Thursday, December 21, 2006

Itinerary

So here it is, the following few weeks:
Dec. 22nd- leave for BA and meet up with Mom and Nigel at the airport to fly to Ushuaia (the very tip of South America)
23rd till 27th- leave from Ushuaia on a cruise through Argentina and Chile, looking at glaciers and hopefully seeing some penguins :)
27th- land in Punta Arenas, hopefully see my friends Alister and Julie (a chilean couple who studies at the Centro de Estudios Pastorales)
27th-30th Mom and Nigel drop me off at Puerto Natales where I am staying at a really nice hotel on the lakeside that has a full spa (ouch, life is hard!)
30th- fly up to Santiago with Mom and Nigel, head out to Viña del Mar for the night
31st- go up to La Serena and experience NEW YEARS!!!!! woo hoo!
31st till 2nd- La Serena and Valle del Elqui
3rd till 6th- drive down to Horcón, a little hippy beach town that I am sure to fall in love with
7th- I come back to Santiago, but leave for Camp with my church, I will only be able to go the one day, but it is the last day of the camp so it will be good!
8th-11th- Mom and Nigel in Santiago with ME!!!!!
SO there you go folks.
Love you all.
May you have a blessed Christmas, remembering that Christ gave Himself up, became man and died for us.
And a joyful New Year, knowing that the past year is done, the lessons have been learned (hopefully!) and we can rest assured that God will continue to grow us and mold us into His image the next year. God Bless!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I swear I am not doing this on purpose

So I made plans last night to hang out with Courtney and some other friends. It turned out to be us girls, Timo, Jason, Sam, and a guy who I have been waiting to meet for the last 6 months named Rick. I have heard so much about this guy who was Sam's rebellious partner in crime when they were 12, who loves to debate theology and church ideologies, and yet holds very different views than our little group of friends, who lived in the Amazon for 6 months, who is to Sam what Rachel is to me. Good stuff. And with all the things I have heard about him for the last 6 months, I was still not dissapointed. He was a really sweet guy who stepped easily into our group, able to converse with whomever he pleases about a variety of conversations. The problem is that I told the boys that I needed to leave by 11 since I had to leave the house at 7:30 this morning and I had a full day ahead of me. So tell me why I checked my watch at 12:30 and realized that it was WAY past my bed time, and although I tried to go home, other things kept happening and I didn't get home until 2:30! To tell you the truth, I feel like it is the end of high school though. At the end of high school there is so much going on that you just get worn out, but you know that your chance to live those moments are few before they are all gone. So you do it. You do stùpid things like stay up late and then have to get up early the next morning.
Today was the graduation celebration of the little kids in Reñca. We took all of them and their siblings to a christmas fair. Basically: roller coasters and other little rides, hot dogs, balloons, face painting, and of course a show. The kids were SOOOOO happy. Seriously, it made my day just to watch them giggling and screaming, and running around and around. What a beautiful thing to make a kid laugh. And these children who have SO little, to give them a day of pure fun... wow!
Now I am back at CEP trying to do all the crazy last minute things before I go to CEP's graduation ceremony. And then, maybe out to dinner with Seba... it's going to be quite a day once I am done with it!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

listening to...

on my blog radio today:
pure country music. I have no clue why, but sometime I find myself craving some good old school country music. Right now: Kenny with "She's got it all"

a little tired

So last night Courtney came over and we ordered pizza (go Chile for having Pizza hut on every other corner) and we watched the 5 hour Pride and Prejudice over pepperoni pizza and white wine (classy, aren't we?). But yeah, afer going to bed at like 3:30 and waking up to make some of my traditional fried rice breakfast, I am tired. but that still won't stop me from going to work, buying Christmas pressents, going with Courtney to get her lip pierced, and hopefully having a little mango sour celebration tonight for Jason who is finishing his PSU (like the SAT's)!
I have been hanging out with a new friend named Sebastian who I met a few weeks ago. It's funny we haven't known each other for long, but find each other really confortable and enjoy spending time together, so we do. In fact, I ahve spent more time with him in the last week than any of my other friends, combined. To make things interesting, he is a palestinian chileno. And I am the jewish gringa. These things make me smile.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

and just one gringa was left

I came to this country alone. I lived here alone for 6 months before I even saw gringa from home. But for the last 9 months I have shared my life with Ashlee, and Rachel and Danielle, and Nathan, and Rocky, and of course Courtney (what? forget you Courtz? never! Idiot!) But this week has beenthe week of goodbyes. I just said good bye to Nathan who is heading up to Peru for a while. Courtney came over and basially had a "lets drink pisco and talk about boys" night.. good stuff. And Ashlee left on Thursday. It's weird, but because Ashlee is coming back in a few months, i am not really upset. I mean, it was definitly weird to come back to the house and have my roommate Paula telling me that NOW I am going to have to speak Spanish. Bueno. It is just a vacation. I am leaving on friday, and when I get back from traveling with my mommy and Nigel, I have about amonth before the gringas return... this time both Ashlee and Danielle... YEAH!
Anyways, it was weirtd feeling to be alone. It wasn't as sad as I thought it would be, it was just quiet. This next week will be filled with so many activities that I am felling tired already... or many that was the staying up till 4am last night. Anyways, I should go... I will try to keep the blogs up during the next few weeks, but I am not sure I can with all the traveling.
Mucho cariño a todos!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thanksgiving fotos and others

Aunt Sandy, these are for you!
(Ashlee's aunt Sandy)





























And now some bowling fotos:






Mely realizes that she is loosing the game, the bet, and therefore loosing the right to Edward Swan.. jeje!






