I (Pete) have to admit I don’t frequently read alot of blogs but one thing I do like reading on other’s blogs are book reviews. Books are a drug of choice for me and I always like hearing others opinions about good books…so with the encouragement of a few of you to share more of the books I read here are two that I just finished.
In the Presence of My Enemies: The gripping account of the kidnapping of American missionaries and their year of terror in the Philippine jungle
By Gracia Burnham
I started reading this book because Em got it free on the Kindle. I was a little hesitant because I often don’t read books like these (i.e. biographies and such). It has been hard to put down and I’ve found myself staying up later than I should reading it on multiple occasions. If you feel like you are having a rough time in life then just read this book. This book will help give you some perspective.
The book is about two New Tribes missionaries who were kidnapped along with several others at a resort in the Philippians in 2001. They were held for over a year by their captors while they were dragged through the jungle avoiding soldiers, bullets, and artillery fire from the Filipino army who were hunting their captors down. It’s a well written and as it says on the cover a “gripping story.” If you want to know why they were kidnapped, what their captors were seeking, how they survived in the jungle, and how their story ends you’ll just have to read the book!
By Henri Nouwen
I brought no more than 10 physical books with me and 6 of them were one’s I have already read. I wanted to reread these ones again during my time of language study. One of these is Henri Nouwen’s book Reaching Out. It is by far one of my more favorite books by him and one of my most favorite books about spirituality and living life. He seeks to answer this simple question, “What does it mean to live a life in the Spirit of Jesus Christ?”
Personally, I feel the concepts in this book are something we should all wrestle with and chew on, which is why I wanted to read it again. He gets to the real heart of the underlying issues that push and pull in the deepest parts of our hearts, souls, and minds. He outlines three polarities of the spiritual life that we all must wrestle with: 1) Loneliness to Solitude, 2) Hostility to Hospitality, & 3) Illusion to Prayer. I would highly encourage anyone to read this book and read it in a way so that you can wrestle with the concepts in your own life.
Here is a quote from the opening page of the book that summarizes the book well. “‘Wisdom’, it is said, ‘is to know the harmony of things, and joy is to dance to its rhythm.'” This book will help you to dance to the rhythms of life. It has certainly helped me even though I have two left feet!
Categories: Family, Vision
Two weeks ago our girls had their first experience on the ranch. We were wondering what they would think and how they would act…let us just say they absolutely LOVED IT!
Here are a few of our favorite pics of their first encounters…
Girls meet “their” horses
Getting the horse ready for a ride.
Ali’s first ride. She went on without any hesitation.
Kylah’s first ride. Whenever she heard the word “horse” she would say, “Me,me, me!”
The girls loved playing in the dirt. It was one big sandbox!
“Don’t you dare try to clean me up!”
Time for a shower!
Making new friends
Evening ride on the main ranch grounds waiting to be developed.
Categories: Family, Ranch
One block away we have a neighbor named Yolanda; Yoli for short. She turned 80 years old this past spring and she lives alone; she’s never been married. The first time we met her, Kylah and I were playing outside, and she called us over and beckoned us to walk with her for a bit. Well, she ended up inviting us into her home and gave us a grand tour. Her home was the first Mexican home I had been invited into. It is decorated with home made tablecloths, curtains, pillows, very traditional furniture, and lots of saints. Yoli has a tiny kitchen with pink tiles decorating the walls and in her laundry room she still uses a hand-cranked washing board. That first visit with Yoli opened the door for many more. She typically walks past our house on her way to the neighborhood tienda each afternoon, and if she notices we are home, she will stop by to visit us. We have had many wonderful conversations about God, Jesus, and what it means to be at peace. One of Yoli’s favorite things to do is to teach my girls Spanish. She is delighted by the girls and likes to sneak them treats when I’m not looking. I don’t think she has stopped by our home without bringing some sort of chocolate candy or vegetable soup for me or crackers to share.
Yoli visting our house
Yesterday, the girls and I decided to drop by Yoli’s house to say hi. We had been gone for 2 weeks, and I wanted to let her know that we were back. Seconds after calling out her name, she started telling us, “Me voy, me voy.” (I’m coming.) She was overjoyed to see the girls, invited us right in, and we sat down at her tiny kitchen table while she pulled out a toy tea set and began playing tea with the girls. She poured water in the tiniest tea pot, gave each of them a little cup (that held about one swallow of water), and opened up a brand new package of chocolate chip cookies she had bought just for our next visit. It was the sweetest time, and while I wish I had a camera, it was one of thost moments that would have been ruined with a picture. A moment I didn’t want to stop because it was such a gift. A moment that reminds me why we are in Mexico…to love people, to share our lives with them, and to testify to the full life of peace and joy that Jesus offers to those who believe in His name.
Categories: Mission, Stories
We just spent the last week in La Paz with a short term team of a few close friends of ours back from the States. It was a great time of spiritual encouragement and hard work under the Baja sun. Here are some highlight pics of the last week. (I’m throwing these up on the site between a break in our annual conference…so we’ll have more pictures to come!)
We laid alot of block under the Baja sun! We were working on a new staff house on the ranch property in order to expand the ministry capacity of the ranch.
We participated in an all ranch staff meeting. Emily is introducing herself to the team.
Kids from DIF (Social services) playing in the ranch pool. The Ranch has a partnership with the DIF in the local neighborhood and partner together for various programs.
We ate alot of great Mexican food!
Categories: Mexico, Mission