Sunday, April 26, 2009

Update from Minneapolis






















Marilyn just began her sabbatical and Christin planned a Sabbatical Kick-Off Celebration Day! Everything they did during the day started with an "S!" Some things included: Sleeping in, riding the Swift Light rail, Spring flower Show, Shopping, Special meal and a trip to the Spa for a maSSage!! Marilyn said it was the perfect way to start her Sabbatical!

Here are some pictures from their day.








Monday, April 20, 2009

New York Or Bust!




My mom, sister and a lifelong friend came out to visit this past week. It was so refreshing to be with them and we did so much!

What we did:
-Washington Heights and ate Dominican food
-Times Square
-Broadway play: Phantom of the Opera
-Greenwich Village
-NYU "Campus" and ate Ukranian food
-Nav Night
-Grand Central Station
-the UN building
-SoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy
-Ate at Lombardi's-the first pizza restaurant in America
-Empire State Building
-Flower Show at Macy's
-Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
-Financial District (Wall St and NY Stock Exchange)
-Chinese food!
-Central Park
-Ground Zero
-Tribeca
-Brooklyn Bridge
-Brooklyn Heights
-DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass)
-Seafood on South St Seaport
-Ended with Indian food on Sunday!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Facebook Says It All

The day after we arrived back home, I saw these "status" comments on Facebook from our team. I love how it captures what everyone was feeling those first few hours back in the States.

A's heart is still in Morocco

G misses Moroccan food

D misses his kids

R "it's not what it used to be"

J likes chocolate and hot showers but not more than Morocco

L felt the mountains tremble

B is not the same person he was last week

A is emotionally overwhelmed

P travelled to rural Morocco and found the center of it all

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Everything I Once Held Dear, I Count It All As Loss

I don't know how you can experience Africa and not want to give up everything you once held dear. Our week in Morocco was absolutely life-changing. The more I think about it, the more I realize how impossible it is to sum up in a few stories and pictures.



We sang "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble" several times throughout the week and it took on totally different meanings. We sang about dancing on injustice and a mighty river flowing through the nations. We were living out what we saw!!



Here are the lyrics to that song and a slideshow. We really did hang out with kids but they have asked us not to post pictures on the Internet due to security issues.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Morocco



Did you feel the mountains tremble?
Did you hear the oceans roar?
When the people rose to sing of
Jesus Christ the risen one

Did you feel the people tremble?
Did you hear the singers roar?
When the lost began to sing of
Jesus Christ the risen one

And we can see that God you're moving
A mighty river through the nations
And young and old will turn to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord

Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring your hope and
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice

Did you feel the darkness tremble?
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokenness

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Apartment


We are the Ground level. Our door is to the left of the black window.















video

video

Fun Facts about Washington Heights

-John James Audubon spent the end of his life here and is buried here

-the campuses of Columbia Medical School are a few blocks from my house (on Hilltop Park where the now NY Yankees played in the early 1900s)

-The neighborhood is home to Manhattan's oldest remaining house; George Washington stayed there during part of the American Revolutionary War

-In 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated near the Audubon esate

-Riverside Park where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet in the end of "You've Got Mail" is also here!

Washington Heights







Overheard in New York City

There's a popular blog where NY residents write in things they hear on the street and they publish them on the website. I thought I'd start my own "Overheard in NYC." So far, they have been just in normal conversations with students or staff!

-Were any of you in the Bronx last weekend?

-Excuse me, I have to get away from the secondhand pot smell. (she said as she walked away from the open window of her apartment)

-We are a little off schedule because we didn't meet last week due to the protest.

-I had a class with Mary-Kate Olson. (this is only one of the many, many celebrity references)

-I was a part-time student last semester because I was working on my book. (sophomore NYU student)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

First Impressions

This is a little long so if you want the short update and to see pictures, you can scroll down to the two posts below this.

O cratered moon and sparrow's wings
O thunder's boom and Saturn's rings
Unveil our Father as you sing
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs


Oh praise Him all His mighty works
There is no language where you can't be heard
Your song goes out to all the Earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!


The pulse of life within my wrist
A fallen snow, a rising mist
There is no higher praise than this
And my soul wells up
O my soul wells up
Yes my soul wells up with hallelujahs

These are a few verses from one of my favorite Chris Rice songs. I usually feel the closest to the Lord when I’m at home in the majestic Rocky Mountains, but I’ve been surprised to feel the same awe of sensing his presence walking down the busy streets of New York City. I know I’m not in another country but every time I go outside, I feel like I am. My neighborhood (Washington Heights) is heavily populated with Dominican Republicans. In fact, we have the highest population outside of Santo Domingo. Spanish fills the tiny aisles in the local grocery store, the crowded subway and the bustling streets. I just read a statistic that said in 2005, 14% of the population of Washington Heights was white. I love it!!

