Monday, November 14, 2011

Sum Up

Ok.  So first off, this post is way overdue once again.  I'm just so bad at this.  I do love blogging, but when so much time has passed before I get around to it, it gets a little overwhelming.  So I think I will just do a little overview of what we have been taught.  Basically, I'll just post some quotes that have really stuck out to me in sessions.  Very cool concepts.

But first.  Song of the post......Boasting by Lecrae.  First time I heard it was today actually, and I loved it right away :]  Great message. Written by Lecrae.  Enough said.

Our session on discipleship was AWESOME:
- We don't make disciples; Jesus does.
- Jesus speaks to US.  Always the Word of God, but He knows what speaks to us personally.  He spoke fishing to the fisherman.  He will do the same for you and your interests.
- Jesus doesn't ask us to change the world.  He just asks us to do the little things, like going the extra mile.
*I was very challenged in this session.  The speaker was just so good.  His name was Bill, and he was just a really wise dude.  He said, "Don't lose your voice to the world because you settle for mediocre.  Be EXCELLENT." Challenging.

We've been learning a lot about different cultures and how we should approach and adapt to them.  It has been so eye-opening.  One thing that really stuck out to me was how the rest of the world views Christians.  We are seen as being very arrogant and ignorant.  These characteristics come across to people in the way that we go about ministering a lot of the time.  People say we don't try and learn about their culture, but that we just write off their beliefs without even seeing what they are about.  From one lady's experience, her Christian friends invited her to a Bible study, and she went, to see what it was all about.  But when she tried to  get them to come to the temple with her, they declined and didn't even try to see where she was coming from.  That was definitely a new perspective for me.  I needed to hear it.  I don't want to stunt God's work because I come across as rude and disrespectful.  Something to think about.

Another thing that was really eye-opening was World Awareness Week.  Monday- Thursday, we were only given rice and beans to eat at every meal, and we were not allowed to snack.  We could not use the internet and had to take cold bucket showers.  We had to do our laundry by hand, and on the last day, the electricity and our mattresses were taken away from us.  We ended the week with a meal where we had to play certain roles that were randomly picked.  There were 5 classes: high, middle, working low, nonworking low, and beggar.  And we got served based on our class.  I was in the working low class.  We ate on the floor and had  the standard rice and beans to eat with water to drink.  It was pretty intense.  The higher classes ignored us and fancy foods.  And the lower classes had dirty water, rice, or nothing at all.  The statistics that we heard throughout the week and that night were.......they were terrible.  It really hit me hard.  We are SO blessed and  so much of the time, we are the ungrateful ones.  I don't want to go back to my calloused heart.  I want to truly see the needs around me and share love with them...the True Love.

Man.  I just feel like so much has happened!  I've been really challenged recently though, to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there.  I tend to be pretty quiet here, and while that is not a bad thing necessarily, I sometimes make it a hindrance to my testimony.  Like, I hide behind my shyness?  Yeah, thats the only way I know how to put it really.  I dont know.  I just want to be bold for Christ and to make that happen I need to be willing to set aside my fear of what others think and step out.  Be outgoing and friendly with people.  Just simple things like that that I can practice.  So yeah.  That's something that I am really working on right now.

God is not passive, for love is never passive, but always passionate; and passion always leads to action.  Just one of the many powerful lines from the book Soul Cravings by Erwin Raphael McManus.  Its a great book and I highly recommend it.  I'm reading it right now, and I'm learning so much.  Yes.  Go read it.

Throughout all this learning and growing, we have had some really fun times.  Especially this past weekend.  On Friday night we had the Thanksgiving Extravaganza.  We got all dressed up and fancy and had some really delicious food.  Good banquet.  Throughout the dinner, we played some games, and it was just really fun.  Then we took a GAZILLION pictures.  Not gonna lie.  It was probably a GAZILLION.  And after we had captured the moment of us being all spiffed up and stuff, we had a big picture/video scavenger hunt to complete the night.  Lots of laughs and funny moments.  Good times.  Saturday morning, the girls blessed the guys with a big breakfast/movie time in the big classroom.  Very chill, relaxing time.  Everyone left happy.  And then a bunch of us went to play sand volleyball.  I was in the cold for like 3 hours straight, but it was SO FUN.  Made me miss playing with my team back at home.  Miss and love you, girls!  You guys made me so proud this year.  Just wish I could have seen you play.

I dont know.  I just feel like so much is happening and going on right now that its hard for me to sum up things I've learned.  Just growing a lot in where I am placing my identity and really trying to step out in that.  I want to be seen as my own person.  Not just a tag along.  And just trying to find my place in that.  The book Soul Cravings is really helpful and thought-provoking, and I'm in the middle of that, so a lot of processing is going on in my head from that.  I am just really terrible at expressing myself. And I'm sorry.  Hopefully I improve.  Just a little insight into my life and whats been going on recently.

I come home in 4 days and leave for Chile in 15.  About ready to FREAK OUT!!!  In a good way tho.  I'm super stoked to come home and see my family and friends and just chill, but at the same time I am really not looking forward to ending my time here with these people that I have gotten so close to in the last 3 months.  It's hard to leave when its the last time I will get to hang out with most of the people here.  But at the same time I am SUPER STOKED to come home and be normal again.  My time at home will be crazy tho.  Its Thanksgiving, my birthday, I need to pack and buy things for Chile, and see all my friends and family.  Gonna be so busy and chaotic, and I can't wait :]  Bring it on, break.  Bring it on.  And.  I am super pumped for Chile as well.  Mostly just excitement but sort of nervous too.  Nervous because I know I'm gonna miss my family a lot.  I already miss them, and I'm 20 minutes away from home.  So that makes me a bit....nervous I guess.  Otherwise, I am so pumped to go!!  CHILE!!!!  YAY!

Also, some food for thought.  It's not about the number itself but how you view yourself when you look in the mirror.  That is all I will say on the matter.  It just sounded so wise coming from my mouth :]

Thanks for all the support, you guys.  Honestly, it has been crazy.  I got a lot of mail over these past few weeks, and it has been such an encouragement!  Just knowing that people back home care and want to know about what I have been doing and in return hearing about life at home has been the biggest blessing.  Also, I raised all of my support and I can't thank you guys enough!  You are so awesome.  Can't wait to see everyone on break and talk with everyone.  Gonna be such a good time.  Thanks again for caring.  Praying for ya.  God bless.

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