Made from dust


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How could something so special come from something so dirty? My view of dust has changed dramatically while living in Pucallpa.  Okay sure in my lifetime I have inhaled or “eaten” dust penty of times before in a windstorm or from the back draft of a passing 18 wheeler.  But never to the extent I have walked in it, been covered by it, slept in it or inhaled it here, in Pucallpa.

From motokar rides, walking the numerous dirt roads to sitting on the ground and seeing it “settle down” through an Amazon downpour, from inhaling it through the screens of my apartment windows and trying to dust off my sheets before I go to sleep, my lungs are soaked in it and I am continually covered by it.

And to think God created man from dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust comes to mind. Just a thought.

Covered in dust…in His Mighty Grip,


Trinity’ Angels website



Sensory overload


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You can take the girl out of the “jungle” but now it seems you can’t take the jungle out of this girl.

This past Christmas and New Years I had the blessing of spending a few weeks with my two sons in London where they both live and work. Excited for a break from the heat of the jungle and the cold of the mountains, dust, cold showers, life without internet 24 hours a day or a Chili’s restaurant, I headed out of Lima the middle of December.

It wasn’t long before it hit me. The overload. It came out of nowhere. The lights, the people, the options, the signs, the stores, the variety of food, so many restaurants. So many choices. And that was all just from the airports that I traveled through! I felt inundated at every turn and as though I needed to decompress just from 24 hours of traveling.

I hadn’t realized how much I had changed this past year. How “simple” life had become. Never did I think that the world, the imagery and technology would have such a profound effect on me. After all it’s only been a little while that I have been “without” all the “trappings” of life as I knew it. But, something changed. The world races by faster now. Like a merry go round at warp speed.

As much as I have enjoyed time with my sons, I am looking forward to returning to life as I now know it. Simpler, lighter, less choices, and for me –  less sensory overload!

Off all the signs and lights I saw this one caught my eye. I love the message….IMG_0119

It reminds me of a life fully surrendered!

Returning home to Peru and the magic and sparkle within His Mighty Grip,


Trinity’s Angels website



A necessary ending


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I thought today instead of writing a year end message and talk about resolutions that never seem to make it past January 1st, I would change it up and send you the year end message from Trinity’s Angels – Great Read.

Thank you for your support this year. What a stellar year it has been for Trinity’s Angels and for me, all because of the support of amazing friends and family. Without you, this year would have just be an ordinary, normal year. Instead…it has been radical !!!


In two days 2014 rolls around. I for one cannot wait. The excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead, well I can hardly contain it and wait. My desire for each of you is that the coming year brings you more than you ever dreamt possible.

Impatiently waiting in His Mighty Grip,


Trinity’s Angels website


The Vigilante


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No … it is not a reference to a western movie. Trinity’s Angels has given this nickname to an elderly woman in Llama. She has no family and for all intents and purposes has been abandoned, left to fend for herself. We have adopted her into the monthly program providing basic food supplies. Finally, she has decided to come to the food kitchen every week because she is no longer ashamed that people will see her there eating lunch two times each week.

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Most evenings you will find her sitting on one of the street corners near the main plaza, passing time. It seems as though she is “guarding” the city. In Spanish’ “vigilante” refers to a person who is a “watchman.” Thus the name for her – vigilante.

When I see her and yell out “hola vigilante” I am greeted with a huge, precious smile. In the past month she has opened up more and more, her smile is bigger and she hugs a little longer. Progress!

In His Mighty Grip with the Vigilante watching over the city,



They can’t decide …


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Last month I sat in Starbucks at the Lima airport deciding which muffin flavor to buy. There were a variety of options to choose from – all displayed neatly in front of me. I stopped dead in my tracks and immediately the people with very limited choices and those with no choice rushed into my mind. For every person with options there are people without. The latter group of people, they were instantly placed heavily on my heart and in my mind. 

Deciding against the muffin, the thing that was laid on my heart right then was to pray for those without. It’s was best choice for me at that moment and currently in my life. 

She has a pair of very worn shoes that she wears every day…

She can’t decide which of many pairs to wear…

IMG_9198 (800x599)She puts on her ragged clothes, smoothing out the wrinkles and trying to wipe away some stains …

She dresses in the most current fashion with plenty to choose from if she doesn’t like the “look…”

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He hopes for a piece of bread to eat or scrapes of food he finds to quiet the growling of his stomach …

He swings by Starbucks trying to decide which size of fancy coffee to go with his gourmet sandwich before his classes…

IMG_4439 (800x600)Those who “have” are not bad. that is not the point. It’s what you do with what you “have” that reflects your character. Share what you have………joyfully and often.

A pessimist, they say, sees a glass of water as being half empty; an optimist sees the same glass as half full. But a giving person sees a glass of water and starts looking for someone who might be thirsty!

Walking in His Mighty Grip with a glass of water,




Happy Thanksgiving


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This Thanksgiving I find myself without the regular  “trimmings” of this special day. No usual “comfort” food. Still I am thankful for much in my life. As I think of friends and family around the dinner table eating a great meal, watching football and just hanging out with one another … I smile – at least I still have oreos and diet coke that I have saved to eat for my dessert!

In case you find yourself online this Thanksgiving day and are looking for something to read…here is a link to the latest copy of the monthly Trinity’s Angels newsletter. ENJOY!

November newsletter

In His Mighty Grip wishing you all a very Happy and memorable Thanksgiving,




A Walk to Heaven


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Or so it seemed. There is a cross that sits atop a huge mountain in Llama. From the first day there I have wanted to climb up there to see the view that is offered from this perch.

IMG_1129 (800x533)Finally, a few months after arriving in town, I got the chance. What started as a church youth group adventure ended up as a hike with just two people, Pastor Julio and I. The kids bailed! Now I understand why. The altitude combined with the trail – tough, difficult, challenging.

