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Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The REAL Wednesday's Random Dozen

Welcome to the REAL Wednesday's Random Dozen, hosted by Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

1. Have you ever fired a gun or shot a bow and arrow?
A water gun. That's it!

2. Do you know where your childhood best friends are?
Yes, I think I've managed to track their where-abouts considering it's only been about 10 years. :) We're all still in college, finishing in one year, and most are still local. But do we ever see each other? Nope. Sad.

3. Do you usually arrive early, late, or on time?
A few minutes early unless everyone is accustomed to being late [Sunday school for example.]

4. Are you more of a New York or California type?
Absolutely neither. HOWEVER, I would choose the mountains and the coast before the hustle and bustle of a city skyline (which I know is part of both.)

5. Do you have a special ring tone?
Currently it's the Golden Girls theme song. Yes, true story. Ashamed? Not in the least.

6. What is your favorite type of chip?
Sun chips! Original or Harvest Cheddar. YUMM.

7. Best comedy you've ever seen is ....
Wild Hogs. Maybe?

8. Have you ever cut your own hair? To quote Dr. Phil, "How'd that work for ya?"
Once when I was much much younger... it wasn't pretty.
See that missing CHUNK of bangs?

9. If you were going to have an extreme makeover, would you rather it be about your house or your personal self?
I'm content with both but I would choose house because it would be:
1) More memorable
2) Longer lasting
3) An easier adjustment

10. Are you allergic to anything?

11. Why is it so hard to change?
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

12. One last question dedicated to February love: CS Lewis said, "To love is to be vulnerable." Please share one example of that assertion or share any thought you'd like to about this topic.
It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. When we love our hearts get wrung and broken. To love is to expose oneself to their beloved...

That's all I got!

Monday, February 22, 2010

What's in your cup?

"No man ever made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."
-Edmund Burke

Yesterday I was having a conversation with Frank Martin, a pastor to missionaries, and he was telling me about 1 young woman in Kenya, Africa who is teaching five women in the Bible. He explained to me that each of those five women are also teaching other women, five to ten each, and those women are also teaching other women! In total, 1000 women are being taught... because ONE woman is teaching FIVE women. I was amazed.

Frank also shared about a poor rural village in Kenya, and about a congregation there that was being challenged by its pastor to give to support the local orphans. The church's response was this: "If we give, then we will have nothing left." For the church members are also very deprived, however, there were three cows that belonged to the members of the congregation.

The cows were milked twice daily - morning and night. In the morning, the people were forced to take all the milk to the market because there was no refrigeration system to keep the milk cool. These earnings were only sufficient to feed the family and the cows; if the profits were any smaller, either the cows or the owners would starve. The evening milk, however, was able to be kept by the family, as evenings are cooler, and was used to make porridge in the morning.

The pastor's challenge: Can't you spare just 1 cup of milk each evening?

Of course, the people agreed that they could give just 1 cup of milk, but their response was this: "What difference can only 1 cup make?"

The calculations were made and the church was able to provide 38 gallons of milk each week, only 1 cup at a time. Some of the milk is being given to the local orphans, and the rest is being sold at the market to buy grains for the same children.

What's in your cup?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy 101

Beautiful Hazel at Delineating Des gave me this Happiness Award. Thank you Hazel for passing it to me! I'm sorry it has taken me 12 days to respond! Gracious. Anyways, Hazel is my bloggy friend and cybernook neighbor, but when I'm in Cambodia, we are actually neighbors on the map, as she lives in Thailand.

Here are the suggestions:
1. Link the blogger who gave you the award on your post...
2. Write 10 things that make you happy...
3. Share it with at least 10 friends...Have fun!

Ten Things That Make Me Happy::
i. Warmth and sunshine! I'm the type of girl that enjoys the beatiful changing of seasons, but I would never be disappopinted or "feel jipped" if it were never below 70 degrees.
ii. Wedding magazines! I just really love the pictures, and weddings are such happy occassions! Maybe I'm dreaming a little bit too. :)
iii. Reading. There are not many things that are much more satisfying than finishing a good book!
iv. Cambodia (and everything that entails): Khmer friends, Khmer food, Khmer music, elephants, Angkor Wat, teaching English, tuk tuks, etc.
v. Talking to a good friend on Skype
vi. Sweet potatoes - baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, sweet potatoe casserole, etc.
vii. Coffee. (Period.)
viii. Eating lunch with friends from high school and talking about old teachers and old memories.
ix. Playing table games - Things, Apples to Apples, Carcasones, Catan, Uno, Scrabble, etc.
x. The Golden Girls theme song

