Sunday, August 22, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We started off the morning with a Bible study time at the Crusade house with Carlos and Tatiana. We read from Romans 10 which is a passage about sharing faith. I think it directly correlated with what we are doing here in San Jose, Costa Rica. One verse said that the feet that bring the gospel are beautiful. However t went on to say that some will not listen.
Holly and I found this to be true during our sharing times today. Yesterday I was encouraged by conversations with Tiqos that understood what it means to have a personal relationship with God. Today it felt like the Tiqos God brought us to understood the idea of God, but not in a personal way. On the surface, I feel like not much was accomplished. However I know in my heart that God was at work and He will continue to be at work.
At the end of our sharing time today I talked with Donald for a few minutes. Hé´s from Costa Rica but has spent the last five years in Mexico working. He´s been back in this country for about three weeks. I found out that Carlos had brought him to Christ in 1999. He asked me what I liked about talking to the Tiqo´s. I replied, telling him I appreciate the openness they seem to have for deeper questions and their willingness to put up with my terrible Spanish. He said this is very different from how things were five years ago. Hmmm Is God at work on this campus? I then asked him if he had spent much time in the states. He said he had, and that it was very different. Apparantly, no one would help him when he needed directions and stuff like that. In those moments, I felt ashamed of the American culture I have grown up with. Here I am in a foreign country surrounded by people that sometimes go out of their way to help me out. But when the tables are turned, how often do I turn away from someone who needs help, foreigner or not? I sensed disappointment from Donald and I feel like his view of the American culture apart from who he knows through Crusade has been stained.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Today went a lot better for me. I was feeling a little more energetic about things and was looking forward to where God would bring us. So, I was partnered with Ralph who has been involved with Crusade for a loooong time, 24 years maybe, to share our faith until we all met again at noon. We picked a group sitting opposite a large fountain and within minutes I was talking to three tiqos. That number quickly changed to two. Then back to three later. HOWEVER talking may not be the appropriate word since I know very little Spanish and they knew very little English. We all did our best and we shared many laughs together. I am pretty sure they made fun of me a little but that´s okay because I made fun of myself too. Haha. We were able to talk about God, though, and that was encouraging. For one thing, I was having my first spiritual conversation with a tiqo! Secondly, we were communicatin!!! Even if it wasn´t perfect. Haha There was one girl in this group of males and eventually she joined our conversation and then her and I were deep in conversation about faith, Heaven and Hell and more. Her English was very good and we were able to get very deep with our thoughts. It felt so nice talking to her and she was so sweet that I was sad when they had to leave.
For the second part of the day I was with Alexis, a girl on staff with Cru. We were able to get into a really good conversation with two girls who spoke excellent English. It´s interesting learning how different people in this culture relate to God and seem to be Christians without really know it. At least, they don´t know the term. Maybe.
So far I have not been anywhere with air conditioning. But I don´t mind. There is a constant breeze and windows and doors are left open everywhere to let it in. I love the constant flow of fresh air. Yet, at the same time, all the buildings are behind iron gates. At first I thought it was ugly and wondered why everyone wanted to be so private. Then I learned the gates were due to high crime rates in the area. It all made sense. My purse has been glued to my person ever since arriving in San Jose. It´s become second nature to have it hang in front of me, always with my hand laying across it.
It´s only day 2 and I feel like I have already shared my faith more than I have in my entire life. However I do´nt think that´s true. I¨m just doing it in a different, more direct way. And you know what, Í´m enjoying it. I¨m looking forward to getting back home and using my new skills on fellow students.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
505 Indian Hills Dr #D3
Moscow, ID 83843
February 16, 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
Wow. Is it really two months into the New Year already? Life is very busy for me here on the Palouse and I’m sure it’s just as busy for you! I would like to take a few minutes to share with you how God is at work in my life. At age 22, I’m finally starting to understand what it truly means to step out in faith and be an ambassador for Christ. This revival started during New Year’s at a Campus Crusade for Christ conference in Portland, Oregon. There I was blessed to spend five days getting to know other students around my town that love God on a deep and personal level. Conference is where it started, but that’s nowhere near the end.
