noticed this secret talent a few years back when little girls started to stare and smile at me. It started around the time my hair began turning white. Living in a country where blondes are not seen often, I accredited this “secret talent” to my hair color––and being a tall blonde––a sight rarely seen in Bolivia. When I first noticed this “secret talent”, it opened doors to ministry with little girls, especially during Sunday School hours.
When my daughter was a small child, her hair attracted attention on the streets of Bolivia. People constantly touched her long, curly blonde hair whenever we walked around the city where we lived. Since my aging brought with it bottled blonde hair with white streaks, I too became a rarely seen site. But then, something else entered into my secret talent. On furloughs, I also noticed this happening in the States where blonde hair is not unusual. Being a children’s writer, I’ve always felt a connection with children, but especially with little girls. When I meet or talk with little girls, I automatically talk on their level and love being with them. I truly believe God has given me a special gift of ministry with children (a secret talent)–– especially with little girls. It’s so much fun!
That’s a really special secret talent, one that serves you well in your calling. So, let’s get to the food–
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Peggy: I would certainly prepare a banquet for you after traveling so far just for dinner––to Bolivia. 🙂 And, for sure I’d serve a Bolivian meal. Our family loves Bolivian food, and one of our favorite meals is Picante de Pollo (translation, spicy chicken). It’s a chicken dish cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. And, the sides are uniquely Bolivian. The chicken is served with rice, a salad of tomatoes and onions, boiled potatoes, and a unique potato called chuño. It’s a potato harvested in the Altiplano—the high flatlands of Bolivia. This location in the Andes has freezing temperatures much of the year.
That sounds wonderful! Maybe even worth the long trip. Well, if you add in some of the gorgeous views and getting to experience another country. Thank you so much, Peggy, for taking the time to answer our 3 Questions.
Dancing Like Bees
Frustrated and exhausted, Peggy walked the mission property early mornings to slip away temporarily from her caregiver duties and meet with the Savior. Her husband suffered from a bout with shingles that left him in constant pain with no relief—not even with morphine. Months turned into years. Countless doctors tried their best but with no success.
Where was God? Didn’t He see them in the middle of a foreign country with no help? Hadn’t they given their lives to serve as missionaries and trusted Him for their health? She wept as she sat near a flowerbed filled with daisies. Just then, the buzz of bees drew her attention. They flew peacefully from flower to flower doing the job God created them to do, even as a storm approached. She noticed a pattern. If bees could be joyful and peaceful in all circumstances, surely she could find a way.
Through the thirty-one devotions, this book examines what Peggy learned about God’s intricate creation of the honeybee and how it speaks direction into our need for living peaceful, productive lives while overcoming stress and achieving joy. God is faithful always, and His creation magnifies His majesty if we take time to seek Him in everyday situations—even through the honeybee. Buy the book: Dancing Like Bees
More about Peggy Cunningham:
Peggy Cunningham and her husband, Chuck, have been missionaries in Bolivia, S.A., since 1981. In 1999, they founded Rumi Rancho Ministries. Chuck and Peggy work with the Quechua people in a rural area of Bolivia where they have a children’s ministry––teaching practical skills to underprivileged children. They also work with national churches. Peggy teaches teen girls’ cooking and baking classes along with Bible studies. She is also a writer. Her children’s book series, Really Rare Rabbits, volumes one, two, and three, released by Pix-N-Pens Publishing in 2013 is available on Amazon.com in print and on Kindle. They are also available in Spanish. Her new book, Dancing Like Bees, is her first non-fiction book, a devotional, published by Write Integrity Press/Pix-N-Pens Publishing in 2016 also available on Amazon.com. All books can be ordered at local bookstores also.
For more information about Peggy and her books: Peggy’s Website