Saturday, June 20, 2009

.simple but complicated.

when did loving people get so complicated. or is it? we just make it that way.
helping. loving. serving.
seems like simple concepts right? they should be. but somehow i still get confused and frustrated sometimes.

the other day Ana and I were getting some groceries at Costco. As we were leaving, we notice a young father with a frail looking little girl in his arms standing near the exit. We then see the nearby mother and Ana asks what is wrong with the little girl. We learn she is seriously sick with a throat infection, she's been the doctor and has a prescription. Ana turns to me and says i dont want to just give them money, but I will go buy the meds. So in she goes to get the drugs. I attempt to make some conversation with this young family, but with my limited spanish and their timidness, we didn't get too far. At one point I asked them where they lived. They looked at each other and didn't answer. I thought they just didn't understand me. But later learned when Ana asked the same thing, they responded with a similar timidness. They didn't know how to answer because they didn't have a home. a city. a anything. They had recently made their way down here from Oaxaca. They hadn't found work yet. They couldn't have been older than 22 and their little girl was 5 years old. They looked tired. weary. sad.
Ana returned from the store unable to find the right drugs. We hopped in our car to another store to find the meds and also picked up a few groceries for them. In our drive, I could see a passion in Ana come to life. "This is my purpose. To help people like this. Just to do what I can." Isn't it supposed to be all our passions and purpose?? I wish I had the passion and drive like Ana does in those situations. Something comes alive in her. She even wanted to take the time to take the family to another clinic in order to get some specific drugs and help this family even more. They unfortunately were hesitant to come with us and said they couldn't leave as they were waiting to see if their uncle would return having found them work. Ana spent some more time talking with them, both in a loving but challenging way... to be sure to care for their child.

We had to drive away that day not knowing what would happen to this family. We weren't able to hand them keys to a new house. Or know that the daughter got the care she needed. We only could step in for a moment and offer some love and hope in a couple bags of groceries and medicine. But I am confident that simple act of love likely impacted their day... or week...or life?

So why don't we do it more often. stop. ask. listen. help. serve. it's easy when it's 'ministry', but what about when its just life. life's everyday ministry. Im not sure I have an easy answer, but at least for this small moment it felt right...

.one year.

I can't believe its already the summer camp season. I can't believe it's technically a year ago that i moved down here semi-permanently after leaving my church job and life in Ontario. So weird. One year. Some ways its gone so fast. In other ways, so much has happened.

This month has been a rich one for me. in a subtle kind of way.
I really enjoy that teams are in again and that the camp is woken up, and we're in full motion. I have actually kinda liked the slower start to things, the smaller teams (aside from its repercussions). It's been a month where I too, like the camp, am feeling 'woken up'. I remember having a conversation with Ana last fall about why i thought God lead me here. I think its partly b/c i have gifts to offer, its partly b/c i crave community living and ministry like this, but I know it is partly too b/c God has some specific things He wanted me to work on, think about, ponder, change... I think that season is emerging for me. Some things I look back on in my year here and see growth, change, and positive impact. Other areas I know still need attention, conviction, and surrender. My eyes need to continue to be opened. My heart continued to be stirred. My spirit continued to be woken up. I know it is in these moments, these awarenesses that God meets with us intimately.

On a more tangible note... a few highlights this past few weeks have been...
+ My dear friend Cait just came to visit for the week and it was INCREDIBLE to share life and ministry with her. She is a joy.
+ Prayer & worship night with the staff
+ Watching new teams experience their week with open hearts and innocence. a beautiful thing.
+ The Holy Spirit
+ Helping pour a cement floor for our security guard Damiana. like real work. with sweat and dirt and stuff. Felt good.
+ Las Canadas staff trip

rodolfo. cooking. with a stick.

some of my fearless and fabulous interns!

Monday, June 8, 2009

.single rose.

I saw this on my friend Caitlin's blog...
it's inspiring. at 12...
thought i'd add the link so you can watch it, and also explore my friends blog... who i admire greatly and thought you may enjoy her thoughts and bloggings too...

Friday, June 5, 2009

.back at it.

Sorry I have been delinquent in my blogging.  Since I've been back, things have been pretty chill around here - not without some good times tho!  We all just eased back into things after some good vaca time.  Even managed to get some fun adventures in my calender too... including a day out at Las Canadas - a local waterpark.  I did however forget I wasn't Mexican and got a pretty bad sunburn!  And then last weekend took off on a little camping trip to San Carlos where there is natural hot springs!  So fun to just get away and enjoy new friendships and cool parts of Mexico.  It was fantastic sitting around a fire, relaxing in the hot springs, and being surrounded by the awesome view of the mountains!  

This past week we've been busy getting the camp 'woken up' and ready for the summer season! Sunday starts the 9 week run of teams.  Our numbers are definitely down this summer... over 25 teams have cancelled (mainly due to economics and fear of violence). Its been a tough season for the ministry... but puts us in a place where we truly need to rely on Him... and listen. What does God want for His ministry?  Its a bit unnerving, but kind of exciting too. I am totally guilty of relying on my own strengths... knowing what Im capable of and forgetting where these capabilities came from!  Im hoping this is a season of 'awakening' for me as well... of listening... of stirring.  

But I am excited to serve the teams again this summer and see the amazing work that can be done when people offer themselves, surrender their agendas, and step into the purpose of God!  Im also excited about some new initiatives to connect in more local youth into our ministry. We will be having 2 or 3 local mexican interns helping and volunteering this summer! Im so pumped about this! One will be living in the girls staff house with us. I think this can really enrich our community.  We are also in the beginning stages of planning a mexican youth camp/mission week in August.  We will run the same program we normally do (chapels, meals, video, etc) but instead of hosting american/cdn teams... we will host youth from churches right here in Ensenada.  There are alot of youth who live in the more 'central Ensenada' area who don't come face to face with the poverty in their own back yard.  Even tho many of these youth still may be considered "poor" in some people's standards, some of these youth aren't aware of the villages and communities just 20 mins down the road who don't have homes... food... clean water... etc. It's a familiar story isn't it? My youth (or not so youth) back home in Burlington, Ontario didn't often want to realize the poverty in their own little suburbia or the homeless just a go-train ride away.  But we want to stir up awareness in these local youth and to empower them... to make a difference in their own community!  Maybe they don't think they have anything to offer... but we know they can!  I am excited about this call of action on their faith to the young people Ensenada!  

So, there are many things I am looking forward to this summer.  New interns. Worship times in the chapel.  Sitting around the fire in Scott & Ana's patio.  The energy of teams.  Thursday dedications.  Watching our community do what we do best.  Serving.  More camping trips?. Laughing.  Listening.
Oh and more shortly... receiving a visit from my dear friend Cait! I am so excited to share my new home with Caitlin - she is a friend I really respect and have a lot of fun with!  She's coming for a visit in just over a week  and I am pumped!

So here's to it kids! In the terrible words of some fellow mexican mission trippers...
let's git'r done.