The Heart of a Missionary-


Goodbye To you.

Posted in life in the field,Randomness,struggles,Uncategorized by misspicture on April 26, 2012

I am going home in less than a month. I leave in 18 days. That is less than 2o days. which proves my initial statement.

Less. Than. A. Month.

Im not sure how i feel about this. One day I could be day-dreaming about all the things that I know God has in store for me. And the next day I could be crying on the kitchen floor [my favorite crying spot in out apartment] thinking about how much I love this place and I dont want to leave.

One of my roommates (Lo) decided to go home too. [long story]. Which, exponentially increases the amount of crying and hugging done in this house, AND leaves roommate number two (Nelly) feeling like we are leaving her alone in this dry and weary land.

and that, my friends, is a whole ‘nother story.

Earlier today I twitted that I was a PRE-griever. And I haven’t googled it, so I dont know if this is an actual word/term or not. I like to think that it’s not and that me and my team invented it.

Because that is one thing we can do. Invent things. useless things, usually. Like a super power that creates things and activates every time Do snaps. Our spectrum of things go from stuff as cool as lightning to stuff as lame as chicken breasts .

we are also really good at tangents…..

According to us, a Pre-Griever is someone who grieves before the bad stuff happens. And a Post-Griever, is someone who ignores the situation and waits to start the grieving process after it happens.

I am a Pre-Griever. And pre-grievers start crying a month before the departure date. And they are half packed two weeks before they have to. And they start giving awkward one-minute-long hugs, and start sentences with the words “this is the last time….” two weeks too soon.

But today, I had a fun moment.

Since I have been doing all the grieving early, I had no tears or sad words to say today. So, I started listening to “Goodbye To you” by Michelle Branch. This is a sad song. Specially If you are in my shoes.

But I laughed.
and then Lo hugged me.
and then Nelly screamed “What is going on? are you crying or laughing?”
Then I continued to laugh while I said “Pre-Grieving is awesome!”

This is what my room looks like. Its a mess!

One suitcase down! one to go.

Messy Room

Advertisements

Bicultural… who?

Posted in Insights,life in the field,struggles by misspicture on July 23, 2011

Biculturalism. The word that’s been on my mind all day today. This term is often used to talk about someone with the ability to interact with two cultures.

I thought this only applied to people from one race who live in a country that does not share their cultural values.

and though this is true i have learned that there’s more to biculturalism than that. Biculturalism is not only experienced by immigrants. I think i have experienced it to some extent.

I consider myself bicultural.

When i was in the desert i had the joy and privilege to spend 80% of my time with 6 north-americans. I experienced what it was like to be a minority, to not speak your heart language to the point where you got more conformable speaking the language of the ‘majority’, to be torn between two cultures, to be culturally confused, and to be so sensitive to the predominant culture that i forgot mine.

Yes, this can happen.
Yes, I thought it was impossible too.
But it happened. In less than a year.
It happened to me.

Being a minority put me in a spot where I was more vulnerable and often felt ashamed of my own culture. My culture. My Language. and my accent. Definitely my accent.

I still do sometimes.
who am i kidding?
I hate my accent.

And it wasn’t because of anything the predominant culture did. They were just being themselves. I just didn’t fit in at first- and that created frustration and bitterness towards my own culture. So, i tried really hard to fit in, so hard i forgot what it was like to be Venezuelan.

and i think more than forget, I just avoided thinking about what being a Venezuelan looked like.

Now, I dont fit in with North Americans.
but i dont fit in with Venezuelans either.

Bienvenido, to my life!

Spanglish is the new cool.
[lets be honest, Spanglish has always been cool]

I can be on time, speak english and be task oriented, in a way that not many Venezuelans can.
And I can be friendly, family oriented, warm, and dance salsa in a way that not many North Americans can.

Im in between.
Its the best of both worlds.
But its hard. Im always different. No matter where i go.

I’ll get to live with 7 north americans again next year. And i hope i can live in the middle. I’ll try to live in the middle. Taking the best of the North American culture and the best of my South American culture. and speak spanglish more often.

Bicultural…. ME!

 

25

Posted in life in the field,Randomness,struggles by misspicture on June 13, 2011

I turned twenty-freaking-FIVE years old today.

