Incense. Candles. Live bands. Fireworks. Veils. Popcorn. Cotton candy. Barefoot reverence. Purple vestments. Dueling bands. Balloons. Crosses. Flowers. Candied apples. Priests. Banners. Crucifixes. Ornamental street tapestries. And people. Lots of people. Men dressed in purple are carrying a massive painting of Jesus on a heavy pedestal. Others dressed in purple are following close behind, reciting their prayers and showing their devotion to the Lord of Miracles, some by walking barefoot.
Let’s do something different. It’s not that STMs are wrong, but it’s our priority placed on them (more than a billion dollars annual) and what we do while on them that obscures our vision of the Kingdom of God. With great emphasis I have stated that the Kingdom of God has no “short-term” and is always moving, always loving, and always serving. Let’s be a part of the mission of God for the long-term. Yes that sounds cliché, but it’s the very thing we, as Christ’s followers, are called to do.
About six months ago we had the idea to start an exercise group for the patients we see in the clinic. We discuss the benefits of being physically fit with the majority of our patients and we wanted to give them a free resource to learn and participate in exercises. I wanted to create something that women of any age and fitness level could be a part of. I also wanted to build a space where relationships can be made. Katie has also been a huge part of this exercise group and has co-led with me.
Three years ago this program opened its first library in an all-boys elementary school in a neighborhood called Miraflores. CUDA, through the Living Libraries program, is striving to increase a love for reading while bettering reading comprehension in kids throughout public schools. CUDA provides the books for a library within an elementary school if the school agrees to provide a space to put a library. Also as a part of this program the teachers are required to attend training workshops throughout the year to learn strategies to be able better to teach reading to their students.