Thursday, January 28, 2010

booming campus, life lessons, and prayer requests

Oh what a busy week, but as weird as it may be, there are times I enjoy being busy. Classes continue this week as normal, but we have our Pinter Lecture Series Weds-Fri, and Winter Preview Thurs-Sat. Ken Ham is here for the lecture series. I got to hear him yesterday morning and what a great speaker. One thing I really appreciate about him is how he goes to the Bible for the facts, and doesn't look for a specific way to put science in to the Bible. He understands the Bible literally, and I definitely think that is essential in understanding the Bible (you can still study the Bible literally, while understanding that there are figures of speech used). Along with the lecture series, we have Winter Preview starting today- hooray! I was originally supposed to have two previewers, but one dropped out (I am just that scary). I am excited to have her in my room tonight and to hear how God is working in her life, specifically through college choosing and picking. This is one of our biggest previews yet, including around 70 students coming in. Many of those students have families coming along with them, and we expect several extra guests due to having Ken Ham here. Our campus is going to be booming today.

Lately, God has been trying to teach me to look at the positive things in my life and how He has blessed me. I may have some challenging/boring classes this semester, but I also have some wonderful/interesting classes. This semester God has been using the people I am closest to to minister to me in a new way. He has been using my time in prayer to deepen my relationship with Him (duh!) and give such comfort. I am reminded of the Philippians 4:12 "I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." I have not yet mastered this verse, but God is helping me work on it.

Prayer Requests:
  • That God bring my previewer here safely and give her wisdom with a college decision after she leaves campus
  • For those related to the Haiti situation (Haitian people, families, military, relief people)
  • That I learn to be content in any and every circumstance

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jesu Reme Ou

As many of you know, I went to Haiti in the summer of 2008. Because of this trip, God has placed a burden within for the people of Haiti. Here are some specific prayer requests related to their recent disaster: 7.0 earthquake on January 12, 2010:

  • Praise the Lord for every survivor
  • Praise the Lord for every soul that has been brought to Him through this tragedy
  • Praise the Lord for the generous outpouring of global support, especially from Christians
  • Pray first of all that souls would be reached with the Gospel before it is too late
  • Pray that Christians would continue to show God's love and to be a witness and a testimony for Him
  • Pray for the distribution of supplies and personnel. Many of Port-au-Prince's roads remain impassable, its ports unusable, and its airport limited and overcrowded.
  • Pray for creative solutions as rescuers seek to respond to the earthquake and clear debris without many of the tools and equipment typically utilized in earthquake response
  • Pray that God would be preserving the psychological health of those who have witnessed horrific scenes f death and destruction
  • Pray for those who are grieving
  • Pray for strong coordination on the ground, as many government officials and others responsible for crisis response have themselves been injured or killed in the earthquake
  • Pray for safety at the border crossing from the Dominican Republic into Haiti. Without functioning ports these crossings are sure to be busier than usual, and the threat of violence looms as many will be crossing in the country with valuable relief supplies.
  • Pray that aftershocks would completely cease. With each aftershock panic and fear seem to rise among the people of Part-au-Prince.
  • Pray for health for the survivors. Many have open wounds and broken bones and all are susceptible to growing concerns regarding diseases like cholera and tuberculosis that thrive where corpses are prevalent. The bodies also threaten to contaminate the water supply.
  • Pray for safety as the people of Part-au-Prince continue to sleep on the streets, either because their homes were destroyed or because they are afraid to sleep indoors.
  • Pray for continued improvements in communication. Many have still been unable to contact family members.
  • Pray for northern Haiti, where continuous rains have led to significant flooding
  • Pray for citizens across the country who are panicking about how they will be affected by this crisis. Many areas of the country are dependent on imports that come into Port-au-Prince and are typically channeled through the country. Without access to these imports, many areas of the country will begin to experience significant food and supply shortages. The banking system has been closed in Haiti.

These were the children at the orphanage I stayed at.

These children were from the Poor House.

Thus far...

