Monthly Archives: July 2012

From My Future Homeland…

Friends & Family,

25+ hours of traveling, 5 movies, 8 airplane meals, 3 continents, and 4 awkward naps later, I have made it safely to Kenya- my future homeland!

I am with an incredible team from World Concern, ONE, and OneDaysWages. We are here to gather stories from the field and learn how we can continue to empower and bring sustainable opportunities to those that we serve.

As we travel around Kenya, and possibly through Somalia and South Sudan, I ask for your prayers for safety, health, humility, and the willingness and openness to grow both as individuals and in work that we do.

cannot  wait to show you pictures, videos, and interviews of the work of World Concern and its beautiful beneficiaries. This is truly a beautiful continent and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to live and work here in the next few months.

Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers. Because of you, and your willingness to partner with the work I will be doing with World Concern, I am with three incredible people training to be World Concern’s Africa Communication Liaison.

I will update you as I am able- but be looking for many updates when I return!

Much love to you from across the globe.

P.S. here is a blog from one of my amazing team members. Blessed to work with and learn from people such as him. http://eugenecho.com/2012/07/21/we-cant-do-everything-but-we-have-to-do-something-why-im-in-the-horn-of-africa/

Words

I constantly have a stream of words running through my head.  Words in the form of

Lists, Lyrics

Phrases, Quotes

Letters, Prayers

Questions

Often, my mind is so full of words that in order to focus on life around me, I have to find a space to express them. Hence the reason why you will find my agenda, bedside table, dresser, and car piled high with journals, sticky notes, scraps of paper, and books.

I believe there is great power in words- both written and spoken.

It is incredible how a single word, whether positive or negative, can stick with you for your entire life. I recognize that I struggle when it comes to thinking before I speak- so that my words are meaningful, beneficial, and edifying before I choose to verbally vomit. And I am aware that this will probably be a battle for the rest of my life, but a battle that is totally worth the fight.

As I prepare to go to Africa this week and hear the stories of the beautiful people involved in World Concern’s various development and relief projects, I have been praying for the words.

The words to say to those whom I will be building relationships with. Words that bridge communication and cultural barriers. Words that express genuine love and humility.

The words to share my experiences with those back home. Words that are truthful, impactful, and selflfess.

And most importantly– the words to serve as a voice for the people impacted by the work of World Concern. Words that portray dignity, value, and importance of those that they describe. Words that are expressive, passionate, and personal. Words that bring change in an uplifting, empowering, and edifying way.

Lord, may I be intentional, prayerful, thoughtful, humble, and truthful in the words that I choose to speak, write, and share. May they be Yours.

I will end this post with a slightly unrelated, but nonetheless incredible, song (BTW, when was the last time you listened to this hit?):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhpZfltbnAQ (You Gotta Be by Des’ree)

 

 

Jamii

[Jamii: Swahili for “Community”]

“The compassionate life is a life together. Since it is in community that God’s compassion reveals itself, solidarity, servanthood, and obedience are also the main characteristics of our life together.” – Henri Nouwen from Compassion

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had numerous conversations about living in community. Here are the questions I have been wrestling with:

What is community? What does it look like to create/become intentional about living in community? Why does God call us to live in community? Is there more than one way to live in community? What will my community look like in Africa?

Though no solutions have been resolved – no questions fully answered – I was able to experience a beautiful picture of community during a recent visit to Santa Barbara.

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to go home (my goodness, I still cannot believe that I spent 18 years of my life in Santa Barbara. This place is too gorgeous.) to spend time with family and work on support raising. During my visit, I met up with over 15 people – and I left feeling like I could have met with many more. Though I have not lived there for over 6 years, my Santa Barbara family welcomes me into their lives as if I had never left.

I may still be processing what it means to participate as a selfless, giving, active member of an intentional community, but I can confidently say that I am blessed to have communities in Santa Barbara, Seattle, and elsewhere always welcoming me with open arms.

I aspire to be these open arms for others.

Through the journey of support raising, I have found myself a member of an entirely new community – one that is supportive of me and excited to be a part of the work of World Concern. I am so thankful for the many of you who have joined this community!

And now some ridiculous pictures of my family during my time at home. [note: the outfits we are so fashionably sporting are handmade by Landon’s home-stay mother during his studies in Uganda. Thanks for the gifts!]

the fam rockin’ Ugandan traditional wear

…..?

…And summer solstice happened.