Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Church Shopping

Pretty much the only time I miss 'home' is on Sunday when I go to church. I've tried a few really good churches here in the city and liked most of them. But they just aren't Good Shepherd. I don't expect them to be, but I really miss it. Today I was trying to figure out what I missed about it. Of course, I miss my friends there, and I miss knowing what to expect when I walk in the doors. I remember though, after having been searching for churches in Colorado Springs coming home and realizing that if I had just moved there and was searching for a church, G Shep probably wouldn't necessarily be the one I would choose. I would be wary of the fact that it is non-denominational, and the worship was just okay (on the other hand, I love worship with the youth groups). So why do I miss it so much? And why is it so much harder to look over some aspects that I haven't liked about the churches I've tried in the city?

This is what I realized today. I was a part of the body at G Shep. I've served there in different ministries for almost 10 years. It's not that I liked every aspect of it or thougth it was doing everything right. It's that I was a part of the living, breathing church body there. In the end, it came down not to the nitty-gritty theological beliefs or whether worship was contemperary or done with hymns. It wasn't about if every sermon is great and is exactly what I needed to hear. It was that I was a part of it and it's hard to disconnect from the body I've been a part of for 12 years. It really is like family- you don't always like them or everything about them, but they are a vital part of who you are you are a part of them. So instead of looking at having a hard time finding a church here as a bad thing, I'm going to start seeing it as a reminder of how we are supposed to be a part of the church. It is good that I miss my church back home, because it means I was a real part of it. Meanwhile, hopefully I can find a church that even though it may not fit everything on my checklist, will be a place that I can become a part of.

Monday, September 12, 2011


This is a story I wrote for my college writing class about my time in Africa that I thought I'd share with you all!

        One event is all it took for me to feel assured of my independence. Having just moved to Khartoum, Sudan, I was in a completely new environment. The weather was different, the way I dressed was different, and the language spoken around me was different. More than anything I wanted to make this place my home, but at the same time, I felt completely inadequate in my ability to do anything on my own.

            Then I was asked to go get bread for dinner. I could feel panic rising in my throat, but I choked it down and smiled. I had not yet been out on the streets alone in this strange world. Memorizing the directions was step one. I was to walk down the main street, turn left at the blinking star and then keep going until I got to the bakery. Hopefully, I could make it to the main street without getting turned around. Sliding a scarf over my head, I grabbed the money and crumpled it tightly in my fist.

    After making it to the main street and seeing the blinking star, I sighed out of relief. I walked with my head slightly down, careful not to make eye contact with the men roaming the street. As I turned left, I began to feel apprehensive about what would occur next. Would the men understand what I wanted when I gave them the money? Could I clearly communicate without using words that I wanted the round bread?

         I pulled the small rope handle and walked in as a cool blast of air glided out. No one was at the counter. I stood there, unsure of what protocol was in this culture. After a moment of feeling self-conscious, a timid “Salam?” slipped out of my mouth. It seemed like hours later, but a man finally came out. I pushed my worn money toward him. When he said something that sounded like a question, I made a circle with my hands. Apparently I had given him the correct information, because he promptly grabbed a bag of round loaves and handed it to me.

        My walk home was pleasant. I felt powerful knowing that, although I could not yet speak the language, I could communicate clearly with the people around me. I was a part of this place, and I fit in with all the others who bought their bread each day. It wasn’t going to be simple living here by myself, but I could do it.

Photo of the Day

Sorry for the bit of blur. And it's too bad it was so cloudy this evening, because the lights would have been a lot better.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Will Never Forget

I didn't enjoy eating lunch on the ground today, but my friends and I will never complain about the reason why there were no seats:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hello New York!

For some reason I thought I left craziness behind me when I left Africa.

Boy was I wrong. There's a lot that has happened the past two weeks, with moving to NYC, starting school and meeting tons of new people. But maybe the craziest thing that has happened was having two (2!) natural disasters occur in the course of one week.

Apparently there was an earthquake last Tuesday. And I guess people felt it here. But I was in a basement, so I didn't feel or even hear anything. I'm still going to count it as my first earthquake experience.

Then we spent our first weekend inside, with college student evacuees sleeping on the floor of our tiny apartment. The most unfortunate part of it all was that it was for absolutely nothing. Nothing happened. We got some rain, but that's it. No super high winds that woke us up while sleeping on the 22nd floor, no flooding in the streets. Nothing. However, we did get a day off school!

It all reminded me of the times in Africa when something big and bad was supposed to happen, and then nothing did. It's not bad, but it it is a let down.

This week has been slightly more normal. I'm growing used to the city and learning to love it. It is like nothing else in the world and holds many new adventures!