Living and loving

July 7, 2009 at 12:56 am (Uncategorized)

Yes, it’s true.  I promised to be better about posting, but so far that hasn’t happened… my bad!  I do kind of have an excuse though– there was no internet at my campsite this past week (what kind of camping doesn’t have internet? just kidding), and life HAS been pretty crazy lately.  But still, sorry these posts have been few and far between.

Sheeew, now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s pick back up with my summer adventures!

She was my first victim for face-painting... Just kidding, she ran into a butterly

She was my first victim for face-painting... Just kidding, she ran into a butterly

When last we left, our fearless hero (yours truly) was braving the surf and getting his first exposure to juvenile hall.  Since then, I’ve gone to a couple of court dates for boys from juvy, and one of them even got released!  There are some pretty young kids in juvy, around 12 years or so, and they usually go up to 18, after which they’re taken to an adult prison.  If kids are in for the long-haul however, maybe on a murder count or something, they’ll end up in adult prison earlier than 18 a lot of times.  On Saturday the 20th, Nettie and I went to hang out with some boys at juvenile hall (Martha was visiting her family in Michigan), and it was awesome just chilling out over some soda and chips and getting to know these guys a bit!  A lot of them just want to know that they matter for something, because it’s hard when their family doesn’t have any desire to visit or when they have nothing/nobody to look forward to once they get out.  We try to be a group of people that these kids know they have to fall back on and just try to give them the love that they need and deserve– all the while pointing them to Christ and striving to be his hands and feet within the prison system.  You’d be surprised how receptive a lot of them are to talking about faith and to learning about Christ’s love… their prayers are very humbling for me too, because they’re often more genuine than my own.  Sometimes I can become calloused to the idea of bringing MY agenda before the Lord, and forget that prayer is really a conversation between my Father and me, his adopted son.  I’ve definitely been learning more about the power of prayer and about how to truly listen to God– not something I’m great at yet, but I’m really trying!

Nettie painted this chameleon for me...

Nettie painted this chameleon for me...

That night we had a Nacho Libre themed nacho dinner at the house with the other SF InnerCHANGE folks, and it was just a chance to get everyone together for some hangout time (luchadores masks were strongly encouraged).  I got the chance to talk with a couple, Jeff and Melissa, who live in the city and serve with another ministry called Re-Imagine.  They were so loving with one another and their passion for Christ just shone through all of the words and actions, and I’m so glad that the Lord introduced us.  I’m so encouraged by godly marriages and families like theirs, and I’m praying that one day– if it’s within God’s plan for my life– that He blesses me with the opportunity to honor Him with a family like that!  I feel like there’s so much to be said for a couple working as a team and complementing each other’s gifts, all the while growing closer to God and building a family that becomes a sanctuary for the Lord.  It’s just so cool to see because that’s pretty rare in this day and age!

Spider!

Spider!

For my day off (Monday, June 22) I played some more soccer over at Garfield Park and actually held my own as the only Gringo on the field!  On Tuesday we had our day of prayer and worship over at the Haight/Ashbury house, and then the guys hung around afterwards for some dude-time.  Tuesdays usually take a toll on me because after a several hours of sitting for worship and Learning Communities (something we do every Tuesday), we have a Casa San Dimas meeting that lasts a couple hours or so.  LOTS of sitting and listening on Tuesdays… That night we had Pompeyo and Glenda cook us a traditional Honduran dinner, and I must say— it was freaking awesome.  They fried up some plaintains, which were so sweet and succulent, and made huevos con chorizo (eggs with sausage).  We also had frijoles refritos (refried beans) with some sort of sharp, white cheese crumbled over top, and sliced aguacates (avocados) to incoporate into the beans.  After dinner we had a prayer session for Pompeyo and Glenda in the chapel of the Casa San Dimas office, as they discern whether serving the Lord means becoming more involved with leadership at Casa San Dimas.  They’re such amazing people, and a great couple, and I can really see the Lord moving in their hearts.

