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!