Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees,
who write oppressive statutes,
to turn aside the needy from justice
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be your spoil,
and that you may make the orphans your prey!

- Isaiah 10

Thursday night I visited with a couple widows in the small village of Chicoy. This woman lost her husband to bandits in Mexico. Her husband was a truck driver and was hijacked, killed, and buried. She says there is an investigation happening and that the bandits tried to sell the truck, but eventually abandoned it when it ran out of gas. This happened earlier this year.

This woman's husband was strangled by some men in a neighbouring town 5 km away five years ago. She was summoned to the Cobán hospital to identify the body. Some investigators came by shortly after and asked if she wanted the murder investigated, but she would have to pay for it - which she could not do. She lives with her 3 children and her parents. Our school has hired her as a cook and her children (6, 8, 10) attend our school too.

Internet Gold

Steve let me know about this cool game over at Free Rice. You play a vocabulary game and the website donates rice based on how well you do. Of course, I think the website is making a killing on this because of the big name adverts.

For those who like to stick it to the Man, this is a site that helps you stick it to the right Man. Better World Shopper investigates which corporations behave best and worst and lets us know who we would prudently not support with our dollars. I got the iPod deal, which is just a bunch of pictures that you have on your iPod while you shop; it lets you quickly reference the good guys and the bad guys.

Têtes à Claques is a Québecois website that caught fire a year ago and is now the most popularly viewed piece of entertainment viewed in Québec (including TV). If you don't speak French, I'm not sure how entertaining it is, but it is a riot if you do understand. Brilliant piece of indie-web-entertainment à la Homestarrunner and Salad Fingers. (and they're not gonna sell out either).

High Definition Last Supper. Forget your little 7 Megapixel cameras. This image is at 16,000 Megapixels, or 16 Gigapixels or 16 billion dots. This portion of the image is at 5%.


Vuelta a Guatemala

Or "Tour de Guatemala."

This is the pre-eminent cycling event of Guatemala and early yesterday morning we got to listen, thanks to a van with huge speakers a block away, to stage four being announced all morning. Once people started gathering on the highway, we decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Of course, the two remaining presidential candidates, Colom and Pérez Molina, had to join the fray too.

Here's what Wikipedia says about the 13 stage race through most of the country and the Official Site.

Uneventful Weekend

Amber is still recovering from a broken toe after maliciously kicking Acadia's bed.
A Short-Term Team from Kamloops, BC flies in and arrives in Tactic Sunday night.
The Oilers lose to the Flames and end the weekend with a 3/8 record.
The oldest woman in San Antonio Panec, 105, dies.
Blaise, Acadia, and Amber all have coughs. Both kids have nose fangs.
We find a little green frog for Blaise to marvel at. He marvels.
Julie and Amber each win at Settlers of Catan on Saturday night.

Me? Nothing happened to me.



I prescribed amoxicilan to a boy yesterday and robaxacet to a woman today. I produced a video report for a donor to a building project two days ago. I translated a church service last Saturday from Spanish to English. I chauffeured some people to Guatemala City last weekend. I fixed a couple errors on the website a couple days ago. I delivered shoes to three schools over the past 4 days. I photographed some graduation ceremonies. I introduced sponsors to the children they sponsor for 3 days. I designed a promotional display for Impact Ministries. I advised my supervisor this afternoon on some management issues we will have next year. I toured a short term mission team on a cultural experience on Monday night. I managed some spending and submitted receipts on Monday.


Mounting Anticipation

Twelve movies that I'm looking forward to seeing:

Dan in Real Life: because it was written by the same guy who wrote What's Eating Gilbert Grape, About a Boy, and Pieces of April (Amber's favorite) and it stars Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche.

Be Kind Rewind: because Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind writer/director also made this one - plus it stars Jack Black, Danny Glover, and Mos Def.

I'm Not There: because it is dedicated to exploring the person of Bob Dylan by having several characters play the different sides of him - Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchette, Heath Ledger play some of them.

When Did You Last See Your Father: because it's a British drama and it stars some fabulous actors and it deals with fatherhood and sonship.

In the Valley of Elah: because Canadian Academy Award winner director/writer of Million Dollar Baby and Crash, Paul Haggis, made it and it stars Tommy Lee Jones whom I have a newly found respect for stars, and it deals with the Iraq war.

Superbad: because I'm a sucker for heartfelt gross teen movies and I liked 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up.

Into the Wild: because Sean Penn makes great films and this looks like a really fabulous film about man in community.


