Saturday, April 26, 2008

If it fits...

Try this bracelet: if it fits you wear it; but if it hurts you, throw it away no matter how shiny.- African Proverb

I luck out last summer and get to go to Africa for 3 weeks. I luck out even more to go again for 4 weeks (possibly longer). I might be the luckiest person in the world because my friend since the age of three will be traveling along with my group this summer.

One of my closest friends will be able to share friendships with the people of Kibera, the workers of Shalom, the young children of Nyumbani, and street kids of the Anita, Kivuli, and Tone La Maji.

He will be able to experience days with people who my thoughts often drift to. He will see where my heart is and where I fit. Hopefully, he will fit too.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Round 2

Seeing is different than being told- African proverb

Today I found out that this summer I will have another great opportunity to visit Africa. I will join a group of 5 other North Central students along with our assistant ministry and service director and her husband. We will travel to Uganda and Kenya for 4 weeks.

In Uganda, we will help to set up a resource center for disadvantaged children and create a refugee document center. That all includes building, painting, carpentry work, gardening and planting. We will be able to learn the stories of these people, many whom seek shelter in Uganda as refugees. After 2 weeks, we will leave the rural areas of Entebbe to travel to Nairobi.

In Nairobi, we will stay at Shalom House, the place I lived last summer. We will do similar activities such as visiting an AIDS, touring social development projects, and enjoying the centers that are home to many street kids.

I’m so excited to be able to see familiar African faces. I’m even more excited to be a part of other students’ first African experience. It is one thing to be able to share stories of what Kenya was like but to be there when others are seeing it for themselves will be amazing in its own way. After coming home last summer, I did not think I could be blessed anymore than I already was. But two trips…

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Cut & No Regrets

Before & After

I would rather regret the things I have done than the things that I have not- Lucille Ball

Besides trims, I haven't gotten a real hair cut in more than two years. Today I feel like I got a hair cut that is more like my personality. It is fresh, has bounce and simply is fun. I love my new look and definitely no regrets. Feel so good I might even go for a "I Love Lucy" red.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

old average "Jo"s

I woke up this morning and felt like I had slept on a bed of rocks. My first thought is why does my back, arms, pretty much my entire body ache. Then it came to me...sadly it was from dodgeball. I guess at 21, I can't bounce back as fast as I would like to.

Yesterday, for the third time in my dodgeball career I teamed up with Miss. Brianne and other friends to enjoy an afternoon of dominating people in a good old game of dodgeball. Not to be cocky, yet being cocky I would like to say if the United States of America had a Women's National dodgeball team I would qualify. I can do it dip duck dive dodge. But yesterday my dreams of winning the Spring Tune Up were crushed. During pool play we went 10-1-1. We received a bye in the first round as the top seed. Second round we were upset in only 2 games by the Brew City Ballers.

I guess us old average "jo"s will have to wait til the next tourney to regain our dodgeball glory.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bryan House

Isaiah 58:10-- If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday.

Today is new beginning for me: my first real day of interning for Bryan House.

Bryan House is an organization that assists refugee families from all over the world to pull themselves out of poverty through homeownership. Bryan House is a five apartment building complex on the Westside of Aurora. The families will pay monthly rent that will be set aside toward a down payment of home. The goal is to have refugees purchase a home of their own in a year. I’m excited to meet future families that will build great community within the walls of Bryan House.

Coming into my freshmen year here at North Central, I expected to work toward a degree, play sports and make life long friends. All of that has happened and so much more. My freshmen year, I participated in an Emerging Leadership Series which led me to get involved with World Relief and become a friendship partner. Desiree Guzman, North Central Assistant Ministry and Service Director, then worked for World Relief and was the person who introduced me to my Turkish family. Toward the end of my sophomore year, I applied for the Kenya Service trip that Desiree was leading. From previous blogs one can see that I was greatly changed by that experience. In Africa, I prayed for a way to stay connected to Africans and be able to help people in some way after returning home. Bryan House was officially purchased December 18th, 2007 and here I am.

I often am impatient with the Lord for not understanding His plans for me. I want to have my own agenda and set it in motion. I am slowly becoming aware of how things are suppose to work; that I need to work within His game plan on His timing. And if I do that everything will be as it should.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dreaming of Conversation

Talking with one another is loving one another.
Kenya Proverb

Its been over 9 months since I've held conversations with my African friends. Martha, Jackie, Francis, Collins, Joseph... Today I've found out about a great opportunity of working in Africa this summer. I pray that everything can work out.

I long for conversations that inspire me, challenge me, even frustrate me.