Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Lament


Aid me as You sanctify me
that I may glad of Your face
even as
my sufferings increase.

I wonder at Your ways
I admit they feel harsh
and burdensome at times.

And yet...

this joy that you spark
in my heart at
things nearly below notice

the red, brilliantly dying leaf on the ground
the rosy flush upon the cheeks of my sleeping child
the sound of rain upon awakening.

These scream to me, to my heart's heart
swelling it within
expanding heart
near to splitting

incapable of holding such.

Do I look away
to avoid the rending?
Or swallow that enormity and feel
the heart adjust
to new size
to new pressure?

How large must Your heart be
to hold us all
to hold all Your moments
to hold all Your sorrows
You carry ours too.

I do not mean to doubt You
though I live facing you often with a
confused and hurt expression
longing for answers that allow
me to see suffering
as loving discipline
as careful sanctification
as necessary healing.

I long to draw breath
to pull it down into the depths of me
and send it back out
fully and smoothly

You see me.

You see this.

You are still good.

Sanctify me
aid me to see.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Life Here

Here we are : ).

Life here.
It's different and well,
I reacted.
Tears, tiredness, loss.

Can I say
how very thankful I am?
The children, each one, has bloomed
in this new place
in new ways.
They find the great delight, though
Mom was numb and sad.

thank you....
for your patience with me
as I learn to live here again....
to engage...
and yet remain this new person
that God shaped in Chile.
I make mistakes.
Forgive me.

We are being caught
in the divine plot
to make us trust
in Him.
Finances run dry.
Needs that way run high.

We are learning.
Books that teach and reach us.
Conflicts which point us to new ways
of seeing.

We are blessed by our church family
and families
and friends.
Eggs arrive every week
in our church mailbox.
Giftcards for gas and food.
Thoughtful words.

Please pray for us.
~spiritual renewal
~for our Missionary Support Team

Thank you.
Sarah :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


To My Most Amiable Readers,

Amidst the preparations for the move to the States, I have continually been drawn back to when we first closed up our life in Pennsylvania and headed to Chile, Sophia being two and Edison all of two months old. I wrote my misgivings in my journal, the same which will receive the outpouring of my emotions this go-around.

September 30, 2005

"Are we really doing this? I see that we are. We no longer have a home, everything we own has been packed, stored, or sold. God is so good. The car sold right away. God sent His peace on us as we said goodbyes and wrapped up our life here stateside. But, I'm scared. I sit in Miami airport, ready to fly to Santiago in two hours and I'm sad-afraid-tired-excited-joyful-TIRED. All wrapped up, the result is numbness.

Unshed tears are continually stinging my eyes. Nancy had good advice, to have a good deep cry on the way. I don't know if I will or not, but it feels good to give myself permission to grieve. Grieve the friends and family I've left behind. Grieve the loss of our quiet log cabin and our way of life there. Above all, it's the relationships.

It's so hard.

Are we really doing this? How crazy are we? Our dream is coming true and I'm shy to embrace it, afraid I have dreamed too big for such a small woman. My comfort is this; that God will give me the words, that God is in me, that God has plans for me, that God is in control, that it doesn't all somehow hinge on me, that I am a tool in His hand. And....He loves me. He does."

As I face again the separation from those I love, from my home, from my garden which has been a joy to me, from the constant companion of the Andes, looming blue on the horizon, from the joy of rowing with my friends on the glass-like water of the canal, may you remember me in prayer. Oh, please, for I dearly need it.

Your Most Devoted,

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

New Dreams

To My Most Amiable Readers...

For a long time (says the 31 year-old with a smirk, really? I know anything about time yet?), I've dreamed of seeing the Strait of Magellan, Torres del Paine (those gigantic granite towers that poke out of the earth at alarming rates of ascent), Tierra del Fuego, and Machu Picchu in Peru. With the last few months those dreams have come true, some through using all of our allotted vacation up and going on a fly-by-the-seats-of-our-respective-pants road trip, and the other (Machu Picchu) through taking a group trip after a missionary conference in Lima. These dreams did not disappoint when they came flying at me in all their reality. Indeed not...they made me weep with joy. You see, there's a good deal of Indiana Jones in me. I want to live an adventure, and really, I do get to do just that on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. Dodging ships and sea lions in rowing, interviewing an earthquake victim INSIDE their wildly unstable destroyed home. Holding my clean rowing pants on a gushing knife wound on a stranger's head while scolding the attacker and the crowd forming around us. Adventure.

I thought of that after the freezing cold swim I took this evening in a nearby lake. As I lay on the rocks on the shore, panting and uncontrollably shivering, I realized....I enjoy this. I love feeling so very.....FULLY ALIVE!!!!

Now...I do like to cuddle up in cozy pants with a book and something yummy to eat in a fuzzy blanket while the rain is falling outside...BUT...I feel fully alive elsewhere. Like when I'm flying down a ski slope and there's a good chance that I might wreck spectacularly. That adrenaline rush of driving fast (there was no speed limit on the highways in MT when I got my license...). Even eating something firey hot and breaking into a sweat. ALIVE.

There's a good chance I was made this way for a reason.

We are dreaming a new dream, and it (Lord willing) will be set in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It's a crazy city; known as the city of "eternal spring", as it is high up in the mountains, so endures less of the equatorial heat than the plains. There is crushing poverty. There is staggering wealth. There aren't enough people in between. We can't use public buses there, as they are routinely robbed by gangs. We will be starting an entirely new type of job. Does anyone smell adventure??

Many churches call EMM, our sending mission, asking if a group from their church can go and help somewhere on the field in practical or spiritual ways. Unfortunately, hosting teams of non-Spanish speaking people is a full time job for on-site missionaries. It basically means that a lot of what the missionary was involved in needs to be set aside to help the visitors help others. Now, Central America, on average, has five major natural disasters EVERY YEAR. Whether it be mudslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. A cheap flight away from Central America lies North America, a country full to the brim with enthusiastic, compassionate Christian brothers and sisters who would love to be a help to people in need. What is needed is a couple in place to receive teams in Central America.

Let's preface this ALL in "Lord-willing". Now, our vision is to form a hospitality base where we receive international teams and give them a 2-3 day orientation in working in Latin America (do's, don'ts, and how to kiss greet non-awkwardly, ha!). Then we would send them out to assignments, whether in disaster relief, construction projects for churches, or working with the kids who work in the trash dumps in La Ceiba. Dustin would accompany them sometimes, or one of our coworkers would go (we are praying for a bilingual Honduran!). Sometimes I will go as a photojournalist/translator. There's a lot happening in Central America, as our boss Steve Shank says, "And nobody is writing it down!"

After their trips, the teams would return to the base for debriefing, prayer, and send-off. When not receiving teams, we would be meeting with reps from the Amor Viviente Church and the Honduran Mennonite Church to assess gravest needs, etc. Both churches have affirmed the necessity of this new role.

We are looking at one year of home leave, then trying to head to Tegucigalpa. During our home leave we are looking into Dustin taking classes in water purification, solar panels, and other skills. I'm looking into photo journalism courses and photography classes. We are also praying about work for Dustin so that we will only need half support while home.

Phew! Sounds like an adventure to me!!

Your Most Devoted,