Thursday I went to Arriba Juntos (a food bank handout) with Nettie in the morning and got some groceries for our casa (it took a few hours though).  That evening we had our group at Mission Dolores with some of the street kids, and then after some off-key acapella worship songs (Matt didn’t come with his guitar), we went out for pizza to celebrate a birthday!  One of the guys from group, turned 20 and really wanted pizza, so our group ended up being his celebration since his family isn’t involved in his life.  I think it was his first birthday in 6 or 7 years outside of prison… pretty nuts.

Hi!

Hi!

Nettie and I spent that Saturday painting faces for the kids at San Pedro church as part of their Novena festival.  The Novena (which I’m really not familiar with since I didn’t grow up Catholic) is nine days of reading the Rosary in honor of their patron saint, Saint Peter, during which they have games and food and activities to raise money for the church. I don’t think I did too shabby at the face painting for my first time!  We had a dance at the church in the evening, and once again I was easily pin-pointed as not having grown up in Latin culture– I’ve never used my hip muscles like that before, but it was still fun to goof around!

Sunday I really needed some alone time with God, so I opted out of church to read my Bible, pray, and clear my mind with some yoga and coffee in the morning.  I felt so recharged afterwards, which is just a reminder to me that I need to be good about taking care of myself– if I’m not being filled up by God, how can I hope to pour out His love to others?  Monday became my pseudo-day-off as Nettie and I got ready for our camping trip, but I’ll tell you more about that in the next post so that this one doesn’t stretch any longer… Adios!

Advertisements

Permalink 4 Comments

A week and a half in

June 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm (Uncategorized)

Yeah yeah yeah, I hear ya… I’m behind on posts.  But that’s okay, because now I’ve got stuff to talk about!  Last friday I was pooped from running around all day Thursday, so I slept in until about 10 or so.  It still wasn’t SUPER restful, because my window doesn’t seem to block out any of the noise from the streets—every skateboard, dog, or car that goes by is practically in my bedroom.  But it felt good to have a slow morning!  I woke up, took the Honey Bunches of Oats from “Heaven” (the upstairs) and learned all about bulletproof materials on the History Channel.  I ventured down to the girls’ flat (they live below us) around lunchtime and Sofia taught me how to make pupusas, which are like the more complex El Salvadorian version of tortillas.  You integrate this cheese/spice mixture into the flour and cook the flattened dough on a griddle– to eat it you open up the pupusa, fill it with curtido (pickled coleslaw), and top it with a warm, thin tomato-y salsa.  They’re fantastic!

Nettie and Yancey brave the cold

Nettie and Yancey brave the cold

On Saturday I woke  up early for Comunidad San Dimas training for Juvenile Hall– it was one day out of the four required for certification with their organization.  It wouldn’t have been too bad, except that the entire thing was in Spanish.  Luckily, Matt was translating some for me, but switching back and forth between the translation and what they were actually saying wore me the heck out.  There’s literally a physical response to the overuse of the Spanish part of your brain, and I definitely felt that.  Fortunately, I ducked out early with Nettie to take Hector home, and we decided it was a beautiful day for the beach, so we piled the three of us as well as Yancey and Isa (Jose’s

From left: Yancey, Nettie, Hector, and Isa

From left: Yancey, Nettie, Hector, and Isa

daughters) into the van and set out.  Hector wanted a bike, so we threw that in the trunk.  We got kind of lost in the park by the ocean, but we found a cool playground that Yancey wanted to stop at.  We played around on there for a while and I tried to teach them to juggle, but alas to no avail.  We headed to the beach and I darted into the water (freezing)–  Nettie and Yancey soon followed (wet jeans for Yancey) while Hector and Isa sat on the beach taking in the view.  Since it was my 21st birthday, Martha and Nettie took me out after dinner for a couple drinks;  I had a Belgian beer called “Delirium” at the first place (light, malty, and sweet– not super great), and then a Guinness at the second place (full-bodied with fantastic foam– I like).