Before I left, a friend shared Deuteronomy 31:8 with me, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” She said isn’t it great to know that God is already in NYC? I don’t think I had ever thought about God being here. I went to Nav Night last night at NYU. It’s like a haven amidst the bustling streets. The students who are accepted to NYU are literally world changers. We commissioned several students last night who are working on major projects-a movie, an album and a band tour this summer and entering photographs in art studios. It was exciting as we prayed for them to think the impact these projects will have on the generations to come.

Someone told me that being in New York is like being in a movie and it's so true. It's incredible that all the famous things you always hear about are just everywhere. I saw the Empire State Building on my way to Kmart! It's kind of surreal.

New York invigorates the senses. The air is a surprisingly pleasant aroma of clean laundry, grilled meat, trash and exhaust. Taxi horns, children laughing, rap music and sirens fill the streets.

The Big Apple

This was my first day in the City. We were walking and all of a sudden there was the Empire State Building. I've also seen Central Park, the NYU campus, 5th Ave, Greenwich Village or like us locals call it, "The Village," Washington Square Park, Macy's, where the parade is, and ridden the subway by myself!
My first few days have been exciting and overwhelming. I went to Nav Night last night and several girls hugged me and told me they have prayed for years for female staff. That instantly dissolved any uncertainties. I'm excited to get to know the students more, but they were extremely welcoming last night.

Leaving Minnesota





The staff team in Minneapolis surprised me with a little "going away coffee." I was shocked and it was such a special way to end my time.
This is me ready to head for the airport.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Colorado










My sister surprised me with a ticket to Colorado for the weekend! It was my grandpa's 90th birthday and we had a party on Sunday. It was great surprising my family with a visit.
The Top 10 Signs that I Was in Colorado:
10. There were not 17 snowplows on the runway when I landed.

9. I was approached by a guy with a clipboard in the terminal.

8. Mountains!!!

7. Marci had the AC on when she picked me up and two hours later we had the heat on.

6. People were wearing shorts.

5. Ski slopes were closed at 4pm.

4. We had to chain up to drive over the mountains.

3. I didn't see one Swedish person.

2. Elk Crossing signs on the Interstate.

And the number one sign I knew I was in Colorado: When people said it was warm outside it actually was warm!


Wrap-Up





The last part of January we went to Des Moines where Khoa and Heidi Ha have started a Nav group on the Drake campus. It is exciting to see what God is doing in the hearts of the students involved!


I went with Bruce, Trish and Dennis Petersen to Wisconsin last week. We visited the University of Wisconsin campuses of Whitewater and Madison. We were sharing with their students what b2g is and how we want to help them after they graduate.



For Valentine's Day, Marilyn and Christin and I spent the day in St. Paul.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Back in the Northern Country

Well, we have been back in MN about three weeks now. We have been busy getting back to our routine and working. Great news-it's warming up to about 20 now! That's only good news to people who have been living in -20 the last week! We have a redefined sense of temperature now! Never before has 20 been warm to us! So, if you've been praying it would warm up here, thank you! I thought I'd post a few pictures of the last month.

**For some reason, sometimes all the pictures show up and are lined up right and sometimes there are pictures missing...I don't know why it's doing this but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with it being so cold outside... There should be pictures on each of these posts, but they are not always showing up. Sometimes, if you close it and open it again, the pictures are there.**

February Calendar:
Feb 1 Super Bowl Go Cardinals!!
Feb 6-8 Girls' Retreat with students from Madison, WI
Feb 11-13 Aimee and Trish will be promoting b2g and Metro missions to college students in a couple campuses in WI
March 1 NYC

A Few Odd MN Things

We are learning all kinds of different um...cultural things here in Minnesota. I didn't even know they made windshield washer fluid that went down to -20 degrees F! Also, we had our first "drive-thru" grocery experience. And apparently, an outlet inside your house can even gather frost when it's -30 degrees outside! We also had our first "Swedish" experience. We visited the Swedish Institute and drank Lingonberry cidar.









































Minnesota Christmas

Caryn got to spend a few days with us before Christmas! We went to a play in St. Paul, introduced her to some friends here, watched a frigid parade of lights and even got to meet a MN Vikings' football player!!
Marilyn's mom turned 100 and we celebrated with her.





















Colorado Christmas

"The closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere is a quiet, Christmas morning in the Colorado snow." -Nitty Gritty Dirt Band


























Alabama Christmas



Christin was able to spend two weeks in Alabama! She got to see a lot of friends and had special time with her family. Here are some pictures from her Christmas. (In Order: Kylie, Grandmother, Mom and Kylie, Haley, Kylie, Aunt Christin and Hunter, nephew-Luke, parents' new house, Laura's baby: Lillian, Dad, Lee, Dana, Haley and Hunter, Kristin and Michelle)