Tag Archives: Taylor University

Maria’s Adventures in Paraguay (III)

Hey, remember that one time that my younger sister, Maria, went to Paraguay and lived with the native Ache people for a while?  Perhaps you’d like to see a couple of photos:

Maria is very approachable, friendly, and small in stature, so the Ache children loved her.  Maria, who has never in her life spent this much time with kids, adored them in return, and she still misses them all the time.  Aren’t they so cute?!

This little guy, Wachugi, was the most difficult for Maria to leave behind.  She had a special attachment to him and, as you can see, he could sense the impending departure of Maria’s team.  She grew so much as a person and learned a lot about people and faith and herself.

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So long, Saudie…

My dear friend, whom I call Saudie, left yesterday for a grand adventure in Los Angeles.  She is beginning an incredible internship with Filter Magazine, which she completely deserves.  I know few people as passionate about working in the music industry as she, except for American Idol contestants, but Saudie wants a legit job.  She has remained one of my closest college friends, especially because we’ve lived near one another, but now she is on the other side of the continent.  While I will miss her terribly, she deserves this opportunity so much.  I’m proud of her and wish her all the best.

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“It’s raw, genius.”

There are two women in my life who will be intense homemakers and hostesses when they are married.  One is my college roommate, the other is our mutual friend, Christianna, with whom we shared an apartment for half of our senior year.  She is a baking machine and cares deeply for her cookie sheet.  Now, while Christianna appreciates my sarcasm, she rarely dishes it out herself, so when the following occurred, I was a bit surprised:

One of our underclassmen, Katie, was doing homework with me in the living room while Christianna prepared an egg casserole for the next morning’s breakfast.  We heard Christianna mention that the casserole already looked so good that she wanted to eat some right now.

“So, eat some,” responded Katie.

Silence followed, then came a voice from the kitchen:

“It’s raw, genius.”

*please excuse the poor image quality!

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Maria’s Adventure in Paraguay (II)

Lighthouse headquarters in Upland received a call from the sponsors of Maria’s mission team, and Team Paraguay has finally arrived at their final destination of Arroyo Bandera!  The Iguazú Falls were beyond their imaginations, and I cannot wait to see my sister’s pictures.  They spent a day at the Puerto Barra Aché community, a village which has already interacted with TU, to orient the students on Aché culture.  In addition to learning so many things about these beautiful people, Maria & her friends played soccer with the kids and swam in the river.  Yes, Maria swam in a river in Paraguay.  Pretty cool.

The team has finally reached Arroyo Bandera after having to push their vans part of the way due to muddy roads, which sounds like a good time.  Today they are meeting the people of the Arroyo Bandera  Aché community and setting up for their construction work and ministry.  I cannot imagine what my sister is feeling and experiencing.

If you are one who prays, please pray for the continued safety and health of the team, that the Aché and Americans will be able to effectively communicate through language barriers, and that the hearts of both groups of people will be changed.

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Maria’s Adventure in Paraguay

Before moving into their “full-time” mission work, Team Paraguay is visiting one of the world’s natural wonders:  Iguazu Falls.  Larger than Niagara Falls, Iguazu is a massive semi-circle of 275 cascading falls!  This will be their one respite during their trip; a stunning reminder that in the big scheme of life, each one of us is incredibly small.  As a photographer and lover of nature (waterfalls being a particular favorite), I am quite jealous of my little sister and her team, but this is the experience of a lifetime, and I am happy she will get to experience this before beginning her work.

Just how gorgeous is this place?  See for yourself:

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My one major regret from college is that I did not participate in a Lighthouse mission trip.  TU is great about conducting mission trips to various peoples of the world who really need help.  Students are completely immersed in a foreign culture and learn through action what it truly means to be the hands and feet of Christ.

My younger sister, Maria, is participating in a Lighthouse trip in this, her senior year.  She and the rest of her team left this morning for Paraguay.  They will live with a native Ache tribe for the next month, working with the children and building classrooms for the school.  The government came in and attempted to “help” by building bathroom/shower facilities, but it was a rushed, poorly conducted job, and the place is in shambles:  another thing the team will be attempting to fix.

My sister has a heart that genuinely cares for other people.  She always puts herself last and does what she can to make life a little easier for others.  She’s a problem solver, a hands-on worker, and a great listener.  She may be a tiny person, but the best things come in small packages, and her beautiful soul and personality will be a wonderful gift to the Ache people.

Here is the Lighthouse 2010 Team Paraguay.  I will miss her and worry about her constantly while she is gone, but she is doing important work.  Blessings to her, the rest of the team, and all of the people they will encounter.

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