Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

nǐ hǎo from Singapore!

5 Commentsby   |  06.24.11  |  Uncategorized

This is my first post. Sorry I have been so bad at blogging! Paige and I have been in Singapore for almost 3 weeks now. The church we are working with is Church of Christ Moulmein. It is hard to put all the experiences into a blog post. When we arrived in Singapore we went straight to Malaysia for the church’s camp. The camp was at a hotel and the whole church went. Everyone from babies to elders. It was really great getting to meet the whole church and start forming relationships so fast. Paige and I helped out with the kids and did the vbs with them. The young adults in the church are so welcoming and fun to hang out with. Since we returned from Malaysia Paige and I have done some exploring of the beautiful city and our new friends have showed us around. We are putting together teaching videos of the speakers the church has had in the past so that they can put them up on the website and other churches can use them. We have also been working with Friends of the Disabled Society and have hung out with them. Paige also taught them how to do one of her own crafts. We have been working with the children’s ministry, the youth, and hanging out and doing bible studys with the young adults. God has been so good! I hope everyone else is having the time of their lives and growing in the Lord. I’m praying for all of you!

South Africa

6 Commentsby   |  06.19.11  |  Uncategorized

The past couple days have been pretty relaxed. We went over to the guy we’re working with, Hein’s house yesterday and had a barbecue and watched rugby with his family. The food was great and watching rugby was pretty cool. The food wasn’t too much different from American food. We had sausage, beef, salad, and then something similar to grits. Then Hein was teaching us about rugby and telling us about the different teams in the South African league. I must say that the South Africans get really intense about their rugby, especially right now since it’s the playoffs. It’s a really fun sport to watch.
Then this morning we went with Hein to a church in or near Cape Town where he was asked to preach. We will probably be working with the people there a lot because a bunch of the kids are going to come to the sports camps. It was an awesome experience. The church is in a very poor part of town. They meet in the garage of somebody’s house that was turned into a church building, and there were probably about 30 people in there. The people mostly consisted of “brown” people (which is what they call themselves). They were very welcoming from the moment we got there. It was very interesting that even though they are not wealthy, they dressed up very nicely for church. All of the men were in suits and ties. The service was definitely different then what I am used to, and it was great. There was not much structure to it, and it lasted about 2 and a half hours. They actually had a band consisting of a keyboard, drum set (with a cracked cymbal and a hi-hat held together by tape), and a 5 string electric bass. The youth played and led the worship. Pretty much everyone in the congregation picked their own key to sing in, but it was cool because absolutely nobody cared. They pretty much let the entire service be controlled by the Holy Spirit. We would sing a couple of songs, then the pastor would say a couple things, then we’d sing for a while, then somebody else would say something, etc…. Whenever anybody spoke, including Hein, I only understood probably 60% of what they were saying because everybody would switch languages mid-sentence. They would be going along in English and then suddenly switch to Afrikaans or vice versa. While all of the adults speak pretty good English, a lot of the kids are a little shaky with it and were a little self conscious about talking to us because of it. It is a little hard to understand them sometimes, and they also use a lot of slang that is only used in their area. But anyway, the service went on for a while, and then when the pastor felt the time was right, He invited Hein to come give his sermon. Hein had told us beforehand what he was planning on speaking about, but he also said that he would probably change things as the Spirit moved him, and he did. You could tell he was well prepared, but the way he spoke and the way it flowed it was also very obvious that he was going where the Spirit led him. I don’t really know how long it was, but I’d say it lasted anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. At two different points, he had Ryan and I each come up and give a personal example to go along with his point. When he had me come up, he was dealing with the passage in John when Jesus called Peter out of the boat to walk on water. He took it a little different direction than most people do when talking about this story. He was specifically focusing on the 11 apostles who stayed in the boat and why they did. So he had me talk about a time when I either decided to step out of the boat or decided to stay in and why. He told me this morning before we went that that’s what he was going to ask me, so I had some time to think about it but not much. And as most of you who are reading this know, I’m not too keen on public speaking and am not very long winded, so I didn’t really know how it was going to go. But when I got up there, I was extremely comfortable and actually had quite a bit to say. I asked the Lord to speak through me and I believe that’s the only explanation. I even got a couple of “hallelujah’s” from the pastor which was pretty cool. Then later when he had Ryan speak, he was dealing with the passage when Steven was stoned to death and focusing on the fact that it says Jesus was standing in heaven. So he had Ryan talk about what it looks like in his life to live in such a way that Jesus is standing. At the end of the service, they had the entire congregation come to the front and had the three of us stand in front of them and pray over them all at once. At one point in the service while we were singing, about half of the congregation started running up and down the aisle dancing and singing. The amount of passion that these people have for the Lord is something that I think I could use a lot more of.
After the service, we stayed and talked to the kids for a while and started to get to know them, and then we went down the street to somebody else’s house and ate with all of the men. Hein had told us to prepare ourselves for eating with them because you never know what kind of stuff they’re gonna make, so I was a little nervous at first, but it turned out to be amazing. It was quite a feast. There were sweet potatoes, sausage, potatoes, curry, lasagna, mixed vegetables, and lamb chops. It was great. While we were eating we got to talk to the pastor for a little while and learn more about their culture. It was very humbling. His passion and faith are amazing. He talked some about racial and class issues, but never complaining about his own situation (which in the eyes of many Americans would not be very good). Mostly he talked about how unfortunate and unfair things are for the “black” people (who are different from the brown people). He talked about how the slums that they live in, which consist of shacks all crammed together, is unacceptable and that as a nation they should not have so many people living in such poverty. This is a man who lived through the oppression of apartheid, and yet he does not focus on himself. He is currently a part time student studying law and wants to become a family lawyer to help out those in his community. I also love how communal the brown people are. Many times they will cook out on the street instead of in their houses so that people in the neighborhood can join them, and they will shut down streets to have big parties, and just generally share their lives together as a community. I think there is a lot I can learn from these people and I’m hoping I get to spend more time with them while I’m here.

