Thursday, September 29, 2005

Allergies

So I finally went to the doctor after almost two weeks of harsh coughing and getting bad looks from people on the street. My teacher gave me the name of a doctor in town who is from Australia and I went to see what the deal is. She confirmed what I had thought, I have allergies. I never knew that my allergies were so bad, but I guess until November, the trees here in La Serena that I love so much will cause me to suffer asthma attacks every day. So the doctor, who by the way is Jewish and was telling me about the anti-semistism she has expereinced here in Chile, gave me lots of fun medicine, including a cough syrup with codine. The medicine in this country is so cheap! The medication i take everymorning that costs about $100 In Cali, is only $10 here! Yeah, and birth control is practically free without even needing a prescription! Craziness!
By the way, a note on the anti- semitism. While I have seen a few swastikas grafitied on walls, the majority of the anti-semistiam, is just pure ignorance. Many of the people here, in particular the elderly cannot imagine a person who is not Catholic. I am not too worried, but it does add an interesting element to my experience here as a Christian Jew.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I need a job

How is it that I paid all this money for an education and I still don´t really know what I want to do. I have been searching online for jobs all afternoon and I found one that maybe would be cool. It is with a missions organization (sorry mom) and I would be stationed in Argentina to receive short term missions groups, orientate them and help lead the mission. I think it would be cool because I could be doing both the administrative leadership work and the real working with street children work, all in one job. Plus, I would get to use my English AND Spanish. Who knows though... who knows.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

chess in the park

I have made it my daily habit to walk to the plaza de armas, a quaint park with benches circling around a beautiful fountain. I sit on one of the benches and watch the people walk through the park or the childrne play around the fountain. I recently have begun to hang out with the men who play chess in the park every night. There are always two or three games going at one time and at least three or four onlookers. Although the men have encouraged me to take a try at the game, I decline and remain one of the on lookers. It has been way too many years and I want to remember strategy before I try to play. I love it though. Chess needs no language, and I feel like I am in a park in New York.
All in all, htis city has become so dear to me. I am not sure why, but i truly feel at home here. It helps that the son of the family who owns the hostel I live in is so nice to me. His name is Felipe and he is 21 years old and a student of Chemistry at the university. For some reason, I have no clue why, he has decided to be so sweet and makes sure that I am having a good time. We talked the other day for about an hour, that´s right, in SPANISH. See, I know my spanish must not be as bad as I think it is if I am havinghour long conversations. In any case, life seems so good right now. I love my room, except for the fact that every night I get asthma from it. It is in the back corner of the house and I have a huge window through which I watch the stars every night. And the family has begun to treat me like I am no longer a tenent, but a part of their family.
OH! I also recently recieved the book I ordered online, Alfred Edershiem´s The life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, and I have been devouring it like no other. i do believe that it will probably be one of my favorite books of all time. I used part of it in my Senior Project, but now I can just read and read and read.
The only thing that still rests in the back of my mind is what I am going to be doing after my Spanish classes end in a few weeks. I figure that classes will end in early October and my November i need to be working at something. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. I know I could always go to teach English in Santiago, but I don´t get excited when i think of that. I truly think that I want to live out the phrase that has been in my heart recently "to love those the world has chosen to ignore". Isn´t that what we are called to do? And here I am, willing, but I have no clue where to go.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

being a Jew in Chile

A few days ago I stumbled upon an English bookstore and persuaded myself to buy some books. I bought a Jane Austen classic, Persuassion, which is only second to the wonderful Pride and Prejudice. I also purchased The Promise, by Chaim Potok. Now this book was dangerous for me to read (side note: I ended up reading the whole 300 page book in one night, not a good idea). As I read Potok´s carefully crafted sentences and beautiful descriptions of the Jewish world in New York, it gave me that desire that seems to come every two years or so, to be a Hassid. Don´t ask me where that comes from, but it is there, about every two years. In any case, it made me proud to be Jewish, to come from such a deep history of perserving the Word of God. And then that makes me want to go to Seminary. Yada, Yada, Yada... I guess I want too much in life. I want a thrid world orphanage, and to debate theological matters with Jews in the coffee shops of New England.
The whole thing became wierd when I was walking out of this shopping center and saw that an educational collage of posters had been set up. As I got closer I realized it was all about Anne Frank and other Jewish testimonies of the Holocaust. It was the oddest thing to be standing in the middle of a culture so far removed from Eastern Europe, reading about my heritage. It was very odd.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A true CHILEAN FIESTA

