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Smile!

Colombia: 7/30/06, Sun.

9:00 a.m. I woke up at 6:30, and just got up because everyone else was stirring. Pastor Fabian's dad, Cindy, and her mom arrived around 7am to make us breakfast. After I packed, I gave Cindy the letter and poem for Crhistian.

She gave me a spongy heart with earrings in it, which she had made. I'm wearing them now. Crhistian sent with her packets for everyone: a blessing for the home, the Prayer of Jabez (in Spanish), and a letter 'from' Jesus. For me, he also sent a book of love poems, since we both enjoy poetry so much. They're in Castillian Spanish, but I'm finding them easy to read.

Pastor Lucho came at 8:30, and when we were all on the bus I gave him the poem, telling him to read it to the people of Vino Nuevo. He put it away to read later.

We're now driving up and down mountains, around long curves and through small villages. It's a beautiful day, and I got Aldo to take 2 pics of a gorgeous valley.

We played Skit-Scat again (yes, in the bus), adn I lasted until the very end against Kristi - and she beat me! Then we reviewed everyone's nicknames. This is so much fun, it's helping me temporarily forget my sadness.

10:05 I got a pic of the "Devil's Nose" just before we drove under it!

4:25 p.m. We got to Bogota in less than four hours. We're staying in the Hotel Dann, a very nice (read: touristy) hotel. They have hot water! I'm again sharing a room with Kristi. I was already feeling exhausted by the time we got to the hotel, but they said we'd eat lunch and then I could rest while they went sight-seeing.

We took taxis to the cable-car station, and we all went up to the top of the mountain. Bogota is in a humongous valley, already at about 11,000 feet above sea level. On top of this mountain, it's about 12,000 feet. When I stepped out of the cable-car, I felt light-headed, slightly dizzy, and weak. We had to go up some steps, and I very quickly had an asthma attack.

I used my inhaler, and was grateful that the restaurant wasn't far. After a delicious lunch, the group wandered around while I read my Reader's Digest in the sun at the restaurant. When they came back for me I had to go up a few steps, but the rest of the way was downhill.

I'd taken 2 pics from our 10th floor hotel window, but I also had someone take 2 pics of Bogota from the mountaintop for me. I have 2 left, for our flight tomorrow.

Before lunch I asked Pastor Lucho what he thought of the poem. He said he hadn't read it yet, but he would go read it right away. He cam back a little bit later and told me, "You made me cry." He said he plans to print it out really big, with my enlarged signature on it, and post it in the Church building so everyone can read it.

Father God, please allow Crhistian and Cindy to get their Visas very soon, so we can see them again in Dec.! I miss him - a lot. I'm really looking forward to e-mailing him. But I want to give him another hug.

When I first met him on Sun., I knew that unless I kept my distance, something like this would happen. And I tried. But he sat next to me that evening and started talking. He was with us so much this week. Before I knew what had happened, we were close friends.

Kristi told me she knew as soon as she saw him that he would be the one that everyone "fell in love" with. She was right. It's not 'eros'; it's 'filia' and 'agape'. And it's very strong. *sigh*

Well, I guess I'll try to get a nap before supper while they sight-see. I'm feeling better, but I need to rest.

8:35 p.m. I slept about 2 1/2 hrs! They woke me up to go get pizza for supper. Now we're borrowing a conference room for the last devotional.

We talked a lot about the love these people had for us and for God, about the huge needs they had and how we can help meet them. We discussed how we have changed, and how we're going to maintain those changes now that we're back.

Then we took Communion, but in a special way. Laura & Cheryl took turns reading from Matthew 26:17-30. Then Laura turned to the person on her left (Barbara), served her some grape juice and a piece of bread, and told her what she'd seen in Barbara on this trip. And so each of us served the person to our left, and shared something special about that person. What a blessing, to reflect back like this!
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