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!