The Poor are Here – December 28th to January 24th

Missionaries of Charity

The Poor are Here


Discernment is often a difficult thing. It takes patience, insight, knowledge of self, a keen sense of what purity is along with who God is as a person. If we are not in touch with our emotions or other senses, we will be blind to what we are discerning. If we have obsessions or passions that are unchecked, they influence and distort this discernment entirely. Really, discernment is about learning where our head’s meet our heart’s desire.There are some key indicators of things coming directly from the heart though. One would be joy, and contrarily, another tears.

I received the gift of tears three times while traveling from Lima to visit the Missionaries of Charity. Each time, the thought that incited the emotion was ‘the poor are here’. The thought was more that the poor were here in Peru, but I hadn’t found them yet, but after walking through the doors of the Missionaries of Charities shelter, the thought was the poor are here, right in front of my eyes.

Experiencing Life


There have been many notable experiences over the course of this trip, but I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Justin (2)
Putting Others Before Oneself


The children in Peru often help to remind people who travel abroad the reason why they are there, to put others before themselves, and to serve a greater purpose. Allowing yourself to be put in uncomfortable, difficult, strenuous, stressful, are dangerous situations is to die to oneself. It’s easy to do it for these kids, the Missionaries of Charity are doing it for the poor and rejected here in Peru.

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The Tomb of Saint Rose of Lima


This was the holiest place I’ve yet to see in Peru. My devotion to Saint Rose of Lima has grown during this trip. She is known for being extraordinarily beautiful, but did not succumb to vanity looking for attention due to this blessing, instead, she sought the glory of God and prayed she would be made lose her gift of beauty so as not to be tempted in this area. God granted this grace, but then after overcoming the vanity, granted her greater beauty if I remember correctly.

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Beautiful Arequipa


Quechwa. It’s a native Inkan Language in Peru. These girls were trying to teach me it. Bad idea. Arequipa is one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the opportunity to visit thus far.

IMG_5432To Honor and Adore


One of the other things that has deeply impacted me over the course of the trip is the importance of honoring and adoring others in a self-sacrificing way. This is the type of love our parents have shown to us, or if we are Christian, that Jesus showed for us dying on the cross. It’s also what we need to aspire to in loving anyone we may desire to have intimacy with. (Don’t mind the bull, it’s a traditional symbol in Peru in hopes of a strong marriage one day)

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The Floating Islands


As an introduction to the children at the Mary Bloom Center, we visited Lake Titikaka and the floating islands.

GoodbyesThe Group (5)


Julissa and Pamela are truly remarkable individuals. Generous hearts, very kind, and welcoming. We had a very small but warm and strong group in our trip to Peru. It was difficult to say goodbye and I continue to miss there presence here as do others who speak kindly of their contribution and appreciation for the work and ministry at the Mary Bloom Center and Peru in general.

IMG_5801Construction of Felipe’s Home


Many generous people made the decision to help Felipe and his family of six build a new home. After 2 years, the project is nearing completion. A home in Peru only costs 1,200$. If you have it in our heart to help a family in this area, please let me know.

august_rush_ver6_xlgThe Girls at the Orphanage


My favorite movie is August Rush. I’ve always wanted to watch it with orphans. We did. We also watched the The Third Hobbit Movie together, oh and pretty much every night we watch a movie. Karina, Gina and Solidad are amazing. While walking to the super market after my friends left, I was overjoyed at where I was, living with orphans, and trying to follow the gospel I know and live authentically.

Bailando y Cantando


Dancing is an enormous thing in Puno. So much so, you can IMG_6050find plenty of people dancing in the streets after night fall. One of the major events here is something called The Candelaria, an 8+ hour 2 day marathon dancing event in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. My friend Melani and I are going to participate in this in Febuary.

Another notable item in the area of dancing and music is that has been done is participating in the shooting of a music video at the edge of the Amazon Rainforest. It was a cultural genre of music native to Peru.

Raising Funds for the Poor


If you would like to participate in the mission and help to raise funds for the poor please see my page at http://www.gofundme.com/Poorand4thePoor

Learning Spanish with Music


My friend Karina asked me to learn this song on guitar; Noviembre con Ti. One of the purposes for being in Peru is to learn Spanish. I briefly considered singing and playing it on guitar. After trying a few times, I realized it was a bad idea. Here are the lyrics in Spanish and English.

