Thursday, October 25, 2012

It started with 4

Four years old I embarked on a mission. I found a passion and a drive that influenced every aspect of my life. Sitting on my aunt and uncle's floor, I heard the telephone ring. My aunt turned the television on and left the room to answer the phone. This simple action changed my life. When my aunt returned, she found me in tears, terrified by the "monsters" I saw on tv.

What I didn't understand was that I had not seen frightening monsters, but an ad to help feed starving children in Africa. My aunt explained to me that in other nations there is no money to buy food, and kids get so hungry, that they end up looking like the images I saw, skin and bone.

That's when she told me about missionaries. My little world was turned upside down, and I knew from that day on, that some day I would go to Africa as a missionary.

Through out the rest of my childhood, I always felt a sense I was born to be great. Every mistake I made, I felt the conviction that I was letting down the African kids I was destined to meet. My life had a purpose, through all the hardship endured, I told myself that someday in Africa, I would look back on all this and smile because it only made me stronger.

A lot of bumps and bruises, and some downright crashing and burning through the years; no matter what living situation I was in, or what belief I put my faith in, the one thing that remained true is that I wanted to go to Africa more than any other wish in my life.

Summer before high school, I got my heart right with God, and felt stronger than ever that my calling was to be a missionary, and to be a missionary in Africa. By Sophomore year I started traveling the world with whatever opportunity arrived, all with the belief it was prepping me for Africa. Mexico, Spain, Kamiah Nez Perce, and Peru; North America, South America, and Europe; all amazing and irreplaceable experiences and all visited before graduating high school.

Then I started my first year of community college and I was faced with a crisis. I failed all of my nursing classes. It was a soul crushing defeat. I knew I was not meant to be a nurse, although that had been the plan since 5th grade. Then began the quest to figure out what it would take to get to Africa. Things were not working out with every thing I tried.

Finally I thought I should just quit college and go.

The day I determined to quit college, was the day before I saw the video about the fatal flaws in the child welfare system. By the time I had seen this video, I already knew child abuse prevention was something I felt passionately about, but it was while watching this video that God was able to open my eyes and see that I needed to find a career I was good at and interested in, instead of just doing whatever it took to get to Africa.

The day I learned to fully surrender myself, including my hopes and dreams, to God, was the day everything started to fall into place. I changed majors, again, to social work, and I began to love my classes, then I loved my internship, and I gained incredible experiences then I got a scholarship to a university I loved.

At four I grasped onto a dream. At nineteen I learned to give it up to do what God was calling, and now at twenty one, he has lead me down the road and has placed the opportunity to go to Africa right in front of me.

Four years ago I gave up on my dream of going to ORU. Three years ago I learned to give up all my dreams to God, and trust him that I would end up where I belonged. One year ago I trusted God to try again with ORU.

Today I write, while at ORU, announcing that I finally get to go to Africa thanks to ORU Missions.

Now here's all the trip details!
When: May 12 to June 12 2013
Where: Uganda, Africa
Doing what: Street evangelism, remote villages ministry, children's church and school, visiting orphanages.
How much: $3,500 I'll be needing lots of support financially to make it there, so be looking forward to me asking you for help!

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Pitch Perfect" and other happenings

Here is the book behind the movie I saw. The movie was funny enough for me to think about reading the book.

This weekend I went to the movies with a friend and saw "Pitch Perfect". We went to the Cinemax theater, and it was a gigantic theater. Twice the size of Hilltop theater back in Oregon City. They also had a full mall sized food court where I picked up a cheeseburger that was bigger than both my fists.
The movie had me laughing out loud all the way through. Fat Amy with her great one liners was my favorite character, maybe more because she SO reminded me of my good friend I met here, Jessica.

That being said, I don't think I will ever get the first scene out of my head. I don't know how a book could fully capture the hilarity of seeing an acapellla singer up chuck all over the competition judges, and the sheer horror expressed on their faces. Add to that when halfway through the movie the shy Asian girl making the vomit angel. Maybe it's my potty humor but this movie was probably one of my all time favorites.

There's an area on campus called "The Fishbowl" between the guys and girls dorms and is the main place for genders to commingle. I was in the fishbowl with a group watching a movie and met a guy named Darnell. We got to talking and I told him Darnell was my favorite character on the show "My name is Earl" and he said he'd heard that a lot, and he too liked the show. We laughed as we spouted off the different frequent phrases, "Oh snap", "Darnell, get yer keister over here Mister","Awe heck no, Darnell!" A few minutes later I brought my knitting down to work on, and Darnell thought knitting was the coolest thing. He kept watching and saying, "that's so awesome." He was very excited to see the finished product. His fascination has given me a little extra motivation to work on it, so I've gotten a lot done on the blanket in progress.

Yesterday I hungout in the fishbowl again and Darnell teased me, "Why aren't you knitting?!" So I brought my knitting down. Then I met a guy, Tori, who was equally interested in it, and told me he'd be right back. He came back with yarn and knitting needles he had ran to buy at Walmart, and asked me to teach him.

I still can't get over the weather here. In early September people thought I was crazy for being so amazed at sweat running down my arms and legs like half time of a basketball game, when I was only standing still. It was 112 out then, the hottest weather I've ever been in. Now October is nearing an end, and the weather is wonderful. It's been low 80's this past week, and looking to be similar this week. While out walking Friday, I got sunburned. I had to laugh again as I told friends I don't think I have ever had a sun burn in October.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I talked to my mom last night and she told me people have been asking why I stopped updating my blog. Oops! I wasn't sure if people even read this.
I have some very exciting stuff starting just around the bend, but I have to wait until it's all official to talk about. October 25 is the big day when I will know all the details for sure. Anyone who's know me at least 5 years will be very excited when they hear what I'm doing. Ooh don't you love me teasing your curiosity! =D
Last night I went to Cheesecake factory for the first time with a big group of friends. I had my favorite, shrimp and angel hair, and I do believe it's the best I've ever had. I know, that's sad being the best seafood is AFTER I move away from the coast. The shrimp were HUGE, and the plate of pasta was even bigger. I ate as much as I could, and still the to go box was stuffed. Guess what I'm having for breakfast?
A random fact I was telling my mom I discovered here, is that people think I am funny. I'm not used to that! Back home now and then something crazy would happen to me, and if I shared the story in the right context I could make someone giggle. I got here, and without even trying, people laugh and tell me I am funny. When I share the stories of the different pranks I pulled on the public before I left home, people have tears of laughter.
I mentioned to a friend how my cousin married an African American and her first son looked white at birth and got darker as he got older, and she was near hysterical. When her mom told her that was normal, she laughed even more. I realize it's probably odd that I add this into my blog, but I thought it was pretty neat that I found people who laugh at my jokes. Mom said that means I've found where I belong.
This past week I've been on break. I was supposed to go on a road trip to Colorado, but it didn't work out last minute. So I have spent some of my time walking and exploring Tulsa. I found a great 4 mile walking trail along the river, which has been my favorite new find.
I met a friend's mom and we got to talking about how we both have a dream of being authors. At the end of the conversation she was passing my info onto a person who runs a website for christian writers. Long story short, I am now writing a monthly article for them. My first piece was published earlier this month, check it out!