Tuesday, October 28, 2008


susie wittman is a dear missionary friend of mine, from crossworld international. over the past couple of years, she has been coming on to pbu campus serving as a "missions mentor." last year, she met with many young women who had a desire for counseling as well as missions. we talked a lot about this together because my passions lie here too. wondering if something more could be done with this, i pointed her in the direction of my advisor/professor/mentor/friend, lisa kuzma. through meeting together and susie talking with crossworld, a idea for a missions trip was born. this trip would be open to counseling (and social work) majors at pbu and would provide and opportunity for them to serve and observe missionaries who are currently involved with "helping professions" overseas. where would the need be great? GORAZDE, BOSNIA. in gorazde, crossworld missionaries serve at a mental health and food distribution clinic, among other ministries (such as teaching english, summer camps, and business seminars).

when susie first told me about it, i knew i was going to go. as a chance to experience my field of study in the cross-cultural context, i felt like it's a step forward toward seeing how counseling and missions fit together. i am VERY excited to see what that is going to be like, and not too sure what to expect.

you may be saying the same thing my brother said, "but that's not poland!" it's true, i'm branching out! ;-) i think that this opportunity is going to be an experience that will definitely benefit me for future ministry whether that be in poland, philadelphia, or portland. (the latter was chosen for alliteration, nothing more.) i will have a chance to see and experience how the skills i am learning now can be used in a cross-cultural setting.

our team is made up of susie, lisa, and seven (hopefully eight!) counseling/social work students who have an interest in overseas missions. we had our first team meeting today, and i am very excited to get to know everyone more as we work together over the next few months.

please pray for us! we'll begin our support raising endeavor within the next week (needing to be at 100% by FEBRUARY!) and will be meeting together as a team at least once a month.

i'm excited to see how God is bringing this trip together, and even more so excited to see what He is going to do with it.

Friday, October 17, 2008


today was the wrocław english camp reunion.
i so deeply wish i could be there!

knowing that they were gathering today makes me miss them even more. the group is going to put together a book for jagoda's parents of pictures and letters. i'm going to send rebecca a letter of mine to add into the book.

yesterday i gave blood. it's something i have always been afraid to do, but i did it with jagoda in mind. maybe my blood can be used to help someone like her.

now, my heart is very heavy. i cried for about a half hour today. a good friend told me that sometimes moments of grief come when you least expect it. i was driving out to panera bread while listening to the radio. the song that came on talked about two men fighting at war and only one came home. the one who returned lived with the question, "why wasn't it me?" that got me thinking more about jagoda. why wasn't it me? she wasn't even driving. i drive almost every day. why wasn't it me? i found myself crying out to God, "why did You take her?" i didn't want an answer. i don't want an answer. i don't need an answer. "why did You take her?" i know it has purpose. i know God is good. but i also feel anger and disappointment. "why did You take her?" that's part of grief.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


on september 7, 2008 my dear friend jagoda passed away.

i'd been avoiding this blog because i knew at one point i would have to write that. her picture sits on my desk now, and i look at her beautiful face every day. we shared a similar smile. i miss her terribly, and i know that my visits to poland will never be the same without her.

we had even talked about going to eurocup 2012 together in wrocław.

i know that God brought our lives together for a purpose. our connection was so strong and my love for her so deep. i know it could have only been because of God.