Last night, I was supposed to go to this Bible study, but I really did not want to go. It was not a rebellion, but I just didn´t want to go. So instead I hung out with Felipe who is the son of the family who owns that hostel and his friends. They are all in University, about 21 years old, and SO nice. We talked about Bush and American politics. We drank pisco which is to Chile as Tequilia is to Mexico. And after a few hours of that, we went to a fiesta because tomorrow is the Chilean indepence day and the whole weekend is dedicated to the party for it. It was a Cumbia dance, with three differnt bands, and hundreds of people. It was so awesome! All that salsa dancing in Cali really paid off. All of Felipe´s friends have girlfriends and I had come with this guy who I have been hanging out with in town. He is from Austria and is staying at the same hostel. So it was a little awkward, kinda felt like a date, maybe, but it was cool all the same. I love this country. And of course in true Chileno style, we didn´t leave the party until 5 in the morning. It was great. I feel so grateful that God put me in a hostel where there is an incredibly nice university student who doesn´t mind letting me come along with them.
MORE FIESTAS TO COME!

My mind is made up

After so many days of all this pressure anmd worrying about what I am supposed to do, and who i am supposed to be, I have decided that God told me exactly who I was BEFORE I came to Chile and that still remains. I am His daughter and I am a forgiven sinner. End of story. All I need to do is love God, love His creation, and live this life He has given me. That is all. So I am going to stop worrying about what the people here want me to believe and start living what I know. End of that story.
Another side note, I never knew that I would be so oaky with not talking to anyone for such a long time. It scares me a bit, how much I talk to myself and how much of it sounds like philosophy. Leah (my roommate) used to say that my brain worked differently than most people, and these past few weeks where I have spent so much time working over issues in my head, I have begun to agree with her. I finished my first journal (mom, it is not ready to be published though) and have now begun a journal that is more of an outlet for my thoughts, my crazy deep philosphical life questioning thoughts. I hope they make sense when i read them someday.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Fever is gone

Okay, so the fever is gone, at least I am pretty sure. i haven´t actually had a thermometer, but Monday, when the fever started I went to sleep for a few hours so shivering cold, and then I woke up in the sweats, but the same thing happened the next night... anyways Mom, you can relax now. I have a cough and it is not pretty, but I am taking cough medicine and continuing to watch what happens.
On another note, I am still pretty confused about what to do with the whole church thing. I ran into Iván, the prophet, today and he said that he had been praying to talk to me again. He is so radical. I know that He is serving God but I don´t know if I can be that radical. He takes that whole following the scripture only to a new extreme. For example, he believes that the family should worship together and the children should be present in the service because we all contain the same Spirit. Well, he believes that the family should ALWAYS worship together. Like there is no reason to have a women´s time. He also believes that we should worship the way the Bible says. Not just how we culturally worship, like in the Caribe, we cannot just worship through the music of the Conga. Or something like that. He is so concerned with what the Bibile says that, I gues that there is no freedom for personal expression. I want to be sure that I am not being disobediant to God. But is his radicalness correct and I am just unwilling to give up the comfortable life. Becuase if i too am called to be a prophet in this land of bondage, my life will be filled with sorrow and frustration. And then my heart thinks that maybe I am unable to give up my life. It is like I was serving God in America, but in a three dimensional sense, and now God is calling me to view Him in a four dimensional way, and I am not sure i want to.
When I was praying about the whole situation the other day, I felt, but maybe it was just my imagination, that GOd was telling me to Go and set the people free. And I said to God, But I cannot speak- like literally I cannot speak the language. And God showed my heart that I was sounding just like Moses when God told him to go to Egypt, and Moses said that he couldn´t because he couldn´t speak. I mentioned that to Iván and he laughed and said, I am your Aaron. Your interpreter. Aye, I have no clue what I am doing here and part of me wants to go hide under a rock!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

lo siento

I feel pretty disconnected from the whole world right now because for the past three days I have been stuck in the house sick. My fever comes and goes and I think it is just a head cold, but as a few of you know (hem hem DAD!) I am a little bit of a hypocondriac- okay the college education never taught me how to spell that word. But I bought muchas medicinas a la farmacía y espero que I will get better. Thisis how my thoughts work, media en español, y media en english. Anyways, if I don´t feel better by day eight I will go see a doctor. I hope everyone is doing well, I have stll been dealing with the whole church issue. My mom says that she is glad that I was not "slain by the spirit". Basically, I am not sure I can go to a church where the Bible is not the main source of enlightenment. We need the Spirit to understand the bible, but we need the Bible as our foundation. Your prayers and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, September 12, 2005