I feel a little old. (I know im not…. but its just what i feel)

But today I have been thinking about all the things i have accomplished, all the things God has done and all that He is going to do… and all I can say is…. It is well. It is well!

I could focus in all the things i dont have……yet. and be miserable.

OR

I could highlight God’s grace and faithfulness throughout my life. I choose that.

I choose to enjoy the abundant life He has for me.

I have a -far- from -perfect- but- helthy-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. I am living my dream, His dream, for my life. I am forced to use my gifts and talents every single day and it feels great. I had the honor to share my life with six other amazing men and women last year. I have learned about true friendship. I have great friends in Venezuela, in the US, and in Africa.[ I guess this is what happens when you are a missionary. Home is seasonal and friends are everywhere] I have a dysfunctional, yes, but wonderful family that loves me. I get to walk by faith everyday of my life trusting God for my finances.

I have a pretty darn cool life.

I do what I love. Everyday.

And Im only 25! Who can say that?

not too many people.

so i guess this is a thank you note to God.

My rock, literally.

Thank you, papa.
Let’s do this!

Counting the cost.

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on April 5, 2011

I love my life. I am surrounded by wonderful people. My team is still doing great. against all odds. We still like each other. I love that we are really close to Europe and get to travel up there often. I love that the weather is nice and it does not rain very often. I love that taxis are cheap. I love that we have about five cart men with fresh and cheap fruits and veggies right at our door steps. I love that we have credit with the guys at the store across the street and i can buy groceries and water even when i dont have enough money. I love how easy it is to make friends here. I love the staff people. And i love their kids. I love that they have a spanish school here that hosts cultural events every week. I love that i have friends who speak spanish. I love that im independent. I love that i have met incredible people who truly follow and love Jesus. I love that the guy at the bank has a semi crush on me and therefor is really nice to me when i go. I love that i can go to a gym. I love that i can run. I love what God has taught me about modesty. I really do love my life here.

But there is a price to be paid for following Jesus.

The Gospel is free. But it is not cheap

In order to do what He has called me to do. I’ve had to give up my comfort, my language, my culture, my family and my friends.

He is worth it.

And He has been way too good to me.

But the more i think about going back home the more i realize that my relationships will not be the same.

You see, The girls i live with are more than dear friends to me. They have been my family. They were there when my mom told me that she was going to divorce my dad. They sat and cried with me. They prayed with and for me. They have seen me struggle with my cultural confusion. They were there when my mom told me she decided not to divorce my dad. They danced and rejoiced with me. They know that i dont like to be talked to early in the morning. These girls are sisters.

and they wont be with me this summer.

On the other hand i think about my friends back home. whom  i love. and miss. But they have not shared what this team has shared with me. They have no clue what life is like here. They have missed a year of my life.

And i have missed a year of theirs.

But they will be with me this summer.

Lately i have realized that, if i decide to do what i do for the rest of my life [which i kind of already decided], all of my relationships will be seasonal.

scratch that.

My relationships are already seasonal.

People will come and go.

I cant be here and just be investing in my relationships back home. And i cant be home investing in the relationships i made here.

One thing im learning. [and i dont really like it…]

My friends at home dont have to understand my year.
My friends dont have to understand my jokes.
My friends at home have moved on with their lives.
and they might not have time to see me when i call them….

and that is ok.

But its part of counting the cost. And that is ok. Because Jesus is worth it.

It doesnt make it any easier though.

But it’s ok.

In the lions’ Den

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on March 28, 2011

Two years ago I wrote a note on facebook – I deleted all my notes on facebook before coming to the desert- entitled “En La boca del Leon” or In the lions’ den in english.

It was about Daniel when he was thrown with the lions. I remember going through a situation where i felt like Daniel in the lions’ den. It was a faith stretching time and the Lord spoke to me through this passage.

This is what i took to heart: “Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: Peace and prosperity to you! I declare that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel” Daniel 5:25-26a

Daniel came out of that situation. But his testimony and the greatness of God displayed as a result of his faith was enough for those who witnessed this event -specially the one who wanted to kill him in the first place- to not only acknowledge Daniel’s God but to worship Him.

I felt like the Lord wanted me to go through that situation so that people around me could see, integrity, selflessness, righteousness, and irrational hope in a God that is good.

God is faithful.

I made two friends during this miserable time in my life. Non christian friends. One of them accepted Jesus into her heart. And the other one contacted me recently expressing a desire to study the Bible.

