Sunday, December 09, 2007

missionary life. and loss.

i sat at the kitchen table slowly sipping my coffee. next to me, sat my dear friend carrie also sipping her coffee, it was our second cup each that morning. across the room from us, on the counter that divided the dining room from the kitchen sat a dell computer, with a webcam on top of it. in the kitchen, behind the computer, an entire family huddled in to see the image in the computer screen. they took turns allowing themselves to be visible to the webcam. there were smiles, and there were tears as the family spoke to the computer. but they spoke not just to the computer, their voices and their images reached on the other side of the world, where the daughter of this family and her husband and two children live as missionaries. they were speaking via skype. i sat, silently watching and admiring as loving a loving aunt and uncle spoke gently to their two-year-old niece. "nana" stood back, longing to speak with her daughter and granddaughter in a less "mechanical" fashion.

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

missionary connections!

during my trip home to connecticut this weekend, i got the opportunity to spend some time with SEND missionaries who my church supports (alida and bill, serving in alaska). we met up in new haven at a little cafe/book store for lunch and my friend nathaniel, whom i met at send short term training, joined us there. a little while later, another send missionary - david givens came! it was a great time of connecting with wonderful people!

(me, dave, nat, alida, and bill at the atticus cafe)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

definition of culture.

i just started a book for my gender & culture class called, culture-centered counseling and interviewing skills (by paul b. pedersen and allen ivey). they begin their book with a very interesting definition of culture:

"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

another polish friend!

last night, a friend and former professor of mine (dr. al lunde) introduced me to a young lady from lublin, poland who has worked here in the states (wildwood, nj) for the past three summers. we all had dinner together in cape was so neat to talk about poland and hear her polish accent! she told me that the next time i come to poland, i'll have to visit her in lublin (eastern poland) and she'll show me around!

me, dr. lunde, and karolina

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

gordon college!

...and right NOW, i'm updating from the gillies cafe here at gordon college where we're moving my brother, eric, into school. look for a REAL update within the next week or so, but bear with me - i move into school on monday and begin classes on tuesday!

ah, crazy schedule! =)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

and she's back!

i'm now sitting at sue thomson's desk at SEND International in michigan! i leave for the airport home soon and will see my family VERY shortly! YAY!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

i survived podgórzyn 2007! =)

i'm back from camp! i have so many new friends, so many stories, and SO many pictures! these next couple of days are going to continue to be incredibly busy - tomorrow we're still spending more time with the campers (since most of them live in town), with ice cream in the town square and a girls' movie night later on. tuesday my flight leaves wrocław at 7:15 am, so naturally that means heading to the airport REALLY EARLY. luckily, another girl on staff is on my same flight to munich! so we'll get to fly over together and spend time in the airport - we both have three-hour layovers. =) i should arrive in detroit at about 5:30pm on tuesday.

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


after 5 hours of training, 6 pizzas, and a trip to the city for ICE CREAM - the camp staff is ready to head off to CAMP TOMORROW!!!

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

time in the city.

today we have free time until 5pm, so i jumped on the tram to tackle the city of wrocłow! i spent some time at the rynek, did a little more shopping, walked to cathedral island (and stopped in at every cathedral on the way), visited the botanical garden, grabbed some lunch, and here i sit at an internet cafe!

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


today i leave lubin and head on down to wrocłow to begin preparing for the english camp!

Friday, August 03, 2007


out of all of the pictures i took yesterday while walking around through kraków, this one is my favorite. there were so many musicians playing in the streets, but this guy on the guitar just seems so chill. he's just having a great time - just him and his guitar.

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


the past and the present,
the old and the new,
joining together -
walking hand in hand...

Friday, July 27, 2007

lessons from contra.

a few weeks ago back in the states, i tried something new. i went contra dancing. now, i had heard of contra dancing through my friend jim (check out his blog!) and he had shown me some of the basic steps. other than that and a youtube video, i had no idea what i was getting myself into. as the music started, i felt excited and comfortable to jump right in. as i was dancing with one man, he said to me, "are you new to contra?" "yes, i replied." "well then, don't worry about messing up. just always smile and have fun."

