Tuesday, March 13, 2018


 I'm surrounded by snowy mountains, sometimes glowing white, sometimes doused with pink. Each time we have a break from classes I go to the windows to see how the beauty has changed. Just looking brings refreshment.

We're here for a class called Ethnodoxology. Ethno=cultural group, Doxology=praise. We're learning a method for getting to know a community and coming alongside them to help them use their own art forms to praise God and grow in His ways (strengthen church community, find His peace amidst trauma, meditate on His word, et cetera).

My favorite part of the day so far is the morning when we take time to connect with God through different art forms. Today we used story telling as our art form. Yesterday we used drawing and word, one of my favorites. Here is my meditation on God's strength in us. It feels freeing and joyful to validate drawing as a real way to connect with God, not just singing or talking-prayer or listening to a sermon. Using a people's traditional arts to praise and grow in God might feel the same way for them, freeing and joyful, validating their way of communicating with Him as real.

Monday, February 26, 2018

It's the Simple Things

Or maybe it's the simple people! I think it's delightfully weird and fun to be in a place where you can find giant, growling vacuum cleaners with long hoses that you feed with quarters to clean your car. I also think it's exciting that the city takes your trash, sorted in colorful containers. A bit different from Tanzania.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Back in Orlando Again

Friday I came back from a second week in Orlando, this time helping with a Wycliffe program for returning missionaries. I got to teach the elementary aged program, spending the week with eight lovely, hilarious kids who have lived part, if not most of, their lives overseas (in five different countries!) as a part of a family serving Bible translation.

They told stories about their lives. We did activities to help them think about God's love and plan for them and discussed good ways to handle all the goodbyes and transitions in their lives. Their parents had similar conversations, at an adult level. So while they were in the classroom a lot, we left ours quite often...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I Miss, I'm Thankful

I love the students I taught in Musoma! They are so fun and I loved to see them grow over the years. One of my youngest students recently WhatsApped me (on her mother's account, of course☺)!! Her words resonated with me. She misses me teaching her, but she also loves how her mom's teaching her now.

Sigh! That's how I feel; I miss my Musoma friends, my walk to work, work, watching sunsets, my students... But I also love my friends and family here, riding my bike in Portland, the Oregon Coast, ice cream cones... (And I'm thankful for WhatsApp!)

Tomorrow I'm heading to Orlando to teach elementary aged kids in a program designed to help as they transition to the USA from overseas, an experience we share. Please pray that the kids would grow in trusting God's love and plan for them. Pray that He speaks through me.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


My mom and I are taking an art class together. Yesterday we had a full day session. It was a work day; we all worked on projects of our choice, and the instructor came around and gave us one-on-one feedback.

I really enjoyed the peaceful, creative day. Our table mates were a nice part of the day too. One is a lady who's led a full life including disk jockey work in Hawaii and sailing on the original Mercy Ship as the resident artist!

I worked on a couple pieces. One is about a night at the remodeled monastery where I stayed for the Christian artists conference in Germany. It had been a FULL day. I came back to my private little room and wrapped up in a blanket then sat on the windowsill, high above the little town. I felt the God's blessings of the day and the blessing of quiet.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kids and Learning in Florida

This week and next I'm helping out with the preschool portion of Wycliffe's training for new members. The parents are learning about building their partnership team, spiritual warfare, Wycliffe history, and much more. The kids are learning too, about the countries where they'll live, God's goodness no matter what changes come, and Bibleles people groups. And they're playing. And making crafts!

I'm enjoying the kids and working as part of the training team. I'm learning too, by watching the kids. Each one seems to have an area that God's growing them in. One's learning to share. One's learning to follow directions. One's learning to be a leader. One's learning ventriloquism! The one that jumps out to me is the one who is learning to trust. The first night she was crying and sad for the whole hour. The only thing I could do was distract her with books. The head teacher told her parents that she needs to learn that she can trust them to always come back. Each day since she's separated more confidently, cried less, and enjoyed herself more.

She reminds me of me; the more I walk my path, the more I see that God always provides me with good relationships, knowledge of Him, and purpose. So even though I can't see what's next in my life, I can walk confidently, cry less, and enjoy the day at hand more.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Bike Art!

I used to write about interesting Tanzanian cultural experiences. Well, Portland, OR is another wealth of interesting cultural experiences. I'm biking a lot lately. It's really fun to get to know the city better and do errands with a 360 degree view of the world around me. Portland is pretty good to bikers. Drivers tend to watch out and stop. There are lots of bike lanes. And, to my delight, there is even bike lane art (and bike roundabout art)!!