Tag Archives: church

a record of events

Pictures coming soon, but for now, here is our whirlwind of a week since I last blogged:

Tuesday: work and then a dinner party at Guillermo’s boss’s house for their team (they are our neighbors and friends from church)

Wednesday: work and then dinner with Guillermo’s small group (teenage boys from Los Pinos) at Pizza Hut.  Traffic was horrible and Guillermo got out way late from a meeting, which means I got to hang out with them for a while and eat bread sticks while we waited.

Thursday: Guillermo worked at the office and I worked from home.  In the morning I went for a walk and had breakfast with some other ladies from our church who live close.  It was great-minus that I got covered in ticks which have been biting and itching all week!  In the evening we went on a surprise last minute date with Anibal and Yadira because Yadira was in town for some errands.  We were going to see a movie but ended up going to dinner instead because that night was the premier of New Moon!

Friday: I had a very short day of work because they were fumigating our office area.  I met up with Yadira for a day of girls shopping-something I haven’t done in a long time.  I picked up some crocks for Guillermo and some new juice glasses.  It was fun but tiring, I hope I don’t have to go to the mall again in December.  In the evening, we went to dinner at our friend’s Charlie and Jenny’s house.  They live far away, so it was another late night.

Saturday: We were up early, me for cooking and Guillermo for soccer.  I made sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and a big apple pie with a crumble top.  We at a quick lunch and then headed down the hill for youth group.  I didn’t go because I had a year end board meeting for work.  After that, we went to the Christmas dinner for our small group (hence the cooking).  It was great fun and we even had the treat of live music.  Several in the group are very talented or professional musicians.  With the addition of Tio Bill, who plays the flute and sax, we had live Jazz and Christmas music.

Sunday: Church, rest and oh wait, more soccer for Guillermo.  Do you see a pattern here?

The good news is that I didn’t have to cook dinner or lunch all week!  It was a rich week with friends and we feel very blessed.

This week is quiet.  Guillermo is away for work until Thursday and I have normal days at the office.  Last night my usual good night call didn’t come until I was asleep.  The culprit, soccer, despite a pending cold and tiredness from all the nights of staying up.

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good stuff

I’m reading “Schools for Conversion: 12 Marks of New Monasticism” and it is rocking my world!  Here is an excerpt form Shane Claiborne’s chapter:

The more I have gotten to know rich folks, the more I a convinced that the great tragedy in teh church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor, but that rich Christians do not know the poor.  A few years back I surveyed people who said they were “strong followers of Jesus.”  Over 80% agreed with the statement, “Jesus spent much time with the poor.”  Yet only 1 percent said that they themselves spent time with the poor.

It is much more comfortable to de-personalize the poor so that we do not feel responsible for the catastrophic human failure that someone is on the street while people have spare bedrooms in their homes. … When we get the heaven and are separated into sheep and goats, I don’t believe Jesus is going to say, “When I was hungry you have a check to the United Way and they fed me,” or, “When I was naked you donated to the Salvation army and they clothed me.”  Jesus is not seeking distant acts of charity.  He is seeking concrete actions of love: “you fed me…you visited me, … you welcomed me in… you clothed me…” (Matthew 25)

When the church becomes a place of brokerage rather than an organic community, she ceases to be alive.  Brokerage turns the church into an organization rather than a new family of re-birth…. The church becomes a distribution center, a place where the poor coe to get stuff and the rich come to dump stuff.  Both go away satisfied (the rich feel good, the poor get fed), but no one leaves transformed-no new community is formed.

People do not get crucified for charity.  People get crucified for disrupting the status quo, for calling forth a new world.  People are not crucified for helping poor people.  People are crucified for joinging them.

(talking about the early church in Acts) Redistribution was not systematically regimented but flowed naturally out of love of for God and neighbor.  I am not a communist, nor am I a capitalist.  As one person put it: “When we truly discover love, capitalism will not be possible and Marxism will not be necessary.”

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Jose and Valerie’s Birthday Party

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Best buds

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A rare Dana smile!

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1,2,3 blow!

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Taking pictures with her camera phone

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Dancing dress

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Dancing with Dad

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Aaron, Milton, Valerie, Bismar

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Norman and Valerie

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Mmmmm, chorizo!

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sensitive

Tonight I’m thinking about the effects of seeing poverty on a day to day basis and the levels of sensitivity we have to these kinds of things.  I read a lot of blogs and once in a while I stumble upon travel journals written by North Americans as they take trips or short term mission trips to places like Honduras or other countries where there is extreme poverty.

Tonight I was thinking twice at the level of reaction some North Americans have when they see poverty, when they meet a poor family, when they see these issues up close and in person.  Tears.  Uncontrollable emotion.  Anger.  Pity.  Guilt.  Motivation.  Unforeseen periods of doubting their faith as they wrestle with what this means.  Life changing.

I’m thinking twice because I’m questioning myself and I’m questioning my culture.  I know it wouldn’t be possible or healthy for me to have a deep, emotional, life changing experience everyday when I go to work.  It would be counter-productive for me to spend everyday in deep sorrow for the state of the world and the amount of poverty that exists here.  The human being has certain built in self-defense mechanisms that keep this from happening.  I’m questioning the positive and negative roles that de-sensitization can play.  I’m also questioning the hyper-sensitivity that my culture is producing.  What does it say about us that we can be so easily shocked by the normal life situation that describes a majority of the world? I’m not saying I’m better or worse than my fellow Americans,  rather I’m making some observations and raising some questions.

I want to be effective in my work in Honduras.  I want to live and work out of  a place of love and joy, not guilt and depression.  But at the same time, I don’t want to lose sensitivity to things that God himself would look at and have compassion.  When I go to my office everyday, which is inside of a state-run orphanage, I don’t want to see the kids running around as ‘just kids’.  I want to remember who they are and what they need and how God sees them.

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transformation possible!!

Transformation Possible!!  This was the name of the youth camp our church put on this weekend for over 100 youth, it was awesome!  Where else will you find youth from a slum neighborhood, a remote mountain community and the best bilingual schools in the city coming together to play, worship God, learn and have fun?  I think it is only through God that this kind of unity is possible.  More stories of transformation to come, but for now I am one sore, tired, energized, excited leader.

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