Sunday, December 09, 2007
on the one hand, i was thankful for skype and such technology that can connect families who are scatterered around the world. on the hand, i could sense the longing and the love which also spanned across the ocean. what must it be like for a grandmother to see her grandchildren grow up, on a computer screen? what does it feel like to be planning a wedding having your older sister on the other side of the world? and as the missionary, how hard is it to miss your sister's college graduation?
in a class i recently took called gender and cultural issues of counseling, our professor (who grew up a missionary kid in japan) shared with us the losses involved into assimilateing to a new culture: loss of stability, family, culture, the familiar, friends, habits, home, support...
in each situation, i have wondered to myself - i say that i want to be a missionary. am i willing to take that risk and handle that loss?
Jesus says, "...whoever wishes to save his life, will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it...." (matt. 16:25)
it's a loss, on both ends: for the family going to another culture and for the family and people who send them.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
(me, dave, nat, alida, and bill at the atticus cafe)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
"culture is not something outside ourselves, but, rather, an internalized perspective that combines the teachings of every significant person or group we have experienced, read about, or heard about and from whom we have learned something. when individuals try to understand their own or someone else's culture, it is understandable that they are frequently overwhelmed by the complexity of the task. each of of us then 'belongs to' a thousand or more cultures, any one of which might become salient or most relevant depending on the time, the place, and the situation."
Friday, September 07, 2007
me, dr. lunde, and karolina
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
ah, crazy schedule! =)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
i searched all of my pictures to try and find the *classic* camp podgórzyn picture. since i do not have the group photo yet, it was hard but i am happy with my choice of this picture which is currently my computer wallpaper:
rebecca (new york), marek (wrocłow - camp leader), me, maria (holland), jagoda (wrocłow - my roommate!), chris (poland)
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
i'm feeling a lot better and building many new friendships with the STAFF. our staff is very international - one girl from holland, one girl from canada (who is chinese), two girls from australia (one of them was born in poland and has also lived three years in africa), one man from america (but he's lived in poland for five years now), and a few polish people, and a few more american missionaries. it's so great to learn about different cultures and discuss different words and learn about PEOPLE.
looking at the schedule, it is going to be an intense week. we've been warned ahead of time that we probably won't be able to sleep much. and are actually encouraged not to do so because "the deepest conversations happen at night." here's where my college experience comes in handy, eh? haha. during the day there are english classes and we have afternoon activities and bible lessons and discussion groups in the evening.
CONTINUE to pray for me, for our team (and unity and strength therein), and for the campers!
eve (australia), me, maria (holland), debbie (canada), keren (australia)
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
i miss lubin and the people there VERY much, but i know that God wants me here for the camp! we begin training this evening and then we all leave for the mountains on thursday.
here we go!
Monday, August 06, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
we also visited the castle:
tonight at the coffeehouse was a blast - i have decided that i've played more uno in the past two weeks than i have in my entire life. i'm slowly learning what i call "uno polish" - how to say things like the names of the colors and "what color is it?"
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
today i went with pat, carlene, and the kids to a city called ścinawa to visit a women's shelter. there, none of the polish women spoke english. for a while, i felt a uncomfortable and unsure of how to fit in. then i remembered the words of wisdom from my contra partner - "just always smile and have fun." while pat and carlene spoke with the ladies, i tried to understand the conversation from body language, context clues, and what little translation my missionary friends had time to give me. i was able to play with the children - they didn't seem to recognize the language barrier. in addition to this, i realized that even if i could not sit down and have a long conversation with someone, i could pray for pat and carlene as they did. i walked around the building and prayed for the women who live there. i don't know their stories - but God surely does.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
lately i've been working on a lot of coffee shop stuff - making a menu, new drinks, posters, flyers, and such. i've also been able to spend a lot of time with the people here - sightseeing some with pat and carlene, having tea with bolgusia, playing volleyball with the neighborhood guys. in addition to that, every night from 17.00-22.00 i'm hanging out at the coffeehouse with the kids who come there. building relationships is tough across the language barrier, but communication is much more than language. please pray for relationships to be built here!
