Thursday, November 20, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2014
"Yeah, I'm new here."
This is what I have spoken regularly as if my mouth was on a loop. Tacoma has been really good to me so far. I'm not afraid of the constant rain or near vertical hill I live on that I walk up and down several times per week. All in all, moving here has been a piece of cake. After living in Japan and adapting to a foreign language, working a 14hr/day schedule, and grieving my grandma's passing alone I know that I can adapt to anything. Nothing in life will be more difficult than my summer overseas.
I know I have taken entirely too long to post but I'm afraid my activities are pretty dry compared to my last mission program. This list is some of what I've been up to since I arrived.
(8/22) The first week here was simple. I had the week off so that I could explore the community and stock up on household things that I needed. I attended a neighborhood festival and had time to acclimate to my new setting.
(9/2) My first day of work happened to be my birthday and I made a point of not telling anyone, not even my housemate. I wasn't interested in celebrating this year because I didn't have any friends to celebrate it with and I don't look forward to awkward "happy birthday"s from people I don't know. Surprise, surprise though, my boss and coworkers brought out a cake and bottles of wine after our all-day meeting. It was pretty great for drinking with strangers anyway.
(9/17) I attended the Children's Alliance advocacy camp in Federal Way for a few days. They call it advocacy camp but it should be called political action training. The first day we studied ballot initiatives, referendums, and upcoming legislation. We had workshops with legislators, a Seattle Times columnist, and more than a dozen contract lobbyists to learn the who/what/when/where of policy advocacy on behalf of our organizations. I also got to spend time with another Global Mission Fellow from Seattle who was at the training.
(9/25-27) The National Race & Pedagogy Conference is held every four years at the University of Puget Sound and I spent three days in workshops, round-table discussions, and plenary sessions listening to some of the greatest Social Justice Leaders of our time. Angela Davis, Winona LaDuke, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva all wowed me with their tenacity and decades worth of experience fighting oppression and documenting injustice in America.
My first few posts will be like this but hopefully I can write about more exciting things as the legislative session begins in the new year.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
It was a lunch-time conversation with Dan Randall.
He is a Duke Divinity graduate, passionate traveler, and GBGM foreign missionary. He gave me the right advice at the right time in my life and I'm forever grateful that I met him.
He reminded me that, when I face trials and obstacles from people in my life it's important to look back on my calling and remember the sign posts that GOD has placed in my life. That, when I feel stuck it's important to reach out, discover, and take the next step. And that, it's MY journey and no one can take it from me.
He reminded me of the story of Samuel and how he used an Ebenezer, or "stone of help", to mark the moment in time when he was strengthened by the Lord, and then he did not lose sight of his mission.
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. (1 Samuel 7:12-14 NRSV)He also told me of his time at Duke when his advisers told him not to take a second leave of absence from school to go on mission for a year. But he explained to them "this is what you are training me for and this is what God has set me aside for" and he left for France. He returned to Duke to finish his masters knowing that God was leading his life.
Whenever I feel defeated in this journey I have decided to venture on I remember the people God has placed in my life as "stones of help".