So, I've been back from Venezuela a little over a week now, and I have not yet posted anything about my experiences (later today I'll add a sermon with some response on In Praise of Sophia, and I'm working on another short piece to be added soon). Mostly, I think I haven't posted because I cannot put the depth of spiritual encounter into words.
For now, I can only offer this last stanza from the song "The Afterlife" on Paul Simon's latest album, So Beautiful or So What.
Seriously, "all that remains when you try to explain is a fragment of song..."
After you climb up the ladder of time The Lord God is near Face-to-face in the vastness of space Your words disappear And you feel like you’re swimming in an ocean of love And the current is strong But all that remains when you try to explain Is a fragment of song Lord, is it Be Bop a Lula? Or ooh Papa Doo? Lord, Be Bop a Lula? Or ooh Papa Doo? Be Bop a Lula
Early tomorrow morning I leave on my first adventure beyond the USA. It's a medical mission trip with members of my regional church (Rocky Mountain Conference, UCC) and the Disciples of Christ. For 15 years we've been in relationship with the UEPV (Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela)--we've had more than 20 trips together. This time, 11 of us will travel to join with them for various medical clinics in rural areas.
I ask prayers for this time--for me, for my colleagues, for our churches, for the individuals we'll meet. Prayers for open hearts and open spirits, that we all may grow together. Thank you in advance.
Venezuelan Medical Mission Trip
a very basic outline of our “flexible” itinerary (with open space for “as needed”)
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Denver, Colorado, USA àMaracaibo, Venezuela
Get acquainted with UEPV (Unión Evangélica Pentecostal Venezolana), our partner denominationàteam orientation
MaracaiboàPortuguesa, worship at dedication of new church
Medical clinic at Mountain of Zion Church (no hospital in community)
Worship at Los Maria Church and celebrate pastor’s 80th birthday
Medical clinic at Peritu at Betty’s House
Worship and dedication of another new church
àWayuu (indigenous community) clinic and ceremonies