Conference Blogs

4/23/2013

23 April 2013 Fuzzy brain.  Back home it’s 12:50 am. We’ve been flying for over seven hours – through the darkness of a short night, into the early dawn of Eastern Europe.  Our stiff muscles want to stretch out, our bodies yearn to lie down.  We’ve eaten our airplane breakfast and have less than an hour until we deplane in Vienna.  We travelers began our quest weeks ago with emails to each other, sharing what we were learning about the Roma through books and the Internet, and tentatively getting...


3/22/2013

It’s over.  President Obama has completed his visit to Israel and Palestine and is now on his way to Jordan.   Editorials and comments that I’ve read range from disappointing to amazing in terms of what has been accomplished by his time here.  I have never considered myself to be “political” except that here, everything is political.  I have always shared my own thoughts and experiences based on what I have seen and heard.  So let me do that here: First of all, from the Palestinian side, I would...


3/20/2013

As always, it’s an interesting time to be back in Jerusalem.  Today is the first day of President Obama’s visit.  By the time you read this, you’ll know how it turned out, but right now everything is just a question and a hope.  I do know that life here will be disrupted by security for the next three days.  Already, streets have been closed and travel restrictions are in place. Yesterday at work we were told that we had to leave early, that the main road in Jerusalem was going to close.  I met ...


3/12/2013

A while ago, I spent portions of several days bogged down in technology.  Enamored by several new kinds of personal equipment that is supposed to (a) save money and (b) make like easier, I achieved neither!  Without boring you with the details, it had to do with home phone service, cell phone technology, and the attendant computer connections. The irony is that none of the intended changes were really necessary.  But I was attracted, lured, manipulated, and sucked into a quagmire of issues and ...


2/18/2013

  Our last two days of the wheelchair distribution were very long and difficult. When the plans were made for our time in Santa Anna it was decided that we would stay in San Salvador and commute the 45 minutes each way rather than relocating; a very doable plan...until the main road was closed during the day for construction. That meant that we had to detour around the construction making it a 2 hour trip. We had breakfast at 6:00 each morning and were on the road by 6:30, returning in the ...


2/14/2013

We have had some very busy and very long days, but God’s active presence among us has been more than evident. My experience with my first patient of the day on Tuesday is proof! As many of you know, it sometimes takes us as much as a full day to make the adaptations and adjustments for some of our recipients. Usually it is between two and six hours. Because the chairs are all second-hand chairs, finding exactly the right one and fitting the child in need without major adjustments is almost ...


2/12/2013

We’ve finished our fourth day of seating already and the stories abound. God has been so present among us, and even though I know He is never far away, I am always amazed by the powerful presence I feel when on these mission trips. It is also amazing to me the way He equips His people to do His work in the world. All of these people come together from many places and between us we have all we need to do what is set before us. What one does not have in skills or physical resources, another does ...


2/10/2013

We had a very blessed and productive day today. We arrived in San Miguel last night just in time for a late supper. Many on the team had been traveling since the very early hours of the morning. Our start at 6:30 a.m. was one of the latest. We arrived at the rehab center where we are working just about 7:45 this morning and got right to work unpacking the wheelchairs, parts, walkers and crutches. The people were already there and waiting for us when we arrived and we began seating by 8:30. We ...


1/15/2013

It was an eye-catching newspaper ad which prompted a double take on my part: “A brand new Soul for only $139 per month.”  Of course the full page ad was for a particular make of automobile.  But the double meaning did not escape me.   Do you know anyone with a secret (or very open) New Year’s wish for a “brand new soul?”  What if we could trade in our old “soul” for a new one just this one time—near the beginning of 2013?  I think I know a few people who might like that opportunity. Cast aside ...


12/15/2012

This morning on the CBS Morning News, the reporters covering the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School asked a correspondent from the Newton area the standard "default" question: "What can people do to respond to this tragedy?" The correspondent gave a genuine and honest response: "I don't know." To be sure, many of us feel the same way. What CAN we do to respond to the Sandy Hook Massacre? The default answer is "pray," which we should do. But it's more than that. For me, the answer is ...


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