Thursday, November 6, 2008

Feast of All Saints “Each of us in process!"

November 1, 2008

Saludos de Managua!

I’ve been reminded by more than one friend that I’ve been remiss about posting a letter in my blog. So, I shall sit me down and chat with you for a while. Thanks for being faithful to checking the blog frequently. I have a “site meter” which allows me to see the frequency of visits – not e-mail addresses, but the servers that have checked in, and I see the same ones over and over. Such fidelity!!

This past week we had wonderful celebrations as we remembered and gave thanks for twenty years of ministry through Cantera, the NGO with which I am ministering, and for the many people who have been part of this venture. It is very impressive to realize the tremendous amount of development that has been effected by this group of dedicated Nicaraguans.

We had an outside Mass – under tents!! One can never trust the weather here! It was so beautifully representative of all the sectors of our ministry. At the Offertory a wide variety of “gifts” were brought forth and their significance explained. One is rightly proud of our people from both rural and urban areas - the children, the youth, the young adults and our wise elders. After the Mass, which was full of whole hearted singing and participation, we had a fine Nicaraguan style meal – Indio Viejo and rice! There were over 200 people present from all areas of our work and from the States, Canada, and other Central American countries.

The following day we had a forum which was sponsored by some of our international supporters. It took place at a hotel and all who are a part of Cantera or who cooperate and/or support us, were invited. And again they came from the hills and the cities and the international organizations and networks. We had a most energizing day with input in terms of development and growth and progress of our people and the celebration of their many accomplishments over these past twenty.

We also looked toward the future and dreamed of possibilities for even further and deeper growth. We enjoyed folkloric dancing and theatrical skits and music. The displays of past events and accomplishments and products was impressive, to say the least. And seeing the pride with which our people demonstrated and displayed their successes was a joy to behold. Of course, food was also part of this day. However, it was more in the style to which you and I are accustomed; that is to say, it was not red beans, rice and bananas! Yum!

Concerning the “farm animal project” to which many of you have contributed, three pregnant cows are ‘coming home’ this week and another in November. I had hoped to include photos of our bovine mamas. I took really nice photos. The cows all smiled and stood still….but they are not on my chip. I don’t know where they went. They just plain disappeared!! One of our team is going to try again today to get some photos. If they arrive I’ll send them on to Ruth and she will graciously add them to the blog! Nothing happens quickly here, but it does eventually occur. You just have to have lots of patience and hope!

Have you read any good books lately? I’ve recently devoured, “Mountains Beyond Mountains” – Dr. Paul Farmer’s fight against TB, AIDS, and poverty in general in the ‘back of beyond’ of Haiti. Another book that you’ve probably read or seen the movie produced from it and which I enjoyed is, “Kite Runner”. The most recently read was, “The Power of One”. I seem to be into international - Haiti, Afghanistan and South Africa! If you have a suggestion of a book or movie/video you’ve enjoyed and learned from, please send a comment letting me know. I have heard that “The Secret Life of Bees” is now a movie and that “Shack”, “Three Cups of Tea” and “A Thousand Pleasant Suns” are also very good.

I don’t have a photo of this, but I want to share with you a beautiful practice our little ones are taught. When they enter the room they toddle over to the visitor with their hands folded upward symbolically asking a blessing. They come to you and place your hands over theirs and say, “Santito” (little holy one). It never ceases to touch me. The other day in front of our “casita”, a little lad was pushing his smaller sister in a stroller. Both of them greeted me with their hands folded.

I will be in the States from December 8th until January 11th. The time will go quickly as I will be spending Christmas Week with my family in St. Louis and the first week of January in retreat in Cleveland. But….in between times I hope to meet up with you and share the “ongoingness” of life! I’ll probably “blog” again before ‘flying north’. I’m mentally preparing myself for the opposite extreme of weather!

Until the next time, let us keep each other in positive energy and light and do whatever we are able to bring peace, reconciliation and unity to our corner of the world. Many thanks for your support which comes in many different forms. You are loved and appreciated, each one of you.

Love, your sister,



Anonymous said...

Sal from Nazareth: I have been one looking for an up date. It is good to hear from you. Sounds like life is never quiet where you are. Glad that you and the others are able to help and be with God's people. God bless you Jean. Hope we at least get a day or two on your break.

Rudee said...

Sorry for the delay in putting up your photos. They are stunning-as usual. I'm looking forward to seeing you during your trip home.

Anonymous said...

I'm one who has been looking for your update for some time...... Glad you didn't disappear from the face of the earth! Pics are great!!! ¡Qué colores!

So you're coming north -- hope we can connect while you're here; I know how time flies....
We're busy with Guadalupe and Posada, Advent & Christmas planning. Busy, busy, but send much love and energy!