Friday, August 29, 2008

A Long Line of Leavers

So the GO! Conference 2008 is officially over tomorrow. Usually at this point in a trip I am headed home, but not this time. It feels a little odd still that I won’t be seeing my forest home again soon or swimming in Lake Huron with my friends. But I won’t, and that means it is time for me to grow up. No more mommy to pack my bags and hold my hand. I talked to a man that had been on the Logos Hope for a few months setting stuff up, and he said “When people first arrive you think that they are all just a bunch of immature punks, but they grow up fast.” I can’t wait to get to the ship and start my work and get accustomed to life there. I can’t wait to go be introduced to the community of people that I will be a part of for the next two years at least. But I can wait to go to training; it is 70 or so of us that will be new to the Logos Hope crammed into a building. All the guys sleep in one room (which is a gym) and we train there in Denmark where everything is expensive. But it’ll be an experience. Most of my time here has been an experience, one that I will already never forget.
Also, I won’t have internet at training for 2 weeks, so this will probably be my last post for a while, but you never know, maybe they are wrong. I will still write blogs, but post them when I get to internet. I also am almost out of clean shirts, and laundry is full tonight. I’m not really sure what to do about that. I did go for a nice little stroll today since it was nice out for once and took some pictures. Those will be posted on my photobucket. That’s all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Picture This

Four walls full of people willing and eager to go insane for Christ, an amazing story told by a leader,a good worship group with good songs and, an even better God. Put that together and that was my evening service. It was like the flood gates of reserve were torn down in my life. I sang through the first songs with a little apprecation for where I was and a lot of thought on my life. Through the sermon I payed attention, it wasn’t much; until the end. Somehow what he said clicked, but now it seems so long ago that barely remember. The main reason for this is the monsoon that followed. I was hit like I have never been hit during the closing worship songs, and sang my heart out. I had never really done that before, and it felt so freeing. Then after 3-4 songs, I prayed. I prayed and listened and felt God. Every now and then I would open my eyes and just picture the room with one extra person. I saw Christ watching us with a loving smile and gleaming eyes. That made my heart melt. I repented, I praised, I prayed for my cast, I wrote. I had nowhere to write except for my bible’s last page, so now I have a poem on the last page of my bible and here is what I wrote, enjoy:

I stand anew in your glory every day
I feel your soft touch when I wake
You are the well that quenches my thirst
I breathe you mercy when I’m hurt
You fill my lungs with thunderous love
My praises sound in the heavens above
You pick me up when I fall
A glorious hand comes at my call
Why am I so blessed?
After all I have stressed?
Your river never runs dry
A taste alone makes me cry
Although deaf I hear your voice
Although mute I cry my choice
It is you dear father
For your love is like no other

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Stroll In Holland

Today I got to see a little bit of the nation that is the Netherlands. I went for a nice quiet 2 hour ride to a town near here called “Ommen”. The ride was another picturesque European scene from a movie. As I road on the bike path (which are literally everywhere) I passed fields with cows and corn, then forests into more fields. The cow pastures here are significantly smaller than American ones. It seems our cows are incredibly spoiled! That would be if only if the grass was not as green and perfect as I have seen in my few years of life; good ol’ American spray-paint can’t match this honesty. Also, along the way I realized that I don’t think the Dutch people like Americans very much. I got stared down with every passing citizen. I guess one would expect the same treatment in a big American city such as New York or Los Angeles, but I never saw it coming from this little homely Dutch town. Although these people seem to not take kindly to me, I did notice the importance of family that overshadows America’s pathetic attempt at it (not to offend). In this Western European culture work is a lot less important than family. I learned in German class that the typical German work week is only 32-35 hours long, and is considered full time. This leaves plenty of room for family, and they do bond a lot through “holiday”. Ask any of these people where they’ve been and you will hear a long list followed by “that’s usually on holiday” or something like that. These people get it. Family trumps money every time, no excuse. Please, if you don’t already let your family know how important they are, do so soon because we all know the fathers love; now display it to those closest to you. And to my family, you all know how you have impacted me and how much I love you guys.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Land of Eternal Rain

Every day when I wake up and go outside it is raining. Although to most this may put them in a sort of depressed mood, but not anybody here. Maybe because the rain here is different, for it is not impairing rain, but a soft tender rain. It’s almost a pleasant rain. The scenery here (I am currently in the Netherlands) is absolutely beautiful, it takes my breath away. We are in a little medieval hotel in the middle of a farming community with all sorts of animals and their respective pastures all around us. There are people riding bikes all over the place and small cars whizzing around the brick-layed roads. Our hotel is right next to a decent sized river with a cow pasture on the other side. No matter how hard the rain was, it could never steal God’s handmade beauty I see all around me. But it’s not only here; for honestly the drive here reminded me of Ohio with flat land and ever changing landscape of city and farmland. It even makes me appreciate what we have to look at in the USA, Michigan is a beautiful place, as is most of the US.
What can match the beauty of this place is the beauty of the people I am surrounded by constantly. These are good people. It is hard to find a place where people genuinely care about you, but I found a place where EVERYBODY cares about you. Genuine love is a truly gorgeous thing. Not to mention the beauty of the foreign women! Just kidding. I really know this is where I am called to be, the next part is getting over my past and moving forward into a new life that has been set before me. I do miss all of those I left behind sorely, yet I am filled with hope. I know I will see all you guys again soon. I am not sorry for leaving though, as I found a temporary home in this place. Just know I think of you all the time, and you are all in my prayers, and keep me in yours.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A New Chapter Begins

Today was the day; I am currently in Metro airport all alone. I just left my family and friends that accompanied me to the airport. The whole “good bye” thing is one of the worst parts of this. Leaving my friends as they grow up and go through college is so hard. I feel like I will miss out on so much over this span. My nephew is 1 ½ years old, so he will be 3 ½ when I get back. That’s two years I miss out on in his life. My parents will probably remain the same, but I have seen them almost every day for 21 years, now I won’t. Thinking of all of this brings tears to my eyes, as it did to some of the people who came with me; but I can’t look back.

It’s kind of strange to me that the fear still hasn’t set fully in yet, and I am almost there. I have had moments where I get nervous and scared, but they pass easier than a spelling test. I really am good at living in the moment, and always have been. My mind is thrown about so many different ways, and I think that right now it’s helping me accept my losses and count my blessings. How many people get the opportunity to see the world like this? How many get the chance to grow and mature outside of the starving land of America? This is where I need to be, and I know it. I’m ready to go. Please pray for courage!