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Monthly Archives: October 2006

This afternoon, I was just checking out the book’s website.

You can even see photos of the people who help the immigrants.

Check out this event below.  They have some great films showing.

Venue: Pacific Cinematheque
Address: 200 – 1131 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2L7
Phone: 604.688.8202
Start Date: November 2, 2006
End Date: November 5, 2006
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Amnesty International Film Festival
November 2-5, 2006

On Saturday, I finished Enrique’s Journey, by Sonia Nazario.  It has started a whirlwind of thoughts in my head.  In the spring of 2006 I heard rummblings about the immigration issue with the wall being built.  When the whole debate came up about immigration I was greatly distressed.  I talked to a Latino friend about it and he told me not to worry about it because “Latins take the immigration debate so personally.” However, now I am more concerned because there is moneyh for the wall. One of the biggest mistakes in this whole thing is the lack of a comprehensive plan.  There should be talks with Mexico about addressing the issue together.

One of the best things about Enrique’s Journey is that it gives an account of both sides of the immigration debate within the Latino community. Nazario writes about how in the US we either demonize or idealize the immigrants.  She tries to give both sides of the debate a fair hearing through the story of one kid that comes by land to the US from Honduras.

It was a powerful book.  On the one hand, It made so mad to see the abuses of immigrants, especially the way the Central American immigrants are treated in Mexico.  It hurts more because if anyone should sympathize with the Central Americans it should be the Mexicans.  It seems like those who have been hurt by immigrants are the most bitter and this bitterness causes more hurt and it is a downward spiral of prejudice and violence.  The inpunity of the authority figures is disgusting.  Herman@s, in the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero, “Be converted.”  Stop these acts of hate and injustice.

On the other hand, Nazario tells about how common people are lights of hope in the desert of lawlessness and abuse on the trail to los unites. There are people who have a strong faith in God.  They help the immigrants becauase Jesus himself was a refugee fleeing in the arms of Mary and Joseph.  There are those who take every opportunity to help the immigrants by throwing food and water to them as they pass by on trains.  This little help comes at a great cost.  The police threaten them becaues they are helping “illegals.”  They recieve criticisim because they should help Mexicans first.  Wow! Herman@s we pray for you that love instead of hate on today’s trail of tears.  We pray that God may multiply your resources so that you can continue to give.

Matthew 5

You’re Blessed

 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

 3“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

 4“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

 5“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

 6“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

 7“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

 8“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

 9“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

 10“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

 11-12“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Ever heard of slugging?

I wrote about worms, but I never heard about slugs.

What is Slugging?
Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area sometimes referred to as “Instant Carpooling” or “Casual Carpooling”.

Check out their website.  Or check out this map with slug lines.

The website says taht slugging is only used in Northern VA or DC.

In July I started a worm composter.  In Vancouver 45 percent of the garbage is organic material.  So if we can compost we can significantly reduce the garbage in our dumps.  I started the composter because I wanted to do something beneficial for the enviornment.  However, it all changed just a few weeks ago when I harvested some of the vermicompost (the soil created by the compost).  It was amazing for me to see all the different stages of the worms’ life.  I saw the little eggs, then I saw some worms that has just hatched and some teen worms and adult worms.  It was beautiful.  I don’t know how to describe it.  It blew me away to see how this rotting fruit can become the very soil for nuturing life. What a beautiful picture of life.

On on another topic I was in Eugene, OR last week.  Alex and I got to see  Ice Cube’s School of Rap.  I really liked the way he interacted with kids.  I think I would see it more often.  It was cool to see how Ice Cube can encourage those kids that are a little insecure and need a little push.  It seems like a lot of performing arts is about being confident in yourself.  That is a hard step to take for kids that are talented but are very shy.  I only saw part of the show.  Sadly in Canada we don’t get this show.  Maybe when I move back to the states I can see it.

I just bought the album Sometimes by City and Colour. They are a Canadian band. I don’t know if they have caught wind in the US. Hey friends in the US check them out. They guy has a great voice. I really like his accoustic sound.

