Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Friday, March 30, 2012

I just need to get this out of my head

The internship I so desperately wanted turned me down, and now I'm going to make a pros list so that I don't feel so sucky about it.

Pros:

I don't have to buy my own groceries this summer.
I can spend time at home,with mommy.
I'll be able to see Aubrey this summer (crazy amounts of pro, here).
I can possibly be a camp counselor which will also help my relationship with God, I expect, as well as making connections.
I can go to my home church.
I'll be close to people I know.
Teebs won't be the only one not on campus this summer.
Less massachusetts (I'm sorry, ALWAYS a good thing.)


Thats all I can think of right now. So I'm still kind of bummin, but I guess I'll power through.

The Dominican Republic {Day 3}

Sunday morning we get ourselves out of bed at the same time, dress for church, and eat a nice breakfast before sitting in a pew for a good portion of the morning. Few of us knew exactly what to expect. We were told that church was largely an all day thing; at least a couple of solid hours in the morning and a couple of solid hours at night. So, with a joyful heart, we went to church, a little anxious about the heat and our own inabilities to sit still for extended periods of time {or maybe that was just me}. Either way, we got ourselves to church, and were pleasantly surprised to be in the company of so many incredible people, a pleasant climate, and a message that was tailored to fit us, personally.
The service was mostly spoken in Creole and Spanish, but Pastor Tanis seemed to speak right to us {as he probably did} when he spoke, in English, about the lack of joy that any riches can give you. He certainly seemed to speak right to me when he spoke of all those who take their own lives because they just can't find happiness. He said that our possessions can make us quite miserable, and how true that is. And it seems right that a man who has lived most of his life with less than the average American should be the one to deliver such a message.We were introduced to the congregation with pride, and we felt honored to be recognized in such a way. We shared with them several verses of Amazing Grace before finishing the service.
Immediately after the pastor closed us in prayer, we were swarmed by people, pressing their way out of the crammed make-shift chapel, thrusting their hands toward us and saying "Dios te bendiga", and we responded "mm, God Bless." We are, after all, rather ignorant Americans. They gave us grace, though, praise God. I was pulled outside by the hand of a little girl and led down a slide--just once, and then she ran off, to where, I'm not sure. We gathered around the basketball hoop for a time of fellowship with Pastor Tanis and several of the teenage boys that we had become somewhat familiar with.

Left to Right: Pastor Tanis, Joanna, Chuck, Laura

Fernando and Kristen

The boys looking for the ball


We filled most of our afternoon with them. We wandered around and played games all afternoon--a bit of basketball, a bit of baseball, a bit of "futbol americano"--tossing the ball around, and learning names. Trying to catch Zach's crazy pitches. Then, after a life story, a lunch, a quick dinner, and another life story, we headed back to the church for the evening service, which was very similar to the first. 

Again, I believe we shared verses. We were graced by the appearance of a beautiful women's choir and pastor Tanis  mercifully spoke a bit of english to us. We finished up with a praise chorus, and then hung around with a group of teenagers, who were listening to the greatest Christian rap I've ever laid ears on. And somehow, this simple fellowship of listening to music turned into the greatest spontaneous dance party -- very likely to ever have happened. I can't express with words the joy that I was given that evening, as I just through myself out there. What an amazing day we had, that sunday. My feet were filthy and my hair was a mess, but it had been a long time since I had felt that free.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Dominican Republic {Day 2}

We woke up to the sun streaming in through the shaded windows at a very early 7:30 am. Those last eight hours of sleep hardly seemed enough to get us through the day, but we soldiered through the morning with joy. After very cold showers, we followed each other down the stairs, past Lula's roof, although she was missing from it, and to breakfast, where we were greeted by pancakes, pineapples, and eggs with onion and beans. When we had finished this delectable food, we started our first day at the construction site.

Before work. Hi, Eli.
It was a series of roofless cement walls, placed strategically around weeds and rocks, and we were put immediately to work pulling nails and hauling cement. The sun was hot but we weren't much phased by it. We downed water every half hour or so and were grateful that we were able to drink, when so many of the workers had no water with them, were working much harder than us, and in long pants, at that.
We had a terrifying moment when a large rock was moved to reveal an enormous, hairy tarantula, scuttling among the weeds and gravel like he owned the place. Sometimes when I recall this, I feel it crawling on me.
At noon, we had a break and went to lunch, and ate like we had never eaten before. We were given almost an hour of free time to nap, play basketball, journal, or do whatever we like. I took Boris around and photographed the afternoon activities, although I would later wish that I had taken a siesta. We went back to work and found half a dozen more tarantulas and hauled what seemed like endless cement before being released at five--the end of the work day.


Break time, basketball time.

This girl was pwning the court


Naptime

Kristen journaling.
We ate a quick dinner and were given some time to shower and clean up a bit before going off to the youth service. A group of between 20 and 30 people, many younger than us, some older, gathered in the makeshift church and opened with hymns in creole and spanish, and then bible drills.
A member of our team was chosen, and she jumped right into the competitive spirit. Combatting Gaby, the pastor's very close family friend, and nearly adopted son, she listened closely for both the spanish and the translated english verses that she was asked to find, and time after time she beat Gaby to the chase, always with a crooked smile of remorse.
The leaders then lined up ten guys, and chose nine girls, and one by one the girls were to choose the guys. The last one left would be the loser. Chuck was the first to be chosen, and he later revealed this to be quite a confidence booster. Then Kristen went and chose one guy who was very excited to have been chosen. Poor Gaby, however, had a rough night, and was chosen last, although it seemed to have been fixed. The members of the youth group were told to recite bible verses and bring up their offering, and once they completed that, we were asked to provide verses, as well, if we had them. Several of us stood and read the verse in English, and then in Spanish, myself included  {I read Isaiah 40:31}. When the service closed we walked back through the warm evening air and gave our exhausted selves in to a quick team time, and a much awaited sleep.

