ENCUENTRO DE ARTESANOS
On March 18th and 19th, Bridge of Hope artisans from across Peru came to Lima to celebrate the International Day of the Artisan and to participate in the 10th Annual Artisan Gathering. It was a fun time of collaboration, community, celebration, and recommitment.
We started both mornings with a short theological reflection that I gave, first on the importance of teamwork and working together as a whole body (1 Cor. 12:14-25) – whether that be in the family, community, particular artisan group, or Bridge of Hope – and second on the value of artisan work and it’s place in society (Jer. 18:1-6). From there we spent time reflecting over the past years struggles and successes. It was a time of honesty and encouragement. Another important part was the time we spent making goals for this coming year. Each put their “signature” – their handprint – on a document to show their commitment to growth and solidarity moving forward.
In the afternoons we did the celebrating! We had a small “fashion show” where the artisans showed off some new products for Spring 2014. We visited Lima’s famous Parque de las Aguas that is full of gorgeous and massive fountains and reveled at the water “art.” And finally, we visited an exhibit on the history of Peruvian art in the National Museum. The artisans were fascinated by the way their different trades have developed over the years and were excited to be a part of a tradition that has lasted thousands of years.
|Giving a theological reflection.|
|The artisans at Parque de las Aguas.|
|Dionisia putting her handprint signature.|
|Victor showing off a new scarf and hat.|
|Claudia and her daughter, Mayte, who's sporting a new hat.|
WE’RE MOVING AFTER ALL
I just got word last week that the house my family is living in has finally sold. I was kind of hoping we’d continue living there indefinitely as the house was on the market but no such luck. The current word is that we have 20 days to move out, but they are talking to the real estate agent today to see if they can stay for another two months while they look for a house. It is now a reality, though. I will be moving before my time in Peru is over. Please be praying for the whole situation, though. The price of houses and apartments has skyrocketed over the last few years, and it is going to be difficult to find something affordable in the areas where they want to live that are close to work, family, and friends.
I’M GOING TO SEMINARY
Other big news: I am going to seminary in the fall! I will be attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary starting in September, which is just a little bit to the NE of Boston and only a few miles from the ocean. What an adventure! I was offered the Partnership Program scholarship, which is a full-tuition matching scholarship. I am raising support again to fund about half of my seminary education. If you would like more information or to support me in some way (financially or in prayer), please let me know.
STORIES FROM YAVs
Jenny and Jed have been visiting the United States during the month of March, and one of the things they are doing is visiting churches and sharing about the YAV program to raise support. They put together this video of us each telling a story about our time here so far. It’s really well done, so check it out:
This past week I have been devouring The Genesee Diary by Henri Nouwen. It is a really insightful account of his 7-month stay in a Trappist monastery and has offered much encouragement to me. Here are a couple quotes that are from very different periods of his time in the monastery but go well together:
“It requires a great act of faith to accept the love that is offered to us and to live, not with suspicion and distrust, but with the inner conviction that we are worth being loved. This is the great adventure… to really believe that God loves you, to really give yourself to God in trust, even while you are aware of your sinfulness, weaknesses, and miseries” (140).
“When we have found our own uniqueness in the love of God and have been able to affirm that indeed we are lovable since it is God’s love that dwells in us, then we can reach out to others in whom we discover a new and unique manifestation of the same love and enter into an intimate communion with them” (68).