Monday, September 20, 2010

Pinto and Rain

Costa Rica. Home of beautiful beaches, whales, rainforest....LOTS of rain, and LOTS of PINTO!
Oh Pinto. It's become a little joke here. Every morning we had the same thing for breakfast--pinto (beans and rice) and eggs (scrambled or fried). Or we could have toast. We actually had a lot of options, it's just that pinto was a constant.
So I'm in San Jose right now. We fly out to Quito, Ecuador tomorrow where we'll be for a few days before heading to the Tsa'chila community in Los Naranjos. I'm super excited to meet my host family and to figure out who I'm staying with!
Costa Rica was a great way to start the trip. We had some great seminars and did some awesome things. After I last blogged, we went kayaking in the mangroves! So fun. My kayak partner was Mckinley and we had a grand time. Seriously, we probably had too much fun haha. We sang and laughed hysterically because we had to duck to not hit branches and we got stuck and there were bugs and it was so great.
We had a really neat ceremony last night. We lit candles and talked about what we hope to gain from this year, a powerful moment in Costa Rica, and someone we wanted to thank from our time in Costa Rica. We're already becoming like family, I think. I mean we'll definitely be family by the end of this. But it's been really fun having conversations and getting to know people.
Thanks to everyone who continues to lift me up in prayer--please continue to do so! I was able to listen to a sermon by David Platt today, which was great. It was on the freedom that comes from grace, which is something the Lord has really been showing me this week. He taught from Galatians 1, and I was so encouraged. Platt said that the gospel is FREE and that it is FREEING. Praise God! Because I don't talk openly about the details of what the Lord is teaching me, I've been journaling a lot. It's going to be really neat looking back at what God teaches me this year.
So anyway. Ecuador is going to be great. We're going to be doing reforestation--planting trees in the morning! So fun haha. And we'll be bathing in the river. Yayyyy! With snakes. I won't have a lot of internet in Ecuador. Sooo this is goodbye for now! Please pray for endurance; grace to love Christ, the gospel, and everyone here more; that I would be diligent in taking my malaria pills and in applying sunscreen (haha); and that I would be bold with the gospel.
I love you guys! You are all so wonderful, and I am really grateful for your support.
PS Check out my facebook for pictures!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Sorry it's been so long since I've blogged! I only have a few minutes, so here's what I've been up to!
1. Orientating--I know this isn't a word, but we've been doing various team building activites (Bucket of Dreams--crazy.) and having discussions. Seminars are really interesting--everyone wants to be here, so our discussions are meaningful.
2. People--my program leaders (PLs) are awesome. Like so great. It's gonna be a fantastic year with them. We're all a "nomadic family" (as my PL Loren says haha). Everyone is so nice, and we're laughing all the time.
3. Surfing--honestly, not a big fan. I am SO NOT GOOD at it. I was getting killed by waves and my swimsuit was bothering me and I never got up. However, I'm really glad I tried it. It's just one of those things I'm glad I did.
4. Rainforest hike/waterfall--we did a hike up to a waterfall. It was SO humid and hot, we were all POURING sweat. So great. Then we jumped in this really cold pool underneath a waterfall. It was amazing. We ate lunch there too!
5. Ziplining--we did that today. So. much. fun. Holy cow. Half the fun was the people who are in charge of the zipline business. And the trip up the mountain. We were ALL in the back of a truck that essentially had no back. All 19 of us. So crucial.
6. The Man Cave. This hasn't actually been something I've been doing. However, I hear things from the Man Cave EVERY. NIGHT. We only have 3 guys on this trip (not including our PL, Scott). They form the Man Cave. And they all get along SO well, it's absolutely adorable. And totally ridiculous. And LOUD.

So basically, i'm having a great time.
Some prayer requests:
-that when I'm lonely or homesick, I would continue to go to God's word. I am hoping to have quite a bit of Scripture memorized by the end of this. Pray that I would desire to study the Scriptures.
-that I would love my teammates, regardless of any circumstance.
-that I would remain healthy and well rested.
-the same for my teammates.
-that I would be a humble servant to those around me.
-that I would always enjoy and appreciate God's creation around me!
-that I would love Christ and by his grace, become more like Him.

I love all of you & really miss ya'll! Thanks for your prayers! Hopefully I'll put up some pictures next post. :)
PS Sorry for any spelling errors, this was typed so quickly!
PSS this PSS is for Raisinets. You should totally be here. :)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Safe and Sound in Costa Rica!

Sooo I´m here!! I´m on the computers at our hostel--we´re only staying here for a night. I´m updating this because everything is in Spanish and no one can figure out the at symbol, so we can´t get on Facebook or email. Encouraging right? :)We go to the coast tomorrow to where we´re staying the rest of the time. Everyone seems really nice & we´re having a good time! I was on the same flight to Miami as Connor, so we got to talk. I sat next to Mckinley and Kasha on the flight to Costa Rica and we had a good time. They are super fun! Okay, I´ve gotta go eat DINNER. I´m hungryyy.
Love you guys. Miss you already!!
PS--Annetta I missed my phone today.
PSS--Jaron this PSS is specifically for you. Thanks for the Raisinets!!
PSSS--SB i almost cried when I read your thing. I love you.
PSSSS--Mom and Dad (and Josh and C&C). I love you lots and miss you tons. Mom, could you send this update to people?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Gospel

“The saints’ delight is in Christ: He is their joy, their crown, their rejoicing, their life, food, health, strength, desire, righteousness, salvation, blessedness: without Him they have nothing; in Him they shall find all things. ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Gal. 6:14). He has, from the foundation of the world, been the hope, expectation, desire, and delight of all believers.”

