Thursday, July 24, 2008

la vida y mas

Week three of Guatemala. What has been great this summer is our regular attendance in one of the local churches over in Jocotenango. It’s a good time. Giant Jesus dance party at times. I have much to learn from the church here. As in I’m pretty sure they were singing all these same songs last year, but they continue to with church services twice a week, singing and dancing and praising God with all of their strength as if hearing the songs for the first time. The truth of the lyrics never change, but I often tire of a melody, and therefore the song as a whole, but that’s not quite right now is it.

This is my family. Meet: Agustin, Osman, Franky, Cindy and Enma.

2008 is a year of change. For me in my personal life, for the program, for lots of things it seems. We’re in the process of asking some hard questions about what direction this ministry needs to go in. We’ve concluded that Jesus needs to be a more evident part of our work in speech and so we’ve been incorporating that into all aspects of our work here. That’s been an exciting change. We made a quick decision to take the group to visit a ministry in the Copan region. Les and Rita Peters are incredible missionaries with Impact Ministries and just the short 24 hours we had with them became a highlite of the summer for the group. Some good reminders like, “We need to live life with a “yes” in our spirit, even if what God is asking us is really difficult”. Or…. “the best thing you can do with your life is to give it away to Jesus”. Now, you would have to meet Rita and just see the overflow of Jesus in her life to believe that that statement is true for herself and that she is living it out. Great people, grrrrrrrrrreat. People.


And this is just a sweet shot. It makes a good desktop.

The book of Ephesians is incredible. I spent a large chunk of my Sunday afternoon slowly slowly slowly reading the first half. I’ve taken to underlining only those passages that are “really really really good” but….funny, I literally underlined 80% of those first three chapters. Check it out. The short of it is: Jesus. He’s the Reason.

Oooo, another MUST read: Fear & Trembling. Søren Kierkegaard. Wow wow wow wow wow, I get so lost in the lyricism of his writing. Astounding. Inspiring. Go to your local bookstore and buy a copy immediately. In short, Kierkegaard is obsessed with Abraham, and the book is his philosophical breakdown of that bible story. Here are some gems:

I am convinced that God is love; this thought has for me a pristine lyrical validity.

[on Abraham] He believed on the strength of the absurd, for all human calculation had long since been suspended.

The dialectic of faith is the most refined and most remarkable of all dialectics, it has an elevation that I can form a conception of but no more.

People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence and they think they have seen something. I am not concerned with this. But if I knew where such a knight of faith lived I would journey to him on foot, for this marvel concerns me absolutely.


Go.

Kierkegaard.
I hiked Pacaya. That’s an active volcano here. Yeah, Elise, Ams and I took a tour and it was thrilling. Imagine just this beautiful tropical trail with black volcanic soil going up up up up up up up up for the first hour (in the company of travelers from total el mundo….I LOVE the French), and then the next 30 minutes picking through lava rock and fishures until we arrived at the glowing embers. BUT WAIT! Only a glimpse before a volcanic burp disturbs the air and rocks start tumbling down upon us. Imagine 50 or so tourists caught in several moments of panic and scattering, thinking everything is going to BLOW!!! But… it didn’t, and only two people were injured. On Pacaya, according to LonelyPlanet, you are more likely to get injured by the activity of the volcano then by criminal activity. And that was certainly true for our group. Our guide found some flowing lava, so up we went. Smell the burning rubber as the soles of your shoes melt from the scorching hot rock, and feel the shifty shifty path beneath your feet as you disregard safety in an effort to witness the brilliance of lava lava lava right before your eyes. It was quite incredible. A must see.

The group is good. This town has so much pain and hurt and dysfunction in it. If you’re a praying person, please pray for our little town of Tizate. There is much that God would like to do here. Pray that the team would be present here in their minds, for focus on our work and the people here, for attitudes to give give give in love.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mishmash

So, here I am in Guatemala! yow. almost a week here now and it is grrrrrr. ate. altogether, GRATE. mwa.

yeah, what to say, feels like home, third time, things are familiar, the family is familiar, SPANISH IS BACK! I'm very happy to be able to communicate in a fairly decent, semi-humiliating fashion: it works well for me. I'm currently sitting at the back of the salon watching some of our chicas teach s flagging routine to uno, dos, tres... thirteen niños. They're cute. Speaking of cute, here Mom, these were the two kids you were talking to earlier...Deana on the right, mi hermana Cindy on the left. Nope, other way around. Ah, Cindy, I love that girl, we hang out a lot.

The team is doing really great here, the first week is always a bit overwhelming seeing as it's a new culture, new language, new family, new work, thrown into teaching and drama and art and spanish classes et cetera. it's a bit much. it's sink or swim, and they always swim in the end.

I personally am having a blast making connections with different people and organizations, pursuing this fairtrade bizzle. Some exciting meetings lined up for tomorrow in the Antigua. DOT.

More news, congrats to my brew Kris who became recently engaged to the Char charmant...hay una foto de los dos abajo. Felicitationas. Soy muy feliz para ustedes.Hey, before I forget, thanks to everyone keeping up on this here Blogggggg. i've gotten your little comments and emails even if I have not replied! Thanks for...having an interest in my life and random random thoughts.

Speaking of which, what was I reading recently....ah, man, I'm getting so bible-y, but so it goes! what was I thinking the other nite...more heavy thoughts. Do I share? maybe just a bit, let me find biblia...so, I'm finishing up Galatians, and this is what it says, "so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith" (G. 3:14.) So clearly I am on a Holy Spirit theme this summer. and the Thought Pattern went something like this:

hmmmm, so the Spirit is promised, and we receive it through faith...hmm, o, there's something else interesting, "But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe" (A.3:22) Right. So the promise of this second passage is talking about the Spirit as mentionned already, only by faith in Jesus is it given and only to those who believe...believe. Hmmm. hmm?

maybe I'll flip back to Acts, that's a good book that talks about the Spirit... (flip to Acts) "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power" (A. 10:38). hmmm, so Jesus only got the HS when he was baptized, so God put his Spirit into his son, and power too... "To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name" (A. 10: 43). Interesting. believes in him, believes in him. what does that mean exactly. Believe in Jesus, believe in what he did, all his crazy works, and God says something like "I am the same yesterday, today and forever", so crazy Jesus works, if I believe they really happened, they must be able to happen today too, seeing as God is unchanging, and we must believe believe believe this.

Believe.

And I only get this gift, this "promise", aka The HS if I am a believer. In Jesus. Which we all are. or are we.

interesting.

that was not thought out very well...you can come to your own conclusions.

On another note, I chopped my hair off. Oh, it was grand, it happened quite a while ago...two months now? yeah. Can you imagine kat with hair 3/8 "? Bzzzzzzz. YEAH BABY! It's been this phenomenal secret that I've kept to myself, but it's leaking out, and seeing as I want to share Miss Carolyn with you, as she is a very dear person to me, I suppose now is the time: here we are. Te amo Carolyn, te amo.Hasta Luego.