Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This is Venezuela...

Friday was scheduled to have our second Fusion - late in the afternoon we were told that a fumigation process was going to be coming on campus at 3pm to take care of our mosquito problem.... T.I.V. 3pm = 3pm-8pm, so we decided to cancel Fusion for the evening. At 3:20pm, as soon as all the students had left, the company called and canceled the appointment altogether. T.I.V.

On Saturday, we gathered as a staff around a campfire... roasted rainbow fruity marshmallows, stuck them in between some oreos and/or vanilla cream cookies, and made some Venezuelan s'mores! We sang songs together and played some campfire games (which I lost!). It was such a nice time shared together. I came with a hoody to be 'bundled' around the fire, and then remembered.... Oh yeah, this is Venezuela - off came the hoody and down came the sweat :) Totally worth it.

New roommates!

Some past days....

Kelsey needed a hair cut... T.I.V.
Baby Eli!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

That's How Love Works...

1 month in.... Wow, and the only reason I believe it's been that long is because on Saturday I went to to the 1 month birthday party of Baby Eli, our newest ICS community member :)

Busy would be an understatement.

This year I am teaching 6th (World Geo I, Bible, & Math), 7th (World Geo I & Bible), and 8th (World Geo II & Bible). I am loving my classes :)

Elementary strategies in a secondary classroom is pretty fun... Wall Talk

I am sponsoring Fusion - our secondary school youth group - and running a student leadership Fusion team. We had our first Fusion last Friday... we had a GREAT turn out, and the kids had a blast!


I am mentoring a high school lady during my lunch period.
I am tutoring two days a week.


...to sun down...

 These days are surely jammed pack.... But it's the little things that always seems to bring a smile to my face. This has always been my favorite part of my run in the concha - finally, I have captured it with more than my eyes...

Anything you work at with all your heart is always worth the work.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Beginnings

Back home in Caracas... not much is different around the city. It's quite fun to fall back into old routines of walking to school, running in the concha, going to church, shopping at the grocery store... All of these people whom I never "knew" are surprised and yet excited to see me back here. It's so welcoming! There's a sense of belonging here, and it's quite nice.

School officially starts on Monday, and we've been very busy preparing, training, setting up, and planning.

This year I will be teaching middle school (6th-8th grade) Social Studies, Bible, and Math. It is our first year separating the middle school grades from the "High School", and I am very excited to be the main middle school teacher! I will also be teaching an elective art class for the high schoolers (we still don't have a music teacher, so this leaves a lot of 'elective' slots open because there aren't classes for choirs, bands, and ensembles) This is all new to me... and I love it!

Our new teachers are here, and they are lovely! Of course, no one can ever take the place of another, and this year will be entirely different from last. I am so thankful for such an amazing year last year (I miss my friends), and I am so excited for the things to come this year!

Being back here in Caracas, I feel peace... There is still so much to do - I haven't re-established my routines yet - my baggy eyes can attest to some sort of exhaustion.... but there's a quiet in my soul.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where Are You?

I haven't written much lately...

I suppose in my mind this journey is about what I am doing... "Missionary Teaching"... Since it's summer - well, cheers to being a teacher!

Being back in Atlanta, (I use this phrase as opposed to the word 'home' as it has an entirely different meaning that I will come back to)  it's been a summer... and a busy one at that. My gorgeous sister got married!

I got to see and spend time with friends and family... many of whom I hadn't even seen in years! (at least a minimum of a year at that!)

As expected, many people have been curious about what I've been doing... what it's like... what's my plan... when am I coming home?

These seem like such simple questions, but they have truly boggled my mind.

One of the first tasks for myself once returning was to find the answer to the unavoidable question:
"What are you doing there?..."

As much as I wanted to put into words the story of what brought me to Venezuela, the story that is keeping me there, the story that is leading me to wherever it is that I am going... The only answer that makes any sense is the answer to an entirely different question. It's not at all about "What am I doing?" - for truly, I have done nothing. The only answer I have is the purpose of the work that is being done within me - so the question is not 'what am I doing?' but rather 'what is being done in me?' For that is, and has been, and always will be my journey. What I am doing is simply loving the work that is being done in me.

So as I sit here and contemplate this idea of "home" that has constantly been in the forefront of my mind - "Where is Home?"  I am reminded that I have always had the answer. My home is Atlanta, Georgia. My home is Boston, Massachusetts. My home is Dublin, Ireland. My home is Caracas, Venezuela. My home is everywhere in this world, because my sense of being home is nothing that can be found here.
I always have been and always will be... Home.

I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, and listen to me,
    and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
12 Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
    his ears are open to their cries for help.
16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
    he will erase their memory from the earth.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
    but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
    not one of them is broken!
21 Calamity will surely overtake the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
    No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

-Psalm 34 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thoughts you have in Venezuela...

Did we order enough drinking water for this week?

Does that grocery store have... (milk, eggs, flour, sugar, toilet paper)... yet?

Fireworks, moto, or gun shot?

How do you say that in Spanish?

How do you say that again in English?

Is there water?

Is the water hot?

Is there electricity?

Are we doing home school?

Are we still in mourning?

How can I make that from scratch?

What can I substitute for (milk, sugar, flour, eggs)?

Should I fill up my water bottle here or can I get drinking water there?

How much does this food weigh to carry up the death hill?

What time is it going to get dark?

Can we make it before dark?

How much is that in dollars, and at what exchange rate?

