• Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Faith,  Guatemala

    Lessons on Faith from Guatemala

    We’ve been back from Guatemala for almost two months now. Tim and I are still so grateful to Lemonade International for welcoming us in to such a special place. We continue to process what God had for us there, but these lessons on faith keep rising like sediment in my thoughts. The Lord used my ignorance. This was Tita’s response to how she first came to this violent place. The Lord led her in to find a gang member who had been at the hospital where she volunteered. She didn’t realize it was ‘The’ La Limonada – an infamous Guatemalan slum synonymous with danger and fear. This has filled my…

  • Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Fun Times,  Guatemala

    24 Photos from Guatemala

    Yesterday, Tim curated 24 of the Instagram photos he captured during our time in Guatemala. I’m inspired to do the same. Most of the time we spent in the community of La Limonada, we respected the one camera per group request by relying on the incredibly talented photography skillz of Scott Bennett. But our phones still managed to capture a few of the scenes and people forever imprinted in our memories. We also had the opportunity to pray, reflect and debrief the experience in Guatemala City by visiting Panajachel and Antigua. In addition to being beautiful and relaxing, these places also hold childhood memories for Tim. Stepping back into familiar…

  • Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Faith,  Guatemala

    What does Lemonade Child Sponsorship do?

    This week I witnessed an incredibly unique sponsorship program in a uniquely challenging and beautiful place. Focused on a single (but large!) slum in Guatemala City, Lemonade International is a small, intentional and relational organization which allows them to go deep rather than wide in their impact. Mobilized by God, local Guatemalans walk into this dangerous neighborhood with very specific goals for the children who live there. There is no presence of another development organization, government aid or even the police in these neighborhoods. One Guatemalan recently said, “I never stopped to think there are families with children living there. I just thought they were all thieves and gang members.…

  • Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Faith,  Guatemala

    Day 3: Following Upward

    After going to bed with a heavy heart the night before thinking of the horrors the children I had just played with are facing, I woke up with the renewed excitement to be apart of standing against such evilness. Another day of enjoying an incredible team of people, the opportunity to attempt Spanish, to engage with the work that makes my heart & God’s come alive, to learn more about Guatemala and to know God more. To my surprise, God had a hope-filled schedule for us to stand in contrast to yesterday. Including an opportunity to visit our sponsored child Cristian once more in his classroom where we built puzzles…

  • Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Faith,  Guatemala

    Day 2: Denied. Precious. Joyful.

    The slum of La Limonada began as a squatter community in a large ravine between two zones in Guatemala City. In a 1 mile long and 1/2 mile wide, somewhere between 60,000 and 100,00 people live in 10 different barrios. An address in La Limonada conveys you are zone-less, unidentified on most city maps. Everyone is afraid of you, assuming you are a thief, criminal or gang member. This was the theme of our day 2 in Guatemala. Stories of women trying to get a loan from the bank and being denied based on their address. Men searching for honest work but not hired based on their address. Women and…

  • Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Faith,  Fun Times,  Guatemala

    Day 1: Violence & the Aroma of Christ

    This is not the way it’s supposed to be. Today we walked around in a dangerous, gang-filled barrio. We saw the blood still on the street from yesterday’s shooting and listened to stories of heartbreak. And then we returned to internet and heard about more heartbreak from Boston. What causes people to act out in violence against other people? How can we respond? After 19 years of working with gang members, Tita pictures these fierce youth as scared children who were never given definitions for love unmingled with abuse, home separated from insecure and neighborhood un-dominated by tension. She believes in the power of love to break down these walls…

  • Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Faith,  Guatemala

    Guatemala Preparation

    In heart preparation for our upcoming trip to Guatemala, I have been re-reading Compassion by Henri Nouwen. This book delves into this beautiful attribute of God which led him to act on our behalf by becoming “God-with-us”. “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:7-8) On a trip like this, we will see much that will move us with compassion. Children living in extreme poverty, with constant abuse or neglect and without hope for any kind of future. How will we act on behalf of…

  • Bloggers Trip,  Extensions,  Fun Times,  Guatemala

    Bloggers Trip to Guatemala

    It has been no secret Tim and I have been big fans of Lemonade International, a community development organization focused on the largest urban slum in Guatemala City, Guatemala. When we discovered Lemonade,  we were immediately struck by the story of how God raised up local Guatemalans to walk into one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world compelled by love and hope for what could be done to renew this place. We were drawn to the deeply focused method of building relationships and restoring dignity to a group of people who often feel equated with the trash that surrounds the deep ravine they call home. So, you can imagine our excitement…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books,  Extensions

    My Top 10 Books from 2012

    Of the 50 books I read this year, it seems I enjoy memoirs the most. I do love hearing people share their stories and how they process those stories. With all my attempts to read widely, I always seem to end up selecting similar authors and style. I want to share my list of top 10 books read in 2012. Most likely their impact has had more to do with the timing and context in which I read them. I would love to hear your recommendations as well! Andi Ashworth, Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring I’ve waited for a book like this to be…