God does not put our tears to waste. Today, two years later. I see how God used this time to show them that Jesus is real. They may never look back in time and pinpoint my situation as the time they saw God at work. And that’s ok.

I am thankful i was counted  worthy to follow Christ in His suffering.
I am thankful that His promises are true.

Whatever you are going through right now. Whatever your lion looks like. Remember. God is with you. And He is at work.

Hang on.

 

Of boldness and audacity.

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on March 25, 2011

I heard a very wise man say: “If we have the audacity to ask we need to have the persistence to peruse

Steven Furtick. Of course!

Our team has been praying for boldness. But it is one thing to ask God to give us courage and is one other thing to actually step up and be bold.

Today as He gave me the chance to share The truth with my friend, i realized that i had a choice to make. 1- I could ignore that He was giving me an opportunity and keep praying for boldness  2- I could be the answer to my prayers

All the glory and honor to our father, but i decided to be the answer to my prayers. I decided that boldness is not something you just ask for. Being bold is a decision. Boldness is an attitude. Boldness is a verb.

We covered so much during our conversation. I told her the whole thing. and she listened. and politely disagreed  when she thought i was wrong. she processed the information i shared.

The Holy Spirit took over.

I took a little step of faith and opened my month.

He did the rest.

Today, as you go to work, Stay at home with your children, or go to school. Remember that that place where you spend the majority of your time, is your opportunity to be bold for Jesus. And as you pray for your co-workers, children, or classmates, take some steps of faith and open your mouth. Tell them about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will take over. He will do the rest.

This city is Yours

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on March 20, 2011

On a regular day you will find me in bed by 9:45pm. It is 10:08pm right now and i am still wide awake. Hence this post. Now i have to quietly get to bed in the dark in hopes that my super-light-sleeper roommate wont wake up. [good luck!]

I feel like i dont have much time to update this blog anymore. Life here goes by fast but i just wanted to take a few moments to update you a little bit on what’s going on in my life right now.

I have decided to come back to the desert for a second year. Im sure this is not as shocking to you as it was to my mom. There are many reasons and many ways in which i felt God leading me to this decision but there is one song God has used to speak to my heart about this city. Its “This City is Yours” by Elevation Worship [of course!]

There is one line that says:

“The heart in my chest, it is beating so fast
I can hardly contain all the hope in my veins
As I see you alive in this city arise
Like the sun shining bright
We see darkness and night run from our lives”

God has given me hope for this place. I believe something big is going to happen in this city. It is going to happen soon. And i want to be here to see it. I want to be a part of what He is doing here.

This city, Lord is yours.

This is my mantra. The song that i find myself singing every morning when i wake up. As i walk to the market. While riding a taxi.

This city, Lord is yours.

Teach us to love. The way you love us. Send us out. Send us out”

That means i will be going back to Maracaibo city, Venezuela the second week of may to raise support again.

which is really scary. 1- Because raising support is hard. 2- Because i just missed a year on everyone’s life and i feel like i have to catch up with everyone. 3- Because i will miss this place. as ugly and uncomfortable as it is. I will miss this city.

now, if you excuse me…. I need to go to bed now without waking Nelly up.

 

 

Mid-year.

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on January 30, 2011

The company i work for hosts a conference around this time every year to check on all the workers in Europe, Middle east and parts of africa. Its called Mid-year. I can not believe this year is half-way done. It’s surreal.

My decision about next year has to be made a few weeks after mid-year. scary!

as for now. I am not going to worry about it. Im going to enjoy my conference and rest in the fact that God will reveal His will for next year when He thinks its right. And that is obviously not right now.

After the conference me and part of my team are going to the Sahara desert!

Pray that God would speak through the sand and the dunes. And somehow tell me to stay….. or leave.

try not to miss me.

🙂

[Colossians.2]

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on January 26, 2011

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”  Colossians 1:15-17

You should seriously read this book. And not just read it. But like my roommate L* says. “Marinate on it” or “in” it. whatever….

while reading these verses i thought “My problems are not that big after all”

He created the whole world and everything in it. There is nothing impossible for God.He holds all creation together.

While I am serving Jesus in the desert. My parents decided that they no longer love each other and that they want to get a divorce. While this has been hard. [very hard] These verses remind me that God is still sitting on His throne, reigning, and being God even when my world shakes.

