Trickle-Up Resurrection (Guatemala Lessons)


Rothko-easterMy church is currently in a series called “Resurrection Stories” in which we’re going through each of the non-Jesus stories of resurrections (or “resuscitations”—whatever) found in the Bible. It is, after all, still Easter.

A few weeks ago, as we were talking about Elisha raising the Shunnamite’s son, our pastor pointed out that most of these resurrection stories seem to center more on the people around the dead person than the dead person themselves. And so, in a sense, these resurrections are more for the people affected by death than the one dead; the ones that “receive” the true resurrection power are mostly those around the resurrected one.

Further, as he pointed out, most all of these people that “receive” the truest benefits of these resurrections are women—the most alienated and disempowered group throughout world history.
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Why I’m in Guatemala: Meet Lemonade International


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Yesterday, I touched down to begin my week in Guatemala on a blogger’s trip with Lemonade International, a non-profit development organization doing work in a particular called La Limonada.

This community of La Limonada is the largest slum community in Central America. After the 36-year-long Guatemalan Civil War began (due to an American coup to overthrow their leader), many, many children and women lost their fathers and husbands to fighting, leaving this huge community of hurting people. Many, many of the refugees ended up in La Limonada.

This community is a 1-mile long stretch that is a half-mile wide and straddles a ravine. 60,000 to 100,000 people live there. It is considered a “red zone” by Guatemala, meaning that deliveries, police, and most outsiders in general don’t go in there. In the boundaries of the “zones” of Guatemala City, La Limonada is between two different zones–it doesn’t even have a place in the official boundaries of the city.

It’s literally been abandoned and marginalized by the very nation in which it resides.
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Guatemala Bloggers Trip: Meet Scott Bennett


scott-bennett-lemonade-internationalIn preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. Recently, they profiled our official trip photographer Scott Bennett.

Scott calls himself a “humanitarian photographer”. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking (accompanied by an eye-roll) “Everybody’s a photographer now”. And yes, some of us like to think we have an eye for this stuff (MySpace profile shots and Instagram pictures excluded), but Scott is different on many levels.

First, I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to open up his blog and his online portfolio page and not see any pictures with filters and major edits done to them. Like a true photo artist, he seems to consider the camera and the subject as his primary tools of his craft, not Photoshop. If he uses it, he uses it as any artist uses any aid: he doesn’t so you can’t tell.

Secondly, any real photographer can tell you that there is far more to truly beautiful and meaningful photo art than mere “composition” or simply “capturing an image.” There has to be movement, narrative, and/or dimensionality.
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Death & Dignity: what’s the point?


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Next week I head to Guatemala for the Lemonade International Blogger’s Trip. Having been introduced to this organization, I’ve been following their blog closely, trying to get to know them more and more.

A couple of days ago, they posted about a tragic loss. A member of their school, Herber Giovanni Sandoval, died a couple of days ago at the age of 17. In the conclusion of their post, they said this:

“We are especially grateful to the youth group at Lifepointe Church in Raleigh, NC for sponsoring him while he was still attending the Limón Academy.”

I immediately had the image of the youth group kids or sunday school class at that church who probably spent years following the story of Herber. I wondered how they would feel and respond to this news. How would the leaders help them process this? Would it impact the kids at all or would they be too removed from it?
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Guatemala Bloggers Trip: Meet…Me.


paul-wine-flowersIn preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. This past week, they profiled me.

In it you can find out if Bring it On is my favorite movie, what my connection to Billy Ray Cyrus is, how I got connected to this trip, and how I would describe the content and audience of this blog.

Tell me if you think I’m  wrong.

All next week, I’ll begin blogging about my own preparations for the trip. I’ll be writing about readying myself spiritually, emotionally, and practically, as well as sharing with you all the Guatemalan history that sets the context for the work Lemonade International does.

Hopefully, by the time I leave next Sunday, we will all feel like we’ve prepared well for the trip ahead.

Thank you all again for reading this blog and giving me the chance to do a trip like this. Also be sure to bookmark this page on my blog to follow my blogger’s trip to Guatemala!

Click the banner below for more info in the trip. lemonade-guatemala-2 BloggersDate

Guatemala Bloggers Trip: Meet Dana Byers


dana-byers-guatemala

In preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. Recently, they profiled Dana Byers.

I don’t know Dana personally, but she’s got quite the resume. As the President of BlueDoor.tv, she helps train and support pastors all over the world begin online-based ministry and community (she even wrote a book about it!). She’s the Community Pastor for the online church branch of LifeChurch.tv. That means that she doesn’t simply theorize about this stuff all day, but she actually lives it out and puts into practice the new methods of ministry she helps others develop.
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Guatemala Bloggers Trip Profile: Tim & Katie Høiland


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In preparation for our Blogger’s Trip to Guatemala in April, Lemonade International is spending each week leading up to the trip profiling each of the bloggers that will be participating. This week, they profiled Tim and Katie Høiland.

I take personal responsibility for hooking Tim and Katie up over Twitter. They were married a couple of years ago in Phoenix in one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to, and it was here that I first heard of Lemonade International. In lieu of wedding gifts, they requested we give to LI.

And that is the heart they have. The Twitter hashtag they led them together was the #socialjustice tag. They have such a heart for all that’s represented by this Guatemala trip, I’m so glad to be spending this time with them. In fact, it was Tim’s recommendation that gave me the opportunity to do this.

And so, today, I offer you the chance to get to know this amazing couple. Check out their LI profile, Tim’s blog, and Katie’s blog. Click the banner below for more info in the trip.

lemonade-guatemala-2 BloggersDate