I have been in classes for one entire week now and for the most part, am enjoying my classes. Ecclesiology is going to be kind of dry and take more effort on my part to make it interesting. Gospels and Acts will be a great class, but requires a lot of reading. English will probably be my biggest struggle academically. What can I say? English is not my forte. In Personal Evangelism and Discipleship, we are reading this great book called How to Give Away Your Faith by Paul E. Little. I have only read one chapter so far, but am already loving it. This class will be very practical and applicable, therefore I am scared, and nervous, yet very excited. Intro to Sign Language is so much fun! I have learned my alphabet (actually, refreshed), my colors, with a few odd words added in there, such as pig, cat, baseball, milk etc. It is going to be a challenging semester, but a very good one!

Please remember to be praying for the people of Haiti.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Social Butterfly

So I am working on being more sociable this semester and not just keeping my nose in the books (my nose wasn't literally in the books all the time last semester though), and so tonight was my first real opportunity to fight the urge of staying in my room. The school was having a Late Night Breakfast and a Game Night. Sure enough, I went, and would you believe that I had fun? I had a blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese for 'breakfast' with a Styrofoam cup of OJ (WITH pulp). We then played Dutch Blitz for a little while and I actually won some of the rounds. After playing that for a while we decided to play "1 to 100" (what our family called "Mennonite Manners". why? I have no idea!). It was a rough game where I ended up with a pencil accross my face, and my hair being pulled on several occasions. I am thankful to say though that the table did not break. As we all got tired (sissy college students, I know), we decided to end the evening with some game we don't have a name for it, but it is much less violent. I will have to say that my first outing this semester of being sociable was a success!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm back!

I have completed my first day of classes, and am over half way through my second day. I think I will enjoy my classes, but they will definitely be requiring more work then those last semester. One nice thing about that, is that I get to watch God work and how He helps me make it through this semester and provides for my different needs. Sometimes I need these little pushes in being forced to trust God.

It was exciting driving in two nights ago and finding out that we have snow here! I was expecting to have all melted, but no such thing. Yesterday afternoon warmed up a bit and melted the snow on the pavement, but that meant that this morning it was ice- I have yet to fall, but we shall see how long that goes for. I am enjoying the space and privacy of a room to myself, but also missing having someone in the room with me. I am hoping to be able to use this as an opportunity to more freely have other girls into my room without the fear of interrupting my roommate's studies or time.

I am sure many of you have heard about the earthquake that hit Haiti. Please be in prayer for the people there, and especially for the people in Limbé (which is where we went to). I have gotten word that the missionary family is safe, but not positive on how much damage was done to the area. The people of Haiti left a lasting impression on me, and I hurt when I see what they are having to go through as I sit here at college. Please be praying for the Haïtiens physically and spiritually as they face the after affects of the natural disaster. Haiti is a beautiful country, but with some very lost people.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy and Sad

I have so enjoyed my time at home. I truly have the best parents ever, and my siblings are some of my best friends. What I have enjoyed most is just the sweet time of fellowship. We have had so much fun together between going sledding, to baking, to playing games, to just sitting around talking. The time has been so good, and I hate to see it drawing to a close so quickly.

While being home, I was reminded of what a wise, and godly man my Dad is. He works so hard, and does well with the work he does. My mom is one of my closest friends. I love being able to have 'girl talks' with her and just look up to her as the godly woman I want to become someday. Oh how I missed Scott, even though we bring out the worst in each other. He is another one of my best friends that I love spending time with and having some good laughs. I was able to be with Tim and Beth for 3 whole weeks which is a change for us, but they were a joy to have here, and catch up with. My little sister amazes me continually on just how much she is growing up. She has handled her freshman year of high school so well, and I am so proud of her. She has really matured in the past year or so, and I value her friendship dearly. I love being home and with my family!

I have also been reminded of how much I love my church here in Ira. I have grown up here since birth and just love the people. I am overwhelmed with their love and selflessness. At Ira, everyone is like extended family, and it is so neat to be able to worship with them. I will definitely miss them while at school, but God has also blessed me with a wonderful church body at school.

I head back to school Tuesday morning to start my second semester. There are parts I am looking forward to, while there are other parts I am not quite as excited about. I am most looking forward to taking Intro to Sign Language. Learning Sign Language has been one of my lifetime dreams, and I am finally getting to follow through with that- God is so good!

God has used this past week to draw me closer to Him, and for that, I am very thankful. He knows my every thought, every want, every need, and has the power to complete His will for me. Not looking forward to leaving my family, and my home, but looking forward to what God is going to do in my life this semester.