Beautiful Things

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


So today was day 2 of training in Littleton, CO. at the WorldVenture headquarters. Colorado is gorgeous! We can see the Rockies from our windows, but the sad part is we haven't had much time to just go outside. Our days are filled with seminars and lecture, which have been great and overwhelming at the same time.

WorldVenture's lobby
Sunday, after two fairly short flights, I arrived in Colorado. I found my way to the baggage claim and somehow managed to carry all my belongings (i'm convinced God gave me momentary super human strength!). I found 2 of my fellow journeyer and we caught a shuttle to the headquarters. We found Jason there and the other 6 journeyers arrived a few hours later.

This was such a surreal experience- just meeting everyone! Every 10 minutes or so (without fail) you would hear one of us saying, "I can't believe we're actually here!". It felt like we were in a dream. This adventure that we had all been looking forward to was actually beginning.

Our kitchen area
The conference room we've been living in

Monday morning we started bright and early and jumped straight into orientation. Lectures and tours and talks galore, on culture, rest, and personality tests! I have to admit, Monday was difficult for me. I felt so overwhelmed! I kept thinking, "What am I getting myself into?!" Here we are, 10 strangers, who will eventually be a close community and source of support, but we are just trying to get to know each other. Such a surreal day. Monday felt like an eternity! I was really struggling with missing the familiar, which I know will be a struggle at different times over the next year.
Roommate CJ and my stuff exploded!
Today was different- and I'm so thankful! I felt calmed and a peace about where we were going. Our lectures today were on heavier matters: culture shock, spiritual warfare, conflict, moral purity, language, and the President of WorldVenture came to talk with us, but somehow it all felt assuring. We're all getting to know each other and I'm really looking forward to serving with these awesome people. Everyone is different, but there are so many similarities. We're spending a lot of time figuring out how God made us, our personalities, how we respond to stress, what fills us up... the list goes on and on. Today was really just fun! BUT we were all anxious to get outside. Keeping 10 adventurous young people in a conference room for hours on end made us all a little loopy. Tonight we got to take the train into Denver and have dinner and our last big dose of American culture. There was a lot of laughter as we were all able to let loose and enjoy/brave the cold weather! The wind was FREEZING- I mean, we all packed for tropical climate! Now we're all gathered in our little living room area watching The Prince of Egypt.
note: all the laptops! haha!

There's one more day here in Denver and then we all get on a plane for Cote d'Ivoire!
Jessica (left), Journey Corps Coordinator, and Jason
Steph and Holly

Thursday, October 21, 2010


This last week has been one filled with being filled up.

I've been prayed for and commissioned by so many amazing people!
And I've just got to say that I am so thankful.

Some moments that are printed in my brain:
  • Singing one last time in church as pictures are shown of this years missions trips. (God's got some perfect timing as far as lyrics with pictures go!)
  • Standing in the hallway with Hortensia as she prayed a beautiful prayer in broken English and then prayed fervently in Spanish (gorgeous!).
  • My college group family huddled around with arms reached out.
  • Watching the sun sink into the mountains, realizing a sunset is going to look very different for the next year.

I'm just realizing how beautifully orchestrated this whole thing is! Every-which-way I look at it, God has brought it all together to lead me to this point. From choices made back in January, to people God brought alongside me, to bible studies I was led to and prayer meetings invited to. 

It's all connected. 
It's all part of His plan.
It's all in His hands.

This week especially! I've been so blessed with some amazing bible studies and times of fellowship this week. Monday night at the Goetz house talking about what it means to follow Christ, meeting with Pastor Bruce and Rob learning about severe mercies, powerful prayer with amazing people who also love Africa, and many conversations with the best of friends. I'm all filled up! 

As Mr. Goetz would say: I've had my manna. I'm ready to cross the Jordan.
The journey begins in 3 days!

But today I'm thankful for:
  • Wise, godly people who pour out their knowledge to the younger, much less wise.
  • My dad and our many wonderful lunch times.
  • Friends who drive many hours to be here, and those who drive just a few minutes, so we can all be together.
  • That wonderful (and extremely patient) man who sits on the side of my car and helps me talk through this crazy time of change.
  • My incredibly loving mom. She just makes me so darn happy!
Goodnight my friends.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

When Things Seem Poopy...

So I'm in the midst of cleaning every nook and cranny of my life.
And let me say, it is REALLY nice!

As for my monstrous to-do list... its getting much much smaller!

My camera, that stopped working after spending a few days at the beach, just turned on... as if it hadn't been completely useless a few weeks ago! 
Looks like God is stepping in to help me out as well!
He's good, that's the truth.

Also in my preparation, I've been reading the discussion boards for Journey Corps to figure out how to pack better. The topic of computers was brought up and with that the topic of internet access...
Looks like the aim is for us to have internet access once a month.

I kind of expected this. 
I mean we're going to be out in villages for chunks of time.
We're going to be focused on building relationships and our ministries.
But it still made that little lump raise in my throat.

My mom's response is pretty fitting:
"well that's just POOPY!"
I can't help but want to say it right along with her.

This is part of dying to my own desires and wants.
Giving up my comfort and expectations and saying:
"God, I trust you...
even in a place so far away from familiar,
even when I'm so far from the ones who know and love me.
You know me. You love me.
I trust you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Preparing for the Journey

Did you know...
we're 19 days away from getting on an airplane-

The to-do list feels miles long,

but the packing list feels longer.

This week I was blessed to meet Brother Dan, our Journey Corps Chaplin. It was so awesome talking with him and getting a real feel for what Cote d'Ivoire is going to be like. I'm seriously looking forward to the community we'll be building there!

I'm also realizing that the French language and I are getting off to a pretty rough start, but hopefully we'll become better friends!

Looks like the way ministry is going to work with Journey Corps is that we'll all be together on the ICA (International Christian Academy) campus in Bouake, Cote d'Ivoire, for 2-3 months, bonding and language learning and such. Then we'll be sent out in pairs to small villages for a month or 2. We'll be living in community and using our gifts to serve the people there.

This has me thinking BIG TIME!
How on earth will THEATER be used? I sincerely hope I get to use my GUITAR!
BUT I also wouldn't mind digging wells or building houses or playing with children or cooking with the women.

There are going to be so many opportunities to grow and stretch myself. Everything is going to be new.
And I get to lean fully on God for strength when I'm feeling incredibly weak and uncomfortable!
Which is bound to happen.

So... these are all the things running through my head tonight. Time is going much faster than I was prepared for. Days are filling up. Before long I'll be saying goodbyes and then saying hellos. These are the wonderful transitions that life brings.

I think I'm ready!
...except for the lengthy lists that are occupying my mind and my wall (giant post-its are wonderful!).

Good night friends!