In Him all things hold together….

all things.

My ministry
My future
My relationships
My family
This city
This world……

Christ is Supreme.

and that is all i need to know today.

 

 

 

[Colossians.1]

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on January 25, 2011

It has been a while since the last time i sat down and wrote my thoughts down for the world to see. [and by the world i mean… the 7 of you who come here regularly ….]

I am stuck in the book of colossias.

Dont ask me what im learning. Because I dont know.

I cant get over chapter one.

I have been meaning to read the whole book for four days now. And every time i sit down to read the same thing happens. I cant get past chapter one.

It all starts in verse 9b. “…. and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.”

and let the impossibility to move on begin!

I just need to know what being wise with spiritual wisdom means.

Because look at what verse 10 says

“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”

I want to live that life!.

so what does spiritual wisdom mean?

In my search i found that the word Paul used to describe this is “epignosis” which according to google means knowledge. knowledge of His mystery. a greater knowledge of Christ. A full knowledge of Christ.

Then i remembered that verse in proverbs that says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom and the Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” Proverbs 9:10

Wisdom starts with fear of the Lord.
and knowledge = understanding.

But what’s the difference between Wisdom and knowledge?

Knowledge= information, data, facts.
Wisdom= good use of knowledge.

So, when Paul is praying for Colossias that they would be wise with spiritual wisdom he is praying that they would discern, think, and live their lives through the lens of what they know to be true about Christ [make good use of their knowledge about Christ]

Then verse 10 comes true.

Im not Bible Scholar. And after reading this you may find that to be way too obvious.

But what a powerful prayer!

What if we lived our lives through the lens of what we know to be true about our Savior. We would love more. We would pray more. We would serve more. We would complain less.

May you be wise with Spiritual wisdom today, and tomorrow, and ….

 

The Beach.

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on January 19, 2011

Yesterday i went to the beach with two of my friends.

now, I know what you are thinking. Sun, pina colada, and bathing-suit.

false

Women usually dont go to the beach to swim. They go to look at the crashing waves and remember what it was like when they were able to freely swim when they were younger.

We sat there in silence.

and i said “Je ne comprends pas comment il ya des personnes qui ne croisent pas en Dieu” In broken french

That would be “I dont understand how there’s people who dont believe in God”

and as i sat there without an audible response from my friends. I heard the voice of  God in my heart. He said very gently

“To those who are blind. I give the sound of the crashing waves. They Say, I am! ”
“To those who are deaf. I give the brightness of the sun. It declares, I am!”
“To those who cant either see or hear. I give the softness of the wind. It shouts, I am!”
“I. AM!”

It was such a good reminder that God has orchestrated this planet to display Himself. What I do here is nothing compared to what He has already done to show us how much He loves us.

He is in the business of bringing people to Himself. He is in the business of saving the lost.

And I trust Him.

 

Mr.Charming

Posted in life in the field,Our boys by misspicture on January 11, 2011

Today as we were walking home two of my teammates started joking about how i blog about random boys. which is false but the boy im going to blog about today is not random.

and i dont blog about boys here. at least most of the times i dont.

A few weeks ago i wrote THIS and NateKA read it. And as if his hugs weren’t enough he decided to make arepas for me. Arepa is bread for Venezuelans. He made them from scratch-my guess is  he looked  a recipe up online-  and made that tuna kind-of-salad that i blogged about. I wish i had pictures to show you but i devoured those yummy arepas. He still thinks they were not good enough. I disagree. strongly disagree.

Thanks, friend. I think this is the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me.

Mr. Charming, as i call him sometimes, is really good at serving us. He cooks for us and eats my cookies even though they “are not the best ever” – It was the butter.- There is nothing too awkward for him (haha!) and he calls us, girls, beautiful all the time.

And i am his favorite Venezuelan
Im not sure about this. But i think im the only one he knows

so, Here’s to NateKCharming!
one of the three AMAZING boys on my team.

we are lucky girls.

 

Sunsets, the future and the present.

Posted in Insights,life in the field by misspicture on January 10, 2011

when was the last time a sunset took your breath away?

when was the last time you watched the sunset at the sound of this song?