Venezuelan time or Gringo time?

How long does it take to walk there?

What will I eat today?

Do I need to go to the store for tomorrow?

Do I have to walk the death hill or can I make something else work?

Ten dollars for a cup of peanut butter?!

What's the most effective way to push water out of the house/school?

Oh, what a beautiful place....

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mission Work...

Wrong girl...
Are you sure about this?...
I don't know if I am... if I could... if I can...

Missionary - what?

That is my title.

About a year ago, I got an official certificate saying that I was a bonafide missionary.

Whenever I was asked about what I was going to do, I would give the "missionary teaching in Venezuela" spiel with the shields and armor ready to explain "Yes, my faith is really important to me" ... "Yes, I am aware it's unsafe" ... "Um... yeah, they support me" ... "It's a minimum of two years, but we'll see" ... "I know there are problems here too" ... "It's what I feel called to do" ...

If you would like to know why, go back to "Why Venezuela?"

This morning in devotional we were asked two questions:
1. What is God's mission?
2. What is your mission?

With a devotional about Philip's mission...

On Mission with God

Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot." (Acts 8:29)
Missions is God finding those whose hearts are right with Him and placing them where they can make a difference for His kingdom. Some of the great missionaries in history did not live long lives, but their lives dramatically affected eternity.
God had access to Philip, and the Book of Acts gives the exciting account of how God used Philip’s life to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Philip was preaching powerfully in the city of Samaria (Acts 8:5). So mightily did God use him that the entire city was rejoicing at the miracles God was doing (Acts 8:6–8). This would be any evangelist’s fondest desire, to see an entire city responding to the gospel through his preaching. Yet Philip was not activity-centered in his Christian life. He was God-centered. Philip was not preoccupied with expanding his reputation as a great preacher or miracle worker, he was concerned that his life remain in the center of God’s activity. When he was instructed to leave his fruitful ministry, he did not hesitate (Acts 8:27).
God continues to seek those as responsive as Philip to go on mission with Him. The reason God has not brought great revival to more places is not that He is unable or that He is unwilling. He first looks for those willing to have their lives radically adjusted away from their self-centered activities and placed into the center of God’s activity around the world. Have you seen the activity of God around you? What is God presently inviting you to do? How are you responding?

 (Experiencing God Day-by-Day - May 23, 2013)

I think back on this year... What have I done?... This message talks about how it's not the work - it's not the activity... What I have done is nothing. What God has done in me is everything.

Our Secondary Bible teacher mentioned that our 11th and 12th graders said that the greatest testament to Jesus Christ is when they look upon someone who is in love with Him... The love is captivating... not the works, not the prayers, not the rules, not the 'goodness'... the glory of God is in the love He pours upon us and out of us.

This year... I have changed... I have grown more in love... My view has grown. My desires have grown. The ways I give and receive grace have grown. The way I love has grown. I am far from perfect...

Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." 
 2 Corinthians 12:9

I have shared in my weakness and in my suffering. 
This year I have shared much. 
This year I have suffered, too.
I am weak.

I think about the weakness that I have shared over this year. 
I thought about making a list.


Earlier this year, a friend told me, 
"One day... there will be a time when you will no longer just write about the past."

...I am an offering...

...and I give You my heart, 'cause it's all I have to give...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, May 13, 2013

One Month...

In one month, I will be returning to Atlanta...

In one month, my life will be unsteady again - for nothing there will be quite the same as it was, and when I return back to Venezuela in August, again, nothing will be quite the same here either.

I am in this place of unsettledness... but I feel such peace. This is life. Nothing remains - everything changes.

I feel such joy. I feel such bliss in the uncertainty and unsteadiness of the waves... I float. On this raft of open waters... on these broken boards of ship wrecks past, I float.

Ship wrecks past? Yes... Quite frankly, yes. Everything I have ever tried to build for myself has only ever amounted to some sort of ship wreck. For truly nothing is within my control. Nothing is within my grasp.

So instead, upon these broken boards, I float. There is nothing more I desire, for the sun on my face, the breeze of this day, the mist of the sea on my skin... this is all I need. In my heart, forever I float.

Let me share some joy of the moment...

Spirit Week.... For celebrity day, I dressed up as Charlie Chaplin and lasted the whole day not saying a word to anyone...

By the end of the day...
"Ms. Loomer... This started off really funny. Then it got kind of annoying. Now it's just sad... I miss your voice. It's so beautiful. I never knew how much I liked to hear you speak."

We had a Teacher vs. Student Basketball game. Although there were a few injuries (eek), it was a blast to watch!

Ending of a year means grades and projects, grades and projects.... hmmm

Science Fair....

"Ms. Loomer! I see you...." 

On Friday, we had our final Fusion (Friday night youth group) of the year... It was so much fun, but so sad to acknowledge our staff and students who are leaving...

On Saturday, we had our banquet for secondary students.... Dancing... Dinner... Dessert Buffet... mmmm

Photo Bombing...

 Ladies with "D-Funk"

 Our Fusion Team!


Monday, April 29, 2013


Let's see...

On our day off, we found a pool!

Last Friday we brought students in grades 3rd-6th on an impromptu field trip to the Concha Acustica... It turned out to be awesome!

Saturday, I went running and slipped on mud... Ouch.

Dinners and Celebrations....

Sunday night dinners turn into dance parties after the dishes are done!

"Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp."
-Psalm 149:3