One Young Man's Yestermorrows

Adventures of a twenty-something

Fragmentado (Fragmented)

This post is bilingual, the English version is below.

Esta entrada es bilingüe, la versión en inglés está abajo.

“¿Cómo se recoge los hilos de una vida antigua? ¿Cómo sigues adelante cuando en tu corazón comienzas a entender que no hay volver?  Hay algunas cosas que el tiempo no puede remendar…”

-Frodo en la adaptación cinematográfica de El Señor de los Anillos: El Retorno del Rey

Mi paso se aceleró después de haber salido de la puerta de desembarque.  La emoción comenzó a inundarme mientras que esperé con gran anticipación ver las caras de mi familia.  Un sentimiento gozoso me sobrecogió y levanté mis brazos en el aire, señalando el triunfo sobre el viaje arduo a mi tierra.  Pronto llegué a los brazos de mi papa, mamá, abuela y dos hermanos, rostros olvidados encontrados nuevamente.  Sin embargo, fui dicho que no se podía reconocerme a mi, que yo había cambiado tanto.  Pronto experimenté la misma sensación con mi mismo.

Este primer párrafo que pinté para Uds. era lo que sentí después de que el avión se aterrizó, pero yo todavía no he regresado.  Cuando una persona va de vacaciones o un viaje misionero plazo corto, el tiempo y perspectiva usualmente están definidos y el traslado de ambientes está menos cincelado.  Yo establecí una vida en Perú, y cuando me fui no dejé solamente algunos recuerdos o rastros, sino una parte de mi mismo.  Yo tenía estructura y propósito en mi actividad diaria, tenía una familia que incluía acerca de 50 niños preciosos, tenía amistades profundas y me sentía más cómodo con el castellano como mi idioma.  Ocho meses, y en un abrir y cerrar de ojos, se esfumó todo.

La cosa irónica es que esta vida, mi vida “antigua”, hace una semana parecía un sueño.  Sin embargo, mientras que estoy sentado escribiendo esta entrada, en una casa en el noreste de los Estados Unidos en el invierno, los instantes de despertarme en el noroeste de Perú en el verano se ven como si a través de una neblina o la niebla.

¿Y cómo se cabe una pieza que no más se encaja facilmente en su rompecabezas?  Los primeros días de vuelto eran bien difíciles.  Reta tus paradigmas cuando un almuerzo éstandar en Nueva York podría costar más que trés días de comida de donde estábas.  O un viaje en el subterráneo, repleto de personas, muchas con sus iPods, es más silencio y en insensible que nunca.  Y claro, quieres decirles a todos tus amigos tu experiencia tal como era, pero faltan las palabras y tú sientes que ni siquiera has vuelto todavía.  Aun más, el intento de decírselo a todos en un día te deja agotado.

Ahora sí estoy acostumbrándome más, pero yo sé que nunca seré igual; nunca completamente regresaré.  Y debe ser así.  Una experiencia como la mía te cicatriza y te cambia.  Como en “Desaparecidos” cuando Jack sale de la isla o Frodo cuando vuelve de su viaje de destruir el anillo, jamás las cosas serán como eran.

Como comencé con una historia, voy a terminar con una también.  La noche en la que me fui del albergue, y fui a todas las casitas, despidiéndome de todos los niños.  Me tocaron Las Chispas por último, y me turné dándoles a todas las chicas un abrazo.  Pero Isabel se quedó a la mesa sin mostrar mucha emoción.  Yo le dije, “Isabel, tú me debes algo,” refiriéndome al abrazo.  Ella se paró y me abrazó, y se quedó allí.  No se movió de entre mis brazos por cinco minutos, llorando.  Esas lágrimas todavía están conmigo.

Abajo están algunas fotos de estos amigos que me han impactado tanto.

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life?  How do you go on when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back?  There are some things that time cannot mend…”

-Frodo in the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King

My pace quickened after having exited the gate.  The excitement began to flood me while I waited with great anticipation seeing the faces of my family.  A joyful feeling overtook me and I lifted my arms in the air, signaling the triumph over the arduous trip to my land.  I soon arrived to the arms of my dad, mom, grandmother and two brothers, faces forgotten newly found.  However, it was said that I couldn’t be recognized, that I had changed a lot.  I soon experienced the same sensation with myself.

This first paragraph that I painted for you was what I felt after the plane landed, but I still haven’t come back.  When a person goes on vacation or a short term missionary trip, the time and mindset are usually defined and the movement of environments is less engraved.  I established a life in Peru, and when I left I didn’t just leave some memories or traces, but rather a part of myself.  I had structure and purpose in my daily activity, a family that included about 50 precious children, deep friendships, and I felt more comfortable with Spanish as my language.  Eight months, and in the blink of an eye, it all vanished.

The ironic thing is that this life, my “old” life, a week ago seemed a dream.  However, while I am sitting writing this post, in a house in the northeast of the United States in the winter, the instants of waking up in northwestern Peru in the summer are seen as if through a mist or a fog.

And how do you fit a puzzle piece that no longer goes easily into its puzzle?  The first days back were quite difficult.  It challenges your paradigms when a standard lunch in New York cost more than three days of food from where you were.  Or a trip on the subway, full of people, many with their iPods, are quieter and more numb than ever.  And of course, you want to tell all your friends your experience exactly as it was, but there’s a lack of words and you feel that you haven’t even returned yet.  Plus, the attempt of telling it to everyone in a day leaves you exhausted.

Now I am getting used to things more, but I know that I will never be the same; I will never completely come back.  And it has to be that way.  An experience like mine scars you and changes you.  Like in “Lost” when Jack leaves the island or Frodo when he returns from his journey to destroy the ring, things will never be as they were.

Like I began with a story, I am going to end with one too.  The night in which I left the orphanage, I went to all the casitas, saying goodbye to all the children.  Las Chispas were the last house, and I took turns giving hugs to all the girls.  Yet Isabel stayed at the table without showing much emotion.  I said to her, “Isabel, you owe me something,”, referring to the hug.  She stood up and hugged, and stayed there.  She didn’t move from my embrace for five minutes, crying.  Those tears are still with me.

