Tag Archives: Ecuador

It all started with a hike (part 1)…

21 Jun

June 16th, 2013

“Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece.” -Filipenses 4:13

Today I hiked up a monstrous mountain-3,000 feet high! It was only through Christ whom gives me strength that I made it up.

The day began by walking across the bridge that leads to the Shuar villages. Ecuador Bridge

We met with the pastor there-Pastor Gonzales. After we met with the pastor we visited the first church. A part of our visit there required singing “Open the Eyes of My Heart” in front of the entire church. Honestly, it was both nerve-wrecking and awkward, but once I got out of my skin I loved it!

Before sending the children off, “Fierce Mohawk” told his testimony and Pastor Gonzales gave a quick word of encouragement to everyone. The team was then asked to split off into groups–some with the children and some to stay in the church. I wanted to be with the children so bad, but I was too nervous. I decided to just kept my hand down. Pastor Matt (one of the missionaries) asked once more who wanted to go. Thankfully, “Gringo Bama” saw my inner conflict and encouraged me to go with the children. I am incredibly happy that I went. I was afraid that I was not going to be able to connect, but I actually interacted really well with them. Having “Quiet Storm” along my side helped tremendously because she was able to translate for me. I loved every second with the children! I cannot believe my insecurity almost kept me away from being with them.

Coming to this small village allowed me to see I am much more capable than I allow myself to think. I was so afraid of being with the beautiful children because my fear of failing. But God works mightily in our weaknesses. He gave me confidence to interact and love on those beautiful boys and girls. I am so thankful that I got that push; I am so thankful that He believed in me.

Never let fear come between what you love. 

-Dios respira vida en sueños aparentemente imposibles

¿Dónde has estado?

7 Sep

Hola!

It has been a while…. a long while.

Good news is that I am finally going to open up about Ecuador. To be honest, it will not be consistent. Reflecting upon the pages in my journal is not easy. Be patient with me please.

You should expect a post soon, but not too soon.

-Dios respira vida en sueños aparentemente imposibles

Actualización Rápida…

12 Jun

God has one sense of humor!

In the midst of my panic sessions concerning finances for Ecuador I said, “Watch I bet God is going to provide at 11:59 the day before the money is due.”

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

I just turned in the last bit of money due, I glanced at the time and it was 11:59…

Jesus, I love you!

-Dios respira vida en sueños aparentemente imposibles

It all started with poetry…

8 Jun

Image

Meet the contemporary Shuar poet Maria Clara Sharupi Jua…

She writes in Spanish and Shuar, a language spoken by the Shuar people. Her poetry is soaked with  imagery from nature and the traditions of her  culture.

Maria shares her inspiration: “‘I write to enable the world to hear the voice of the Shuar people. This is a voice of the jungle, the mountains, rivers, birds, plants, insects, trees, and the sacred waterfalls that are born of our mother and sister earth and are one with the cosmos. I want to convey the wisdom of my ancestors and the orality of my culture that inhabits every syllable I put into writing. While as humans, our blood is all the same colour, our voices are the hues that matter, because they uniquely adorn our language.'”

  • This woman is amazing.
  • Published in numerous literary journals and books: Amanece en Nuestras Vidas, the first anthology of poetry from Ecuadorian indigeneous women writers, and Collar de historias y lunas, an anthology of Latin American female indigenous poets.
  • Conducted poetry readings at various universities and book fairs.
  • Invited as a guest to the 2012 International Poetry Festival of Medellín in Colombia.
  • Served on a team of professional Shuar translators that edited the official translation of the Ecuadorian constitution from Spanish into Shuar Chicham.
  • Member of the World Poetry Movement.
  • Participated in the first International Colloquium of Indigenous Women Writers.

PARADISE CAME

“Drenching myself, like cool rain on mother earth
with the scent of smoke from damp firewood
that tastes like the mountain plains
and the chukirahua flower’s aroma
blends with the birdsong of the paují.

You have no eyes
and you watch like the windstorm
peeling back the contents each paragraph holds
nestling them within your colored pages.

You have no hands
but even so, you shape my senses
and you strip the 21st century, which shelters the years, the days
made of sweet, coarse sounds.

