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Carole's Stories

Flavio, the Fisherman

On my tour of Puerto Angel yesterday, I said hi to many people, who responded with smiles and greetings: women pushing baby strollers as their toddlers ran ahead laughing; women sweeping porches, men at work, or looking for passengers for their taxis; shopkeepers, youth and waiters. But yesterday I promised to tell you about Flavio, the old fisherman who was mending his net when I walked back home. I’d said “good day” to him and his two friends on the way past, but didn’t recognize him alone when I returned. I simply stopped to say hi and ask what he was doing.

Finally, I've arrived (in Puerto Angel)

It’s my third day at the airport trying to get a flight out of Mexico City. This morning has started with its own frustrations. Moving from [non-working] kiosk to [wrong] line to [non-working] kiosk to [correct] line, I finally checked in my bag and found the gate. But my flight’s been delayed again. I’m taking the opportunity to write. It’s not in the setting that I’d planned, but I’m able to tune out the bustle of the airport to concentrate.

Finding Peace in Life’s Detours

Yesterday I landed in Mexico, a week in advance of the Baptist Peace Fellowship conference I’ve been looking forward to all year. Planning to meet a friend in Mexico City before proceeding to a writing retreat at the ocean, I booked a one day stopover in the city. When his plans changed last minute and he canceled our meeting, I tried to cancel my layover, anxious to start my retreat. When that proved impossible, I hailed a taxi to the city and looked for something to do near my B&B.

Jean Vanier: Change the world one person at a time

As we face the war on terror, the terror of war, and hatred among religions and races, now more than ever we must heed God’s call to peace. But how do we accomplish such a monumental feat? For answers, I visited Jean Vanier, a hero of faith, humanitarian service, and a champion of peace building. Jean Vanier shared his personal outlook, which has held true for him for more than fifty years: Change the world one person at a time.

How to be OK when life's not OK

Last week I attended chapel and heard a very inspiring message from a woman who's had cancer. Looking young, vibrant and beautiful, I would never have known she was sick if she hadn't shared it. But there were many days when she was neither vibrant nor beautiful, and struggled to know where her worth lay then. A woman of faith, she strongly believes in the inherent worth of all people, but when she could not contribute to the family, to her business, nor be productive in the usual ways, she emotionally, if not mentally, questioned her worth.

Positive Thinking versus Faith

A friend recently asked me how my back was. “Good,” I replied. “No more pain; that’s over with?” he responded. “I wouldn’t say that, but it’s better,” I answered. This led to a conversation about the healing power of positive thinking, and how proclaiming my pain-free present and future self could help actualise it. My friend expressed surprise that that my strong Christian faith didn’t result in a more positive response towards my own healing, and that he, with less faith, might have more hope.

Feeding body and soul on a cold winter’s day

I live in a wonderfully walkable neighbourhood in Toronto, the largest metropolis in Canada, so I tend to shop close to home. But a dry cleaning emergency this month led me to another pedestrian destination, Roncesvalles Village, during my lunch hour today. I was thrilled to find an adjacent eatery with healthy, vegetarian options. As I left with several meals to save time for writing and photography, I put my change in my pocket.

Art allows a young Syrian woman to dream of a better future

This year, I went to Turkey to help World Vision International share its work with Syrian refugees at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. To understand the situation on the ground more deeply, I met with some of the refugees World Vision is helping in Ṣanliurfa, 50 km north of the Syrian border. That's where I met Lamia, who was only 15 when her family fled the war in Syria. Lamia takes art classes at the Urfa Community Centre, which World Vision supports.

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