Tuesday, September 25, 2007

t-minus 2 days

i can't believe i'm getting ready to leave again. it doesn't feel as real this time... maybe because i've already done it. either way, i'm really going. this time though i feel like i'm leaving with more of a sadness in my heart. i'm going to miss some big things this time... the birth of my best friend's baby... my niece's first birthday... christmas preparations... which is my all-time favorite part of the year. i love coming home after a day of work to a cozy decorated house and a beautifully lit tree. it just does something to me. come to think of it, who is going to decorate the house and the tree if i'm not here? i'm the "git-r-done" one around here who makes things happen. poor mom is on her own. maybe kate will come over and help her...

don't get me wrong, i'm excited about going back to denver. there are some really special people there that i can't wait to reconnect with. i just need to keep telling myself that it's going to be different this time. if i don't prepare myself i could be really disappointed and that wouldn't be good. i know it won't be the same as dts and it can't be... it's not the same people. this is a new chapter full of new friends and new experiences and i need to keep that at the forefront of my mind. i forget what the beginning of dts was like when nobody knew each other and we were all trying to find where we fit. it'll be strange to feel that all over again.

i know that the school of worship is something that i want to do though. i just feel like i need to do it now before i can make excuses not to. it's going to be a challenge for me and probably at times very hard and stretching, but i need that right now. i don't want to be comfortable all the time. how else will i grow? i'm not alone though and i know that. life's about taking risks but i can rest in the fact that when i jump i know who is there to catch me.

this will be a new season for me... one that will probably be very pivotal for me... i just don't know how yet. people have asked me what i hope to accomplish after this school and i really don't know. i just know that i have a passion to worship and i feel God the most when i do so i'm gonna run after that with everything that i have.

thank God we only have to do things one day at a time...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

8000 miles and back again

tomorrow it will be a week since i got back from my trip to zambia. i spent an amazing 12 days there living and loving through serving. i still can't believe i went to africa... i went to africa... i have to keep telling myself that. i've dreamt about africa a lot since i've been home. i guess it stuck with me more than i realize.

i think my favorite thing was the children. i knew they'd be sweet and they were. granted they had their moments like when we're about to leave the village and they're all surrounding you saying "you give me gift in remembrance." and all you can think is, "i slept in a tent, pooped in a hole and painted all day to create a community center for you and you want a GIFT?" oh my... those are moments i won't forget. they have so little and looking back i see how special it was for us to be there and for them to get something from us. i gave this one boy my water bottle and he carried it around all day like it was a trophy. it was a $5 nalgene but to him it was gold.

then there were the moments like on my birthday when i spent hours holding this sick 3 year old little girl named martha. i don't know why i picked her out of the crowd of kids but i did and i plopped her on my lap. within moments she was curled up on my lap and showed no signs of leaving. that was fine with me so i just held her and kissed her and rubbed her face. i found out later that she's 1 of 5 kids. her dad's in prison for a year because he got in a fight and broke a man's tooth. apparently zambia takes fighting very seriously. so now this mom is left to try and take care of 5 kids and is really struggling. my heart breaks for them.

children are forced to grow up at such a young age. i saw 6 year olds carrying 6 month olds on their backs all day... 4 year olds hauling water at ungodly distances in sweltering heat... and i met many kids who lived with their grandparents because their mom and dad are no longer living... most likely due to the aids epidemic. then i think of kids the same age here in the US and how dependent they are on "things" like tv... internet... video games... it really is a different world.

i felt so privileged to be a part of the project going on in that community of 2000 people... kaombe village in northern zambia. we turned an abandoned bar into a community center with a library, pre-school and restaurant in it. my mind can't even grasp what this means for those people... education... opportunity... HOPE! and i was there to be a part of making it happen. it felt surreal. i kept asking God the whole time, "why me? why am i here? why did you let me be a part of this project? so many people wanted to be here... deserved to be here... but they aren't and i am." i still don't know why me, but God does. i did what i could and used my gifts. after all that's what God wants of us, right?

on the sunday we were in the village we walked about an hour to get to church. yes we walked an HOUR to get to church. at the end of the service there was about 15 minutes left before they usually end so they asked our group if anyone wanted to bless the congregation with a song. doesn't everyone volunteer me... i laughed and then went up front. i led them in 2 worship songs and it was a beautiful moment. looking at all their precious faces was like looking at jesus and it made me enjoy worshipping Him even more. the pastor blessed me afterwards by telling everyone that i sang like an angel. i think that was God's little way of affirming the gift He's placed within me. it made for a very special day.

at night we would go to an open space and look at the sky... i've never seen the sky so big before. it's amazing what being in an area without electricity can do. when it gets dark, it's REALLY dark. one night a few of us went out near the road and laid down on the pavement (it's not a busy road, don't worry) and looked up at the sky. we asked God to shower us with His love through shooting stars and He did... 7 times. it gives me chills just thinking about it. it gave you this sense of the power of our creator, but also His intimacy to make a few people lying on a road in zambia feel incredibly loved.

my trip was filled with those moments... moments where you couldn't do anything but laugh at God's goodness, His provision and His faithfulness. time and time again He reminded us that we were right where we needed to be and that He wasn't going to leave us stranded... even in moments with no luggage, no bathroom and a flat tire. now all i can do is smile remembering the humor in those moments and the excitement in seeing God make a way.

i could go on and on, but this has to end some time right?

i leave again in 1 week. i'll be going to dallas on the 27th to visit with a couple dts friends and then on october 1st it's back to ywam denver for the school of worship. i'll spend 3 months "tuning" my gift and learning the dynamics of what it means to be a true worshipper.

after all, that's what i was created for.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A fresh start

Well I'm certainly not new to the world of blogging. I've got 7 years worth with another blogging site, but I like this one so I've decided to start using it. Plus it's a chance for a fresh start and I like that. Who doesn't?

This has been a year of changes for me and I want to write about all that God's been doing in my life. This will also be a place for me to write about my adventures (yes, I have them) and let you feel a part of it.

The next adventure I have coming up will lead me to the beautiful continent of Africa! I leave this Saturday for a 12 day trip to Zambia. I'll be travelling with a group of people from my community and we'll spend time developing relationships with a village there as well as assisting them in the construction and setup of a community center there. It's the first of its kind and I feel so privileged to be a part of this project. I know my world is about to be rocked, but I think I'm ready for it. I know God will be with me every step of the way (cliche as it sounds) and that gives me peace.

So that's where I'm at right now... learning... loving... living... who could ask for more?