Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mormor





Last night, surrounded by her three children, my mormor (grandma) died. She has had cancer for a few years now and this last week she moved out to California where my mom lives to spend her last few days near to her children. Please pray for my mom and the rest of my family as we miss her. This would have to be the worst part of being so far away from home. All I want is to hug my mom, and the most I can do is call her.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

For those of you who don't know, on May 29th 1983 I was born to Dave Lipkowitz and Kimmen Sjolander at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco at 7:57 in the morning. Today is my 23rd birthday and I have to admit that if the year can be predicted at all by the birthday, this will be a great year. Right now it is only 7:30 in the morning and besides the great birthday hug from Ashlee this morning, there hasn't been too much happening today. But really my birthday started friday. As you all know from my previous blog, friday was a great day full for blessings (I consider those to be my presents from God!) After I wrote my blog on friday I went to Youth group at my church, as I do every friday. THis last week I have been praying about the guys at youth group. I really wanted the chance to hang out with them outside of church, but I wanted them to invite Ashlee and I, not the other way around. And friday night they did. Sam, one of the leaders asked me if I would want to hang out sometime outside of youth group and if he could call me to hang out saturday. So saturday night we met up and went to one of his friends' house. We played a game called Dudo which is a chilean dice game similar to poker. Sam and i were partners and got to talking. Seriously, you guys, I think i met a guy who might care more about theology than I do. Ashlee was making fun of me with the group because I sometimes do "theological equations" in my head when I am on the bus, and Sam told me that he does them too! So we talked about dispensationalism, the emergent church, in influence of Calvin's followers in the anglican church's formation, etc. etc... What a blessing to find someone who not only will listen to my rambles about theology and church history, but who can actually teach something in the subjects!
And the blessings continue...Earlier on Saturday Ashlee and I had the chance to go to a woman's retreat with our church. The group had age ranges from us younger adults to women who had to be in their late 80's. And we all sat around and had tea together. So sweet the fellowship of the body of Christ! Then on Sunday morning, Ashlee (who got it in her head that my birthday is a week long event!) took me out to breakfast at New York Bagels. So over lattes and bagels we talked and shared and laughed. I could not be more blessed to have her here with me! How many of my friends have actually seen me through so much of my growth as a person and even more so, as a Christian? (Chubs, of course you have seen bascially all of it!)
And then after church, which by the way was once again a great message about letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16), Ashlee and met up with two of our friends who have become our family here, Birgit and Allison, and we went out for Indian food. And boy oh boy was it delicious!!!
At the end of the day, I crawled into bed and spent some time just journaling, reflecting, reading the Bible, and praying. The perfect way to spend my last few hours of being 22 years old.
And now today... I will work basically all day, but after work the party begins... 8:30 Bravisimo Ice Cream Parlor, me and my friends.