Sunday was church day, so I attended Nettie’s Sunday school in the morning.  They were a great group of people that really liked their coffee and sweets.  I actually ducked out early and missed the service, so that I could run home and Skype with Holly!  It was amazing getting to talk to her, since I haven’t gotten to really do that this summer– she’s doing really well in Kenya, but her team definitely continues to need prayers!  I napped for a while, and after dinnertime our team got together in “Heaven” to share timelines for everyone’s lives, just so that I could get an idea of each person’s background and story.  We finished with my story, sang some songs, and called it a night.

Mondays are my day off, so I grabbed Matt’s surfboard from the garage and drove down to Aqua Surf Shop to rent myself a wetsuit and catch some waves.  I never realized how tiring surfing could be– just paddling against the

Dios esta aqui

Dios esta aqui

cross-current was enough to wear me out.  Every 20 minutes or so, I had to go ashore and walk back up the beach because the current carried me at a pretty good clip down shore.  I actually caught a few waves though! (more or less)  A couple hours of surfing wore me out, so I showered at home and then left with Martha, Nettie, and Sofia to go play some disc golf in this beautiful park full of massive trees.  After a poor showing on the disc golf course, we enjoyed another gooooorrrgeous sunset down by the beach.  There were these clouds that just lined the golden and red rays, and I said to Sofia, “I think if I could look over the other side, I just might see God hiding there.”  She quickly responded, “No! Dios esta aqui!”

Tuesday was a bit more business-oriented.  We had prayer and worship with the other San Francisco InnerCHANGE team– called the OuterCircle– as part of the organization’s weekly rythym in spiritual discipline.  The OuterCircle team ministers to an interesting group of people referred to as the Gutter Punk community– they dress with spikes and leather and such, live on the streets, and drink alcohol like it’s they’re job.  I haven’t much exposure to them yet, but I’d like to meet some.  We had a meeting later in the afternoon to coordinate our team’s schedules, which took a couple of hours, and then frantically threw together a bunch of food for Tuesday night dinner.  We basically have open invitations to whoever wants to show up on Tuesdays, from street kids to gang members to city officials… anybody.  We hung out and talked, and just shared fellowship with four high school street kids and some of our volunteer friends, for a few hours or so.  Once everyone left, Nettie, Martha, Matt and I wanted to do some house prayer before bed.  We turned the lights off and sat in a circle around a candle, just praying, confessing, lifting up the kids in prayer, praying for each other’s struggles, bathing Casa San Dimas in Christ’s protection, casting away any evil that might be lurking in the house, and just lifting up this place as a sanctuary for Him and for the kids.  It was so powerful and refreshing to pray as a team, and the prayer lasted a good couple hours I think (Nettie slept for some of it though).

Wednesday we visited Juvenile Hall and I got the chance to hang out with a few of the guys, which was really rewarding.  Thursday I swam at the gym with Matt and lifted weights with him– I was hoping they’d have a decent monthly rate that I could pay until August, but it would’ve been about $150 for a month and a half!  Kind of obscene if you ask me… whatev.  I’m not sure what’s in store for today yet, but I’ll try to be better about posting more frequently!  Grace, peace.

Permalink 5 Comments

Fútbol, árboles, y comida gratis

June 11, 2009 at 7:59 pm (Uncategorized)

Me and Hector

Me and Hector

Today’s been a good day so far!  In the morning we woke up and stood in line with hundreds of our neighbors to get some free groceries for the week.  It was mainly latinos and Chinese folks, but there were several gringos that made there way out too.  We met a guy named Josh who does lead vocals and guitar for a band named Strangefeather— he just returned from touring the United States (they missed KY though) and playing some good ol’ American rock ‘n roll.  He and his band are taking a much-needed break for a couple months and then heading back on the road for another tour.  It was amazing how much food they give away!  Everyone who came walked away with all they needed and more– God truly provides.  It’s really cool too, because the people from Casa San Dimas said that the more they give away the more they get in return.

After stocking up on food for the house, we returned home to cook up a bunch of things and loaded up on sandwiches and juice.  We piled it all in our pretty jank van, headed over to Cesar Chavez St. to feed some of the guys waiting around for work, and ended up with the perfect amount of food for everyone!  It’s rough for immimgrants without papers, because some of them end up waiting all day on this street in hopes that somebody comes searching for some cheap labor.

