Showing posts from January, 2020

Camp Concordia

LAC's regional team gathers in-person twice each year: in August following our regional conference when we're all in one place anyway and in January. Historically, the January meeting has been in Santiago, but this year we met in Belize, home of Area Facilitator Herb Burch and his wife Markie . The reasoning was two-fold. Firstly, Belize City is far more economical and convenient than Santiago for those not traveling from Santiago (for the sake of my sanity, I altered my travel plans and went directly from  St. Louis , meeting up with most of the gang at MIA). The game-changer, though, is a piece of property adjacent to their home in Banana Bank that the Burches purchased and are in the process of gifting to the LCMS: Camp Concordia. We were some of the first guests to stay there and envision all of the ways the Lord will use the property for His glory and the furthering of His kingdom in Belize! Beware of the other residents at the shrimp farm where we paused for lunch o

I Met You in St. Louis

Many of you, anyway!  Following my sister's graduation and a short-term coordinators' conference in the Czech Republic, I had a solid two weeks in the Lou over Christmas and New Year's. When I wasn't worshiping at my home congregation every chance I got or relishing in holiday traditions, my days were a mix of lounging in my PJs watching too much Netflix and racing between coffee dates, appointments, errands, and parties. My mom and sister were gracious about letting me borrow their cars, and I managed to curb most of my urges to honk at and pass people. The weather even cooperated in that temps were above freezing nearly the whole time; we even had a few days of 60+. I'm not going to claim I saw everyone I wanted to see, but I was able to catch up with a broad cross-section of family and friends from numerous circles, as you'll see below.  Walking at Francis Park with a former CPH coworker and her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, just like old ti

The New Normal

I wasn't rudely awakened by my bed shaking or window panes rattling last night. If I had anyone to converse with over my Frosted Flakes this morning besides Freddy, I wouldn't have casually asked if his or her sleep had been interrupted by any seismic activity. Only one of the eight QuakeFeed notifications I've gotten today pertained to the Dominican Republic (a 3, 46 mi. away). Not so for my missionary colleagues and friends in Puerto Rico. I'm safely back in the Dominican now but continuing to think about and pray for them often. Their new normal includes the earth rumbling periodically, swapping stories with others who may or may not have sensed the most recent vibrations, and the dreaded ping of QuakeFeed. All of it adds up to heightened anxiety levels, structural damage, and the intense work load of post-disaster church planting. And, in reality, it's too soon to say "post-disaster." If you read between the lines above, you may have ascertained th

I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet

And they're off (to lead songs, a craft, and a devotion and pass out 75 relief bags at the letras de Ponce )! Below is much of the group that I've had the privilege of keeping fed and looked after these past few days.  (Here we are about to dig into some homemade meatballs, salad, and garlic bread on Wednesday night.) This morning's was abbreviated as you may have guessed by the fact that we're standing, but we've taken to starting our days with a devotion and ending with evening prayer (pictured).  I've also gone walking in a neighborhood park the past two mornings. The grass could stand to be cut, but there's a nice gravel path and some fun signage on some of the trees.  I was startled this morning by the sight of people sleeping in hammocks in the gazebo!  Outside of the kitchen, I've been dedicating most of my time to three main activities. By far the most time consuming was relief bag assembly.  Superstar vol