Showing posts from June, 2020

Channeling My Inner Grade Schooler

I'm supposed to be in Peru right now in between two short-term teams, and the first native Peruvian Lutheran pastor was supposed to have been ordained yesterday. At least, I had an extended trip to Lima, with an unprecedented ordination as its climax, penciled in on my calendar. Evidently God had other plans and I have no doubt that on the love seat in my living room in Santiago is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now, but it's still disappointing.  Instead, I've been channeling my inner grade schooler: playing with puppets, cutting shapes out of construction paper, and having a 100th day party. Also, I can stay out past 8 pm now. Gasp! For the first time since I don't even remember when, there is NO curfew. Not that there's anywhere to go... My missionary friend Kate & I helped another missionary friend, Deac. Caitlin, record a puppet show for an upcoming presentation she's co-leading ("Mission Moments for Kids"). Caitlin's husband

The Cloud

I didn't need my sunglasses on this morning's run. Nope, a Saharan Dust Plume  made sure of that. We're inside a cloud! The particles that regularly accumulate on basically any horizontal surface is my house originate in the Sahara (how else to you think tropical storms are propelled across the Atlantic?), but this particular "Saharan Air Layer" (SAL) is the densest that's been seen in years in parts of the Caribbean. My PR-based colleagues began sharing photos and memes midday yesterday; I first noticed a tinge in the sky yesterday evening. Today, it's blatantly obvious (thankfully, in my case, only visibly - aka not because of respiratory issues or allergies triggered by the poor air quality!).  Monday, 6:56 pm, Cerro Alto (my balcony).   Tuesday, 7:08 am, botanical garden.  Tuesday, 7:12 am, botanical garden.  Tuesday, 7:13 am, botanical garden.  Tuesday, 1:41 pm, Cerro Alto (Calle Principal, through my front windshield).  I read that the atmospheric c

Phase 2.5

The DR was supposed  to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 yesterday. Instead, here we sit on day 93 having failed to meet whatever would have triggered the transition. The government will reevaluate things early next week. In the meantime, authorities will be cracking down on mask and curfew violations. If we're indeed able to move into Phase 3 next  Tuesday, it will be short-lived so as not to push back the scheduled start of Phase 4, July 1. Phase 4 includes most of the hospitality/tourism sector, and there are presidential elections scheduled for July 5.   The drawbacks of remaining in Phase 2 are minimal, although it does mean that churches can still only hold activities one day/week. Phase 3 will up that to three days/week, thus enabling our church planting pastors, national pastors, deaconesses, and seminary students to resume things like midweek Bible/deaconess/catechism classes and women's/children's/youth activities.  A bright spot since my last post is the aforemention

Enter His Courts with Praise

I WENT TO CHURCH YESTERDAY (day 82). After a nearly three month hiatus, Iglesia Luterana Cordero de Dios held in-person corporate worship, with Holy Communion. You better believe I was in the "pew" (plastic chair) and at the altar. I even remembered how to get there! Church here did mean, however, that I missed the LIVE Zoom Bible study my home congregation started a few weeks ago. After wrapping up a series on Zephaniah, we moved into an analysis of one Psalm per week. Last week's was Psalm 100, which includes this verse (4): Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! The verse I chose to pray throughout the week by adding it to my meal prayer was verse 5 ("For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations."), but I digress. A fellow participant pointed out that "ENTER HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE" is emblazoned above the door to my home church, so I thou

Phase 2

Happy Saturday (day 81), friends.  Sometimes, my blog posts merit an apology due to photo overload. This one merits the opposite. You've already seen much of what has graced my computer screen during COVID-19, but I can think of at least three virtual engagements within the past week or so that I regret not snapping a photo of: A six-week life workshop for LAC missionaries that wrapped up on the last Friday in May.  Scattergories: I finagled this into a format that works well on Zoom and have played 3x now with family and friends.  ST Coordinators Game "Night": A few hours ago, most of my fellow Volunteer Coordinators and I had a virtual game "night" (with people on multiple continents, an actual game night would be the middle of the night for some!). We played three different Jackbox games: Quiplash, Fibbage, and Drawful.  (I'm sensing a theme here, but I actually learned of another  virtual game ( Sporcle Party ) that I'm excited to try, hopefully s