Below are some pictures of these friends that have impacted me such.

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March 6, 2010 Posted by | Adventure, Post-Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pasando páginas (Turning pages)

This post is bilingual, the English version is below.

Esta entrada es bilingüe, la versión en inglés está abajo.

Bien, he llegado a un punto muy extraño, un período que realmente hace 8 meses parecía una eternidad en el futuro.  Me queda aproximadamente una semana aquí en el albergue.  Hoy día es sábado, y el siguiente sábado en la noche yo tomo un bus desde aquí hasta Lima.   Paso el día ahí y después vuelo de Lima a los Estados Unidos.  Anoche yo compré mi boleto pa’ Lima, así que es ciertamente una realidad.  Y ¡que ciclo de oscilaciones estoy experimentando!

Les explico que pasa.  En verdad, estoy muy emocionado por volver.  Extraño mucho mi familia, mis amigos, y una variedad de cosas pequeñas.  Va a ser un regreso glorioso y gozoso, y una gran parte de mi espera con ansiedad salir de la puerta del embarque y ver mi familia aguardándome.  Sin embargo, hace casi ocho meses que estoy aquí.   La intensidad de esa duracion juega un papel en causar nostalgia, y también fomenta cariño y profundidad en relaciones y en experiencia.  O sea, ahora yo tengo una familia aquí y he tenido una aventura increíble.  Esto ha sido mi vida por un largo tiempo, y marcharme no va a ser fácil.

Cuando yo me fui de mi casa, era triste.  Yo tuve que decirle a mi familia Chau por ocho meses, y no conocía ni siquiera una persona aquí en el Perú.  Ahora tengo que decir Adios a otra familia, y no sé cuando regresaré.  Es el anhelo de mi corazón volver algún día, no sé por cuánto tiempo y en qué capacidad, pero las amistades y hermandades tengo aquí me son muy importantes, y este albergue está dejando una huella profundo en mi ser.

El cuerpo de Cristo realmente centellea cuando se lo ve en otros países.  Uno puede vislumbrar los diferentes fragmentos de su belleza, como las diferentes radiaciones de luz a través de un prisma.  Yo tengo una familia que se extiende a todas partes del mundo, y va a ser feliz reunirme con mis hermanos en Nueva York que me aman, pero también triste irme de mis hermanos aquí en el Perú.  ¡Qué glorioso que algún día estaremos juntos todos, sin despedidas!

Y ¡que amor el Señor me ha mostrado aquí a través de los niños!  Cada chico es una obra de arte de Dios, y ha sido un gozo conocer cada uno más.  Son personas hermosas, y mi oración es que ellos entiendan cada día más cuán amados son.  Este fin de semana yo fui a Chiclayo, una ciudad acerca de tres horas y media al norte, y cuando regresé algunas de las niñas se precipitaron hacia mí para abrazarme, como si hubiera ido por semanas.  Después de este encuentro mis ojos comenzaron a llenarse ligeramente de lágrimas.  Vivir en un lugar así, recibes un cuadro a lo que realmente importa en la vida.  Yo voy a extrañar las infinitas veces de escuchar “Tío Mateo” y las sonrisas de estos amiguitos preciosos.

Bueno, gracias por escucharme un poquito.  Cuando esté en los Estados yo haré más con mi blog.  Reflexionaré, y contaré algunas anécdotas.  Por favor, les pido que me toleren, porque tendré que retroceder…yo sé que todavía les debo la segunda parte de mi aventura en la selva.  Además, querré compartir algunas fotos de los niños con Uds.  Así que, ¡sigan sintonizando!

Well, I’ve arrived at a very strange point, a period that really 8 months ago seemed an eternity in the future.  I have approximately a week left here in the orphanage.  Today is Saturday, and the following Saturday in the night I take a bus from here to Lima.  I spend the day there and afterwards fly from Lima to the U.S.  Last night I bought my ticket for Lima, so it is certainly a reality.  And what cycle of oscillations I am experiencing!

I’ll explain to you what’s going on.  Truthfully, I am excited to go back.  I miss very much my family, my friends and a variety of small things.  It is going to a glorious and joyful return, and a large part of me can’t wait to exit the gate and see my family awaiting me.  However, I’ve been here for about eight months.  The intensity of that duration plays a role in causing nostalgia and also fosters affection and depth in relationships and experience.  That is, now I have a family here and I’ve had an incredible adventure.  This has been my life a long time, and leaving is not going to be easy.

When I left home, it was sad.  I had to say bye to my family for eight months, and I didn’t even know one person here in Peru.  Now I have to say goodbye to another family, and I don’t know when I’ll return.  It is the yearning of my heart to come back some day, I don’t for how long or in what capacity, but the friendships and brother ties I have here are very important to me, and this orphanage is leaving a deep imprint in my being.

The body of Christ really sparkles when it is seen in other countries.  One can glimpse the different fragments of its beauty, like the different radiations of light through a prism.  I have a family that extends to all parts of the world, and it is going to be happy reunite with my brothers and sisters in New York that love me, but also sad to leave my those here in Peru.  How glorious that someday we will be together, without farewells!

And what love the Lord has shown me through the children!  Each child is one of God’s works of art, and it has been a joy getting to know each one more and more.  They are beautiful people, and my prayer is that they understand each day more how loved they are.  This weeked I went to Chiclayo, a city about three hours and a half hours to the north, and when I came back some of the girls rushed towards me to give me a hug, as if I had been gone for weeks.  After this encounter my eyes began to tear up.  Living in a place like this, you receive a glimpse into what really matters in life.  I am going to miss the infinite times of hearing “Tío Mateo” and the smiles of these little precious friends.

Well, thanks for listening to me a little.  When I am in the States I will do more with my blog.  I will reflect and tell some anecdotes.  Please, I ask that you put up with me, because I will have to rewind…I know that I still owe you all the second part of the jungle adventure.  Furthermore, I will want to share some photos of the kids with you guys.  So, stay tuned!

February 20, 2010 Posted by | Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

La selva te envuelve: Parte 1

This post is bilingual.  The English version is below.