Monday, July 23, 2007
"Last May, I traveled with the Philadelphia Biblical University’s Chorale through SEND International to Poland and the Czech Republic. While I was in Wroclaw, Poland, there was a bridge (left) that we walked over on Cathedral Island. Tradition has it that if you walk over this bridge and “dream a dream” while silently walking over this bridge, then your dream will come true! At the time, we thought that this was a very creative way for parents to get a few moments of silence. =) Yet now, I remember the dream I had: that I would be able to return to Poland. This dream is coming to a reality! This summer, I have the opportunity to go to Poland for a month!"
as we neared the catheral today, we walked across this very bridge.
this time as i walked across it, i still did not speak. i thanked God over and over again for His amazing provision in fulfilling my "dream." over a year ago, it was just that - a dream - who would have thought it possible? but with God, ANYTHING is possible - even your wildest dreams.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
At least 7 people were injured and hundreds left without power.
"Suddenly I saw the trees outside swaying violently and looked out to see a brown funnel approaching. We all took cover just in time," one middle-aged man told tvn24."
a man spoke about this situation this morning at church, saying that villages were destroyed and people left with NOTHING.
czestochowa is three and a half hours southeast of where i am right now. please pray for the people who lost their homes and family members due to this tornado!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
in any case, I'M HERE! the flight was long, and since when do we have tornado warnings in connecticut? we ended up taking off in a thunder storm! ah! but we landed safely and i enjoyed my 7 1/2 hours on a *german* flight (the attendent spoke to me in german until i said, "ENGLISH?"). upon landing in munich, i had 20 minutes to run to the other terminal to catch my next flight - and my luggage didn't even make it on the plane! PLEASE PRAY that it will come soon! it's okay though, i'm prepared with toiletries (under 3 oz. of course) and an extra set of clothes in my carry on.
today is a day to rest a bit, tomorrow i'll get orientated to the ministry here and then, jump in!
hey guys - i'm in POLAND!!!! =)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
here's the schedule:
2:31pm - departure from hartford, ct
4:05 - arrive in washington d.c.
-- four hour layover! --
8:05pm -- depart for munich, germany!
-- 8 hours and 10 minutes in the air! --
10:15am -- arrive in germany
11:05am -- depart for wroclaw, poland (yikes! short layover!)
12:25pm -- arrive at my final flight destination - wroclaw, poland!
paul and pat from lubin will be meeting me at the airport. i've seen paul in pictures and i'm hoping that i recognize them easily! i'll ride back with pat to lubin (about three hours away?) where i'll eat some food and get settled in.
i cannot believe that i'm leaving TOMORROW. it has been such a long journey or preparations and prayer that it honestly feels incredibly surreal right now. my bags are packed (except for a few items of clothes that are hang drying), my tickets ready, and my clothes are laid out for tomorrow. now all i have to do is pack up my computer and charge my cell phone. yikes, the next time i go to bed, i'll be in a different country. hey, next time i update here i'll be in a different country!!! =)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
in regards to my second prayer request in the long entry, i received an email yesterday that my order had shipped - giving my package a week to arrive in connecticut!
some things i have to do in this next week are:
- watch my two dear friends get married (!!!!!)
- print out insurance papers
- prepare room & board payments
- move to connecticut =)
- visit with my family!
- turn 21
- shop for travel necessities
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I'M DONE!!! i have all of my finances in order and have raised OVER $3,505!!!!!!!
the previous post was sent out as an email to family and friends. a reply came from my uncle saying that he would give the last of what i need - plus some!!!!!
THANK YOU, GOD - FOR YOUR PROVISION AND FAITHFULNESS!!!
this is incredible.
Monday, July 09, 2007
"yeah," i repsond, "i leave next week. i thought i should at least have a little handle on the language."