We met up with a few people afterward and headed over to Garfield Park for some soccer!  I had a blast and, believe it or not, was able to keep up with the mexicanos I was playing with– some of them are pretty flipping good though. The picture below is one of the girls with whom I work, named Martha, and she hails from Michigan.  After soccer I climbed some trees with Hector, and the guys on the field starting making Tarzan noises.

Martita (Martha)

I live/work with about 8 people: Jose (the director), his wife Celida, Sofia (from El Salvador), Rafael (one of the boys in the house), Martha, Nettie (my leader, from Michigan), and Hector (foster child of Jose and Celida, from Honduras).

Last night we got to sit down and talk to Sofia about her time in El Salvador during their civil war.  I never learned about any of their history in school, and was absolutely blown away by what this woman survived.  For years, she lived on the run from the guerilla armies who were revolting against the government.  She’s been shot at more times than she can remember, survived horrendous bombings and attacks, and witnessed carnage so horrific that I can hardly comprehend it.  I can hardly do her story justice in a retelling, but I would encourage you to explore the Salvadorian history yourself.

San Francisco is so beautiful and so diverse; I’ve had a blast exploring different areas and running into every type of person you could imagine.  Last night I biked down Folsom St. to the Bay Bridge and just enjoyed the chance to soak up a bit of the city.  There’s nothing like a cool ocean breeze on my face to calm my spirits– appreciating nature is really special to me.  I know this post was kind of mumble-jumbled, but so is my brain from trying to switch back-and-forth from Spanish to English.  I hope all is well in KY/Kenya/NC/Poland/wherever!  La paz.

Permalink 3 Comments

Mission Dolores

June 9, 2009 at 1:23 am (Uncategorized)

Mission DoloresToday has been a great day to learn more about InnerCHANGE as an organization.  It all started in the 80’s with a man named John Hayes who had a love for serving the Cambodian people in his area; his passion and love for the poor and marginalized were the first seeds planted in starting an organization dedicated to living incarnationally among the poor.  From there, everything just took off and the whole process has been very organic in the fact that it has allowed for God to mold and shape InnerCHANGE however He deems necessary.  After years of learning, they have developed a good structure for this ministry, but even now they refer to this structure as “soft walls”.  Why?  They don’t want to constrict God’s growth and be so ignorant as to say that they have the one and only way of doing things– more often than not, God shows up with His own agenda and tends to shake things up a bit.  So they have a definite way of doing things, but they are also very open to creativity and to putting God’s will over all else.

InnerCHANGE calls themselves an order, for a lot of reasons, but the name is a throwback to the old monastic orders, especially those founded by Saint Francis (San Francisco) and Saint Clare.  Tonight we visited Mission Dolores, which is a church built in 1776 dedicated to Saint Francis.  It was the first mission church in San Francisco, and is the oldest standing building in this part of California.  We had some incredible worship with a guitar and a Djembé as we sat in a circle on the brick floor of the church, just singing praises to our Father, our Dios.  That’s another thing, it’s really been amazing to me worshipping in both Spanish and English, because the Spanish just gives you a whole other sense of what you’re singing to the Lord.  After worship, we talked about the six commitments of InnerCHANGE as a monastic order: Purity, Humility, Community, Prayer, Simplicity, and Service.  By this point the church was dark, so we sat around candlelight sharing what God was putting on our hearts and praying over each other.

I’m just blown away by the people here.  And the weird thing is that they’re not even that amazing; they’re just so real and genuine, and you just know that what you see is what you get.  The openness of this community, this family, is so reminiscent of the early church.  With the commitment of community, they are commiting to love and serve one another, to share possessions, to pray and invest in their lives, and to serve alongside their teammates.  There is so much more that I wish I had time to write, and even more that I wish I could express eloquently in words… but there will be time for that later.  For now, I must continue down the path set before me; that path right now happens to be getting to sleep so that I can finish orientation out strong (early day tomorrow).  Goodnight, God bless

Permalink 3 Comments

I’m here now!