And of course, Starbucks!


And finally.. the Gays, the Jews, and the Canutos (Jesus Freaks)!



Maturity

My prayer life sucks. Basically I have commited to sitting out on my balcony for the last 15-20 minutes of every night and praying. And it has felt so uncomfortable, like talking to an old friend for the first time after years of not seeing them. I don't know what to say to God. I don't know how to praise Him. I look at the stars, and I feel awe, but not connected to this Creator I have come to admire, serve, and love. So I pray anyways and ask for forgiveness for my cold heart. I started this practice a little over a week ago, and each night, my talks with God become more natural, my praise more heart felt. And I have seen the effects of this choice in other areas. God speaks (or I listen to Him) more during the day.
I have been facing some interesting questions recently about my future. And in answering my questions, I know what my answer would have been a few years ago. And although they are the first answers that come to mind, I find myself answering differently, and these answers seem to be marked by a maturity that I don't have yet. But maybe I am in the process of growing. I am learning what it means to serve the Lord. What it means to know yourself, to know your limitations, to know your gifts, and to allow the Lord to work through them. To submit yourself to the Holy Spirit. To see an opportunity and before rushing into it, to consider well the implications of that decision. To consciously invest in your gifts and talents, and to take risks. To love life, and not run away from what it calls you to do.
I was talking to my friend Jason about some decisions and he made a comment about how we gringas are always changing our lives. Like one year we say we will live in the US, and the next year in Chile, and then a few months later in Cambodia. And it's true, kinda. There are so many people my age who are taking advantage of our great placement in life. We have the means and opportunities to travel. We have the desire to see the world, to know other people, other cultures. And I have been a part of that. And I have helped others be a part of that.
And yet, I find myself with the opportunity (and a little restlessness in my heart) to move on. Not to let myself get too comfortable in my life here in Chile. Maybe Brazil (with you, Aviva). Or maybe Africa. Who knows where I could go. And I could find an excuse to go there. But I think God might be calling me to grow up. To just do something. Don't get me wrong, I am SO glad I took the risk of coming out here all on my own. I am glad God called me out here to Chile. But before I continue my "out on the open road" youthful dreams, I am starting to think that God might want to just use me where I am. I'm still not sure what all this means. But I can feel God pulling me into something new. Something old actually. It almost feels like He is telling me to put away those childish things, and to focus on Him.
One of the things that I am thinking about it seminary. Yep, I'll definitly back into my 3 month cycle of wanting to be in seminary. What would I study? It reminds me of my desire for a tattoo. I want one, I know that, but I can't decide what drawing I would want. And I can't get one, until I am sure that I want that drawing. Same with seminary. I am pretty sure that I will go. But I can't go, I can't even apply until I know what I want to study. And then I hit the big question... what type of ministry do I want to do. After thinking and praying (woohoo! prayer rocks!) I have realized more of less where I want to work: in Urban Missions with a focus on Women's Discipleship. Yeah. Or at least for this week, that is where I am.

P.S. Kallie, you rock my world. I feel you babe!

Monday, December 11, 2006

long time no type

So the last week has been one of many things. Some of the things have been good, some bad, many of them are just a part of life. On friday we (Ashlee and I) went to Viña to visit some friends. We stayed with our friend Silvia who lives in a sweet house on the hill in Viña. From her house you can see downtown Viña and the beach crowded with people. And it was at her house that we had an asado (BBQ) which consisted of meat, beer, diet coke, and more meat. There were about 10 of us there. Good times. At the end of the night we found ourselves sitting around the table with the last of the meat and beer, singing songs. Any song would do: Christmas songs, Elton John, Damien Rice, Backstreet boys, and of course Disney classics. The truth is, to see a group of 4 boys singing "A whole new world" was quite entertaining.
The next day Ashlee and I returned to Santiago and threw a goodbye party for Ashlee. It was an ice cream/dance party. Around 2am (which is early for Chilenos) the administration of our building knocked on our door to tell us that we were being too loud. Oops!
Sunday was a FULL day. Church in the morning (well, noon to be exact). Lunch at the home of some of our friends. Pinochet (see the blog from last week) died and Santiago turned into chaos. After lunch we went bowling with a bunch of kids from the youth group. Then, after hanging out in the mall food court, we went to another church service at another church. And then to another food court for dinner. Yep. A lot of church and alot of food courts. But it was in general a good day.
Sorry I haven't written more about Pinochet's death, but as much as it is a HUGE deal here, it hasn't seemed to affect my life personally. Maybe if I have time tomorrow I will post on it... but knowing how this week is looking, I think not.
Bueno, chau, chau, for now!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006



So I bought some roses today because they made me happy. There is nothing in the world like some beautiful roses...

