Dead Man Standing

The body of Angel Pantoja Medina, “the dead man standing,” being mourned in his mother’s home. Photo:

There’s a rising trend in Puerto Rico: funeral homes posing the dead like they’re still alive.  In these “outside of the box” funerals, instead of having the deceased lying in a coffin, families are having their loved ones embalmed and then posed to depict scenes from their life. It all started with the now famous case of the “dead man standing” (el muerto para’o), a young man who was mourned by his relatives not laying down in a coffin, but propped upright in his mother’s home, wearing his favorite shirt, sunglasses and cap.

Closer than We Expected


We’re almost there! Our journey to the insignificant town of Bethlehem to celebrate the coming of our Savior is coming to an end. It’s been a journey marked by both repentance and rejoicing. Of expectation and excitement. And now, on this fourth Sunday of Advent, we’re on the last leg of our trip. Continue reading

Come, Lord Jesus!

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I always found it difficult to watch the local news in Peru. What seemed like daily stories of fatal car crashes, confrontations between police and protestors, and political corruption would leave me with a giant pit in my stomach. Back here in the United States, the story is not much different. Stories of school shootings, riots in the streets, and officers being killed left and right make it hard to watch the news here, too. The local news is hard to watch no matter where you find yourself! Continue reading

“Other Christs” in Latin America – Baby Jesus

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According to theologian and missionary John Mackay (1889 -1983), the Christ brought to the New World by the conquistadores was not the Christ of history revealed to us in the Scriptures. Instead, he argues, there were various “other
christs” introduced to the natives through the words and actions of their conquerors. Continue reading

See You Later

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WIth sad yet grateful hearts, my wife and her family said "see you later" to her grandfather this year.

With sad yet grateful hearts to God, my wife and her family said “see you later” to her grandfather this year.

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven whole months since we left Peru to return to the United States! It was really difficult to leave behind those we had grown to love and care so much about. As we said our goodbyes, many Peruvians would ease the pain by saying,

“This isn’t a goodbye, it’s an I’ll see you later.” Continue reading