Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lebanon, PA

Here I go, off into the wild blue yonder.

I'm so excited about this next week on the missions trip. I really can't wait. There is some awesome student leadership in place which I feel will really end up dictating the success or failure of the week. Definitly some responsibility there but like I said, I'm excited. Pray for us and all those jr highers come with us. We need team unity and right motivations more than anything else.

More stories when I come home.

I decided a few moments ago that someday I want to spend my new years eve at Stone Henge. Stay the whole night and watch the sun rise.

Really.

Witnessing/Wednesday

Witnessing was the most depressing part of the week. Should it be that way? I don’t know. I just know that it was. And is. And always has been for me. Some people get an excitement and passion from sharing their faith like that. I only end up near tears because I don’t get anywhere. This time was uncommonly depressing as I had to resign myself to standing on a street corner, making sure that non of the students went further than Independence Hall (we were in down town Philly). So many people just brushed past and ignored the students. I’m not sure I could blame them, which is what was so depressing. If I was in their position I would have rushed on by without listening either which might be why I have a violent aversion and abhorrence to street evangelism as a tool to bring other to Christ. The students didn’t seem to feel too good about it either at the end of the day either, which made it worse. Bill Jack seemed pleased but then again, Bill always seems pleased in a vicious sort of way. J

Later that evening, Whitney and I hit a really hard point that threatened to be the end of the week. Both of us were very tired and run down as it was and planned on sending the girls to bed without a small group time. Instead we just went through the nightly ritual of “digital download” where the girls close their eyes and give the week a rating from 1-5, 5 being amazing and 1 being “I’m going home.” Throughout the week we had these two girls who had moved from 1 to 3, which was an improvement but still not where the other girls were at 4s and 5. These girls (one in particular) really seemed to have an attitude, a resistance to having an enjoyable time at the very least. Nothing we did seemed to be improving the situation. At this low point, we turned to the only avenue left to us, one that we had been calling on since before the week had even begun: Christ. We went to each of the girl’s rooms and prayed over them as they slept. We then sat together in our room and poured over Psalms together in search of promises to help us through our struggles. He provided what we needed. Psalms 64 and Psalm 118 kept coming to us in our searches, and we prayed through them. “Wherever two are gathered in my name, I am present.” Yes, it is true.

The next day held many surprises. The first of which was the sudden lifting of this sluggish dryness that Whitney and I were trudging under. It seemed to start going much smoother and easier. Both of us remarked on the seeming change in attitude and attention of all our girls but I don’t think that anything prepared us for small group time that night when the one girl we had prayed for to such an extent gave an apology to our entire group. She said how sorry she was for the attitude that she had had. How she had wasted the week and how she wished she could have it over again; how she had learned but it was still not what it could have been if she had simply given into what God wanted from her this week. And she started crying. Needless to say, I went over and started crying too from joy. As the girls filed out Whitney and I looked at each other in amazement and praised God for His great love and grace to our girls and us this week.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Things Leaders Do



This picture is of the ladies on their Tuesday Teatime in search of ice cream. I had no idea that the leaders randomly took off during student lecture times. What an idea… so I do regret missing a number of interesting lectures for this and other meetings but over all, these get-togethers were what kept the staff sane.



And this is Spence (on right) and Hebda (on left) playing with a wet floor sign, also during one of our leader breaks. Productive bunch, aren’t we?



The person on the stairs is Chad, the camp director. Some of you may remember him from a few years ago. Here, he isn’t spouting fountains of wisdom but gustily singing “The Cheeseburger Song.”

[and a big shout out to all my favorite lady leaders and that game they play. AND a shout out to whitney and brooke for saving me from the clutches of julie. “no! spare her! Not the young and the innocent!”]

We do sometimes spend our time productively as Lili is in this picture. She is delivering pizza to her small group.



Or we just hang out. Like here.



and here. Actually, this is Degroat writing the 4th of July Pageant script. Erin and Brittany were supervising.




It is just somethings that leaders do.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Settings

This post is to show you some locations that pop up frequently in my stories.

A long hallway to the cafeteria



The cafeteria with my ladies



My dorm room



Our dorm lobby



My itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny bathroom



My quiet time spot.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Starbursts: a wva mini-segment

Food is a fantastic thing. Yes, believe me it is. I had no idea that food could be such a tool to get to know people. Walking up to random people and offering them some starbursts really produces astonishing (and at a times, alarming) results. One such incident happened Monday afternoon when I went to check and see which of my girls were in their dorm rooms and which were gallivanting elsewhere. I poked my head in one such room and found not my girl but her roommate sitting on her bed with a notebook and pen in her lap. I offered her some food, which she ignored, diving into some very strange details of the next story she wished to write. I then spent the next 40 minutes mentoring this girl in writing. I know. Laugh. I laughed myself. Me, Dana, a poser writer, giving writing advice to this newbie. How absurd. Yet there I was. She was a really sweet girl who just seemed to be starting out with writing. I had a great fear of advice on her actual work so I stuck with giving her good books to read on writing and in literature as a whole. In reality, that is really the only way I know how to get better at writing aside from encouragement to keep a journal. I did have to dispel this idea that journaling was something that went on inside little pink books about what one had for breakfast. After conquering this notion we made a little headway.

But still…

Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned to everyone that I’m planning on majoring in English…

Thursday, July 13, 2006

WVA: Part I of a series

Dad came up with the brilliant idea of telling you everything but in pieces so you'll be lured into reading this website more. So please, enjoy my first entry in the wva series!