My application to go to San Jose, Costa Rica on a short term mission’s trip has been accepted and my passport will be here soon. This trip is completely out of my comfort zone because I have very little experience sharing the Gospel with strangers and have forgotten most of my high school Spanish. However, I have no doubt that this is going to be an amazing experience.
Our main goal is to share the Gospel and seek God in a new culture. We will be sharing our faith on campus and trying to meet as many students as possible to gather contacts for the Costa Rica staff there. We hope to be able to spend a day at a local orphanage as well. At the end of the week we will hold a “fiesta” where we will invite all the students we have met and have more opportunities to engage in spiritual conversations and friendships.
One of my prayers for this trip is that the team I am heading there with will have an open heart to what God has for us. Another prayer is that we are each able to reach our financial goals of $1,400 per person by March 11. We will leave out of Spokane on March 15 and return on March 22. This semester is literally flying by and this trip is quickly approaching.
If you choose to be a part of the financial process in the amount of $50, $100 or any other amount, please make your check payable to Campus Crusade for Christ. Any amount given is greatly appreciated.
I ask that you keep me, my team members and the Campus Crusade staff in your prayers during these next few weeks and particularly during our trip. I also ask that you come alongside me and pray for those we will meet who don’t know Christ. Through this kind of giving you will be a huge part of what God will do in Costa Rica.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I've been struggling with what to write as my post for this month of February. It's not that I have something very profound or life changing to share although I feel like I should.
Friday, January 29, 2010
I can hide behind many things. People. Books. Even my own reflection. But when black tears stream down my face and wash away the foundation, I can’t hide. Hollow eyes stare bleakly through the glass as all my weight relies on the cheaply made countertop. The walls close in on me so I bow my head and enter into darkness. However darkness is worse than the bleak white infiltrating this small potty and shower room. I lift my head and open my eyes to a young blonde with puffy red eyes. The deep blue I used to see in them has been reduced to dull gray. Her hair is a bit frizzy and cascades down the sides of her face. I think if she wiped her eyes and smoothed her hair, she would be quite pretty. However it’s her eyes that intrigue me. They hold a hint of familiarity, like a childhood friend whom I haven’t seen for a number of years.
I have spent the last 22 years hearing stories about what a charmer I was and how my mom could never get out of the grocery store without a stranger stopping her. “You have such a beautiful baby girl,” they’d say. These stories are all fun to hear, but my favorite ones are about the mirror.
I couldn’t crawl quite yet, so maybe I was around six months. I was the chubbiest little thing around our small town of Rapid City, South Dakota. Huge rolls of fat took over my stubby arms and legs; my hair was sparsely blonde so my mom taped bows to my head signifying I was a girl – as if my alluring blue eyes and long eyelashes didn’t give that away already. I lived in the solitary world of being the firstborn during those early months. Maybe this is why I became so fascinated with the tall mirror that sat in the dining room. Or maybe I was looking for a playmate and found one in myself. Regardless, my parents found my early infatuation with the looking glass comical yet adorable.
This is the way I think it worked. I would start off in the living room, maybe the kitchen or office, playing contentedly with my toys. When I saw a flash of light come from the dining room I felt the urge to explore. I made up for not being able to crawl by scooting on my little bottom into the dining room. What I found there was beyond my infantile imagination. I didn’t know what it was, but it captured my attention during our first moments together. After finding this happy place I began to visit more often, leaving my favorite toys behind – the attached suns that went in circles, the rainbow rattles, and the chew toys for my aching gums.
I still find it hard to believe that I could be happy sitting and staring, maybe laughing, then sitting and staring again. This would go on for over an hour, maybe even two. However my parents claim this to be true whenever I ask them. I wish I could go back to that young mind and ask why I was so enthralled by my own appearance. Since I can’t do that, I can only conjecture. I must have liked what I saw in those early months. I imagine there was a deep fascination with watching this other person smile, laugh and move in the exact motion and time that I did. The art of scrap booking has made it possible for me to understand the features of my babyhood. Every time I am drawn to the eyes. They hold the most intimate details of stories told and untold. Knowing who I am now, knowing what draws me in, I imagine a dazzling reflection of one set of eyes I would one day know to be mine. In these moments, I was new to the woes of the world. I was innocent.