–John Owen, Communion with the Triune God, Eds. Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1657/2007), 236.

quote courtesy of Tolle Lege, and John Owen of course.

"Avoid a sugared gospel as you would shun sugar of lead. Seek the gospel which rips up and tears and cuts and wounds and hacks and even kills, for that is the gospel that makes alive again. And when you have found it, give good heed to it. Let it enter into your inmost being. As the rain soaks into the ground, so pray the Lord to let his gospel soak into your soul." - Spurgeon

So this is it. I'm leaving tomorrow (today technically!). I am beyond excited. And it still won't sink in until I'm walking away from my family at RDU.
I have been completely packed. Repacked some tonight. I'm trying to stuff some last minute things into my carry-on (I swear, it's heavier than my big pack). Finished up readings as best I could. I'm getting nervous. Incredibly excited, but really started to realize the weight of what I'm doing.
But I am so grateful that I know John Owen's words are true: Christ is my delight, my salvation, my righteousness, my life. Without Him I have nothing, and in Him I find everything I could ever need or want. He fulfills every desire and provides immeasurable hope.
And you know...I still worry. I worry that I will trade the power and beauty of the gospel for other things. That before I know it, I won't recognize the gospel I believe in. And that it will be farther from the truth than I can imagine.
I'm not just worried about this because of my trip. I'd have these same concerns if I were heading off to college.
But the Lord has given me, and all my friends in college, and honestly every believer, the incredible opportunity to make choices and to be refined. So I am praying that I would make choices that glorify God and reflect the love of Christ. I'm praying that I would love every person I meet with a love that can only come from Christ. I am praying that this year, I would allow the gospel to soak into my soul like rain. That I would let it fill the places where it has torn away sin. That it would cause me to completely renounce myself and to only proclaim Christ. I'm praying that because of the gospel, I would desire to read and memorize Scripture so that I can sharpen my mind and heart. I'm praying that by God's grace, I would be bold with the gospel and live in light of eternity in each experience I have. And I'm praying that I would be continually grateful for the life God has blessed me with. I am amazed at the love I've been shown the past week saying goodbyes. My family, friends, and the Trinity community have gone out of their way to show me how much they care--I love all of you and I am glad to know each of you!
Anyway, I know that many of you will be praying these things with me--please know that I am grateful! I am blessed to have supportive friends and family who are also believers in Christ. The body of Christ is something that we should not take for granted, and I hope and pray that after this year I will treasure the church even more.
So here I go. I am leaving everything up to a God who already knows everything that will happen to me this year. He knows when I am going to rejoice, when I'm going to grieve, when I'm going to be lonely...But He is sovereign, and He is faithful.
I'll update here as soon as I can! Please pray for safety and health for the rest of my team: Rachel, Rayn, Eirann, Jon, Connor, Mckinley, Kasha, Mary, Lauren H., Luisa, Alexandra, Faith, Madeline, Lauren K., Jessie (leader), Scott (leader), Loren (leader).
I love you guys!! Thanks for everything--see you in eight months!! :)

"But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior
--Isaiah 43:1-3a

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Good Stuff

I love being able to talk to people about issues and things with substance. One of my professors on my trip to England two years ago called it "ruminating conversation." I am going to miss many different people while I'm gone, but there are two people that I find particularly understand my interests and tastes in...well everything. And we always have ruminating conversations. I'm sure I'll find other people on my trip to have deep and intellectually stimulating conversations with on a regular basis (when we're not having seminars of course), and these conversations will certainly sharpen me. But I always find it a joy to discuss things with people who have the same worldview and similar ways of thinking.
So I will miss those conversations and people a lot!
Anyway. Here are some things from the past few weeks (mainly books and music and such) which have raised discussions between me and some of my friends. I hope you find them somewhat interesting!
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. This book is excellent. It's thought-provoking, interesting, well-written, and eye-opening. It has really made me think about what I believe and how I view the world that God has given us. I personally think it's worth everyone's time.
Ben Folds. He's making a new album apparently and Jaron Moore (click on the link to check out his blog--it's pretty great!) posted this video on my Facebook today. I really like this song, as well as the spoken bit. And the video is cool too!
Artist a Day. This website comes up on my google homepage, and I love it. Some of the art isn't my favorite, I guess, but every once in a while, a piece comes up that I just sit and stare at. I love that about art. When we're in NYC for TBB, I'd love to go to the Met for a day. I didn't take the chance to do that when I was last in New York, but I should have. If I had time to just do what I want (wouldn't that be wonderful?), I would spend time going to museums and learning about art. Right now it's more interesting to me than music. (If you know me, that's a big deal-ish.)
columbinus. One of my best friends, Victoria Oliver, was in this play this summer. She's a senior in high school at UNC School of the Arts this year. She's marvelous. Anyway, a friend of hers who is also going to UNCSA as a senior this year directed this show. It's about the shootings at Columbine. The cast was young (17-21 years), but they did a fantastic job. I was really impressed, and I saw it twice. columbinus is a powerful show. And everyone should see it. Literally everyone. It's raw and emotional, and exposes the stereotypes and labels we subconsciously (or even consciously) give each other. It's humbling, terrifying, and heartbreaking, all at the same time. But it was completely worth it for me.
Last, but certainly not least, I will leave you with a poem I found a couple weeks ago. It's by Emily Dickinson. I found it randomly--I believe a friend of mine brought up Emily's poetry (yes, Emily and I use each other's first names), and I just googled her. A website came up with her poems, and I saw this one.
"There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul."

I love the language she uses and the way she capitalizes certain words. This is basically why I want to teach English Literature. Books and writing can say so much. :)

Thanks for reading my random thoughts!
One week!