I just kind-of did.

unfortunately this city is well.. a city. And its buildings blocked my view. But the colors on the sky were well worth the screams -in arabic- of our concierge. [ yeah! he screamed at me because i locked the door to our roof. ooooops!]. I stood there. My plan was to pray for this city but those colors left me speechless. All of the sudden my clever words of praise, and my ‘spiritual’ prayers couldnt find their way out of my mouth.

All i could say was: “May my eyes never take one more sunset for granted. May I never cease to be amazed by you, Jesus”

And i repeated that about 10 times.

“May my eyes….”

over and over

“May I never….”

and over again.

with tears of worship I sang Phil Wickham’s heaven song. oh i love it when i have my ipod on shuffle and the perfect song starts playing!

Life here in the desert is hard. Men stare at me like im a piece of meat and they want to eat me. Some people are not honest. and the worst of the worst. The call to prayer. Oh how i hate that. It screams “Allah!” five FIVE times a day. Out loud for the entire city to hear. I really do hate it.

But this is where God has me. This year. -We are still deciding about next year. (and by we i mean the Holy Spirit and I)- And even though its hard. And keeping in touch with my friends is difficult. And not being there when my baby brother learns a new song is heartbreaking. And missing my Maracaibo hurts. And not being with my family while they are having a hard time makes me sad sometimes. I love my life here.

I think im finally at a point where i can say that i know my way around. I know how to avoid the hungry-for-meat-men. I know how to take a taxi and how to make sure he is not overcharging me. I live here. And i love my life.

The sunset today reminded me that God is still in His throne painting colors in the sky. He still loves me. He is still reining. And that everything is right with the world….

Everything is exactly the way He intended it to be.
And I am exactly where He wants me to be.
Today.

Christmas #2

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on December 28, 2010

Oh how i wish i could show you pictures of my wonderful christmas eve/day.

Since i cant. (for security reasons) I will do my best to describe it to you with words/ with my broken english./

On christmas eve, me and the precious boys on my team, made the Venezuelan christmas dish which we proceeded to eat at about 5:40pm. The hallacas turned out pretty good.

My team tried them. But before they did i stood up and said “All i want is some honesty from my team”. They said they liked it…. and i honestly think they kind of did.

I also made the “ensalada de pollo” which some of them loved. but i didnt really like it. oh well…

Then half of us stayed home (and by home i mean the B’s/ The Bs are one of the families that work with us) and the other half went to one of the two christian churches in this city for a candle light service.

when they got back home we had a mini-photo shoot and chilling time.

Later that night, the Bs got back from their christmas dinner and we lighted the fire place, played with their kids and just chilled around the christmas tree and then wrapped presents when the kid-os went to bed.

It was a great christmas eve.

We went to bed and woke up to the voice of the youngest B. Adam. A precious two year-old who has stolen all of our hearts. “Its christmas, Its christmas”

we got up. One of the boys made breakfast [aren’t our boys talented and domestic? gotta love them] eggs benedict with BACON (yes. earlier this month some friends went to a free country and got looooots of bacon. And by lots of bacon i mean LOTS of bacon)

yum… deliciousness!

then we opened presents. Half of our parents sent presents. But the Bs bought gifts for those of us whose parents couldnt send anything so we had something to open. It was so great!

then me and my team acted the christmas story for the B kids. It was hilarious! I tried really hard to re-vindicate myself as an actress. [long story] but i think i will always be the emotion-less actress in their eyes. That’s fine with me.

oh how i wish i could show you pictures.

Around 2 pm we went over to the Ws [another family we work with] for a thanksgiving meal. which was a.m.a.z.i.n.g by the way…

played with the W kids. and then watched bride and prejudice. A bolywood film.

then we went back over to the Bs. Had dessert. And then they watched white Christmas while i watched perry noble preach.

and the 6 of us slept over at the Bs again….

This was my christmas. Definitely different. But it was precious. Filled with love, and friends that are more like brothers and sisters.

I am blessed.

blah!

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on December 27, 2010

Oh my goodness!

 

oh how i hate the call to prayer….

BONUS

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on December 26, 2010

I know i said i didnt feel like writing but im a girl. I can change my mind.

“Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining“. 1 John 2:8b

Often when i think about the country where i live in the first word that comes to mind is darkness. If Jesus is The light and 98% of the people who live here dont know Him…. Simple math reveals to me that people here live in darkness.

