Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Valerie's First Swimming Competition!

Here's a short (less than 2 min.) video of our first-born swimming. She can now beat Mom in freestyle (not yet in breaststroke!) and promises to continue improving.

Enjoy the video!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mission Accomplished! Relationships built and playground too!

This team of rugged camping folks from Ligonier Camp and Conference Center (owned by First Presbyterian Camp of Pittsburgh, PA-FPC) has
succeeded in building relationships with fellow camping leaders in Camp Roblealto, Costa Rica. Robert Bruneau is the camp director there and both Robert and I are supported by FPC. I joined the team, traveling from Honduras with my children and Haidy who works with us in Honduras to take advantage of the opportunity to build relationships with the staff and board members of the camp I attended as a child!

Harmony seemed to be a consistent theme of the trip:
* Few times have I seen the depth of fellowship shared by team members, until I realized that these people were used to living together in harmony while serving at camp all summer long and during the rest of the year. We were joined by the maintenance staff of Roblealto for the entire week as well as several days when even the office staff joined forces with us to build specific elements.
* Valerie and Victor and Nicole, (Robert and Nina's oldest daughter who was born exactly one hour after Victor was born) enjoyed each other's company like never before. One day, Nicole rushed to her parent's side to give a report of their time together: Daddy, you should see the harmony (she actually used that word!) we have together. Valerie, even when she loses in Wii to me or Victor, says: Good job! I mean we rarely fight!
* Four days after we began work on the playground, we inaugurated in (as you'll see in the video clip below) with the children and families of the Camp staff. There's nothing quite so satisfying as starting a job and bringing it to full completion--seeing children play freely and adventuresomely on all the elements! This 8 min. video will show you the whole process, from the inauguration working backwards to the construction phase! (if you can't see this video, please go directly to the video located at

Tell me about a project you have gotten to start and finish!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Short-term Missions Team in Costa Rica

Leader’s Cabin, Camp Roblealto, Costa Rica

We sit in a circle, a team formed of folks from Pittsburgh, Panama and Honduras. Fifteen folks who will not meet all together again until we are at the feet of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but for this week are enjoying a growing sense of family.

Valerie laid against my legs and as she looked at the song sheet, she whispered: Whenever we sing, I get so calm and tranquil inside.

Robert Bruneau, took the guitar and asked us to open our hymnal (our Bible) and we sang directly from Psalms 117, 48, and 46—in Spanish. Patrick, director of Ligonier Camp & Conference Center (outside of Pittsburgh) asked for lots of repetition to try and get those words down—he tended to lapse into French!

Afterward, Victor and Valerie and Nicole (Robert & Nina Bruneau’s daughter) climbed up to Victor’s bunk & held their flashlights high in the air to shine down on their books-When I checked in, Nicole said: We're having a reading party! Victor was reading Lord of the Rings, book 1, Nicole was enjoying the cartoon-like illustrations of my Games Encyclopedia and Valerie was reading a mystery. Their delight to be together is matched by their parents’ delight to be together again.

Alfredo is home in Honduras holding down the fort and the children and I are here to accompany this team made up of folks from Ligonier Camp and First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh. Our goal has been to build an innovative playground for Camp Roblealto and here are the results:

We'd love to have you join us in prayer for:

  • Pray for the reminder of our time with the team, Oct. 5-11, for each of us to sense God’s direction for our lives, and for the five full-time staff members from Ligonier to deepen in their love for this Camp.
  • Pray for the additional four days during which the kids & I will have special family time with Robert & Nina, to create unforgettable family memories as well as to freely discuss important issues Christian Camping International, Latin America.