a little fun last night

So far, here in La Serena, sine I don´t know anyone, I haven´t had a chance to go out at night. And let me tell you, Chilenos are obsessed with their alcohol. the bars are where friends are made and generally where people hang out and I wanted to go, but there is no way i can go alone. So this group of internationals exchange students- from Brazil, France, Germany, and two from Mexico- came to spend the night at the hostel last night. So i went and introduced myslef and they invited me to go out with them. SO we went out and I had a blast. My two frinks rule is still valid, so as the German guy next to me poured his FIFTH glass, I declined for the millionth time. Anyways, After about 4 hours at the bar, where we met and decided to sit with another group of 8 people, we went back tot eh hostel. And it was awesome because I thought that for sure these guys, I mostly hung out witht eh German and the Brazilian, that they would be tired of me, but they gave me their information and said that if I ever came to the town their university, I need to call them and stay with them and they will take me out there. I am way excited ! Okay, now I sound like a blonde. But it is cool because the situation was not dirty, both guys have girlfriends back home and they know that I am not looking for anyhting but friendship.
On the other hand tonight I am going to hang out with this guy who I met tot the park who I think wants more than friendship, but I told him that I don´t want un novio (a boyfriend). But he is a teavher at ta local school and he seemed nice and he offered to show me around town, so that will be interesting. We shall see!

There is way too much to write for one blog

So as most of the people who read this blog know, i was really nervous about coming here to Chile becuase I really value my church family, and I was not sure that I would reallyhave one here. But about 20 minutes after I wrote the last entry, I was wlaking through the downtown center and I passed some music that sounded familar and I stopped to listen for a moment- it was Jaci Velasquez, a Christian artist that I used to listen to back in the states! I went to where teh music was playing and I asked the middle aged women at that booth, who was the music. I found she was a Christian and I asked her where her church was. The whole scene reminded me of a story I read somewhere of how the original church found eachother in the market place with the fish symbol. The women, named Veronica brought, right then and there she just left her booth with someone else, and she brought me to her church. There were two women there at the time, one of them was one of the pastors. The pastors consist of a man and his wife. Okay, anyone that knows all the studying of the Word I did this last year, knows that I am not really okay with women being hte "pastor". But that was not going to stop me from going to the churhc becasue it is not a salvation issue. Well I was so grateful to God, yet still pretty uneasy aboutht e whole thing. I kept praying that God would take away any ungodly fear, but that He would continue to guard my heart. So I hung out with one of the ladies from the nect church adn she explained that there was a discipleship program in the church and I would get a spiritual mother. I told that I would love that. But then, my thoughts later started to think about the fact that the whole reason i had Leah as my discipler this last year is becasue I trusted her and I respected her opinion on spiritual matters. I also was willing to take correction from her. In mind mind, I thought, I would love to hang out with one of the women in the church, but I do not trust them yet to be an authority in my life. Is that pride, or is that wisdom?
Anyways, I went to churhc yesterday, a FIVE HOUR SERVICE!!!! oh my gosh, I thought that other churhces went long, but this was amazingly long! Anyways, I didn´t understand everyting that the pastors said, but I understood that we were looked at the fruit of the spirit. Well, at one point they called me up to the front to introduce myself, fine, I am not embarrassed to speak in front of people. But they had a guy come up to the front to interpret from English to Spanish. Well, during one of the three worship times, they called me up to the front and the pastor was praying over me. Fine, that is nice, a little uncomfortable, but I prayed that God would help me get over cultural boundries. He started speaking tongues. and he told me to talk to God. He also made me raise my hands. he MADE me raise my hands, hmmm... not my favorite thing that he did. So then, he was praying in tongues and I could tell that he wanted me to pray in tongues, so I prayed in English- I smile at this part becuase I was praying in Englsih for God to get me out of the situation. I had started about praying that God would help me overcome uncomfort from cultural differences and that I would be able to truly worship Him with these people. But then, I opened my eyes for a moment, and saw that the woman that the pastor had been praying for next to me was lying on the ground. NOPE! No, I am sorry but I do not believe in the "slaying of the spirit". At that point I decided that I needed to fight spiritually for some stregnth from God because I did not want to do the things that the pastors wanted me to do. I put my arms down, becuase they were distracting me from God, and I kneeled on the ground and prayed. I felt the woman pastor come over and begin to pray over me. SHe was praying so hard and so fiercly, and her hands were on my head and she was pushing me. Like she wanted me to fall over. I am a stubborn person as you all know and I was not going to let me push me over to lie on the ground! SO I remained kneeling. I was so scared/upset/I am not sure what the emotion was, but I began to cry out to God to help me because I missed my home church. I missed people who really seemed to know and the the Word of God. So I began to cry and of course God brought a comforter. Veronica, the older lady came and wrapped her arms around me. THAT was what I needed, not someone yelling in spanish and hitting my chest saying in spanish that the evil come out of my heart in Jesus name. No, I needed the arms of God. So after I was finally able to escape from the front of the churhc where all this was happening, I sat in my chair and I clutched my bible like a little kid afraid of the dark. the man who had interpreted earlier for me come over and asked me if I was saved- and as I looked at him, I felt safe with him, he reminded me of my dad, like he actually kinda looks like my dad. SO I said, yes, I am saved, by the blood of Jesus, I am saved. He asked me if I beleived that I could loose my salvation and I said no. Grace is a gift from God that there is nothing I can to do earn it or loose it. He smiled and said Hallejuah. We began to talk there and he said that most churhces in Chile teach that if we don´t do enough, we loose our salvation. That the church in this country are not Bible based, but interpretation of a few verses and feeling based. He said that he was a prophet that God had called to deliever the truth to the people of Chile. To make a long story short, God answered my prayers. I found a chilean who truly loves the Lord and KNOWS His word. I found someone whose family, he has a wife and two daughter are living testimonies that God can bring truth to people. This mans name is Evan and he brought me to his house to meet his wife and two daughter and we went out to lunch. I cannot tell you my friends, what God did through this man in my heart. Even though Evan does not agree with much of what the church says, or how they force people to worship in a certain fashion, he beleives that God has called him there for a reason and he is a prophet there. I am not sure about me. I am not sure if I can be in a church that wants obedience, but I do not agree with them. I will not have them be an authority in my life. I am not sure if I should try to find another church. I am determined that I will study the Bible on my own accord, but I desire the fellowship and authority there was at Trinity. Anyways, please, my friends, pray for me because ti si a burden in my heart for now. I believe these people desire to know God, but they are not basing that knowledge from the Bible. Please, pray for wisdom.

