Friday, July 30, 2010

Learning To Dance With A Limp

My vacation week has turned out very differently from what I had planned it to be, but in a good way, not bad.  I had great plans for reading books for hours on end and taking naps whenever the feeling would strike me, but instead I have spent part of my week with a very good friend of mine who very tragically lost her 21 year old grandson last Friday. 

It's interesting, because Karen and I first became friends years ago when she lost custody of her grandson, a decision made by the powers that be for some inexplicable reason that will forever remain a mystery to me.  I can remember sitting with her as she cried an endless ocean of tears.  And now, I have sat with her again and watched the excruciating sorrow of a light gone out in her eyes.  There are no words to describe her pain, or the pain I feel as I watch someone I love suffer in such a way.
My sister Brenda sent me this quote by Ann Lamott when she heard of Karen's loss:            

"You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp."

I know Karen will learn to dance again, and will not allow the hearbreaking loss of her grandson to be wasted in hers or anyone else's life.  If there is one word that comes to mind to describe my friend Karen it is "resilient".  I have watched her over the years endure many crushing disappointments, but she would always get up again, not just surviving, but daring to dance again, even if it was with just a bit of a limp.

I have a devotional journal called "Daily Moments In His Presence" by Frances J. Roberts, and this was the reading for Wednesday, July 28th:

"You are Mine.  You are not your own.  With a great price I have purchased you for Myself.  If you will listen to Me, I will reveal to you more fully so that you many know more clearly how vital you are to My purpose.

There is work to be done, and I need you as a vessel through which to work.  Not a vassal, but a vessel.  I want to do a beautiful work.  There will be inconveniences to be borne, self-pleasing to be laid aside, sacrifices and pain - but what a blessed reward I have in store.  Yes, in store for you, if you are able to let Me use you the way I desire."

I have experienced these words this week, and I can truly say that I do not regret one moment that I have spent with Karen; taking care of her beautiful flowers, feeding her little bunnies, holding her hand as she cried.  Each time that I would hug Karen she would hold onto me as if she was drawing strength out of me. I pray that she was. 

Karen and I have been friends for many years, but over time with the busyness of life have not been as involved in the day to day details of one another's life.  We always knew though, that we loved one another, and that we would be there if ever our friend needed us.  The bond of friendship that women share is deep and fierce, and one of the most beautiful things that you can experience on this earth.  I am so thankful that I was able to share that with my friend this week.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mr. Dancing Parrot

We went back to the Eco Resort on our last day in Guayaramerin, and even though it was extremely hot, it was great to get to see the animals again in the day time.  This is Mr. Dancing Parrot, and after he worked his magic on me by dancing up my arm and trying to steal my glasses, he used his best moves on a sweet little green parrot with the happiest  face I've ever seen...

I'm sure there is some scientific significance to what they were doing there, but it sure looks pretty romantic to me!  :-)

Mr. Parrot continues the entertainment with some of his best moves, and then takes a break for a snack...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The "Genesis" From A to Z

This is the "Genesis", a boat that Gustavo and Pastor Avalino have dreamed about for seven years.  We used all of the lumber that was provided, and finished everything that we could do.  We sealed the inside of the hull with oil to protect the wood from being eaten by bugs and worms, we put all of the supports in place for the deck to be built on and then put a large portion of the decking boards in place.  We finished by putting the beams in place for the second and third floor to be built on.  When more lumber is purchased and the motor is finished, another team will complete the work, and when the rains come later this summer, the ground around the "Genesis" will be flooded, and she will be released from her moorings and launched into her mission.  Gustavo said there are hundreds of people who live in the villages along the Amazon that die every year from snake bites alone.  Their lives can be saved with one injection from a needle.  One injection.  One needle.  The "Genesis" is going to provide those needles, and so much more.

On our last day before going down to see the boat one last time, I wrote out the words to the "Great Commission" from Matthew 28:  "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."  I signed it from the Go Mission Team of 2010, carefully folded it and put it in a small plastic bag, then I asked Mike to find a special hiding place for it in the hold.  I'm sure he wondered what in the world I was trying to hide in the boat, but I just wanted it to be there when the boat goes out. 

It has been such a humbling experience to be involved in something like this, and I can picture the "Genesis" gliding through the waters of the Amazon, carrying the precious cargo of those who can heal the body and the soul.  I feel so privileged to have been chosen to be a part of such an incredible mission. 

Good Evening Mr. Parrot

I like how this shot turned out - it really wasn't that dark, but we arrived at the Eco Resort just at dusk and I was having trouble getting clear pictures of the beautiful parrots with my telephoto and no flash.  I decided to try a few shots using my flash and I liked how the branch was highlighted in this shot, as well as the interesting pose from Mr. Parrot.  I have some great shots that I took when we went back a second time, this time in the daylight!  Stay tuned...

The Ever Growing Pile of Water Bottles

Whoever got to recycle these made a nice little chunk of change!  I've never drunk (is that a word?) so much water in all my life, and believe me, I was so thankful for it!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More From Mike

Just a few more pictures of me taken by Mike Lowe.  I'll be glad when I can show you some of the shots I took of this amazing trip and add a story or two.  Going home to visit my family for the weekend, hot days in the shade of the sun porch and Mum's great cook'n, what more can you ask for?  Well, probably lots, but I'm happy at the thought of home for now :-)

That's me on the end, fork to mouth :-)

I had to laugh at this shot.  I'm not in a lot of pictures because I was doing this, taking pictures!


and walking....

and walking, open markets lined the streets...

and walking, along with the usual meal of chicken following us home! Though the food was excellent, I've had enough chicken to do me for awhile; and definitely no more slippery eggs!

Check out the room of skulls I blogged about in

Live from Lima Peru

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pictures Of Me by Mike!

Okay, ran into a hitch with sharing my pictures.  As my camera downloaded them to my computer they automatically deteted them from the camera, which normally wouldn't matter except I need to share them with my family this weekend. Plus I've been asked to do a slideshow of them at work tomorrow.  So, I'll wait until after the weekend to begin to share some with all of you.

But for now, Mike Lowe has shared his from the trip on Facebook, so I've selected some to add to previous posts and show you a few of 'me' considering all of mine are of everything else but me :-)
Talk about your tight squeeze!

Taking care of those itchy bug bites, I was plastered in them!  The bugs like Canadians :-)

Lunch break, need to keep up the energy!

Be sure to check out previous posts for photos of  the actual things, places that I've blogged about.

Bolivia's Gifts
A Boat Called Genesis