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It is dry here

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

It’s been unseasonably hot in Bogotá as of late (well, Bogotá doesn’t have seasons per sé, but it’s not supposed to get this hot).

Part of the reason for this is that it hasn’t rained. But today it did—for about an hour. I guess that’s about enough to wet the dust down a little so we don’t have to breathe as much of it.

On Break!

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

School finished up for the semester at noon yesterday, and I thought I was free to go.

But I was wrong.

In Colombia, there exists a wonderful concept that if a student fails the semester, he can still pass the class by completing some extra work (known here as recuperaciones). So while everyone was joyously leaving school, I spent the afternoon putting together recuperaciones for several students. (Yes, it’s possible to work ahead on such things, but only if one has the time.)

I also thought I’d be going to Prado, Tolima this weekend to enjoy some relaxation at a lake in “hot country.” I was wrong about that too—our ride didn’t work out, so now I’m still in Bogotá.

I wonder what else will happen to teach me that God’s in control of the future, and I’m not? I guess I should pay attention to James’s exhortation: “[Y]ou do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that'” (James 4:14-15, ESV).

It’s true: our life is fleeting, and we can’t hold onto it, but we have an eternal, all-powerful God who loves us and holds control over what happens to us. In contrast to the fleeting mist of an unsure life that we know, God offers us a secure, eternal life through Jesus Christ.

So, if it is the Lord’s will, I will be traveling back to Grand Rapids on Monday. I really anticipate seeing friends and family and enjoying two weeks or so (but not more!) of snow.

Hola Junior!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Explaining the parable of the sower and the seed.
Explaining the parable of the sower and the seed (note in my hand evidence of how quickly the seeds grow).

Two weekends ago, I got to help out at a children’s ministry called Hola Junior! in the part of Bogotá called Cazucá. For my little part, I did a short skit of the parable of the sower and the seed with a little help from some of the kids. Then I explained the parable to the kids. I reminded them that we must receive the good news of the kingdom like good soil, rather than be distracted by the weed-like cares of this world or give up when trials come like the seed that fell on rocky ground. And what’s the good news we’re supposed to receive? That God has forgiven our sins because Christ died for them; that we should receive the good news of forgiveness and trust the Lord with our life.

I also helped the kids sing some songs. The younger group of kids did their best to make me feel like a rock-star; after every song we sang, they started chanting “Otra, otra…” (another, another…).

Many people who live in Bogotá have never been to Cazucá because it is such a dangerous part of town, and it most definitely is not a place a gringo is supposed to go (so don’t tell anyone I went). I figure that I don’t know when I’ll die: whether of old age, in a car accident in such a tranquil place as Grand Rapids, or being held up in Cazucá or anywhere else. The safest place for me to be is where God wants me, and if that happens to be a “dangerous” place such as Cazucá, then great! God has my future; I might as well trust Him with it.

I hope you’re all doing well. Things are going well here. Always busy, but well.
Mark