Friday, May 26, 2006

what a blessed day

Sometimes I just feel so blessed and then as I think about that, I feel even more blessed just for feeling blessed. For example, today. After teaching at Louis Vuitton I headed over to ReƱca where I played with some adorable children. I then ran my little tucus over to the office of a man who is basically in the top 10 most imnportant people financially here in Chile. I am always a little nervous teaching him since he seems so important, but today as we were in class he asked me what I did during all my time on Micros (buses). I told him that I studied. When he asked what, I replied theology and pulled out the book I had been reading today on Reformation Church History. This of course triggered a conversation anout our beliefs. He being a stout Catholic explained his beliefs to me (practicing his speaking skills of course) and I in turn explained my beliefs (practicing his listening skills). So basically we talked about the Gospel for most of the class. Is there purgatory? Does the Pope have authority? How exactly do we get salvation? it was such a blessing!
So I left that class and walked home singing praise songs the whole way. I got home and there waiting for me was a package, a BIRTHDAY package from my one and only Chubs (for those of you who are wondering who Chubs is, she happens to be one of my best friends whom I met in 7th grade). She had asked me a week or two ago what I wanted from the states and I gave her a detailed list. I was hoping to get one or two of those things, but oh my gosh, she sent every single one and even more!!! I seriously sat in the middle of our living room in disbelief. I certainly don't deserve a friendship like this. I really don't. I am so blessed.
So then Ashlee and I went to Youth Group and I have to say that this group is easily my highlight of each week. Slowly but surely, I am getting to know the girls better and developing frienships with them. And the guys are also warming up. I think I might have scared them at first since I tend to be fairly social(stop laughing at that understatement of the year you guys!). But I think Ashlee and I are getting to the point with these guys that they can tease us like they do the rest of the group. One of the hard cultural restraints is that these kids have grown up together going to church together each week. So tonight was great, full of absolute silliness that you expect from a high school youth group and some good ol' bible talk. And THEN, afterwards, I ended up talking to one of the leaders who I have really wanted to talk to more, but never erally had the chance. We got on the subject of the DaVinci Code and before I knew it, we were talking about the Council of Nicea, Constantine, Gnosticism, and the history of the Anglican Church. WHAT A TREAT! This might sounds wierd, but I am honestly not used to talking to someone who knows or cares about those subjects as I do. So basically the night was a total treat, in fact the whole day was so great. And now we are getting ready to go out. Either kareoke or dancing, the verdict is stil out.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

family meeting

So right now I am trying to escape the "family meeting" that is taking place in our house. Basically this means that everyone is talking about the weekend plans, why our sink is always full of dirty dishes, and arguing about grammar(I am not joking!). It is still fairly early in the night (most Chileans go to sleep around 1 in the morning), but I think my bed time is coming up soon. SO I will sign off now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tim and Sally

So I have begun to babysit for a couple from Austrailia. The dad Tim is one of the profs at the seminary here and the mom Sally is seriously my newest role model. I basically arrive at their house around 8pm and their 3 kids are already asleep. They sneek out and I am left with a huge library full of books on systematic theology, old classics, Graeme Goldsworthy, and women's devotionals. It is a little piece of heaven for me. Total quiet. No distractions. And all the books I could ever hope for.
Last week I read some of Berkhof's systematic theology and a book in feminine christianity, and tonight I covered subjects as far in range as homosexuality, the emergent church, the Churches response to the DaVinci Code, and worship. In any case, I am once again feeling blessed. I am blessed that God gave me the time and ability to bless this couple with babysitting (no charge) and on top of that, i get to spend those two and a half hours every wednesday night in my own little sanctuary. He is so good to me!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

a short one

Sorry, but this one won't be too interesting or exciting. Just an update. Ashlee is now working full time at the school and I have a few more hour that bring me up to 22 hours of work, 37 if you count the travel time. I am liking my job and in all honesty, although I miss my almost free schedule, I know that this fuller schedule will make me more productive with my free time. My birthday is coming up this weekend so we are making all the plans and all. So far here are the plans:
Sunday night family dinner at a new Indian food place that just opened
Monday night ice cream party (everyone invited) at Bravisimo, which is like a clown/party/cheesy baskin robins type of place
Friday (June 2) dance party at our apartment. This is actually a joint a party for my housemate Paula and I, so who knows what will happen...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