From left to right: Fernando, Gaby, Megan

The ten lined up

Chucks love

The group
This was saturday, March 10th.

In memory of this day, I'd also like to just take a moment and mention my brother who passed away on March 10th, 2010, at the age of 24.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Dominican Republic {Day 1}

We arrived in Santo Domingo around four in the afternoon and were picked up by Gaby and Pastor Tanis. The first thing that met us when we stepped out of the air port was dominican sun and the ocean breeze. While we rode away from the city we spent our time staring out at the gorgeous ocean views and the americanized everything. We listened to Kristen chat with Gaby, half in choppy spanish and half in intentional english. We drove through poverty and paradise, and saw run down streets and commercialized hotels. We pulled into San Pedro de Macoris, and Las Colinas II, respectively, and saw the little, dust covered faces of Dominican and Haitian Children. We saw tiny, malnourished dogs wandering the streets. We saw beautiful palm trees sprouting from the dry earth, and bearing beautiful fruit. We saw the functional cement buildings, adorned with colorful exterior paint. We filed off the bus and waited to be led to the visitor's quarters, and we were taken up an outdoor stair case, past a dog who greeted us with her own joyful voice. Abandoning our belongings in our gender specific sleeping areas, we were led on a short tour of Las Colinas II. We passed teenage boys playing basketball in the hot sun, and a beautiful concrete church, still waiting on construction. We wandered past corner stores unlike anything in the United States and dozens of men, women, and families riding down the bumpy streets on old and worn out motorcycles. We saw little Haitian and Dominican boys and girls running with tires and sticks down these roads and laughing because they don't know what it means to have. A truck with half a dozen little boys in the bed flew past us, and when they stopped, they giggled and blew kisses at the "Americanas". I was urged not to encourage them. We tripped along the beautifully worn streets, until we turned a final corner and secured ourselves within the boundaries of Colegio Moriah's school and church grounds. We were pulled along to a hot meal and a plate of pineapples, and ate graciously. We discussed our highs and our lows and we took very quick, very cold showers, and prepared for bed. Some of us joined chuck for a reading and discussion of John 1. We went to bed rested and content, anxious for saturday's full day of work.


Stretching in Boston Logan Airport before our 7:30 {ish} flight

Experiencing the adrenaline of boarding the plane

Flying over beautiful Boston

Name that island

Claiming beds

Friday, March 9th was a busy but uneventful day for us. These are just the high light pictures of our time from the airport at 5:30 to bed time around 11. The rest of the week was so thrilling and much more eventful. There'll be many more pictures to follow.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Headed out tomorrow morning at the wee hour of 5 am for the week in the Dominican Republic!

Keep me in your prayers!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You'd think I'd be asleep.

I went to sleep around 6 this morning. That is, after staying up all night making this.

video
And I got up around 11 and couldn't get back to sleep.

A couple of funny things happened in the last 24 hours.

Last night, I went to send Nate the Jim Gaffigan Hot Pockets Routine



and instead I sent it to one of my professors on accident. I was a bit panicked, not knowing what he would think of me after this instance.
What I received in response to my apology, was

"I love the hot pockets routine! Hahah. Second only to 'bacon'".

So it ended well.

Secondly,

after staying up all night working on that video, I woke this morning to find that my battery was dead and had in fact fried itself. And to my despair, all my work was on my computer, and no where else. And again, there was panic. But mac got taken to the apple store where they fixed him up, and he's been running on the same charge since about 7! Isn't that fantastic? It's almost 1!

and then I had college bound, where I brought boris. We took some decent pictures, but Megan took this picture. I love it.

From Left to Right: Justin, Wesley, Mayli, Me



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Great Goings-on on a Saturday Night

Just kidding. I'm spending this weekend sick in bed {again} while my poor friend Leslie, who is visiting for the weekend spends all her time on her computer or watching friends. I have a compromised immune system, I think, because I've never gotten sick so frequently in my life. Three times in three months? Craziness.

Leslie at the airport 
Hugs Hello

Lazing about during nap time

out to breakfast in salem

Looking over the menu with Liz's brother

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Love Never Fails

Love Never Fails


Love is not proud 
Love does not boast
Love after all 
Matters the most 
Love does not run
Love does not hide
Love does not keep
Locked inside 
Love is the river that flows through
Love never fails you
Love will sustain
Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time 
Love will protect
Love always hopes
Love still believes
When you don’t 
Love is the arms that are holding you
Love never fails you
When my heart won’t make a sound
When I can’t turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this 
Greater than this
Love is right here
Love is alive
Love is the way
The truth the life
Love is the river than flows through
Love is the arms that are holding you
Love is the place you will fly to
Love never fails you


1 Corinthians 13:4


4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.