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

culture, culture, culture.

there are moments when i'm walking through the store or down the street or just sitting at the coffee house, when i just think to myself - "hey, i'm in poland." i suppose it's still that "honeymoon sensation" of being in a new culture where everything is new and exciting.

like this exciting story - yesterday i went with paul to the store to buy supplies. as i was looking at the flavored syrups, i held one in my hand looking for others. an older woman came up to me and she began to speak in polish and point to the different signs. at first i was a little freaked out - "do i tell her i only speak english? what if she asks me a question? what do i do?" finally it clicked - she was pointing out that the syrups on the second shelf were cheaper than the one i had in my hand! WOW! "tak, tak! dziekuje!" ("yes, yes, thank you!") i said smiling and proudly - i understood her! she said "you're welcome" (in polish, of course) and walked away. paul came back over: "what did she say to you?!" "she told me that this one here is cheaper - let's get it." "was she speaking english?" "no, polish. but i understood her!"

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

the dreaming bridge.

today was a fabulous day! a few of the missionary women and i took a trip to nearby wroclaw to explore the city a bit. as we walked to a cathedral, we neared the very bridge i spoke of in my support letter. my letter read as follows:

"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


"Poland was hit by a tornado, which is rare in Europe. News channel tvn24 showed roofs ripped off farmhouses and barns and cars destroyed near the southern Polish city of Czestochowa on Friday night.

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."

Reuters, UK

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

cafe logos!

my mind is reeling with polish words. even now, i clicked the wrong button and outloud i said, "nie!" ("no"). and as i fumbled to find english words to express myself, the missionaries laughed at me and said, "she can't be losing her english already!" yet i find that i use my words less and my facial expressions and hand gestures more - even around english speakers if i'm in that mindset.

today was my first day at cafe logos. it was INCREDIBLE. as i was standing there, learning how the ministry worked, all i kept thinking was of how thankful i am for people like YOU who have supported me financially and who are praying for me as i'm here. i mean, when you gave and when you told me that you'd pray i was grateful enough, but now it just means SO MUCH MORE because i'm actually seeing the kinds of things that i will be doing.

so what exactly will i be doing while i'm here? great question! i actually found that out today! i'll be working here at the coffee shop (tuesday, wednesday, friday, saturday) - this includes hanging out with the *kids* (er, youth) and forming friendships with them. there is only one or two girls that come, mainly because there are only men that staff the place (andrea - we need you!). also, i will get to serve drinks! today we went out to find some flavor syrup to make flavored drinks. we found *some* near baking... it seemed to work okay. so i made a vanilla raspberry latte! paul eager said that they'll need some help with the actual coffee house business, so i get to help out on that end too. i am sure going to have fun with this. excel, here i come. ;-)

today was an excellent first day of official ministry, yet now it is time for me to get to bed! church tomorrow @ the coffee shop - 11am!

Friday, July 20, 2007

ah, lubin.

this picture is such an incredible example of the merging of old and new here in poland. in the background you see a simple church. in the foreground you can see the stone foundation of a very old building - this was once part of the old city of lubin. now, this area is fenced off and they are beginning to build a "gallery" (a mall) on this property. however, to preserve the old city, they will somehow use glass walls over this foundation in order to keep the old and rebuild the new.

i'm here!

so i'm sitting at the eager's house in lubin, poland! as i clicked to this website, i notice that the words i type are in english, but all of the website is in polish. so it's a good thing that i know my way around the website to begin with (can we say, "addicted?" haha), so i'm pressing buttons with my best guess. =)

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

this is it!

ladies and gentlemen, in less than 12 hours, my travels to poland begin!

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

one week!

one week from today at approximately 2:30pm, i will be on a plane bound for poland (with stops in d.c. and munich). it's an incredible feeling to know that i'm all set financially, because with that stress lifted i am realizing the reality of what's going on and getting very excited. also, there seems to be a security of knowing that God must really want me to go - because HE provided the funding (by using amazing people like you!).

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

next step: board plane.

i have been waiting over ten months to write this post, and here it is:

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!!!!!


this is incredible.

Monday, July 09, 2007

learning about life, travel, and polish.

"i haven't seen someone purchase a "teach yourself polish DVD in a long time!" proclaimed the man at the Border's checkout counter.

