WMF has a new look (!) & my April support letter

You may or may not know that WMF is getting a new look this coming monday march 30th.  in addition to the "new look" the new website will include blogs specific to each fields & other goodies. So get excited and be sure to check out or website on monday.

Also, quick note, I posted more pictures of the center (pre-furniture) on my facebook account—pictures of our workspaces with the furniture all setup are coming soon! Being semi-moved in and beginning to work in that space is like something out of a dream. We're all just soaking it up! Thanks again to each one of you who has made and is making this all possible for us. We know we wouldn't be where we are without you.

For my support letter this month I went back to letter style knowing that they would be printed out on the new letterhead but if you want to go ahead and check out the content here it is. Its a long one so get comfy!

love to the peeps!

April Support  Letter

“So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.  I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” Psalm 143:4 & 5

March 15, 2009

Queridos,

There are some days in your life where you just can’t stop smiling.  Days and moments that suck the power out of the dark ugly times that often threaten to overwhelm.  Hours full of joy, hope and redemption that can sustain you for weeks or months, hours and moments where I know I must let the fullness of God’s goodness wash over me and soak into every pore of my soul because its going to be that understanding of God’s faithfulness that I will be called to remember when life and the road marked with suffering and injustice seem too much to take.  It will be in the remembering that we will be empowered to move forward.

Since last Monday evening I have been remembering our dinner with B.  B is a dear friend of ours who used to live on the streets but has since returned home to live with his mother.  He is now working in the mornings, training as a boxer in the afternoons and studying to become a chef in the evenings. It has become something of a tradition that on Mondays after his class he stops by the house where David, Sebastian & Erick [WMF Staff] live for a bite to eat, some conversation and to lift weights.  Us girls often crash the party to help with dinner, watch a movie or just to say hi.

This particular Monday, the one I’ve been remembering, B arrived a little late and out of breath.  He was smiling ear to ear and the first thing he says to us is that he has some Bible verses he wants to share with us.  We were caught by surprise in the best way possible and finished eating dinner so we could give our full attention. 

Right there on the simple front porch of the boys’ heat stricken house B began to tell his story.  How he felt jealous when other kids on the streets were being offered jobs, how that first job that he got working landscape was what opened the door for him to leave the streets, how boxing taught him a discipline he never dreamed of,  how so many times he had heard the story of Jesus from us & from others and then one day in a park outside his house one more brother shared with him one more time and that was the time that he really made Jesus a part of his life, how even still things weren’t all easy but he knows that God is with him and makes all his accomplishments so far possible.  He told us of how drugs and alcohol had a hold on his life until he met Jesus and how it’s only by the grace of God that he resists the pull he still often feels towards those vices.  He told us how he wants to be a great boxer and a great chef and that one day he wants to open a restaurant/boxing ring where you can get dinner and watch a good match.

And that was just getting started, he then asked us to bow our heads and pray together because he wanted to share with us from the Word of God and if you’re going to share from the Word you should always ask God for guidance.  We thought this very wise ☺, so we prayed and the he read to us from Psalm 40:

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.  Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Then our dear friend told us of the struggles he faces now.  That there sometimes things are hard at home, that sometimes he can’t get control of his temper and that he hates it when he lashes out at his sister.  He shared how last Sunday it was worse than usual and he grabbed his stuff to leave his house, how he got on the bus to go to the park where he knew he could find friends drinking to forget their troubles but how once he was on the bus he realized it was also the bus that went to the church where he had attended before.  He told us of how he went back in forth in his mind wondering whether to take the road to the park or the road to the church.  He told us of how he was asking for God’s forgiveness the whole time and how by the grace of God he ended up at the church where they read from Psalm 40 and how he couldn’t believe that they chose that Psalm and those verses that seemed to be specifically for him.  He then told us about the pastor’s sermon imploring the people that “their yes be yes, and their no be no” and how again he knew that this sermon was specifically for him.  He shared with us how that night he decided that night to say a wholehearted “yes” to Jesus and “yes” to life away from the street and all its trappings.  Then he smiled, complimented Linsey on the food and asked if there were seconds to be had. 

We all laughed and told him how proud we are of him.  How it’s an honor for us to share life with him and how he has taught us so much. I couldn’t stop smiling and thanking God for the privilege of sharing in that moment.  For the privilege of sharing life with beautiful, resilient, genuine, humble B and so many others like him that are still trying to find their way.  In the taxi, the whole way home, I went over and over the redemptive details in my head so that I would be able to remember.  So that when the streets felt especially dark, or the suffering of our friends particularly intense I would be able to call on that experience of God’s faithfulness to complete the good work that he started in B.  That I would be able to remember, praise the Lord and continue pushing forward.

