03 December 2011
The first DCC baptisms were held the first weekend of August down on the beach at the sculpture park.
The next ones are coming up this month. Not on the beach of course. (: It's so exciting to see the transformations God is undertaking in the lives of my brothers and sisters in our community.
18 November 2011
I'm registered for my first marathon in February and my second in June, but my recent surgery may wreak havoc with those dreams. I'm under strict instructions from the doctor not to drive or exercise for six months. Lame. I'm going to argue for the June one at least when I go back for my next checkup in January.
Before the half:
There were a lot of cool little planes sitting around everywhere:
People getting their heads in the game pre-race in the hanger:
I'm gonna fly one of these someday! Not even joking.
14 November 2011
24 October 2011
My friends are not only hot, but also talented. (: I just found Jess's photo blog, and the way she freezes the beauty happening all around her is incredible.
Check out the photo blog here: http://jessicagliserman.tumblr.com
20 October 2011
One of the things I hate most about nightmares is that the effects linger. For example, this nightmare was about a vampire. Stupid, right? I don't believe in vampires and I'm not scared of them. But after I wake up from a nightmare about a vampire, I'm terrified. Even though my mind tells me that I won't be scared at all come tomorrow, the fear lingers tonight. I'm by myself, but I think I'd be even more scared if I was with someone, because I'd be scared they were a vampire. Even though I don't believe in vampires.
The other thing I hate most about nightmares, or at least mine, is that they always strike at the deepest chords of what is scary about a thing. For this nightmare about a vampire, it was the idea that a person you love and completely trust would get this weird look in their eyes, lie to you, turn on you, and then try to eat you. Sick, huh? Even though I'm awake now I can't lose the worse image of the nightmare, the moment when that happened.
It seems like every kid goes through a nightmare stage, which is so sad. That would be heartbreaking for me as a parent, because I know nightmares and I know how they're only scary if they happen to you, and then they're paralyzing, no matter how stupid they might sound over breakfast the next morning. I remember when I went through my nightmare stage as a kid, I would pray desperately to God every night that if I trusted him enough to fall asleep and make myself vulnerable to nightmares, he would protect me from evil in my mind while I was sleeping. (Thing number three I hate about nightmares: they jump you when you're vulnerable; there's no way to protect yourself against them.) God was actually really faithful in that in a really sweet way to little kid Megan. God is not a magic formula, but every time I thought to pray and ask for his protection, I was protected.
I've been the recipient lately of a great deal of very sweet, elemental faithfulness from God. The kind where I give up to him a very basic, immediate, even tangible need, and he provides in an obvious way. This has been the case with money, housing, a job, clarity and wisdom, safety, and my car. I feel like a small child being provided for by my father, and I feel both so taken care of by God, and so reassured that God's desire is to take care of me. He does not want to dangle wisdom out in front of me and snatch it away at the last moment. He does not want me to go hungry, or weary, or have nowhere to sleep. I believe those uglinesses about him sometimes, but they are such lies. He is a good God who loves to give good gifts, quickly, to his children.
So with that in mind, I think it's time for me to ask God to come sit in my bed with me and protect me from evil dreams tonight, and I'll go back to sleep.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:9-11
16 October 2011
The organization that I was interning for, World Relief, offered me an AmeriCorps position at the end of my internship, and I accepted. I am now an ESL teacher for our refugees.
I have 35 students in a room that holds 20 comfortably. I have a full range of levels, from students who don't know how to hold a pencil because they're illiterate in their own language, to students who worked as English interpreters in their home countries and are fully fluent. My students come from every background imaginable, Western urbanites to nomadic camel herdsmen. I teach two hours a day, four days a week, but for every hour in class I spend five outside of class planning these multi-level lessons and designing materials tailored to my students' needs. New students show up in class every week, and stay anywhere from two months to a year, depending on how long it takes them to find a job. It's a crazy job. And I love it.
I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to have this job. I love my courageous, humorous, vulnerable students. I love the insanely cool staff I work with. I love the heart of the organization I get to work for. I love the journey of learning the art of teaching well.
I'm excited for you to come with me on this journey.
Maybe it will even make you want to find ways to befriend the lonely in your community.
15 August 2011
She's a winner.
This is one of her older brothers, Luke, and her older sister, Clara, with my mom.
Having them as nieces and nephews makes me the very luckiest.
07 August 2011
02 August 2011
31 July 2011
30 July 2011
So I ran my first 10K today. Heck yes.
I ran for an organization called 4US that raises money to buy ultrasound machines for crisis pregnancy centers. In the last 6 years, they have raised enough money to buy 15 machines, which cost about $31,000 each, typically last for about 10 years, and have great results: 96% of women who see their babies for the first time on a 4US machine choose to bring those children into the world, meaning that 2000+ choices for life are made as the result of each 4US machine. This is an issue that is obviously controversial, and that I have wrestled with a lot, but that is super close to my heart. The organization is pretty cool, and seems to be pretty creative and effective with the way that it engages with society; check it out at http://www.4us.org/.
