Saturday, November 19, 2005

i sometimes wonder at our desires for "something bigger". and wonder what people mean when they say that.
it seems that we are so often surrounded by "something bigger"s and don't have eyes to see.
the Psalms tell us that God's creation is continually singing Him praises and testifying to His glory. "something bigger" is right outside the window. it's in the soul and spirit of the man sitting next to you. it's in laughter and tears and blue skies and ladybugs. His breath moves the leaves, the water and the grass. His love moves the guy at Meijer to let a little old lady ahead of him in line. His grace mends friendships and marriages.
we don't have to strive to find "something bigger"
we're swimming in it every moment of every day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

right about now... funk soul brothers

look! it's me in kiev! :)
i'm fully immersed in the post-missions trip funk. the fact that i've been crazy sick hasn't helped.
despite how my previous post may have sounded, it was a great trip. granted, we had our challenges, but the trip was great. i'm hoping that i made some new friends - though i may have alienated some people w/my previous post... i guess we'll see how that works out. God worked in incredible ways.
i have tons of pictures to post, but that won't happen for a little while yet. i still have so much work to catch up on, and being sick has just put me further behind. i was supposed to go to Nashville this weekend for a youth workers convention, but there's no way that's happening now. i'm kinda bummed, but also kinda glad that i'm able to stay here and get back into some routine.
it's going to take a lot of time to process this trip. i think my perspective is quite different than other people's. but that's nothing new i guess. people tell me sometimes that i'm too honest. to willing to share bad things or negative things. and i sometimes wonder if they're right.
but the truth is... i don't see struggles and challenges as negatives. maybe that's the problem. in my head, it's just part of reality. and if no one ever says anything, the "negatives" are still there, so what's the point in hiding them? is it so surprising to think that a group of 14 people, when dealing with a foreign culture, foreign language, unpredictability, changing schedules, and sickness would have relational challenges? i'd be more surprised if they didn't. honest observations aren't judgements. truth is truth. the only positive or negative is in your perception of truth.
but like i said... i think my perspective is quite different than other people's.
overall, i'm so glad i was part of this team. if i hadn't gone on this trip, i would have missed out on a lot. i've never seen such undeniable evidence of God's sovreignty and provision. over time, i know the lessons i've learned will grow my faith, my perseverance, my spiritual and emotional maturity. all of which need work.

Monday, November 14, 2005

i spent most of yesterday re-journaling our Kiev trip since i left my real journal on the flight home. :) yea.. i'm awesome like that.
i've been on a lot of missions trips, and i think this was the toughest so far.
i'm still processing. learning. the hardest thing so far has been coming face to face with my attitude during the trip. i love our team. but in all honesty, i think we messed up. we had some tremendous opportunities to show each other the love and grace of Christ... and we blew it. i'm disapponted in myself. in the ways i reacted to things, and the ways i let other peoples attitudes determine my reactions. i know better than that. i know that missions trips are unpredictable. i know we won't be prepared, i know schedules will change, i know communication will be tough, i know that half of the things we *do* prepare won't be relevant once we get where we're going.
i know all that.
and yet i grumbled and complained. and never spoke up when others did the same thing.
i'm disappointed.
in myself. in us.
"they will know your are my disciples by your love for one another."
yea... we messed that one up.

we're back

our team got home on saturday night.
thanks to 'the girls' for coming to get me :)
i spent most of yesterday doing nothing. though i felt pretty good during the trip, it seems i've gotten sick since getting home.
all in all the trip was good. it was hard. the hardest i've experienced. i learned a lot of lessons. and i have a lot to journal.
i'm sure there'll be more later, but for now, i've got tons of work to catch up on.


Monday, November 07, 2005

we're here!

we've been in Kiev since Thursday and it's been an adventure. it's so amazing how every city is so different.
We spent one day taking a tour of some historical sites, and I was stunned to hear about some of the things this country has been through. it's been so enlightening.
so much more to write about, but miriam and i are visiting some american missionaries and i should go socialize.

but...we're here, safe, mostly healthy and mostly happy.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

and away we go

i leave for the airport in an hour. :)
crazy. i'll be in a former soviet country in less than 24 hours.
at the bottom of my list of links is a link to our Genesis-Kiev blog.
so check it out. i don't know how often we'll get to update, but check it often just in case.