"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

it's a small world, afterall.

the world really is small, i'm coming to realize. these past few days i've made a new friend visiting from south africa. the other day, i took a friend from czech through the grand city of philadelphia. and then in just under three weeks, i, myself, will travel across the ocean to the far-away-land of poland. yet a point was made at my brother's high school graduation, that as time goes by, the world become smaller and we are presented with more opportunities. with the internet, i can now communicate with friends overseas in the matter of minutes, even seconds. now, if only traveling was less expensive...

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

training recap!

there were about twenty of us. at first we didn't know each others' age, denomination, background, family history, college, etc...all we knew was that we had the same passion and the same goal. that alone brought us together like nothing else could, and within HOURS, we were a family. i would imagine that it was a small taste of what heaven will be like, and with that in mind... i cannot WAIT until the Lord calls us home. it took me a day or so before i realized that i didn't have to be anything with my family here but myself. the love and acceptance was indescribable.

the sessions themselves were extremely informative and useful. i feel so much more prepared now than before. we learned about culture shock and how to deal with it, spiritual warfare, fundraising, emotional health, conflict resolution (boy did i learn a lot here!), writing, public speaking, language learning, and so much more. our days were jam-packed with different sessions and though our evenings were free, we packed them with games of ultimate frisbee, rounds of volleyball, and travels to the city. i even learned how to swing dance, which i'm told i am VERY good at and have an "amazing sense of internal rhythm."

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

still in michigan!

greetings all, from the lovely state of michigan! training week has been AMAZING, and i would say it's been my favorite week of the far! i'm still here in michigan, after my flight got cancelled today - what an adventure. i'll fly back tomorrow morning and probably get some good sleep! i'm so excited to go to trinity church on sunday, i haven't been since EASTER.

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

goodnight! =)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

school's out, for the summer.

well life has certainly calmed down a little for the time being. with no more papers, exams, and massive amounts of articles to read, i can focus on other things. for the time being, those other things have included settling into my room at heritage (which will only last another two and a half weeks...), catching up with friends (many of whom i have regretfully neglected due to school work), and reading for fun again (i'd like to finish les miserables before leaving for poland... we shall see how that works out. haha).

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 it's on. just more solo.

it's here. the final week of classes. you know what this means? procrastination? um, yes. or at least, that's what i'm doing at this particular moment. after a cup of wawa coffee and my new martina mcbride cds playing, i'm pretty much ready to finish this counseling final TONIGHT. but really, i wanted to give you all an update on plans and such. because there's actually a lot to update on. (hooray!)

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

three months!

and so the countdown begins. approximitely three months from today, i will be leaving for poland. according to my recent calculations, i have 40% of the money i need. i was talking with a friend today who shared with me that when he went to athens, most of his money didn't come in until the week before he left! God WILL provide and i know that i will be ALL THE MORE thankful for it because i went through this time when i was not sure what would happen.

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. "
Proverbs 3:5-7

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007


i googled the name of the town where our english camp is going to be (podgorzyn), and i found these pictures:

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

it's been too long, folks.

i'm sorry that i haven't updated in so long! i have been quite busy with school work and this weekend i am with my dear friend as she is getting married in twelve hours! because of that, i cannot write much but i wanted to give you a quick update.

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

team wroclaw.

the need was for a team of THREE to go to the english camp in august. we have a definite TWO - myself and evelyn. evelyn and i got an email saturday morning saying that we needed to find a third person by the end of the week, or we would have to call off the trip. i had not even thought that this would have been a possiblility! (i mean, come on, who would pass up a chance to go to poland?!) at lunch that day, i sat with my friend rachel. i told her about the email and she asked me for more information about the trip. i shared with her what we would be doing and she said that she might be interested! so last night she talked with her parents...and they are supportive of her going! so now we are praying and waiting until thursday for her final answer. she seems so excited about it, and i really am too. so please pray with us for rachel as she makes her decision!

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

and we're off...

it's been a while since i've written in here, and a lot has happened in the past few months. i was officially accepted with SEND International right before christmas break, and i recieved my information packet shortly thereafter. however for some reason, i was not excited. something didn't feel right. so i let the packet sit with my things for the three weeks of christmas break, only to actually read it the night before returning to school. it would be an adventure, for sure, but was i ready? was i doing the right thing? it didn't sit well with me that i had to raise well over $2000 to travel to poland for two weeks, and do what? help at a coffee house? sure that would make ME happy, but what was my motivation?

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!

God bless!