Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Dame mas de tu amor"

Last night I was lonely. Desperately lonely. Our apartment was dark and quiet at 8:30 in the evening. I was deeply homesick, and could not stop thinking about leaving. Thinking of loved ones and the laughter I crave. Thinking of friends together under the full moon, I wanted to go directly to the airport and buy a ticket, or run out of the house and find someone who would talk to me and give me comfort. But, instead I laid in bed and cried. I tried to pray, but the sadness did not wane. I cried and cried. And then I listened to Aaron and the kids breathing, and slowly, I went to sleep.

Sometimes a gift comes in that our heads can be stronger than our hearts (as I imagine we need the opposite as well at times). When I woke up this morning, I committed myself to looking outward at others, even without understanding their language. I committed myself to looking for spiritual and emotional connections that were exhibited in ways other than language. Most importantly, I committed myself to look away from my own desperation and see others around me.

So, these are some images of my time at Teusaquillo Mennonite Church.

A smiling six year old girl handing out programs and saying "buenas dias" to all who enter.

Hungry eyes searching for guidance in tattered bibles.

A pastor weeping opening in prayer, wiping his tears with his handkerchief, and then being comforted by a victim of trauma.

An Afro-Colombian woman dancing in the isles to praise music.

A bright red-haired baby being embraced by a woman with dark black long curls.

Mothers sharing communion bread with their young children.

People of all shapes, sizes, and colors sitting on green and red plastic lawn chairs, listening to each other pray.

An eight year old and a seventy year old lighting candles together.

An older, North American man bouncing the baby of a tired, young mother.

A long-haired man (literally) rocking out on the piano.

Communion cups like we had a First Mennonite in Bluffton (only this time with grape cool aid).

A young teenage man, moved to tears, struggling with the message of the gospel, and a tiny older Colombian women embracing him from behind.

And, believe it or not, this made me feel better.


  1. good. for. you. jen, you have such a strong spirit. i know that you will look back at this blog in a year or two and remember it well. i think you will also be amazed with how far you have come.

  2. It will be so good when you can work a little. Work is good.

  3. this makes me feel better. feel beyond myself. i will wait for more images like this...your post-church images.

    not only WILL you be okay, you ARE okay.

  4. Thank you for these images. May they continue to give you hope and strength on this journey.

  5. thought i would tell you that i used this post as a tool today. i realize that being hot is a lot easier than despair, and i don't mean to make light of it. but, when i was so hot and irritated today, i thought "if jen can look away from her desperation toward something else, surely i can look away from this irritation." sure enough, i lay there, eyes closed, actively seeking any little breeze or feeling or moisture, and guess what? they were there!

  6. goosebumps. through the whole post. goosebumps.

  7. dear jen,
    i'm thinking of you. all of you. and holding you all up in prayer. and crying too.