I have vowed to my dearest friend Jewels, (on more than one occasion this year) to start blogging on a somewhat consistent basis. I have decided today is the day. I simply cannot let the year pass away without entering at least one post!

With Christmas being less than one week away and the New Year quickly approaching, I suppose it’s only natural that I’m feeling the need to sit and reflect on the happenings of 2009 and look ahead to some goal setting in 2010 —hey, it’s the “J” in me. (For all you Myers-Briggs fanatics, I’m an ESFJ.)

This year has been incredibly busy in the DeLano household. I am amazed my husband and I have accomplished all that we have. Were it not for the Lord’s strength–and much caffeine–I’m most certain we would have crashed in March.

I am thankful for the opportunities presented this year to stretch my social justice muscles and become involved in projects through which to bring attention and awareness to the plight of the poor, marginalized and oppressed.

For starters, my hubby and I co-lead an Adult Ed class called Burdened Backs, Calloused Feet, Silenced Tongues. The focus: expose participants to issues afflicting our world today, examining a biblical basis for response. Using scripture as our guide, we tackled such topics as human trafficking, slavery, the sex trade, creation care, poverty, sweatshops, and social justice 101. Though much work (holy-course-pack-Batman!!) went into the preparation of each class, it was worth the effort. Each week generated thoughtful discussion, and at times, heated debate. At the end of our time together, each class member shared a personalized Action Plan of steps they committed to take to continue educating themselves (and others) on a topic that moved them. It truly warmed my heart to see the meaningful responses each person conveyed of the course.

In tandem with “The Justice Class” as it endearingly became known, my hubby and I landed a spot on the planning committee to recruit runners for a 5k to benefit Bright Hope International. (If you have never heard of Bright Hope International you absolutely MUST look into them. Their mission is to serve and empower people who survive on less than $2.00 a day and who live in the most remote areas by providing educational opportunities, medical services, and micro-loan programs, to name a few.) Our goal: to raise $1,000 and recruit 35 people to run on Team BC for the 7th Annual Run For Hungry Children. After several months of planning educational events, creating a promo video, and making dozens of phone calls, committee efforts were realized beyond our expectations. Over 50 runners joined Team BC, and raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,675 dollars. Wo-hoo!

I vowed to take it easy during the summer and enjoy some light reading, but an opportunity literally fell into my lap mid-July that I just could not pass-up. So began my internship with The SOLD Project. A 12-week commitment, the purpose was to twofold: 1) to raise awareness for the ill of child prostitution as it claims the innocence and destroys the lives of thousands of young children in Thailand, and 2) promote the work of The SOLD Project by hosting a screening of their newly released documentary, SOLD: Thailand. I am currently in phase two of the internship, busily planning an event, RESCUE, to be held January 29, 2010. (More details to follow in a future post, promise!)

One of the highlights of this year, my hubby and I traveled to Israel! A longtime dream come true, we spent 11 days traveling the “Holy Land” with a tour-group of 35, lead by New Testament scholar, Dr. Gerald Borchert. Though the weather was rainy and cold, and even though I came down with some horrible Israeli flu, this was a trip of a lifetime. On the eve of our departure Israel began bombing Gaza, leading to the intense conflict that dominated American television for 2 weeks. While the rest of the world was providing controlled, factual and balanced coverage of the conflict, we witnessed day after day the overly exuberant, overly dramatized, and overly exaggerated pro-Israel coverage from the American news media—Fox News in particular—while flipping the channels in our hotel room. This may sound odd, but I am grateful for the opportunity to have visited this religiously complex and politically fragile country while this conflict occurred for it opened many doors to conversations regarding the intense tension that exists between Israelis and Palestinians, & Christians, Jews and Muslims. All in all, to walk the land of my Saviour, the land which birthed the development and formation of the Christian faith, (among others,) was a truly unique and moving experience.

As a result of this experience my faith has grown deeper as well as my understanding of much Old Testament history. As I can say I walked part of the Via de la Rosa, the path which lead my Savior, God, and King to fulfill a purpose that baffles and moves me to this day, I am continually humbled by the sacrifice Jesus made to ensure forgiveness of our sin and the promise that all have the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven.

Another highlight of the year: Rob and I celebrated 5 years of marriage! How the time flies by! Seems like only yesterday I was walking down the garden path, hand-in-hand with my Daddy, on my way to becoming Mrs. Robert DeLano. When I think of all that we have accomplished and shared together so far, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for what the years ahead hold in store for us. I can not imagine sharing this journey with anyone else. God has given me a truly incredible gift in Rob. I am thoroughly grateful for the gift of his love, kindness, strength, gentleness, humour, and compassion. (oh, did I mention he makes a mean egg-and-cheese sandwich?)

It has been a good year…a full year…a purposeful year. I am looking forward to whatever 2010 has in store.



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