Wednesday, February 25, 2009


A quick note:  I'm not always a huge Christian music fan, but I've always liked Caedmon's Call, particularly Derek Webb.  Not only is the music quality, but the lyrics are often clever. always scriptural, and often very convicting.  Webb especially likes to call into question our Southern Christian Republican assumptions and though that's hard sometimes and I don't always agree with him I do appreciate the questions he raises.  I say it's better to ask hard questions than to simply believe because your mommy, daddy, and preacher do.  We need to make our faith and general beliefs our own, making certain that they line up with scripture and the spirit of God's law.  

My parents bought me the new CD by Caedmon's Call for Christmas and I have gotten sucked in.  They have not failed to disappoint me at all and their is a very strong Derek Webb vibe in all of the lyrics.  So here is my shameless plug: if you are into chill music with good harmony and lyrics, buy and enjoy.  This is a great CD to wake up to in the mornings.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Convicting Quote

" 'Tis not for man to trifle.  Life is brief, and sin is here.  Our age is but the falling of a leaf - a droping tear.  We have no time to sport away the hours: all must be earnest in a world like ours.  Not many lives, but only one have we, - one, only one; how sacred should that one life ever be that narrow span!  Day after day filled up with blessed toil, hour after hour still bringing in a new spoil."


Warning:  For those of you with weak constitutions you may not want to read any further.  You have been warned.

What an exciting weekend.  The week of translating for the medical team ended for me with an excellent dinner at Chelsea's... the excellent dinner at Chelsea's ended with me barfing up that dinner.  What a waste of a good steak!  Anyway, that meant that Friday I couldn't translate for the team and I was bummed.  I tried to go but was then ordered to go home.  I figured that with a few hours of sleep, some soup, and a movie I would be good as new, and I did start to feel better on Saturday.  That's when I made a huge mistake.  

On our street there is a woman who makes papas rellenas (fried stuffed potatoes) and her own aji (the most amazing spice of all time).  I was craving one Saturday night and as I had only eaten soup and popcorn all day I decided that it was time for a papa, a coke, and some chocolate.  Sunday morning around 5 A.M. I woke up with a burning pain from my stomach to my throat.  It took me and hour or so to get back to sleep but even when I woke up a few hours later the burning hadn't gone away.  I missed church and missionary lunch and for a while thought I had a parasite (I'd heard so many complaints to that effect in the past week that I suppose I was just assuming the worst.)  However, Sunday night, one of our friends from church who is a doctor resident (resident doctor?  what do you call that?) started asking me about my symptoms.  After a few minutes he tells me that it's probably not a parasite but gastritis.  Frankly, I would prefer stomach acid shooting up my throat than worms in my intestins.  Ew.  

Just to be sure, I went to the clinic today and had the doctor check me out.  My friend was right.  Blech.  I can't eat anything good for five days, well, except chocolate.  I have to stay away from aji, cebiche, and anything that is even remotely spicy or rico, as the Peruvians would say.  "And no more happiness!  Away with you!"  I come by it honestly though, my dad's had the same problem.  Think it might have something to do with the fact that we both LOVE spicy foods?  Hmmm.  Hopefully, I'll be all better by the time they get here in March.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


This week, a medical team from the states has come down to Peru to do a medical campaign.  So far, they have given aid to the residents at two locations and they have three more to go.  Last month I was asked to translate, and, with much fear and trembling (my Spanish is decent but not great), I accepted the job.  Aside from having a little help from one of my students, I have been doing fairly well.  It takes me a bit to get into a groove, but when I get there I really enjoy it.  It's fun being able to help people medically even though I know nothing about medicine.  But despite the fun I am having, it also breaks my heart to see and hear about the pain that people are in.  Many have been living with parasites, many have rotting and broken teeth, and all of them are in pain.  I complain so much about my little aches and pains but these people really know what it is to suffer.  It is extremely eye opening to see and I am very thankful for this opportunity to not only help them physically but spiritually as well.  The doctors pray with them, show them the love of God, and help them with no charge.  My prayer is that our witness will heal them in every way, that God's name will be praised in the midst of suffering, in the midst of healing.  I also pray that God will remind me of what I've seen here when I start grumbling about any of my little aches and pains, and that I will be far more thankful for the blessings He has showered upon me, the worst of sinners.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shiny Soles

Ok, so last night I went out to dinner with two of the teachers from SALI: Dorcas and Patty, sort of an early Valentines girls night.  I paid with a hundred and the guy didn't have change in bills.  He gave me a roll of twenty soles, in change, along with the rest of my change.  They were just so pretty and new that I could not help but share a picture of two of them.  

It's very helpful to have change here in Peru because Taxi drivers don't always have change for tens and twenties.  This is also the reason why I have to carry around a change purse instead of a wallet.  It makes much more sense.  

