Wednesday, July 30, 2008

an overdue update of my ponderings and such...

It’s a quiet Wednesday night. No chapel to lead as the groups are enjoying a night off at the beach or a local church service. Its so nice admist this group of 180+ people this week to enjoy an evening curled up in my room, enjoying a movie and visit with my roomi Nona. The interns are all off enjoying some time off too – and well deserved – they have been working long days and nights this week!

Its crazy to think that the summer is half over, but been crazier to think that just in 12 short days I’ll be flying back to Ontario. It feels weird to not finish out the summer, but Im heading back to get to spend some time with my family (who hasn’t been all together in over at least a year!) and also to spend some time volunteering at my ol’ stompin’ grounds – Silver Lake Camp. It will be strange but wonderful to get to enjoy that special place again, and to support some friends as they lead and finish off with Youth Camp. It will be a bit of a whirlwind upon returning home, but I’ll have a good month to enjoy ‘pre-retirement’. My only goals in September will include visiting friends& family, sitting on many pub patios, getting some wisdom teeth pulled, deal with insurance and business of sorts, and raise support for my upcoming year in ministry. I know I will enjoy these 6 weeks back in Ontario, but Ensenada feels like the place I am supposed to be right now. So that’s encouraging I suppose, knowing Im in the right place right now… encouraging, but still strange…

As the chapters and seasons evolve, its so crazy to think about all the change that has happened and will happen in the months to come…

I was reminded this week why I am here. You see in most situations I am meeting “poverty” when it’s admist hope and help. I see families with great need – but I get to see them receive a new home, a fresh start. This past week I was reminded the work is never done, and there is such deep needs that we can’t always get too. I met a family my friend Marvin has been trying to help out. We gave them a ride home one day and learned of their stories. The 4 kids who were starving and quickly gobbled up the simple sandwiches we bought them from the variety store... the father who was a recovering drug addict.. their run of bad luck as they just saved up to buy a [crappy] car just to get rear-ended a week later…. Aside from giving them a ride home and a bag of a few groceries, there was little I could offer this family. In that moment I tried to offer what I could… but that’s nothing. They will likely be going to bed hungry again tonight. And still will have mountains of struggles to climb again next week.
This time, I didn’t get to see hope amidst their poverty.
I just saw the poverty. The need. The hunger.
Right in my face. With limitations on what I could offer them… EOC can’t just build houses right away for anyone who wants it – there is process and healthy steps to take. I can’t just give away l my money to every person I see with a need.
So again, I’m hit with that tension. How do you best help everyone? What do you do?
Maybe as they hugged me with deep gratitude for the simple act we did for them, that was what I was supposed to do.
Love them. In that moment. Listen to them (even if I didn’t understand it all). Look them in the eyes (and past the dirt and hunger and weariness) see people. Just like me.
But it was heavy on my heart.
And Im glad for that. Im glad for that ache.
But I sure am glad for those moments we do get to offer hope amidst the ache.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


water is something of importance here in mexico.
don't drink the tap water
drink lots of water so you don't get dehydrated.
watering the streets to keep from the dust flying.
the watertruck honking up and down the roads.
water. a vital importance to our living.

on Thursdays at chapel I talk to the camp about living waters. i share how we need to soak up the living waters so that we can pour out and drip on those around us. that we want to be filled up with that living water of Jesus so that we can live in the overflow. and pour out unto others.

this weekend my dear friend Nona reminded me another significance of water. Nona has been my roomie for a bit here - someone i have loved laughing with, enjoying a cold bevie with, being inspired by, debriefing the days events with, and just living life together. Nona got baptized in the ocean by the camp. it was a privilege to be apart of that holy moment...watching my sister in Christ walk out into the crashing waves... seeing the waters wash over her... her old self gone and new self refreshed, renewed... her thirst quenched.

as things continue to get busy around here, i know i need to find time to be drenched in the living waters. i know i need to remember my own baptism and find moments of renewal and allow the crashing waves to refresh my heart. as i pour out everyday - coordinating, answering questions, mentoring, leading, listening - i don't want people to see my work, my strengths nor my weaknesses and shortcomings- but i want them to see the living waters of God pouring out of me...

may you be filled to overflowing today...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

only in mexico

I was taking one of the interns out for lunch downtown, and only in mexico do you find a jumpy-castle-thingy outside of the store... that's an upside-down cow!
As mexico becomes more my home, things shock me less. The craziness of the driving, or the amount of dust that flies every step you take or the idea of putting hot sauce on everything (including popcorn at the movie theatre!) doesn't really phase me anymore. Even the sight of randomly designated dumps and garbage piles, the shanty homes or barefoot children don't shock me anymore. In a way this is good - the overwhelming sense of "pity" is no longer my reaction. And I don't even really approach the families we are working with, or the friends I am making here as "poor people" anymore. They are people. They are part of my new community. They aren't a statistic or a label or a project. They are people. But I don't want to become so accustomed to the poverty that I forget that these people have needs. There is poverty here that I never want to get used to seeing. Last week I spent some time at the Migrant Camps - where the living conditions and poverty are even greater than most of the areas we regularly work in. I was reminded again of why I was here. I was reminded of how my heart ached, but also how it inspired me to continue to be apart of this ministry. It reminded me of Jesus's calling to be his hands, his feet, his disciple...
I may get used to seeing kids jump on an upside down cow, but I don't want to get so used to seeing poverty that I forget why I am here...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A week under my belt...

Well, it's crazy to think just a week and a few days I had just arrived here. it feels much longer... in a good way. Returning back to the EOC has a 'returning home' kinda feel to it this time around. Alot less awkward, alot less questions, and i was quickly reminded of the warmth and energy of the EOC.
Scott, the director of EOC, asked me today 'so what do you think of the craziness around here?'. I immediately responded, "i thrive in it!" It reminds me of that same pulse and organized chaos of camp life... something is always happening, there's always someone who needs a question answered, there's always something that needs to be done, and about ten distractions before getting around to it. I love living in community tho... i think its how God intended us to live. maybe not in a dorm style - camp residence type living... but in the sense that we are to eat together, worship together, serve together, share everything you have together... so that no one is in need. I get a glimpse of that when Im here at EOC. And it energizes me. It's got its stresses too and I know I need to work on setting some bounderies and time to rest, but its definitly been going well and Im feeling more and more settled as the days go on. Im remembering all the ins and outs and how to answer the 87 questions i get a day... Im enjoying my staff of interns who are incredible servants and who really need little direction... and Im loving connecting and reconnecting with the phenominal team of staff here at EOC. It's a priveledge to serve alongside them.
As i get more settled, I hope to be able to post more regularly, not just the ongoings of the day but that you can journey with me in what im learning and experiencing down here. So stay tuned.

re: top photo: rockin' out at chapel to Los Pollos! bottom photo: my intern crew at the circus!

blessings to you all!
and oh! Happy Canada day!