Warm water rushes from the eroded faucet into my open palms. I close my eyes and wash away the tears and mascara. My face is dripping wet as I reach for the blue hand towel. I mop up and glance at my reflection as I set the towel on the wet countertop. I almost forgot she was here. Relief breathes out through my pores because I’m not completely lost anymore. The girl I used to be is still inside somewhere. I just have to hang on to that vague yet unwavering familiarity I have with this girl looking back at me. Somehow, she knows more than she’s telling. Her eyes are no longer bleak or hollow and her cheeks have some color. This is the girl who feels remorse. This is the girl I need to see more of.
It’s funny how reflection can play the meanest tricks. For instance, I make it a habit to avoid the mirror on my way to the shower in the morning. After my eyes are a little more alert, it’s okay to glance at the reflection. Image follows me around everywhere I go. It’s in the black computer screen, a store window, a passing car, my spoon with breakfast, my living room, my hallway, my bathroom. I can’t help but glance whenever I get the chance. But it’s not until the end of the day that I am able to see who I truly am. Underneath the eyeliner, mascara and blush is a person I don’t often allow myself to see.
I have high expectations of how I should live my life; God only knows why I make them so high since I rarely seem to reach them. When I make my first mistake, my first slip-up, I lower the bar. But I still can’t get to it. So I lower the bar again. Before I know it, the bar is at eye level. All I need to do is reach out and grab it and I’ll be on my way back up to redemption. But I can’t. Mistake after mistake has blurred my vision so it’s very dark. I don’t even know the bar is in front of me anymore. I have no faith of reaching it.
I lean in unstably for a better look. So does she. We stare at each other for a while, both engrossed in our own reflection and learning the details of whom we are and who we will be. Over time that reflection changes, and both of us grow. We get bigger, we can walk and talk, we can stand and run. Hair grows long as baby fat disappears. Boyfriends come and go while best friends never leave. Puberty sets in teaching us the ways of beauty. Without realizing it, these are two young women. They grew up closer than sisters. But something happened during the loss of innocence. We parted ways. The girl I saw in the mirror was no longer the girl from my childhood. Images from Hollywood infiltrated her safe world and taught her to be one with suffering. Thus, I have been shaped by a broken mirage of the world. Wholeness is not possible in this place.
It’s a long road to recovery and I’m picking up the pieces as I go. Some are easy to find and some are well hidden. Sadly, some pieces may never be found. Once Pandora’s Box is opened, it’s rare to close it again without losing some of the self as well. So now we finally come together in a moment of truth. The façade of who I pretended to be has been wiped clean and I’m ready to begin again.
Bright blue eyes stare into mine now. Her eyelashes are still full and very long; there is no need to add embellishments on what is already beautiful. A hint of a smile touches her lips and I feel that same touch on my own face. Her cheeks have gained all its color back and she’s standing tall like a mountain. Her golden hair is neat against her face and flows lazily past her shoulders. The reflection is clear and I know exactly who I’m looking at. She is the child who used to love to watch herself in the mirror as she walked by. She is the teenager that did everything possible to change her appearance and become someone she wasn’t. She’s the young woman who walked around wearing a mask every day until ripe guilt forced that mask to fall. She is the young woman who is broken because of the selfish person she somehow became. She is the young woman gazing into her own reflection. She is me. I am her. We are the same at last.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
- Reading the Bible: I never know where to go or where to begin. Genesis? Matthew? Supposedly it's all good stuff right? Well, since getting involved in Real Life on the Palouse, I started getting involved in a Care Group and even just finished the two week membership class. These have both been great tools for me. I am also finding that the more I read, the more I WANT to read. Crazy eh?
- Quiet Times/Prayer: At almost any point in my life, I will tell you that I pray on a regular basis. However I think there are different kind of prayers. I think there are prayers I say (out loud or not) that make me feel better. I say a prayer here and there because I know I should and I want to stay on "good terms" with God. Then there are the prayers where I am able to pray with my heart. It's earnest, emotional and satisfying. My prayer life has grown and become more intimate since I've been reading my Bible although nowhere near where it should be or where I want it to be. But that's the beauty of Christ. He will meet us where we are, we only need to ask.