Bonnie Raitt

I am at work and listening to a good old friend of mine.. Bonnie Raitt. I am not sure how old I was when I first heard her singing, but her songs have always sung themselves straight into my heart. As much as I am a pop kinda girl, I have a part of me that will always turn to blues/folk when I need to truly feel those feelings of pain and love and anything in between.
Playing right now: I can't make you love me if you don't... ouch.

Thanks mom for introducing me to Bonnie and giving me a love for that grass roots kind of music.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Argghhh...

I was just browsing facebook and I found 3 more buddies who have been married. argghhhh... I give up!
How in the world am I only 23 and I feel so behind???

Pinochet

About 5 blocks from my house a man named Pinochet is lying in a hospital bed. He is just a man, a sinner who has lived his life far from the Lord and who is now dying and more than ever needs to repent and come to a saving knowledge of Jesus (thanks to Timo for pointing this out to me).
But this man is so much more than just a man for the people of Chile. He was their general. He bascially led the country out of communism and economical depression by killing anyone who challenged him. And he killed thousands of people. Some people hate him with such fury that to this day they demonstrate their hatred with street fires and violence. Others love him and affectionately call him "mi general" and are now planted outside the hospital where he lays on his deathbed, waving flags and cheering for him. If he dies... wow, I have no idea what to expect.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Some news from the heart

So I had a conversation with one of my dear friends last night (you know who you are!) about how difficult it is to be single, especially during the holidays. It seems like everytime I login to facebook, I find wedding pictures of another buddy from university who has tied the knot. Every Valentine's Day I swear that the next year, just one more year, and I will have a real valentine. And every year, I am left trying to find excuses for not having a real valentine.
Now I am being really honest here and if you just happened to stumble upon this blog and you don't actually know me, then you can stop reading. But the name of my blog is heart of lippy, and I being the extremely emotional, "let's figure out what is going on in our hearts" type of girl, I want to really share with you guys what is going on in my heart.
For the last 23 years I have wanted to get married. Seriously, my mom can vouch for me. It probably started in the womb. Now when people discover this fact about me, they usually react by telling me not to rush into anything and not to marry just anyone, but to be sure that he is a Christian. And they often seem worried that I am going to run off with the first guy who comes my way. Okay...
There is another part of me that is just as vital a part of my desire. I have a list of non-negotiables. I wrote out the list about 3 years ago when an older woman told me to think about those things I want in a man that are non- negotiable (I have now patened that term and plan on writing the next Purpose Driven Life based around this idea). Basically, this is a list of 5 things that I know are necessary in order for me to marry someone. I REFUSE to be with someone who does not have these qualities. (and no, dark curly hair and a big nose are not included in the list, but they do help the guy's chances!) The funny thing is that when I share this list with others, they often tell me that my expectations are too high. That I expect too much. That I won't find a guy like that and that I should just "let love find me". So while people are all worried that I am going to run off with the first guy to come along, they are also worried that I won't ever find that ONE guy who fits my list.
Well, the last few months I have been learning a lot about love and what it means to like someone and to not like someone and to start a relationship, and to break up, all of has been before my eyes these last few months.
And I have come to two conclusions.
1.) being in love, being known, knowing someone, being loved, and loving someone are deep desires in the hearts of bascially every girl I have ever met (and I bet most boys feel it too)
2.) my non-negotiables are NOT too high. This has been so confirmed in the last few months. People think that no guy will have all my non-negotiables, but that is a lie. God has proved to me that has created a guy who fits my non-negotiables and that He can do it again. I have recently tried (kinda) to lower my expectations, and I realized very quickly that lowering my expectations is a BIG mistake. God is in the process of making me more like His Son Jesus Christ. That I might serve and love and preach His good news of salvation. And in that manner, I am being made a godly woman. How should I not then save my heart for a godly man.
That being said, I am reminded every time I get all mopey about being alone, that God has promised to be good to me. That He has promised to bring all that I need to live a godly life. That He will provide everything in my life, including His providing fulfilment of that need to be loved and to love. The holiday season that is coming up has been traditionally one of the hardest times of my year. To be honest, I hate Christmas. Not that I hate the remembering that Jesus was born. Or that I hate the commericalism of it all (which I do, but that's not the point I am making). But I hate that I have this idea of what Christmas should look like. And it never does. Christmas time is always filled with couples holding hands and kissing under mistletoe, and all that crap. Many of my friends have gotten married in the last year and are celebrating their first Christmas together... and that is really awesome. But I guess for all those of us who don't have that yet and are feeling alone, I am there with you. And let us hold onto those promises that God gave us as His children, we have a heavenly Father who loves us and will provide everything we need. Including love.
God bless.