June 8, 2009 at 1:28 am (Uncategorized)

Howdy ya’ll!

Just want to let everyone know I’m in San Francisco safely, and we’re going through a week of orientation with all the InnerCHANGE team from different locations (Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Caracas).  On Wednesday, everyone leaves for their separate cities, but obviously I’m staying here.  The people are great, and I’ll be bummed to see them leave, but I’m really really stoked about what this summer is going to hold.

I’ll do a better post on this later, but I’m tired right now from a long day and I haven’t had much opportunity yet to detail what’s been going on.  Plus it’s hard to type right now because everyone around me is speaking Spanish, and apparently my hands are listening because Spanish words keep showing up on my screen!  But yes, I’m doing well and I want to thank everyone again for all the love you’ve shown me and for all the encouragement and support you’ve offered.  Ciao!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Leaving, on a jet plane

June 5, 2009 at 12:05 am (Uncategorized)

Excuse me sir, are you in a gang?

Excuse me sir, are you in a gang?

I’m leaving tomorrow!  I finally got my packing list last night– it was all pretty straightforward, but I’m not allowed to bring all-red or all-blue hats or shoes (it didn’t say why, but I’m assuming it’s because of the gang activity).  What else, what else… Oh yeah, I’ve been reading the Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne (did I already say this before?) and I finished the New Friars by Scott Bessenecker– both are fantastic and really spoke to my heart.

I had a really great invitation to have a couple people pray over me for my trip: my sister, and a family friend of ours who was my piano teacher at one point in time.  I wasn’t exactly the most cooperative student, but that’s another story.  I’ve only had people lay hands on me and pray once before, but I know the power of prayer is amazing and that when two or more are gathered in His name, He meets us there.  I felt so undeserving of it though.  I can’t describe how much it means to me having that kind of loving and prayerful support from people that I love so much, and I’m truly blessed in so many ways.  So thank you.  Thank you thank you thank you.  To those who prayed with me today, to those who have given financially, to those who have offered guidance and prayerful support, and to those who have poured into my life– thank you.  You all are as much a part of this summer as I am, and I wouldn’t have this privelege if it weren’t for you all.  But most of all, thanks be to our Lord and Savior; who was and is and is yet to come.  I pray that we would all be fools for Christ each and every day, serving in love and compassion– with a courage and strength that only comes through the Spirit.

I love you all, and ask that you would continue to lift up my girlfriend Holly’s team as they serve alongside Kenyans, reaching out to the far corners of the earth.  I’m excited for how the Church is growing around the world, and I pray that we remember we are all in this thing together.  One team.  One Church.  One way.  One Christ.

Grace, peace.

Permalink 2 Comments

Urban ENO… 6 days out.

May 31, 2009 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized)

I got some new info about Cali for ya’ll, but first here’s a pic of where I slept last night (actually I ended up inside after a while. It still rocked though– literally).  My friend Jake and I started a competition between the two of

Me and my boy J-Bigga nested up in our respective hammocks (mine is red)

Me and my boy J-Bigga nested up in our respective hammocks (mine is red)

us this summer: we’re seeing who can get pictures of ourselves in our hammock in a) the most picturesque setting, b) the most ridiculous place, and c) the highest place.  It’s on like Donkey Kong.  (Anyone else reading this: feel free to submit guest entries with your own ENO, you know you want to)

Back to San Francisco… I’m about 3/4’s of the way to my fundraising goal for the summer!  Thanks again to everyone who helped out at all, it truly is a blessing to have your support.  I’m behind on sending out formal “Thank-you” letters, but I promise they’re coming soon.  Also, I booked flights back home for a weekend in July so that I can see my sister get married to a great guy– I’m really pumped to be in the wedding too and wear a tux.

He's not the one in the dress.

He's not the one in the dress.

