Listen to My Heart

So here we are living in a city of 200,000 people, innumerable stray dogs and cats, an entire army of horses… And on this beautiful Sunday morning- I knew I heard cows- I stuck my head out the window and watched in amazement as traffic stopped and this herd moooved into town… There is so much agriculture represented in the city here- I wonder how many loads of bales you see driving through the streets of New York City… (Is this peanut straw? Be sure and notice the workers on the back of the load) πŸ™‚

Recently I’ve been mourning the Tower of Babel. Ah,those arrogant, unrealistic people! What did they think would happen when they tried to elevate themselves by accomplishing such a feat… This entire language barrier is really really frustrating! But then I comfort myself with the fact that God knows no language barrier. So I ask him to listen to my heart.

I love the “verse of the day” option on my phone- this week it threw a curve ball into my “listen to my heart” thoughts: “And the Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules that they have been taught.'” Is 29:13

Wow… It’s way too easy for me to “say the right thing” when I don’t always feel that inside. So this week, as I sit and listen to a Spanish conversation, and try to follow along with my LIMITED understanding and all the hand motions that go along with a conversation, (bless you ladies, when you pause mid conversation to catch me up on what going on- I know it’s a pain) sometimes, I take a detour  from the subject at hand and ponder what my heart is really saying…

I realize that being arrogant and unrealistic is not just an Old Testament problem. It’s way to easy to decide to complete something in my own strength, only to watch it crash down around me. Sadly, on my own, my heart would build a Tower to the Heavens way too often… So it’s good to stop and make sure that everything within me is glorifying the One who made me…

May the words of my mouth AND the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, My God and My Redeemer…

Kendra

Bonus pics:

I was afraid this was gonna happen- but Nicaragua has firmly captured my heart. Last week was a good week, where I felt like we “got down to business” switching from the entertain the company mode to real life here. Thanks for including me, Deb- I’m loving this.

A few things on my heart:

We spent an hour in prison yesterday. The group from Malpisillo goes in every month and invited us along. As we walked back to the conference room, the hall was lined with huge iron doors, that gave the appearance of cages, with prisoners peering out right beside us. They filled me in briefly with a few statics- the prison there houses around 500. The cells usually have between 4-8 beds and between 30-4O occupants- so there are hammocks strung all over. The families provide a lot for the inmates- clothing, food… The one cell even had a huge pinata… Again as I got lost in the Spanish during our service, I looked out over the sea of faces…and wondered what choices had led up to these consequences…

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Dear ladies from Sewing Circle- recognize these? The word is out that there are new dresses here, and I’m amazed at how many girls have requested them. It’s so much fun to bring them up to Deb’s house and bring out the options and read their expressions as they try to decide which dress they like best… And often, they ask for a bag to take their old clothes home, and leave wearing a brand new dress. What beautiful little princesses.

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Deb has had a hacking cough since before Thanksgiving… And so we went to get her lungs X-rayed. Apparently they taped the machine together and took the X-rays “really fast”. The Dr said she was fine, but her cough appears to have missed that memo and isn’t leaving 😦 So that’s a prayer request…

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Karina and Brayan come and clean the church. Their story is a sad one- their dad died 5 (?) years ago leaving a wife and several children. The wife has severe diabetes, and can hardly work, so at 13, Karina does what she can. Brayan’s birthday was this week, and they stopped by, so I asked how they were celebrating. “There is no money” She asked Deb if she could borrow an egg- in keeping with the Nica tradition of breaking an egg on the birthday persons head. Deb attempted to do the honors, but somehow Brayan moved his head to the side, and the egg shattered on the ground. He ran off gleefully.

Children’s Church started again this week. So many little people with so much potential. The energy level during the singing practically oozed out the church windows. Deb said that they were exceptionally well behaved-really? She taught the youngest class and we had coloring puzzles with the Nativity scene. The little guy pictured loved yellow- so other than giving Joseph blue hair, the stable, the Baby, Mary- everything turned yellow.. πŸ™‚ And the little napper- apparently this is a recurring issue- her dad is friendly with the bottle, and every classtime, she sleeps- they assume she doesn’t get much sleep at home… Dear child… She was sleeping soundly too- we tried to wake her- while all the rest of the children offered advice “tickle her under the chin like this”

My parents left on Tuesday. After dropping them off at the airport, we took our tissues and headed the 5 minutes to the CAM base and had lunch with some friends there. The lady schoolteachers live in the upper story of the warehouse, and as I looked out out the kitchen window- the scenery consisted of warehouse activity and very familiar-looking,brown, food parcel boxes. I’ve had different opportunities to be involved with bagging rice and beans and dried strawberries and powdered milk at the CAM warehouse in PA. It was great to see this step of the process too!

Deb lives on the second story and there’s so much to see! The power lines right outside the window make for difficult pics.. But in the small median out front, a man has a bike taxi shop. It’s built out of cardboard, and it looks like business is booming. The bikes sometimes swallow most of the street, and they sit on our sidewalk a lot. Directly across from us, is a school. Every night, the same man brings these two lawn mowers in and turns them loose on ground maintenance. The amount of horse traffic here is incredible- they go by, night (like 3:30 with no lights whatsoever) and day- usually looking dead on their feet, pulling a monstrous load…

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Second grade is now in session and going well from what I gather πŸ™‚ I love to pop into their classroom while I have the chance! 

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