Carmen

[excerpt from a piece written for the ACC Missions Handbook 2016-2017]

Carmen means ‘song’ in Latin. Carmen is dark-lit and wide-stretched. Her widely tapered eyes are luxuriant—her smile crinkles her whole face into something radiant, something nobler than happiness. Joy, maybe, at its most primal.

It leaks from her drawling hands, hands caressing the heads of the wonder-eyed chicos, who giggle then and run outside the church room, up and down the alley twice, and come back panting like furry little perros; from her hands on the chicos’ shoulders then, calming them to listen to Pastor Fernando instruct. Continue reading

Day 9: Travels & Final Thoughts [Sucre Bolivia, 2016]

Hey friends!

Sorry this final update comes so late! It’s taken a while to recover physically and start to process this trip. It took quite a few hours to actually write this. This is a much longer update, fair warning… It only covers sentiments from the weekish after the trip, and even during that week things have been changing, so this is only an ad interim conclusion, if you will. I believe that God will continue to change me.

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7/16/2016

Saturday was a full day of travel, complete with customs in Houston and plenty of joking around/sharing pictures with each other. We arrived in the Austin airport around 6:40pm and Annie (David’s wife) was the first to greet us… and as our parents or spouses arrived there were the joyful reunions. Andrew tackled me and wouldn’t let me go during the entire baggage-claiming process. Love the guy. Continue reading

Day 8: Auf wiedersehen, goodbye! [Sucre, Bolivia 2016]

Hi friends!

Greetings from the Santa Cruz airport!

Today was full and bursting with fun, happiness, goodbyes, and sadness. It was a more relaxed day—the morning was salteñas at El Patio again (for breakfast!), then a trip to a different high place where we could see all of Sucre. It was a different vantage point from Sunday, and this time we had translator Esteban point out where in the city each of us had served—where each church was. We took lots of group pictures, then had a time of prayer together for Sucre and its people and all the churches we’re leaving behind.  Continue reading

Day 5: Eyeglasses, eyeglasses, eyeglasses! [Sucre, Bolivia 2016]

Hola amigos!

(practicing my Español)

I can’t believe day 5 is over! It was an exhausting but rewarding day.

This morning we had a team meeting/devotional over breakfast. The passage was Ephesians 6:10-20 (if you’re following the prayer calendar on the Sucre page above, that’s the passage for today)—we talked about boldness in all we do, from knocking on doors to praying for our brothers/sisters to sharing the gospel even when we get home. Boldness ≠ obnoxiousness.

PG and I arrived at the church with our translators and Pastor Fernando like yesterday. We (and the nationals) spent some time going over the Bible story about the sinful woman who wipes Jesus’ feet and pours oil, etc. (Luke 7:36-50) and practicing sharing it with each other—the point of the morning was to go back to the houses we visited yesterday and follow up with new believers, by sharing ‘true stories from the word of God’, praying for/with them, etc. We also practiced with the Evangecube for the first time—it’s a folding cube that manipulates to show helpful pictures while you share the gospel.  Continue reading

Days 1&2: Travels & Settling In [Sucre, Bolivia 2016]

Hi friends!

After 22 hours of travel, we finally arrived in Sucre at 8:40am this morning! Praise God for all of us (and our luggage!) arriving safely. There was a small issue at customs (confusion about the eyeglasses we brought for the clinic) but David was able to explain what they were for and we got cleared.

Fun fact: customs in Santa Cruz involves pushing a button—green light means you’re clear! Red light means pain and a thorough check through your luggage. It’s randomized.

At the international airport in Sucre, we met two of our translators, Andrea and Johan. Continue reading