Friday, December 01, 2006

a new friend

I made a new friend yesterday. Although this was the 3rd or 4th time I had met him, we had never really talked before yesterday. His name is Daniel and he is from England and is married to a girl from Mexico and they are missonaries in Viña del Mar with their little baby boy. So Daniel was in Santiago yesterday and came by CEP (the seminary I work at) and we started talking. One of his first questions for me was, "Have you ever heard of a guy named Mark Driscoll?". And I laughed and nodded my head explaining listen to his sermons quite often. (some of you may remember a blog I posted about that pastor a few weeks back). It was at that point that I noticed that Daniel was carrying three books with him. They were a sure sign that Daniel and i would be friends.
1.) Confession of a Reformission Rev. by Mark Driscoll
2.)The story we find ourselves in. by Brian McLaren (I have also dedicated a post to him in the past)
and
3.) Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church. By D. A. Carson who is one of the leading Reformed theologians and this is his response to the Emergent church.

So after 30 minutes of talking about these authors and others, Daniel had to leave and I really had to get to work. But we decided that we would try to meet up later to continue our conversation. Daniel was going to be meeting up with James (one of the most brillant guys I know down here who happens to know personally some of my favorite theologians like Grudem and Frame). And then Sam was invited (no theological conversation would be complete without him).
They came over around 8:30 and we had tea and cookies (or according to the Brits we ate biscuits). And then we just talked. I showed off my Edersheim book and James showed us some hilarious websites. In fact, really, you should see them. If you have any idea what calvinism is, ,or the emergent church you will find that these websites make you laugh for hours!
http://purgatorio1.com/?p=105
http://purgatorio1.com/?p=128

Now, if you go to these sites and don't understand a word of what it says and none of the "jokes" seem funny, YOU ARE NORMAL. But if you go to these sites and find yourself naming the names adn recognizing the pictures, then you are not normal (and your name is probably Sam, Kallie, or Rachel)

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

By the way...

Guess who finally got her work visa and is officially legal????
Por fin!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My future son-in-law


Here he is, my beloved Eduardo... my future son-in-law. And yes, I believe in arranged marriages and I do NOT care if my daughter has found some other love. I refuse to let this one go!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CHUBS!

So around 11 years ago, I made a friend named Annalisa Schappert who has remained such a HUGE part of my life (even though our friendship consists of two Starbucks runs a year) since then. She is one of the most amazing people I know. She has been the one that I have giggling fits with, and yet she has also seen me in my darkest hours. I could not ask for a more amazing sister in Christ! It is amazing to me that God teaches her and I similar lessons in life even though we live such seperate and distinct lives. And while alot of my friends from Jr. High have left my life forever, I am so confident that no matter how far away in the world we are, Chubs and I will be friends forever.
So Annalisa has left for Thailand and she has joined the dark world of blogging.
Take a minute and check out her blog...
annalisa.schappert.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ashlee's parents

So Ashlee's parents have come out to Chile for the week and I have to admit that I feel so blessed to have them here (and not just because they brought some peanut buttercups with my name on them!). But really, I ahve known them for over 4 years and although I haven't spent huge amounts of time with them, I have seen enough to know that they are such a godly couple that I admire. They arrived on Saturday. Sunday we went to church and then out to lunch. Monday they went to school with Ashlee. Tuesday was Thanksgiving in our house (I know, it's supposed to be Thursday, but we like to do things differently down here). I will write a seperate blog about that dinner that includes photos. Yesterday I got to spend the afternoon with them. Mark, Mary Jo and I spent the day walking around Bellas Artes (including a tour of the museum) and then did some gift shopping. It was really nice to spend this time with a couple that I have admired for so long, and yet barely know from personal experience. Today they have left for Viña and Valpo, but are returning in time for Salsa dancing...

Good bye Ali!

So this blog is coming a bit late, but I just wanted to say goodbye to a sweet heart that has been a huge part of my life here in Chile. I met Alison in March and for the last 9 months she has been like an adopted roommate. She is the New Yorker who says words like "lush" and the Jew who emlightened us with ehr perspective on the world. And now she has gone to return to New York.. :( Ali, I will miss you horribly and I expect some really long and descriptive emails, like the kind that help me get over my phobia... jeje
For the last few months she has lived in a house with a bunch of interesting characters including: the "Italian", the "Maricons" (that is a very vulgar way of saying a gay guy, ,but it was always said with affection), and more recently "Frenchie". Anyways, i have had the chance to hangout with these guys recently, particularly the gay guys and we have really hit it off. That area of town that I described earlier (Bellas Artes) is the gay area of Santiago and I am excited to have some friends who frequent that area. In fact the favorite coffee shop of these two boys is on the same block as my office! So yeah, Alison's goodbye party consisted of a taco dinner followed by dancing. Originally the idea was to go out, but the house that Ali lived in was also a dance studio, one of the gay guys teaches dance. So instead of leaving for a club, we put our glasses of wine down for a minute, turned on the black light in the dance studio, put on some old school Madonna, and let our hearts dance the night away. It was probably one of my favorite nights here in Chile.
For tonight: salsa class and maybe some wine... :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