Keetha at The Eclectic Company
Tonja at Gatherings
Heidi at 2 Thinks to Share
Kari at Sea, Sand and Shells
Sara at ...make music from your heart to the Lord
Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee
Susanne at Living to tell the Story

Saturday, February 20, 2010

75 days until departure to Mozambique! Seventy-five! I felt like just two weeks ago it was still well over 100 days. Even though I have been to five other countries outside the States, I have never been to Africa so I have no idea what to expect. However, I have been doing my research! My grandparents were missionaries in Sierra Leone and my mom was born there and returned after college, so I'm excited to return to the land where my missionary roots were bred!

MOZAMBIQUE - The country
- Located in southeastern Africa
- Bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east (the island nation of Madagascar is also straight east), Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest.
- Around twice the size of California
- 1500 miles of coastline (California’s coastline is 840 miles)
- Population: 23 million people
- 75% live in rural areas
- 4th poorest country in the world (according to the United Nations)
- 77% live below poverty line of $1 a day
- Average person makes $188 in a year compared to $29,000 for the average American
- 5th highest death rate
- Life expectancy is 40 years
- 7th worst infant mortality rate – 1 in 10 children die before the age of 1
- 1 in 5 children are malnourished
- 1.4 million orphans – .5 million due to losing parents from HIV/AIDS
- 14% of population have HIV
- Only 43% of the population have access to clean water
- The literacy rate is only 40%
- Only 50% of children finish primary school
- Only 7% of students go on to secondary school
- Religion: 20% Muslim (although many Muslims claim this percentage should be as high as 50%), 20% Zionist (mixture of Christianity with African traditional beliefs), 25% Roman Catholic, 20% Traditional African, 15% Protestant
- Gained independence from Portugal in 1975
- Had a 16 year civil war that ended in 1995
- Struggle with cycles of drought and severe flooding – both of which create famine

MOZAMBIQUE - The Wesleyan Church
- 1902 – work began with Mozambican miners in South Africa
- Rev. Graca Nhatelo – national superintendent
- Unprecedented growth – 3850 in 2000, 5850 in 2004, 15000 in 2008, 20000 in 2009 – fastest growing Wesleyan work worldwide
- Priority is training pastors
- Wesleyan Bible College is located at Xai Xai – 50 students have graduated within the past 4 years, currently 65 students are enrolled
- Graduates have planted churches in 8 out of the 10 provinces
- The Jesus Film – 647760 viewers in 2008 alone, 250305 that wanted to make decisions, 794 baptized in 2008, 35 new church plants
- 187 total churches in 2008 (work has recently begun in the Muslim north and in 5 years there have been 40 churches planted)

Friday, February 19, 2010

To the Beach or BUST!

I don't want to make anyone envious, but in 1 week I'll be on the beach! Oh.. my.. lands.. I feel like I have never wanted to be on the sand and water so desperately! We still have piles and piles of snow here in Central Indiana and another six inches is expected on Sunday. At this point, if it's only 60 or 65 degrees in Galveston, Texas, my thought is: At least it's more than 15 or 20 degrees!

I can't wait to lay by the pool with a book! (Even if it's a text book!)
I can't wait to put my toes in the sand!
I can't wait to collect pretty shells!
I can't wait to hear the seagulls!
I can't wait to walk outside in a tshirt! (Hopefully that's not over anticipated!)
I can't wait to SLEEP in the van for 19.5 hours!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Catching up...

Happy Random Dozen Wednesday! Normally I love participating in Linda at Second Cup of Coffee's Random Dozen Wednesday, but considering I have only blogged ONCE in two weeks (shame shame shame!), instead of answering her twelve random questions, I'm going to tell you twelve random things that I have been doing (or that have happened) in the past 10ish days.

1. Journals
I have sold 80 journals since February 4. Eighty. It's been very busy, a little bit of fun, and a lot of money! Every dollar is going towards my fund for my trips to Mozambique and to Cambodia, and I already have one month's living expenses paid for!! I never never never anticipated that I Would sell so many! In fact, I have had to return to the store four times for more supplies! Thank you to everyone!

