Questions, Questions… “Make College Count” Reflections #6

Question #6: How will you choose a major?

  • Ask God –> pray for guidance, wisdom, and leading
  • Follow passions and gifts/talents/abilities.
  • Take advice from other who know ME well.
  • Ask good questions of those in my field of interest and those currently studying in that field at various schools.
  • Discover what kinds of classes I would be taking/how much flexibility is involved.
  • Ask: How will this major increase my serviceability to God and others??

DR 2012 — July 7th (Journal #9)

1:25 am
Today was SO beautiful. We left TIME around 10 to come to the resort. When we got here, we found out how neat it is! We can get drinks, all the food we want, swim in the ocean or in a pool, borrow towels, and everything is included! I loved playing in Your picture-perfect creation
I also got my hair braided! πŸ™‚ Only $25, too! They put blue and white beads in and I ended up with 42 braids. How cool is that?! I’m excited.
We met and worshipped on the beach in the starlight tonight. It was SO awesome to be surrounded by Your glory in that way. Then we came back and met in Bob and Marilyn’s room. Marilyn challenged us to share what God’s shout-out to us was this week. If we share these kinds of things out loud, God can use that to hold us accountable.
Each of us has a story to share, and our story can often be the most influential, persuasive way You can bring others to You through us. Remind me of this often and help me to listen to Your voice to know when to tell who and what.
Help me to build a community of believers to truly FELLOWSHIP with at NWC, Abba. No matter where I go there will be hurting people who NEED You desperately. Help me to shine Your light of hope into their lives and to love each person as You call me to love.
Long day of travel home tomorrow!

DR 2012 — July 6th (Journal #8)

6:20 pm
Today was fun! We were able to sleep in a litte bit, which was amazing, and we worked on the benches and preparing for the next group this morning. I wrote the last update with Kyle, too, about yesterday at the chapel site.
For lunch today they took us out to Pizza Hut. It was yummy having pizza in the DR! We saw Cathedra Primera de las Americanas (The First Cathedral of the Americas), too! The ceiling was gorgeous and they had beautiful flowers inside as well. When we went to the fort we found stairs to a closed-off part and climbed them! πŸ˜› Fun!
This evening we went to El Mercado (the market) where we were able to buy souvenirs and barter with the vendors! I got Reed a machete and Jenna a painting, a bracelet that says “Dios es amor” for myself, and a little switch knife for myself, too. πŸ™‚ All for $24!! I think Reed would be pretty proud of my bargaining skills. πŸ˜‰ I still have money left for getting my hair braided, thankfully!

11:45 pm
The banquet tonight was so fun and so moving. The boys individually escorted us to the food line since we were all dressed up, which was pretty sweet of them. πŸ™‚ The lunch ladies made abolutely AMAZING food! They made rice pudding for dessert, too, which was SO good!
They the Dominicans put on a show of songs, dance, and worship for us. Angely sang, Noe and his brother, Beker, sang (they are very, very good. I think they could sing opera!), and they sang a really fast tongue-twister type song. When Beker played his keyboard and sang English worship songs, Noe told him to have my come sing with him and Harold. So I did, and it was really fun! Not to mention that YOU were in that place and we WORSHIPPED You, Abba!!
To finish the night we had an open mic to share how God has worked over the week. I will write more later about how You worked and taught our team, after our final debrief at the beach resort tomorrow!
WOW, I am going to really miss my new Dominican brothers and sisters. I pray we can stay in contact, but I think I’m going to leave part of my heart here. Please, send me back here, Abba!
I LOVE You, Abba. SO much. Thank You for Your community of disciples!!
❀ Andrea Joy ❀

Questions, Questions… “Make College Count” Reflections #3

Question #3: What do you believe? OR What questions of faith do you wrestle with rightΒ now?
(I’ll answer the second one. I am pretty well-grounded in the first one, though I am always refining it!)

  • the relationship of anxiety & peace (and what they mean)
  • God’s will –> for me as an individual, not His general will for Humankind. I understand THAT pretty well! πŸ™‚
  • What does loving others look like for each person? (and asking Abba that continually)
  • Hearing Abba when I’m listening –> and I want to always be listening!
  • Continually discovering the LIFE of the gospel
  • What does true Christian community look like?
  • Correct and balanced longings/dreams/desires

DR 2012 — July 5th (Journal #7)