I want to kiss your words
without brushing my lips
where there are no scars
and no curtains to conceal your face.

The freedom of not having you
makes your steadiness intense
coy and playful, you chase my footsteps
like a flowering tree
in a boundless color.

We don’t know if you’re here or not
behind your eyes you hold a thousand tales
always at the tip of the wind’s tidings
like the roar of the jaguar
or perhaps an anaconda
graffiti skin, cloaked in dreams
you don’t remember infinity.

You don’t threaten my childhood dreams
or my speckled nightmares
in a faded metal box
or my bare feet
which refuse to wear high heels
or the fake smiles that unleashed my tears without wounding my soul.

I think of my beloved jungle
vines swaying from tree to tree
a drop of poison resting on an arrowhead
possessed by magic ayahuasca dustwhere the maker of life is born.”

I write poetry as well. It is my voice,  my heart embedded in ink and lead. I wanted to share some with the Shuar, but because of my ignorance I did not think they would understand. After reading Maria’s poem, I am absolutely crippled. The Shuar surely will teach me far more than I could ever teach them.

Maria: “They [foreigners]want to report only on what’s different – not on what we have in common… Poetry is important because it’s our way of life. Poetry is song, everyday life, ritual, and where the heart and soul of the world unite. It’s a form of paying tribute to what exists beyond just what we see. It is also important for keeping the memory of our ancestors alive for our children and their children.”

Poetry unites us. Tethered in metaphors and bound in personifications. It is a language that sits on every nation’s tongue. These words are our bridge to pay homage of each other’s culture, heart, soul, passions, and dreams.

I will not hide my culture, heart, soul, passions, or dreams from you…

-Dios respira vida en sueños aparentemente imposibles

To hear more about Maria and her beautiful poetry: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/when-pen-mightier-sword-shuar-poet-redefines-her-culture

It all started with love…

7 Jun

It is easy to get caught up in the hype of missions.

  • How many people will get healed?
  • Will numerous souls be saved?
  • Who’s life am I going to change?

Questions like these want to be answered, but it honestly do not matter.

The root of it all is simply love. The incurable disease of unstoppable, unyielding, unconditional love.

To be painfully honest, I often feel intimidated by my fellow team members’ passion. Being free to express themselves seems to come  naturally for them. That is not the case for me. I start to doubt if I will  make an impact. Will the Shuar even notice how much I adore them?

Instead of investigating the roots, I examined the color of the flower…
Instead of seeing the root of love, I grumbled that my expression of  it did not look like theirs. 

Oh, how dull a meadow would be if every flower was the same.

In the midst of sizing up my capabilities, I had to remember that the greatest thing I can ever offer is love. I can have the wisdom of Solomon or the faith of Abraham, but without love I am nothing.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” -1 Corinthians 13:1-3

For the next few days and for the duration of the trip this is what I need to constantly remember:

  1. My words will wither and my good works will fade away, but love is always here to stay.
  2. I love Ecuador! And love is not all I can do, it is everything I can do!
  3. Love is all I need. He will give me the words to speak. He will grant me the boldness I need. He moves in love.
  4. Love is the reason. Love is the mission.

Love is why I am going to Ecuador…

-Dios respira vida en sueños aparentemente imposibles

Cita del Día…

7 Jun

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

 

I will always boast of her beauty…

No ear will be deaf to your stories…

Link

$250 in 4 Days

7 Jun

Thank you so much for embarking with me on this journey to Ecuador.

This trip is not a vacation. I do not even consider it a trip. It is me going back home. Home is where the heart is, right? Well, my heart is buried deep within her soil and rests upon her tree tops..

I have been grieving over successfully illustrating my love for her in words.

This blog was never intended to be a gateway for donations, but I hope I have inspired you enough to freely give.

My deadline for money is this Wednesday, four days. I believe that it can be reached.

God did not bring me this far to abandon me. And I will not abandon Ecuador by giving up faith.

If you are interested in supporting this dream please follow the link:

www.seu.edu/forms/giving.php
**Please be sure to write “Destination – Ecuador, Rose” in the comment section

Destination Ecuador:
It started with an infomercial, but it will not end with just that.

-Dios respira vida en sueños aparentemente imposibles