As we move from the office we’ve been renting for the last 2 ½ years into our very own home we are, of course, thrilled [even with all the manual labor! ☺].  And even though this is all so exciting and a moment we have all been anticipating since the close of the Casa Job in January of 2006, we can’t deny that we made some beautiful memories during our time in the office.  We decided to spend our last time of worship as renters singing in each room of the office and sharing memories from our time in each of those rooms.  We laughed and we cried and we were overwhelmed with thankfulness.  We remembered how much growing we did as a community in that little space and we knew that it was good.  We could even see how perfectly it was for preparing us for where we are going now and all that is ahead.  It was an amazing way to say goodbye and hello!

Speaking of change, as you have probably already noticed, Word Made Flesh has a new look complete with a new logo! We are all really excited about this and feel that this is a better expression of who we are and where we are now as an international community.  Be sure to visit the website [www.wordmadeflesh.org] and keep your eye out for the next issue of The Cry which will introduce the redesign in more detail.  It will also include some of our staff reflections about where we’ve been and what this new logo symbolizes for us.

Things are always changing, aren’t they?  As a rather sentimental person, that can be tough for me sometimes.  Reflecting on and integrating rhythms of remembrance is really helping me to make more sense of all that has come before and allowing me more freedom to open the doors to all that is yet to come.  Thanks be to God!  And, as always, thanks for sharing in the journey with me.

So much love & peace to you all, 

Monica N. Ghali

monica.ghali@gmail.com
http://wordmadefleshperu.wordpress.com

To see pictures of the progress in our new center go HERE!

Some Great Places to Visit

hey friends & fam --

Greetings from sunny, sweaty and water balloon filled Lima. I hope you are well, wherever you find yourselves. We've had an incredible first month of 2009.  Vision-casting, re-focusing, dreaming big, re-focusing again and just being together. It has definitely required a lot from us physically, mentally & emotionally, but it has been incredibly enlightening & encouraging as well. We're freshly back from staff retreat and starting to really hammer out our outlines for the programs this year. Just stopped by the blogosphere to direct you to some more interesting world wide web destinations—love to the people & enjoy!:

1.  WMF Peru Ministry Center Catalog

This is the product of Brian & my dreams, sweat & tears :). We put together this catalog so you could have a better idea of the needs we have to get the new Ministry Center up and running. Check it out, get involved, tell all your friends :)...

go HERE for the catalog

2.  For pictures of our workday on the aforementioned Ministry Center go HERE.

3.  To keep up with the haps of WMF Peru subscribe or check back regularly with our blog:  http://wordmadefleshperu.wordpress.com

Fasting & Praying for Italo

Dear friends & family -- our hearts are heavy today as we share with you that a friend of ours who spent much of his time on the streets of Lima has been hit by a bus and is in the hospital in a coma. He's a young boy about 12 years old. Sweet, mischievous, and funny. Many of you may remember me telling you about a girl, Katty, who passed away after being hit by a bus and being in a coma for almost a year.  Italo is Katty's little brother so needless to say their family is broken and hurting terribly.

We're taking the day to fast and pray for Italo and his family. Join us in any way you like.

Just Your Typical Community Night

Amazing things heard at a WMF Peru community night:

1. A little background: Isa is a very curious and intelligent 8 year old. She asks tons of questions and we almost always oblige. She also spends a lot of time around adults.  this particular Sunday evening we were having a rousing conversation about the androgyny of God. Surprisingly, Isa asks no questions but a little bit later says:

"There are girls, and there are boys—how come there are no birls?"

2. Isa sets up a hair salon in the living room and is one by one escorting all of the women present into the stylists chair. She asks me to take my turn but I'm on my way out to the store, I promise her that I will take my turn as soon as I return. Reportedly—while I was at the store—Isa declares:

"When aunt Monica gets back I'll have to style her hair. Its gonna be a total nightmare!"

3.  Sarah, totally serious:

"I can't wait to start my rap career. I already know what my name will be: Rap Kaat Sarah.  but not like 'cat'.  k-a-a-t. I'm actually already working on my first rap."

4. While playing catchphrase:

Brian (giving clues):  the LOGOS of God!
Us (guessing):  Jesus, the Word, Scripture
Brian:  uhhh...
Us:  Holy Scripture, the Word, JESUS
Brian:  okay, yah, so what's Jesus' last name?!?!
Us:  Christ?!?
Brian:  YES!