2. Prayer Walk
Every Wednesday morning at 6:30 I meet with almost 30 other students and we pray across campus. When it's frigidly cold outside, we tend to either stay in the student center and pray over different areas, or we might walk to another building and do the same there. It lasts about 45 minutes to an hour and it's really an awesome time! Sophomore year I don't think I missed it more than twice [I was disciplined!]
This morning I got up, but I was just feeling frustrated with the little things, i.e. couldn't get my contacts to sit comfortably, so I decided to stay in the room and do devotions. One hour of devotions. It was so so so good. I wish I had the discipline to do it every day!

3. Snow
I'm tired of snow. I feel like we have had snow every day since Christmas, and that might actually be very close to accurate. Indiana is so windy too! Sometimes that three-minute walk across campus is absolutely treacherous!
How do I really feel about the snow?

4. Spring Break '10!
Next Friday afternoon we're leaving for Galveston, Texas! Mom, Dad, twin sis, and roommate/suitemate Bethany. After the 19.5 hour-drive, it should be a good time! We have only vacationed outside of Florida three times (Myrtle Beach, Mackinaw Island, Brown County), so I'm excited! [Do I have any followers from the Galveston area?? I want warm weather predictions!!]

5. Lent
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lent season. Lent in the Christian tradition is a 40-day time of withdrawal that is representative of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert before His public ministry, where he endured Satan's temptations. It's a withdrawal from things that are sinful, detrimental, pleasing... something! This year I chose coffee. I'm afraid it will be self-destructive, but I want to discipline myself to rely on God for strength and not coffee.

6. Shrek puppies
Shrek is my main mutt in Cambodia. I am a far cry from being an animal lover; however, I have found one exception - this loveable k9! Shrek lives with my friends Vandy and Tess on the campus of the Bible college, and Vandy found 2 girlfriends for Shrek - both are pregnant now! I can't wait to meet them and pick one out to name and keep! [Keep as in "ask someone to raise him/her while I'm gone for the next year" and then I'll return to a well-trained dog!]

7. Scrapbooking Night
About once a month some ladies get together at the church and we laugh and scrapbook for hours. We have even been known to stay until about 3:00 in the morning! This coming Friday is our night! I won't be scrapbooking however, but making journals! I wonder how late I'll make it without coffee..

8. Learning about myself
I have learned more about myself in the past two years than I have in the previous 18 years combined. I thought by age twenty-one that I would already know who I am and what I want.. nope, I don't! I did have a big realization this week though -- I have the gift of compassion, but not the gift of discernment. I have three different friends going through some pretty rough stuff right now and I just do not know what to say! I feel like I'm sensitive to others, but I'm not quick to recognize/acknowledge their needs. Hmm...

9. Lost
ABC's Lost is my show, but I've been so busy that I haven't seen a single episode this season! One day... one day I'll be caught up! SO anxious!

10. Exercise
I'm so intentional... but every night I go to bed disappointed with myself! Sad.

11. I live an exciting life
Why can't I think of 12 exciting things?

12. Caramel Apple Sucker
I had a caramel apple sucker this afternoon. It took me back to my childhood! Yesterday in my 4:15 class, my friend Kearsten brought a bag of chips and we talked about how that hour always feels like the perfect "after school snack hour." We talked about what our favorite after school snacks were when we were younger. Elementary... those were good days!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Faith International Development Conference

It's been quite a few days since I have blogged and so much has happened.

Last Thursday afternoon I left with 20 classmates for the Faith and International evelopment Conference at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was a three day conference, and although I enjoyed myself, I certainly was ready to come home Saturday evening. The conference invited about 400 students and professionals with similar callings to contemplate difficult questions, and to encourage and challenge one another. The theme was Participation in the restoration of God’s creation (Man & Earth). I attended sessions on Human Trafficking, the Micah 6:8 challenge, peace-making, the UN's development goals, world relief, etc. The one topic that I wish would have really been discussed: balancing passion and reality.

I had an awesome awesome awesome interview with a filippino doctor with thirty years experience serving in 120 countries (50 extensively) across five continents with faith-based service in disaster relief, child survival, HIV and AIDS, disease control and community health. He talked alot about the importance of both language-learning and relationships - relationships with a mentor, with a mentee, and with a partner. I wasn't too interested in the medical stuff, but he had so much wisdom and experience that I wish I could have spent another three hours with him!

My favorite part of the conference was the time I spent with my classmates! A few of us have had classes together for two or three years, but haven't really gotten to know each other. This past weekend we did! We carpooled to save money, so we didn't have the everyone-in-a-bus experience, but it was fun. A few of us spent an evening in Target (a store I wish we had here in Marion!), and the following evening 10 of us went ice skating and met a homeless man named James there, then we used our $2 coupons at a local cafe, and finally, we spent about an 1.5 hours laughing at Taco Bell. It was so so so much fun!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Got a little crafty...

I decided to get a little crafty this week and impart on a new entrepreneurial venture to raise funds for my May-June missions trip to Mozambique, and my July-August missions trip to Cambodia. In less than an hour I have sold quite a few more than I already have made, or already have the supplies for. I wasn't sure this would be that great of an idea, so I only started with a few, but apparently they are popular and I am so excited!! I'll be out of town all of this weekend, but I'm looking forward to shopping on Monday and having quite a few made before Valentines Day.

What do you think??

Traditional composition notebook with ribbon marker, and ribbon ties.

I'm selling them for $7 each and I'm not sure yet how much profit that is, but somewhere between $3 and $4 probably. [I know.. I'm a real businesswoman HA!]

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Today's Dilemmas

1.) Groundhogs Day
Apparently our little nemesis Phil saw his shadow this morning and there will be six more weeks of winter. Oooh I despise that little beast!! I'm craving Spring. I want to throw my hoodies in the back of the closet; I want to put my boots away! 25 days 'til Florida! TWENTY-FIVE.

2.) Light bulbs
Yesterday Maintenance replaced our two burnt out light bulbs in the bathroom, and it was painfully bright this morning. PAINFULLY BRIGHT. On the flip-side, I could actually see my face in the mirror.

3.) LOST

The final season two-hour premiere of LOST aires tonight at 8:00. I've been waiting for this day since June of last year, but I have found myself overwhelmed with homework and meetings and I absolutely cannot sacrifice two hours tonight. Sad! :( I suppose I'll just have to watch it online.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Reclaiming what is His...

Despite devastating loss in Haiti, religious riots in Nigeria, and kidnappings in the Philippines, incredible things are happening around the world! God is reclaiming what is His; He is working in miraculous ways, and gloriously revealing His love! Hallelujah, amen!

On Friday evening I had a 3-hour chit-chat with my three bffs in Cambodia, and there was something I didn't tell you about in Saturday's post because it deserves to be acknowledge separately.

Rewind juuust a little bit! This summer while I was in Cambodia, I read Shane Clairborne's book Irresistible Revolution. It changed my life. I was challenged to take seriously God's command "Sell all that you have and give it to the poor." God laid one special friend on my heart. In the eyes of the world, my friend Pagna is probably my poorest friend in Cambodia.

Shortly after I left, Pagna graduated from high school, and I knew that his family didn't have the money to send him to the university. God reminded me that NOT ONLY is my family able to provide for me to attend the university, BUT that we don't have to because I have free tuition [Mom is faculty -> free tuition.] God asked me to bless Pagna with the blessings that I had received.

Now Pagna is attending the university to become an English teacher.

So what has God reclaimed?

Many times this summer, Pagna and I prayed together for his family because neither his parents nor his sisters are Christians. We had also prayed the same prayer together the previous summer. When my friend Vandy, who is Pagna's pastor, approached his family with the gift, Pagna's mother agreed to attend church and seek this God that has provided for her son in a miraculous way.

Pagna's mother was gloriously saved. She is now a faithful church member and seeks to serve her Christian brothers and sisters in the province of Kratie.

There's more.

I've written about my friends Nathan and Jade who are in the process of adopting a little boy, Samuel, from Uganda. Jade returned to Uganda last Tuesday with her dad. In Tuesday's post I told you that Jade's dad, Howie, who isn't a Christian was prompted to bring a Bible with him - a book that he has never read.

On Sunday morning, in Uganda Africa, Howie was gloriously saved.

Jade wrote, "He looked at me with teary eyes and said that he wanted [to accept Jesus into his heart.] I cried and started praying with him. He gloriously asked forgiveness for his sins and accepted Christ into his heart. We then took communion together, prayed again, and hand in hand sang praises to OUR Maker. It was beautiful. It was the moment I have been, along with so many others, been praying about for 10 years."

You can read Jade's story, "My dad has his place in Heaven" HERE.

I'm praising God with Hillsong's Mighty to Save:
Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.