life

This entry won't be as deep as the title implies. I just mean to say that life is what life is. It goes and goes and in all honesty, is fairly quick and short. Fridays always come and I am shocked that a whole week has gone by. This week was filled with stuff just like any other week. Work, classes, some babysitting, Bible study, etc etc. I have become used to the rhythm of the city. I was walking to work on Tuesday and I noticed it. I was a part of this huge thing called the city. Suddenly (how dramatic I am!) I could see my life being filmed as if it were the story of a young girl making it in the city. Last friday i was at a girl's house for her birthday party and from her garden there was a beautiful view of Santiago. Since it was at night the whole skyline was full of lights, different colors and brightness, together giving a picture of Santiago at night. And I was talking to a friend (you know who you are!) about how much I love the city. And yet recently I have been saying that next year (like Dec. 2007) I am moving to Viña del mar. It too is a city with lots of lights and people and life. But it is a city with a beach...
But then, on tuesday I was walking through a part of Santiago that I haven't really experienced before, even though I work there. Bellas artes. It is called Bellas artes because the museum Bellas Artes (meaning beautiful art) is there. So I walked home instead of taking the metro and as I walked through this part of town, i fell in love with it. I have always known that I would. Just from the small part of it that I had seen, I knew this part of town would capture my heart. The street I ambled down on Tuesday is a cobblestone street with small cafes and art galleries lined upon it. Flowers hang off the banconies of the apartments above the street and people sit and enjoy the sun as jazz music plays in the background. It has that San Francisco/ Euro feel to it. And yet, it is in Chile, my little South American country. Anyways, life goes like that. It is all quite fast and hurried, but in those moments that I take the time to look and breathe and see what God has created and blessed us with, than I truly feel alive.
May the God who created all things beautiful, open your eyes to His wonderful creation today.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Saturday

So I took advantage of the beautiful sunny day on saturday adn did some Bible study while I laid out on my terraza and drank a cold beer. Then, I met up with Sam and Jason to go to a goodbye party for the Swans who will be returning to Aussie land for 6 months. On the way there, Sam asked me when we were going to go study at Moore College. I dodged the question. Then after arriving at the Swans home, Sally Swan shoved a book on Sydney and asked when I was going to give in and move there to study. Bueno, I guess my friends have decided my future. No, don't worry Grandma, I am not moving out to Aussieland anytime soon. Chile is far enough.

Here are the little Swans looking like angels (well, the one in the middle Edward really is an angel)

Goodbye Swans! You guys have been such a blessing in my life and I will miss you horribly the next 6 months!

Friday night

So friday night we (meaning the normal group of us from youth group) went to a birthday party of a girl named Peggy who happened to be the first Anglicana I ever met, and one of the first Christians I met in Chile. I seriously felt like it was the VIP of the young Anglican community (and Sam, you can stop laughing). Anyways it was actually really fun and I got to see some people I hadn't seen since Congreso and i I got to meet some really sweet people. I met some girls who are gringa and here becuase their parents are with Navigators here (Navigators is one of my favorite campus ministries). Anyways, it was really nice to hang out with people my age who love God.
And I learned that although alcohol used to help me speak Spanish, no mas. Now, after a few drinks I loose my ability to speak teh langauge. Good, I say, motivation not to over drink. :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

community

My first three months in Santiago I went to a PCA church (I came from a PCA- Presbyterian Church of America church in California). It was gringo, bascially everyone who goes there is an ex-pat from middle class white America. I only spent three months there and then realized that I didn't really belong there. If I was going to truly live in Chile, why would I spend all my time with other Gringos. So I left and started going to my Anglican church. But in that short time I saw learned something that no other church experiencee has shown me. Community. I have never seen a church that so well lived out the call to be a community, a family. After church every sunday, about 30 of the church members go out to lunch together. It is awesome. The church, the family, goes to teh food court of a local mall and everyone sits around a bunch of tables eating and talking and sharing their lives with each other. I was so impressed with this and that feeling of community will stick with me forever.
Well, I was talking to a girl who still goes there and we were commenting on how amazing the church has the community feeling down. And then it hit me, they ARE different than their culture. they are a culture within a culture. I have heard that the church is suppoed to be a different (although in some ways similar) culture within the larger culture. I am not saying that we shouldn't watch tv, or listen to secualr music, or have non Christian friends. But within every culture there are various values and ideals, and the Church is called to be different in so many ways. We called to stand out in our culture. Oncee again I want to draw your attention to the gringo church. They ARE different. They stand out. And although many of them work with Chileans and they all live in the country, their common bond of being gringo is stronger than anything else. Now to tell you the truth I don't actually like how secluded they seem from the people they live around. But a good lesson can still be learned from them. We are called to live as Christian in whatever culture we lie in. That means that at times we won't match our friends. At times they might think we are weird (all my friends think that of me, Christian or not!). We are going to have to make decisions based upon what we know about Christ and not what society tells us. But some encouragement... I have found that people respect you more when you really live out what you believe. Really, my friends who are not believers, they at least appreciate that I am real with what I believe. So let us go forth, living out the grace that we have in our lives.
Amen

