Voni's View

Our vision depends on where we are standing

More Mirrors: Concepts for Survival and Sanity

  Prelude: August 1967  in Belo Horizonte, MG  Brazil We are hunting for a house to rent – there is nothing unusual about that. However, we have a few unknowns this time. We do not know the language well. We do not know this city. We do not know the culture. And we we do not have the […]

The Shifting Kaleidoscope: Concepts for survival and sanity

August 1967  São Paulo, SP  Brasil It is night and everyone is tired! Our bus brakes screech to a stop and we all pull our bodies and our children from the bus as a pile of suitcases grows on the sidewalk.  Our host families walk around us, searching for the specific family they will take […]

HOUSE OF MIRRORS : Concepts for survival and sanity

I’m 8 years old at a traveling carnival. Holding onto my parents’ hands, we walk into a tent full of funny mirrors.  People stand in front of them, some laughing, some screaming hilariously , and others walking away with disgusted looks on their faces. Mom and Dad take me to one mirror: the three of us are […]

What Does DIFFERENT Mean?

    Today, we are living smack in the middle of different!   When I’m out on the street, in stores or offices, I may hear at least three different languages:  English, Spanish, and/or Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese . . . Each of these languages represents a different culture and different belief system. In […]


  WINTER OF JULY 1984, MINAS GERAIS, BRAZIL We are driving late at night down a dark, unfamiliar highway in the state of Minas Gerais. Four of us are cramped into our old station wagon, surrounded with instruments and suitcases, some taking up passenger room inside and some tied in a carrier we have on […]

Into the Unknown

I am standing on the ship’s deck,  staring through the darkness, straining to see the lone figure of my brother leaning on his canes, with his back against a warehouse.  The dock is completely empty, as is the deck of our ship. All of the friends and well-wishers went home several hours ago.  Only my […]

What in this World Is the Kingdom of God?

Jesus taught: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all of these things (food, clothing, shelter, and guidance) will be added in your lives.” Are these beautiful words with no practical application?  Or is there a depth here I’ve not yet totally understood?   How do I seek first the kingdom of God? Does this […]

What Is a Flea?

November 1967 We are standing, sweating and frustrated, in the midst of a laughing crowd of Brazilians watching our funny antics.  How did we ever get  into such a situation?  It was like this.   The house we are renting is on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte, a city of about 1 and a half million. The […]

Alone – But Not Home

I’m smiling as I stand barefoot, on a grass lawn: I kick off my shoes so I can feel the coolness of the grass under my feet – so different from the concrete around our home in Belo Horizonte!   We arrived in Rio de Janeiro this morning after an exhausting 8 hour bus trip […]


STREET MARKET: “ I DID NOT BARGAIN FOR THIS!” Belo Horizonte, MG Brazil    October 1967 The people in the street market set up their booths early in the morning as the sun is coming over the horizon.  This market is about two blocks long; the booths set up on both sides of a main street near […]