Here I Am

2 Commentsby   |  06.15.11  |  Uncategorized

On June the 13, I flew out to Lima, Peru for a 9 week internship and now 2 days later, I am extremely happy that I did. I have only been here for a few days, and cannot speak very well, but I am enjoying looking and listening to everything around me. Yesterday some of the interns who are leaving next week took me to a Spanish school that they went to and introduced me to the lady who ran it. She (in Spanish) that her name was Maria, and that it was a pleasure to meet me. I responded with a blank stare and a lack of how to get the words “It is nice to meet you too,” out in Spanish. So she introduced herself in English and we moved on from my inability to articulate the words that are stuck in my head. Oh well, I guess that is how things go from time to time.

Week two and three

6 Commentsby   |  06.15.11  |  Uncategorized

On Monday we went to a water park in Slovenia with a large group of missionary kids, it was so much fun and there were hardly any lines since school is still going on. On Tuesday we had ”discipleship” with Addie, the Massay’s 15-year-old daughter. This will be an ongoing meeting/devo time that Madison and I really enjoy having with Addie. We also have morning devos with Erin that are building us up spiritually. That night we attended a flute concert for Cameron which was really good. Wednesday we all sat down and came up with a tentative curriculum for Sunday mornings. Afterwards, Myself, Madison, and Cameron went into Zagreb to further explore the city. While there I was finally able to try some famous European ice cream…oh… it was sooooo good…dark chocolate flavored… I wanted to bless the shop when we left. The following day Madison and I went to help prepare for a summer camp by folding and stuffing brochures. When we were done I went and babysit for a missionary family. THe following day we did the same.  Here is a brief description, given by Roger, of what we are doing this summer “[Madison and L’nae] are being discipled, and are discipling Addie, teaching in our kids classes, will help in summer camps and making contacts and they spend time each week in cultural adaptation and even will help in the garden … if it ever stops raining.” Saturday was a day to remember. We had fun from beginning to end. It started with Cameron’s soccer game, they won the championship. It was really interesting, seeing a European soccer game because, despite the fact that it was for 12 year olds, all the fathers got really into it. From the beginning to the end, they were attentively watching the game while drinking their beers and yelling encouragements/ rebuffs at the players – very interesting. We then went to a type of art show that was put on by Roger and Ian’s ceramics class. While there we all got to make a piece of pottery, I attempted a jar with a lid – we will see how it turns out. Still later we went to a friend’s house and picked about 10 lbs worth of cherries. You wouldn’t think that climbing an incredibly tall tree and reaching across wide gaps to grasp at cherries would be that much fun, but it was a blast! The friends didn’t speak much English, but the Masseys translated while we ate dinner. Afterwards we were shown the vineyards in the area along with a beautiful view of Zagreb. We went home full, sleepy, but very happy. Sunday was church. I helped with the kids, we learned about Jehoshaphat and praising God. Later that evening we handed out brochures for a camp we will be putting on in a few weeks. Monday, Madison and I went into Zagreb, I think we are finally getting used to the tram. While there we met with a young woman Roger wanted us to talk to and we went to get ice cream – YES! We talked to her  about ACU, because she is interested in their masters program, but we also talked a bit more about Croatian/American culture and the differences between the two. Later, Cameron played his flute for the mayor of Samabor, a nearby village, and received an award for doing super duper well. Yesturday was very relaxed with lots of rain and discipleship with Addie and Erin. While with Erin we talked about listening to God’s voice and what it means to be a long-term missionary. Today we helped by babysitting and painting the town red. Fun fact:  Apparently Croatian men are very proud of their bodies and love to wear speedos.

