Archive | October, 2008

What does the future hold for these people?

28 Oct

Prayer for a thief

26 Oct

The airplane was small….too small for our carry-on luggage.  So at the check-in counter we had to hand over our baggage.  I still carried my backpack, but had forgotten my headphones and iPod were in the suitcase.  Flying an old Russian prop-plane was an interesting experience.  No overhead lights, no air vents, and seats made for much smaller people.  When we arrived at our lodgings in Camaguey and I opened my suitcase I found it had been completely riffled through.  My headphones case was open and my iPod was gone.  Not the first time I’ve had things stolen from me and probably not the last, but what a disappointment! 

So here is my prayer and I’d like to ask others to pray with me.  I’m praying that the thief, or the person who buys the iPod from the thief,will listen to the sermons on the iPod, receive Christ, and write me (my business card is taped to the case).  Can you imagine the email?  “Dear Brian, I am the one who stole your iPod and I wanted to write you to say that the Gospel touched my heart and I am now a new brother in Christ.”  Now THAT would make losing an iPod a great privilege!

La Feria

25 Oct

La Feria

 

Saturday is the farmers’ market known in Spanish as, “la feria” .  On the ½ mile walk there, one sees unusual sights(Brian has the camera in Peru or I’d post a pic here)….a soda(small restaurant often run by a housewife out of her driveway/front of house), a bakery with piping hot baguettes(and other fresh baked but not warm rolls, breads, cookies), a veggie stand, a fruit store, a mini-super(think AM/PM or 7-Eleven but not overpriced), a diaper store(yes, for adults and infants), and a couple carts selling fresh fruit drinks(orange, kolita (bubble gum with fruit floating in it), mixed fruit, tamarindo, and limeade. On the edge of the small, local market here in Tres Rios, trailers selling meats or seafood sit a few meters(remember the metric system—they use it here!) before long rows of fresh veggies and fruits. Often vendors sell only green veggies or strawberries or you name it. Quite an experience…if ya’ll come visit, we’ll take you!

 

Pursuing a No-Regrets Life

24 Oct

Much of what we read has little to do with our lives and offers an escape from reality. Our family recently received the book One Month To Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life.  The book’s thesis is that in daily life we put off many things due to lack of time, energy, resources, or mere excuses. All of us have the same quantity of time to spend each twenty-four hours. What can we do to make it count for the kingdom, most specifically in the lives of our families and others?

 

Case in point, applying to graduate school while raising four children was a choice motivated first by a passion for the lives of women and children (instilled by God and three different nurse-midwives whose paths crossed mine in my 20’s and 30’s); secondly, to cultivate my intellect; and thirdly, by a desire to use that passion to assist women in my own family and women and children in need.

 

I daresay that making the choice to leave a comfortable, idyllic American lifestyle was another turning point for our family and in doing so, we began living out what the book above calls a no-regrets life. Believe me, we have not arrived but are on a journey and hope that a small portion of such living will be learned by our children and their children as they develop, not in middle age.

In-transit from a challenging Carribean island

24 Oct
I’m back in Costa Rica for a few hours and am heading to Lima Peru shortly.  Our trip to the lonely island was very successful although we were all worn out by the third day there.  What a beautiful place and wonderful opportunities to do ministry.  The people are afraid and speak on certain subjects unless they are sure there is no one who can overhear.  Yet even in their homes they speak about these things in a very quiet voice.  It is hard to comprehend what it does to a people who have spent the last half-century under a cloud of fear.  Suspicious, fearful, yet friendly once they get to know you somewhat.  In many ways, the island is like much of Latin America in its lifestyle, housing, food and environment.  Yet the lack of freedoms changes even the landscape.  What a privilege to see what God is doing in a place even angels fear to tread.   New doors were opened for some exciting partnership opportunities.  Do pray for that.
Interesting note:  I did post from an Internet cafe during our trip and it did not make it to the site.  It’ll be interesting how long it takes to make it through the “oversight” and to the site.  If at all.  No wonder the churches there haven’t been able to get Bibles for the last two years.

Friends from home

17 Oct

There is something special about having friends from our home country visit us here in Costa Rica.  For some reason it is encouraging to know someone from our old life knows a little about what our life here is like.  Today four people from our home church arrived and spent the afternoon and dinner with us in our home.  And the best part was having friends from there and here meet each other and get a chance to know each other.

Tomorrow we head out to San Carlos which will take us through the mountains and into pineapple and orange farm country.  We’ll be visiting some of our Costa Rican partners and have a chance to see the pastoral training they do here.

Zumba, anyone?

11 Oct
Although I have been to a few gyms in Latin America, and have even enjoyed exercise classes at a few, this morning made me realize exactly why I enjoy running so much—

· It is a solo sport, except during races etc, and even then you are competing against one’s own personal best

· It takes place OUTDOORS, a breeze or light sprinkle may even be felt

· Cadence is involved, but not to a Latin beat

But when Keri wanted to go with me to Zumba, it made it somehow more palatable…

Zumba is intense- and when done in a hot, non-air conditioned Costa Rican gym(think the smallest exercise venue in any Charlotte area YMCA) you are sure to burn enough calories to earn a taxi ride home from the middle of town-especially when your 17 year old insists! We’re gonna try a different class at another gym this week!