CanadaTeam 2018

The team from Canada that visited us in Camiri last year to help us in different projects around the school came back this year for another week of hard work, generous support, wonderful comradeship at church retreat, school people, other workers and I myself certainly enjoy each minute of having them here to share the vision, talk and fellowship over meals and cups of tea.

project1Last October when I had the blessing to visit this church and their fundraising banquet; the project was explained and discussed. It was accepted as a challenge since the funds were not sufficient, the time was short and ultimately the rainy weather and the festivities of Carnival also joined in as complications to be able to accomplish the goals set for that week.

Miracles do still happen. In spite of the noisy festival in the streets and the moments of pouring rain, by Saturday, the day of their departure, the concrete for the second floor room was getting dry by the warmth of a sunny morning. The plan had worked out and the mission had been attained. We had behold God’s hand every step of the way.

project2Phase 1 is done. Now the second part is to begin soon and hopefully in the course of this year, the school will have this multi-purpose large room to be used for chemistry experiments, Choir rehearsal  area, teachers/parents meeting hall, faculty and staff lounge, place for chapel time, workshops, seminars, etc.

If anyone would like to be part of this work, drop me a note, there are many ways you can get involved and anyone with a heart to bless others is qualified. Come and let’s build together and each other.

Read more of their week experience in their own journal: Oakridge Bible Chapel 2018 mission trip

 

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Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Only One

matches-last-chance-7403129Without exception, we all live one day at a time. We can’t use nothing but one hour…one minute…one second before it’s gone for ever. Putting it all together it’s what we call “life”.

Since I am traveling tomorrow and it will be almost a year before I get to see family and friends here in Mexico; I have that “last-day-feeling”. It makes a difference in my actions, my speech, my thoughts, reactions, decisions, etc. All of me has this intense concern on what I do today.

The fact of the matter is that today is no different from any other day. Today is today. It is not yesterday and it cannot be tomorrow. For me and everyone is the same; Today is our only one day to live.

The challenge for me is to live every day, every hour, every minute and second of time to the fullest and with passion. I only have one.

Published in: on February 1, 2018 at 6:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stones

“We can throw stones,

complain about them,

stumble on them,

climb over them,

or build with them.”

-William A. Ward

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Published in: on January 18, 2018 at 9:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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One more year

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Oh, look. Another year has passed,
And I have grown more into who I am.
I’ve shed my skin,
And changed form again.
I’ve learned, in a year, as much as I can.

Another three hundred and sixty-five days,
And I’ve survived to say that I’m here.
I’ve lost a little,
And gained a lot.
I’ve learned more about facing my fears.

Another twelve months have gone by,
And some people have gone with that time.
Though it hurt,
And though I cried,
Those people were never truly mine.

Another fifty-two weeks have dissolved.
I look back on who I was before.
I am different.
Practically new,
But I’m still me at the very core.

Yes, another year has come and gone,
And I thank all those who stuck by me.
Those who didn’t,
Good riddance.
Life’s too short to dwell in the misery.

So goodbye to the year that’s passed,
The lessons learned and memories gained.
Another year,
Will soon be here,
And I will do it all over again

fam17

Poem taken from Hello Poetry: The Mandi Monster

 

Published in: on December 28, 2017 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

IBCM Hispano 2017

IBCM Hispano is the Spanish version of International Brethren Conference on Mission held every four years. More than a dozen Spanish-speaking countries reconvened in the beautiful Caribbean Island of the Dominican Republic; in its capital, the colonial city of Santo Domingo. The theme was “Christ’s Mission Today” and the purpose of the conference is to encourage, to pray for one another, to make connections, hear updates and share with one another about what the Lord is doing. The fellowship that we enjoyed included times of prayer for each other in small groups, workshops, meeting new people, seeing old friends, excellent food and conversations in one of the four hotel restaurants, two swimming pools, a white-sand beach in bright sunny shiny days with clear turquoise water and above all, the warmth of the hospitable and friendly people of the D.R. who kindly took us sightseeing.

The conference itself went beyond my expectations in many ways. I enjoyed the preaching sessions more than anything. It was great for me to sit and be fed with straightforward and thoughtful teaching. And even though the conference was held in a resort, I thank God for the opportunity to spend time with my Dominican brothers and sisters in their home and church.

Group from Bolivia

 

Published in: on June 29, 2017 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wearing eye-glasses

My constant eye-glass accident it’s when I left them on the bed, come back and sat on them. It’s there where frames get loose, bent and crooked. Few times I have dropped them and gotten them scratched. The least frequent mishaps are glasses getting shattered or lost. On one occasion, long before one could get prescribed eye-glasses the same day, I had to wait a few days for the new pair to arrive. Since I wear glasses full-time; I felt very insecure without them and frustrated with blurred vision. Since then, I learned to keep old ones as back up and choose different styles for different activities.

I assume I’m not the only one who doesn’t like to hear from the ophthalmologist the news that new glasses are required with current prescription for sight has gotten worse. For quite some time (a few years, I don’t want to say how many) I refused to change to the measure determined by the exam because the thickness of the glass would not allow me to use the frame “in fashion” during that period. Then fashion went back to thick frames and got mine and was able to see better.

As time would have it; getting closer to my 50th year; I started to notice the need to take my glasses off to read. I accepted quite well my inherited nearsightedness from early age, but it took me a while to accept a new visual defect: hyperopia. I was very happy when the doctor introduced me to progressive lenses with no visible line as traditional bifocals.

