Friday, April 9, 2010

Smile because it happened...

Well...I'm here in North America.  And if I am being honest with myself and all of you, I am vacillating between being mildly OK with the idea of starting a new life in the states and mildly despondent about it all.  It'll be an adjustment, and a difficult one, but as we all know, anything that's difficult is usually worth doing, and as Jamesson has been continually reminding me that I am a child of Christ, I have nothing to worry about.

So with a new chapter in my life outside of Peru, I will be ending this blog with this post and a few final thoughts about Peru.  I will be starting a new blog at and continuing electronically with the next chapter of my life at that web address.

I just wanted to share a few thoughts though about my time in Peru.  Actually, one thought in particular that I've been meaning to share for awhile now but just never got around to it.

In the past whenever I went to the US for Christmas, I would often find myself answering people's questions about cultural differences, climate differences, personality differences, etc.  I think that's a common curiosity when you travel, to identify the differences from your social/personal/cultural norms.  From there, a person can make their own personal judgments about those differences.  Sometimes those differences can seem better or worse to an individual; experts say that the key to culturally adjusting well is to not view differences as better or worse, but just different.  And the truth is that if you take a generalized view of US culture and Peruvian culture, yes there are many differences.  There are many things that can be slightly different or even completely opposite, but for me, I think one of the things that always struck me the most about living in another culture, and one of the things I loved seeing the most was just how different people aren't.

Ok, there is a language difference, and a difference in societal values, and other differences, but seeing the similarities is just as easy.  You can see it in the way friends will spend time with each other, laughing, and joking around; the way a mother will comfort her crying child, or the way a grandfather will take care of and teach his young grandson life lessons while on an outing; the way that schools teach national pride to their students; the way a bad day affects a person; the way tragedy can strike at any moment; and the way that family and friends will support and comfort a person when it does strike.  These moments, these life situations, some are simple some are life-altering, but at the core of these moments and situations are people, people who at the root are the same, no matter their culture.  A person's country, language, family, and society can shape his or her world views and general behavior, but at the end of the day, a person is still just a person; and a person is in need of love and friendship and respect, and a feeling of security, and most of all, grace. 

That's been my favorite part of spending the last three years living a life of "differences;" finding out that we're not so different at all.

Well. I guess that's it for this blog...I hope the next blog will chronicle a chapter in my life just as blissfully life-changing as this last one.

Peru, te dejo con un corazon contento...Hasta luego

Sunday, April 4, 2010

3 days left...

Well...I have three days left.  I haven't even lifted a finger in order to pack. 

Perhaps I am living in denial?  Probably.  

Today was Easter Sunday and also happened to be my last Sunday in Peru, worshiping with my hermanos y hermanas here in Trujillo.   I didn't cry...not in front of everyone anyway. 

I know this post is all over the place, but so is my brain, and I did wake up for a 5:30 sunrise service and did not get a nap in afterward. 

Well...I wish I could tell you more about what I'm feeling, but I'm not so sure myself.  So with that, I bid you an absentminded adieu.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stop the Presses!

Presenting my niece...Clara Jeanne Baikie, Baby extraordinaire
(Ok, you can shower the family with congratulations now)

Monday, March 15, 2010

O day of rest and gladness...

One of my favorite parts of Sundays has always been the music (go figure), and I have a very special place in my heart for hymns. Rich lyrics, rich can't go wrong! Actually, it's one of the reasons I got to have some pretty close ties with the Presbyterians which led me to living in Peru.

Growing up in a traditional Lutheran church and attending a fundamental Baptist school helped me to successfully (albeit unknowingly) evade the majority of Christian contemporary music, and instead become quite familiar with traditional hymns.

When I first went away to college and was trying out the different university ministries, I generally liked the teaching time, but I hated the worship time. I didn't know any of the songs which were all contemporary! But then one fateful Tuesday, I went to Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). And it was only in RUF that I felt right at home during the worship time, where hymns are not only sung, but esteemed. Older hymns are often sung to more modern tunes, and a good chunk of the hymns I grew up singing appeared before my very eyes on the projector screen.

To make a very long rabbit trail a little shorter, I stayed with RUF for four years, and went on two missions trips to Trujillo, Peru which, of course, led me to this very moment sitting in Peru typing this very blog entry.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to pass along one of my favorite hymns of all times and to wish you a very happy week. Enjoy!