International Ministries


March 25, 2010 Journal
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I have just returned from 2 1/2 weeks at Deborah's house, where I was able to host some good friends who accompanied me there to bring our second story into full use.  It was also extremely important to encourage our partners in this ministry as they have faced some struggles and are trying to hold on.  So much of my life with the shelter since 2005 has been such busy work, and I have had little time to sit, reflect and enjoy.  This trip was no exception, until, late one night, with almost everyone asleep, I took a walk around the shelter, prayed some, and just tried to take it all in.  This place has become what it was intended to be, an oasis in the midst of a difficult world, a rest from life's storms.  It has become sacred ground, and I felt so good to feel it that night as I was saying goodbye once again, until August.  This is the poem that I wrote as a reflection that night, and I share it with you:


early spring's night falls gently on Deborah's House

mist condenses

the dew covered swing set shimmers in moon's soft light

a chorus begins in some far away street and slowly draws near,

dogs barking at shadows and each other

Tango and Wolfgang join in for a stanza

and then curl up again on the porch

dusty gringos sprawl out on bunks

exhausted from hard labor

building this small piece of the kingdom

encapsulating new rooms with love and drywall

downstairs are women and children

refugees from the world out there, beyond our gates

they struggle to adapt to a place where

their bodies aren't beaten

their spirits aren't broken

they try to sleep through the night

to not be afraid anymore

a child cries, a mother comforts

maybe tomorrow …

Chayo keeps vigil over the night

a shadow moving earth in the garden

planting seeds which will blossom in time

to greet new arrivals with bright colors and new hope

I stand here as a witness

stopping for the first time that I can remember,

basking and admiring,

the calm and the accomplishment.

I see it now,

this is sacred space

it is good.