This summer, I’ll have a mentor named Matt (or Mateo) who is the guy in charge of Casa San Dimas, the transitional home for the boys I’m working with.  We’ll meet together for an hour or two each week so that I can share what God is doing my life, vent about issues if I need to, have someone to encourage me, and have an older, more mature Christian praying with me and teaching me.  I’m really, really excited about this because I’ve never had a true mentor before, and I know that Godly leadership from another guy will allow me the opportunity to grow in so many new ways.  He’ll also be my teammate this summer, because we’ll both be living and serving together in Casa San Dimas.  Matt’s originally from the Bay Area, but has lived in Costa Rica and Mexico for years; he’s a talented musician and has a heart for befriending the young men he meets and bringing them into community.

Jose

Jose

I also have the opportunity to work with my team leader, Jose (left); originally from El Salvador, he’s served with InnerCHANGE for about 12 years now.  I hear he has fantastic stories about his journey of faith and about living in El Salvador during their civil war.

Celida

Celida

His wife, Celida (right), is our co-leader.  She hails from Jalisco, Mexico and is wonderfully gifted with music!

And last, but not least, here’s a shot of my leaders Nettie and Martha (below), who grew up in Wisconsin and Michigan respectively.  This isn’t exactly inner-city San Francisco though; apparently they started missing real trees and took a little backpacking expedition to get a little escape from California’s bayside concrete jungle.  I might just need one of those at the end of the summer if I start jonesing for some good ol’ mother nature again! (which I know I will) These two are sort of the street team in

Martha and Nettie

Martha and Nettie

Cali, running around exploring, meeting new people, and finding gang members to zero in on.  I’m psyched to run around with them for a while!

This is about all I have for updates right now.  I’m supposed to be getting some last-minute info soon about packing, etc. (I haven’t even started, my room is a MESS), but I still don’t feel like I’m leaving here in 6 days!  It probably won’t sink in until I get there and have to sleep in a new place; that’s usually how it works for me.

Please continue praying for the Kenya and Poland interns.  They’re all having wonderful experiences with our overseas brothers and sisters and are learning and growing in amazing ways!  Please also pray for my preparation, and pray that I can fully release control this summer and let God take over for me.  Also, I’ve got an obstacle in my life that I’m trying to put in the past, but it take lots of perseverance to continually turn this area over to God; so if you could be lifting that up in prayer also, I would greatly appreciate it.

Oh, and one last thing.  The highlight of my week so far was a surprise call from Kenya!  Thanks Holly and thanks Skype!

Permalink 3 Comments

My leader out in San Fran…

May 21, 2009 at 11:27 am (Uncategorized)

The Missin District is famous for its murals

The Mission District is famous for its murals

I forgot to post about this, but I found out who is leading my program out in San Francisco. Antoinette, aka Nettie, Spitz is my program director and is responsible for organizing my time out there. She grew up in the Midwest and found herself serving on the Comunidad San Dimas team, and has loved it ever since!

She gave me a few random facts about the city, including the odd distribution of wealth; there are million dollar homes and section 8 government housing, but not a lot in between. Apparently, they treat their poor better than a lot of other cities and not many people seem to go hungry! Also, she added this little blurb:

Contrary to popular belief, the San Andreas fault line does not run through San Francisco – it runs right next to it. Therefore, at the end of the world or in a million years or whatever, only half of California will fall off into the ocean and San Fran will still be attached to the mainland. This disappoints some, but they cheer back up when they realize that LA will be part of that chunk floating off into the big blue beyond.

Also, I got a donations update and I’m almost halfway there! Thanks so much to anyone who has given anything or invested time in prayer.

Apart from that, I saw Holly off at the airport yesterday. She flew out around 2:30 pm and won’t get there until about 1:50 pm today. Wow. That’s a heck of a lot of flying time. Luckily, thanks to modern pharmaceuticals, she won’t have been conscious for the majority of it. Only problem is, it will be 9:50 pm in Nairobi when she gets in, so after 24 hours of sleeping on flights she’s expected to head right to bed; I have a feeling that’s not going to happen right away, especially considering how sleep isn’t easy for her anyways. It was tough saying goodbye because I had to do it 3 or 4 times already, but as strange as it sounds I’m glad the final goodbye is over so that I’m not just killing time till I see her again. I miss her, but it’s time for me to focus on my spiritual preparation for my trip and on spending time with friends/family that are still in town.  I’m excited for us to come back together at the end of the summer, able to tell stories and share what God has done in our hearts and appreciate how much the other person has grown closer to Christ.