Loving this :)

40 Commentsby   |  06.13.11  |  Uncategorized

El Naranjal

Well, I am going on my first week here in Arequipa! It has been amazing, the team here has been wonderful, they are all great people and I am really enjoying getting to know them. The first few days were spent resting and getting to know the city and the team. Friday was the first day we did official work, we joined the team members for a meeting with the “Instituto Cristiano de Desarollo Urbano” members. They are a small group of Peruvians that the ICDU makes micoloans to so they can carry out their businesses. They meet to talk about what is going on with their businesses, and also to have classes related to business. This friday the class was, “ethics in the work place,” the members got to learn about what was appropriate behavior as Christians in the  business world. Sunday, the other inters and myself went to El Naranjal at around 6:30 am, which is the seen in the picture above. The Naranjal is a very poor community, and the team has been working with them to improve living conditions physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially. After that, in the late afternoon was church time, and we met with a small group and had communion, shared a meal together, shared our worries and also what we were thankful for. I was in charge of the children’s class, so that was a lot of fun… I had no idea I was good with kids… Well… This is it for all, keep me in your prayers, pray that God will use me in ways that will be very helpful to the work that is being done. I hope everyone else is doing great! Pictures are looking awesome! God bless all of you <3

4 Commentsby   |  06.04.11  |  Uncategorized

We have been here three days now, but I am starting from the beggining!

Day one was an absolute success! when I was walking up to the school, I passed the soccer fields and kids stop playing…which is crazy…screamed my name and ran up to me with open arms…talk about an amazing homecoming. Im just beyond happy to be back here, words cant describe it. I spent all day up at the school saying hi to everyone and just helping out in different classrooms. I went and saw shine, and the smile on his face when he saw me just pretty much made my whole trip. He ran out of his class and just held on to me for a good 10min. Ohhhh Im quite positive trips to here are going to become a usual thing…so yall just get ready for me to be gone alot the next few years.
Tonight I brought my computer over to one of the houses for a movie night, just like last year. They all remebered and were beyond excited, we watched Matilda. Alot of kids from other houses came over and we all cramed around the table to watch the small screen. Shine sat in my lap the whole time and fell asleep towards the end. OH and get this Lebene, my favorite, apparently wrote my name down in his phone as ‘Shelby, my only love’ and some of the kids saw it so they have been trying to embaress him when he’s with me…which is all the time. haha oh well.

BED TIME! I would get more sentimental, but someone is waiting to use the computer, so until next time….

Love to all back home!


15 Commentsby   |  05.30.11  |  Uncategorized

A new post about leadingfollowship.html

Away We Go to Thailand

15 Commentsby   |  05.28.11  |  Chiang Mai, Thailand, Uncategorized

Facebook has just informed me that three of the interns who I’ll be traveling with this summer have already made it to Chiang Mai, and another is set to leave tomorrow. Facebook will also inform you that I’m leaving on Sunday–in about 31 hours, actually. Next time you hear from me, I’ll be about 14 hours ahead of you and probably a bit jet lagged, but hopefully doing fine otherwise and ready to spend the summer in Thailand.

I’ve had no idea what to expect or how to prepare for ten weeks in Chiang Mai. Apparently we’re in the tropics, so after much prompting from individuals concerned with my well-being this summer, I’m stocked with enough bug spray to ward off a jungle, enough medicine to ward off the most irksome of intestinal concerns and general health issues, and the most lightweight clothes I’ve been able to find. So the challenge really is packing these “necessary” supplies into a suitcase and backpack. Which is, of course, a more fitting activity for more like 8 hours before I leave.

But prepared or not, I would mostly like to thank everyone again for all the support you’ve already given us. I can’t begin to thank all of you who encouraged us in this process, donated money to fund our trip, and prayed so sincerely. I was asked the other day how it made me feel that so many people have given so generously and been so supportive, and quite honestly I’m not entirely sure. The word that comes to mind is humbling. I suppose there is a sense of responsibility as well. Really, though, all I know to say is thank you. Khop kun mak ka.

And thank you to my family who is 1) letting me spend the summer away from home and 2) trying not to worry too much, or at least not showing it. I love you, and I promise to be very careful.

I’ll be posting more as soon as I recover from jet lag–and excitement–and gain a basic orientation with the places and people in Chiang Mai. These posts will, I hope, become substantially more interesting in just a few days.

May God bless our team and all the teams around the world this summer.


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Not believing in God: confessions about cynicism

0 Commentsby   |  04.29.11  |  Uncategorized


Easter: Why Jesus didn’t come to die

9 Commentsby   |  04.23.11  |  Uncategorized

I put up a new blog post on my other site, feel free to check it out reflections-on-morbidity-jesus-didnt.html