But after reading this earlier today i realized that math doent always give us the right answers. The word of God does.

Yes, people here dont know Jesus. And yes, they live lives that are not honoring to Him. And yes, they are lost.

But me, my team, and the believers here shine the light of Jesus. We are the light in this city.

The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining in this city!

What a great reminder! what a great promise!

 

Christmas # 1

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on December 26, 2010

I dont feel like writting right now. I will tell you more about my christmas later but i felt like i should let y’all know, my very few but very faithful readers, that i had an amazing christmas filled with love, and precious friends.

until Christmas # 2,

🙂

Homesickness Vol. 2

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on December 23, 2010

I am homesick.

sitting on my ‘couch’ looking at our pretty christmas tree. Trying to call the girl who is supposed to be my best friend- but has only talked to me once since ive been here [ouch!] -But no answer. In desperate need of a familiar voice thats not my mom with bad news. [im not sure if im ready to post about it here yet].

I am just sad.

you would think that crying would make me feel better. well, my friend, tears are not coming out. which, for a feeler like me, is frustrating. I wish i could just cry right now, go to bed, and hope the grass is greener in the morning.

I wish i was home. Just for tonight.

My mom would make me arepas with tuna, and we would probably sit on our living room couch by the christmas tree, with a glass of wine, some green olives, and talk about life…. I miss late-night-over -wine conversations with my mom.

I miss Michelle, Arturo, and Sam. I miss our friendship. I miss our subway runs. I miss the four of us. together.

I miss my beloved sun. Maracaibo sun.

I miss what’s familiar. I miss comfort. I miss my mom’s car. I miss indio-mara and Chops.

But there is nothing i can do about it, is it?

only worship Jesus in the middle of the storm. Because He is the only thing that hasnt changed.

and it never will.

 

Christmas a la Venezolana…

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on December 22, 2010

Here in the desert we are getting ready to have a Venezuelan feast for christmas eve. Im not sure if my team will like it.  Pray that they will but i am really excited about it. I went grocery shopping today and i will start cooking tomorrow.

The menu: Hallacas, and Ensalada de pollo

Hallacas are like a mexican tamale. only better. They are square-shaped and they look like a little present wrapped in plantain leaves (or if you live where i live… aluminum foil) When you start eating them you find all kinds of goodies [raisings, olives, onion, and a treasure for those of us who live in muslim countries…. P.O.R.K]

Marcus, if you are reading this. Let.Me.Tell.You. There is no bacon in this country. True Story.

Luckily a friend of mine went to a free country for a few days and she got me some pork. yum! Happy Holidays to me.

Hallacas are one of my favorite things in the whole world.

This is our christmas-chicken salad.

potato, carrots, chicken or hen, petit-points, and a dressing made out of mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.

uhm..

I hope this turns out ok. I always help my mom make all these things but i have never actually made them myself.

We shall see.

What are you eating this weekend for christmas?

Update…

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on December 21, 2010

I haven’t been writing lately because i have not been feeling well. My back has been hurting really bad. So bad that i have been laying in bed for the past 4 days. I went to the doctor on friday and got a shot. And i went back again today for physical therapy which i will be doing for the next few weeks.

It still hurts. I dont really know why. It’s really weird. I dont understand.

I really hope to be ok by christmas.

Amen,

In other news, my team [of course] has been great. So great that i havent missed my mom that much. [ dont tell her ]

Thursday-  I laid in the floor for over 1 hour [ i couldn’t move] and my roommates stayed with me the whole time.
Friday-  D* came over and sat with me all afternoon and worked on his computer while i watched a movie and then later that night he went to the lebanese restaurant and picked up my dinner. A* took me to the doctor and sat down with me while i was bawling. N* came over and watched modern family. And then we all skyped with the other N*
Sunday- D*  and L* surprised me with Mc Donald’s for lunch.

I am blessed.

These past four days have been very frustrating. But God always finds a way, everyday, to make me feel loved, cared for, and special.

 

My team…

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on November 21, 2010

You’ve already read this, but….

My team is the best!

We are all really different but it seems like we’ve found our own little way to get along and be friends outside of our working schedules.

I think its partially because we’ve all made friends outside of our team.

anyways, im rambling here. Its late… again…

I guess what i want to say is that I am thankful for the people God chose to place here this year.