It wasn’t very popular to wear glasses back when I was a teenager, but now they are fashionable. I have never considered surgery. I don’t have the money and if I had it; I would use it for other purposes. Glasses are so much part of my body , like a second skin, that sometimes I realize I have them on when taking a shower and droplets stick to the lens. For me, not having them on, it’s like no having teeth or other part of my body.

Having more than one pair of glasses is like having a group of  good friends that are reliable, practical, functional and very valuable to help you go through life with a clear vision.

Published in: on May 4, 2017 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pack Hierarchy

marking.JPGIt was hate at first sight. They were about to kill each other. I had just moved to Mr. and Mrs. Train’s house after their passing. They had Samson, a beautiful mixed breed dog and I came along with three dogs (and two cats). Aldo was the oldest and the biggest, therefore, leader of the pack. Aldo was used to have always his way. Samson had always been solitary and his territory had now been invaded. From the moment Aldo and Samson saw each other, they had to prove who was “the boss”.

drugged.JPG

Heavy-eyed

My first attempt to stop their daily bloody combats was to sedate Aldo, but once the drowsy effect wore off, they recurred to their fiery biting which left them with torn out skin

bloody.pngThe Vet recommended to have them “fixed” to help them deal with their male dominant behavior and said it would approximately take three months to get their strong hormones out of their system. I thought the pain of the procedure would reduce their impulse to conquer the “Alpha” Title, but as soon as they woke up from anesthesia; they got at each other again.

There were occasional fights in the past three years, but finally Aldo and Samson got to tolerate each other’s presence and even abide in harmonious companionship.

Aldo died four months ago and Samson died last week. They are buried next to each other.

their tomb.jpgThe moral of the story is: What was all that fighting for? Who won? We all have our struggles in life; it has been well said to choose wisely what battles are worth fighting for. In the tomb, no one is stronger than the other.

Published in: on April 27, 2017 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It could happen to anybody

This week I was scrolling down Facebook News Feed and came across an announcement for a town’s restaurant’s daily menu and their phone number for more inquiry or reservations. Since I had gone there to eat before and like their cuisine; I started looking for my cellphone right away to save the number, but the cellphone was not to be found anywhere. It has happened to me so many times that occasionally I have to call myself from the landline telephone to find it. “I just had it with me here! How come it’s gone from sight?!” When suddenly I realized I was checking Facebook in my cellphone. What I was frantically seeking, I had it with me all the time in my hands.

I guess it could happen to anybody in different areas. Searching and searching without finding, pursuing without obtaining and chasing without seizing. We can be so distracted that we overlook the obvious. Sometimes what we look for, it’s right before our eyes.

 

Published in: on March 30, 2017 at 6:31 am  Comments (1)  
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A link in the Chain

A few weeks ago I heard the sad news of the passing of the son of a missionary couple very dear to me. When I finished reading their letter my mind went back over 20 years ago when I had briefly met David. I was in Chicago with this family and I was heading down to Bolivia. I don’t remember why, but my flight out of The Windy City was at a very early hour of the morning and David drove me to O’Hare Airport. We had to wake up around 5 a.m. and the ride must had been no more than an hour. He dropped me off and that was it; I never saw him or knew of his whereabouts ever again. It never occurred to me to ask about him; I was his family’s friend, but not his.

It was upon knowing about his death that I realized that among the numerous people God had used to direct and bring me to Bolivia, David was on the list. In a simple, casual, quiet and apparently insignificant deed; he was a link in the chain.

This incident taught me a lesson: to help people that come my way; folks I had never met before and will never see again, much less receive a “thank you” note.  The unknown, the uninvited, the outsider, the unfamiliar and the perfect stranger might need a hand…my hand. Surely in a small, but big way I can be a blessing to someone today.

 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’          Matthew 25:35-40

 

Published in: on March 23, 2017 at 5:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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61 School Anniversary

There were three special events during the week of the school 61 anniversary:

  • March 6: A special Chapel time of Thanksgiving for all students, teachers, parents, alumni, some local authorities and the local press. All grades shared a cake in their classrooms.
  • March 7: A Marathon in four categories. Any student who participated had to invite an adult to run with. It was a fun time, but also an opportunity to inculcate perseverance and good attitude in the race.
  • March 10: The traditional and classic Bolivian program with poems (some written by our students) dedicated to the school, folklore dances, instrumental and singing ensembles.

I spoke during Chapel and told the audience about two events ( of the many which could be told) where God’s hand has been clearly seen in the school history. The first one I heard from Mr. Train and not many knew why the school anniversary is in March and all classes in the southern hemisphere always start in February. It was December of 1955 the Lord had provided the property and in less than two months classrooms had to be built.  There have been very few times when the government postponed the opening of the school year until March and 1956 was one of them. The Lord gave Mr. Train more time to complete the construction he himself was working on. That adobe classroom and wooden beans are still there after 61 years.

The other memoir I shared and many students had not even been born yet, but I was already living in Camiri. It happened back in the late 90s when many people had pointed out the School’s poor-looking classrooms with  their leaky roofs and out-of-date decor. There was a military TNT storage a few miles away from town. The cause is unknown, but in the middle of the night, it exploded. The blast awakened all and some were afraid the raptured had taken place. Glass windows were shattered and houses as well as buildings got wall cracks, except the OLD Christian School!

All what it’s remained to say is: TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!

 

Published in: on March 16, 2017 at 7:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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