Also, these people know how to have a party. This event was big and fun and included a free pancake breakfast, coffee and orange juice (which happens to be my very most favorite food), and multiple bounce houses!
And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, there was a bluegrass band too. Oh man. The event was well organized in a beautiful park with kind volunteers everywhere and lots of families having a ball. There were 5 and 10K runs and walks, bike rides, little kid races, and tons of activities. Basically, except for the fact that my friends and family weren't standing along the course to cheer me on, it was everything that a run should be.
I finished 31 out of 83 total, 5th out of 11 females in the 20-29 age range, which is a solid and shameless performance (haha, I would not have told you my results if they were bad), and even knocked it out under my goal time of an hour, finishing in 59 minutes and 33 seconds. After the race I ate some more awesome free food and sprawled out on the grass in 75 degrees of sunshine to talk to some people I love on the phone for a couple hours. It's good to acknowledge good days.
Next weekend: the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon. No joke. It's gonna be an adventure...
17 July 2011
I have committed my life to God's passions.
God cares fiercely about the vulnerable and broken.
I want to proclaim the gospel by loving people in the darkest and scariest places of life.
Refugees exist, by their identity, in one of the darkest and scariest places of a broken, sinful world.
I love working with people, am fascinated by languages, and have an instinctive desire to understand international dynamics.
All of these things add up to make me think that maybe one of the places where God can use me really well for the service of his kingdom is in the field of refugee work. This internship is a first tentative step of faith. It is being faithful to what little vision God has given me. I pray often that if he can use me better elsewhere, that he would make that very clear to me. My heart has very strong, conflicting emotions about being here and doing this, especially because it means that I can't be present and invested in Kansas City, but I am relying on the steady, faithful wisdom of God to guide me.
If you take the time to pray for me, I would ask that you would pray this from the first chapter of Colossians: "We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light."
Thanks for reading, ya'll.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10
13 July 2011
Until his illness is diagnosed, I will have only library internet. The blog posts will likely be short and sweet, but I do intend to keep them coming, so check back soon.
Heartfelt get-well cards for Eugene can be addressed in care of me, and I'll see that he gets them. Balloons and boxes of chocolates are also welcome.
20 June 2011
I moved here last week to do an internship with an organization called World Relief: http://worldrelief.org/ They are an international humanitarian organization that does sweet work in a bunch of countries around the world, primarily through the local church. The organization also has offices in the U.S., and these offices focus on refugee resettlement, which is what I'll be learning the ins and outs of this summer.
Our refugees come from all over the world, but we have high concentrations from Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Somalia, and Eritrea. They have all been persecuted, most to the point that their lives were in danger, for their ethnicity, religion, class, political position, or other aspect of their identity. They have all fled to another country, many congregating in refugee camps within which they often become prisoners. Very few ever succeed in being accepted for resettlement in the U.S. or another third country, less than one half of one percent, and that is after an average stay in a refugee camp of eighteen years.
When refugees are accepted by a government like the United States to come resettle within that country, they are connected with one of a few accepted agencies such as World Relief. WR and other resettlement agencies welcome the refugees when they arrive at the airport, set up host homes for their initial arrival, arrange apartments or houses for them and assist them with rent, orient them to the culture and the country, help them shop for groceries, help them learn public transit systems, teach them English, enroll their children in school, take them to the doctor and dentist, help them find employment, help them apply for social security cards, state IDs, medical insurance, benefits, etc., and try to welcome and connect them to their new community. The government only assists refugees for the first 1-3 months after their arrival, and agencies are typically able to offer services for 3-6 months, though we try to connect the families to volunteers who are willing to befriend them and followup with them for the long haul.
It's rough. These people don't necessarily dream of moving to the United States, but they are forced out of their homes by oppression, violence, and persecution. Many come here with no connections. Many leave family behind, even children or spouses. Many were farmers and have no transferable job skills. Many grew up in refugee camps and know no other life. Many know no English. Some have never even learned to read and write in their own language. Many have severe psychological trauma from the violence they have endured.
In light of all that, it's exciting and hope-giving to step into an organization like World Relief that cares about these vulnerable people deeply and strives to serve them with excellence.
So why am I doing this internship? That's another blog post entirely, but I'll try to make it soon. Until then, if you want to keep in touch, send a care package, write a postcard, look me up on Google Earth, etc., my contact info is:
1208 E. Smith St., Apt. 3
Kent, WA 98030
I love you guys.
"When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 19:33-34