Guatemala – Thursday, November 18, 2010

JoLene is reading Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, speaker and author. The book deals with contemplative prayer.

Rohr observes: “God is always bigger than the boxes we build for God, so we should not waste too much time protecting the boxes.”

What boxes has God refused to squeeze into in your recent experiences?

This blog starts with Wednesday, November 17.

Samaya, age 3 1/2, helped her mother make pizza for lunch.

When JoLene and I took a walk to the center of town, I realized I have not shown you a complete view of the cathedral.

It consists of the original facade on the left, held up by a frame behind it, with the new, complete cathedral in the center, and the archbishop’s offices on the right.

At 4:00 InnerCHANGE had an early Christmas party for the street boys. Nine boys, that is, most of the boys the team helps, came. The party was in the courtyard of the double apartment where Julio and Melanie and German and Karla live. German is Julio’s brother; the two couples constitute the InnerCHANGE staff here in Xela.

A team of 8 clowns from another town gave a program of music, humor and a frank presentation about AIDs and how to prevent it, and the importance of having protected sex if you are sexually active. After this presentation the InnerCHANGE staff had me give an additional talk, explaining the biblical view of sexuality, including abstinence until marriage. Fortunately, the clown team’s presentation had included many positive points, so I was able to use that as a springboard. I stressed the importance of choices, and the wisdom and safety of living God’s way. Julio translated.

Then, according to plan, I continued, giving a talk on the meaning of Christmas. Melanie translated. I said: There is room for everyone in the stable and room for everyone in God’s family.

Next, the Inner CHANGE team served a meal of “pache” (pah-chay), a single-dish meal consisting of potato chunks and a small portion of chicken in a thick “gravy,” all wrapped in banana leaves and boiled in water. Also a delicious hot fruit drink, with raisins and tiny chunks of pineapple in it, and maybe some other fruits but I couldn’t be sure.

The team presented each boy with a gift of a warm sweat shirt and a pair of jeans. Here are the boys.

After the festivities Genesis picked up the microphone, babbled like a pro and wouldn’t put it down.

The boys who stay at a group home had to leave early, so it was decided that the party would continue tomorrow at 3:00.

Thursday, November 18. Party Part Two.

Setting up the pinata. Julio is on the left.

Then it was time to eat. More pache, left over from yesterday. and a special two-layer cake. Then, a pickup game of basketball, in which Melanie was an eager player.

So ended the Christmas party. It was a privilege to be part of it.

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