Memed!

I've been a lame blogger of course—nothing new—so thanks to a friend and an interesting new [relatively] concept we're back to the races...

I've been memed by the fabulous daphne eck coppock, the incredible brent anderson AND the illustrious linsey higgins!

Here's how it works:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My random/weird facts:

1. I seem like an extrovert but it turns out I'm actually something of an introvert. At least that's how i'm testing these days. Don't worry, nothing too extreme, still pretty close to the line.

2. I love big earrings. I'm a sucker for them. Anytime of day or night with a t-shirt or formal wear. With a fox or in a box.

3. I never used to watch TV but now that i don't have a TV and "TV on DVD" is all the rage I seem to be making up for lost time. I'm a little embarrassed by this one (not really). Don't judge :).

4. I can tell the difference between waters and I know which ones I like and which ones I hate. This dates back to the dining commons at Taylor where I could tell the difference between the water from the left machine (yum) and that of the right machine (ick). You think I'm crazy but I got it right every time my friends tested me. Good brands of bottled water:  cielo, vida, mountain spring. Bad brands:  san luis, san mateo, dasani, aquafina.

5. I'm a serious packrat/I believe there will be an eventual use for everything we just need to wait for the inspiration to come. Sometimes the storage gets a little tricky but its worth it. Reduce, reuse, recycle! Make art! Redemption!

6. I would love to be in a real live broadway musical.  singing, dancing, acting, big hair, drama, on stage, big crowds, the whole bit.

7. I'm a draft-boxer. I hardly ever write an email on the first take.  its a nasty habit as many emails get stuck in that black hole. I'm working on it...

i meme Travis, MarciaAndrew, Beth, Shmem, Kim and Lindsey

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Pictures of the new center can be found here.

Pictures of easter/beach fun can be found here.

As i was scrolling through my recent [previous] posts i found that i never made these exclamatory remarks:

We bought a house for the new center! 

The WMF Peru community has a home!

Thank you for your prayers, your support, and your generosity!


Understatement of the year is that we're excited.  Much construction/demolition/re-working/fund-raising take 2 is yet to come. For now hopefully the pictures of the dedication we had in february will be fun to flip through.

And the people were thankful.

Downright Ironic

I'm just trying to help you out here by demonstrating an oft discussed english language concept.

Irony.

Read the previous post and then continue reading this one. Then, discuss.

Hooray! Its fall!

Glorious fall, still sunny & warm but with a decidedly cool breeze and a definite need for the long-sleeved waffle hoodie in the evenings. And the skies are still clear and blue. Its the calm before the perpetual fog but I love it all the same and instead of being a sign of impending doom (drama!) like usual, its actually been a very peaceful, calming and lovely autumn for me so far this year. Of course its only been a few days, but i'm hopeful.

Servant team dos mil ocho is fabulous. Lima feels way more accessible. The church I'm attending is overflowing with grace,  & love, & openness & truth & quirkiness. The young boys are growing up.  Younger boys are appearing. more babies are being born.  more suffering but also more joy, more trust, more hope & even more love.

I make no promises except for this:  love overflows in my heart for you and God is good.

Happy peace filled fall (read "spring" for those of you up north)! Abrazos.

Smiling Sun and Ocean View

Today i saw the ocean from my roof top.

Which means its summer.

Which means I'll be able to start blogging again.

(don't try to follow my logic, I'm practically untraceable. but I do love you.)

peace & love & lots to catch up on. mng.

I am tired! I am true of heart! You are tired! You are true of heart!

October 2004. A freezing, dark, night in an unfamiliar city at the top of the earth. I cried under the weight of what felt like the heaviest stuffs of the intangible world.  To myself.  to the emptiness. To God. and then I read this. I clung to this:

"You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there, if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

Psalm 139:5-10


Sept 2007. A gray, damp, chilly city at the edge of the sea. The smell of fish and the teasing hints of spring. An alien in a foreign land wherever I go. I cry under what feels like a similar weight. Different but the same. To myself. To the emptiness. To God. And then a friend mentions this. The liturgical calendar falls on this.  Brian chooses this for our community meditation: 

"You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there, if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

Psalm 139:5-10


and God's faithfulness is more true to me than ever before.

Aftershock

Hey everyone, thanks for your prayers for Peru. Keep it up. Hard times are ahead.

