Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.... “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

Monday, October 25, 2010

Top Ten (well, 11) Pics/Experiences from the CCC Conference in Brazil

I can't even begin to describe the blessing this week was in my life. It was a time of retreat, of fellowship, of healing. I felt God speaking to me in so many personal ways over the course of the week: through song, through the lessons, through personal Bible study and meditation, through prayer, through my connection group, through personal time with a counselor. If I could write down one thing that I took away from this conference, sounding so simple and trite, but so profound in the depths of my soul, it would be "GRACE and PEACE." This phrase has been the prayer of my life and for the lives of other in the last few weeks.... Thank you to all those who worked so hard to make this conference happen, and to my amazing husband, who with such a gracious and loving attitude, held down the fort while I was gone. I hope the pictures express the rest... I tried to pick pictures mostly featuring myself, to spare any possible embarrassment on other's behalf :)

Pizza Hut pizza in the Sao Paolo airport... which I regreted the entire 4 hour bus ride later... but come to think of it... it was still worth it!

The beach... Need I say more???

Time for meditation and child's worship

Prayer and worship on the beach

Time to visit with and learn from some amazing women of God

Having my feet washed by my group leader, Becky Holton, someone I have looked up to for a very long time... such a humbling experience

Memories and time with precious teammates

The yummy food!

The skits during the luau party... I laughed so hard, I literally thought I was going to be sick!

The luau party the final night

My connection group

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I forget how hard the last few weeks and months are before you leave a place. It seems like everything in your normal everyday routine is in upheaval as you prepare to leave, and that the days are filled with lasts and goodbyes. Today, I had a formal tea party (something I usually do for my birthday every year, although this year it just didn't happen), as sort of a farewell activity for both myself and my teammate, Laura, whose family is flying out of Bolivia to return stateside in a mere 2 weeks. I asked everyone to bring something 'inspiring' that was related to friendship, saying goodbye, transition etc. One of my friends, Angie, wrote the following poem. You can find it on her website.

by @NGIE on OCTOBER 19, 2010

Mamita de cara curtida

El aguayo en tu espalda

SonrĂ­es aun cargada

Contenta con tu jornada


See the mountains that grow high above our heads

Bent down low to the earth the Bolivian woman is small

She lays the woven fabric on the ground

Then in those colored threads she lays her burdens

A fold, a twist, a swing and the thing she flings

Upon her sturdy back nestles on her shoulders


Tucked from view, hidden in the yarn

There in the dark a protected bit of her life

Precious baby, her wares or some goods


How does she face the monotony of the daily haul?

Does she fuss or complain

Trudging through market, street, bus and barrio?


Her cloth, el aguayo

Traditional weave, el tejido

Of coarse hairs of the herd

Of her land


See the looming mount standing in our path calling itself change

Bent down low to the earth I weep small prayers

Laid before me the fabric of my life, the people dear to me

Then in those diverse folds of humanity I lay my burdens

My love, my fears, my pains and joys, the things I fling

Upon my back made sturdy by living, I let it all settle in


Tucked from view, hidden in the threads

There in the dark a protected bit of life

Precious family, work or dear friends


How do I face the relentless change of the daily haul?

Do I fuss or complain

Labored steps crossing the street; crossing the world?


My cloth, el aguayo

Traditions woven, las tejidas

Coarse prayers are heard

Of clasped hands


You the red with the firey passion

You the blue with the calm reflection

You the green with the new ambition

You the yellow with the warm welcome

You the pink with the staying smile

You the black with the tenacious style

You the purple, happy through the trial


You are wrapped around me

Woven through me


The dust ground in the tiny overlaps of existence

Wetted by the rains and stayed by the wind

The strings stained permanent

A reminder that the only thing that doesn’t change

Is that things always change


I grasp for what I know, fingering the familiar knots

Holding on tight as my neck is choked by the haul

That familiar pain of strain in the bones pulls at the soul


The woman, the bearer

Bears in her womb posterity

Bears on her shoulders life

Borne in her heart the elation and devastation of love


The woman gratefully wraps the aguayo around her body

She knows it weighs her down

But its contents are the sustenance of life


So I embrace the changes before me

Or rather let them embrace my heaving frame

For these are the tejidas of life

Thanks for sharing, Angie.