Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shh!....Don't tell Dave Ramsey.

Here's what spending half of our emergency fund looks like:

My daughter building a friend and her family a house.

A mother loving another through service.

A fan club for my son's blonde hair.

Blistered hands and sore backs for my brothers.

Watching the Ortiz's oldest son (hooded sweatshirt) move the earth.

A new kitchen and the opportunity to watch a father pursue his dream.

Hugs for my sisters.

An endless sea of precious smiles and laughter.

A barefoot grandfather working tirelessly so that his family can have a new life.

"Today we lived like no one else, so that tomorrow we might live like no one else."

It is a life well lived.


Ortiz House, Day 1

It's early on Tuesday morning and we are getting ready to leave for another day of building. But, I wanted to post some quick pics for those following along.

First, let me just say....

I am SO proud of my family.

Before we began...

Working hard.

The sweet neighborhood kiddos that wanted to play all day.

Then, we headed back to Guatemala City in the afternoon so that everyone could see and "experience" the dump. I didn't take any pictures this time. But, I'm hoping to post some in the future from someone else that did.

We ended the night eating dinner with our dear friends, the Greene family.

We're off again...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's great to be back!

We are all here... and exhausted from a long day of travel, grocery shopping and dinner.

We also have a 5:30 am wake up call in the morning to begin the project.
Sooooo, on that note... I'm jumping off of here and into my bed.

It's so great to be back... words fail me.
I adore this place.

Can't wait to see friends tomorrow...

Noches amigos,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

With an Open Hand

“She can feel the wind right now wash away her tracks and plans saying: If you really want to live this life, Gotta hold it with an OPEN HAND.” -David Wilcox

At the end of the Christmas Eve service of the church we are attending, we lit candles. It started with one candle up-front and the flame made it’s way all the way to the balcony where we were sitting. It spread quickly….only took two verses of Silent Night to reach us. The end of the song signaled the end of the service. At this point, the worship leader so gently told of a tradition from his church back home. The tradition of keeping the candle lit as long as possible. He said they would see who could make it home with a lit candle. And when he told this little story, everyone in the chapel laughed out loud like he had just delivered a great punch line. I mean, imagine passing a line of mini-vans with small flames burning brightly inside. But he was persistent in saying that they really tried to do that when he was younger. For me, the idea that made worship leader’s story funny (and a little bit unrealistic) also invited me into the metaphor of my spiritual candle, the one that is not to be hidden under a bush, Oh no! The one referred to in the old Christian radio gem, “Go Light Your World”. And I was struck with the profound idea that it will really take courage, passion, desire, want, hope, wish, dreaming to make this flame stay alive until I get it home. To make sense out of the non-sense, I would have to fight so that the flame would not be put out and I would need to take great care not to burn everything to ashes between there and home (kids included).

Dear friends & family, tonight we are packing….tomorrow we depart for Guatemala. We will be there for 7 days. Kristin’s Dad, Mom, brother & wife, sister & husband have decided to join us on our Quest. We are going to be with a beautiful family that we got to know this past summer during our stay. They are the Ortiz Family, a family of 5….Dad, Mom, two boys and one girl. Our “reason” for going is so that our family can build them a house. In reality, our hope is to continue building relationships with each one of them. You see, we have unofficially adopted them. They are our family. They need a new start in their life and this build is our hope at inviting them to it. Just like the candle story, I am struck with the profound idea that this Quest will require the same actions and attributes of keeping the candle flame alive. There will be moments of fight, movements of passion, and the giving of great care so that the flame might be taken so gently and quickly from our hearts to theirs.

We will be updating this blog during our time in Guatemala, so please check back as often as you wish.

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Darrell and family

P.S. You can read more about the Ortiz family here and watch some video here (sometimes referred to as "the baker") and their big dreams.