For those here at Regent Over the Rhine is coming. I don’t think you will be dissapointed. They are a great live band.

Anybody got some good music recommendations?

Rudy one of my friends from Pasadena has written an excellent book called Urban and Multiethnic Outreach, Vol. 1.  It is a great book for people who don’t have a background in urban living.  It is even challenging for me a Latin hermano.

I think one of my favorite topics he writes about is taking urban kids on trips.  This is one of the best discipleship events.  One of my mentor’s, Joe Harsel, would often take kids even to run errands.  This is a formational time for teens and kids to see you interact with people in everyday life.  We in the Latin culture call this acompañar.  It is one of the best words in the Spanish language.  It means to accompany someone just because, no reason other than to be together.  I have often gone to the market with my cousins or they have accompanied me to other cousins that are not related.  That is the beauty of God.  He accompanies us, God with us, Emmanuel.

Going on trips have been one of the most formational times for me when I was a kid.  I got to go to Bristow, TN (Appalachian Ten.), Romania, Hilton Head, San Fransisco, Pasadena, Miami as part of mission/mentoring trips.  I am so thankful for these trips.

I am in Eugene, OR.  I met a man called Eugene.

He was a cool cat.  He was funny man.  I asked him what his name was and he said to me, “What is the name of this town?” I said Eugene.  He said that’s my name.  He is an elderly man and he has a very sharp mind.  He taught all ages from 3rd grade all the way to college.  He told me that his favorite age to teach was college.  He also spoke a little Spanish.  He remembered it from his college studies.

Alex and I are here leading a youth retreat for a church.  We had an excellent night last night, but then nobody showed up today.  Well I better go.  Maybe some kids will show up this evening.

I just got this film recommendation.

 Here are some details

7pm on Thursday, November 2, 2006 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Pacific Cinematheque 1131 Howe St, Vancouver BC

The National Film Board of Canada presents the Vancouver Premiere of

F I N D I N G  D A W N

Dawn Crey. Ramona Wilson. Daleen Kay Bosse. These are just three of the estimated 500 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past thirty years. In Finding Dawn, acclaimed M�tis filmmaker Christine Welsh takes us on an epic journey into the dark heart of Native women’s experience in this country from Vancouver’s skid row to the “Highway of Tears” in northern British Columbia, and onward to Saskatoon, where the murders of Native women remain unresolved. Along the road to honour those who have passed, she uncovers inspiring stories of strength, courage and resilience, as communities come together to stem the tide of violence.

For tickets: phone 604.684.2787

Filmmaker will be in attendance

It is hard to imagine that there are prayer tools that are helpful on the Internet. I guess there is both good and bad on-line. I would like to share two places that I would recommend to visit to use as a prayer tool. The first is a site that takes you through a labyrinth. It is a great tool to enter into prayer. I particularly like the use of different images and actions you can do on-line. It is great. My friends at Little Lights used it for their youth group and my friend Min said it went very well. The second one is called Sacred Space. If I had web access at home this is a web page I would visit everday to pray with. It is an excellent prayer guide and scripture reading guide. Do you have any suggestions of prayer guides online? Does Operation World have its prayer guide online? or Tear Fund? I haven’t checked.  It would be good to hear about other resources out there that are helpful.  Place a comment about online prayer guides that you like or other resources.

Here is an example from Sacred Space:

Something to think and pray about this week:

This generation has been stimulated more than any generation in history. All day and all night we can be listening or watching, exposing ourselves to the bombardment of words, music and images through all the electronic media. So we do not pray in a vacuum. Our head is full of pictures, tunes and stories. We suffer from what have been called monkey thoughts, clambering all over the place, chattering and distracting us from our centre. One escape from the monkey thoughts is the classical one: focus on how you breathe. Attend to the air bathing your nostrils as you inhale and exhale. Slow down, and repeat a simple mantra like: Lord, teach me to pray, or Maranatha, or Come Holy Spirit.