The Last Day of Class

It’s Friday afternoon here in the suburbs of San Jose. The sound of the birds mixes with the rumble of traffic and voices of kids playing soccer nearby. Just a few hours ago, the dozen and a half students and staff of the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School (DTS) shared their experiences from our week together. People from Canada, Holland, Brazil, the US, Mexico and here in Costa Rica (take a tour of the base here) spoke about what they had learned and felt, how they were both excited and challenged by it all. I went around the room and affirmed the gifts and callings I saw in each one. Daniella, a Mexican-American with a prodigious intellect and humble spirit; Pila, a l

We're Wrecked

It’s another hot day in southeast Texas, and I can picture my new friend and I walking into my house, the steel screen door slapping closed behind us. I’m embarrassed that my mom’s rehab equipment is hanging right there between the den and entrance to our galley kitchen, and I’m going to have to try to explain it or, more likely, try to quickly dismiss it so I don’t feel so weird. Looking a lot like a Johnny Jump Up, it’s a device made of metal and heavy canvas that Mom sits in front of and places her head into; somehow it’s supposed to help relieve the chronic neck pain with which she has suffered since our horrible car wreck in 1963. The Wreck is an event that is referred to in a sort-of B

Finding Friendship, Part 2

Anyone in my family and hers would know where this title comes from: a movie my best friend Kennedy and I made when she came from Little Rock to visit one chilly November of my eighth grade year. “Finding Friendship” we called it, our film production debut. Kennedy claimed the title of director and production manager so she could say that “Weezy Works” made the film. “Weezy” was her nickname, and it fit her perfectly. Memories like these that once I held so dear, that were tinted a happy yellow in the file cabinet in my brain, are now tinted a sad shade of blue. All the memories I ever made with Kennedy have been tinted blue since she died. Kennedy Ann Hogue was and will always be my eternal

17 Years a Refugee

Emily Linn is deceptively engaging. She is petite, seems to have unending energy and looks you straight in the eye when she speaks. Even her eyes seem to smile. The deceptive part is she’s usually talking to you about some of the most tragic things you can imagine. Emily is the head of Canopy NWA, our local refugee resettlement effort, and was masterfully conducting volunteer training a couple weeks ago when she commented in her usual upbeat way, “The average refugee spends seventeen years in a camp before they are eligible to immigrate. And what I can tell you from my personal experience is that is true.” Even though she kept talking afterward, I was just floored by the thought of it: Seven

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