Well to say it’s been a while is definitely an understatement… On the bright side, we’ll say the delay in updating my blog was that I’ve been living life to the fullest and making the most of my time in Denver!

 

 

Rather than try and list (and explain all that I’ve been up to over the past 2 months) I’ll just share recent happenings and their impact on my life.

First off, my community is awesome. We’re all different which offers us an interesting and eventful house! Of course, adjustments do come along the way but I’m so glad that I’m living with Lauren, Lacy, Emma, Kaitlin and Thien! Here we are all dressed up for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrating and remembering those who have died over the past year in Tucson, Arizona!

My work at the African Community Center is still going well. I’ve already had a few speaking engagements with school classes which is invigorating and yet frightening at the same time. They’ve all gone well so far! I’m also in the midst of planning our big Thanksgiving meal event which is one of my largest projects of the year! It’s going to be a great event and I’m excited to see how it turns out. Below is a picture from an event I put together in October! We were excited about the semi-warm weather as the following weekend had some snow on the ground with a high around 35!

The weather is slowly getting colder and we’ve had 3 “small” snows. To local Denver folks, these were just a dusting but from S.C. standards, they were an all-out blizzard. It has been quite humorous discussing the variety of differences between South Carolina and Colorado! Isn’t the snow beautiful?

Last weekend we had our Fall Retreat/Immigration Delegation/YAV Reunion road trip! We embarked on a lovely 14 hour drive south towards Tucson, Arizona where we spent 5 days engaging in conversations and lectures focused on gaining a better understanding of the USA’s border issues and all that entails. We spent some time learning about the history of the United States with Mexico, visited several non-profits working with humanitarian aid in the region and even visited a court hearing sentencing individuals from Mexico and Central America to terms in prison before deporting them back to their home countries. As you can imagine, the overall atmosphere of such a retreat was very heavy and thought provoking and we broke up the tension with lessons to cook pupusas as well as had fellowship with other volunteers that joined us from Texas, Arizona and California!!

   

Then the truly breath-taking part of the trip occurred…

We went to meet a woman who started a non-profit that provides water, food and medical attention to anyone found wandering through the tortuous Arizona desert. Did you know that they found the remains of 179 bodies in the Arizona desert in just the past year? And that’s only the ones that were found… I don’t mean to share this statistic with you to gross you out but rather be made aware that men, women (and even children) are dying in our desert seeking to provide for their families back home. As someone stated over the weekend, most of them are entering the US not out of option but out of obligation. There’s a lot more I’d love to share about this subject but I feel conversations like this are best off the internet and face-to-face (or at least cell phone-to-cell phone…) If you’d like to hear more about my experience in Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico just send me a message or reply to this post and I’d be happy to have a conversation with you about this. Until then here are a few more images to reflect upon…

  

  

  

    

It was a long but very moving weekend as we learned more about the Immigration issues and the costs that are associated with it. Here a few more shots from that trip to sum up what was an incredible and truly life-changing experience…

 

 

 

Now it’s November, snow’s on the ground here and there and I’m getting to the point of being comfortable calling Denver my home. I know most of the bus routes like the back of my hand. I’m making friends within the community as well. Life isn’t perfect and I’m still praying and discerning how I can grow closer to God and closer to God’s children that are loved by God  just as much as I am. But, like life, it’s a process that isn’t figured out overnight but along the way. I’m humbled, honored and overjoyed to be here serving God and my neighbor and I look forward to the coming months and all that’s in store! So I’ll close with a few other random pictures from the past 2 months!!!

        

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