Happy Valentines Day

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  Philippians 2: 5-11

This isn't the normal verse for Valentines Day.  Most people use 1 Corinthians 13.  But after our bible study yesterday on self-control, I figured that this verse was more fitting.  The greatest love there ever was, was displayed on the cross.  The God of all creation, who had paradise, came down and subjected Himself to humanity.  He was a baby, the son of a poor man, grew up to be poor and homeless, was betrayed and abandoned by His closest friends, beaten and murdered in the most horrible way, and allowed Himself to be abandoned by the Father.  What could possibly motivate Him to do such a thing?  What did the God of the universe not have in paradise?  What drove Him to have the greatest form of self-control and not call down angels to save Him?  His love for us.  Like Jacob, who worked for Rachel seven years, Christ suffered more than any of us will ever know for His bride.  I get a little choked up just thinking about it.  
It also makes me think of how I repay Him.  I pay Him my lip service every morning and then take my thoughts for myself.  I make excuses for why I am grouchy or impatient with others, or for why I am not praying and praising continuously, I sin against Him every second of every day...  All this for the God who gave His precious life, spilled His precious blood for me.  I love to make myself the victim when I sin and the hero when I do one very small good deed which is most likely motivated by some form of selfishness.  I find myself crying out with Paul, "What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24)

So on this Valentines Day, rather than bemoan the fact that I don't have a sweetheart sending me flowers or chocolate, I am going to proclaim to myself God's endless love.  I'm going to remember that I have a groom who will always be there for me, who continuously has His arms wrapped around me, and who gave His very life for me, giving up paradise for Hell.  

"Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:25)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blog Help

Does anyone know how I can center my text a little better?  I want my blog to be readable but it often is obscured by different objects in the background.  I've seen lots of blogs where the text is right in the middle, but mine is all spread out.  If you have any advice please share.  I'm rather technologically impaired.  =P

Monday, February 09, 2009


One of my least favorite things in the entire world is making decisions and I have a few reasons as to why.  First of all, and the most obvious I think, is that I'm afraid I'll make the wrong one.  What if, despite all my prayer to make the one God wants me to make, I end up going with one only because it's the one I want?  What if that decision affects others adversely?  What if I've made a decision that will take me down a really horrible road?  Second of all, and the second reason has a lot to do with the first, decisions make me worry.  I lose sleep, sometimes I get ulcers or even cold sores (last year it was particularly bad).  So needless to say, I do not like making decisions.  However, what I need to realize, what I need to get into my head, is that God is the one in control and not me.  Sometimes this also gives me a headache because the flesh in me wants to have control of everything, but that's another post entirely.  The comforting thing about God being in control is that even if I do make really crappy decisions (which I'm sure I do) God is still good and He still has what's best for me in mind.  

I've been reading Genesis in the mornings and what struck me is the kind of pathetic people God worked through.  Look at Abram?  75 years old when called away from his father's household, no children, and his wife was barren.  Not only that, but after God promised to make him a great nation, bless him, and give him the land of Canaan, he still did not trust him enough to protect his family while in Egypt.  Therefore, he lies and tells Pharaoh that Sari was his sister, twice!  And later, he marries Sari's maidservant to try and have offspring through her, despite God's promise of children through Sari.  Then there's Jacob.  The youngest brother, a mama's boy, and even worse, a liar.  And yet, God chose these two, well, losers, to be blessings on earth, not only in the lands they lived, but also to future generations.  Through Abram (who later became Abraham), Isaac, and Jacob came Christ.  God used these non-trusting idiots to bring His son into the world to save the world.  Gives you something to think about doesn't it?

So now, as I have been forced to make some decisions (that in turn have forced me to wait on God's will) I need to remember that if God could work through guys like Abraham and Jacob, He can work through me.  Not only that, but he has my best in mind.  I can't go wrong, even if the road it hard.  How comforting is that?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Missing My Camera

Guess what I left in the states?  =(  Oh well, I can steal pictures from Facebook.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A little homesick

Short update: I'm homesick.  That makes me a little sad because I've felt a lot better being down here lately, at least in comparison to the way I was feeling last year.  I was hoping that things would be a bit easier having been able to see my family over Christmas and knowing that my Mom and Dad would be coming in March, but this morning I woke up feeling very, very homesick.  Maybe it's because I've started looking into apartments and thinking about what I'll need to do when I return to the states, or maybe it's just a little spiritual warfare, but either way, I'm missing my family and my home.  The worst part is how selfish it makes me feel.  Here I am with this amazing opportunity to serve God and all I can think about is how I miss my parents.  It's really hard.  I guess I just need to stay in prayer and in the Word.  Thank goodness for Skype, at least I can see their faces.