Esta entrada es bilingüe.  La versión en inglés está abajo.

“Deberíamos regresar a casa de aventura, y peligros, y descubrimientos cada día con nueva experiencia y carácter” –Henry David Thoreau

“Una inconveniencia es solo una aventura considerada incorrectamente; una aventura es una inconveniencia considerada correctamente.”  -GK Chesterton

Damas y caballeros, acabo de regresar de la aventura más intensa e increíble de mi vida hasta ahora.  Oeste de la cordillera de los Andes en Perú te aguarda la selva Peruana, una majestuosa tierra llena de belleza, maravilla y autenticidad.  La selva es inmensa; yo solo fui un pedazo pequeño de lo que es un terreno que se extiende a otros países.  Sin embargo, el trazo que yo experimenté dejo una huella impactante en mi ser.

Yo voy a intentar explicar mi aventura reciente, mas te animo que si te encuentras conmigo, pregúntame en persona.  Mayormente, esta exposición va a ser un resumen general adornado con anécdotas.

Fui a la selva con mi jefe y amigo Alex.  Hace más que 6 meses que yo trabajo con Alex aquí al albergue, y él es un nativo de la selva.  Partimos de Trujillo en un bus en camino a Tarapoto, y después de un viaje de más o menos 16 horas llegamos.  Allí nos reunimos con Miqueas, un misionero que vive en Tarapoto con su familia.  Lo mencioné en una entrada anterior que se trata de Lima; anticipé este viaje.  Bueno, nos quedamos en Tarapoto ese día y noche, acostumbrándonos a estar de pie y al calor.  Visitamos la iglesia que estaba siendo construida y asistimos el culto en la noche.  El próximo día en la mañana  comenzaría el núcleo de la odisea.

Nuestro equipo se componía de Miqueas, dos de sus hijos, Alex, un hermano Willy que es médico, dos hermanas residen en Trujillo, un hermano de Tarapoto y yo.  De Tarapoto tomamos un carro (una camioneta en la que me quedé atrás) hasta el pueblo de Chazuta.  Desde allí tomamos un bote por el Rio Huallaga hasta el primer pueblito del recorrido: Achinamisa.  Cada pueblo a donde fuimos tenía su propio encanto, y éste no era una excepción.  Acurrucado en la selva alta se encuentra esta aldea con una gente humilde y amable.  Los hermanos de la iglesia nos dieron las bienvenidas con mucho calor y hospitalidad, y yo fui sobrecogido por la hermosura de este paisaje.  Ellos no tienen luz, televisión, internet o agua corriente, pero su tierra es más como Dios la dejó que la nuestra.  Los que nos atendían nos mostraron donde íbamos a quedarnos, y disfrutamos un almuerzo de carachupa (armadillo).  Luego, me bañé en una quebrada que aloja un tipo de pez que se llama el canero.  El canero es un animalito travieso.  Es atraído por la orina de su presa y entra en su huésped siguiendo la trayectoria del liquido.  Puede simplemente también morder la piel exterior de su víctima.  Obviamente, ¡yo estaba consciente de este riesgo que enfrentaba!  Cuando regresábamos al centro del pueblo, una Señora se nos acercó con una toalla envuelta  alrededor de una bola.  La desenvolvió para revelar varios gusanos que se llaman awiwa retorciéndose.  Nos dijo que los herviría y nos regalaría algunos más tarde.  Bueno, más luego ella nos encontró y yo gocé dos de estos gusanos que se quedan en los tallos de las plantas de coco.  Ellos tienen hojas de coco en sus cuerpos, y ¡la combinación de las hojas con su piel es agradable!  Para cena comimos saíno, similar a chancho pero más grande, con colmillos de marfil y salvaje.

En cada pueblo la rutina era similar.  Llegábamos, evangelizábamos caminando por el pueblo repartiendo folletos, hablando con los residentes e invitándolos al evento tendríamos en la noche y teníamos el culto con música y un tiempo de predicar.  El día siguiente teníamos devocionales y tiempo con los niños.  El doctor Willy proveía atención médica gratuita, una bendición grande ya que para muchas de estas personas consultar con un médico puede ser costoso y poco común. Antes del viaje, no esperaba hablar en frente de la gente, pero Miqueas me empujó a hacerlo y gracias a Dios lo hice; así es como alguien se crece, ¿no?  Entonces, yo hablé, dos veces durante la semana compartiendo mi testimonio y una vez hablando sobre la familia.

Después de este pueblo fuimos a Pongo Isla, el próximo lugar en nuestra ruta (antes de llegar desviamos rapidito a las aguas termales que estaban cerca).  Acercándonos a la selva baja,  Pongo Isla en un pueblito increíble con belleza así en el paisaje como en el espíritu de la gente.  El anécdota ligado a esta etapa del viaje tiene que ver con la chacra al otro lado del rio.  Algunos hermanos tenían una parcela considerable del terreno en la que ellos cultivaban una variedad de fruta rica.  Fuimos de caminata y bañarnos por allí , cogiendo la fruta y disfrutándola.  A un punto yo trepé  un árbol, y ¡bastantes hormigas comenzaron a arrastrarse por mi brazo!  Bueno, en la selva existen hormigas venenosas, pero éstas no me hicieron daño y yo simplemente me las quité.

El tercer pueblo era Miraflores, y se encuentra en la selva baja.  Distinto de la selva alta, la selva baja no está entre cerros y normalmente se acostumbra a más zancudos.  Miraflores contenía una vista panorámica sensacional (se puede fijarse en algunas fotos).  Los primeros dos pueblitos tenían iglesias que habían florecido; había un cuerpo de creyentes y se podia ver fruto.  A la inversa, Miraflores está sufriendo.  No hay un templo, y hay tal vez 7 creyentes.  Hay que orar por la situación allí.  Sin embargo, por lo menos ¡muchos niños acudieron a las actividades que teníamos para ellos!  En Miraflores el baño era muy rústico; un excusado exterior que simultáneamente había sido la casa de varios insectos.  Tenía que usar el baño, pero había una araña que me estaba mirando detenidamente mientras que estaba comiendo su merienda.  No me sentía tan cómodo, pero necesitaba hacer lo que necesitaba hacer.