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To begin my tale, I should really start at the beginning. The beginning is back in March when I received an application to go as an intern to World View Academy instead of a student. It was a long application that I filled out just for the heck of it; just to see what would happen. For a while I sincerely hoped that it would be rejected so that I could go to Jr camp as a cit for another. I even went so far as to go ahead and commit to Jr camp even though I had not heard back from WVA. As the weeks (that turned into months) passed, I felt that it was time to plan as if I was not going to wva and reluctantly called them to find out for certain whether I had been hired for the week or not.

I had been hired.

And for this I was inexplicably happy. My plans for Jr camp had seemed to be souring for reasons I could no identify so the news that I could go back to a place I had called “home” was exciting! However, the idea of what my job as an “intern” would be was so vague and up in the air that an anxiety settled itself in my stomach and insisted on growing when I wasn’t looking in the next month and a half before the beginning of the week. This grew into a near panic the few days before and a sleepless Saturday night. I was scared to death because I could not know the future.

An excerpt from my journal on the trip to the campus: “In a lot of ways, I’m afraid. I’m scared because I can’t conceive of going as a leader, of being in charge. I don’t even know how on earth I was accepted in the first place. Last night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and tuned until 2am when I got up and read for 45minutes. I opened John and read the major speeches and claims of Christ’s life. It was comforting. The week will be good though. Hannah had a good piece of advice: ‘Be confident and don’t tell anyone your age.’ Amen.”

What a timely piece of advice…

Dad was fantastic on the way there. He went by Kmart and let me get all kinds of food and little things that I had neglected to get on my own shopping trip. He even gave me money to get shirts and books and such at the book table. It was really lovely of him and his presence was comforting in all the fear that threatened to disable my ability to talk. And so we pulled up to the front of a strange modern looking building among a mess of ancient run down buildings and were greeted by a number of people: Erin, Britney, and Whitney. I was introduced and told that Whitney was to be my leader of the week.



(the dorm building)

We dragged my many bags into my room and started to unpack. Dad left shortly after making my bed and such. I changed into my staff shirt (my crowning jewel of the week J) and went upstairs to the lounge area/kitchen and got my first view of my fellow staff members (for that is what I apparently would be: a staff member). My first thought was “wow, they’re smaller than they were when I was a camper.” Ha… I sat awkwardly on this weird orange chair and watched the people around me. A girl named Kristen soon came up to me and said that she was an intern as well. Dell Cook introduced himself as well as Randy Sims and Bill Jack. With relief (any small thing can bring relief to a frightened person) I spotted two faces that were unmistakable: Tobin and “Webster.” To both of these I “re”-introduced myself. Both I had known two years before at camp. Tobin was my witnessing companion and “Webster” (Daniel Hebda) I had known only as the kid who knew all the answers. It was grounding to know a face and a name to a few people, which helped a lot. I was also handed a stack of papers to look through which told me the basic info about all my girls. Through this process I discovered that they were all a year younger than me. No more, no less. Great…

After a non-introduction to the rest of the team, I was sent out to a street corner by Paul to wave like mad and point people in the right direction. Mine was to be the practice of “Passive aggressive hospitality.” I.E. I don’t attack people but wave as if I could. And so I did so for three hours in the heat. Mike and Bill came by once every hour with more water for me. It gave me time to chill out and think some profound thoughts about my super-cool staff shirt.

In my own words: “This staff shirt makes me feel like a superhero. I’m invincible! (Pause) maybe not…”

Upon my return I was collected by Whitney and sent over to the field for “round up” time with our color teams. Here I ran into some chess faces and introduced myself to those I would soon come to know as Spence, Julie, and Walker. Broke up into our groups, made introductions, and the week officially “basically, essentially” began.

Later that evening after a frenzy of play-acting on my part, I wrote this: “In a lot of ways…in most ways, I guess… I can’t really believe that I am here. How did I get here? How did I get this red shirt with blue letters of the word STAFF on my back? It is so strange and hard to know that everyone knows my name and are watching me. That I can say something and it can be done. Again I ask: how did I get here?”

God, really.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Home

I'm home and not the same as when I left a week ago. So much changed and came to life in the past seven days so pray for me as I do debriefing time with different people. Also, there will be a major post with pictures in the works so be patient in waiting for that.

Remember in prayer the wva teams that are continuing their trek through the east coast. They've started the New Hampshire camp today and will then be going to N Carolina and Georgia.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tally Ho!

I'm heading out to World View Academy tomorrow which is joined with a large mixture of apprehension and excitement. It will be great to be back there but as I'm basicly going "by myself" AND as a intern-leader person I feel a lot more responsibility coming on. Please be in prayer for me throughout the next five days. For energy, for focus, for words, for excitement, for courage, for that monthly "blessing" (ya'll know what I mean...), for the girls I will be working with, that they'll learn and grow, for God's love to be in me.

I'll be needing your prayers!

Hey, and if ya'll want to know more about WVA their website is worldview.org. Click on the pictures icon to see pictures of camp throughout the week (we'll be the Valley Forge camp). And email me please! My address for the week will be staffeast@worldview.org Just put my name in the subject line! And below is my address if you want to send snailmail or hot pink socks or anything.

Valley Forge Christian College
Student Name
Worldview Academy
C/O Valley Forge Christian College
1401 Charlestown Rd.
Phoenixville, PA 19460