Saturday, September 28, 2013

I'm found...

“I will extend peace to her like a river.”

Peace has wrapped me up in her arms, and I’m found again. 

I’m found in 737 Calle Tzintzunzan, a little house tucked off the streets, away from the wandering eye. 

I’m found in Centro NOE, a pale-skinned “guera” among a sea of faces with chocolate eyes, full hands and full heart. 

I’m found in friendships rekindled over the dinner table- mugs of steaming coffee and the sweetest of pastries, piles of tacos or a tower of fries.

I’m found in the bent-over singsong laughter of friends filling the dark streets on a walk home.

I’m found in the New NOE, tears brimming over, because there’s nothing quite better in this world, than being found. There’s nothing better than living with the quiet assurance that you are where you are, for a reason.

And though my days are busy and trying, there’s nothing more satisfying. I’ve been given seven groups of students to tend to for an entire year. I’ve been entrusted with being love in Centro NOE and in the streets that have become imprinted within my memory.

I’ve been found.

I saw what I saw and I never can go back.

I can never return to the mindset that “comfortable” is the home I should never leave. I can never become accustomed to never seeing a suitcase waiting to be filled. I can never go about my days without thinking of the people I’ve been given to love. Without heeding the mission I’ve been called to fill.

And so, life goes on here.

And so, His mercies fill me in the mornings and stay with me until the waning hours of sunlight.

Don’t you miss it, little one. Don’t you dare settle, do you hear me? There’s something around the bend, there’s light yet to be seen, there’s a clearing in your wilderness. You’ve been called, will you heed? You’ve been chosen, will you rise?
Fear. Shame. Doubt.

Have become…

Peace. Joy. Assurance.

Keep your hands empty, your arms open and your heart unlocked, child.

You’ve more to give.

I’ve more to give. And peace has been extended to me like a river.
For. I’m. Found.


I’m found in the unfamiliar, the distinctly foreign.

And my heart looks to this place as home, these people as mine. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


"I get lost in the beauty of everything I see."
One Republic

So here we are, once again. In just two days I will be celebrating my one-month anniversary of returning home. 

And let me tell you...

I've been binding hundreds of books, participating in meetings, painting classrooms, washing windows, registering students, running and breaking out of my shell a bit. 

The other day I met with the director of the NOE Center, Brian Overcast, and we caught up on everything. And yes, I spilled my heart telling him that this is where I'm supposed to be for good and hesitantly asked him if I would have a place indefinitely. 

I'm brimming with joy as I write, because I was told there would always be a place here for me. 

I also have been given more responsibilities: I'm now in charge of the Administration of the Angel Program (our child sponsorship program) and I have been designated the English Coordinator. This means I'll be taking the new interns under my wing, as well as prepping everything for our other English teachers. 

I've been a little more outspoken this time around. There are still days when it's harder than others, but God is proving to be faithful, and keeping His promises about becoming strength in my weakness. 

Of course, He isn't limiting his faithfulness to my Spanish-speaking. I went running with the team of NOE staff and former students that we have here training for the Portland Marathon a couple Sundays ago. And I ran the most I have ever ran in my life: 9.5 miles. This is a feat, because like most things in my life, I have always counted myself incapable.

So I think this is what it all comes down to...God is quietly, ever so gently reminding me that I truly can do all things through Him, because He strengthens me. 

I just want to challenge your little hearts that wherever you are, He's already there. I want you to feel deep within your soul and mended bones, that God finds you worthy, He finds you capable. That's what He's teaching me and once again, I feel as though these beautiful people are blessing me more than I can ever be for them. 

Here's the run-down for you:

-We just had registration for the original NOE Center: parents and students started standing in line at 5 pm in the afternoon on Sunday to receive their number at 7 am on Monday. I lost count of how many we registered, but I believe it was close to around 250. Registration for the new NOE will be happening this coming week and we are expecting 200 students to register there. And there are still openings, so the numbers will continue to grow the next few days. 

-I'm going to be teaching seven classes: adults, three classes of the final level, the final level of elementary and two exchange classes. 

-Your prayers are definitely being heard. I've seen God working in my students' lives and redeeming the broken. 

-Another one of my former students is getting baptized on Sunday! 

-My sister received her visa for 10 YEARS. 

Here's how you can be praying:

-I have been dealing with sickness these past few days. 
-Registration at the new NOE and for us as we finish up painting and moving things. 
-For the three other interns: their health, peace, etc. 
-The NOE staff as these final days before opening are full of stress!
-The two meetings that I'm in charge of this week! 

I'm so sorry this is haphazardly written, but somedays the words don't come as easily.