"well that's true! gosh, the closest i've ever been to poland is across the river in germany. that's as far as our rental car would take us"
suddenly an older man comes up in line behind me and joins in on our conversation, "i just came back from that area a few weeks ago! it's such a wonderful country - really rebuilding itself after the war." the three of us continue our conversation about eastern europe and both men wish me luck as i leave the store with my newly purchased "teach yourself polish" set and a brand new journal. it finally hits me - i leave next week. perhaps it was the casual conversation in the checkout line or maybe maybe it was the fact that i hold in my hands the blank book in which i will chronicle my personal experience throughout the next month; but either way (and perhaps a combination of the two), reality has set in just a little more.
i can just see how God has been preparing me for this trip all summer long. my faith has been stretched beyond imagine - and i am just seeing how faithful our God is. first of all, out of the $3,505 my total came to, i am down to needed the last $192! incredible! i cannot thank you all who gave and prayed ENOUGH for allowing God to use you in this HUGE way! i know that He will supply until the last drop.
also, i have been really challenged in the ways of travel. as you know, i will be traveling to and from poland by myself. throughout this summer i have had some rather interesting travel experiences - having a flight cancelled in detroit, our car breaking down on my way to virginia with my grandfather, and countless train rides to various places in the tristate area. i know that i am sure to encounter some more adventures over the next month, and i now feel more prepared for what i may face!
some specific things that i would like prayer for as the date comes closer are:
1 - the FINAL $192!
2 - i have ordered some materials for the english camp that are due to arrive to my house the day i leave...please pray they come in on time so i can pack them! =)
3 - that God would be preparing me and the people i will come in contact with in my travels and in poland for whatever He may do in our lives.
thank you so much for all of YOUR support and encouragement through the planning stages of this adventures, we're really doing it! NEXT WEEK!
Friday, June 29, 2007
in any case, i last reported that i needed 100% of my support by june 25th. WELL that was the *goal* but i NEEDED at least 75%. and now, on june 26th, i report to you that i have a little over 78%!!! true, it's not all of it, but God is faithful in providing me with what i need, when i need it. i have also had many people tell me recently that they would like to give! hooray! the official number for what i need is currently: $635
i'll update more early next week - in under a half hour i'll be on a train bound for the shore to visit some friends!
Monday, June 11, 2007
three of our team are already out on the field (two in the philippines and one in japan) and others leave for places such as russia, kosovo, far east asia, poland, prague, spain, and taiwan over the next few months...and no matter where and when we go, we'll always be the STT SUMMER CLASS OF JUNE 2007!
Friday, June 08, 2007
once i get back to connecticut, i'll give you all a longer update on training (i learned SO much!).
but i will update you on the exciting fact that I NOW HAVE MY PLANE TICKET TO POLAND!!!! i even get to adventure a layover in munich!
please pray for some of my training classmates who leave tomorrow!
brian - to the philippines
maureen -also to the philippines
david (who left today) - to japan
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
now other things must be focused on! there is reading to be done for SEND training and thank you cards to be written! not to mention, keeping good folks like you updated. =)
so here's the latest update! now, i need 100% of my support by JUNE 25!!!
currently, i have about 59%, $1510 left to raise.
my plane ticket to poland will be bought sometime this week. yikes!
SEND training begins on JUNE 3 in michigan!
(though i'll fly out on the 2nd to visit a friend in ann arbor!)
this is all really happening!!! =)
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
so YESTERDAY i received an email from pastor cary (he was leading up the SEND english camp team). the email reads: "For several months we have been requesting prayer for the formation of a team I was to lead to minister in an English camp in Poland this August. We think you have sensed a lot of uncertainties. These uncertainties and the lack of a full team have caused us to decide we should not pursue this further." i replied to this email asking if this meant that were were not going to poland at all. i received an email back about an hour later saying that the CAMP wasn't cancelled, but that SEND was not sending their team over. which means that i am going to the camp, but i am not meeting up with pastor cary and evelyn when i get there. but let me just tell you that during that hour before i heard back from pastor cary, i was so shaken that i might not be going to poland this summer. i had no idea what to even begin thinking.
little bit of background: lately i've been worried about this trip. i feel as though i'm the one doing all of the pushing and not leaving it in God's hands. sure, i pray about things and decisions about the trip, but not as much as i feel i should. i know what i need to do next and i take it a step at a time. i figured that if God didn't want me to go, He'd stop me somewhere along the way. moral of the story: through this whole email ordeal, i realized that this isn't me. this is completely God. He can indeed take away this trip at any given time. if He wants me to go, i'll go. if He wants me to stay here, I will. HE IS SOVEREIGN.
