A Unique Month

Ministry this month has been extremely out of the ordinary for me. It just goes to show: God always has exciting new things up His sleeve to keep us on our toes and looking to Him constantly.

Students International

Mission: Bringing students and the poor together cross-culturally, to encounter God, share the Good News, disciple and serve others in occupational ministries.

Vission: To see students and the poor transformed into the likeness of Christ and discover their true calling.

Probably the most defining change this month has been my newly increased focus on the students in our ministry. The catalyzing agent has been my enrollment and participation in an online masters program in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership with an emphasis in Global Studies in Education through the University of Illinois. My classes began at the end of August and I have thoroughly enjoyed them! This is material that really gets me fired up. Check out this quote from one of my assigned readings:

“At a time when concerns over global security and order take on fresh meaning and urgency, embracing cultural diversity as a resource rather than a problem has considerable potential to enrich both educational endeavours and the conduct of international relations—to shed their western, mono-cultural and hegemonic foundations in favour of practice that is inclusive, democratic and empowering.”           Phillip Jones from “Education and World Order”

Our Seattle Pacific University study abroad program students arrived in Guatemala on September 6th and I have taken on a much more hands-on role with them. The most formative times in my life were my abroad experiences, where I was able to participate in a reality different than my own and discover God’s heart for His diverse people. Obviously my life track was significantly impacted by my experiences abroad; I wouldn’t be here if God hadn’t opened my eyes through my international studies. That is why I am so excited to be able to help facilitate our students in having their world rocked through their time in Guatemala!

Since I have been so involved with the students, I have hardly had time to get up to Magdalena to work in the clinic. However, I was able to squeeze in some time to help with our first ever jornada (special medical event) in the neighboring town of Buena Vista! We set up shop in the public school and were able to see about 60 patients in two days.

One of the activities with which I got to help the SPU students was a trip to the Ecofiltro factory just outside of Antigua. This is an incredible social enterprise that uses commercial business strategies to make an amazing impact in their social goals to provide safe drinking water to impoverished populations. It was so cool to talk with the CEO and see how passionate he is, believing that this truly is the sustainable solution to the global water crisis. Check it out!

http://www.ecofiltro.org/en

http://www.infodev.org/en/Article.823.html

The SPU troop

Making the filters out of a carbon/clay mixture. (this is what we use in my house for our water)

Another trip on which I accompanied our students was to the Compassion International site in the Guatemala City dump. I think it was great for the students to be able to see a variety of humanitarian aid efforts/ministries to compare effectiveness and holism and to start thinking about how they want to make a difference in the world.

I was blessed with the opportunity to accompany the SPU students as a chaperone (more or less) to a Christian retreat center on the Carribean side of Guatemala. This is the same place where we took our staff retreat last December. I was so happy they had some time to rest and relax after a couple of really busy and intense weeks in Guatemala.

I was so blessed with the opportunity to travel to a nearby rambutan farm with my friends at El Faro! What a beautiful and amazing place! Surreal!

I got my fill from gleaning at the farm, but I bought some to take back to share with our students.

This past weekend I squeezed in a trip to Mexico to renew my visa. I found a great deal on a flight to Mexico City and a really cheap (but very nice) hotel very close to the historic district. I had a great time doing a little bit of exploring, but tried to force myself to get as much school work done as possible.  I also squeezed in a trip out to Teotihuacan!

Mexico City, Centro Historico

The Sun pyramid at Teotihuacan, which I climbed!

The Zocalo

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Maurine
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 23:52:55

    It’s good to hear that you had more time with the SPU students (I must admit… I’m a little jealous 🙂 hee hee

    Ecofiltro’s CEO has a son who was in Gabriel & Leila’s class last year. My kids really liked his boy, Tomas. His wife, Christine, was SUPER friendly and tried to persuade us to stay in Antigua. I think if we had stayed we would have become good friends.

    It’s funny to think that you went to the Caribbean side of Guatemala and then soon after flew to Mexico City. Your plate seems very full… with being a student too!

    I think you said that the week of the 15th would be busy for you to talk. I can bump it up a week or do it the following week. Whichever is easiest for you. I chose that week b/c Nic will be in Mexico City (ironically) w/ his work that week… but I’m pretty free the week before and after to Skype. (I’ll send you a FB msg too to confirm).

    PEACE to you friend. It seems again that our good God is using you to advance His Kingdom and allowing you to enjoy yourself along the way 🙂
    in Him,
    Maurine

    Reply

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