Monday, March 30, 2009

For Wild Orchids

Friday evening I wrote a list of the days blessings - and I thought I'd share!
A highly recommended habit - once you start listing it's hard to stop!

Thank you for waking me up with a chorus of parrots.
And for company on my run.
Thank you for showing me the kingfisher catching a fish.
For the morning sun sparkles on the lake.
For worship and morning hugs.
Thank you for enough sun and wind to dry my clothes today.
For fire ants because they remind me that my nerves are in good condition.
For puppy pounces and wiggles.
For brooms and bleach to scrub away the mold.
For filling my heart with music.
For clean drinkable water in my water bottle
And that the pump of the well is working.
That the little cucumber plants are blossoming already.
For cracks in the floor to sweep dirt through.
Thank you for good food and the energy it gives.
For wild orchids.
Thank you for showing me the big scorpion in time to kill it.
For the small window of internet to read emails and know what to pray for.
Thank you for the rich colors in the afternoon storm.
That my violin is surviving the tropics.
For the questions of a three-year-old to make me think.
For the blessing of Sabbath rest.
Thank you for the little wooden church, and for play-dough to keep Levi occupied.
For the little kids who ask for lullabies every night.
Thank you for the lullaby’s of frogs and night critters
And the bats and cocharoaches in the roof.

My soul shall praise You as long as I live!
Thank you Lord for life.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Go Catch Little Coconuts!

Portuguese Expressions

a.) Is we in the tape! = É nóis na fita.
b..) Tea with me that I book your face = Chá comigo que eu livro suacara.
c.) I am more I = Eu sou mais eu.
d.) Do you want a good-good? = Você quer um bom-bom?
e.) Not even come that it doesn't have! = Nem vem que não tem!
f.) She is full of nine o'clock= Ela é cheia de nove horas.
g.) I am completely bald of knowing it. = Tô careca de saber.
h.) Ooh! I burned my movie! = Oh! Queimei meu filme
!i.) I will wash the mare. = Vou lavar a égua.
j.) Go catch little coconuts! = Vai catar coquinho!
k.) If you run, the beast catches; if you stay, the beast eats! = Secorrer, o bicho pega, se ficar o bicho come!
l.) Before afternoon than never. = Antes tarde do que nunca.
m.) Take out the little horse from the rain = Tire o cavalinho dachuva.
n.) The cow went to the swamp. = A vaca foi pro brejo!
o.) To give one of John the Armless = Dar uma de João-sem-Braço.

A Safe Path

Febuary 17

God in His providence brought the Hebrews into the mountain fastness before the sea, that He might manifest His power in their deliverance… He chose this method in order to test their faith and strengthen their trust in Him. The people were weary and terrified, yet if they had held back when Moses bade them advance, God would never have opened the path fore them… In marching down to the very water, they showed that they believed the word of God as spoken by Moses.

The great lesson here taught is for all time. Often the Christian life is beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. Imagination pictures impending ruin before and bondage or death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly, “Go forward.” We should obey this command, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness, and we feel the cold waves about our feet. The obstacles that hinder our progress will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Those who defer obedience till every shadow of uncertainty disappears and there remains no risk of failure or defeat, will never obey at all. Unbelief whispers, “Let us wait till the obstructions are removed, and we can see our way clearly;” but faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things.

The path where God leads the way may lie through the desert or the sea, but it is a safe path.

- Patriarchs and Prophets, Exodus p. 290

Friday, March 20, 2009

Uncharted Prayer

Stooping to add my face to the collection peeking into the thatch house, my eyes adjust to the dimmer light. A small room easily crossed in a few steps, a battered wooden table, and a red hammock strung crosswise halfway into the hut. Swinging there in the hammock is a small girl playing a black guitar, unperturbed by the intruding audience at her doorway. Smiling at me she continues her original praise song, strumming with ease as she pushes off the center pole of the hut with her left foot.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Izailda” She pronounced again, her black hair falling back from her amused face – amused at my attempt to remember and correctly pronounce her name. I sat down beside her in the beached canoe for the promised lesson in Santerén.

We are surrounded by the simple music of a jungle village. Little brown bodies fling out into the brown water, their laughter the color of tropical flowers. Women scrub and slap their clothes clean along the margin of the river – the ribbon that ties all their lives together. It is their water source, washing machine, bathtub, pool, and only mode of transportation. It is a long and winding corridor through wild greens - their only connection to the outside world.

“So pé,“ she tugged on my shirt.
“So pé,“ I repeat in Santerén, verify in Portuguese, and then write a phonetic version in English for reference.
“Meh top, é vmeh, vwako.” Our giggling duet crescendoed with the difficult words, and my frustrated attempts to write the unusual sounds on paper. For example - ú-e-i which means ground or soil. Most of the words are two syllables with an earth-toned guttural pronunciation.

“How do you say ‘love’?”
“Ámor – the same as in Portuguese.” Her dark eyes glow with a simple fire, and mine ignite in response; some things are always the same.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The cool night air blows in across my face, billowing my mosquito net and drying the clothes I washed in the river earlier today. Purring along, the motor of the launch rumbles a steady pattern, and I can hear the swoosh of the water as the wake peals out around the boat. My hammock swings slightly in cadence with the forward momentum of the boat and I can see out between the white board railings that curve around the deck.

The moonlight tosses a shimmer path across the still dark water - so still, so smooth that it reminds me of polished pewter… a mirror reflection of the quiet sky, with an ebony border of jungle between. Even the moonlit clouds are perfectly reproduced on the liquid canvass. There is a holiness in the stillness, as if our boat is traversing through an uncharted prayer.

Behind us several hours is the indigenous village of Ponta Alegre where we have spent the last four days holding clinics for the community. Behind us are the smiles, honest eyes, impulsive hugs of a hundred little brown bodies. Behind us are hearts; pieces of ours and pieces of theirs.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Three-year-old Logic

“If a whale came out my nose you would have to take me to the doctor!”