Sunday, July 27, 2008

Prayer Requests.

I have had a hard time being very open on my blog lately, because I just don't know who reads it anymore. But since a lot of you are my dear friends and this is the way I told you I'd communicate over HNGR, I think I should use this space for a few honest prayer requests.

True things are much different than they were those terrible first two weeks here. I've gained comfort and am finding a place, and I praise the Lord for that. However, things haven't been always easy either. These are some difficult things I need prayer for right now:

Please pray that I will find a friend who will be open with me about her pains and joys and who will invite me to be open with her about mine. I'm slowly growing more comfortable with people, though I still have a ways to go on even that, but I am starting to long for something more than just not feeling awkward. I long for someone to notice when I'm hurting and to reach out to me, but despite my best efforts I haven't found this person yet.

Please pray that I will resolve difficulties in my job, be able to communicate with my boss despite very different communication styles, and that I will understand the work they want me to do. It's hard to explain, but there are some big cultural differences that can make aspects of my work really frustrating. They have a tendency to throw a lot of information at me without any background, and to explain things circularly not linearly, which leaves me confused and often frustrated. This has been hard in the past, but now it is a matter of throwing around fluid concepts which I am supposed to understand concretely enough to write an effective survey, and expecting me to start doing things when I'm still trying to figure out what they want me to do. I feel trapped by not being able to understand and by not being able to get things explained well. To be honest I'm dreading going to work tomorrow.

Pray that in lonliness I will continue to seek the Lord and find rest in him. I want to live these moments, not just push through them. Pray for a patience that is rooted in hope that will allow me to do this. All too often I feel like I'm still just checking off the days and weeks until I'm done.

Thank you.
With love,

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Ok, I know I've been terrible about posting. Sorry about that. You know how there is either nothing interesting to post or your doing things that are too interesting to have time post? Anyway - here is something interesting that I did.

I went on a trip to a remote part of Nicaragua with a group of youth from my church here and also a small short-term group from a Korean-American church in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a grueling trip - 14 hours there and 17 hours back. The town, Apawas, was only accessable by a 3 hour canoe ride (with a motor). I almost died a couple of times, particularly on the aforementioned canoe ride, but what else is new? (I mean really, enough about me, what's new with your guys?). The good part was I got some great field data for my study on short-term missions.

Here are some pictures.

This is the town of Apawas. It has sprung up in just the past nine years to provide merchandise for the farmers who are taming the "agricultural frontier of Nicaragua." Land is extremely cheap in this area. Most of these shops are owned by people who go to Managua once a month or more to buy wares and return to sell them here. People walk into town from hours away to buy necesities. Because no roads lead to Apawas, there are no cars here. Only horses.

This is my host sister Wendy. I was blessed to get to know her better on this trip. Wendy loves children. I know a lot of girls say, "Oh! I LOVE children!" but really if you leave them with a group of kids for more than 15 minutes they get tired and annoyed (I am one of those girls. Except I have reformed my word choice to "like" in recent years). But Wendy really does love Children. I see the Lord shine through her when she is with them. She is going to Iowa next month to study Special Education at Dort College. I will miss her dearly.

This picture was taken at the exact moment that this cute little parrot pooped on my leg. There is nothing posed about that face...

These are the beautiful women of Apawas. Shop owners, mothers, some victims of domestic abuse. Alcoholism is very prevalent among men in Apawas. We held a little gathering for these women where we served them refreshments, played ice-breaker games, Joy (Korean girl on the left) shared her testimony, and I gave them massages while they shared prayer requests. When asked what they like to do in their free time most women resonded "cooking and house work." When asked what their favorite food was the most common response was either "chicken" or "rice and beans." We prayed together Nicaraguan style, all of us holding hands and raising our voices together to call on the Lord to meet our needs. I was very blessed by this time.

This is the well in Apawas. During winter people mostly collect rain water, but in the summer they have to rely on this highly contaminated water source. It runs low so people crawl into it and dredge it with buckets. There are holes in the sides so river water sloshes in bringing along not just mud, but also soap from washing laundry, and other even less pleasant things. In the short time we were there David, the pastor of the Atlanta church, and Sarah, his Nicaraguan wife who is studying development, managed to form a plan to build a new well which will be directed by the local church, contributed to by the town council, and funded by their church in Atlanta. Pastor David told us that just as James said we cannot just tell a brother he is loved but leave him hungry, and thirst, is an even more basic need than hunger. However he was also careful to ensure that this project will be known as primarily coming from the local Baptist church in Apawas and will be supported by their effort and initiative. It was really refreshing to see people doing things with a good heart AND a well thought out, culturally sensitive approach.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Just life.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty relaxed. I've done that travelling I mentioned, but little else besides. I haven't been in the office much because it was vacation this week and there was some miscommunication last week. I didn't do much when I did travell either, but it was good to see new things and sit in on some workshops. Except the one day when we travelled 6 hours to Omitepe, only to discover no one knew we were coming, and so we turned around and went straight back. 11 hours of travelling for no reason. But... could be worse.

Besides that I've been mostly hanging out at home - going for walks, watching movies with Wendy, helping out Nana (a little bit), and playing Mario Cart with Ruben and Gabrielito. It has been slow paced, and I'll look forward to getting back to work next week, but the Lord has been teaching me new things, and in general life's been pretty good. Here are some pictures.
This is from Omitepe, when I was there for 5 minutes.
This is the Island of Omitepe from the ferry we took to get there.
This is me living the hard life with Wendy (right) and our neighbor Cathy.
And these are my host brothers: Gabrielito (who's 4), and Ruben (who's 11). They're pretty cute.