And sorry this blog was so long, but it is something I truly need prayer for!

Friday, September 09, 2005

PRAISE GOD!!!

Okay, the last 24 hours were probably the scaries tof my trip so far, because I left for La Serena with no CLUE where I was going to stay. And I arrived in the city late at night and I was worried that I would sleep on the streets for a night. But God brought an amazing little woman named Iris who brought me to her house, and I spent this mornig looking for a place and God provided an amazingly cheap place just two blocks from my school. The hostel is called Viña Del Mar and is owned my a little couple whose son goes to the university here and the dad speaks a little English and is happy to learn more. Ahhh.... God is so GOOD!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

leaving for La Serena

This message is particularly for my mom. I am going to take the bus today up to La Serena where my classes will be! More info later. LOVE YOU MOMMMMMMMYYYYYY! Sorry, to all my friends who are wondering why my mom gets a message all to herself, but out of everyone I know, this woman worries like a Jewish mother, oh wait, SHE IS!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

arrested by Chilean police!

JUST JOKING!!!! (sorry dad if i gave you a heart attack)
But in all reality, so I decided yesterday taht I wanted to shop and explore Viña, so I went tot eh downtown part and I was in this story, and for some reason, the security thought i had stolen something and they pulled me aside and asked to see my purse, so I showed them, and told them No hablo espanol, and after looking through my stuff and seeing that they was nothing in there and then looking at each other in wonder, they let me go. I told Marcela and she said that the next itme ( i hope there never is a next time!) that I should demand that THEY open my purse, but if there is nothing in there, then i sue them. She said it is not like suing someone in America, but they have to give me stuff. I was scared when it happened. I made a joke with my dad before I left that i would use the money he gave me to bribe the police to get out of jail. Actually though, i was talking to Marcela about the governemtn and after Pinochet, the police in Chile are like the best in SA. They don{t take bribes, and they are supposed to be VERY good. So don{t worry, I am safe, I won{t )hopefully) be going to jail soon!

Monday, September 05, 2005

if you have commented on a blog

To my friends and family, If you comment on a blog, I will comment back to you on that same blog. Gracias!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Viña

I am now staying in Viña del mar with my buddy kallie´s future aunt, the beautiful Marcela. She and her daughter Flo are jsut a blast and I am so grateful that they are letting me stay withthem!

BY THE WAY- so I don´t know if news was just not getting to the home in Trinidad because it wasn´t until I was talking to Chubs on the phone in Venezuela that I heard about Katrina and it wasn´t until I got to Marcela´s house that I really found out how horrible the sitruation is. I am really sad that all this is going on and I am so far awayand can do nothing to help. I leave to come to a "third world" country and I find out that all the help is needed back at home. America is in my prayers!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hola todos de mi amigos

I am safe in Chile!
I arrived late last night, more like 4 in themorning, but I am here and I am spending the day in the city, shopping and enjoying the beautiful culture of Latin America. I hope everyone is well.

Brian! I am glad there are no spiders in yournew house. I didn´t realize that you were moving. I hope the move went smoothly. And I bet Willa is just getting cuter by the day. The kids in Trinidad were looking at my pictures and saw that pic that you guys gave me of Willa and they were obsessed with it. I guess they have never seen such a blond baby! Good to hear from you!

Carlos----- MI AMIGA! I am so glad that you are on here so I can keep in touch with you! I hope the Bay Area is treating you well and you are having fun in the Real World.When i open my orphanage, you can come and bring lots of toys and candy! Lve you