si no se cae en el rio

I was biking home from the office and decided to try a short-cut that I had taken once before by vehicle. I took the wrong road and ended up at a dead end where you can take a through-path for pedestrians through a gate. The path continues through a beautiful meadow and ends up on the highway, not too far from where I live. There were 2 young girls, probably 7 and 10, standing at the fence and I asked them if it was possible to pass though on a bike, thinking more of the narrow passage between the barbed wire fences.

The older girl answered "si." Then without missing a beat, followed it with "if you don't fall in the river." I looked down the path a little way and saw the river and the log that stretched over it to connect the foot path. I replied that I would be taking the other road. The girl raised her eyebrows and let a smile curl on her lips. She got me good.


Broken Legs

This morning at Beerseba, I was just about to head home after teaching some classes when one of our students was hit by a truck. Hugo, the little guy at the bottom right hand of this photo, was playing with his friends where he wasn't supposed to be playing and an older man in a red pick-up truck drove right over his right leg, snapping the bones. I didn't have a clue what happened when it did happen. I was just a few feet away and Walter, the vice-principal, ran over. I went into the school, not having a clue.

When I came out again, I saw Hugo on one leg being supported by his teacher. He was carried into his classroom and I sat with him for a little while. His friends were out telling every passing stranger and the neighbours what had happened. Hugo just cried. I had some tylenol and water brought for him and checked out his leg - I could see it was a clean break. I asked his classmates to come around him and pray for him - and pray they did. Three of them burst into tears after they started praying. Hugo is 8 years old (I think). I offered to drive him to Coban hospital, but it was decided that an ambulance would get him quicker attention once he arrived at the hospital. While we waited for the ambulance (los bomberos), Hugo lay in his teacher's arms, weeping. His uncle, Gualberto, (a grade 10 student) went along with his mother to translate from Poqomchí to Spanish and vice-versa.

The team that was here from Stony Plain, AB, visited Hugo a couple times. His sponsors, Bob and Grace, fell in love with the little guy. Actually, everyone who meets Hugo falls in love with him. He's got such a great smile.

Hugo is home again. He has a cast and some pain-killers.

A woman from this Stony Plain team twisted her ankles very badly on a visit to Xi'ixim last week. Both of her feet swelled up and she was on crutches for most of her 14 days in Guatemala. It turns out that her ankles, both of them, were in fact broken the entire time. Vange is a trooper! She actually didn't miss out of too much while she was here, she had us carry her or she hobbled along or she took a tuk-tuk (3-wheeled taxi) in Antigua.



I'm sending my Projection DVD Copy to the Montreal World Film Festival via a friend (Charles) from Stony Plain who is here on a short term team. I don't trust the Guatemalan couriers for timing. They are very expensive too. A regular manilla envelope (8 1/2" X 11") under 1 lb would cost about $60 and arrive approximately 2 weeks later in Canada. I checked into it when I was with Les who had to courier some exams to Canada.

Salomé, one of my lovely sisters, mailed me a hefty birthday package. It arrived in Guatemala City about 6 weeks later and I was sent a telegram (which took 9 days to arrive at my home) which notified me that I should either pick up the package in person or pay a tramitador to pick it up for me with a signed letter from me and a photocopy of my passport. We picked it up at the end of May in the palace which is the head post office of the country.

My Projection DVD has French subtitles now. I got the final translated bits on Tuesday from Claudine in Montreal. She did a fabulous job. I hope that many francophones enjoy the show at the festival as a result.

Eutichus abides

This little chap (nicknamed Poncho) reminded me of Eutychus last night during our discipleship class. Some longwinded sharers. Good times though.


The End is Nigh

This article from ABC News talks about two Canadian lawyers (one of them is former MP David Kilgour of Edmonton) investigating allegations that imprisoned Falun Gong members are used as organ donors. Falun Gong is a recent religion, 1992, a variation of Buddhism. The founder, Li Hongzhi has claimed the following supernatural powers: invisibility, being able to control other people's movements by his thoughts, and to move himself anywhere he wanted to by thought as well. Falun Gong was declared illegal to practice in China seven years ago.

This is an exerpt from the article citing Kilgour's investigation:
One call, made on June 8, was to a Mr. Li in the Mishan City Detention Center in Heilongjiang province, according to the transcript.

"Do you have Falun Gong (organ) suppliers?" Li was asked.

"We used to have, yes," he replied.

"What about now?"

"Yes," Li replied.

"Can we come to select, or you provide directly to us?"

"We provide them to you," Li said, adding that price would be discussed when the caller arrived. He said he had "quite a few" Falun Gong males under age 40 from whom organs could be taken.

Kilgour released the transcript of an interview he conducted with a woman who said her former husband, a surgeon, had taken corneas from 2,000 people over two years. She said the victims would first be given an injection that would cause heart failure.

Amber and I watched The Manchurian Candidate a week ago. Her comment was that it was hard to believe that people could be so cruel. Not so hard to believe after reading this article.

It is interesting that one of the focuses of Falun Gong is a coming apocalypse, an end to civilization because of moral depravity. Not a new concept, really, but forever relevant.

Another thing that interests me is what the world will do to save a 30-year-old Chinese man, imprisoned for his beliefs, only to be murdered for his organs. My guess is a lot less would be done than for a 30-year-old Canadian man serving in a foreign country were to be robbed and killed. That is too bad. I should rethink that, probably not a lot would be done if the Canadian were killed either. I haven't done anything about the medical team from MSF and their guides who were killed in Afghanistan. My buddy Carl sent me a film today with a team from Stony Plain. Beyond the Gates of Splendor is about missionaries killed in Ecuador and how redemption comes to this tribe.

We can hope our End will serve a purpose greater than we are.


Rite of Passage: The Gifts

Blaise achieves his first year on the 13th of July. I walk around a store today wondering what to buy him. I think: a pocketknife. I think every father wants to buy his son a pocketknife. I don't think Blaise has the strength yet to open a pocketknife. So, the knife idea is out. I buy a toy Austin Mini, big enough so he won't choke on it - safety first, that's my motto.

As I walk around I have an epiphany: I'll buy Blaise a great gift each year and when he becomes a man at age 13, he'll receive the 12 gifts that I've been storing up for him. Stuff every man should have. I really want Blaise to experience a rite of passage when he turns 13 - hike the Appalachian Trail or memorization task (book of John?) for examples. Then I can present him with tools for life as a symbol of recognition as a man.

So... I need a list of 12 items. Here's what I have so far:

1. Leatherbound Pocket Bible
2. Swiss Army Knife, sheath, belt
3. Zippo Lighter
4. Compass
5. Sleeping Bag
6. Hard Cover set of The Lord of the Rings
7. Musical Instrument (his choice)
8. Toolbox full of tools
9. Watch
10. Easel with drawing/ painting implements
11. Camera
12. Leatherbound Journal with really nice pens
13. Detailed family tree chart
14. Shaving Kit
15. Wallet, Bank Account
16. Map of the World
17. Cribbage board and 2 decks of cards
18. Basic Chemistry, Biology, and Physics texts
19. Video Camera
20. Weights
21. Collection of 100 essential songs
22. Collection of 10 essential films
23. Recipe book, Pot, Spoon
24. Paddle for Canoeing
25. The Journal his parents kept about him for his first years

If you have some ideas for the essentials list, I'd love to hear them. I don't want to buy electronic stuff that will be out of date in 2018 and incompatible with computers of that age - iPods and cell phones are out. Just good old fashioned survival / edifying stuff.