Missionary Stories

The Struggle Continues Following the Death of Berta Cáceres

Job 37:23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.

Psalm 9:8 NIV  He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.

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February 27, 2010

P5270347.jpgAt the start of the weekend, we piled into the living room, introducing ourselves, looking over the schedule and reviewing the emergency procedures in the event of a fire or earthquake.  “Of course, we will care for those who have fears of earthquakes, so do not worry,” a group leader assured the staff.  Everybody nodded in solemn understanding.  The atmosphere in the room became still and I could see their faces change just slightly.  I reasoned that in that few seconds before shifting topics, each person could not help but recall a memory made on February 27, 2010.

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Paris climate summit ignores the reality of Nogales

Mexico_-_Nicholson_Morning_haze_Dec_2015.jpgThe neighborhood where I live in Nogales is called Bella Vista (“Beautiful View”).  The view disappears in the haze on these winter mornings as desperate impoverished people burn whatever they can to ward off the cold.  This toxic reality of corporate “free trade” was not addressed during the recent “Climate Change Conference” in Paris.

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Recycled Blessing

Chile_-_Huegel_-_IMG_0321.jpgAfter the earthquake and tsunami of Feb. 27th, 2010, the members of the Pentecostal Church of Chile built “Blessing Cabins” to provide dry, warm, temporary, emergency housing for people whose homes were destroyed.  One Blessing Cabin remained on the grounds of the central church in Curicó after all the others were shipped out;  it provided emergency office space for the national church whose recently renovated building had to be torn down and then remained as a reminder of God’s provision in the midst of the devastation.

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A Thanksgiving to Remember

Chile_-_Kabat_Nov_2015_PB260408.jpgOn Thanksgiving mid-day, we were four hours away from our home, weary from a busy week spent traveling with a delegation, and at that point without a single Thanksgiving preparation complete.  By seven o’clock that night, our house was bright with chatter and laughter and the rich scents of bacon, onion and thyme, with a spread of food so delicious even remembering it now is making my mouth water.

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Fall 2015 Update from Haiti

Haiti_-_hand_woven_chair_Fall_2015.jpg“Be humble.  Sing loudly.  Live for today.  Call an old friend.  Give hugs.  Be curious.  Take a chance.  Hold hands.  Make a new friend.  Push fear aside.  Take pictures.  Smell the flowers.  Don’t stop.  Smile at a stranger.  Embrace.  Choose happiness.”

-      Sign on a hotel post

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And the Story Continues...

Before you read this story, you might want to read one that I wrote a few years ago.  Some of you will remember “One small step towards Reconciliation”; it is one of the stories in my book, The Earless Man from Chile recently published by Chalice Press.  I share with you the continuation of this story, and unexpected gift received this weekend.

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Hola from Nicaragua!

Nicaragua_-_Salley_Aug_2015_pic3.jpgJesus is here in the morning
Jesus is here at noon

Jesus is here in the evening

so keep your heart in tune

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. The capital is Managua and some of the popular cities are Granada, Leon (first capital of Nicaragua), and Masaya.  Nicaragua is the land of volcanoes—some dormant and some active.

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Shalom

Chile_-_beading_Kabat_2015.jpgHolding hands in a circle and singing out the Hebrew words “Shalom chaverim”, to the starlight sky in Resistencia, Argentina, I look around at our group, bundled up in the winter air with hats and scarves, our eyelids heavy with sleep after a busy four days of games, crafts, workshops and singing.  Flags from many nations decorate the patio and cultural costume items are strewn on the surrounding tables, flat brimmed hats from dancing the Chilean cueca and the Paraguayan polka, guitars and song books from singing Puerto Rican melodies and a pretend fireplace used in a skit of telling Argentine one-liners.

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Torch Marches

4708.jpgDon and I watch with interest the news of the marchas de las antorchas, Torch-lit Marches, in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.  Students and middle-income workers, who call themselves the indignados, the Indignant Ones, are calling for an end to government corruption. Then, one evening, we saw the Torches in our small town of Yoro. We heard rumors they would be marching in the evening, taking the protests country-wide. The march in Yoro was loud as protestors’ voices blasted from loud speakers, but it was peaceful. They blocked traffic for a short time, but since our business district is only three blocks long, it didn’t cause much disruption. They carried signs and banners denouncing corruption, demanding accountability from leaders and calling for the resignation of the President Juan Orlando Hernández.

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