Monthly Archives: July 2013

Learning Rocket Science

From an interesting article I recently read:

American Christians are astounding in their generosity. Tens of thousands of churches pour resources into feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and building houses and orphanages. Hundreds of thousands trek to Africa, Asia, and Latin America each year on short-term mission trips desiring to offer their help.

But here’s the problem: Poverty, whether here in America or abroad, is one of the oldest and most complex problems plaguing the human race. It is tangled in social, cultural, economic, political, ethnic, geographic, and spiritual factors that challenge even the most skilled experts. Simple solutions just don’t work, and well-meaning amateurs can not only waste valuable resources but even cause unintended harm in their efforts.

Read the whole thing here at Christianity Today: Solving Poverty Is Rocket Science

The article really sums up why we are seeking more training in community development, as well as why we are moving slowly as we implement projects in the neighborhoods where we work!  And above all, recognizing the truth of this quote, also from the above article: The most powerful tool we can offer is the human transformation that comes from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, something no government or United Nations agency has to offer. This is why the church is potentially the most powerful change agent of all.

Categories: Mission, Vision | Leave a comment

Curso de Tenis

We had an awesome week at the ranch with our very first tennis camp. It was a great experience for our staff to work alongside a professional tennis teacher from the United States. He worked with the kids from the colonias and with our staff to teach us how to teach tennis so that we can offer tennis at the ranch as another camp activity. It was a joy to watch the kids as the vast majority of them had never held a tennis racquet before in their life. We are working to doing additional week long camps like this in the summer which will focus on the various aspects of the ranch. Some ideas are horse camp, sports camp, adventure camp, and English camp. Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying their first experience with tennis.

Younger guys posing as they wait in line for their turn.

Younger guys posing as they wait in line for their turn.

We used the neighboring ranch's multipurpose slab. It hadn't been used in at least 5 years...we can't wait to build one of our own on the ranch.

We used the neighboring ranch’s multipurpose slab. It hadn’t been used in at least 5 years…we can’t wait to build one of our own on the ranch.

The younger kids waiting in line for their turn at drills.

The younger kids waiting in line for their turn at drills.

Volley time!

Volley time!

Thanks to Rick for his help teaching the kids and our staff!

Thanks to Rick for his help teaching the kids and our staff!

Some of the older kids waiting for their turn to hit. All of them in this picture had never played tennis before.

Some of the older kids waiting for their turn to hit. All of them in this picture had never played tennis before.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Ranch, Sports, Tennis | Leave a comment

The Movies and God

We took our girls to the movies for the first time this past week. It was in celebration of our forever family day! (a.k.a. Ava’s adoption day).

Pete and I love movies. We love a good story. We were excited to take our kids. Here are their reactions:

Kylah: ate the caramel popcorn and candy, fell asleep in a sugar crash.

Ava: as we walked in she said, “Wow” in a voice of awe. (That’s right, Ava, and it never gets old.)

Ali: we sat down, got settled in our seats and were waiting for the show to start. She leans over to me and says, “Mom, this is a lot bigger than our T.V. This is the biggest screen I’ve ever seen. But nothing’s bigger than God.”

Ok, there are times when I wonder if our kids are listening, if we’re teaching them what we want to, if my daily choices in life are backing up what I want to communicate to them about God, about the Kingdom, about priorities in life. I wonder if I let my kids watch too much t.v. (probably, yep). I beat myself up for not reading to them more or yelling at them during shower time (I HATE shower time. I get wet as I try to rinse shampoo out of hair from a VERY low pressure shower head. It feels like a sauna in our bathroom. The girls complain. I complain.) Some days I check my email or my facebook or whatever one too many times.

And then Ali says something like that, and I’m encouraged. And I’m also challenged. Again. God IS bigger than all these distractions in our lives. I don’t know about you, but media is a HUGE distraction for me. I am positive I spend too much time consuming media. Instead, it’s God who needs to consume me, and media mostly just gets in the way of that. And this week, He used my daughter to remind me again of proper priorities.

“Tomorrow is a new day. With no mistakes in it (yet).” From a good story. (Anne of Green Gables)

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” From the best story. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Categories: Family | Leave a comment

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