Bueno, les dejo allí.  Disfruten algunas de las fotos de este cacho del viaje, y ¡permanezcan atentos para parte 2!

“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character” -Henry David Thoreau

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” -GK Chesterton

Ladies and gentlemen, I just got back from the most intense and incredible adventure of my life thus far.  West of the Andes mountain range awaits the Peruvian jungle, a majestic land full of beauty, wonder and authenticity.  The jungle is immense; I only went to a little piece of what is a terrain that extends to other countries.  However, the slice that I experience left an impacting footprint in my being.

I am going to try to explain my recent adventure, but I encourage you to ask me in person if we encounter each other.  In large part this exposition will be a general summary colored with anecdotes.

I went to the jungle with my boss and friend Alex.  We have been working together for more than 6 months here at the orphanage, and he is a native of the jungle.  We departed from Trujillo in a bus en route to Tarapoto, and after a trip of about 16 hours we arrived. There we met up with Miqueas (Micah), a missionary who lives in Tarapoto with his family. I mentioned him in an earlier post that was about Lima; I anticipated this trip. We stayed in Tarapoto that day and night, getting used to being on our feet and the heat.  We visited the church that was being built and attended that nighttime service.  The next day en the morning would begin the nucleus of the odyssey.

Our team consisted of Miqueas, two of his sons, Alex, a brother in Christ named Willy who is a doctor, two sisters in Christ that reside in Trujillo, a brother in Christ from Tarapoto and myself.  From Tarapoto we took a car (a little truck in which I stayed in the back) to the town Chazuta.  From there we took a boat on the River Huallaga to the first little town of the trip: Achinamisa.  Each town that we went to has its own charm, and this one was no exception. Nestled in the high jungle lies this village with a humble and friendly people. The brothers of the church welcomed us with much warmth and hospitality, and I was overtaken by the beauty of the countryside.  They don’t have light, TV, internet or running water, but their land is more like God left it than ours.  Those that were attending to us showed us where we were going to stay, and we enjoyed a lunch of carachupa (armadillo).  Then, I went swimming in a break in the river that is home to a type of fish called the canero.  The canero is a little mischievous animal.  It is attracted by the urine of its prey and enters in its host following the trajectory of the liquid.  It can also simply bite the exterior skin of its victim.  Obviously, I was conscious of this risk that I was confronting.  When we were going back to the center of the town, a woman approached us with a towel enveloped around a ball.  She unwrapped it to reveal various worms, squirming, that are called awiwa.  She told us that she would boil them and give us some later on.  Well, later she found us and I enjoyed two of these worms that stay the stalks of coco plants.  They have coco leaves in their bodies, and the combination of the leaves with their skin is agreeable!  For dinner we ate peccary, which is like a small warthog.

In each pueblo the routine was similar.  We would arrive, evangelize walking through the town handing out tracts and talking with with the residents, inviting them to the event we were having at night, and then have a service with music and a time of preaching. The following day we had devotionals and time with the kids.  The doctor Willy provided free medical attention, a big blessing since for many of the people there consulting a doctor can be costly and uncommon. Before the trip, I wasn’t expecting to speak in front of people, but Miqueas pushed me to do so and thank God I did; that’s how one grows, right? So, I spoke two times during the week sharing my testimony and one time talking about my family.

After this pueblo we went to Pongo Isla, the next place on our route (before arriving we detoured quickly to the nearby thermal waters).  Approaching the lower jungle, Pongo Isla is a small incredible town with beauty in its countryside as well as in the spirit of its people.  The anecdote tied to this stage of the trip has to do with the field on the other side of the river.  Some brothers in Christ had a sizeable parcel of terrain in which that were cultivating a variety good fruit.  We went hiking and swimming there, taking the fruit and enjoying it.  At one point I climbed a tree and a bunch of ants started to crawl around my arm.  Hey, in the jungle exist poisonous ants, but these didn’t hurt me and I simply brushed them off.

The third pueblo was Miraflores, and it is found in the lower jungle.  Unlike the high jungle, the lower jungle is not among hills and normally is accustomed to more mosquitoes.  Miraflores contains a sensational panoramic view (you can check it out in some of the photos).  The first two little towns had churches that had flourished; there was a body of believers and one could see fruit.  Conversely, Miraflores is suffering.  There isn’t a church building, and there are maybe seven believers.  Prayer is needed for the situation there.  However, at least a lot of kids went to the activities that we had for them.  In Miraflores the bathroom was very rustic; an outhouse that simultaneously had been the house of various insects.  I had to do my business.

Well, I leave you there.  Enjoy some of the photos of this chunk of the trip, and stay tuned for part 2!

January 23, 2010 Posted by | Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holidaze

Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year – and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority.  -W.J. Cameron

Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home.  -Carol Nelson

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d]—which means, “God with us.” – Matthew 1: 22-23

So much has happened since my last post, including 2 trips into the Sierra (the highlands in the mountains) of Peru, but as the strange title suggests, this time round I am going to focus on the holidays of the season.  Thanksgiving and Christmas for us Americans are huge days for the family…so much that before this year I had never spent either without my brothers and my parents.  Yet this year I will be in a completely different continent for both, in the corner of Peru where I have been residing for the past 5 and a half months.  And it’s different.  Challenging.   Paradigm shifting.

Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite holidays for a while now, and I spent it here celebrating with other volunteers and the family of one of the workers, who generously opened up her home to us.  Though I did feel the absence of what I would normally enjoy back in the states with the turkey, family, and football, it wasn’t as big of a loss as one might think.  Two factors to discuss is that Christmas is the big kahoony, and Thanksgiving is the warmup act.   Subconsciously one knows that Turkey Day segues into Christmas time.  However, a bigger reason I am feeling the daze in the holidaze of Christmas here now has to do with all the culture hullaboo Americana ties to December.  When I think of Christmas, I think of the snow in New England, the lights and decorated stores of NYC, the tree and the gifts that populate its base, etc.; that is, I think of my version of the 25th of December.  Yet I find myself in a bit of a culture shock here because Christmas, unlike Thanksgiving, transcends cultures: Christmas exists in the U.S., Italy, Peru and beyond, and there are also other ways to celebrate it.  However, the denominator is the same: the arrival of Christ Jesus to our world.  And this is the beauty of my minor conundrum.  My mind struggles to fit the Christmas experience here, in the balmy heat and surrounded by sand, apparent light years away from evening snowfall, into my rigidly constructed box of the season, but my heart is shifting its focus back to the true meaning of Christmas.  The Creator of the Universe came to our lives in the humble form of a baby; that is why we sing Silent Night, that is why we exchange gifts, and that is why we celebrate with our families.   And that, my friends, does not depend on a thermometer.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still weird and difficult.  The Christmas that I know (knew?) seems like a distant memory, absorbing dreamlike aspects, and I miss family and friends.  Yet it is an incredible gift that I am receiving to spend Christmas here.  For instance, I’ve spent about the last 5 weeks rehearsing with some of the kids, and we performed at two different events this past Friday.  For them to have a chance to work hard, sing together as a group, produce a finished product, and perform for people outside of the orphanage is a blessing that I am honored to have been a part of.

Christmas time is a season to spend with family, but most of these kids will be spending it here.  I’ve been blessed a trillion fold to spend 21 Christmases with my family…one with those that aren’t going to spend it with theirs is a gift I can both give and receive. We got a couple of surprises, one for Christmas Eve and another for Christmas day, in the works for them too!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and may God bless you!  Keep us in your prayers!

Enjoy a variety of photos from my recent adventures!

December 24, 2009 Posted by | Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cultivation in many forms

“How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.”  -Benjamin Disraeli

“Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul.”  -Linda Solegato

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” -Abraham Lincoln

Lately I have gotten my hands dirty with the art of gardening.  We have two huertos here at the albergue, one smaller one in which the kids and Susannah, one of the volunteers, do much of the work, and a  larger one that is handled more so by one of the workers (Marcos) and myself.  We have an assortment of plants, from tomatoes and lucuma, to lettuce, cilantro, and pepinillo!

At first gardening just bugged me because it seemed like its only component was weeding the soil; not the most exciting part of your day.  But then it revealed itself as more detailed and delicate, and I have since realized it as an intrinsically beautiful process.  Each plant has its own specific needs and requires a particular type of care.  For example, something I recently did was help set up an apparatus so that our pepinillo plants could grow vertically.  Another example:  I constructed a sort of shield for various avocado plants.  And of course, the watering must be monitored, along with fumigation, nutrient intake, and freedom from weeds.

But the benefits one reaps from gardening are numerous.  Besides from the physical and economical advantages (and not to mention the quality of the fruit and vegetables), there is an internal blossoming that occurs inside the gardener.   The process of tending to the land, caring for it, monitoring it, and seeing the joyous result of the fruit of the labor (chiefly the work of the earth) evokes a desire to continue in this inherently glorious undertaking.  Just as the plants are on their way to maturation, a seed has been planted inside of me and a love for gardening is being cultivated.

It really is a bit uncanny the process of gardening because it is a delicate, internal joy one receives, as if it unlocks something deep inside of you.   I believe that God created us as well as the plants and animals.  We were created by Him the Creator.  Therefore, perhaps when we lend our hands in growing these plants, we access another trait of the Creator who formed us.

Gardening can certainly be likened to our interaction and hearts for the children here.  We try to train them, discipline them, provide for them and love them so that they grow up well, and we see the progress bit by bit.  Recently I’ve begun to tutor an 11-year old boy named Samir.  Samir is smart kid that has some issues with exerting himself and anger.  He also is a very closed person in that he has a hard time accepting love and believing that people want the best for him.  He and I usually start things off with some sort of recreational activity, move onto his homework, occasionally do a little pleasure reading, and then close in prayer.  The first time with him was very tough, as he didn’t want to cooperate and just shut down.  However, praise God, our time together has been developing, and though my hope is that our relationship deepens, we enjoy more quality time together, he’s generally happier, his behavior has improved, and he’s been doing better in school.  Just like a plant, the fruit can be seen bit by bit.  However, there is still a long way to go, and I would appreciate keep us in your prayers.

It’s no coincidence we can learn a lot from plants.  Jesus also talks about them quite a bit, including in His explanation of the parable of the sower and abiding in Him as He is the true vine.

I’d like to share with you an anecdote that serves as another example of growing up.  Recently Marita, an energetic and rambunctious girl here, slammed a door in her casita, and Rosario, a sprightly housemate of Marita’s, happened to be right by.  Well, Rosario was left with a significant cut on the eye brow and had to go to a clinic to get stitches.  However, her brother Pedro bubbled with wrath as a result of this accident and frankly wanted to knock Marita out.  I talked with him that night and he was running on strict emotion, his anger taking the driver’s seat.  Thank God, he didn’t go after her, and the next day I got to have a good conversation with him.  He no longer wanted to hit her, and we talked about how anger can overcome you.  I empathized with him, sharing that I’ve experienced the same flooding sensation of fury, and we talked about how Jesus wants us to offer the other cheek instead of hitting back.  It was amazing to converse with him about an important subject and see the night and day change in him from less than 24 hours before.  He even expressed that this albergue is a blessing.  Pedro has a good heart that is blossoming, and it is in moments like these that you see the fruits of the labor being done here at Hogar de Esperanza.

That’s it for this post folks!  Please keep us all here in your thoughts and prayers, we are always in need of the latter!

And of course, enjoy some photos!

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Las aventuras en Ecuador

“‘Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.  You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.'” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.” – Frank Lloyd

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid

Every three months at the Albergue we are aloted a week off for vacation, and this can be very important.  I am a firm believer in the concept of rest, that in order to do something well you have to be charged.  However, this also comes with the idea that that rest precedes time in hard work.  Anyway, in addition to a time of refreshment, when someone from the U.S.A. comes to Peru without a visa, they can receive 90 days and then exit the country to renew their time.  I have been in Peru for over 3 and a half months now, and it was time for a break and a fresh set of days.  So…I went to Ecuador!

