"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Old Sacramento

Hola! Como estan ustedes? Today i woke up early to go and work out with Susie. We went to Family Fitness and i got a membership for two months. This is a great fitness center! I am so thankful that i can use it. The neighborhood isn't very safe and it wouldn't be a good idea for me to run by myself, so that is why we thought it would be better to have a membership. It was great, and we even got Starbucks once we were done :)

Then we went back to her house and filled water balloons for after church. We had church in the park this afternoon, which was really powerful. Dave talked about stress in our lives and connected it to Philippians 4:1-9. Two women in the church were disagreeing and Paul called the church to help them not to be anxious but rejoice. How often do we rejoice when we are anxious or in a disagreement? Probably not that often. Pastor Dave brought up some beautiful points in moving through our disagreements to get back to the joy rather than trying to just move around our disagreements.

Here are some verse that really struck me just with the stress that i have been feeling these last three days trying to remember everyones names and all the details of this community:

"4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

After the message, we played steal the bacon. which is a game where you line two team up opposite each other in a line and put something in the middle of them. Then you each count of, in each line, and then when your number is called you run to the middle to get the object first. If you were on the opposite team and you didn't reach the object first your goal was to tag the other person before they made it back to their teams line. We used squirt guns and made up some of our own rules, which eventually turned it into a raging water fight. It was a blast! Great people and it was fun getting to meet some new people. It is so interesting seeing how some many people have either lived in of are connected to Michigan in some way or another. Even last today when we went to the Jazz Festival in Old Sacramento (the old part of the city) i talked to this elderly lady named Philis, who was going on vacation in traverse city. Really interesting, but then there are many people who have no idea where Michigan is and i once pulled out my hand to show them, and everyone thought it was the funniest thing ever. They said that they are "mentos" since they are from Sacramento, and that i am a "mitten" since i used my hand to show them what Michigan is :)

Today was a long fun filled very busy day, but tomorrow for Memorial Day we are getting up at 4:00am to go to Yosemite National Park for the day.

Please continue to pray for the community and the youth here. Also please keep my grandfather and uncle mark in your prayers.



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baloncesto y Una Fiesta

SO this morning I after waking up at 4 am and then 6am thinking it was later than it actually was, I got up at 8 am and left with dave to go see the basketball league that he helped start. They have many kids in the area signed up for this and the board has worked with one of the local middle schools so that they can use the gym for the games. I met many people from the community but one that i will never forget, the man of the hour, Frank. He directs the league now, but also works at the school and is a police officer. The kids absolutely love him and he loves them. I also met Christaina and Gilbert Damian; they are the host family that I will live with for the rest of the summer after this week, and they have two kids Esperanza (Sita) and Beto. Both of their kids played in the basketball league and Christina helps run the snack bar. She talks more than I do (somthing i never thoguh possilbe) and seems to know everyone that came into the gym.

So I was at the gym from 8-11 and the Dave brought me back to his families house so I had designated rest time. Susie and Erin (a lady from their church) were working on finances and I talked with them for a while and then was able to take a nap for a little bit because Christina ans Gilbert asked if I wanted to come with them to a friends baptism for the afternoon. Their neighbors are catholic and Gilberts family has deep catholic roots. So we dressed up and went to St. Fransis. The pace of life here is quite a bit slower than I am used to and I have found that people tend to come to things when ever they can make it. There isn’t a strick time when you need to be some where. It is really different than I am used to but I am really loving the flexibility and the laied back attitude that many of the families that I have met here have. So we made it to the baptism actually an hour later than we were supposed to be there. But when we got their Christian intuduced me to everyone as her adopted daughter for the summer and they all welcomed me like I was so distant cousin. We even took a picture together with the whole family there when it was they first time i had met them. I was so surprised, when I went to go shake Christian and Gilberts neighbors hands( it was their daughter that was baptized), the wife came in and kissed me of the check. I was not expecting that and was a bit surprised and then realized that it was just how they greated people. So then everytime I was introduced to people it just became normal because that is what everyone did, even the deacon who baptized their daughter. SO many things I am getting used to!

Once people started to leave the church they went back to the neighbors house where they had so many talbe set up and tons of Mexican food. Muy deliciosa y sabrosa! It was a fantastic night. It was great being able to spend time sith Christian, Gilbert, Sita, and Beto. They are wonderful people and I am really grateful that they are opening their house to me this summer.

Tomorrow is my first time at church and with the holiday weekend we are doing church out side at the park. IT is the first time ever that they have done this and I am excited to go! Plese pray for the community here and the people who are struggleing for ends meet and problems in their lives. After going to the basketball league today it was great seeing lots of parent involvement, but I also know that that isn’t the case for everyone in this community.

Living Under The Influence,


Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus

Welcome to Sacramento

Made It!!

The flight here was better than I thought it would have gone. There were some great people that flew with me and I would definitely fly alone again. I think that there are so many things that are coming at me right now that it is hard to be able to express how I am feeling at this point, but the first thing I guess I would say is grateful. Dave and Susie, and their kids (Anna, Julia, and Justin) picked me up from the airport, hand made sign included!

After that family and I went to Safeway (a grocery store) and went shopping where the kids were telling me all about their pets and school (they are homeschooled) and their favorites foods. They were really excited when I said that I have never had artichokes before and then Susie proceeded to get some so I could try them this week with this wonderful sauce. And she got this Mexican potatoes (that name escapes me) but apparently it is really good in salads. Dave and his family have been so wonderful and trying to make me feel as much home as possible, I am so blessed.

After grocery shopping Dave took me on a tour of the neighborhood. The airport is closer to the newly developed area where there used to be nothing up until about 6-10 years ago and everything in that area is now completely new. Nothing had been there before because it was a flood plan, but now they are able to build on this area which has in return caused problems for this community I am in. They struggle with side effects from urban sprawl and isolation from the major highway and the Sacramento river. Dave and his family live in known as Garden Land North Park. This community is primarily centered on Northgate blvd also know as heroin alley and the corridor of neglect. There is a lot of broken families and elderly people here struggling with immense poverty and food insecurity and other issues.

There is SO much I have to learn about this community; Dave just gave me a very general tour. Bridge of Life church is actively involved in caring for this community. God calls each of us in a different way to work for his purpose and here we have a group of people called to make a change in the midst of this turmoil. God is good and is working wonders.

The second word I would use right now to describe how I am doing is overwhelmed. As you have read there is a lot going on here. And I am so tired, and so hit by this communities need for the love of Christ. I am definitely having a harder time dealing with the time change than I thought I would, but am so grateful for the people here who have been praying for me and anticipating my arrival. I am excited to see where God can use me this summer.

In Him,


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost There

So tomorrow is the big day! there are a couple things i still need to pack , but other than that i am ready to go. This all seems so unreal to me right now, but is about to seem very real. I leave tomorrow morning at 10am for Sacramento for about 10 weeks. I am really excited for this journey to begin, but at the same time nervous for the unknown of this summer. All i can do is trust in God and give it all to him. I am so looking forward to what God is going to show me through the community and the church there, but am really hoping to get some answers to whether the ministry field might be a good fit for me someday.

Trusting in Him,


Matthew 6:34
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Please Pray

Yesterday my uncle was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Please Pray for him, for healing and answers in these uncertain times. Please pray for my family as we are trying to understand what is going to happen and for strength. All we are do is lean on God, and that is exactly where we need to be at this point.

When i find out more information i will update you.

Thank you for your prayers,


Monday, May 24, 2010


What A wonderful day! I was able to get eleven hours of sleep last night which is a huge improvement from the two i had had the night before. It was 85 degrees out today and the sun was out! Absolutely beautiful summer day. I was having a fantastic time listening to Ingrid Michealson, Jason Maraz, and Jon Foreman this afternoon as i unpacked everything from school and separated everything that i want to take with me to Sacramento.

I was able to talk with Dave, the pastor of Bridge of Life church,and learned a little bit more about what my internship will look like this summer. The day after i get to Sacramento his family and i are going to get up early and spend the day in Yosemite national park, Sunday we are going to have an outdoor church service, and then Monday we are going to either take the day off, or jump right into the work that i will be doing.

There is a lot that i am going to be doing with the community. Right now i am planning on working with an organization called the Green House. This is their mission "Cultivating a thriving community by nurturing the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and physical development of our youth and inspiring them to grow to their full potential" They work with and build relationships with inner-city kids and their families to help bring renewal to the area that is saturated with urban poverty.

Below is some information on the demographics of this care-needing community:

"The 2000 census paints a disheartening picture of the Gardenland/Northgate area, illustrating the needs of these children and the community at large. The picture includes a diverse population, widespread poverty, many immigrants, many unemployed, many broken families and a very, very large number of children. The average family size in the apartments where The GreenHouse is located is six, and over 550 children live on that one square block alone. The ethnic makeup of the people living in the apartments is roughly divided into thirds – about 31% Latino, 31% African-American, 31% Slavic (Russian and Ukranian immigrants) and 7% other, including Caucasian and Tongan. In the Gardeland/Northgate neighborhood just east of the apartments, almost 30% of families are living below the poverty line and 50% of families are without an adult male. Almost 23% of households make less than $10,000 per year and more than 50% make less than $25,000 per year."

Out everything today, one thing that really made me smile was a surprise that was on my desk when i came home from GR. I had to go pick up my bike that i had left at Boer Bennink. I was tired , but excited to be back home where the AC was working again. But nothing was as great as the surprise in my room where on my desk was a vase with six red roses. I wondered who they could have been from and was hoping they were from Eric, but wasn't sure...i thought that maybe my parents had given them to me because they were glad i was home (which might have been a little silly), but i opened the card that was next to them and it said "Happy six month Anniversary"

Pretty much was the GREATEST part of my day :)

Living Under The Influence,


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Needle and Thread

I was reminded today of how much i desire to be surrounded by Christs love and how i often try to find His love through other people or things. As I get ready to leave this Friday, i realize how nervous I am to be away from the people i greatly care about and who greatly care about me. While I finished packing up my dorm room today i listened to "Needle and Thread," by Sleeping At Last, and was reminded of how we are made in Gods Love, and how no matter how far from home i am, Gods love remains. So when i feel far from family and friends and loved ones, can be comforted in the promise of Gods Love for me and how his love is knit into my being. His love is never ending or unfailing.

Living Under The Influence,


Check out this Song By Sleeping At Last:


Monday, May 17, 2010

Risky Things

I once heard this quote, "Risky things always yield the best, the most beautiful things." And while I am not sure I would always agree with this statement i think that it is often the risky adventures or detours in our roads that bring growth in our lives.

This summer i am going on an adventure to love and serve the people at Bridge of Life Church. I am so anticipating the time i will spend there, the people i will meet, and seeing what God has to teach me through me experiences there.

Living Under The Influence,