Showing posts from November, 2023

Have Three Cakes and Eat Them, Too

I had the best birthday in Peru. Tt was the 2nd time I've spent my birthday there, the first being day 1 of my Inca Trail trek . You really can't argue with  three  cakes.  Cake #1: Homemade carrot cake I came back from a morning run to one of the Ascension team members making pancakes, so that's a decent start to my day right there. Church wasn't until 10, so we had a relaxed morning. As soon as the announcements ended, though, the congregation pulled out all the stops on a triple celebration for Pastor Walterson (left, b. 11/7), team member Jennifer (2nd from left, b. 11/13), and I.  I had to set down my bouquet of red roses  to enjoy the parade of other goodies: first cake, then a boxed wine toast, tamales , empanaditas , chips, soda, and shaved ice. Don't forget balloons on the window grate and curly, paper ribbon someone draped around everyone's neck like a feather boa.  Pastor's daughter Isabela wanted a flower, too.  Church member Juan Carlos left an

Land of 10,000 Photos of Laken

It's been a walk down memory lane in El Paso/Juárez this week (more soon). For now, this snippet: yesterday, as Rev. José "Pepe" Hernández introduced me to the crowd gathered at the Comedor Infantil Emanuel , he asked how long my flight from the DR was. I hesitated...because I arrived from Peru!  All last week, I hosted ten individuals...and one llama...from Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Burnsville, MN. A near life-size paper cutout of "Laken" hung on the wall at church collecting prayer requests for the team in the months leading up to their trip. It then made the trip and hung on the wall at the Peru Lutheran Mission office all week while a stuffed version of Laken (sitting on Dave's shoulder, 4th from right) went everywhere with us; suffice it to say his experiences in Peru were well documented.  Laken did miss out on the Museo de Arte de Lima - my activity of choice when I wrapped up a shopping spree at the hardware store and still had all afterno