Sunday, July 18, 2010

Looking back over the past three months of my life, it all seems like a dream. Not one of those fuzzy I-never-want-to-wake-up kind of dreams, but still surreal enough for me to not believe that this is in fact my life.  It has all flown by so quickly that I’m starting to get nervous about the idea of returning home. Looking in the mirror, not much has change about me. However, I’ve witnessed things that will never allow me to be the same person that I was when I boarded that plane just a few months ago in Charlotte, North Carolina.

When I left home in March, leaving my family was hard for me, but I knew that I would only be away a few short months and God-willing, they’d all be there to welcome me home. Preparing for yet another set of goodbyes, I know the conditions will not be the same. In three short months I’ve made friendships with so many amazing, God-fearing people. Without so many of whom, my life here would have been miserable. They have become my family, mixed of different cultures and beliefs, but all worshipping and committed to serving one common Savior. Because of Him, we’ve all ended up in this place with the same purpose in mind—sharing the love of Jesus with the Waray-Waray.

There are so many things I’ve grown to love about this culture, and countless things I will always despise.  Living here has opened my eyes, renewed my spirit, and broken my heart. I’ve seen death and I’ve witnessed the miracle of new life. I’ve faced numerous changes of plans, setbacks, and been disappointed. Through everything, God never left me. He was always there, pushing me toward the goal—sharing HIS love with these people, so that they may glorify HIM.

Nothing about these three short months has been easy. I’m so tired of being stared at, talked about, and made fun of. I have never wanted to be as insignificant as I want to be right this moment. I want to walk into a room and understand the conversation taking place. I want to walk down the street and no one turn to stare at me. I want to play with children who don’t grab my sides and measure my legs while laughing and making comments about my size. I want a normal life, how selfish. Jesus did not live a “normal” life, He lived a perfect one. A life that, though He was without fought, ended with Him being betrayed by those close to him, He was beaten, made fun of, and spat on. He endured all of this so that I could live an eternity with Him. Why should I desire to live a normal life? How can I consider myself worthy to live a life of comfort when He went through such pain for me and gave His perfect life for me? Living here has taught me that no matter what my flesh desires, not the comforts of home or a familiar language, a “normal” life for me will forever be where He calls me. Although it may seem difficult for a time, the reward in the end is sweet. Knowing that one day I’ll be spending an eternity worshipping and glorifying God with these new Waray-Waray believers, that in itself is worth whatever trials I may face.


Friday, June 4, 2010

eternity...

May 20,2010 –Aroganga

Naomi, Charity, & I traveled by Bus from the City to Samar two days ago. About two hours into the trip we entered a village that’s along the highway. We came upon a group of people surrounding another bus that was stopped; it was parked partially in our lane but mostly in the other. The women were crying and people were yelling. You could see the passengers inside all standing up and looking outside not sure what was happening. I seemed to be living in slow motion; staring with my mouth open with a bird’s eye view of everything because Naomi and I had been given the front seat. As we slowly approached the area in order to go around them, Naomi grabbed my hand as we both realized what had just happened. Lying there about ten feet behind the bus sticking out from beneath a rice sack was a bloody foot. Minutes before I had been trying to fall asleep, at that same moment another soul was ushered into eternity. Whether or not this man was a believer, I don’t know. It hit me hard. In this culture, a human life just doesn’t have much value. Yes, that driver will pay the price, either with his own life being taken or spending it in jail, his life is over.  As tears began to fill my eyes for this man whom I’d never met, I began to realize just how important the Gospel message really is to those who have never heard. Those who have NEVER HAD THE OPTION to choose Christ are dying and passing into an eternity separated from their Savior. An ETERNITY.


--I later found out that there had been two bodies. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

clean feet.

looking through my journal over the past few weeks, there was one thing that i commented on in nearly all of my entries,


my feet are clean.


i was working up river in a place called aroganga. a pastor and his wife live there and a group came up from Mindanao to lead a vacation bible school. naomi, charity, and i helped with games and snacks .i was able to work on language(s) and get to know some amazing people. i say languages because within the group, six different languages were spoken. it was an awesome week of fellowship.






throughout the week i was constantly reminded of how i cannot do this job without Him. i was constantly confused and not sure what was going on. i got lost within the sea of language and the fact that i only understand a fraction of what it takes to get by. i was reminded of the fact that i am a servant, i am putting aside what is comfortable to me in order to serve Him.


"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" — David Livingstone


True. Being in this place is not a sacrifice, it truly is an honor that He loves me enough to jerk me away from everything I know and send me here.


Throughout the week, I made new friends and started to become comfortable in this culture that is no my own. All of this can only be a gift from God. I'm enjoying life here. I'm thankful to able to be here. I'm learning to let go of things that I miss and begin enjoying things here.


I'm tremendously blessed to have been called here. I'm thankful that all of you are keeping up with me and hitting your knees for me and my team.




