Saturday, November 29, 2008


i have these moments. these moments when everything seems surreal and right and spiritual and a whole whack of other emotions. i had a few of those this week...

This past week we had a special week at EOC.  We got to work on a house build project together as a whole staff. No teams. Just the staff.  The 'hired pros', the office staff, the kitchen folks, the interns, all of us!  We invited our family members, some pastors, and got to really live out community this week.  It was a beautiful thing. We ate phenomenal breakfasts served by various people during the week.  We savored incredible lunches prepared by Ana and her family (who conveniently happen to be neighbors to the family we were building for). We enjoyed working together for once... a first in EOC history.  It was really special for many of us. Alejandro shared before the build he'd be dreaming about this opportunity!  And Jose shared that he hopes this won't be the last of these types of builds!  
we laughed. we built. fast. we learned. we served. 
and we fell in love with the wonderful family we were building for.  Their story is rich and full of struggles, health issues, perseverance, joy, and smiles that is so full of love...  
So when we were dedicating the house on Thursday, I had one of those moments.  standing with my friends. from 3 nations. from different spaces and places. for one purpose. to love. so often, even here in the ministry we make it so much more complicated than that..

That evening we had a grand feast. my first american thanksgiving. in mexico. 
We invited staff, families, neighbors, pastors, friends... over 100 were there to celebrate. to bread break together. 
It was a night of abundance. joy. fullness.  diversity. community.
After watching the highlight video together of our week's work i had another moment.
Looking around the room, some faces i didn't know, some i only recognized, and others who i can now call real friends. these people were my family.

As the evening unfolded I had just finished saying farewell to Marisol, the young woman (and new friend) who we built the house for.   Then suddenly I see someone calling me over...
it was Christina.  Christina was part of the family I helped build a house for the very first time my youth group came down to Ensenada!  Over 5 years ago we met Christina and her mom and we built a home for her. She's now married, with two children.  I've been able to visit with her a few times since my return and she's always excited to see me. always telling me she's never forgotten us!  And so I sat with Christina, holding her newborn baby... and had yet another moment.  Who would have thought... over 5 years later I'd be sitting here holding Christina's newborn. Who would have thought... over 5 years later I'd be sitting among these people and calling it home...

.moments. that shake me. and remind me Im apart of something really cool...
and indeed I am thankful.

Monday, November 17, 2008


i raise my glass (of sangria?
to my friends & family who i got to serve and work alongside last week
to the teams of wellington and calvary
it was a pleasure to share this, my new home with you.

it was an emotional week. 
much laughing... 'remembering whens'... feeling safe... accepted... being challenged and challenging...worlds colliding...being inspired and humbled... knowing im in the right place... being encouraged and empowered... late night sleepovers & cigars with dear friend...trips to estero to debrief the day... moving beyond the surface... serving friends and family... grand reunions and tearful goodbyes...
im exhausted.
but what a fabulous week it was! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

.to be known.

this week has been a wonderful week! My church (wellington square) and 'sister church' (calvary) is here serving and building here at the EOC! It's so awesome to have familiar faces, to reunite with dear friends, to get to share my new home with people, to have people cheer you on, to know where the team you are working with has come from and is going back to.
what a privilege.
i realize this week how important it is to be known. to really be known.
how often in a day do we pass someone as say 'how are you?' only to keep walking without even hearing their response.
it's often because we are too busy, or too distracted. i can confess to both those excuses. and add in there some language barriers and you've got a recipe for some pretty surface conversations. you sometimes can't get to really knowing someone, or really being known among a community unless you take the time to really hear how someone is doing, to ask the good questions, or to stumble through some broken spanish to say more than just 'que pasa!?'.
these last few weeks I've been feeling that bridge is being built more and more. feeling more and more that I am here. i can be me. and people are learning who that is. i am being known.
this week in particular it's been incredible as i visit the work sites everyday how refreshing it is to have people, friends, mentors pull me aside and say, so how are you really?! hearing people who i hold in high regard encourage me... and tell me that I am where I am supposed to be.
i am blessed and proud to be apart of these two incredible communities where for this week they get to collide into a hilarious, meaningful encounter! I suspect it will be hard to have my team leave... good thing it's only wednesday.
for now, im off... to the hardware store.