stories of revolution by love of neighbor

Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Lessons Learned in My First Year

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…)


Building “hailpeople”

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…)

Va Dios Mismo en Nuestro Mismo Caminar

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…)

Let’s Hear It for the YAMs!

2011 YAMs Class! (Photo by Dan Randall)

My dearest YAMs*,

Today marks three months since our commissioning (can you believe it? I can’t hardly…) and I’d like to take a moment to give y’all a shout-out, because, well…you rock! And though we are separated by thousands and thousands of miles, we still have our community. And frankly, I feel closer to some of you now than I did at training. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder. (more…)


I am a music nerd. And one of the things that nerds me out the most is when music is just beautifully dissonant. There’s that tension to it because the dissonant notes don’t technically resonate with one another when you get into the science of it all, but somehow they blend and make some of the richest sounds possible. In thinking of the beauty of dissonance, I am reminded  of a song we sang for Illinois All State Choir back in 2007, called “A Boy and a Girl”, composed by Eric Whitacre (couldn’t find the audio file, so luckily it’s on Youtube!): (more…)

For All the Saints

“Cindee was always talking about you, and it’s the strong women like you who will carry on her legacy.” Even a year and a half later, these words still rest heavily on my soul. I may not have realized it at the time, but this was no simple statement…this was my call. (more…)

Ode to Aretha

That’s right, I’m talkin’ ’bout RESPECT.

Respect genuinely has been a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, and since I think it’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog post, I figured I might as well write something about what’s been going on in my life. So, respect it is. (more…)