November 29, 2010


During Katie's visit, we had confirmations in the parish for the first time in 3 years. It was a pretty big deal, since youth ministry has grown so much. When we first arrived 3 years ago, only one of four chapels had youth participating and they only had about ten kids. We can now boast about 60 teens from all of our communities. We had 27 youth and 5 adults get confirmed. The next step is keeping them around. As the old joke goes...
"There once was a town plagued by hundreds of pigeons. The kids chased them, the sheriff fired at them, and the firemen sprayed them with water - to no avail. The mayor was getting desperate when the town priest came to his aid. "I'll get rid of those pesky pigeons for you." He baptized them, gave them Holy Eucharist and then brought in the bishop to confirm them. They immediately flew off and were never heard from again."
David with his adult group of catechumens

Both of us with the teen group from our chapel. We worked with them for two years.

The "co-padres". Godparents, as Confirmation Sponsors are referred to here, are very important in Chilean culture. This boy asked David to be his Godfather and since then, his parents have treated us as "co-parents". We're kind of worried we'll have to pay half of his college education.

A bad shot of the whole group.

November 12, 2010

AEDM - Nov.4 to Nov. 11

I won't lie to you. I haven't quite met the "every day" part of the challenge. I could call it the Art *Almost* Every Day challenge though. I took my small sketchbook with me to Peru. It travels easily and isn't so intimidating, since the page is much easier to fill. Here are the images that have emerged over the last week:

It looks like the mandala obsession is giving over to a value scale/weaving obsession.

November 5, 2010


We're heading to Peru tomorrow to pick up my sister for a visit. I won't be able to post for a few days. But, be assured that I will do my best to continue the challenge! We're super excited about having my sister here for a couple of weeks. See you soon Katie!!

AEDM - Nov. 3

To do... to do... to do... to do...

Yesterday, whenever I thought about sitting down to tackle the AEDM challenge, an endless list of things to do kept running through my head. So, instead of giving in to the chore monster, I got creative with a to-do list:

Scary, isn't it? It made me realize why I often feel guilty for sitting down to draw or paint. The final product visualized the craziness and pressure I felt (and often feel) inside my head. I didn't want to leave my mind there, so I decided to go a little further:

Since I had used watercolor pencils, I decided to brush over the whole thing with water. It was therapeutic to just wash over all of those mundane tasks that kept nagging at me, getting in the way of my creativity. And in the end, a mandala appeared (surprise, surprise!). Mandalas are so calming for me and this one showed me that I am still balanced, despite the busyness. It was like a little message from God telling me, "Take some time to yourself, and I'll take care of the rest." Thanks God! I needed a break.

November 2, 2010

AEDM - Nov. 2

I did another mandala, because I feel very free to create with them and I am always surprised by what I end up with. Honestly, I don't really like how this one turned out, but I had a lot of fun doing it.

Art Every Day Month - Nov. 1

I (Anna) just discovered a fun online challenge and decided to participate. You can find an explanation here, but the basic idea is that you create a new work of art each day during the month of November and then post it on your blog to share with other participating artists. I doubt all the art will be pretty, but it should be a lot of fun to create. I started out with a mandala:

Mustard Seeds

We're back from our retreat with the confirmation kids. Of the 25 youths we have about to be confirmed, 18 attended. We also had 6 adults who will be confirmed along for the experience. In summary: lots of work, not much sleep, many surprises, and endless fruits. Two women backed out on us just a day before the retreat, so David ended up doing the bulk of the cooking and watching of Joshua. Anna had the unfortunate job of "policing" - both making sure we stayed on schedule and reprimanding the kids when they got a little too rowdy. We planned and carried out the retreat with the help of a great team of youth leaders - both lay and religious. It's always great to see the kids at the end of the weekend, filled with hope and energy. Here are some of the comments we overheard from the youth, describing their experiences:

"The last presentation really changed my way of thinking."
"I feel more secure in my faith."
"I feel like God has been accompanying me on this journey; I no longer feel alone."
"Before coming to church, I used to fight with my parents all of the time. Now, we talk about things and get along better."
"I feel a sense of peace in my life now that I have never felt before."
"Before coming on this retreat, I had a lot of questions and doubts about my faith. Things are a lot clearer in my head now."

These are just a few of the experiences. It's always amazing to witness how God manifests Himself in each person's life and to see their faith grows over a period of time. We're very thankful to be able to be a part of these kids' faith journey. Some photos:

When Anna was 13, she went on a retreat where they made rosaries out of cord. She taught the kids here how to make them and they liked it so much that they made about 3 each!

Small groups acting out Bible stories. In this one, Anna and a youth are portraying the whale that just swallowed Jonah.

The most important part of the retreat - alone time with God. This was a special prayer service on Saturday night.

Joshua had fun too!

A final group shot.

We ended on Halloween, so that night Joshua dressed up like Elmo and hit up a few friends' houses for some candy. Not related to the retreat, but too cute not to post!