If you all could be praying for her trip as well I know it would mean a lot to her. Pray for unity and humility, pray for safety and security, and pray that they take full advantage of this summer that God has blessed them with. This summer is a life-changing experience; it’s scary, but the I know that the significance of it will alter each and every one of these interns’ life in a very big way. Kinda exciting, huh?

Permalink 6 Comments

Back in the day…

May 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm (Uncategorized)

It never fails.  Summer inevitably lead to reminiscing about the good ol’ days and reliving favorite memories with my best friends.  It’s really refreshing, actually,  having some time to reflect on life and absorb all that has happened in the past year or so.  I know for me, personally, this past year has involved a lot of growth spiritually, relationally, and emotionally.  I know I’m not what Christ wants me to be yet, but I pray that every day I can learn to relinquish control and see just what He is capable of.

Life has been pretty crazy since I got out of school, what with all the running around trying to spend time with everyone and getting Holly ready for Africa.  She left for TN yesterday for a pre-trip orientation team-building type thing, and then flies out on Wednesday afternoon for Detroit, Amsterdam, and finally Kenya.  I can’t wait to swap stories at the end of the summer and discover just what God has been doing in each of our lives and how He has further refined each of us into the disciples He wants us to be.  The cool thing is that if Holly and I are both growing closer to God, then we’re each growing closer to each other by default… even half a world apart.

Now it’s time to transition to getting myself ready, especially spiritually, for my time in San Francisco.  I’m not quite sure what God wants out of me this summer, but I know He works all things together for good, so what do I have to worry about?  Needless to say, I’m ready to get out there, I can’t wait!

To end with, here is a picture of me trying to eat Holly’s head. I get really hungry when I workout and I hear human flesh has a high protein-density; I take my fitness very seriously.

n28503339_31617723_4634679

Permalink 1 Comment

Summer time…

May 12, 2009 at 2:55 am (Uncategorized)

It’s officially summer now, as of my last final on Wednesday May 6th (I think that was the 6th anyways).  I’m back home in Louisville now spending some time with Holly, while she gets herself ready to leave this Saturday for training in Tennessee, and then for Kenya on May 20th.  I can’t believe it’s almost here!  I’ve also been spending some time with family and have been enjoying the absence of homework and tests persistently hanging over my head.

Even though I’m not at school right now, it’s still a huge stress in my life, because none of college seems to work out very well.  My parents keep pressuring me to get out as fast as I can so that we spend less money, but certain classes that I need are offered only once a year, and prereqs in engineering are pretty hardcore since it’s all math-based; and a lot of the classes only have one or two sections available, which fill up almost immediately.  A lot of how my schedule falls into place is out of my control because of the prereqs and stuff, so as much as I want to finish up and get out I’m forced to stay longer than I want (probably a full year extra).  I’m just tired of worrying about classes and grades and stressing about deadlines and having projects and papers and tests weighing me down constantly; I really need a break, and I think this summer will help.  Therein lies another conflict, however.  As much as I know I need a break, I almost feel guilty going to California because I feel like I’m neglecting school or something.  I dunno.

Basically I just need to keep turning this all over to God each day and praying for His peace and guidance for the entire situation; it’s so hard for me to be content sometimes, but I need to learn contentment in all situations, just as Paul did in the New Testament.  Whether rich or poor, happy or sad, hungry or full, approved or rejected, Christ is with me and Christ sustains me.  I’ve been really struggling with feeling God and desiring God lately, but I know He’s still there.  It’s hard to run back to Him when I don’t feel Him, but He does that to teach me strength and faith; if everything were easy, how would I ever learn to lean on Him?  I’m anxious to return Home someday, but in the mean time I will hold my ground and fight the battle set before me each moment of every day.  Through Christ’s blood I have already overcome this world, and I need to remind myself of that at times.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »