Monday, August 28, 2006

Seasons

Today is utterly and completely and unquestionably fall.

Aside from the fact that it is ridiculously hot outside. I cannot tell that fact. I am inside freezing in the lab as Damion searches for the nerve in a chap named Tom Fry. I find his name amusing. I would never name my child "Tom Fry." It sounds like out of a nursury rhyme.

Yesterday, I played piano for youth group. It went marvelously well. Maybe it didn't but I didn't notice and had a jolly good time doing it. Possibly recruited a tenth grader to start working on leadsheets and joining the worship team on a small time basis. It made me very excited.

I also spoke about the Lebanon trip in youth group. Was made quite pleased by the fact that I didn't prepare but it went off quite splendidly. I think everyone has a better idea of what the trip was like now. The slideshow put together by Mark was quite good too. At least two pictures of Martin (Mar-teen), my unrequited love.

Got up this morning at six. Thought about running but talked myself out of it because of the fog. I have no desire to get viciously run over at such an ungodly hour.

School starts in a week. I'm rather looking forward to it.



(my family. I love this picture of us)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Something to See

This morning I went outside to go to work, only to discover that a positive epic battle was being waged in my yard. The epic battle of the falcons and the crows. There were three, THREE, falcon looking birds sitting in trees and flying about. The crows did not like this invasion of their territory and so squawked up a storm. Whenever a falcon would leave the tree and fly, the crows would literally attack the falcon. The falcons also returned this deffensive aggression by some nips at the crows themselves. Some squirrels also got caught in the crossfire, unwittingly on the side of the crows because one of the falcons kept getting distracted by this grey piece of moving dinner. The squirrel escaped however by hiding behind my brother's baseballfield sign hanging on one of the trees.

This so occupied all these said creatures attention that they did not even notice that I was standing about twenty feet away.

There is something to be said for getting up early afterall.

Friday, August 18, 2006

BP's

It has been a good week at work this week. I've been able to help out quite a bit in the lab and such with getting averages for Amy or getting blood pressures or being errand boy during a hectic lab. I've enjoyed quite a bit. There were also a number of enjoyable events this week such as last night when I tagged along with Hannah's smallgroup to dinner at Houlihan's (an interesting place with strange waiters, by the way) and some games at the Witwers. Looked at pics from Lebanon, reminiced, and laughed. Seeing pictures of our Freedom dance made Melody insist on seeing it for herself (her daughters had refused to demonstrate). We turned on the music and ended up having a dance party right there in the kitchen. It was great fun since I hadn't danced in ages. Emma is quite the dancer there with an especial taste for hispanic music. Of course, no one could break it down like Hannah and I. I really should try to find a guy who can do what she does with me. It would be so convenient if Hannah were a boy but alas, she isn't.

The picture you see if of my quizzing ladies after we went out to dinner together on Sunday. I'm going to miss them. We had a photo shoot and this was my favorite picture. My compliments to Abby who took it!

It was fantastic to go to sports night and see everyone. I loved being able to talk with everyone again after being away for so long and people just now getting back from vacations and everything. Despite what a wonderful summer its been, I'm looking forward to the start of school. Dad took me to get my books yesterday which turned out to be easier than I had expected. If I was by myself however, I might have paniced which is why I insisted on Dad taking me and showing me how to find what section my books were in. We got most of what I needed aside from the English class whose books weren't on the shelf yet. Don't ask me why. I do hope they arrive before September though. They've time enough.

I'm off. I must go take care of recording blood pressures for the next thirty minutes.

-dana



(me realizing that we had an entire other peak to climb after the one we just conquered to get to the view of Lake Superior. This was on our trip to Michigan)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Updation

Greetings!

If you didn't know, I am most seriously home. Going to church yesterday after nearly a months absense was like coming home after a long journey. Seeing the familiar faces of my friends and hearing their stories was such a joy to me. I didn't realize how much I missed them all.

Vacation was utterly lovely. The highlight was the jetski (which Dad and Jason kept falling off) and swimming in Lake Superior, the prettiest body of water I've ever come across. I also enjoyed going to see Pirates 2 with Hannah, though the movie itself wasn't worth it. Saying that, the ending made it imperative that I see 3 when it comes out next summer. Stupid disney... how could they do such a money swindling thing to their audiences?

Hillsdale was enlightening. I liked it a lot. Talking with one of their proffessors was great. He took a whole hour out of his day to have a chat with me. He did most of the talking because he was that sort of person but I gleaned a lot of information from him. It was far more informational than the tour or interview I had with the admissions office. It was sort of what I did when I visited Cedarville which pretty much took that school off my list. This interview however, put Hillsdale up on my list. I really liked the school aside from two major points: 1) The dorms weren't very nice and they don't mix the age groups. Covenent has them there and in their technology. 2) It is in Michigan for crying out loud. I've always wanted to go south for school. But we'll see., I'll be applying soon for both of those schools.

And now for my trip to Lebanon. This is the note I will be sending out to those I asked for prayer from. It covers the basics of the week but if you would like to know more or see pictures or anything, I will be happy to oblige. (but I doubt you will)

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Dear Friends and Family,
This letter is my follow up on the missions trip I went on this summer to Lebanon, PA. First, I want to thank all of you for the prayers I know you put in for Hannah and I as we were away. They are much appreciated and I know that they were put to good use! God was present with our team in everything we did and we saw His hand move in amazing ways
.
Well first, what did we do? A bunch of things. It was different from other mission trips I have gone on in that our church wasn’t really in charge of what went on during the week at all. This time, we were under the authority and supervision of Iglesia El Faro (The Lighthouse Church). We stayed in their church building during the week and they provided the tools and knowledge we would need to reach out to the large community we found ourselves in. Their pastors would teach in the morning and then we would go to sessions on drama, music, dance, and spanish. Through these, we were able to gain what we would need to execute our nightly outreaches.

Monday night was a prayer walk throughout Lebanon’s notorious “Northside,” the area in which the church is located. To qualm any misconceptions, the Northside is and isn’t as bad as it can be portrayed. We didn’t have any trouble while we were there, which was good, but it can be a rough area. But that was a side note J. It was good to go outside the church fence and get a grasp of the area, giving us an idea of how to better pray for the people we would come in contact with. We also did some outreach in a local park. One of the leaders started a basketball game with our team members and the teenagers already playing at the park. This was a great way to become acquainted with life in Lebanon. We did this a number of times through the week and it was really an eye opener to see how these kids lived. There were some kids who couldn’t have been older than twelve smoking with their parents not far away. One kid who was around fourteen was on parole, for what he wouldn’t say. We learned a lot from the evenings we spent in that park.

Tuesday was when our main ministry outreaches began. We walked to a nearby park with all our things and put on a small carnival for the community. This was a great time of getting the message of Christ out there through the choreographed songs and group skits that Christian (one of the pastors) had taught us. It was also wonderful to see the love that all the team members put into the kids and the others who came. One student spent twenty minutes chatting with a parent. Another spent the majority of the evening escorting this one little girl around. Another group of girls spent the entire time painting faces, giving ample time to give the kids a part of themselves, a bit of the love of Christ.

Wednesday evening was similar to this except that its focus was on games. A number of teenagers we had met on Monday came to play basketball with us again as well as some familiar kid faces from the carnival the night before.

The next two days were spent in preparation for the big carnival at the church on Saturday and getting some work done in the building. We were able to do some cleaning in the second, and unused floor of the church building as well as clearing out some stuff up there and tearing out carpet. We were able to clear out a number of the rooms.

Saturday was a huge day in the week. In a lot of ways, everything we did during the week was working up to this point. And it worked. God spared us potential rain giving us instead a sunny day to work with and many kids from the surrounding neighborhoods showed up. We served food, had music, games, skits, and a dance (Yeah, the dance was a stretch for me J). It turned out really well. Nothing though, could compare with the joy we encountered when six kids came to know Christ. Two of the young girl team members were able to speak the truth to four little girls and another leader was able to talk to two young boys. I believe that the young boys were our greatest source of joy. Their immediate response to the gospel was amazing. They were both so excited and joyful and eager to learn more. We were able to give them Bibles, being able to see them eagerly writing their names in the front of the books. It was even more exciting when they came to church the next day, bringing their father.

Saturday night was also an important final evening where we saw Our Father do some amazing and unexpected things. Early in the week we had decided that Saturday night would be spent in having a communion service for the team. Myself and two of the other teen leaders decided to do what we could in making it a special and beautiful time, with particular effort in the set up of the room and the order of the service. Nothing could have prepared us for what God was going to do. We opened it up to everyone there that if anyone would like to, they could go to one of two chairs we had set up and wash each others feet if they had had difficulty with the other person, an argument, harbored ill feelings, anything. The Holy Spirit was undeniably present as people went to each other in love and repentance. Not only were we showing our love for each other but Christ’s love for the other person through us. Then we were able to take communion together, a demonstration of our unity in Christ. It was a special moment for everyone there and created a spirit of joy between all of us.

I learned a lot from this trip. It was such a blessing to see Him working in such vivid and clear ways. Everyone on the team was such a blessing to me as well. Someone was always there to help me when something got rough, an encouraging word, a towel to borrow, a tube of toothpaste to steal. I think though, that the greatest lessons I learned were from the teaching and example of the pastors (Hugo, Christian, and Lorenzo) at Iglesia El Faro. In each of them, Christ is so evident. They are so strong in their faith, which is reflected in their teaching. Hugo’s main point was to make everything we do worship to God. After a visit to a land fill he commented “That was a good worship service.” He also talked about how God waits for us everyday to speak with us and spend time with us. The way he described it was so exciting. God, waiting, for me to come and spend time with Him? Yes, God taught me that week.

So thank you again for your prayers and support. The week was well worth it!

-dana

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Time...

I'm still away but almost home. Right after Lebanon our family headed to the Upper Penninsula of the Upper Penninsula of Michigan fir vacation. It was basically as far away from home as we could get. Anyway, I'm in Hillsdale right now. Tomorrow I get to look at the school and then we'll head home. I have many stories to tell about Lebanon but they'll have to wait until I get home. Hope all is well there.

ever, dana