Showing posts from November, 2011

Laying it all Down

I spent my Thanksgiving weekend working with a servant event from Our Father Lutheran Church in Centennial, CO. At devos one night, the Bible passage used was the one about laying down your life for your brother, and I think that's what impresses me most about the group. Twenty-one people, including lots of teenagers, set aside family and tradition to serve their brothers and sisters in El Paso and Juarez. It never ceases to amaze me, but I think I've learned from them that sometimes new traditions are OK. I was excited this year to see many of the Coloradans I've become friends with after working with OFLC's Thanksgiving AND summer servant events for 3 years now. The whole weekend is just a festive thing to experience, too. Aside from serving 1200 plates of food for San Pablo, San Lucas (food was sent to Cristo Rey with volunteer Jeff), Santisima, and YLM's Saturday volunteers, the group completed a service project on the side--tiling and painting one of the YLM of

Turkey Day

Thursday might have been Thanksgiving Day, but today was most definitely Turkey Day! The lesson of Thanksgiving transcends the 4th Thursday in November; Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." As Christians, our daily lives should be expressions of thankfulness. When I was looking for Bible verses about thankfulness, I found this really cool image of what happens in heaven when we offer God our gratitude: " Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, f or you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being," (Reve

Having my cake and eating it too!

As I approach the 5 weeks left mile marker, what better time to participate in one Mexican tradition I had yet to experience? Chris, Jeff, and I went to Santisima this afternoon, where the congregation celebrated my birthday; no one seemed to mind that it was actually over a week ago. The Sunday school kids serenaded me with "Las Mananitas" (Mexican birthday song), accompanied by 3 cakes courtesy of Chris & Jeff. At the conclusion of the song, everyone chanted "Mordida, mordida, mordida!" meaning I was supposed to take a bite out of the middle with no hands. I knew they were going to try and shove my face in it, so after a few attempts at outwitting the mob, I surrendered! There are worse things to have up your nose than chocolate frosting ;) YES we ate it afterwards! Joana and I; her birthday is coming up on December 9. I'm pretty sure the fiesta is going to continue next Sunday because of that and the fact that it will be my last at Santisima! OFLC Thanksg

Mt. Cristo Rey

The delayed birthday event from Saturday morning was climbing Mt. Cristo Rey! It's something that I had wanted to do for a long time; it was even on my El Paso bucket list. The cross at the top, which is actually a crucifix, can be easily seen from a couple of our mission sites in Juarez, and supposedly the summit is where TX, NM, and Mexico all come together. It's roughly 800 ft. in elevation, which is reached via an easy 2.2. mile trail. I would definitely recommend the hike as a Sunday afternoon activity for El Paso-based SE groups--the view alone is worth it, as you will see below! The start of the trail, with the summit off to the left in the distance. Silhouette of the summit from early on in the hike. One of YLM's Juarez missions, Iglesia Sin Paredes, as seen from about halfway up. It's the reddish building with a bluish trailer next to it, dead center in this shot. A little higher up now...looking out over Anapra. Another of YLM's mission churches, Iglesia S

Where we're gonna be when we turn 25

I remember hearing the song "Graduation" by Vitamin C ALL the time around high school graduation. The opening lines go, "And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives/Where we're gonna be when we turn 25..." Twenty-five seemed so far away then, but I hit the quarter century mark yesterday! Here's "where I am": Residence: El Paso, TX, for 6 more weeks, then with my parents in Kirkwood, MO, until further notice. Education: B.A. in Spanish from Drury University in Dec. 2008, looking into obtaining a teacher certification once I'm settled in the Lou... Employment: Finishing a 3 yr. stint as a long-term volunteer at Ysleta Lutheran Mission in El Paso, TX, on 12/31/11, starting as the Assistant Marketing Manager in the Multilingual and Curriculum departments of Concordia Publishing House on 1/9/12. Hobbies: St. Louis Cardinals baseball, scrapbooking, reading, cooking and baking, walking, crossword puzzles... Family: Single; younger brother o

A Maybe Crazy or Maybe Not-so-crazy Thought

These few weeks around Thanksgiving seem to be prime time for planning next year's mission trips; almost daily I am getting more and more e-mails from groups wanting to book for next year. It's looking like summer 2012 will be more like 2008 with its 33 groups in 10 weeks than 2011 with 7 in the same time frame. At least part of the reasoning for that is because the violence in Juarez has improved markedly. There are still killings almost daily, but the numbers are far less inflated than in past years. The military and federal police presences have also been dramatically reduced. That leads me to a thought that has been in my head for quite some time now. I'm not sure if it's completely crazy or not. I think that maybe the improved situation across the border and my leaving are related. The onset of the cartel violence roughly coincided with my coming down here to volunteer long-term, and the same correlation applies to its present respite and my moving back to St. Loui

Making plans

I am sitting at my new desk in our freshly rearranged offices as I write this. It all happened while I was out of town. I actually moved next door to where I used to be, which has its pros and cons. It's noisier and I get interrupted far more often, but the activity level makes it more exciting and unpredictable, I am less enclosed than in my former corner cubicle, and I am right next to the copier. I wanted to let you all know what my plan for the next few weeks is. I can actually make some firm plans now that I have a JOB! Sunday 12/18-Monday 12/26: STL for Christmas Tuesday 12/27-Sunday 1/1/12: work with a servant event from Mayer Lutheran High School Tuesday 1/3 (8 weeks from today!), AM: begin my drive to STL Wednesday 1/4: arrive in STL Monday 1/9: start my job at CPH! I believe either my mom or my dad is going to fly to ELP and drive back with me, the reverse of what my dad did in January 2009. I've also been researching how to take a road trip with a cat! I already have


I may be in town to celebrate the life of my godmother, who passed away on Sunday, but it worked out that I was able to pay one more visit to CPH...AND I GOT THE JOB! I know she would be proud of me. So you can finally stop asking! I'll be moving back to St. Louis in January to be the new Marketing Assistant/Sales Rep in the Multilingual and Curriculum departments at Concordia Publishing House! My start date is Monday, January 9 :) Until next time, blessings!