a growing time

This last week has been one of thoughts and misunderstandngs and hopes and failures... between me and God. I don't know why or why it started, but by the time wednesday night came I was mildly upset and pretty confused. I have been listening to the sermons of Francis Chan (those of you who know him are all excited now!) and I really like what he says. He always seems to remind me that my first love is Christ and that anything I give up for Christ is nothing compared to the riches I gain in Him. Bueno... but then I was thinking about it and how much I love the systematic and reformed hardcore "dead in your sins" preaching. And I had a problem mixing the two in my mind. So what do I do? I call Jason and basically force him to let me talk it out with him (he has been waiting for a good theological convo for some time now!) and our talk really helped. I realized a lot about my relationship with God. And I began to ask some questions about what my relationship should look like. SO then I talked to Michael Charles (one of the professors here from Moore Theological Seminary who I respect a TON). And with Michael, even more questions were asked. And i was left pondering things like "what is the Gospel" and what am I supposed to preach to others, and what am I supposed to preach to myself everyday (read some John Piper or Jerry Bridges if you are wondering why we are to preach to ourselves everyday).
So this morning I was supposed to meet a guy at new York Bagels. But he never showed up. And my classes were cancelled. So I bascially sat in NYB and wrote out my thoughts. I know it is a process, and that God is teaching me about what the Gospel is. But even with all the confusion, I still am left extremely joyful. I serve a God who is bigger than I can understand. He is mightier than I could ever imagine. And He has bestowed more grace and love on me than I could ever hope for.
Thank you Lord for your grace today and always.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Our grupo


Here is a pic of our little group of friends. This was taken on our way home after going out one last time for drinks before Rachie left.

Monday, November 06, 2006

another Monday

so a lot of people complain that they hate Mondays since it means the begining of another work week... but as I explained in last weeks blog, I actually like Mondays because I have a few hours of freedom. So once again I decided to spend my freedom on food. I went to the pick up truck across the street from my apartment that sells fresh fruit and veggies and I bought chirimoya and oranges for some yummy chirimoya alegre. And then i picked up some wine (Misiones dee Rengo- check it if Trader Joes carries it because it is awesome!). And as I made myself chirimoya alegre and a sandwich for lunch, i listened to Las Orishas (a cuban hiphop type of band), and I thought about how much I love this country. I really just enjoy my life here.
It is gringo enough that I can live without any HUGE culture shocks or even really changing much of my life (see my last blog for the other side of the same coin) but it still has that latino flavor to it. Now the only question in what to do next year.


by the way.. here is the collage of a friend from Congreso. If you look carfully you will see me being kissed by two adorable boys!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

the good things I have learned

I was thinking in the mirco (bus) on my way home from work tonight as I watched the sunset over the pollutioned hills... and I thought, I have learned so much from living here. I almost think it is like a culture shock. They say that there are two common times to get a culture shock when living in a new country: the first month and about 9 months into your stay. Well I have now completed 14 months here in Chile. I don't like to describe what I am feeling as shock, since that implies a negative experience. And in all honesty, nothing that I am experiencing is new information to me. But I am just now seeing how these cultural differences effect my life personally. And that is where I think the shocking part comes in.
I will give two examples:
1) The fact that many people my age date not because they are really commited to that person (and please, chilenos, don't try to argue with me, I am just comparing the system of thought to that in the US). Basically in the US, you might go on a date with someone, but you don't really date unless you want to be with that person. And here in CHile, (AND UNDERSTAND THAT I AM NOT SAYING THAT THIS IS WRONG OR RIGHT) but they date here more jsut because everyone is dating someone. Really, I was shocked to find out from some of my married or seriously dating friends that they were both dating someone else when they met and then they broke up sometime after and started dating. Now I know this happens in the states, but jsut trust me that there is a different mentality here toward dating. Now this comes into play not in my own dating life (no chileno prince come to sweep me off my feet yet!) but in the way I give cousel to friends. And I have been realizing that I need to change my view on dating. I need to aculturate my thoughts. Hard.
2)Affection. For those of you who don't know me very well (or for those of you who do, but haven't heard about this part of my life) I will let you in a little personal Becka info here. I am a very touchy person. I guess I am what they call regalona here which means touchy and loving. But when I was 16 I got involved with a guy (nothing too serious, but to my 16 year old mind it was serious). But basically this guy was very touchy feely and he scared me. I won't go into details, but my relationship him was not good for my affection and since then I have a hard time with affection and guys. Well, the point of this little story is to say that being here in Chile where it is rude not to kiss someone on teh cheek when you meet them, and where generally the people are just very open with their affection, it has been good. I love being affectionate and I can feel God healing me and teaching me to love people with affection without being scared.
So I have been learning a lot. I have seen God changing my heart and teaching me a lot. I also see how my training in intercultural communication has helped me approach culture very slow to judge as bad or good. Just different.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kunstmann

(I realize that my updating has been fairly lacking the last few weeks and I apologize for those of you who find some entertainment in my blogs, even if that entertainment is just the fun of looking for spelling mistakes!)

