This past week we were privileged to have Anna Pyles in our home for a week!  She is a great friend of both of us for 7 years now and served as our Maid of Honor in our wedding.  You want to talk about LOVE, she showed it to us this week.  We told her a year ago we would rather her support us by coming for a visit than to support us financially, and she did it.  She loved us enough to listen to us and do what was best for US, not what she wanted or was easiest for her.  As she says, it was not in her character to travel thousands of miles to come stay in a place that is dirty, germ infested with no electricity.  She may have come not knowing why a visit was more support than money, but we know she is leaving with an understanding.  Imagine not being able to truly and completely share the biggest part of your life with one of your closest friends.  Now we can with Anna!  Sometimes a visit can be more harm than good, but that was not true with Anna. She came as a learner and a lover.  An encourager, not a judge.To ask questions, not be an expert. A help, not a hindrance.A listener, not a talker.
Hiking the mountains!

Celebrating 4th of July.

On one of our hikes we were surprised to see this toucan!

This is a great example of what we talk about in community development.  A lot of times the international aid wants to come in and do the fastest or easiest thing to “make the community better” and they never stop long enough to consider if it really is “better” for the community.  If we want true, lasting, sustainable development it needs to be holistic (spiritual, material, intellectual, and social) and what is best for the people group at their specific place in their development process.  Almost 100% of the time this takes time, a lot of time.  It takes patience and getting to know a people group, culture, resources, talents, strengths, and weaknesses.  This means waiting long enough for leaders to rise up from the community to take on these development projects instead of just doing it for them.  It means asking them to be invested and waiting until they are able to do that.  We all know that we take care of something better when we are invested in it.  Investment can be emotionally, mentally, financially, planning process, manual labor, and so much more.

Is this not what Christ did?  “He loved us so much that he came.”  He loved us so much that he did what was best for us.He didn’t give us a “quick fix” but a sustainable/for all of eternity fix.  We’re not writing this so that all of you get a guilt trip to “come” – no!  Yes, some of us do need to take that step of faith and “go.”  Personally we believe everyone should try it once.  We’re talking about Anna listening to what we asked her to do, knowing it was best for us, and doing it.  Sometimes that might mean don’t come, stop, wait, etc.  God could have sat up in his comfortable heaven and said, “I’ll just write a check and that will fix the world.”  But He did something else, something MUCH harder but was what the world needed and what was best for us.  He came, lived, and died for us.   He did it at the right time, he didn’t RUSH it.  He could have come right after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and avoided all the wandering of the Old Testament, but He didn’t.  He studied us, guided us, and came at the opportune time because he wanted what was best for US, not best for Him or the quick, easy, feel good way out of it.

This is what we try to do each day in Las Lomitas.  We can’t pretend to do what is best for them without lots of time getting to know them, studying them, living with them, listening to them, supporting them, sharing life, getting involved, praying, and above all asking God for wisdom.  Is this not what God did throughout the Old Testament?  So if you’d like an update on us, that’s what we’re doing.


  1. Your words are too kind. Not in my character is RIGHT! :) I can't wait to get back on that plane a year from now and do it again. Love you both. I could write a novel already based on our friendship. What will you make me do next?!
    Hey, now you have the perfect, "trust me, if Anna can do it, you can do it!"
    Love love,
    Your Anita, always :)

  2. Loved reading this post as I do love reading ALL of your posts. You can count me in as a stalker who reads faithfully so that I know what to pray for.

    Loved this one because of seeing Anna again and catching up on what she's up to!