my desire to wait, once more renewed

So it is 3:30 in the morning and I just got home. I was set up on a blind date by my friend who is worried about my "lack of dating". Well this one didn't encourage me to try harder. First of all, I don't social date. Meaning I don't go out on dates just for the sake of going out on dates. When I go out on a date, it is because I like the guy and I think there is a possibilty of something happening. So when my friend told me that she had set me up on a blind date with one of her students, I was a little hesitant. She told me to relax and just enjoy the fact that I am single (she is not) and to let the guys spoil me. So this guy called me and I told him that I have church until 10 on fridays, but afterwards we could do something. So he called me tonight at 10 and asked if I could come to his part of town (the first no-no). I asked him how I was going to get home afterwards since most public transportation stops at midnight or so. He said he would accompany me to my apartment by taxi. Okay. After 30 minutes in the subway, I arrive in his part of town and we find each other. Not that I was expecting someone in high school, , but he seemed a bit old for me so when the chancee arose, I asked him how old he is. He is 34! Then the whole girlfriend issue came up. Oh yes people. A girlfriend. It turns out that when my friend asked if he had a girlfriend he said no because his girlfriend works with him and it is against company policy. So my friend set me up with a guy who has a girlfriend. To make it worse, the girlfriend has no idea that we went out tonight. Not that anything happened between us, because believe me it didn't, but I still feel like I was encouraging his infidelity to her! Of course he made me swear not to tell my friend about his girlfriend because he is worried that she will tell his managers. Okay, so the whole way there I was thinking to myself what my manager had said about letting him spoil me. Okay. So tell me why as we are standing in line to buy the tickets to the movie, he mentions that we are doing this "american" style- meaning we each pay our own part!!!At least he let me pick the movie so we saw DiVinci Code, which I choose becuase i know that my dad is watching it tomorrow and I thought it would be cool to talk to him about it (this was teh highlight of the night). So we stand in line to get into the theater and I swear I am not boring company. But I could think of nothing to talk to his guy about. He lives with his parents, doesn't really care for his job but is planning on staying there, and somehow thinks that Anglicans Presbyterians and Catholics are the same thing (I am not asking for comments about the universality of the church, i just mean to say that he was obviously not up for a theological debate). The guys standing in the line in front of us were probably about 18 years old and I just remember thinking about how much fun it would be to be with them instead of my "date". So we get into the theater and i was so happy to see the movie start. That gave us an excuse for the horrible awkward silence that we had been sitting in for so long. half way through the movie, i look over to him and he was SLEEPING!!! Ahhh!!!
Okay, i won't go into anymore details since you are probably getting the picture by now. But basically this is all to say that the night wasn't some horrible night of pure pain, but it definitly reminded me of why I don't date just anyone and why I really just would rather wait for the right guy. The part that sucks is that I can't tell my friend everything about the date and really I don't want to see like the night was horrible, but I am definitly not doing this whole blind date thing again... at least not for a while!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

a new friend

So I got a random call a few days ago from a girl who had heard that I knew of some ministry opportunities in Santiago. SO I invited her over for some tea and we talked. As we were talking, it came out that she went to a small Christian liberal arts college in Philly. She said the college was very missions oriented and concerned about social issues. i asked her if she had heard of a guy from Philly named Shane Clairborne (he wrote the book Irresistable revolution that my friends and I are so crazy about). She smiled and replied thatshe knows him! Like they were in the same group of friends! I almost died! I told Rachel, she almost died too. i told Ashlee when she got home that night, and she literally started screaming. I was worried that the neighbors might think something was wrong with all the screaming in teh apartment. But no cops were called. anyways, the point is that this girl, Claire is now our new best friend. Seriously!
But in truth (en verdad), this is one more blessing in my life. Ihave really wanted to start a bible study for girls my age. But it would have to be in English, sincee I am not able to lead a bible study in Spanish yet(although I think if I needed to, i could). In any case, every week, God is bringing more and more girls my age inot my life and I am so excited to see the blessings that come out of it!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Smog and Santiago

So the pollution in this city is just gross. At the end of the day, you just feel disgusting. And then you blow your nose and it is all blackness up in there. Cute huh?
So this morning I am reading the Santiago Times and they have an article about how bad the pollution is going to be this winter. Here are some quotes:


“All our long-term models suggest that climate conditions this year will be less favorable than last year, and last year things were critical,” said Manuel Merino, an environmental academic at the Universidad de Chile’s National Environmental Center.
“The situation this year is complicated because it is certain that small particulate matter, what we call PM 2.5 and which is not currently monitored, penetrates respiratory tracts and leads to more cardiopulmonary sickness,” said Dr. Juan Luis Castro, the head of Colegio Medico, Chile’s physicians’ association. “This means more of everything, from allergies to pneumonia.” He added that, as in previous years, young children and the elderly will be the most impacted.