The news is reporting 500 casualties overall but our friend, a volunteer firefighter, was down in Ica helping with the rescue effort and said there were already over 700 bodies in the town square of that city alone.  some of the more remote towns still haven't even been contacted. It is the dead of winter, people are without food, water & shelter and as they get desperate the looting and the rioting increases.

The good news is, Peruvians are coming out to help their fellow countrymen. We tried to donate blood yesterday and were put on a waiting list.  all the blood banks in all the hospitals are full! Also, there was a healthcare strike going on that they canceled to help with the earthquake victims and all over the city we are seeing collection palettes outside of major stores and plazas where people can donate supplies. 

Still there is dire need.

If you want to help out I recommend going through World Vision. This link allows you to donate to the cause in Peru.

It is difficult to continue on with daily life knowing all that is happening just two hours south of us and feeling helpless to do anything. We are still exploring the possibilities with some of the local churches but right now we just continue to pray.  and then every now and then we feel another aftershock and my heart hurts so much for those people whose lives were destroyed in the span of two minutes. It will be a long road ahead, and we must try very hard not to let their suffering slip out of our minds.   

I also mentioned that the Servant Team was coming, and after 4 delayed/canceled flights and severe weather in Houston, they are finally here. Thanks for your prayers for them as well.

Again, thanks for checking in. Keep on keepin' on. Love to you all.

Sunshine + The Earthquake = Interesting Day Down South

Hey! The sun came out today! We haven't seen her beautiful shining face in Lima for months so that was a sweet surprise.

Menores was pretty great this morning.  L and I prayed together to start out the morning. He began by saying he didn't know how to pray and when I explained that it can be as simple as just talking to God about whats going on he agreed to give it a shot. Heartfelt, honest, simple, refreshing are the words I would use to describe it.

If any of you have read about the earthquake that hit Peru this evening this is me checking in to say i'm safe as is the rest of my team. David and I were at the coast when it hit, it was a very surreal experience and a lot of people were quite scared. Some buildings have come down in the center of town where many of our youth spend their days & nights so we're hoping to go check on them some time tomorrow. Whoa. I just felt an aftershock right as I was typing. Whoa. Anyhow, the quake lasted about 2 mins and was a 7.9 on the richter scale.  the center was 90 miles SE of Lima in the water.  pretty wild stuff.

Please be praying for our friends. Many of them live in the parts of town where structures can be unstable and unreliable. Also for the people living in Ica & Chincha where the quake hit the hardest.

Also, my servant team arrives tomorrow. How crazy is that?

peace & love. grace & truth.  always. mng

Back in Limaland

Its true! I'm back in Limaland and have hit the ground running to get ready for the servant team that's coming next week! And even though I feel tired and the skies are grey I haven't been able to stop smiling. The reunions have been sweet, birthdays have been celebrated, soccer has been played, hugs all around, then if you throw in a few airport runs, a beautiful friday night of prayer, followed by crazy laughter on the cab ride home—you have yourself a pretty great first week home.

Being in the states with many of you was a blessing. I know I've said it, but I'll say it again. Thanks for coming out to see me, for making such an effort to encourage me whether by presence or email or sweet gestures. I wish I could express how much it meant to me.

Family time in canada was irreplaceable. I seriously adore my family. Iowa was gorgeous as always, the tall corn, the rolling hills, evening drives around Saylorville, the amazing people and  the Palmer's goodness. The retreat was excellent, I admit I was slightly nervous, but it reached into my being in a deep and refreshing way. It is a privilege to count myself among all of the amazing friends I met there who are serving Jesus among the poorest of the poor all around the world.  colorado was full with beauty & emotion & reconnection with old & new friends. And wow, there's just something about those mountains & blue spruce trees...

Of course the time always flies by and i always wish for just a little bit more. I guess I'll just never be able to have my fill of you all :).

Anyway, I wanted to catch you up to speed and check back in from this side of the equator. Also, Dad said I should post my most recent support letter as well for those who don't receive it so thats below (if you would like to receive it just shoot me an email).

Okay, so in summary:

Thanks, love you, keep on keepin' on!

besos.

*************************************************************

Dear Sweet Friends & Family,

It was another Tuesday night on the streets and I was looking for my friend C to wish him a happy birthday.  He turned 13 on the Sunday before and Sarah and I were hoping to take him out for a celebratory lunch of salad, french fries, rotisserie chicken, & Inca Cola.  When I finally saw him I ran up to him to pitch our idea.  Before I knew it there were tears streaming down his face.  He left his home shortly after his birthday last year and the passing of this one was a sharp reminder that a year had passed.  He had spent his birthday on the streets and hadn’t even remembered until that moment when I came running up to him.  I hugged him.  I grasped for something to say but no words came to my mind, so, I just squeezed a little tighter. 