on another note, i was just thinking about how much fun our chorale had with the opole college students (yes, liz - you know what i mean) and how much fun i am going to have with these students at the camp. i am so excited to connect with them and be able to talk about life and learn more about their lives and beliefs and world while being able to share mine.
and let me just tell you of my love for adventure. first of all, let's just say that this summer belongs completely to the Lord. plans have changed so many times and things have been happening right and left that i just quit trying to follow them and control them. i'm just along for the ride here. and as liz said, "this has been a wild ride, but if you can hold on to your saddle, i think the horse will get you there in one piece. " so back to my topic of adventure. complete culture shock. traveling the polish train system. being a cultural minority. living life with the "take it as it comes" attitude. being completely flexible. needing to be completely flexible. (plus, no papers to write.) being surrounded by a completely different language. trying to communicate. I AM SO EXCITED.
please continue to pray for:
- finances (45% there)
- that i finish this semester. well. sleep included.
- that amtrak/mastercard lets me redeem my points for a free continental flight to michigan.
- jerry and marek as they plan for the english camp
thank you all so much for reading and for praying.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
that's kind of my theme for the summer: not really know what is happening. i have a general idea - i'm working, going to weddings, and going to poland. but how it all works out, i'm not sure. i KNOW that i will be working in may and i will be staying at the school and miriam's wedding is the 26th (yaaaay!). this whole experience is really showing me what it means to trust God. i'm not sure where i will live for two weeks in july. i'm not sure when i'll be going home in june. i'm not sure if/when my money will come in for poland...but GOD is sure and HE knows what is going on. i just have to trust in that.
this verse has really been encouraging me lately:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. "
Sunday, March 25, 2007
isn't that BEAUTIFUL! this is south west of wroclaw (where the chorale stayed last may), and it's pretty close to the czech border. those are the karkonosze mountains (thanks, tim!!!).
it's less than four months away!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
we currently do not have a third person for our team - BUT THAT'S OKAY! we're going anyway! =) the dates have been figured out for the english camp and it is officially: august 9-20. not only that, but we also have a location - in podgorzyn, poland (though i don't have any more details than that).
as for financially - i have almost ONE THIRD of my finances! over spring break i sent out 120 support letters to the members of my congregation (yay trinity!).
things are really moving along, and i'm not in the second half of the semester! that means that (a) summer is quickly approaching and (b) the work load is significantly increasing! but i must admit that i am loving my classes and loving what i'm learning!
well, i must be off to bed. there's a wedding in the morning!
Monday, February 12, 2007
as for me, i've sent out a few support letters so far and i'm waiting on more addresses (i really need to call home about that...) and for the go ahead from my church's missions committee to send letters to the congregation.
we're getting closer! =)
Sunday, January 28, 2007
i returned to pbu for our annual mission's conference, where i was greeted by david and elizabeth givens, the missionaries who traveled with the chorale to europe in may! we even planned another "chorale reunion" where we watched clips from our concerts from tour! during the week, liz talked to me about an opportunity in poland to work at an english camp in wroclaw - the two weeks after my scheduled two weeks in lubin. i would already be there, and could just take a train to wroclaw! i prayed, thought, and talked with the SEND team about extending my stay to a month.
my questions and anxieties about the trip slowly began to fall away as i got more and more excited. so now, the plan goes as follows:
july 18th - depart from usa
july 19th - arrive in lubin, poland
minister at cafe logos
august 4th - travel by train to wroclaw, poland
meet up with a small team from SEND to help at an English camp
august 20th - leave poland, bound for michigan
august 21st - debrief at SEND headquarters
august 22nd - finish debrief, jump on a plane for connecticut
see my family!!!
of course, this is going to be one crazy summer, but i am actually really excited about it. i like the idea of this adventure before me and so far, i feel comfortable with the unknowns involved. God has some big things planned, and i'm sure i am not even seeing the beginning of it right now.
thank you for reading and if you think of it, please keep me in your prayers as i begin to send out my support letters!