Taken from: http://www.tcgnews.com/santiagotimes/index.php?nav=story&story_id=11250&topic_id=1


So all that means that I am now on my way to buy another inhaler for my asthma.
The sad part is that besides little things like this, I love my life here. Last night I went out for beer and pizza with a girl named Nailah (she's and English teacher from Altanta) and Doug (an old student of mine). And I loved the fact that it was so normal to meet on a wednesday at 10:30 for a beer. On my way home at 1 in the morning, I thought about just how blessed I felt to live here with this life.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Where did the Gringa go???



That's right folks, i finally got rid of my gringa roots (literally)! I dyed my hair on Saturday a beautiful dark auburn brown. Slowly, but surely I am turning Chilena.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Our favorite cook


Here is Ashlee being n amazing roommate and cooking lunch.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Some quotes about Chile

I am reading abook from the 1960's called Inside South America. It is actually a really interesting view on South America, espeically Chile, since eit was written so long ago. In fact, it was written before the whole Pinochet nightmare. But still, 40 years has not changed everything. Here are some quotes from the book that still hold true about Chile today:
"Twenty six hundred miles long,it has a longer Pacific coastline than the United Stqates, and is never broader than 220 miles; the averge width is only about 125 miles, and yet is covers a totaly area as big as Texas."

"Chilenos are notorious for liking to stay up all night... I would ask desperatly, as we headed home at 2 am or later in each case, "When to Chileans sleep?" Answer: "Sundays." "

"Chile is the one country where it is impossible to be late for anything. Dinner is difficult to procure in a hotel before 10pm or later, which can also happen in Spain, Russia, and Eastern Europe, but not with quite the Chilean nonchalance."

"In opulent contrast (to Northern CHile) is Central Valley South of the desert, the saddle of the country, which strikingly resembles Central Valley in California."

"They (the Chilean indigenous people) were not, as a matter of fact, finally subdued in the Chilean south until 1883, and their claim is that they are the only South American Indians who never surrendered; they simply decided to stop fighting."

"There is no false pride or xenophobia, but the one thing that seems to strike a spark is dislike of Argentina."

"Finally one must mention a factor which no anthropologist or sociologist has ever been able to explain satisfactorily- that Chilean women are just about the prettiest in the world."

These quotes, although written over 40 years ago, still hold true today (especially the one about the pretty women here). I just thought I would share someone else's thoughts on this country.
If you want to read more from this book it is by John Gunther, and as said earlier, it is titled Inside South America. The chapter these exerts are taken from is "More Complexities in Chile".
P.S.- Speaking of Argentina and Chile's love/hate relationship, AShlee and I are headed over to Argentina Friday night to renew our visas and buy some more winter clothes. YEAH!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

thanks

I just want to say thanks for the comments on the blog about Graeme Goldsworthy. Those articles were so interesting! If you have any more suggestions, let me know.

alone

I have changed a lot since I got to Chile. Or maybe it is just that here in this country I am learning more about the way I have always been. For example, I have found that I am really content being by myself. For those of you who knew me in high school or college, this statement might sound strange. Wait a sec, you might think, Becka is totally social, a social butterfly, loves being around people, in fact thrives being around people. But the truth is that through all those years, I always had plenty of time alone. I loved going dancing, going down to the bars downtown, and all of the social things a college town offers. but I still returned to a quiet house, or at least a quiet room (anyone remember the year in Avila with the 10 roommates?). I haven't gone out dancing the last two times that my roommates went. I just wanted to stay home and chill. So tonight, my roommates all went out and I stayed home and journaled, painted, and danced my own version of baile on our hardwood floor in socks. All alone, and all content. Some might call it maturity, I wouldn't go that far. I would more likely label it self discovery.