12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. --John 13:12-17--

Sunday, May 9, 2010

i promised i have not abandoned my blog...

hey everyone!
 i'm sorry i have not updated in a few weeks. 
traveling a lot. 
sick a lot.
 now resting a lot. 
i will update tomorrow morning. 
until then, here's a fun picture 
from the last few weeks of life in the philippines :-)


How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, 
Isaiah 52:7

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

meet my friend goliath

so i havent posted as much as i would like. nothing really exciting is happening. so for now, heres a fun blog about the events that took place as i was getting ready for bed.



so i'm standing here ^^ in my bathroom. minding my own business. i was brushing my teeth and i notice something move in the mirror, i look up && see this beast crawling on the wall next to the door frame....


i'm not a fan of spiders. so i start throwing stuff at him. contact solution. toothpaste. hairbrush. he just sits there. looking at me. laughing. (i'm sure he was...)


                                                   

then, magellan comes to my rescue. he was tired of me not paying him any attention && came to see why i was taking so long to brush my teeth.

this scared goliath into my shower. at which point i ran into the bed room. grabbed some cockroach killer. && bathed him in it.


SUCCESS! this was the only piece of paper i could find....but it fit so well :-)


                                         

dont worry. we had a water burial for him. i was scared his friends would start looking for him...and i never wanna meet any of his friends...

anyway. i know it wasnt all that interesting. but i DO NOT like filipino spiders. i just cannot find it in my heart to appreciate them...this one just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time! have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

life so far....



hey! sorry i've kind of neglected this blog since i've been here. so far, i love it. don't get me wrong, filipino life is very different from america. but thankfully, God created us to be flexible.

so.

I arrived last thursday. && settled in. it was a little cloudy so i unpacked but thankfully the sun came out and we were able to go to the beach...


it was beautiful. and deserted. other than a few kids from the neighboring village, it was just us. we played in the waves for awhile && when they became rather rough moved to the river that flowed into the ocean. we had some floats with us so it was like our own private lazy river. it really helped me get over my jetlag.
friday, of course, was Good Friday. and being in a predominantly Catholic nation, everything shut down. they spend the day mourning his death. you can read more about it here.

saturday i was able to go into town and learn my way around. i went shopping for the few things i needed but mostly just hung out with Naomi and Jasan..


Naomi and I attended the same college, but never met. We have a few of the same friends which is neat. Jasan and I met in 2008 when I was here and we were able to keep in touch via facebook. She lives here in Tacloban and has helped Naomi out a lot. She's pretty awesome.

Sunday I atteneded Kalipayan Baptist Church here in Tacloban, that was VERY overwhelming. I think Sunday was the first day I really felt homesick, maybe because I met so many new people in one day. I'm not sure, but it didn't keep me from wanting to continue the trip. This place seems to just latch on to my heart and not let go. I'm okay with that...
Late on Sunday, I went to a cookout at Hope Foundation with some other Missionaries. It was nice to be able to meet other people with a heart for the same people as me. While we all have different ministries, we're able to share stories and not get bored. It was so much fun...

Monday...I met the staff at Hope Foundation and was able to accompany them to a Feeding Program. They go every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday to San Roque to feed the children. Before the feeding, they have music, bible stories, and memory verses. It was so neat to watch all these children sing about Jesus. The seed these students are planting is so vital to this area. To see some video of the children singing you can click here.


                                


and finally Tuesday..yesterday. for lunch we met the Womacks (they're the missionaries who started Hope Foundation) and headed into town for lunch at McDonalds. I was able to meet up with Berna, one of the filipina team members from 2008. We walked around town some and talked about how much her life had changed since she was a part of Nehemiah Teams. Please keep her in your prayers. Pray that I'll be able to be the influence that she needs in her life right now. Pray that she will over come the pressures of her family and grow in her relationship with Christ.
After going downtown I headed to Hope Foundation to meet up with Ate Dayla to begin my language lesson. We sat in a cottage on the beach and practiced. It was fun && BEAUTIFUL. 


                                       

(don't get jealous...my classroom is just cooler than yours)

After meeting with Ate Dayla, I walked down the street to the home of the Summers, a young missionary couple with two adorable little boys. I sat in on their language overview with Ate Suzie and headed back to the house. We had to go to the market to get what we needed for dinner, so Ate Suzie, Naomi, && I headed  over to the San Jose market, in an area they call DisneyLand. :-) Ate Dayla was there with her sister selling some snack foods. She introduced me to a young woman named Judith. We talked for a few minutes and found out that Judith had just graduated from Bible College and already knew how to translate. Her english was also awesome. We discussed the possibility of her working with me this summer, she immediately said she was willing. So pray that things work out. She seemed awesome. I'm so excited :-) So we continued on to the market, I bought some oranges and mangoes, then I had a little fun walking through the fish market and taking videos. To watch the clams squirt water at me, click here.






one of the butchers...he just made me smile.

today was pretty much the same routine...wake up...breakfast...downtime...lunch...language with Ate Dayla...Jasan came over with her brother...dinner...now bed soon :-)

i'll send out an email update soon! until then...if you'd like a little filipino humor...watch this video of Naomi && Andrea eating Balut (balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

hong kong



hey! i've arrived in hong kong safely...
sitting at my gate about to board my plane to manila
i'll spend the night in manila
then head to tacloban.
i'll be safely in tacloban by 11 pm (states time)
thanks for all you do!