Im thankful for my precious roommates.

A* is vulnerable, and is quick to see a need and meet it. [she takes care of me when im sick]
J* is strong, she is a leader and a servant. [she makes popcorn for me and picks up my mess]
L* is honest, she has great boundaries and loves hugs [She does my dishes sometimes]

Im thankful for the boys.

Oh the men on my team are wonderful. They are a gift!

D* is such an encourager, he celebrates my poor arabic and shows up at spanish club every week. [and acts like he likes it (well… maybe he does)]
Nk* is a servant, he walks me home several times a week and cooks for us constantly. [When i call him he always picks up the phone in spanish]
Nm* is brave, he is a fighter. He has taught me that men of faith doubt, but they keep fighting anyways. Thanks for not giving up, nate.

This is my team.
and this is my little thanksgiving post.

 

Sheep, Abraham, Jesus and muslims

Posted in life in the field by misspicture on November 17, 2010

Today we celebrate the Eid-Kabir. A holiday where muslims go buy a perfect sheep, have a kill-the-sheep-party and then eat it. all of it. and when i say all of it. I mean, well…. all of it.

Its shocking to see how a big city like the one i live in can be come, for lack of a better word, a farm so fast. There were sheep everywhere. everywhere. I saw a family literally carry their sheep up the stairs to their apartment. keyword: apartment.

when i got my camera it was already too late.

It smells like sheep. everywhere
their meeeh-sound is everywhere.

It is sheep-killing day around here. All the stores are shut down. Traffic is crazy crazier. No taxis. No fruit-and-veggies- cart-guy.

It is sheep-killing day!

I got invited to my friend’s house. Which was both good and bad

[hold on to your sits. This post will be long]

It was good because the killing of the sheep provided  spiritual environment and spiritual conversations were welcomed. It was also good because i got the chance to connect with her family.

It was bad because im selfish , self-centered, and I like comfort a little too much. I’ll leave it at that.

In celebrating this they remember when God asked Abraham to kill his son and then provided a lamb for him to sacrifice. [you know the story. give me a break… its 10:30pm here.]

I had a fun convo with my friend.

We were talking about Love and i was telling her how much God loves us that He sent his son, Jesus, so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. I also told her that in the same way God provided a lamb for Abraham, Jesus was God’s provision for us.

anyways… this is how my conversation went.

Me= how does Mohamed show you he loves you?
f= he gave us the holy book, and the five pilars of Islam
me= well, Jesus showed me He loves me by dying on the cross and coming back to life. He is alive. is mohamed alive?
f= no, he died in 1632
me= well Jesus is alive
f= yes, because he never died. Prophets dont die. God can not allow His perfect prophets to die.
me= Friend, you just said mohamed is dead. oh and by the way… Abraham died too

she thought about it, and then said…. “Really? did Abraham die?…” and then left the room.

It is really frustrating to see  how easy it is to see that Islam is a lie, and at the same time how hard it is for them to let go of that lie. It is hard to know if what im doing here is really making an impact.

Jesus loves them. Jesus loves them. Jesus loves them. Yes He does. You do too. You love them You love them. yes…

I have to constantly. cons-tant-ly repeat this in my head

It is hard to see these things through the eyes of Jesus. It is hard to love my friends.

Needless to say i was there when they killed the sheep. Though i refused to actually see the animal die. I was in the room next door to the party. [party. The whole family was there and they were laughing. you know… the sheep also provides a little family bonding time] and then i had to eat the liver, the intestines and that other gross thing [ i think it was its heart. I didnt ask].

There was blood everywhere.

Then God decided to say something.

– “see all that blood?. Can you hide it?”

Me- Well… they have been cleaning and scrubbing the floor for about 3 hours now. But there is still blood on the walls, the floor is not 100% blood-free. so, no. You cant.

-“Correct. And even if you could hide the blood the smell would still be there.” He said. ” My child, a perfect lamb has been slaughtered for you. There are signs of it in your life. You cant hide it. They see it ”

What a great reminder.
What an encouraging word.
What an amazing God, we serve!

They see it. They see the sacrifice. They see the difference. They see the love. They see the forgiveness. They see the salvation. They see the grace, and the mercy. They see Jesus. They see Him. They see it.

If my muslim friend sees it.
Your friend sees it.

Mabrouk Eid!