Then the most amazing thing happened.  The other boys began to notice C’s tears and gather around.  I started to push them away because I thought they would tease him.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  First came the questions “Por qué estás llorando?”  “Why are you crying?” “Qué pasó amigo?” “What happened, friend?”, and then the “Why didn’t you tell us it was your birthday?”  “Its not too late to celebrate!” “happy birthday!” and there were hugs, lots of hugs.  And I sat in the middle of the beautiful circle of boys and listened to them encourage each other and tell stories of birthdays forgotten & dreams of better ones to come.

C’s good friend J piped up, “The devil doesn’t want us to have good things, that’s why we need to pray to Jesus for truth.”  I nodded and wiped the tears from my eyes and C’s eyes.  Again the words failed to come to me and I was in awe at the face of Jesus so clearly reflected in those boys’ eyes.  Through J’s words truth was spoken into darkness.  We talked a little about what J meant by that.  We agreed that it is never too late to celebrate a birthday, that our God is a God who gives second, third, fourth and ninetieth chances, and that just because its been a year doesn’t mean its too late to go home and/or try to make things right.  Another group of boys came over to hug C and before I knew it I was in the center of a huge circle of boys and girls playing their instruments and singing every version of the happy birthday song they could come up with.  During a lull in the impromptu celebration I got up and hugged them both and we agreed to meet for that celebratory lunch the next week, their songs filling my ears as I walked away.

The whole idea of truth has been, and what it means to see truly has been surfacing in a lot of my thoughts, conversations, experiences & prayers.  Amidst the suffering, finding truth and clinging to it is essential.  Seeing things as they truly are, through the eyes of God, completely changes my point of view when I am able to get glimpses.  At a conference about ministry to at-risk youth, which we recently hosted, I had the opportunity to share about the privilege it is to search for the “hidden treasures” that are the youth.  Treasures that are seen and discovered when we are searching with the eyes of God, and when we are allowing truth to break down the lies we’ve been told about what makes a person valuable.

C and his friends who gathered around him are hidden treasures and I am blessed to know them.  They push me forward in the search for truth and in the fight against the lies that so often surround us, and I hope I do the same for them.

Please pray for us as we walk this road together, that we would cling to truth in all things and ever be seeking to see ourselves, and the world through the eyes of God.

Please pray as well for the new Servant Team.  We are excited to welcome these six incredible girls into the Lima community for the next four months.  Pray for me as I lead them, for our community as we receive them, and for them as they integrate and open themselves to what God has for their time with us.

It was a joy and a blessing to see and communicate with many of you over the past month.  You have encouraged me and inspired me in ways you probably aren’t even aware of.  Time with you is priceless and I hold it in my heart as a treasure.  Thank you a million times over.  I attached a field update for those of you I wasn’t able to see face to face. 

I am here because you make it possible through your generosity, your encouragement, your prayers, and your love.  You amaze me.

Thanking God for you!

love & peace,

Monica

Contemplation & Transformation

This is the theme of our WMF staff retreat which is going down in Nebraska City as we speak. The first three days have been full with new faces, fun conversations, celebratory toasting, hot tub soaking, ultimate frisbee craziness (in 100 degree heat), futbol match watching, excellent eating (I've had bacon at every meal so far), challenging expositions & discussions, and rich worship.

After last night's session Aaron continued to play his guitar as we reflected on the evening and we let these words wash over us.

Arise O Lord
Lift up your eyes
Don't forget I'm helpless

Oh you lead me to waters and pastures so green
Oh you pour out your oil and choose goodness and mercy for me

No, I will not be in want

You're with me
I will not fear
You comfort me
I will not fear


What a good word.

Thank you to all who i have seen and talked with along this N. American journey. You have made the path easier to walk as you have walked alongside me. More to come on those adventures.

Pray for us, we'll pray for you. Love to the people.

And Hilarity Ensued...

DSC01682.JPG

Every Wednesday morning we spend 3 hours singing, teaching, snacking, playing and chilling out with our friends from the street.  Mostly boys ages 10-17, and every week I break down laughing hysterically at least once, I almost poke an eye out at least once and I feel surprised/blessed by them at least once.  Its probably my favorite time of the week.  Here's a taste...

