Saturday, May 15, 2010

Arrived Safely in California

I am not really sure how to summarize the past 325 days of this world journey. I will attempt to do so as we are on our 24th airplane ride, seats moving through the sky at a five-hundred miles an hour, and somewhere over Peru. I will try to let my mind make the short but difficult connection to the heart. I hope to link words to the culmination of feelings connected to the year’s experiences.

Here is what rises up: First, Mariella and I have a deep gratitude to the people who loved us unreservedly. Thank you for showing us what God is like. We’ve found that the love in the well of the One who called himself the “Living Water” still runs deeper, and He wants to give a drink to those who are thirsty. I am also amazed at the satisfaction of having a greater depth of intimacy with my wife whom I love even more than I could ever imagine. I am excited to see what that love will be like in five, ten and twenty year’s time. We found that there is great joy in cultivating a life that is fully alive, but for this to happen we usually have to lose, let die, or sacrifice. We are amazed by the power and the closeness of the Holy Spirit who has transformed and continues to transform our hearts. Mariella and I recognize that there is much pain and suffering in the world, we don’t like it and we long for a world without it. We are even more seized by the power of the great affection that suffered. Jesus woos us with the same love that laid down His life so that we may live. We’ve experienced God’s providence when we were fearful and uncertain about what was going to happen next.

We feel like one lifetime is not enough and wish we could have more time. Paradoxically we desire to keep living, but yet long to go Home.

The journey continues…

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Transformed by Friends

Tomorrow we depart Santiago, Chile to our final destination, Los Angeles, California.

At the closing stage of this round the world journey we find ourselves blessed by the love, hospitality and shared time together with a lot of beautiful people. Here are many of the names and places of the people God has used to transform our lives. Mariella and I thank each of you who gave life to the journey. We are grateful to Jesus for the time spent with each of you.

Jim, Susan, Maryanne, Libby (Fullerton, CA); Matt & Hailey (Dublin); Phil & Cheryl (Dublin); John, Dierdra, Aoife, Etoin & Liam (Schull, Ireland); John, Sinead (Lahinch, Ireland); Armstrong Clan (Belfast); Cotter Clan (Belfast); Roy & Pam (Northwich, England); Anthony & Laura (Walsall, England); Tommy & Christina (Cambridge, England); Our friends from Ecclesia Hollywood (Nairobi, Kenya) Mbugwa Family (Nairobi, Kenya), Abel, Milcah, Preston, Faith & Hope (Nairobi, Kenya); Kenya Team 2009; Jon Andre and Crystal (Bergen, Norway); Joaquim (Gothenburgh); Katie and Romy (Frankfurt, Germany); Kimberly, Mike, King Leo, Hennings (Weimar, Germany); Carly (Weimar, Germany); Kai (Weimar, Germany); Juliana and Family and Melissa (Kaiserslautern, Germany); Dieter and Angelica (Tuebingen, Germany), Brad, Laurel, Landon and Baby (Ljubljiana, Slovenia) Dave and Katka (Ljubljiana, Slovenia) ; Josh, Kristi and Family (Ljubljiana, Slovenia); Hondo ,Trish and Family (Ljubljiana, Slovenia); Yolima (Colombiana met in Venice, Italy); Rowan (Australian, met in Switzerland); Brett (American met in Cinque Terre, Italy); Jaime (Australian, met in Rome); Matt and Ana and Jacob (Prague, Czech Republic); Robyn (Budapest, Hungary); Eyal and Michal (Tel Aviv, Israel); Thomas and Michael (Germans met in Jerusalem); David and Ana (Jesus Trail. Americans in Nazareth, Israel); James and Linda (Americans traveling in Israel); Johnny and Family (Beit Sahour, Palestinian Territory, Israel); Nihad and Family (Cairo, Egypt); Dan, Michelle, Matt, Daniel, Savannah and Shania (Beijing, China) Kids and Staff at Shepherd’s Field (Beijing, China); Daniel (Xian, China); Jenny, Amy and Friends (Phnom Penh, Cambodia); Damion and Miriam (French and Austrian met in Bali, Indonesia), Chris, Lindsey and Alfie (English met in Bali, Indonesia); Dewa and Family (Bali, Indonesia); Kids at Orphanage (Bali, Indonesia); Didier (Bali, Indonesia); Win, John, Wendy, Emma, Drew (Allan and Nanette), Josiah, Mark, Bec, Luke, and Scooby and Zach (Melbourne, Australia); Sue and Family (Melbourne, Australia); Ann W (Melbourne, Australia); Anne H (Melbourne, Australia); Rowan and Debbie (Sydney, Australia); Megan meow(So. Cal, USA); Wayne and Calie (Auckland, New Zealand); Gaz and Lorena (Auckland, New Zealand); David and Margaret (So. Cal, living in San Domingo, Chile); Mariella’s beautiful family (Santiago, Chile).

