Showing posts from August, 2010

The Minute-Taker

I was volunteered (and I agreed) to be the Minute-Taker for YLM's Development Committee. I didn't used to be on the Committee, but since they all agreed that they needed minutes yet no one volunteered to actually take said minutes, Chris volunteered me. He thought I would be a worthy candidate since I am the secretary of San Pablo AND worked in the Development office all through college. So now I'm the Minute-Taker--not the secretary since they don't have any other officers--the Minute-Taker. I just got back a little bit ago from my first meeting. It was interesting jumping into some of the endowment discussion (and being expected to take notes on it!) having missed a good chunk of the background, but between that and a couple other ideas that have been brought to the table, there are some exciting things on the horizon. God-willing our years of living day-to-day on manna won't number 40...we're at 28 right now. I kind of like being on another committee; I am sl

Canada style!

The last group of the summer left this 4:00am! Nothing like going out in style...Canada style(Bethel Lutheran Church in Sherwood Park, Alberta, to be more specific)! No worries, I had plenty of practice getting up early; this was the 3rd week in a row with somebody on the 6:00 am flight. They were the biggest group of the summer with 28, but they divided into 3 crews: a Mexico crew that began rebuilding a warehouse at Santisima Trinidad, an El Paso house crew that did a full build for the Terrazas family in Sparks, and a tile crew that laid 700 sq. ft. of ceramic tile for a San Pablo member who lives in San Elizario. The Mexico crew pretty much stayed consistent all week because only part of the youth had permission to travel to Juarez, but the other two fluctuated quite a bit so I got to know most everyone. I suppose I would have anyhow because I was on the house crew but spent plenty of time with the tilers driving them to their worksite each morning on our way to Sparks

Como esta Ud.?

Last week I was privileged to work with Language Plus, an intensive Spanish in course that YLM in conjunction with the Lutheran Hispanic Missionary Institute (LHMI) held for the first time. I learned that the word for guinea pig in Spanish is "conejo de India" (Indian rabbit). Seventeen people came from around the country to learn espanol with a Lutheran spin. We asked the instructors, who were contracted from a local language institute called Language Plus, Inc., to gear the curriculum towards people interested in Hispanic ministry, and each evening featured a related presentation put on by LHMI. Knowing you can go to any of like 20 countries and learn Spanish, I think that was a big part of what gave our intensive experience an edge over other programs. The rest of the days were filled with a 3-hour morning block of instruction, a 2-hour afternoon session or field trip, study/free time, and Rita's authentic Mexican cooking. Someone told me once that eating the food som

VIVA! El Paso

I had heard of this infamous thing called VIVA! El Paso since my first time at the mission in 2003, but had never been until this past Saturday night with the Language Plus JumpStart participants. Servant event groups used to go every week, but no one has thus far in the year and a half I've been here, at least no one that I remember. Maybe that's partly due to the fact that it used to be awful (at least according to everyone I have talked to...I never saw it for myself), but everything--storyline, choreography, costumes, etc.--has recently gotten MUCH better. Anyways, it's a musical that traces the history of El Paso, through all of the cultures that have occupied the area, concluding with the present day. It takes place in the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater, so it's kind of like El Paso's version of the Muny for you St. Louisans. Anyways, I did enjoy the show, and they allow photography without a flash, so here are a few scenes: The opening number--flags and dance

4th Time's the Charm!

At least we hope so! Last week we had two groups here--one from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL, and St. John Lutheran Church in Edgar, WI, and another St. Paul/St. John combo, both from Vergas (Loon Lake..."vergas" is a not nice word in Spanish), MN. I worked with the latter, which also happens to be the home congregation of Kristine, whose name you may recognize as last summer's summer volunteer. They come every two years, and ironically, their group shared a week with my home church the very first time I was down here, and one other year too. I recognized the leader Sonya after I saw her, and another guy named John recognized me as having done a reading in Spanish, but I couldn't place him. I listed off some other people I remembered, and some of the leaders knew the names but none of them come anymore. Enough reminiscing--the 2010 group spent their week on two major projects: VBS at San Pablo and Rosa Chavez's roof. They also did some painting. They ha