Top 5 hilarious/great moments from the last month:

1.  Who has a friend named Jesus?

First of all I have to explain something.  In Latin American culture knowing someone named Jesus (pronounced 'hey-soos') is like knowing someone named John.  So with that in mind... Sarah is leading sing time with the guys and we're jamming away to this song and one of the lines is "Jesus es mi amigo" ("Jesus is my friend").  So Sarah stops and asks "Who here has a friend named Jesus??" and we all respond enthusiastically "I do!"  "Me!"  except for J, he shouts out:

"I do!  He lives like two blocks up the road from my parents' house!"

Touche. 

2.  Yo tengo una queja (I have a complaint)

Imagine the tallest kid in the class, then imagine organized racing games with a group of people who have only ever played pick up street soccer and lastly imagine David, our tallest (and whitest) staff member participating along with the boys.  Okay, that's your setting.

So its chaotic, everyone is shouting, hardly anyone understands the rules/how to follow rules and those that do are either defying them or yelling at everyone else for defying them, but above all the voices we hear D (tallest of the boys) shout out:

"Yo tengo una queja!" ("I have a complaint!")

The first thing thats funny is that everyone gets suddenly quiet and gives D the floor (an attentiveness i wasn't able to achieve to save my life that day). So he strolls out the the middle of the concrete court and says:

"So how is anyone supposed to win a game like this when David over there has the twin towers for legs?"

And thats it. Thats all he wanted to say. Everyone flipped out laughing and the chaos started right back up where it left off as D strolled casually back to his team.

3.  Does anybody know where the baby Jesus fled to?

When talking about the story of Jesus' birth and how Mary & Joseph took baby Jesus and fled from Herod, Linsey posed the question "does anyone know where they fled to?" and one of the boys shouts out:

"Su barrio de Monica!"  literally translated "Monica's hood!"

aka:  Egypt

4.When asked about the prodigal son, D retold the story like this:

"Well the son got a little selfish, he wasn't thinking straight, so he went and spent all this money on things that don't really matter and then he was like chillin' with the pigs and he was all 'how did i get here' so he split from there and went back to his dad's place and when he got there he said i'll just be a worker or whatever but the dad wouldn't let him he told him 'no, you're my son' because that's what you're supposed to do when you're a dad, you love your kid." 

5.  What gift would you give?

Last week we were talking about the wisemen and the gifts that they gave to Jesus and how they each represented something about Jesus' life.  It was really neat and the boys were into it.  So at the end Linsey asked them "what gifts would you give if you could give anything." Some of the answers included:

"I would draw him a picture"

"My heart"

"A song I wrote"

"My life"

"I would make him something"

"My time"

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'  He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." 

Matthew 18:1-5

Sweet Homecoming & The Days Ahead

my view from my roof at sunset/me playing with the setting on my camera.

 

Randomness:

1. Apparently I missed a lot of those classic books you're supposed to read in highschool. I'm not sure when. Anyways, I finally finished 'The Great Gatsby'.  Stellar.  what else did I miss out on? Please feel free to let me know and I will begin reading accordingly. Also, if you love to read and exchange book knowledge check out goodreads.com and let the fun begin.

2.  24 days until i'm home home on the range. for the first time in a year.  So exciting.  here's the schedule:

June 22-30:  Montreal & Ottawa visiting fam with the fam

June 30- July 13:  Des Moines!  Yippeeeeeee! 

July 13-23:  WMF Staff Retreat

July 23-25:  Des Moines (take 2)

July 25-29:  Denver & Ft. Collins to witness the Shan tie the knot

July 29-Aug 1:  Des Moines (the final take)

Aug 1:  Back to Lima

I will let you know about a couple official get togethers at my parents' house but other than that let me know if you'll be around because I would love to chat/drink caribou/eat good food/laugh like crazy/share life stories/re-discover all the loveliness that is iowa with you :).

3. Our community has the opportunity to share with pastors from all over S. America at a conference in two weeks. Please pray for us as we prepare. Everyone will be speaking at least once which is a little scary for some of us but exciting at the same time.

4. Since half the staff has to be stateside for the retreat please keep the other half of the staff in your prayers as they are only 3 people and will be carrying the field for a while.  they're amazing, they'll do a stellar job, its their sanity we're hoping will stay in tact :).

5. Spent the day on Sunday at a friend's house who used to live on the street. We made popcorn and watched Happy Feet with her and her two precious kids. Now that is good for the soul. And the movie is stinkin' adorable too. Try it some time, you won't regret it.

End ramble.

Miss/love/can't wait to see you.