I love Mondays. I have work in the morning and then a 3 hour break where I can just relax and enjoy the day before going to my other job. So yesterday I went grocery shopping and went home and made the most delicous lunch: veggie omelette and guacamole on whole wheat toast. And to make the lunch even more scrumptous I poured myself a nice Kunstmann HoneyAle beer. For those of you who have not tried this delicious treat, you have not lived. It is like iced tea. So I sat outside on my teraza and enjoyed the sunshine (we are finally moving out of winter and into spring weather!) and the Buena Vista Social Club playing the background... and I was blessed.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

gosh, that was a bad day!

So the last week and a half has been probably some of the most stressful and hurtful times in my stay here so far in Chile. A lot of things happened and I can't go too much into the details but I can tell you what I have learned. I have seen first hand just how much our relationships (and not just romantic ones) affect our lives. When things happen in the lives of my friends, the closer they are to me, ,the more their situations affect my life. Now I know I am sounding egotistical and self centered, focusing on MY life and not theirs, but it is true. I am very much affected by the pain of those around me. Some of my friends have been experiencing really hard times, and all I can do is watch and listen to them and pray. I cannot change their situation. And I have felt in these last weeks more helplessness, confusion, anger, frustration, all of those emotions that are dealable in small doses, but difficult all at once.
Anyways, just pray for me and my friends during this time... we really appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Timo
Sam and Jason
Rach and Titi
Jason and Nate
Jason and Michael Charles
We were so singing Damien Rice

Sam and Fern's Party

Here are some fotos from Sam and Fern's birthday party.

The birthday siblings!



Dani and I


Mely is such a hot pool player


girls, girls, girls


Sam behind the bar

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Congreso


Here we are... oh gash!


So as stated in my last blog, I particiapted in a country wide youth retreat called Congreso this past weekend. And I ahve to admit that it went really well. I wasn't expecting to meet very many people but I was really hoping that the 15 of us from my church would grow closer. And God was so faithful to surpass any expectations. I not only got to really spend some quality time with my youth group, but I also met so many amazingly sweet christians from all over the country.
Before I go on I ahve to say that I LOVE the kids in our youth group. We have got to be the biggest nerds possible.In fact, the guy who taught the Bible class that I took during the retreat (on 2 Tim) said this exact thing. He was comment on how fome (boring) his youth group is because they just stand around while all the other churches jump around during worship... and then he commented that the only more fome church than his, was Providencia (thats mine) because we don't even just stand there while the worship service is blasting away, but we are off sitting on the side of the wall, READING! I am sure I contributed to that image. But really our youth group is something very special. Here are some examples:
1.) we work off of dares like we are 14 year old boys. Nathan went around hugging random guys and I actually proposed maarriage to a stranger (who is now scarred for life)
2.) We are completely comfortable dancing in our own little world. While the rest of the people are being cool and dancing well, we are practicing "the grocery cart", "the hairwash", and other classic dances from the 5th grade
3.) We were half gringo which led to the question of what country our church is from
4.) We all love each other in a way that can only come from Christ

I just felt really blessed to be a part of this congreso and to go to it with many of my best friends. Pictures will come soon.. and maybe a few more stories about Congreso...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Some smiles for the day...

Weekend is coming!

