Friday, June 8, 2012

I made it!

I am now currently living in West Virginia.  Daniel flew up to Vermont to spend the weekend with Tim, Beth, and Annette and then helped me drive down.  I am so thankful for his being able to do that.  I had not been looking forward to the long drive alone, especially when I am usually the one that tries my best to avoid driving on long trips.  Driving twelve hours by myself was something that was really stressing me.  But Daniel was able to help me, which put me at a lot of ease.  Dad worked hard on getting the vehicle all ready to travel.  Have I ever mentioned before how thankful I am to have men in my life that are handy with cars?  It is a huge expense saver and I feel I would be ripped off at a mechanics because I am a single female and they could tell me anything to believe and charge me whatever.  Instead, I have awesome men in my life who can usually fix it themselves, and if they can't, they know who best to have do it, and if the price is right.  So, back to the drive down...Daniel and I had a very 'easy' trip down.  I hit some stop-and-go traffic due to construction while I was driving, and he hit some rain, but other then that the trip was great.  The car went well as well (thanks, Dad!).  We drove to his grandparents where I was able to get a good night's rest before the three and half hour drive on Wednesday.

I woke up with knots in my stomach, the time had come when I did have to drive alone.  I had taken Tuesday for granted in having Daniel with me to help navigate and as someone to talk to, a second set of eyes, someone to help drive, a guy if anything were to go wrong with the car, and so on.  Daniel sat down with me and talking through the directions and answered my million questions.  He was very patient with me in making sure I felt confident about the trip.  He checked my oil and got that back to where it was supposed to.  I hit the road.  He helped me out so much with the directions he gave and I had no problem making it to school.  I did hit some hard rain which tensed me up a bit, but I was able to see an answer to prayer through that.  May sounds funny, but it was raining hard and became very blinding, but traffic was busy and I had semis all around me going 70+ mph, I couldn't drive slow because of the conditions.  I simply shot a prayer up asking the Lord to please stop the rain, and within the minute, I drove out of the rain.  So thankful!!

So all that to say, I made it safely to school and started moving into the apartment.  For those of you who do not know, I am staying in an apartment this summer located on the college campus.  The family who lives here is away for the summer on a missions internship.  I am still in awe at how God provided above and beyond what I had asked for housing this summer.  I was able to catch up with my dear friend Kari and then get ready for our opening night of VBS at my church down here. It was so good to be back and to see my kiddos.  It was also wonderful to see my adopted family again.  Thursday started work for me.

As you probably already know, I will be working for Energy Express this summer.  It is an extension (or branch) of the AmeriCorps.  It is a program only offered in West Virginia.  I have had several friends do it before, and all have loved it.  Many have gone back to do it year after year (to me that is a great sign that it is a great program).

Energy Express is a reading program to help the under educated and under privileged children of West Virginia (though from my experience in talking with people, it reaches beyond that.  My official title is AmeriCorps Mentor.  Now to explain what I do with that title...I will be the teacher of around eight students.  I will have those same students all summer (for which I am so thankful).  Each week will have a theme (family, community, patriotism, etc.) and every morning I will read my students a book on that theme. For the remainder of the morning I will have activities for my students to do related to the book read that morning and the theme of the week.  These activities might be games, crafts, writing, etc.  Also in the morning, it is the goal of Energy Express to have a volunteer come in and read one-on-one with each students.  This allows the students to have the one-on-one time with an adult to work on their reading.  I believe this will be a great experience for me as I prepare for teaching full time after college.

Another aspect of this program is making sure that the children still eat during the summer.  We feed the children breakfast and lunch each day.  This means I also have breakfast and lunch provided for me during the week.  Another sighting of how God is providing for me.

Yesterday was the first day of training.  Many have asked "how did it go?" and that is a hard question to answer.  Really, the only thing we did was talk about what the AmeriCorps is for about ten minutes, and then filled out paperwork the rest of the time.  I was done by 9:30am.  We go to the actual site we will be teaching at (which I have heard is REALLY nice) this afternoon and work on some more stuff.  Next week we go to a college a ways away and do more specific training for the summer. So anyways, I hope that fills you in a little more about what my summer entails.

All prayers are needed and appreciated.  A few specific prayer requests would be....

  • my testimony with those I am working with
  • that I would not only be a witness of the gospel through my actions, but also my words
  • strength and courage as living alone has brought more challenges then anticipated
  • that I would trust the Lord to provide for my every need
  • that I would be content with his timing
  • my health
  • the summer staff at TER this summer, they are in their first week of training
One thing I have really been enjoying is cooking for myself.  I have not necessarily been cooking as I would choose to this week, but that is just because I am trying to only buy the bare minimum this week...well because I am being stingy, haha.  Next week I will still be careful, but will be okay with buying more of what I need.  My first meal alone was pretty rough, it was a nasty packaged soup with as I refer to it as "pasta shavings", it wasn't even like real pasta.  Needless to say, I was very hungry after church that night. I have been doing better though.     Here are some pictures of two of my first meals...

Last night I had some chicken and rice.  The color is about as boring as can be, but that is the nice thing about only cooking for myself, I don't have to worry about that.  The food had good flavor though.

This morning's breakfast was vanilla yogurt with strawberries and granola, and with my cup of coffee (I am learning to make coffee too and I made it quite strong this summer, haha).  The computer is there because eating is when I am most lonely, so I either skype with someone as I eat (thanks to those of you who have been willing to do that with me), watch some youtube, or as today...I blog!

I have a friend staying with me tonight for while I am so excited.  It will be fun to not be alone tonight.  We have a mutual friend who is getting married this evening, and then we have a baby shower to go to tomorrow.  Her company is welcomed!

Daniel starts his job today!  He graduated just about five weeks ago and within the week after graduation he was hired essentially as a full time airplane mechanic.  I am so excited for him with this opportunity, and ask that you pray for him with adjusting to this new job.  Also pray for safety, both as he works on the planes, but also in his long commute to work and back.

So there you have life not in a nut shell!  Let me know what your plans are for the summer, and how I can most specifically be praying for you.  Prayer is what gets me through the night.  So please, give me lots to pray for!  I am going to go wash up my breakfast dishes (I love the challenge of keeping up with the dishes), and then pick up a bit before I head to work this afternoon.

Happy Weekend!

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