My life has been really crazy lately, and really beautiful. I've had some of the hardest conversations with some Mexican friends thus far, but God answers our prayers with good things. I've learned some really painful histories of other friends here too, and it breaks my heart as I know how much God hates sin. I feel completely reconciled after tears and over-long anger with some of my teammates here, which is totally amazing. I've gotten to be a friend to a person who felt like they didn't really have any others at the time, a great opportunity. Bible studies continue as people become more and more personally engaged in what the Word has to say for their own lives. The weather has, though no ice storms, given us dry heat that I forgot existed, downpours from absolutely nowhere, and beautiful warmth that makes me want to stay outside all day. Birthday parties, ice-skating, park days, making art and reading new J.K. Rowling all have been just plain fun. I feel like Mexico has shown me some of its worst and God has shown me some of his best. I love it here - even when it's dark, God's grace shines the brighter, and I'm learning just as much (/more?) from these people even as I'm teaching. I just wrote a bunch of cards to supporters letting them know how utterly grateful I am to have this opportunity to be here.

I know these are just names to most of you, but would you pray for these people, even just once? Luz and her family, Nancy and her family, Grecia and her family, Rocío, all of our English students, Momoko, Clara and her family, the Chavez-Durán family, Norma, my team, the next AIM team coming in May, Quinton, Tara Linn, Thomas, Claudia and her family, Ana and her friends, Cris, Israel and Nelly. These are just some people that have been on my heart especially lately. I wish you could meet them all, but hey, we have a hope for the future eh? I'm also really looking forward to the 2008 AIM class' visit here in just over a week...

And as a random note to end, I'm going to embark on an adventure called Thing-a-Day (www.thing-a-day.com). I was invited by a friend in Nevada City via Facebook to join a group of artists in making one thing every day in February. I'm not sure if I'll actually pull through, but I have lots of ideas brewing and maybe this is the inspiration I needed to get some of them done. I'll share the results with you. Feel free to join! :)


Facts about Agape love from 1 John

Just for a quick update, being in the States for Christmas, my brother's wedding, and New Year's was absolutely wonderful. I spent good quality time with my family, whom I miss very much when I'm here in Mexico, and some good friends too. The wedding was beautiful and so happy! I loved my visit, and felt very satisfied when it was time to come back to the City. I really do love it here too.

Before I get back to work on some things, I wanted to share what I've been learning about love from 1 John. I find that it helps me remember when I share things with other people.

1) Keeping God's Word means being perfected in His love. Loving one another is his message from the beginning, his commandment for us. (2:5; 3:11, 23; 3:23; 4:21)

2) Loving one another also means being perfected in His love. (4:12) It means abiding in the light (2:10), loving God and obeying him (5:2-3), not stumbling in the darkness (2:10), and God abiding in you for the world to see (4:12). We cannot really love God if we do not love one another (4:20-21; 5:1).

3) Being perfected in love causes us to have confidence in the day of judgment, so that we don't fear, because perfect love and fear cannot coexist. (4:17-18)

4) Loving "worldly things" (desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes, pride in possessions) is the opposite of loving God. (2:15)

5) God has loved us by calling us his sons (3:1) and by Christ's sacrifice (3:16; 4:9-10). He loved us first (4:9-11, 19).

6) If we are really God's sons, we love our brothers (3:1; 4:7, 11). If we don't love, we're not really his children (3:10; 4:7-8).

7) Love is life. Not loving is death. (3:14; 4:9).

8) Love is from God. Loving means we know God (4:7).

9) God IS love (4:8, 16). Abiding in love means that God abides in us, and us in him - reciprocal, mutual love (4:16).

10) Love and truth are irrevocably connected. We must believe in the love of God (3:18; 4:16).