My friend Juan is from Piura, a city about 6 hours north of Trujillo in Peru and a good launching point for reaching Ecuador.  The both of us first went to his home in said city.  Piura is a cool place, reminiscent of Trujillo but more concentrated, smaller, and hotter.  It is quite easy to walk where you need to go, and because of its smaller size taxi is a more common form of transportation (as opposed to the rampancy of micros in Trujillo).  We stayed there for a bit (and ate really well!)  Below is a pic of delicious ceviche as well as the Plaza de Armas de Piura.

Bueno, from there we traveled up to Ecuador, about three hours to the border.  Peru and Ecuador certainly are neighboring countries that are similar, but it is also evident right off the bat they are different.  On the Peruvian side the officials use their notebooks and pens and are a bit disorganized; however, 50 yards away on the Ecuadorian side, there are computers that print the immigration details on your passport and people professionally doing their job.  We got back on the bus and headed to our destination, and throughout the trip the cleanliness and order in comparison to Peru came into view.  The countryside is greener, void of the overflow of trash, and the road system is noticeably more pleasurable.   Peru is a wonderful country that has been my home, yet it was interesting for me to observe the comparisons between Peru, a developing country, and its neighbor up north that is noticeably more, for a lack of a better word, advanced.  A couple of other points: the food of Ecuador does not touch that of Peru, and I noticed that the people of Ecuador are very nice and kind, yet more reserved and quieter.

About three hours from the border we arrived in Cariamanga, a charming little city in what I would call the High Coast, not quite in the mountains but high up nonetheless.  We found a great hostal upon arrival for a great price (15$ each person for two nights) and explored a bit of the city.  There was also a carnival going on, finishing up its last night before leaving.

The highlight of the trip came the following day, when we did some hiking!  This turned out to be intense.  It took us about three hours or so to get to the top of this big hill, through some rough terrain.  Once up top, we decided to jump to neighboring mountain/hills on the path that was up there, but when we got further along we decided to head down.  However, we headed down on the opposite side of the hills, away from the city, and found ourselves in an area where there was no path.  We had two options:  retracing our steps and finding another way to head back down, and making our own way through.  We chose the latter.  This began with a trip down a mini cliff, where I grapped a root for support.  Well, as I began my descent, the root snapped and I went sliding down!  Gracias a Dios, a stopped at the bottom with nary a scratch!  We then, lost in the forest of Ecuador, made our way through the brush, over fences, and past the clearings to the city finally!  Overall we were out for about 6 hours, and it was an adventure!

The next day we headed back to Piura, where I once again experienced the hospitality of Juan and his family, and the day after that back to Trujillo.  So, obviously it was a short trip, but at the same time a great opportunity of refreshment and a lot of fun!  Adventures, ya gotta have em’!

There is quite a bit to say as far as what I have been up to as of late at the orphanage, but I’ll have a post with regards to that later on.  Enjoy the photos, y hasta la proxima!

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October 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vital Signs

“Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.” – A. Sachs

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” – Jesus Christ, Luke 9:25

This post could be a complex exposition on the circle of life, or a discussion on what I believe is the significance of death, but instead I want to share with you some experiences that touch on these two interweaving themes.  First, why don’t we start with the latter?

So, I went to a Peruvian hospital.  No, I didn’t go to a Peruvian hospital, or, that is, I didn’t need medical attention that warranted it, but I went with the possibility of donating blood.  You see, a family member of one of the workers at the orphanage had a medical complication and received a blood transfusion, and that blood needed to be given back to the blood bank, paying back the loan, so to speak.  It turned out I couldn’t give blood because I had been vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B less than six months earlier, and I am supposed to be tested to see if those immunizations worked.  Anyway, this experience was a reality check for me.  We really have it so good in the States, on many levels, and the medical attention is no exception (if you have insurance or the money).  First off, the hospitals are simply mobbed with people.  You go there and it is reminiscent of the New York Stock Exchange.  Lines populate the edifice, and people form lines to wait for a ticket, to return later on to wait in a line to then receive medical attention.  For me even to be seen if I could give blood, the brother of that worker had gone early in the morning to get a ticket and was waiting later on for us.  While you wait, various people come inside attempting to sell chocolate or other novelties, vending as if we were at some tourist attraction.  To top it off, outside I saw an interesting sight: a nurse walking on the sidewalk holding the IV bag of a patient in her hand while they both made their way to the hospital.  The hospitals are characterized by an abundance of necessity, a lack of assistance, and an evident lack of order.

I am not about to say I am a full supporter of the health system in the U.S.A. (I actually have quite a bit of qualms with it, including the idea that many people don’t have the financial capability to be seen), but we should sure be grateful for the caliber of the practitioner, the education of our future doctors, and, when we do receive attention, the facility and quality of our visit for treatment.  That gratitude should be accompanied by a responsibility in regards to your own doctor visitations as well as wisdom in the treatment of your own body.

Though death takes a very real physical form in hospitals, there are other manifestations of dying.  In the orphanage where I am a volunteer, there are other types of battling between life and death.  Recently I came face to face with one of them, and it was a new experience for me.  On a seemingly normal night here, one of the children erupted in anger.  I will not disclose much information here, but this child has been experiencing a great deal of difficulty lately,  and a simple punishment for not obeying led to a passing of a boiling point.  Some other kids ran to get my help, and I eventually helped to restrain the child for a good fifteen minutes trying to reach a state of calmness.  It was very intense, and I tried to speak loving and comforting things while this child was in the midst of an emotional and spiritual war.  Some of these kids have been abandoned and scarred in profound ways.  Some, in their previous upbringing, have had death spoken over their lives.  We are soldiers fighting for good here, and in many ways you can be too.   Prayer, supporting orphanages, even just being a voice for those around you, diffusing the knowledge of what’s going on here and in other parts of the world.  Anyway you can make an impact is worthwhile.