Mucho Pancito...

The past week has included some wonderful visits with friends and family members. I will add that each of these meetings include good food. We really enjoy the pancito (fresh baked bread), which are a staple food for Chileans. We met with some friends who are from Fullerton, CA who are working and learning Spanish. Thanks guys for the good meal and conversation. Mariella and I have also spent time with more Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.

We also came across a photo of Mariella (being held by her mother) leaving Chile for Venezuela, circa 1982. Later they moved to the USA, then there were 6 children and one on the way, Alejandra (her mother) also made this trip on her own. Has anyone else out there traveled with 6 children on a long airplane ride? Yikes!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cartagena to Hidalgo

We left Cartagena yesterday with Mariellas Uncle, Aunts and cousins to visit another area where Mariella's mother grew up in her early years. Here are some photos of the drive through the farming area. Mariella's great grandfather built the alter with the Chilean flag over it (see photos).

Friday, May 7, 2010


Here are some morning photos of Santiago after a storm.

Here is video from the visit to the vineyard last weekend:

Cartagena, Chile

This weekend we are visiting Mariella's Uncle, Aunt and cousins. They live in the house where Mariella's mother grew up. Cartagena is where Mariella's parents met and were married. Today we went on a walk down the beach and around the town. Some photos are of the house where Mariella's mother lived and the church where her mother and father were married. Later in the day we drove down the road to a port town called San Antonio.

Monday, May 3, 2010

San Felipe, Chile

Mariella and I have been at her Uncle and Aunt´s vineyard in San Felipe. It is nice to be out of the city. We are in a valley surrounded by mountains. Today we harvested walnuts from a giant walnut tree. Ignacio (Mariella´s cousin) and I chopped wood the remainder of the day. The ranch is beautiful. They grow grapes for eating. The grapes that are not good enough are laying out on the land to dry into raisins. In one of the pictures you can see a melon hanging from the grape vines. They told me it is a Chilean grape, but I am pretty sure it is a mellon. :)

Mariella was bugging me early this morning. She asked if I was shaking the bed because it was squeaking. I told her no and looked up to watch the lamp swinging on the ceiling. I told her it must have been and earthquake. We went back to sleep and later heard that an earthquake did occur. We are having a blast. We will post some photos and video soon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Viist with Abuelita

Last night we went to visit Mariella's 97 year-old Grandmother. Here are some photos of family photos. Each family member has shared where they were during earthquake. Although the damage in Santiago is not major, there are visible signs of the quake. They were still very scared. The earth shook for three minutes! Her Aunt and Uncles apartment is on the 14th floor. There was a lot of movement at that height during the quake. Having a blast with the family although we are fighting off colds. Snot that fun!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Requesting Your Assistance…

Hello friends and family. Mariella and I plan on returning to California in mid May. At this time we are wondering where we will dwell. Mariella was accepted to universities in Sacramento and Fullerton. At this time we plan to live in the Sacramento or Orange County area while Mariella pursues a degree in English over the next few years. I’ve been looking for school counseling job postings over the past year. Unfortunately, there have not been many counseling jobs available in the state. My first choice would be to find a job as a school counselor in a secondary or middle school. Currently I am not aware of any positions available in the Orange County and Sacramento areas. As a result, I am open to other job options during the current economic slump. If any of you know of any jobs that may be available in the Sacramento and Orange County area, I would be interested in learning more ( Mariella and I also plan on purchasing a used car when we return. Any leads that you have in the job or car area would be appreciated. Thank you for walking with us through this ongoing journey. It is great not knowing what will happen in the future. It’s even better knowing the One who does. En las manos de Dios!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Connecting with La Familia

We celebrated our prima`s (cousins)birthday on the first day of our arrival. Nena turned twenty years old. Mariella is overflowing with joy as she connects with her family. The family is requesting that we move to Chile. We are wondering if they are scheming together to encourage us to move south. For now that is not in our plans. Yesterday I went mountain biking with my primos. Francisco and Francisco took me for a nice mt. bike ride on and around Cero San Cristobal. There were heaps of families and other individuals enjoying the mountainous park on the edge of the city. We are enjoying the time with the family and all the cafe, pancitos (breads-pastries), dulces (candy) which acompany our dwelling together.