Monday, December 29, 2008

double-natured

it's more like double-hearted. it suddenly occurs to me that i feel have two like i hearts. except that i don't. i have one - and there is a battle for it.

paul said "for i do not understand my own actions. for i do not do what i want, but i do the very thing i hate." (romans 7:15 esv)

i once heard someone preach that he did not think that we are dual-natured and i think that's just crazy. i want to read my bible and i want to be lazy and watch television. i want to go for a run and i want to sleep in. my flesh wants one thing and my spirit cries out for another.

so which nature wins? i was thinking about this earlier today and how i thought that the answer was to kill the flesh. now, that's a great answer and certainly life and maturity require self-discipline, which requires us to kill our flesh and make hard decisions for our own good. but as i was listening to the onething webcast tonight and worshiping, my heart is convinced that the answer is not to rage a battle against that which i do not want, but rather to fall in love with that which i desire. because love wins over my heart like no battle against anything can.

hunger is a funny thing because we crave that which we consume. so i rest assured that my Jesus loves me and all i need to do is to come before Him. the more i love Him, the less i will love other things, for He is a consuming fire.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

psalm 37:4

"delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."

what a good word this was from a friend of mine tonight. how easy it is to focus on the desire of my heart and to even seek the blessing of God rather that to seek Him. oh, but my heart says, seek His face! (psalm 27) i don't want the hand of God (despite the amazing blessings that it holds) nearly as much as i want to know Him intimately, to see His face. my heart desires to know Him and i want my delight to be in Him and not the fulfillment of my desires (even those that God has put there.) if He has ordained something, if He has put a desire in my heart, then He will fulfill it in His perfect and holy timing. of this i am sure. and i am content, no i am completely satisfied, to delight in Him.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

on the way home

i am in miami airport on my way home right now. unfortunately i will have to change planes again in texas, but at least that way i get home a little earlier. i hear that it is snowing and pretty icy in colorado - i am hoping for a smooth dirve home from denver.

it was really hard to leave the d.r. this time. i already miss it. my flight seems to be slightly delayed, but there is one next door going to santo domingo, maybe i should just jump on that one instead!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

sunday at the beach

this morning we went to church at a compassion partner church (they have a project there.) the church service went from about 10am-1pm, but it didn't seem that long. the youth pastor preached from 1 timothy 4:12 (don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.) we took a tour of the project afterwards and spent time hearing the vision of the church pastor and the compassion project director. they have a child survival program and water project and they are in the process building a dental clinic. they are also dreaming of building a medical clinic, pharmacy, and more - they have a clear and beautiful vision impacting their community.

afterwards we drove out to bani to have lunch on the water - literally. we ate lunch on a restaurant that has tables out on the pier over the water and went swimming while they were preparing our food. it was gorgeous!

it's 1am so i am going to stop there for now...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

en el pais de mi corazon

i am having a great time here. so much so that i already know it's going to be really hard to leave. oh, but let's not think on that.

today we went to a compassion project so that the new l.d.p. director could get a picture of all of our programs. this project had our sponsorship program, as well as a water project, a child survival program, three different vocational training areas, and it has already sent 3 young people on to l.d.p.! we also did a home visit - an opportunity to visit the home of a sponsored child and meet their family and see how they live. i wish everyone could have the opportunity to see what poverty really looks like up close. i promise that it will change the lenses through which you see life.

i was going to write that today was a bit of a down day, but we still did a lot! thank goodness, though, that i got to take a nap this afternoon. my plans to meet up with a friend of mine fell through, so i went to dinner by myself and am now hanging out in the hotel catching-up on e-mail and such. (i don't really like to have downtime, but i probably need it.) i wanted to walk to dinner, but i knew that because it was dark, it would be dangerous to do so, so i took a taxi. i was very proud of myself for negotiating a lower rate on the way back. (i am not sure if i overpaid or not, but i think i did well for a gringa.)