La tarde se aleja
El cielo esta gris
La noche aparece sin ti
Callado en la playa
Te lloro en silencio otra vez
Me ahoga esta pena
No puedo vivir
Las olas no me hablan de ti
Sentado en la arena
Escribo tu nombre otra vez

The afternoon you went away
The sky became grey
and the night appeared
It is silent on the beach
I cry in silence again
My penalty is death, I am drowning
I can not live
waves do not talk about you
sitting in the sand
I write your name again

Por que te extraño
desde aquel Noviembre
cuando soñamos juntos
en querernos siempre
Me duele este frío Noviembre
cuando las hojas caen
a morir por siempre..

Because I've missed you
since that November
when we dream together
in love us forever
It hurts this cold November
when leaves fall
die forever ..

Noviembre sin ti
es sentir que la lluvia
me dice llorando que todo acabó
Noviembre sin ti
es pedirle a la luna
que brille en la noche de mi corazón
otra vez.. otra vez..

November without you
is feeling the rain
I said it all ended in tears
November without you
is to ask the moon
shine in the night of my heart
again .. again ..

Quisiera decirte
que quiero volver
tu nombre va escrito en mi piel
ya es de madrugada
te sigo esperando otra vez

I would say
I want back
Your name is written on my skin
it's already dawn
I 'm waiting again

Por que te extraño
desde aquel Noviembre
cuando soñamos juntos
a querernos siempre
me duele, este frío Noviembre
cuando las hojas caen
a morir por siempre…

Because I miss you
since that November
when we dream together
to love forever
it hurts , this cold November
when leaves fall
to die for ever ...

Noviembre sin ti
es sentir que la lluvia
me dice llorando que todo acabó
Noviembre sin ti
es pedirle a la luna
que brille en la noche de mi corazón
otra vez.. otra vez..

Because I miss you
since that November
when we dreamed together
to love forever
it hurts , this cold November
when leaves fall
to die and for ever ...

Noviembre sin ti
es sentir que la lluvia
me dice llorando que todo acabó
Noviembre sin ti
es pedirle a la luna
que brille en la noche de mi corazón
otra vez.. otra vez..

November without you
is feeling the rain
I said it all ended in tears
November without you
is to ask the moon
shine in the night of my heart
again .. again ..

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Purity: Day 2

Purity. It is the virtue that allows us to glimpse the God. Growing in purity can be likened to a clean mirror. Clean mirrors allow us to see ourselves for who we really are, perceiving our faces and our bodies. However, dirty mirrors obscure sight, making it difficult to see purity. The virtue of purity allows us to see God, ourselves and the transcendental more clearly in our world.

Growing in purity. This is a different animal than defining a virtue. To grow in purity can be likened to having a skylight. It funnels the light into a home allowing for people to more clearly see,it brightens the home and gives it a freshness and radiance. So it is with the virtue of purity. When we grow in purity it is though we allow light to flood into the depths of our souls. And it is here we don’t recognize our purity so necessarily, so much as we are unbounded from the stains and blemishes on our souls, the sad fate of our fallen nature.

Growing in Humility: How?

What is the mark of humility, what would it look like? In a company, one example would be the boss of the company. With so many important things to do it would be easy for the boss just to have someone else take out the trash. A humble boss refuses this and, trying to not put himself above other people, takes out his own trash. This really captures humility well. From this example we can draw that being humble at work isn’t about being extraordinary, it’s about a willingness to be ordinary and acceptance of this. But here’s a question, how do we grow in humility?

I like gardening. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always seen something special in it. I think an appreciation of nature is just a part of human nature, and gardening is a way we can put an artistic touch on the world around us. To me, it’s beautiful – seeing food grow where you worked. From thinking about the different stages in growth, there seem to be four major steps; (1) tilling the soil, (2) planting the seeds, (3) feeding the plants, and (4) harvesting. To begin reasoning how to grow in humility, maybe a good place to start is with looking at how we might ’till the soil’ in order to prepare ourselves to become more humble. That’s a blog post for another time though.