King Corn: because it deals with agriculture, one of the world's most eaten grains, and the economic strings attached.

The 11th Hour: because presents a question I'd like to deal with in my current project which is how we as westerners consume and if it is feasible to reduce our consumption and what the environmental consequences are if we don't reduce it.

An Unreasonable Man: because it explores the world of Ralph Nader, the guy people blame for Al Gore losing and GW Bush winning 7 years ago and the principles that drive him.

No End in Sight: because it is a comprehensive look at the fateful beginnings of the Iraq invasion and why it was doomed to begin with.

Terror's Advocate: because a little know historical figure is interviewed on why he was able to aptly defend horrific criminals in the name of justice.

A Student Again

Aside from the occasional seminar when teaching or youth pastoring, I haven't been a student since April 2000 when I graduated from university. At that time I was so sick of school, after 5 long years, that I had no interest in furthering my formal education any time soon.

Well, it's been 7 1/2 years and I'm ready to start up again. I'm registered to take a course with the Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development at Covenant College. It's a distance learning course of 4 weeks that I can get certification for. This first course is called "Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry." It addresses the question of poverty and is the prerequisite for a few other courses that I want to take from them too:
"Principles and Practices of Christian Microfinance and Microenterprise Development"
"Promoting Church-Centered Savings and Credit Associations"
"Partnering with Large-Scale Microenterprise Development Providers"
"Providing Small Business Training to Low-Income Entrepreneurs"
It lasts 4 weeks and only costs $75. One problem is that that book I need for it hasn't arrived in Kamloops yet for a team to bring down on Saturday. Maybe I'll need to have it scanned... :(

I'm excited about what I'll be learning as these are things I'd like to base my future mission agency on. Here's to an A.



"You gotta be pretty bold to think that mankind is going to destroy what God has created. The earth is way above us. The only way the earth is going to be destroyed is when God says in His word when He turns it loose, when He makes a new heaven and a new earth. Emissions from a car's not gonna do that. Even atomic bomb's not gonna do that. The world is not gonna be destroyed by man; the world's gonna be destroyed by God and God says "you do what I ask you to do until I get back here to do that. So that's where my stand is. I think this [the environmental issue] is a waste of time for us to be discussing and arguing and being separate on the issue of global warming."
- Ken Hutcherson (from his interview with Hugh Duncan from his Nuclearity podcast. Hutcherson is a former football star and current pastor of Antioch church in Washington. He is also a strong voice against gay and lesbian rights in the USA.)
"I was asked, 'Would you defend Hitler?' I said, 'I'd even defend Bush! But only if he agrees to plead guilty.'" [translated from French]
- Jacques Vergès (He is a famous French defence lawyer who defended Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie (the Butcher of Lyons) , Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, and Carlos the Jackal a Venezuelan terrorist. He is the subject of a new documentary Terror's Advocate.)


Ringing in my Ears

I woke up at 5:30 this morning to see if I could start downloading my pre-ordered Radiohead album In Rainbows. Sure enough, I had to fetch the email from my junk mail, but then I was able to download the 48.4MB zip file quickly while my network was still sleeping. So far the album totally ROCKS. I get to listen to it all the way to the capital this afternoon while I drive Mariah there to pick up her mom.

I've been picking up my guitar lately to practice a gentle little Sarabande from Bach's first lute suite. It's been really great to get back into practicing. It was my first year university major, but I dropped it because my fingers and hands hurt too much. My ultimate goals for the guitar are to get my ARCT and to play all of Bach's Lute Suites.

A few months ago, Blaise started playing the trombone. He has a really good embouchure and terrific tone for someone his age. He plays for a couple minutes then gets bored and switches to something else. This morning he left the middle section out and started marching around the house tooting his horn.


The Genius of Radiohead

Amber showed me some news she got in her Daily Good this morning. Radiohead is selling their latest album only from their website. This means no record company. This alone is revolutionary - a band of that stature leaving the stability of a record company to become independent again. In reality, record companies are becoming redundant these days when you consider that online advertising and sales are so quickly growing.

The real genius though is that people can pay what they want for the downloadable album - even nothing if they want. Considering bands only end up with about 30% of album sales, this is hardly going to hurt them. If people pay $5 on average for the album, they still come out ahead. Plus, they don't really need the money and their music will get out even further. They'll make even more money on tour later on because their album will be in more people's hands.

It comes out October 10 only at radiohead.com.


She is survived by her mother and her twin kid brother. She succumbed, after a short struggle, to parasites last night. Her owners are saddened by their loss.