*note - the internet connection here does not seem to support me posting photos so it will have to wait until i get home - sorry!

l.d.p. celebration!

last night we celebrated the graduation of 7 bright young leaders. these young people grew-up in compassion's sponsorship program and were the first one's to be chosen for compassion's l.d.p. they are going to into careers in engineering, banking, teaching, pastoring and more. one of them is already at moody bible institute getting his masters before he returns to the dominican republic to serve his community.

it was such a joy to be part of the festivities last night. not only were the graduating students there, but also their parents, pastors, mentors, project directors, and many of the compassion staff. also, all the current students were there, about 55, as well as the 30 new students, who have just entered the program and are studying in a l.d.p. academy too. a local congressman gave one of the addresses, as did kl├ęber lora, the country director for compassion, and mike hinckfoot, a vice president of compassion. tony, the student who is at moody, even gave an address by conference. (it was supposed to be a video conference, but the internet failed us and we had to do it by phone.)

i didn't take as many pictures as i had hoped because i was running the computer for the projector. there was a reception afterwards which took until about 12am to break-up. i know there was food and drinks - i never got any, but it looked really good. the evening flew by so quickly and i was very busy talking to people and taking pictures and jumping in to translate where i could.

i am having trouble expressing just what an amazing event this was. to see these young people who have risen-up from poverty and have such an immense passion to serve their communities - what a blessing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

thursday in the d.r.

yesterday was another jam-packed day! we spent most of the day making preparations for the l.d.p. celebration today. i am loving being here and i think my spanish is even improving. i have barely slept since the before i left, but i got to sleep in a bit this morning. i can't wait for the festivities to start today!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

long day

yesterday was a really long day, but i loved every second. i got up at 7am (which is 4am colorado time) and was busy out and about and working until almost 12am. armando, the l.d.p. specialist, has been so gracious to host me. he picked me up from the hotel in the morning and we went to the compassion d.r. country office. i felt like santa claus - i brought so many presents for peoples' sponsored children and even a few things for the staff. it was great to see friends at the office and reconnect.

armando had me call some of the students to remind them of the graduation on friday and confirm their attendance. you should have been there to see the entertainment that ensued from me calling students (in spanish of course.)

we also went to the academy where the 30 new l.d.p students are taking classes to prepare them to enter into l.d.p next month. we ran some errands for l.d.p. celebration, we went back to the office, we went to armando's church for wednesday night service, and then we had a really fun dinner out. i was exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

arrived

just a quick note to say that i have safely arrived. i finally figured out how to access the wireless at the hotel. i think my spanish brain has turned on and i am excited for the day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

traveling panda

okay, so the purpose of me starting this blog was for it to be easy for me to update people while i am traveling...

and today i am on my way to the dominican republic. i am currently sitting in miami airport (one and a half hours down, a little more than two to go.)

i am going to santo domingo in order to attend the compassion leadership development program celebration. it’s the first one in the d. r. and the first one i'm going to, so i am super excited! the l.d.p. students are so amazing - i love to be with them and they always blow me away. they have such a passion to serve the Lord and to give back to their communities.

the d.r. is my favorite country and i have this strange, but great feeling like i am going home. i brought three cameras (2 of which are video cameras) so i hope to post some video if i can figure it out.

please pray for safe travels, logistical details, grace for cultural and lingual barriers, good relationship building opportunities, and that Jesus would be glorified.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

gobble gobble

mom is here for thanksgiving and we are having fun hanging-out. we made a small, but very yummy thanksgiving dinner.

we went to a great lights show last night - brandan bustamante played and then they lit the house. a local high school student put the show on to raise money for compassion. i am really impressed with what a great job he did! (if you are in colorado springs you should check it out - now until january 2 every night from 5:30 - 10:00 at 4394 crow creek drive.)
gobble, gobble - in his bird...

Monday, November 24, 2008

hungry

what am i hungry for? what do i crave most? what does my heart long for and desire?

to know you Lord Jesus. God, would you come in and replace any natural hunger and thirst i have?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

peace

i feel like there is so much pressure to write a great first post. ah, that feels good - i think it always just helps to verbalize (literalize?)

after spending the day flipping-out at work, i have decided that i need to learn to calm it down a little. i am passionate and that's a great thing. but life is too short to be driven by stress.
i love, i mean, l-o-v-e, my job and especially the ministry i work for. i enjoy what i do and there is always more to do than humanly possible.

i haven't had any deep revelations about how to do it right, except to trust God to bless the work of my hands and let Jesus, the King of Peace, reign in my heart as i continue to work hard.