Tag Archives: Santiago


27 Mar

“If I could break you know I’d break. If I could bend, I’d bend to become the knot that holds you up. I’d mend you.” ~Amy Courts, Hold You Up


Little is Much – Eleana

21 Mar

I’m sitting on the balcony of our home in Austin, listening to the birds happily sing their symphony to sunshine and spring. The breeze is strong and the air almost sparkles with the freshness of the season. The music of Amy Courts is a perfect soundtrack for the day. I look down at the woven sisal rug that adorns our little outdoor living area, and my heart is whisked away to other birds and other breezes and other fragrances – and to a woman named Eleana.

Cerro de Oro, from Lake Atitlan

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30 Oct

It’s 5:30 in the morning. The seemingly ever-present Guatemalan traffic is napping now, which was a blessing as we took our team to the airport to catch their flights home.  Courtney and I now sit in silence, caught in that strange place between longing-to-stay and longing-to-be-home.

This country feels so familiar – if I was a brave girl, I believe I could even drive from one place to another and not get lost (bravery being the key word, since driving here requires a lot of skill and an ability to shape-shift to accommodate the traffic and crazy switchbacks, mudslides, ravines, and occasional body of water that may or may not be between you and your destination).  Yet every visit is full of brand-new. Every day is full of broken, poured out, and filled up. Every room is full of stories.

The language of the stories varies. Sometimes it’s a language of words and phrases. Sometimes it’s a language of song. It could be a language of touch, or tears, or laughter. But I have found one universal language that translates instantly to “let’s be friends.”

The language of iPhone. Continue reading


28 Oct

The main street of Santiago.

We drove in the clouds, winding along roads pockmarked from recent mudslides. The afternoon skies disappeared in a blanket of thick gray mist as we . Getting to Santiago before dark was essential, we were told, because it’s impossible to see the roads at night. As the mist cleared, we saw our destination – a village of around 150,000 that rests at the base of a volcano.  Earthquakes are common, though few are strong enough to do damage. What did do damage to Santiago’s neighboring village, Panabaj, in 2005 was Hurricane Stanley. The storm filled the cone of the volcano, and the internal pressure caused a large section of the top to break way, literally covering the town in mud and rock.  Entire neighborhoods disappeared, along with a school, hospital and police station. The village has been slowly rebuilding, though many areas are considered unfit for habitation.  The Guatemalan government received substantial support from the US and other countries, but aid to those impacted has been minimal.  Only recently has a neighborhood of permanent housing been designed and built. Children who lost their families during the mudslide now live with relatives or in orphanages in other parts of the country. Driving past the cinderblock rubble is a haunting reminder of how quickly life can change – forever.

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27 Oct

The notebook is filling with memories and God-whispers.  I wish I could press “pause” for just a bit, to simply sit and breathe and let the words become phrases to fill the pages of this blog – and fill the spaces of my heart one more time. I know the quiet time will come soon, and I’ll share the stories of Alfredo and Geraldo, God’s dance on the mountains, the quietest of processions, the joy of the word Scheminske and learning the best language of all. And it’s only Wednesday – there are stories yet to be lived as we work in Santiago with Pastor Diego and his church today. Continue reading