This was originally posted to In Our Words, and goes out to everyone doing or considering international service.
On September 5, I celebrated a full year of my service in Colombia. Just shy of a year ago, I left my family, my friends, my home, my native tongue, and many other aspects of my life in the U.S. to live and work in Bogota, Colombia. Initially, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but along the way, I’ve made some important discoveries and realizations about myself and international service. (more…)
I have recently seen many blog entries reacting to General Conference, many of which touch or focus on the failure of any restructuring proposals to pass at this General Conference. One in particular which did not resonate well with me was a post by Pastor Andy Langford called “An Open Letter to United Methodists” [click the title for a link to the post]. The following began as a comment on his post, but got so long I decided to make it a blog post in response to the original. Please keep the discussion going. (more…)
On Tuesday, it poured hail. I’m not joking or exaggerating; if you imagine a massive downpour and then change the raindrops to pieces (balls? bits? I don’t even know the correct terminology) of hail, you get a perfect picture of what happened. Little pellets of ice were pouring from the sky. One coworker joked that it was the beginning of the end of the world; the precursor to what’s supposed to happen next year: 2012.
I was entranced; never before in my life do I recall having seen hail, and definitely not of this epic proportion. Guess I got my Colombian Snowpocalypse after all (only this one was Hailpocalypse). There was, to all intents and purposes, a literal river of melted hail flowing down the street in front of work, and the unmelted hail covered the ground, at a distance looking like a blanket of snow. To me it was a fascinatingly and somewhat hauntingly beautiful sight. (more…)
I really enjoyed church this past weekend. Like, a whole lot. I really felt spiritually connected in the worship setting for the first time in a while. I’d found spaces to feel spiritually connected in other ways, but not in the context of worship. But worship and the church activities after the service really resonated somewhere in the depths of my soul. And it was well with my soul. (more…)
Home. It’s an interesting concept, one that a lot of people have trouble pointing a finger to what exactly it is. Some people equate it with their house, others with the town where they grew up (or at least where they’ve spent a significant portion of their life), and still others with something more general, like a region or a country. (more…)
What am I thinking about this week? Resistance. Now before you call me a socialist and tune out for the rest of this post, please take a moment to hear me out. Resistance has been a common theme of the past several days for me, in a variety of ways. (more…)
Sinister and conspiratorial as it may sound, it seems I’m living in a police state. The folks around me acknowledge it, and the signs are everywhere. For instance, almost every day when I leave my apartment, there are armed military personnel out walking the street. And we’re talking really armed. And like I mentioned in my previous blog post on advertisements, there are very strong (using this term in the most neutral sense possible; meaning they attempt to be extremely persuasive, though who knows how effective they are in reality) advertisements for the military. But one of the most striking pieces of evidence (for me, at least) hit me while we were staying in Aguazul. (more…)