Saturday, November 1, 2008

Simple Pleasures

As many have heard, I've had a bit of a rough go of things here. I often go through my day frustrated and come home exhausted. Then the next is just the same, frustrating and exhausting.

This past week, God blew a breath of fresh air on me and I was so blessed.

It is often the little things in life that speak the most to me. So I have a roof deck. Nothing fancy, just stairs leading up to a flat, concrete roof. But it is pretty amazing nonetheless. In the daytime the view is beautiful, mountains, fields, rooftops with laundry hanging on clotheslines. I go up there often to sit and take a deep breath. Well, this time, I decided to go up at night time. I brought a blanket, a candle, my Bible, and a Handy Snacks pudding cup. Needless to say, it was amazing. The stars were beautiful, there was a soft breeze blowing, the candle light was just bright enough to allow me to dig into the Word, and the pudding cup was the icing on the cake.

And God met me there. It was like He was reaching down, giving me clarity, strength, and allowing me to breathe deeply.


I recently had an interesting experience at school. It was during recess and several of us were all sitting around eating the snacks that we had brought from home. I think I was eating a cookie or something. I decided that I was done and didn't want anymore so I asked the kids if anyone wanted it. They all instantly shot up their hands and began shouting "dame, dame!!" (Gimme, gimme) Normal child reaction. I decided to give it to one girl, Alba Nelly, who was asking a little more politely. She took the cookie with a huge grin on her face, because she had obviously won the prize. It was what she did next that surprised me. Instead of quickly devouring the cookie she broke it in half and gave the other half to another child. She then took the half that remained and broke it again in half to share with someone else. She continued breaking the cookie in half and sharing until everyone at the table had had a piece. Satisfied, she sat down and ate the small crumb that remained in her hand. Oddly enough, she was not sad that she ended up with the smallest piece, she still felt like she had won because I had chosen her to distribute the wealth. She got to share what she had with her friends, a real honor in this culture.

It was so beautiful to me to see this wonderful virtue of community and sharing so apparent, even in a 6 year old.

A Different Style of Worship

This past Sunday we had a real treat at church. A popular Christian Reggaeton artist came and did a special concert. (For those of you not familiar with this style of music, it is kind of like rap with a latin rhythm and lyrics in Spanish. Pretty rockin' and very fun.) So anyways, Ariel Kely came to our church and it was amazing. The place was packed with kids in baggy clothes, baseball caps and gold chains. I would say about half of those in attendance would probably never set foot in a church, but got word of a reggaeton concert and decided to take a chance.

The concert/worship service was great, Ariel has an amazing testimony: he used to be very hard into drugs and was a successful backup dancer for many famous rappers until Christ turned his life around. Now he raps for Jesus. His music is really fun and we were definitely rockin' out, but his lyrics are what is really impressive. They are so blunt and straightforward addressing a growing population of young people chasing empty dreams.

I love it that God can use all types of people to do all types of things to bring him glory. From doctors to construction workers, and from preschool teachers to rappers, He uses the gifts He has given us to preach His name.