• Extensions,  Guatemala

    Spring Forward for La Limonada

    The Lemonade International Spring Forward campaign officially launched last night, and will continue until May 9th. This video says it all – there are real, tangible, and urgent needs every day in the largest urban slum in Central America. After watching the video, I thought about Mark 1:41, where Jesus was moved with compassion after seeing a deep need presented to him in faith. There is a time and place for community development, but there are also times when Jesus is asking us to join him in showing mercy to urgent situations. Simply having a La Limonada address marginalizes the people and causes incredible struggle in every day life. There…

  • Extensions,  Faith,  Guatemala

    Tackling Urgent Needs in La Limonada

    During our visits to the slum community of La Limonada, Tim and I have been warmly invited into seven different homes – homes filled with stories of pain, struggle, survival, and deep faith. Marginalized individuals and families who have worked hard to meet their basic needs, but have come against unexpected difficulties and emergencies. When you are working hard to survive today, how can you plan or prepare for unexpected health emergencies that may arise? If your home is damaged from a fire or by rainy season, how do you repair or rebuild? If your son is diagnosed with Leukemia, how can you pay for medical care when you can’t…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books

    My Top 10 Books of 2014

    For the fourth year in a row, I share my top ten list from the books I read over the last year. This year I read more fiction than normal and loved it! What were your top books of the year?   Kris Rocke and Joel Van Dyke, Geography of Grace The authors believe grace like water flows downhill. Through testimonies and reflection, including stories from the community of La Limonada, they share how God is at work in some of the poorest and most marginalized communities. The practical implications are huge.   Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close An incredible novel about a young boy whose father left several…

  • Extensions,  Guatemala

    3 Ethical Christmas Gift Ideas

    For those of us who desire to live radically different, measured by God’s word rather than the status quo, the holiday season invites a slew of conflicting feelings surrounding the reason for the season. Should we lavish gifts on each other? If so, what kind of gifts? If our focus is on the advent of the birth and then full on celebration of the coming of Christ, how do we live like we believe that is true? While cause for contemplation and reflection, I would like to suggest a few specific alternative ways to give generously to our loved ones this Christmas. Ways that seek to honor our water-into-wine-celebrating God…

  • 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…

  • Faith,  Guatemala

    For Those Not Standing

    Tomorrow we celebrate Mother’s Day. Many of us, filled with gratitude, honor the love, sacrifices and prayers of our moms. For many others this day brings grief, longing and inescapable reminder of what they do not have. I think about my friends who have lost their moms far too early, others who have faced miscarriages if they were able to get pregnant at all and those who have painful memories of a mom who was not there for them. We rejoice with those who rejoice. And we mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15) For those whose hearts rip as their newsfeeds fill with pictures of Mother’s Day bouquets and…

  • 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…