Holiness in our Midst: Session 83

Holiness in our Midst


Story Circle Prompt: Share an example of turning lemons into lemonade.

One afternoon in May of 2003, as I was riding through mountains near the southwestern coast of the Dominican Republic, I heard how a whole community turned lemons into lemonade. I was immersing myself in the work of Jeff and Peggy Boshart, community development staff for the Church of the Brethren; my purpose as coordinator for mission connections for the denomination was to interpret the microloan enterprises they supervised.

We had just left the town of Villa Nizao, where we had visited coffee-growing projects. Peggy pointed out a river that flows down to the Caribbean Sea about 30 miles from a city called Paraíso, Spanish for Paradise). She told us that every year during Holy Week, the villagers dammed this river, using sticks and branches, and created a lake. They were too poor to travel to “Paradise,” so they created their own. They drank coconut milk from the shells; enjoyed plantains and fried fish; and danced and sang into the night. At the end of Easter vacation, they “undammed” the river and went back to their daily lives. “They made their own beach when they couldn’t afford to travel to one,” Peggy marveled. This community’s choice to create their own joy still comes back to me when I am tempted to complain about circumstances.

 (Jeff is currently manager of the Global Food Initiative for the Church of the Brethren.) 


  1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, remember a time when you turned lemons into lemonade. Have you seen a community turn a challenge into triumph?


  1.   Read aloud Session LXXXIII. 
  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt. 

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

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