Nica Orphanage

Nica Orphanage

Here’s a few shots of an orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua. I stopped in to see if I could help out, and snapped a few shots while there.  The Young Life Expedition team was there, and were doing a great job of loving on the babies and kids that live there.  It was beautiful watching babies being held,  fed and adored by each of these college...
Another Ordinary Family…

Another Ordinary Family…

This summer, while in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, we’ve met so many families living poured out lives for the sake of the Gospel.  One thing that keeps standing out as we meet each new person is that the one valuable thing they have isn’t within themselves, but rather a complete surrender to Someone they happen to know well.  Our Pastor back home wrote yesterday about the great purpose for each ordinary person, and as I read it I remembered how it seems a realization of our own brokenness happens oftentimes just before some of our biggest adventures in faith.  He shared how he ran into old friends that are walking away from everything they worked for, everything they thought they ever wanted to make their lives about something more valuable.  I feel blessed that God moves in the hearts of all of us. My prayer is that we’ll all learn to listen.  Following costs each of us something different b/c our expectations and ideas are different , but we all gain the same thing.   Hope in an eternal Truth that brings a freedom you can’t create, buy, or produce on your own.  To get it, you search, question, fall, and learn to get back up.  Then you learn to trust and to believe.  You learn to jump into the unknown, and the adventure builds and builds until you’ve built such a story with the One that guides you that you have to share it. Spending time with the Rodgers family was a high point in our journey while here.  Their story was one of longing to go, but...

The Gift of Life Change

Visiting Matagalpa, Nicaragua was up high on the list of things we’ve experienced that renew our strength, build our faith in how the darkest of circumstances will never eliminate anyone from experiencing renewal if there’s an intersection with Jesus.   In fact, story after story of Him meeting them in the brokenness spurs us as North Americans, with all our entitlement and ease of life, to consider joining those who have no such understanding of such carelessness, ease, or even our striving for such things.    The stories we heard of gangs, abandonment, and truly a past of hopeless poverty has actually refined so many of these leaders here in Nicaragua to be strong in faith, and desperate to introduce Jesus to others.  Here’s a few shots of La Finca Vida Joven Camp in the mountains of Matagalpa, Nicaragua.  A place God uses well to bring kids to Himself, in a safe place to make a decision about eternity....

Vidas Jovenes Costa Rica

“There are still valleys to walk through during our remaining days.  The disappointments, the frustrations, the discouragements, the dilemmas, the dark, difficult days , though they be shadowed valleys, need not be disasters.  They can be the road to higher ground in our walk with God.” Phillip Keller Here’s a snapshot of the face of Vidas Jovenes in Costa Rica. A beautiful truth is being told to many teen moms while they are being loved well by Michelle Suwyn & her team of mentors, volunteers & committee.  We spent the day with these girls, their children, and their mentors, and heard some of their stories.  Being around them and watching them interact with each other and with the leaders, you can see that they have a new hope.  If they come in weary, they leave renewed.  They feel supported and trust in the love that their mentors pour out. Through the time that the leaders lift up and present the Gospel, the girls are drawing closer to their Creator that loves them perfectly.  I am reminded to be thankful that even in difficult circumstances, there are new mercies every day. Without that truth, all of our futures would be hopeless regardless of our weaknesses, mistakes or situations.  My time in Costa Rica has been rich and beautiful in the way of a growing awareness of being human and needing a savior, and how we’re all the same in any way that matters.          ...

Gulu & Sister Rosemary

I recently wrote Sister Rosemary a letter, sending photos, dreaming about another visit, thanking her for spending time with us, for how she lives her life and looks so much like Jesus.  She’s a woman that you can’t help but feel changed by when you meet her.  It’s her joy, perseverance, and love of the people she serves that stands out.   St. Monica’s was among the places we visited while in Gulu, and we had met her a day before one night on the deck of our hotel eating pizza.  She had a great impact on me personally and our group as we listened to her and learned all she’s done for the people of Gulu.  She’s been in Uganda during many of the stories you hear from Kony 2012 and played a role in restoration there.  See video below: Here’s a shot of one of the most beautiful women I’ve had the privilege to meet and become friends with: Sister Rosemary.  She lives a life poured out for others. Gulu is a more peaceful place now.  Many of the people there remember when it wasn’t, but will tell you that they feel much safer there now.  Thanks to much of the work Sister Rosemary has done there, women and children have a new start and a new hope. This video does a better job telling the story than I will, but this great work still goes on today and expands much wider now. CNN Heroes, Sister Rosemary (click link to watch video of Sister Rosemary) http://youtu.be/c_Ue6REkeTA (click link to watch video of Koney 2012 Part II) While in...

Beautiful People.

While we visited the location where the new school was being built, we kept greeting people who lived nearby.  This woman walked up and talked with us and I got a shot of her with one of the men in our group of travelers, Ted.  The way he greeted this woman is how he greets everyone and he was a blessing to all of us on this trip as we watched his interaction with the Ugandan people. Having been to Uganda before, he helped give context to what we were experiencing, but also let us experience Uganda in our own way too. The woman was incredibly warm, like most people that approached us.  She has so little, but seems to have everything she needs to be thankful, to be smiling, and to be so gracious to strangers. Ted lives a life of faith. He steps into their culture more than most of us, eating what they eat while some of us ate the safer rice & curry or pizza, and always open to any experience,  smiling with overflowing compassion and love for the sweet people there. On our second night in Uganda, knowing there were several days and nights left and being overwhelmed with what I saw, I felt a sadness that I was feeling a sense of void, being closed off or even an unwillingness to truly do “anything” God asked of me.  Praying, I just asked for courage, and God gave me sleep.  But in the morning, God gave me Ted. Without knowing, Ted invited me to sit across from him, and began sharing his life, his...