So all my life (well, starting at the age of 9) I have been so blessed to be a part of the Christian camping experience. First as a little camper and then a part of the teen camping, and finally I was actually able to work at a camp for a few years. Winter camp, summer camp, weekend retreats, and adventure camp. And this weekend I will experience my first Chileno Camp. My church is a part of the Anglican community here in Chile and for one weekend a year all the youth groups from Anglican churches go to a Congreso. Basically the weekend will be filled with temas (talks) and tons of fellowship with young Christians from all over the country. I am so excited to see how this works.
I have just been thinking about how God is good. Someone was asking me about how I ended up down here and as I was telling her my story (and placing all the blame of you Kallie!) I realized what a random story it is. And tuesday night as our Gringa girls bible study was sitting in Burger KIng reading and talking about the scriptures I just felt blessed. Exactly a year ago I was sitting on my bed on sunday mornings cryingout to God. I was begging Him not to make me go to church. I was so lonely for fellowship. I had a "family" here, but I needed fellowship. And I had in my mind that God might provide someone who at least I could talk to about God, not that I expected God to provide great fellowship, but just someone. And now a year later I relfected upon those expectations as I sat in Burger King with some of my best friends and we worked through a passage of the bible, talking about its meaning and implications for our lives. And I thought about the friends God has blessed me with here in CHile. And I was hit with the thought that my situation last year is so completely opposite of my situation this year, that no one and nothing can get the credit for it outside of God. I may be social and outgoing, but there is no way i could have found the people God brought into my life. Even my church is a miracle. I was looking for a church, and I had heard about an Anglican church about 45 mins away from my house. And as I was looking up directions to the church, I noticed that there was another Anglican church that was only a 5 minute walk away. And that closer Anglican church is EXACTLY where I am supposed to be. That church has led to friends, to ministry opportunities, even to my job. As much as I think that I am here making choices, deciding what my next step will be, really I cannot look back on the last year and not see that every step was directed by God.
And now I am looking at next year. What will I do? WIll I teach English to kids? Will I teach in an institute? Will I teach in a public school? Will I teach at the Christian school? Will I work in a more administrative job? Will I work for a tourist agency? WHO KNOWS!!! Well, even though my natural tendency is to stress out, I know that my plans are already made. My God knows my plans and He has never failed to lead me. And no matter how grand I imagine my future, His plan is ultimately grander. Sweet.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mark Driscoll

So I have become quite addicted to podcast sermons by Mark Driscoll. For those of you who need a little more explaination ( i didn't know what a podcast was a week ago)... I basically can listen to a bunch of sermons from an amazing pastor named Mark Driscoll, and all I have to do it attach my ipod (its like a walkman) to the computer. So for my three hours in the bus, I have moved away from reading since at night there isn't enough light and I found it hard to concentrate during the day. So each day I am downloading a different sermon. I have taken advantage of Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, and Tony Campolo. Soon to come... Pastor Terry (thanks dad for the links!) and John Piper. Good Stuff!!!!
So yeah, Mark Driscoll... this guy is hard core. I mean, don't listen to his sermons if you don't like hard theology. He basically says what he believes to be true and steps on any toes in the way. In one sermon of his he says (and I quote), "We ALL suck" of course in reference to our ability to save ourselves from hell. whoa! So yeah, I am listening to the message series about spiritual gifts and I am not sure that I agree with everything the man says, but it at least gets me thinking. And as I was listening to this message he asked us to ask ourselves what we are passionate about, and that might help us figure out where we are gifted (he of course added that we might really like something but be horrible at it- that is NOT our gift). So anyways... I couldn't put my finger on what I am passionate about. What do I love to do? To talk (stop nodding your head dad!), to encourage others, to talk to other Christian girls. But then I remembered (for those of you who have been a reader of this blog for a long time) that I used to really feel called to help those who are forgotten by the world. So I realized in my reflection, that I tend to roller coaster between these things. Hard core social action, and hard core discipleship.

What are your passions?
What makes you excited?
What makes you feel most alive?

I truly believe that we are created with care, that God formed us for a purpose. That He desires for us to realize our purpose. And that purpose can be shadowed outside of Him, but can never truly be fulfilled unless we are in Him. It is my prayer that I would never sell myself short, that I will always serve God to teh best of my ability. Whatever that means.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Some vacation fotos... part 1

Here are some fotos from vacation times in the south of Chile (Ariel, these are for you!) Keep in mind when you look at them that they are put in backwards order from the real timeline... hope you enjoy!
Bariloche is probably one of my favorite spots down here... just look at it!
Ashlee and I are ready for our horseback ride through the snow covered mountains
Here is Nick the Aussie, check out that hair!
It was super cold, but we managed alright

Rachie sporting our ghetto umbrellas as we hike up the mud hill in the rain.. at least the yellow flowers were gorgeous!
In Chiloe.. continuing my morbid obsession with cemeteries
The houses in Chiloe


Yuummmyyyy
At teh kunstmann factory, I was greeted and kissed on the head by Mr. Kunstmann himself
Are we at a beer factory, or Disneyland? Notice the little kids clothing marketed by this place.. incredible!
This place was too much fun!
ahhh... good ol' Kunstmann beer... Sam, just so you know, you were a big part of us going there! Ashlee and I would never have had our obsession with Kunstmann without you.

Some fotos from the trip... part 2

Alison and Rachel trying to explain to the very confused and alone (but pretty) Chilean woman that they just want to buy a vegetarian plate, NO CARNE! Que, huhh? Por que? no entiendo!
My beautiful Rachie!

Rachie and I in the town called Niebla "cloudy"
I love this country!
Beautiful Valdivia!
In Valdivia the sealions just chill on the sidewalk with the people.. this is so NOT seaworld!
The girls in Valdivia, how cute!
Pucon, our version of Lake Tahoe
Silvia and I in the "Rincon de Renca"
Susie and I at the Preschool in Renca! SHe is the best cook! And it is all made off a shoestring and from fresh food!