And lastly, I’d like to leave you with  a little bit of life.  When life is tough, it would do us some good to look at the world through the eyes of a baby, full of wonder, hope and innocence.  There is still a lot to rejoice in and smile at , and a baby knows that lesson better than many of us.  There are not much more joyful reminders of the good in this world than new-born babies, and I had the privilege to be at the presentation of the baby of one of the workers here at the orphanage.  The precious little niña is named Judit Raquel, and I hope these pictures uplift your spirits!  Hasta la proxima!

By the way, on the topic of life, I just finished watching Slumdog Millionaire again…what a great movie.  If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.

October 10, 2009 Posted by | Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leave it to Lima


“People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back-she will hear her heart” – Paulo Coelho

Bueno, it has been about a month since my last post, and quite a bit has taken place. We’ve seen kids leave, new kids come in, and the departure of a volunteer that really left his mark (cheers Anthony!).  Let me bring you up to speed on some things before I get into the focus of this post:

My job here is slowly but surely undergoing metamorphosis (how’s that for complicating a simple thought?!)  Before, I was principally a volunteer in the Water Project, a side effort through the orphanage that provides water to a poor town nearby.  This project still exists but is now all but entirely in the hands of the people of the town itself.  The idea is that they assume responsibility for the running of the project, while we are in charge of simply providing the water and occasionally cleaning the pumps and well.  This transference of responsibility is nearly completed (a cool thing for the people of Alto Salaverry!; please check out old posts for more info on this project).  This means that our efforts are now chiefly focused on the orphanage itself; attending to maintenance needs, improving areas, helping where needed.  It is a great benefit for the albergue to get more attention, and I am always learning a bunch of stuff.

The kids at the orphanage go to various schools, depending on their age and educational level.  There is a school at the orphanage itself for those who are behind, and I have recently had the pleasure and privilege to teach them music one day a week!  I am teaching them a bit of technique and musical knowledge, and helping them to sing as a group.  This is just a precursor for what’s to come when I work in the Summer Projects here, but it is exciting challenge that the kids have enjoyed from Day 1.

Onto the main topic of this post…  I took a trip to the city of Lima for a national retreat of Peruvian youth.  Peruvians guys and girls came from various parts of the country; Trujillo, Cajamarca, Chiclayo, Ciudad de Dios, Lima… Plus there was this Gringo coming from the northeast of the U.S.  That’s right, I’m referring to me.  Some of my friends  from Trujillo and I prepared some songs to play at the retreat and went down to Lima.   What an amazing experience this weekend was.  I must reiterate that the Peruvian people are very kind; really I was greeted with open hearts and the whole time there was blessed by the warmth of mis hermanos in Peru.  The weekend was full of great teaching, quality music, city excursions, and fútbol and volleyball.   The city excursions were a blast, and they included an outing to an impressive park of water fountains and a trip on a boat.

Some times there are people in your life that inspire you and challenge you just by being themselves.  Their approach to life causes you to look at your own and hopefully better it.  One of the primary speakers at this retreat was a man named Miqueas (Micah).  Miqueas is a missionary from the States that has jumped around the Peru, preaching the word of God and pouring his life out for the cause of Christ in the country.  He is a shining example of a person with passion, adventure, and dedication.  Let me elaborate on each of those qualities. Passion:  this dude loves God and loves talking about God.  He tries to preach the Gospel to at least one person a day, and he has been a Peru missionary for 8 years.  He speaks Spanish, and still retains various inflections of his Gringo accent, but speaks with the jerga (slang) of the country.  Thus, when Peruvians hear a Gringo throwing around the street talk of the day, they tune in.  Adventure:  Miquas and his family currently live in the jungle section of Peru, and once a month he takes a trip to various pueblitos on the river.  To some of these people, he may be the first white person they’ve seen in years, and when he comes to these villages they swarm him with attention and hospitality.  He told us about one time where he sat down and they gave him what looked like a human arm…turns out it was monkey!  He’s drunk a beverage initially prepared by the chewing and spitting of yuca.  Oh, and he got Dengue fever once.  He takes risks for the Lord, and, though that doesn’t mean his life is safe, needless to say, it’s far from boring.  Dedication:  I spoke quite a bit with Miqueas, and though his actions speak loudly and show his devotion, he also is serious about what precedes his deeds.  He reads twelve chapters of the Bible a day, and the Bible four times a year, soaking himself in the Word.  Anyone can recognize and respect that dedication.

We learn a lot from the people in our lives, whether they be life-long relationships or brief encounters.  Miqueas is someone that impacted me, and I am thankful for the life he lives.  Gracias a Dios, I may get a chance to live a little bit of that live alongside of him.  It’s possible that my boss (Alex, a Peruvian from the Selva) and I may take a trip to the jungle!  That would certainly merit another blog post (or 2)!

I can’t stress enough some of the deep stuff going on here at the albergue.  There is much need for prayer, with some kids having serious behavioral and educational issues.  As long as this is an internet blog open to the public I am going to keep vague on the details when it comes to these matters, but please keep this orphanage, an obra of the hand of God, and all those present here in your thoughts and prayers. 

Hasta la proxima, and enjoy some photos from my time in Lima!

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Birth of a Country

“It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”  -Hubert H. Humphrey

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill 

 “Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil.” – Henry Fielding

About 250 years ago the forefathers of the United States of America argued and compromised their way to a declaration of independence and a move to form a new nation, one they thought would provide a better life for them and their posterity.  It was our present day government in an infant form.

This past week, the founder of Hogar de Esperanza, a generous and wise man named Dave, came by to the orphanage and spent some time here.  During his sojourn, my boss Alex, Dave, and myself went up to Alto Salaverry and had a meeting with many of those involved with the water project, and what ensued one could liken to the birthing of a nation.  Let me rewind to clarify as to even why we had this meeting, or even before that what the water project consists of.

