Wednesday, August 27

A Tale of One Tree

**This is to be sung to the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies." Oh yes. All together now.

Come and listen to my story of a boy named Nate,

He loved climbing trees, he was feelin' pretty great.

And then one day, he was up high all alone,

He took a little dive and did somethin' to his bone...

Broke, that is.


Guatemala style.

Well, the first thing ya know to the hospital he goes.

He got checked out from his head down to his toes.

Everything was fine, except his elbow's broke...

So the lesson in this tale is to go cut down that rope....

Swing, that is.

Hangin' there, from the tree.

It won't come back now, ya hear??

The end **Actually, there's no chance of the rope coming down. Nate's already trying to get back on it!**

Wednesday, August 20

My Veggie Tale

I liked the veggies. And the fruit.
Apparently, it was not mutual.
Yesterday, I was officially diagnosed (I will spare you the details, but said diagnosis involves traipsing down the street with your sample in a baggie and delivering the lovely baggie to the lab). Anway, I was officially diagnosed with parasites. This is super-common here and most people get it at one time or another, but the strain I have is a particularly, uh, tenacious one.

So, after googling all the words on my completely-in-Spanish-lab-report, we figured out what it was, and my sweet hubby picked up some super-fun medicine for me to take. The list of side effects were quite exciting, and quite accurate. One of the web sites had described that you might have a "metallic taste" in your mouth.
Oh yeah.
I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was chewing on a wad of tin foil. Yum.

Actually, I am thankful that we figured out why I was sick, and that there's a fix for it.
In the meantime, those veggies can rest easy for awhile.

Saturday, August 16


The missions team that was here this week did a street evangelism event for the children of Santa Maria de Jesus (a village nearby with mostly indigenous, Mayan descent. They typically have very little exposure outside of their village - even though it is only a 20 minute drive outside of Antigua).

The activities involved a Gospel Magic show, a pinata, face painting, and crafts. Nate and Shelby manned the chalk station!

Saturday, August 2

The forecast calls for clouds...

I went for a run this week, taking the route I've really begun to enjoy.

It starts out from our house, across the congested street where horns from the buses notify potential passengers on the upcoming block that their ride has arrived. Motorcycles, mopeds, and cars zip by. Another bus revs its engines as it drops off passengers, who hold their noses as black clouds of diesel fumes envelope them.

I find my break in the traffic and head one block down to the 1/4 mile dirt road that leads to my destination. People weave their way through the mud puddles on foot and on bicycle, and then wait patiently by the side as cars slosh their way past them. A tired and somber woman passes by with a wheelbarrow overloaded with produce, followed by a man who stumbles pastme with drooped shoulders and sunken eyes. As I jog, my focus is just in front of my feet to ensure my next step is a dry one, and I am shaded by bordering trees that prevent the sun from relieving the road's soaked condition and block my view of my goal ahead.

The road finally turns left and narrows to a one-lane bridge. My destination is close - the triangular yield sign for the highway is visible only fifty feet beyond the bridge. A dog races across the road, scavenging for scraps of food as I approach the "River of Life".

The river gets this nickname from the amazing assortment of bacterial, amoebaic, and parasitic organisms that thrive in the open sewer-like conditions of the water. Ironically, men work hard in their bare feet to separate "clean" sand from the polluted waters so that it can be hauled away as fill dirt.

I press ahead, only the fifty foot stretch of steep incline beyond the bridge blocks the view that awaits.

Once again, the view is worth it. (The picture is actually 4 stitched together to attempt to give a feel for what the eyes take in Click on this or any of the other pictures for a MUCH more detailed view).

I turn my head to the left and the view extends even further. And past this is the road I just travelled. A man rides his bike towards the polluted river, weary workers, scavenging dogs, mud puddles, choking diesel fumes, and angry traffic.

The view is even more special because only in the last few weeks has the rainy weather cleared consistently in the mornings to reveal the mountains that surround our volcano valley. Waking up to bleak, grey skies each morning for several weeks creates a hunger and enjoyment of the pristine views.

What's obvious, but still interesting, is that the objects that make up the view haven't changed. Only my position in relation to obstacles (trees, hills, houses, clouds), and the direction of my focus. Fifty feet in any direction and the view of one or more of these four main peaks is blocked by trees. The mountains are still there, momentarily hidden from my view. They haven't changed, only the things around them or the focus of my attention.

I find myself at times living my life looking at my feet, exerting all of my effort to avoid the next obstacle in front of me or trying to let go of my frustration of the distraction of the moment. During the most serious of times, these moments can turn into days or weeks of focusing on all of the things that invade my personal space and comfort. But, the God Who created me never changes, never goes away, and never disappears. He doesn't play tricks on me or smirk while I stand in the muddy street in bewilderment and frustration, wondering where He has gone. He wants me to believe that He is. He never stops existing just because my mind is to tired or distracted to think about Him. He wants me to believe that He is always with me, and that I can walk with my head high and in the fullest potential of His power because I never take the eyes of my heart off the goal, even if my senses can't see, smell, taste, touch, or hear it at the moment.

Eph 1: 17-23 says:
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." (NIV)

Lord, continue to open my eyes of my heart, that I may truly see all that you have made available to me through Jesus Christ. Tear down my petty unbelief, fear of the unkown, and my obsession with minimizing my discomfort and insisting on only working where there is beautiful scenery to enjoy. When my view of You and Your plan is obscured or blocked, may my faith in Your unseen position and power grow to replace what my senses cannot perceive. Would You find enjoyment with me each day as I walk in faith, spilling over in the fullness of the One Who fills everything, everywhere, and in every way. Amen.