Plans had already been made along with peanut butter sandwiches so there was no backing out. It was a challenge for both of us and neither wanted to back out andgive up or give in! Let the “competition” of the hike begin and we headed out at 6 am without the teens.

Amazing views opened up around every turn in the dirt trail all along the way as we inched up to the top with me stopping to gasp for air every few minutes at the high altitude! As we climbed higher and higher the reward was incredible.

IMG_9134 (800x600)The majesty of the mountains, the freshness of the air, the beauty was indescribable. Even the condors were on display!

IMG_9077 (800x514)The final ascent was slippery and narrow but well worth the journey.

IMG_9170 (698x800)Looking out from “under the shadow” of the cross provided incredible views of the surrounding pueblos and mountains.

IMG_9080 (600x800)We prayed at the foot of the cross and I can tell you the peace I felt there was something I have never experienced before. Absolutely hated leaving the tranquility of the mountaintop.

IMG_9128 (800x663)But there is always next year to and a return trip up the mountain to experience it all over again.

IMG_9052 (800x496)Walking to Heaven within His Mighty Grip,



A normal day … or is it … Normal?


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The “New Normal” as the phrase goes. Well, it’s new for me. Everyday in Llama begins around 6 am. Not because I want to get up that early but if I want to take a shower without first heating the water and pouring it into a bucket to use in the shower then I have to be “ready” once the water starts flowing. And I have to finish before the city shuts the water off due to rationing. And the time they turn the water off is never really set so you hope that you are done before that happens. I understand that when it rains and the wells are filled, water is available all day. Hooray! Okay I have been there off and on now for almost 7 months and I have yet to experience a day “filled” with water. 

Laundry is also planned around water. No washing machine means I wash by hand in a large wash basin and then hang the clothes outside to dry. Some days it takes a couple of days or more for the clothes to dry because of the rain, fog or cold, damp weather.  At least Pucallpa is a step up from Llama in this regard! A friend of mine just got a washing machine and it’s not beneath me to beg to use it! No shame in asking! We’ll see what happens…….

The kitchen is in a separate small adobe brick lined “out building,” as are the toilet and shower! Yup, you got it……I go outside of the house to go to the bathroom, and that includes in the middle of the night. I just got a thermal shower unit to heat the water. Big news….. Woohooooooo. It is a huge blessing. Honestly.

It cracks me up every time I open my door. I never know what to expect. Plastic sacks of wheat lining the sidewalk outside the house, or tons of adobe bricks drying.

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Sometimes there are donkeys tied up waiting for their owner to buy and trade supplies.

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There are steel rings in the concrete outside some of the stores so the donkeys can be “parked” there! Makes me laugh every time I see them. Sometimes there is a group of kids waiting to talk or ask for candy. lt’s always something! Always an adventure.

Now, I cook with wood when I am learning to cook Peruvian food with my friend Maria. It is easier for her to cook with wood than gas! The only problem with this is that afterwards I smell like a campfire and meat! What a combination!

And the day includes feeding my chicken. Check out the earlier blog on how I came to have a chicken. It’s time to add to the adventure so I think I will buy one of these piglets!

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Living the new “Normal” – In His Mighty Grip,





The One I Look up to


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When I was little I always looked up to my maternal grandmother. She was perfect in my eyes. Okay well maybe not when I acted up and got in a little bit of trouble. Then she was unfair! Same as all those times when she washed my hair in the garage sink and scrubbed until my scalp fell off. What I wouldn’t give for just one more hair washing from her right now…

I remember one time we talked about people that you looked up to. People that you wanted to be like. People that you imitated. I looked up to her and wanted to be like her. People loved her, trusted her, talked to her about all kinds of things, visited her and sought her out. One day I remember she said … “Be careful who you want to be like because you never know what their life is really like. ” You don’t know the hurts, pains and difficulties they are walking through. Trying to be like someone else is saying that what you have been given, your personality, your characteristics, who YOU are is not good enough. A mistake. Made incorrectly. But God doesn’t make mistakes. Her words stuck.

Today her words came to mind again but in a different form. Who do I want to be like? Me. Who is the One I look up to? God, literally and figuratively. I love that she sowed seeds into me all those years ago. Little did she know that they would finally grow decades later! As the food kitchen for the elderly in Llama has now been open a couple of months, I seem to continually think about her. What I would give for a chance to talk to her about it. Just one more phone call…….

In His Mighty Grip harvesting seeds planted decades ago,



The Surprise !!!


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Love, love, love the phrase “paying it forward.” Even more, I love to watch the phrase played put in action. Action…so much louder than words.

The other day at the local corner grocery store, a woman was adding up her purchases and came up short in the amount of money she had available to pay for the small bag of items.

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She was deciding what she had to put back yet  I sensed she needed it all. The basics for her and her husband…oil, potatoes, rice, vegetables, a tiny piece of chicken, and matches to light the leña, firewood, used to cook food. While she was contemplating what she had to do without, I placed the money on the counter and told the store owner to take it as payment for her.
She didn’t understand at first as the man told her the bill had been paid. “But I haven’t paid yet. I still have the money in my hand,” she said. Or at least that is what I thought I understood as she spoke spanish!

“It’s been covered,” he said. Your bill has been canceled. There is nothing quite as sweet as seeing the smile on the face of someone who has just been unexpectedly blessed! Incredible.

As the store owner told the woman her debt had been paid I thought about my life. The bill…the debt has been paid. Christ “paid it forward” for me, for all of us. He completed the ultimate action of “Paying it Forward.”

IMG_8120 (800x600)Getting the honor of blessing others because of Him in His Mighty Grip,