Alto Salaverry, the small and poor pueblo near the orphanage, does not readily have access to clean water.  They either have to purchase it from the store in town or buy it from someone who has already done the former.  Recently, the government delivers some water in a truck, but it still isn’t each citizen always having a way to obtain the single most important physical resource of our lives.  Long story short, this water project was put in place to provide those in Alto Salaverry an opportunity for clean water in their community.  At first the water was freely given to the people, but, as the comparison goes, giving someone a fish isn’t as valuable as teaching one how to fish.  Therefore, a system where the people of the sector take responsibility for the water the use and pay a comparatively small amount for the H2O was implemented, so that  a wise and helpful way of distribution could be reached, both for the people and the funds of the orphanage.  We provide different sectors of the town with water and one person within the group is responsible for collecting the money and paying each month according to their usage.  In a well-functioning society this process works, but remember, Peru is a developing country.  People steal water, some members of the district don’t pay, and some sectors are two months overdue.  This can cause a tremendous amount of stress on the Orphanage, as it has a tightly divided budget and a large portion is put towards the water project.  Plus, it can result in a waste of time and energy.

After being confronted with this challenge on numerous fronts, Dave came up with a new approach and at the meeting it was presented to the people.  The idea is that we will simply fill up the reservoir that is used for the project, and the people of Alto Salaverry will monitor it and decide how it is distributed among its people.  The people will need to have a deposit put so the orphanage is going months in debt, though Dave offered to give the first full reservoir for free, and this plan would continue until the government finally implements their program.  What is of paramount importance in this plan is that it takes the fishing analogy a big step further as it empowers the community to take charge and grow as a society.  It demands that the people of Alto Salaverry realize this is their project, now not only for them but by them, and they need to administer it.  We would have role that is comparatively much more on the sidelines.  So, we went to present this idea, at a “town hall” meeting. 

After relaying the plan, the people hashed back and forth trying to compromise with us about the system, various folks tried to rationalize their points, and some people expressed their concerns.  It was during this phase that Dave leaned over to me and likened our experience to what the U.S. founding fathers went through.  Where the largest difficulty arose was the attempt to instil responsibility.  We wanted a committee to be made on their behalf, a president and so on, for their legimitacy legalistically, and it was a struggle to find those willing to step up.  In the end, the “country” was born and “officials” were elected. 

This meeting was a stunning thing for which to be present.  Personally and professionally, it was amazing to witness a developing community struggle and rise to the occasion.  Of course there is a chance the plan doesn’t work, but ground was broken at this gathering and this could be a significant step for Alto Salaverry and the Orphanage. 

I must say, it was an inspiration having the founder Dave here.  For awhile I struggled with the idea of being financially successful, leaning towards the idea of it being folly, and though this certainly can be the case, a lot of good can be done with money.  Dave is an example of someone who has had success in his career but has also been wise with his earnings.  He started an orphanage in Peru, continues to be a vital supporter of it, and is in the process of starting another project in Africa.   I find it really exciting that money can be used not for power but to empower, not for greed but for need, not to trap but to liberate.  It gives me hope and broadens my perspective.  I have a lot of great opportunity to be successful in the working world, which also means I have a lot of great opportunity to help bring success to other parts of the world.

Whew, long post!  I hope what I type boths interests and intrigues you! 

Below are some recent pics from my life, from a day at the beach and work!

August 22, 2009 Posted by | Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rhyme and Reason

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  –Victor Hugo

“Music is love in search of a word.” -Sidney Lanier

“Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life.” -Jonathan Edwards

Let me first start off by saying this blog is getting a teensy bit dangerous because I am starting to sense it as an obligation.  I feel a need to blog, some sort of duty, and though I want you to provide a looking glass into my life here, I want it to be naturally constructed.  With that being said, do not surprised if my blogs become less frequent.  Along with the aforementioned reason, my perception of my experience is changing as I have been here for awhile, so the same sensation of novelty is not as potent of an impetus to write.  Perhaps this means my blogs will at times take a more discussive approach, as I initially intended, rather than simply an explanation of some recent going-ons in my life.  In any case, I hope you continue to enjoy this avenue of viewing my yestermorrows.

I’ve done my fair share of traveling and such, and when I’ve gone somewhere for an extended period of time there are some essentials that come with me.  One that has been such an incredible gift while here is the guitar.  Music is the universal language that we all can share, and with the guitar I have been able to connect with people on a different level.  It has served multiple purposes and continues to be a thread that is woven into the relationships I have here. 

This is not meant to puff myself up, but to praise the way God has used this gift He’s given me.  For instance, we have started to used music and the guitar in our volunteer team meetings, and it has been a very spiritual boost through which God reaches us.  Furthermore,  as glimpsed in an earlier post, I have used guitar in performance, accompanying in song in both Spanish and English.  It is great I can connect with the staff through this instrument.  Plus, I may start giving lessons here!  A couple of staff members are interested, but also, remember Alto Salaverry?  In a recent trip there a muchacho brought out a guitar and I got to play in front of some of the people of the pueblo.  The kid is interested in lessons, and hopefully it will work out! 

I am so grateful for the way I have been blessed through music.  As I grew up in a musical family, I really see it as sort of a second language, and I am glad it is being used outward.  With the guitar specifically it is extra special:  my dad is my guitar teacher, so when I bring my guitar, it’s like I bring a little bit of him with me!

While blogging I have tended to write about the positive things.  I prefer to focus on the uplifting things rather than those that will drag ya down, and it goes the same for sharing with you.  However, being here has offered a variety of challenges, and those of you who believe, I ask for your prayers to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  There really is a lot of need for prayer, on a personal front and for this orphanage.  I have my days that are more difficult than not (case in point, I got stuck in the sand in Alto Salaverry last week while driving…twice.  Plus I took out a volleyball net set up in the middle of the road.  Later on in the night, I took care of one of the casitas, where looking after 10 or so youngins presented different hurdles…).  However, these children need petition on their behalf.  The things we are dealing with are issues that go deep, even crossing generations, and they need supernatural aid.  Iit is easy for me to get focused on what I’m doing rather than what God is doing, but without true Love as the base of what’s being done here, it is meaningless.  Even if you are thousands of miles away, you can play a vital role in these children’s lives.  For more specific info on the orphanage, check out the link to the right. 

I don’t have photos to share with you this time round, but in line with the musical component of this post, I leave you with a beautiful song in Spanish que se llama “Cada día”, performed by Jesús Adrian Romero and his wife Pecos.

August 10, 2009 Posted by | Adventure | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment