Election ’08

November 4, 2008 at 10:23 pm (Real Life) (, , , , , )

Well, it’s over. With the West Coast closing out a few minutes ago, Obama vaulted over the necessary 270 electoral college votes and took the White House. Yay for a generation to make history.

It’s a strange feeling right now. Last time there was a change in office, I was eleven. Definitely not old enough to care too much as to what was happening. I was opposed to Bush, but that wasn’t for any real political reason. Last election, I still opposed Bush, but really didn’t care all that much either way still. Now though…now I feel like this will have an impact on me. I know it will. I will likely leave college and start a life of my own under this administration. His views on foreign policy could have a profound impact on my next semester. I don’t believe that it will, but there’s always the possibility.

So, I should have gone out to the polls and made sure to voice my opinion, right? Well, I am not at all ashamed to admit that I did not vote. I’m fairly disillusioned with the political process, where the people with the most money get the best commercials, the most support, and the most power. Where everyone understands that campaign promises are really just campaign lies. I couldn’t choose a candidate. On the one hand, I do not think McCain is what this country needs right now. I simply don’t believe he would be good for us. On the other hand, Obama’s lack of experience scares me. But bigger than that, I cannot vote for someone with his stance on abortion. I’ve researched the rumors about the Born Alive Infant Protection Bill, and I cannot find anything to make me feel comfortable with it. I am aware that most of the reports are, by definition, biased, but still…Abortion is something I will never be okay with. It is the height of selfishness, the mark of a people willing to do anything as long as there aren’t any consequences. I will never be okay with it. It is a social, moral, and emotional decision on my part, and it is unwavering. No, I don’t have the answers to all the questions, but I do know that there are prices to be paid for actions. Obviously, there are instances (life of mother v. child, etc.) that require more than this broad idea, but in general, you get the picture.

So, that’s where it is. I couldn’t give my support to a candidate I did not like. Frankly, I do not believe either of them was a good choice. So…why in the world would I vote to put someone in office that I don’t like? It seemed completely illogical to me, so I left it in the hands of people who actually cared. And God’s. I don’t know how I feel about Obama, but I know that it is exactly according to God’s plan for the world. And so I can go into all of this happy, regardless of the president. Because it really doesn’t matter that much to me. It’s all God’s in the end, be it for good or ill.

Here we go, friends. It’s a new day, a new face. But the same Master over it all. Congratulations, President Obama.

God Bless. ❤

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Day Two

October 27, 2008 at 11:14 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, it isn’t all sunshine and daisies over here. No pun intended. There are actually a lot of daisies around. Some over my computer, and a billion in the Shanties Club Books. It’s just gonna be a long week.

I miss my friends. I miss dinner with everyone. It kinda feels like those first few days I was back home for the summer, when nothing quite clicked how it should. I’m on one crazy schedule for being a Full Member, others are running on a new member’s schedule, and it feels like the two paths never cross. I was praying to see someone when I went into the caf today that wasn’t in Shantih. Not because I don’t love those girls, but because I need something that isn’t club in my life. That prayer wasn’t answered, which is probably God’s way of telling me to suck it up. It’s only a week.

Don’t get me wrong; tonight was a BLAST! But it’s the afternoons that hurt. When I’m the only one without a single thing to do. It’s lonely. I wish I had a thousand papers to write so that I wouldn’t have all this time to be stuck in my head. Oh well. At least the evenings are fun.

The girls are doing really great. Tonight was a lot of fun with their little skits. Got some very creative ones to be sure! And the cheering was a lot of fun. Most people who know me are probably fairly shocked to hear me say that. But…it’s more because it’s just screaming for my club, my sisters. They did really well. Oh so very loud. I’m really pretty impressed.

So many memories. Last year was a lot of fun, running around like a crazy person, trying to decide which homework actually had to be done, meeting new people. Orange crushing (I think Kaleb broke my rib earlier tonight…) Lots of good memories. Even when I got in trouble….thinking back, I kinda did that a lot. Hm. Rough night was awesome though. I’ll have to put that story up sometime. So much fun. I miss that side of pledge week.

But, there it is. A bittersweet week. Lots of fun meeting new people, a constant heartache missing my other friends. What’s a girl to do?

Eat chocolate? Sounds good enough to me!

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Club Week From the Other Side

October 26, 2008 at 9:33 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, last year was fun. It was crazy, a lot of fun, and a good deal of stress. I don’t know how I managed to do the club stuff, hang out with friends, do homework, and get to bed at a decent hour. But I did. Probably because I was a Freshie and classes were easy. It’s possible as a Sophomore or Junior, I know, but I’m glad I’ve done it. Cause I probably wouldn’t be in a club if I hadn’t joined last year. Not that it will be that bad for those who are in that boat (deep breath, calm down), I just don’t care enough to put myself through any great deal of stress. 😛 Well, it’s going to be interesting. To my lovely friends going through it all, best of luck. You’ll survive (maybe even thrive), and probably end up looking back fondly. I know I do! I’ll be praying for ya’ll. I’ll try to be understanding. And I love you. And God loves you. Hey, remember, no matter what, we’re all going to heaven. 🙂

But, it’s interesting on the other side. A lot less work, I’m sure. I mean, I can’t be sure yet, but looks that way. I’m so hyped for all club devo! Especially since I don’t have to get up in front of everyone and cheer. It’s really a lot of fun. And it ends a lot earlier than I thought. All Club at 10? Eh, whatever. There’s more than enough to keep everyone busy. 😉 There’s some really fun stuff planned. I’m not entirely excited because, just like last year, it means taking a big step away from friends and towards the club. Not that I don’t LOVE my club, but I really do have the most amazing friends of anyone on campus.

The new girls seem really awesome. They’re very diverse, and it’s going to take time to learn everyone, but it’ll be an adventure. Now, it’s their job to learn everyone’s name and get my signature. Mwaha. But, I’ll be nice. You know me. It’s going to be fun. Yeah, there’s some not-so-positives about this week, but it’s only a week. No matter what, it can only go on for so long. And, awesome Honors Halloween Party on Saturday. Can’t wait. It’s only a week. I’ve been through worse.

Pretty much, it’s going to be awesome. It’s going to have it’s bad days (there are some people I’m going to miss talking to…a lot.), but it’s going to be fun no matter what. Hehe…Tuesday’s gonna be incredible.

So, here it goes. Best of luck, friends. I’m here 24/7. And you ought to know my cell is ALWAYS on. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Though I really don’t think it will. 🙂

Much Love.

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How I Ended Up at a Hotel For My Six Month Anniversary and Other Stories

September 16, 2008 at 10:14 pm (Real Life, Relationships) (, , , , , )

So, we’ll get to the title story later. I’m sure you’re all anxious to know what in the world I, Katherine Mitchell, mean by such a statement, but there is a time and a place. Part of me must maintain a normal flow of time.

So, yes. Sam and I have now officially been dating for six months. Which is a very long time, I think. And most people would agree–there are always the scoffers. Anyways, last Friday was our Six-Month date. And it was quite an adventure, as the title suggests. Before we even left, Sam met me with a bouquet of white daisies and a red rose. Gorgeous flowers from a wonderful boy. After I got those safely in my room, we left for dinner at a nice little Japanese Steakhouse in Little Rock. Much like Kobe’s, for those in Nashville who know what that is, but a little smaller and more cozy. The tables weren’t quite as big, so it was a little more personal. Incredible food, though. Oh my goodness, I have never seen so much food! I ate until I was ready to burst, and still had enough for lunch the next day. That was a lot of fun, and SO much better than caf food. Then again, most prison food is better than the caf….but that’s an entirely different post.

From there we headed to a mall that had a Build-A-Bear. Sam had decided that we should go and make me a bear to keep Poptart company while I’m away studying with Sam. So, we went in and picked out a bear. Sam got to dance around during the Heart Ceremony. I wish I’d had a camera to tape it, because he was spinning and jumping and laughing like a crazy person. Since he is a crazy person, it makes much more sense. We picked out some clothes, and then dubbed the cute bear Strawberry. So, she’s now chilling with Poptart in my room while I sit in the lab and make sure Sam studies for his tests this week.

Well, from there we went to see “Burn After Reading,” the new Brad Pitt and George Clooney movie. I’ve heard it described as hilarious, which I wouldn’t really say. It had some very funny parts, but also some rather macabre scenes. In the end, I was confused as to what kind of movie it was really supposed to be. Plus, the characters weren’t all that likeable, making it a little difficult to grow attached to anyone. But, a decent movie, in the end. Likely to end up some cult classic or something. Or maybe a box office hit. Who knows? The public is weird. Let’s just say that, at the end of the movie, Sam and I were laughing as we asked each other what the heck had we just watched. So, mixed experience.

Well, at this point, we were far from the beaten path of Google maps. We had directions back, but they were from the other side of town. So, we asked someone before we left the theater, and she kindly gave us directions to the Interstate. Or I think it was the Interstate. This is probably why I don’t drive in unfamiliar places. So, we set off. And after driving a good ways away from any of the large developed areas, we decided it would probably be smart to stop and ask directions. But, it was about 11:30 at this point, and apparently most of Little Rock doesn’t stay open that late.

What to do? With crufew creeping up, we decided to stop at the next place we saw. An Embassy Suites. How fortunate. So, I didn’t want to sit in the creepy hotel parking lot at nearly midnight, and decided to walk in with Sam. I can only imagine how it appeared, especially given the extraordinary smile the guard gave us as we strolled in. Two young people, smiling, holding hands, walking up to the reception desk of the hotel at 11:30. Everyone seemed slightly disappointed when we only asked for directions.

We got back on the road (and then realized that we had, in fact, gone to a hotel for our six month anniversary. Something many of my friends found entirely too funny to let die), and made it back safe and sound minutes before curfew. It was an adventure, especially after one or two extra wrong turns that had us wandering the back roads of Arkansas for a little while. But, with company like that, who minds a few extra minutes of driving? Plus, I kinda learned how to read a map. Shocking, I know.

Well, that’s about all the news that’s fit to read. Nothing too wild going on, besides the insane tide of tests slowly drowning all of my friends. My test week was last week, so this one is a bit of a break. And by bit of a break, I mean only two tests. Isn’t the college life great?

Well, until I get a chance to write again…

Katherine

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A Benediction

September 5, 2008 at 6:28 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Spiritual) (, , , )

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

Amen.

So, I recently made a video for HUmanity. It was lots of fun, though it was raining during filming, and I thought it would be  a good way to introduce the Freshmen to what our group was all about. It consisted of me and three others reading the above blessing, spliced together. So, pretty much, the video hopped from person to person each line. We had some great scenery given the topic of the benediction, and one of the guys was kind enough to donate his time taping and editting it.

It was supposed to show during announcements after chapel. No one got to see it.

I figured, at first, that it just hadn’t turned out well. Or that there hadn’t been enough time to get it all together. But that wasn’t it at all, I discovered. The video couldn’t be shown because Calea and I were praying in it.

That annoys me quite a bit. Though I am not one to say women should be preachers, should lead worship, etc, this wasn’t either of those. We weren’t praying, but reading a benediction. And it wasn’t in worship. In fact, a girl read the transcript during the announcements.

I understand Harding has to hold to certain standards. No, I don’t think a woman should lead in chapel. But is it now wrong for me to say God Bless? It’s the same idea, right? Am I not allowed to talk about God? Should I even be allowed to ask a question n my Bible class or speak my opinion? How far does this go?

Now, while I will probably never support women leading worship (it’s a personal thing and it has to do with different roles in the body), I know women did things in the early church. They are called to be silent with the men in regards to prophecy, tongues, etc. The had to cover their heads while praying. Of course, that could be silent prayer. As stated, though, I think leading worship is the man’s job. Sorry guys, but the responsibility’s yours.

My problem is when I feel as if I can’t speak about God at all in a public assembly here. What if I wanted to make an announcement and talked about how God lead me to whatever it was I felt so strongly about? The end of the year, Seniors make speeches. They are very careful to make sure the girls speak after the closing prayer, but would I then not be able to speak about God’s role in my life? That’s a pretty big part.

So, I’m not really sure why I’m writing this. I guess I’m just ranting a bit. I think they take a rule to the point of absurdity. I’m not calling for any massive change, either. I’m not entirely sure where I even stand on the policy. I don’t know where the line should be. But, I have my convictions which are standing sure. It’s just that I sometimes don’t know exactly what I am supposed to do if I want to express myself.

It’s frustrating. It sometimes feels like my religion cannot be of use to anyone else because I am female. I don’t think that was ever the intention. No, I should not be a church leader. But I do have a voice. I do have a story.

I want to show you that you can help. I want to be able to make a difference with my faith.

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A Few Random Thoughts

August 25, 2008 at 9:22 am (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Spiritual) (, , )

I’m sitting in my dorm with a cup of delicious (though mildly burnt) coffee and a huge chocolate muffin. Well, okay, the coffee leaves a little to be desired, but hey. My throat feels like I might have been eating steel wool last night, so any little bit, no matter how burnt. But, regardless, I have an hour until my next class and my blog is in sore need of updating.

I was going to write a back to school blog. But, ninety percent of the people reading this are back to school, so it would be pointless. I don’t want to waste your time writing about what you already know. Instead…well, I’m not really sure what will happen instead.

I’ve had a lot of really random thoughts floating around my head recently. Sorry if I’ve seemed distracted, but I kinda have been. The first few days of class always scare me. I’ve overcome it enough to finally be able to actually sleep the night before, but it still has me jittery all day. Fortunately at college I get two first days of school. Isn’t that considerate?

I read the Screwtape Letters and loved it! It was a nice, easy-reading book, but really pretty insightful. C.S. Lewis was a pretty bright guy, ya know? It had one concept that I thought was absolutely intriguing. A long life is a battle that only the strong survive, from a faith standpoint especially. To die young is to miss out on most of the hardships that wear and grate on the soul. To die young is to save the soul from a thousand attacks and stumbles. There’s no denying this; my life and faith were much simpler before I got out on my own. And I’d rather die young than fall away from the faith. From a purely calculating point of view, the odds simply increase the more times the soul is tried.

But to live a long life in the faith, now that is truly an achievement. To overcome and prevail in the end, despite Satan throwing everything at you.

It was an interesting idea. It got a hook into my thoughts and just kept coming back. I like things that won’t let you be, no matter how hard you try to shake them. Those are the things to reflect on, weigh, evaluate, and judge. I don’t know if I entirely accept the idea, but it is a novel one to think about. And, in the end, it’s all opinion anyways. As far as this is concerned.

Well, time for school. I have to make a sandwich and find all the eleventy hundred books I need. So, until later my friends.

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Reflections on the Seasons

August 9, 2008 at 11:54 am (Random Thoughts) (, , , , , )

I walked outside yesterday and was shocked. Completely and totally at a standstill because of a hint of something in the air. It felt like autumn. It smelled like autumn. It was one of the most refreshing things I have experienced in a long while. Now, fall is still a good ways off here. We have to fight through the end of August and beginning of September to even begin to glimpse it, but it was there yesterday.

That got me thinking. Years ago, if you asked me my favorite season, I would say winter. Because then, obviously, I appeared more adult by saying so. It showed that I was wise and knew how cruel and cold winter was. It proved that I had seen and experienced enough to be jaded. Surely you had to take me seriously? I was dark and brooding, my eyes focused to the oh-so distant future, not distracted by the toil of everyday life.

Or, at time, I would answer spring. Because that answered showed me as happy and optimistic. You could trust me like you could trust anyone with a smiling face. I was your typical teenager, happy to be alive, excited about the fresh and new. I was content and pleased with the pretty things in life.

Or, I would say summer. I was a student, right? Of course summer was my favorite! No school, no responsibilities. Vacation, friends, late nights and later mornings. I was care-free and definitely not a nerd. Being out of school was my favorite thing! You could depend on me to be the fun one, up for anything, enjoying living life in the now.

But now…now I know that I like autumn. Not because of what it tells you about me, but because of how much I enjoy waiting for it to come. The color of the tress, the smell of bonfires and musty leaves. The way the air cools down into downright cold. And I still like winter–it’s a period of calm and patience. It clears my head and keeps me from worrying about things I cannot control. And I still like spring–there is rebirth after winter. The color returns, life comes back, and everything stretches into life after a good long sleep. It’s time to come back outside and enjoy the world. And I will always like summer–there is a bit of release and carefreeness. No school, no homework, no deadlines. There’s ample time for a friend or twelve. It gives the mind a rest before getting back to the grind.

But, I’ll always live for the fall. Everyone’s different. Every season means something different to every person. But, I’m happy now. Cause this time, my answer isn’t for anyone else. My answer’s for me, and I like it that way.

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Wait Wait Wait…You Mean I Don’t Have to Wake up at Six?

August 7, 2008 at 10:37 am (Real Life, Spiritual) (, , , )

How thankful am I for that! It’s 11 and I have yet to leave my room. I’ve been awake, organizing pictures and whatnot, but still in my pajamas. It’s wonderfully relaxing.

It’s hard to imagine that twenty-four hours ago I was still in San Salvador. It’s almost impossible to believe that a few hours on a plane can change everything that much. I miss them all so much. Every year, a little more of you stays behind. I wonder what happens when all of you is there?

Everyone met us at the airport, as usual. It was a little easier to say goodbye, still drained from last night. For the first time in two or three years, I actually got to say goodbye to everyone. Then it was through security and back to the life I had put on hold.

Honestly, it’s a different world down there. It’s almost impossible to think of it as a part of my everyday life. It almost seems like there are two me’s. There’s the one writing this now who gets fifty-one weeks a year for whatever, but takes a nice vacation for one. And then there’s this person who sleeps away most of the year, but wakes up for one week in order to work so hard so that she can sleep for another fifty-one. Because, while I know it doesn’t, it always feels like time stops for a while until we get back to El Salvador. The same people are there, we do the same things. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s hard to see both realities in one frame of consciousness.

It was nice to get home. Like I said, once you’ve said goodbye, I’m just ready to get back to everyone I miss. There weren’t any major problems, except for Darrin. He caught the little bug down there and spent the entire trip knocked out with medication. It’s better to sleep the whole way (and by sleep, I mean unconscious. He had a wheelchair everywhere we went) than to spend it throwing up everything you’ve ever thought of eating.

But, we made it back safe and sound.It was a good week and I feel like a lot of good was done. We’ve planted the seeds and will return in a year to see what God has done with them. He’s the best gardener I know, so I can’t wait to see the harvest. One year done. Now let’s start planning next year.

And if anyone is interested in the things I didn’t get to see, Waverly had a blog of their very own! So, for more information on some of their jobs and mnistries, go to http://missiontrip08-wavcoc.blogspot.com/

See you all later!

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Days 5-7: The Universal Language of Sweat

August 5, 2008 at 11:55 pm (Real Life, Spiritual) (, , , )

So, as you probably haven’t noticed, I’m a little behind in the blog. It’s been a long few days, and today has been just as exhausting, but I don’t have to be awake quite so early, so I’ll try to make up for lost time.

Sunday was church and sightseeing– a relatively easy day by all standards. We woke up and went to chruch at various places. Waverly’s group went to San Mauricio with Jorge and his congregation; most of the youth stayed at the hotel to hear Billy preach; the reast went to El Centro where Mo was the predicador. It was all in untranslated Spanish, but I did pretty well keeping up. Enough to get the gist of the lesson. There were four baptisms after worship, which was a beautiful thing of course! It was a lovely Sunday morning.

From there we went back to the hotel to pick up the rest of the Una group. Everyone was hungry and ready to do something, so we headed to the mall for lunch. I ate at some crazy Mexican place there. It was pretty good, but it’s really almost too hot to eat here. Anyways, the mall was a very short trip and we made our way to the ruins. I had never been to the Mayan ruins here- we had tried once or twice without success- but this year we suceeded. It was pretty incredible. Everything was pretty well-preserved, so I was shocked. There are, obviously, tons of pictures. At the ruins, there was a Mayan guy selling some trinkets and whatnot. He went on about the country’s heritage and the people’s heritage. It was pretty crazy. He kept switching between as Mayan dialect I won’t pretend to spell and English, so it was interesting. Occassionally, I couldn’t tell which was which.

We left as the park was closing (only around four. Weird), and traveled out to the artisans market fir a few minutes. We saw Waverly as they were pulling out of the parking lot. So, we shopped around there for about half an hour. I had seen everything many times before, so I just kinda wandered in and out of the stalls. It was all good, relaxing. Peaceful. After that (everyone was beginning to close up shop then), we went back to the hotel for dinner and devo. It was all good. After waiting and waiting to pay, the youth spent some time wandering around, looking for a good place to play cards. We finally found (and illuminated) a deserted ballroom, but quickly decided it was too hot and went to the lobby.

And that was Sunday, quickly and in a nutshell. From there, it was anearly seven a.m. departure to El Chaugiton. It is a small village only a few miles from the coast that we have dubbed “The Hottest Place on Earth.” It truly is scorching, even when it’s relatively cool elsewhere. We had the usual there- glasses, food, and VBS- and then loaded back up for the two hour trip back. There and back- and to the following location- was some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. It was utterly breathtaking. I took tons of pictures, but a still photograph can never induce the same awe and breathlessness that seeing it face to face did.

Everyone was alseep as we made the  long drive across the countryside. It was about a two-and-a-half to three-hour drive. About twenty to thirty minutes out from Zaragosa, right when I had nearly fallen asleep, the bus was declared to heavy and we all had to switch to the other bus. There wasn’t much room, so I ended up crammed on a seat with the Webbs. But, at least I had a seat. A few of the guys had to stand.

We survived with both buses intact to the second location and repeated the process from earlier. Zargosa and Chaugiton were only different in the amount of heat. Chaugiton is near the coast and hot; Zaragosa in towards the mountains and cool…er. So, we worked quickly, finished up, and began to get loaded. As we were getting ready to leave, we were informed that the church had made us dinner. They had made subs for all of us, washing eveyrthing in bottled water and taking special care. It was chicken ( I think), tomato, lettuce, mayonaise, and bread…obviously. I didn’t feel very risky, so I opted out. besides, I’m really not a lettuce, tomato, mayonaise kind of gal. I picked at the bread so it would look like i had eaten, and then we loaded up. Since there haven’t been too many deadly outbreaks today, I’d say the food was safe. Still, it wasn’t worth a miserable plane ride tomorrow for me.

We went to the mall for dinner, at least those of us who wanted to. Waverly hadn’t been yet, so they got to see that. It was fun. I hung out with most of their kids, shwoing them around and helping hem find some stores. Josh and Darrin had the great idea to by Alexito and Jorito a game for the PS2 bradley donated at some point. It was a lot of fun.

Joseph had devo. He spoke on blessings and it was really great. He said we should ask for blessings, but never take the most simple and everyday for granted. Though we wake up every morning, we should never overlook that first breath that gives us another day.

Today was another early morning, so I went to bed relatively early. I was pretty tired, hence no update. But, we woke up and loaded the last of the food bags onto the bus and prayed it wasn’t too heavy. But, with 300 twenty-pound bags loaded on, it was definitely a miracle that it made it the whole way. Yesterday, as mentioned, it didn’t. Sadly, Papa Don wasn’t quite as fortunate as the bus. He had to head back to the hotel with the stomach bug. But, we made it to Huizucar. The same old stuff was repeated again. VBS while someone preached, then food bags, and finally a glasses distribution.  It was over quicker than we expected, so we zipped into Camperos for some lunch. Which was nice since we never have lunch.

The last stop of the trip was at Santo Tomas, where Paz and family live. We skipped the VBS, instead having solely the food and glasses distribution. My arms were very thankful. Holding up those puppets for nearly an hour is definitely not appreciated by my body. While we were waiting to leave, four VERY drun guys wandered up to sing and entertain us. They were so far gone; it was absolutely hilarious. But, we got on our way back to the hotel. I’ve been feeling a little less than ideal all day. Not the nasty stomach junk, but a little heat exhaustion and annoyance at the constant changes in elevation. So, I tried to sleep on the way back. But didn’t. Of course.

We stopped at the Hotel to clean up and then went to Pizza Hut with everyone who had worked with us. It was a full house, but a blessing as always. I laughed until it hurt, which is kind of a great feeling. Of course, everyone knew what was coming. Well, the first-timers had no idea, but the veterans were ready with tissues. Okay, so I never carry tissues, but you get the idea.

We had the last night devo. The floor is simply opened to anyone who wants to speak about the trip. It is always very emtional, this year especially. With all the drama and tragedy going on, there were many things to say. It was insane. I haven’t cried like that in…a good while. So, I feel a little empty now. We hugged everyone, and then I came up to the room to rest and hopefully feel better before the plane trip. We’ll see.

We leave in the morning for a long day of travel, but 9:00 will find us right back in Nashville, the place we started this journey a week ago. It’s strange how a few hours in a plane and eveyrthing is different. Well, tomorrow is for tomorrow. Now is for goodnight. And so I say,

Buenas Noches.

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Day Three and Four: Con Dios, Nosotros Somos Uno.

August 2, 2008 at 10:35 pm (Real Life, Spiritual) (, , , )

So, I was wiped out last night and forgot to write until…I laid down to sleep. And by then, I was not getting back up to type. So, here’s two days worth!

Thursday morning, we had VBS at El Centro. It went really well with about 150 kids in attendance. I did my part for the puppet show and then wandered around downstairs while we waited for the extra beans to arrive and all the kids to clear out some. After that, Waverly went out to San Mauricio to work on their own, leaving on the Una team to pack the remaining bags. We finished up the last 600-700 in about half the time it took us the night before. Which was nice. I was baggng rice and tying up the bags. My fingers were a little sore afterwards, but it’s the price I pay. And it’s worth it!!

Well, then we had a chance to go to the Children’s Hospital. Those who have been on the trip know what an experience that is. We took bags with crayons, a coloring book, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a small toy. Mainly little stuffed animals in the hospital with a few toy cars for the little boys. It’s a lot of fun to hand it out and see the little kids pull out the coloring book or toy or whatever catches their eye. And then we have Bibles for the parents. It’s a good work, in my opinion. Who needs to know someone is thinking of them more than people sitting in the hospital with their sick children?

We had some more downtime after that. A few of us went to the store across the street and bought a papusa from the lady cooking them outside. It was tasty, and that’s all I have to say. We then returned to the hotel incredibly early to wait for Waverly to get back so we could go eat. After we waited for an hour or so, they called to say they would get dinner on their own. So, we went to Biggest, a fast food/burger place. It was, as always, delicious. i discovered these addicting ranch french fires. I could have eaten those forever…Then it was off to Jungle Snow. That is some of the best ice cream ever! I got some chocolate watermelon concoction that was delicious. We played Apples to Apples while we waited, and then went home for devo.

After devo, we decided we had to get to know the Waverly youth that was there with us. We all went up to the roof and sat there getting to know each other, Pretty much, we went around in a circle and told anything we wanted to about ourself, and then commented freely on whatever. It was a lot of fun. But, we eventually had to go to bed, what with such an early morning today. Sadly, I couldn’t sleep and only got about four hours for today.

Today, as I said,was early. We left the hotel at seven and headed to El Centro to pack up food bags and VBS bags for San Mauricio. We got that together and headed out. I distributed eye glasses during the VBS. We take reading glasses to hand out to everyone when we’re there. We test them using a primitive eye chart and then give them a strength that we think will work. Usually, that process is repeated many many times. It helps out a bit.

From there, it was back to Centro to hand out food and glasses at the Widows’ Day. All this little old women balacing food on their head and getting new glasses. One lady pushed the chart away and pulled out her Bible. That was what she was concerned about seeing. So, we made sure she could read the tiny print in there, and she was on her way. They are so sweet, so kind, and so grateful. But everyone knows we take away so much more than we give to them.

As soon as the widows had left, it was time for the youth rally. Bradley, Brant, and Joseph had the lessons for it and did an incredible job! We played a bunch of games, ate some pizza, and got to learn about Love, Faith, Cooperation, Communication, Respect, and many other concepts. That’s where this entry’s title comes from. They handed out bracelets with that phrase on it. Translated, it means “In God, we are one.” It was very well done, talking about how we are all a family, all one body. No matter what, we are one in Christ. That’s important. Something we have to remember, but is so easily forgotten.

Almost as soon as that was over, they started the Gospel Meeting. I opted to sit downstairs and play cards. It wasn’t translated, so i didn’t want to sit and try to think that much when I was so tired. We all played Spades and had some fun. It ended quicker than we were willing to believe and we all got to go and get Papusas. Waverly left again to do some work on their own and returned right after our devo tonight.

Brant had devo tonight and talked about hugs. It was short, simple, and to the point. Hugs are nice, but simple. And sometimes we all just need a hug from God. I had to smile.

Tomorrow is church and sightseeing. Sunday is always easy and laidback. But, Monday and Tuesday promise to be busy enough to make up for all the down time. Well, I’m going to bed shortly. So, goodnight!

 

🙂

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