Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Ascent

The Acsent Camp follow-up weekend happened this weekend. We planned a short weekend get-a-way held at Joan and Deiter’s farm for the students who attended camp and those who have been coming to the after-school Bible studies at both secondary schools. It was a time to connect with the students more outside of school time, and to review the teachings from Camp in December. One thing everyone enjoyed was seeing pictures from the December camp at Swakopomund. Another big hit was the tire swing.

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Two highlights from the weekend: 1: The “question panel” we did on Saturday afternoon. The leaders sat in front of the students and explained that this was a time to ask any of the questions they wanted to ask us – anything from general questions about us, to questions about God and the Bible. From the very first question it was clear that these young people are hungry to know the things of God. Questions from, “Why do some churches heal people?” to “What is a false prophet and how can I tell the difference?” There were so many questions, so many honestly seeking answers. We searched through scripture and shared at every possible chance to show the students that the answers we gave were not of ourselves, but straight out of God’s mouth, through His Word. After over an hour of questions and answers, God discussion and the Word of God being shared, we were already running very late on our schedule, (even for African time!) and we told the students we would have time for only a few more, to which they replied, “Can’t we keep going??” It brought joy to my heart.
2: Later that day we watched the movie, “The Passion of the Christ”. For many students it was their first time seeing the movie. We planned time following the film for everyone to go off on their own to reflect, pray and be alone with God, then we came together in small groups to discuss the emotions, thoughts, and questions that everyone had. This was the second highlight of the weekend for me, seeing the girls in my group ask questions, and come to new realizations about Jesus and His sacrifice for us. One girl, Natalia, said, “I just…I feel like I don’t deserve what He did for me.” What a plain statement of the truth of GRACE.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

january from my perspective

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the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood (aka the sight where Sam became famous. we're not sure why)

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Nevsky at night (complete with furry Russian hats...yes, everyone really does wear them)

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(Sam contemplating: "Can I walk on it yet?")

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Veiw from the Hermitage window

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(what we affectionately called, "The Fake Starbucks")

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(I believe this is before I clobbered him at Dominos...for the third time)

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The landing of the floor in the hostel where Sam lives (yes, I'm serious)

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Sam's hall (or what I will forever be entitling, "Would You Want To Live Here For 6 Years?")

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My new playground


The Heavens letting loose (yep, that's rain!)

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Buddy disappearing into the riverbed (knee-deep and sinking fast)

more to come...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

quit russian around

day five of the Russia experience and i thought i'd give a quick recap to get you up to speed. here's the update so far...

bags stolen on wednesday: 2
hours spent on thursday at St. Petersburg police station trying to file a police report: 5
miles walked on Nevsky Prospekt on friday: 10
russian words added to my vocabulary: 12
different countries from which i have met people thus far: 11
children hugged during our time at the orphanage on saturday: 15
unexpected free meals provided so far: 2
times sam's skin color attracted enough attention to warrant schoolchildren asking him to pose for photographs: 4
inches of ice permanently plastered to the sidewalks in St. Petersburg: 2
days of winter i have left to experience: 3

from russia with love,