Saturday, February 21, 2009


So justice is far from us, and right-eousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows…” (Is 59:9)

Today my heart walks in deep shadows and justice seems far off.

Justice IS far off for Beatrice—a woman who represents thousands unnamed others. A woman I met as the golden light of late afternoon bathes the western horizon, A woman who has been abandoned by her husband, and who is looked after only by her teenage daughter. A woman who lives in a partially constructed house on a hill in a dry northwestern pueblo, separated from the elements by a roof and a thin layer of plastic. A woman whose feet carry the dust of a dozen weekly trips to the clay-rich hills. A woman who spends all week making pottery to sell in the nearest market town Saturdays and Sundays, making $5-6 on which to feed herself and her daughter.

A woman whose conversion to Jesus has put a smile on her face and joy in her heart, but whose pain of rejection remains ever present, palpable in her faraway gaze. A woman who, together with her daughter, carefully guards the hope of a better future. In this future, her caring and servant hearted daughter Genny can go to school, can become a teacher, can fulfill her dreams. But this dream, which seems so simple--a mere $20 a month would cover her daughter’s travel and course materials—remains far off. Genny’s love for her mother shines in her eyes, in the tender way she holds her hand as they sit together on the hammock, and she will never pursue this goal while her mother needs her help to survive.

So, yes, tonight, I look for light, but my soul walks in deep shadows….thinking of Beatrice and Genny.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

as the world spins madly on

I know, I haven't been around much lately. The truth is, lately I've been much more interested in living my life here than writing about it. Because it's slowly but inevitably sinking in that I have just two and a half months left in Nicaragua. Believe me, I could tell you new versions of old stories about crazy bus rides, good food, enriching conversations, challenging tasks, inspiring people, political drama, tragic injustice, and reasons for hope...

But, for the moment, all I want to do is treasure every special moment in my heart, look at each person I meet deeply to remember every feature of their face, listen ever so carefully to every word spoken by friends, smell (almost) every odor that wafts through the air I breathe each day, and experience every second as if it truly could be my last in this land of lakes of volcanoes that I love so much.

So if you don't see much of me around these parts between now and May, please be patient with me. Many of the stories of these last few months may just have to wait to be told face to face.

2 JOHN 12