Showing posts from June, 2011

Some things never change...

Some things never change...just look at my sidewalks and flower beds. When I was in the process of writing "Pace Yourself," a daily devotional book spurned from everyday events, there was more than one entry that bemoaned the fact that weeds grew all too easily between the cracks of my sidewalk. I spent countless hours sitting there in the hot sun, needlenose pliers in hand to pull that pesky vegetation out from the roots. It was a tough job that frustrated me to no end. How was it that weeds grew so freely and relentlessly when carefully tended seedlings in the perfect conditions struggled to survive? Not fair. Then Gary told me about weed killer. Yes. He was right. It was--and still is--easier to pull out dead weeds than ones that are thriving. But there's one little problem. The herbicide he gave me takes about two weeks to work. The only good thing about that is that I get to procrastinate a little bit longer in ridding the sidewalk and beds of the ugliness. There

Costa Rica Recap

I'm not sure where to start. How can I possibly begin to describe the Costa Rican mission trip experience? In fact, it is almost surreal now that I am back in the States and beginning to slide into a normal routine. And yet, I never want to forget what transpired during those ten days abroad. Our missionary hosts, Lamar and Joanna Salley, along with their three children, were skeptical about the wisdom of housing 14 women and one man, Hands of Compassion Int'l president, Chris Tolley, under their roof. Surely, the predominately teenage group would be entangled in squabbles and drama, right? Wrong. I can honestly report that not one bit of discontent or personal conflict reared its ugly head during our trip. No one fussed about who was going to take a shower when and in what order. No one complained about crowded (but comfortable) rooming arrangements. No one hogged the last pancake or selfishly snagged the pile of mango on the breakfast table. It is clearly a testimony of the

A day at the dump

A typical Carpio home The young children of Carpio Literally. Today  we got to feel what it would be like to live and work in and around the city dump. A modern day Samaria, many Costa Ricans would never think of stepping into the town known as Carpio. Occupied by Nicaraguan immigrants, they came to improve their positions in life. And, believe it or not, living in the squalor of the dump is a step up. Waiting to enter the school Driving into the area, we were all impressed by the houses, the tiny sidewalk shops on each street corner, the filth, but most of all the children roaming the streets. Even little ones, perhaps three and four years old, played alone in the narrow passageways crowded by cars and speeding dump trucks. It seemed to be an accident waiting to happen. The school we were allowed to enter was protected by huge bars on every window and intimidating iron gates. I wondered if it was to keep the children in or evil out. Our job was to teach two different cl

Another day in not-so-sunny Costa Rica: A short update

Well, the girls on this team continue to amaze. We are watching them grow in so many ways. They are becoming more bold and confident each day as they interact with the kids and freely share their faith and the wonderful gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today was a lesson in flexibility. It seemed that the plan changed no less than every seven minutes. And yet, they never missed a beat, never complained, and rose to each occasion. After a time of devotion in the morning, we traveled to our destination for a soccer tournament, only to find it cancelled. So, back on the bus, we took a thirty minute shopping trip followed by a stop at a busy downtown park. The kids performed their dramatic mime, causing many on the busy streets to stop and watch the eight minute presentation. Then it was time to pass out gospel tracts, finding few who refused the offering. The afternoon was filled with an English teaching session in a large high school. However, prior to entering the classroom, the g

Two days down

Up at 6 am. Breakfast. Leave by 7 or 8 am. Volleyball clinics in elementary schools. Indoor soccer 5-on-5 tournaments, dramas in parks and testimonies shared. English classes taught in high schools. Dodge deafening downpours while running for cover under tin roofs. Return home by 11:30 pm. Our sports-centered mission team hit the ground running. Not literally. San Jose, the bustling capital city of Costa Rica is anything but runner friendly. Narrow, winding streets, all without name or numbers, make running the streets and staying alive simultaneously nearly impossible. But we are not left wanting for physical activity. Working with SCORE missionaries, we have done four volleyball clinics for elementary school kids. The children, with their big, beautiful brown eyes are eager participants and just as eager to give hugs and smiles. The soccer tournaments, two so far, are played on turf fields under the protection of metal roofs. Two hours running, the play is fast and furious...or a

10 hours and counting

My head is spinning. Actually, it's been spinning a bit off it's axis for the last couple of months. Coaching, unexpected teaching responsibilities, and challenging home improvement activities have cast me into my private little orbit in far out space. Good thing I was tethered to the mothership. If not, I would still be drifting  in the deep and distant darkness. But, I do have one more mission before coming in for a splash-down. I will be getting on a plane tomorrow with a dozen female athletes, traveling to Costa Rica. Over a period of ten days, we will be jumping, running, playing games and kicking soccer balls with our Costa Rican counterparts. But why? Let me explain. A frequent question asked of me over the years as been, "Why do you run?" My standard quip was usually "Because I can." But that's not really it. The last several years I have been impacted by the thought that my athletic ability was not an accident or a handy skill sculpted and