10:45 pm
Today we built the whole chapel! πŸ™‚ Wow, that was SO fun. We worked with the Dominicans, laughing and enjoying each others’ company. We only had one injury (besides little scrapes) and that was when the penultimate roof panel started to fall in, causing the last truss to collapse inside the chapel and almost pin Chris, the missionary, underneath it.
When we got back we ate amazing chicken soup Dominican-style. πŸ™‚
Tonight I led devotion. I decided to talk about prayer and communication with God. I explained “praying in color” (drawing my prayers instead of using lots of words) and we each did it individually, sharing the experience afterwards. Many in the group said that it was a wonderful, new way to pray. Thank You, Abba, for reminding me of that and giving me an opportunity to share.
The interns shared their testimonies with us tonight, too. Thank You for the ways You have worked in the lives of Ross, Ashley, Kailey, and Rachel. Father, You have particularly touched me through Rachel and the way we can relate to one another. Bless all of the interns and give each one of them strength and endurance for the rest of the summer here.
We get to sleep in tomorrow, Abba! Thank You for rest, Abba!! Goodnight. ❀

DR 2012 — July 4th (Journal #6)

(Ephesians 5) Father, thank You for cherishing me. Help me to love others as myself (by first loving myself in a healthy way). KILL my pride. Help me to care for the interest of my teammates above my own interests and draw closer to them. Mold and change my heart, Abba. ❀

7:15 am
(Matthew 5:9-12) Father, give me strength in my weakness to do all I have, all I am, for You. Give me energy to work hard today for You even though I’ve gotten a cold. Work Your grace in my heart and mind. Yes, as Your people we will be persecuted, but Your plan, the goal, is ever so much better.
Thank You for life. ❀

2:25 pm
I just finished writing little letters to Ricki, Angela, and Carmencita! They are women from Cercadillo that made the 2 headbands and small bag that I bought for me, mom, and Jenna. I can’t WAIT to play with all the children at Cercadillo and hopefully meet these and more wonderful ladies. Bless our time with them this afternoon.
I love You so much, Abba. πŸ™‚

8:00 pm
It turns out that we couldn’t go to Cercadillo because it was pouring this afternoon. :/ You had a plan, though, Abba. We went for ice cream at Bon and stopped at La Sirena (which is similar to Walmart). I bought mom two neat potholders, Dominican vanilla, and a black, white, and green shirt for Reed.
We packed the truck for building tomorrow, too, and we will maybe hear the interns’ testimonies tonight as well.
The kitchen ladies were so thoughtful to make us a classic American dinner in celebration of the 4th of July! Cindy (the wife of the American missionary, Chris) even made an American flag cake with 50 blueberries, which we sang the Star-spangled Banner to! πŸ™‚ It was really fun.
Father, I love it here! I love the people and the food, the children, Dominican interns, and places we’ve been. I have soaked it all in so far and enjoyed it all immensely. Working with Harold today was such a blast. We joked around, laughing at the mistakes each of us made in our respective foreign languages.
I found out from Noe that Spanish doesn’t have a word equivalent to “stubborn”! Hehe, I applied that to JesΓΊs because he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer at dinner tonight. πŸ˜›

9:50 pm
I played with Elda and sang a little with Ashley and Kyle tonight! We get to go to bed a little early, too, because we get up at 4 tomorrow to go to the chapel site! So excited!! πŸ™‚ We finally put up Your House, Abba. ❀
Bless our sleep and multiply the time to re-energize our bodies. Amen. ❀

DR 2012 — July 1st (Journal #3)

1:45 pm
Church this morning was really fun! I understood much more than I thought I would, considering the Pastor (Noe’s brother) spoke REALLY fast when he got excited. πŸ™‚ They have the congregation bring their offerings and tithes forward during the offertory song. I thought that was really neat and that we should do that! It brings the body together more and shows how supportive the community is.
Lunch was really good and after that I talked with J.J. He tested my Spanish memory verses from Romans and teased me when I messed up. πŸ˜› It’s not like he had any memory verses in English to back himself up, though! πŸ˜‰ It was pretty entertaining, anyway.
Kyle and I are going to write a song! πŸ™‚ In Spanish, hopefully. We’ll see.

10:20 pm
Tonight at ministry in Hatillo I gave my testimony! I even gave it in Spanish. πŸ˜€ Es muy divertido! Kyle and I sang 2 songs in Spanish as a duet, too, instead of our group doing the puppets (this ministry was more geared towards teens, not little kids). That was pretty powerful, and the Dominicans really liked it. I liked that during their worship the words were on the screen this time so that I could sing along! A girl I met named Sylvia really seemed touched tonight. She hugged me afterwards when we said goodbye.
Father, be with those teens. They need You, especially during the summer when they don’t have a lot to do and could get into trouble.
Tomorrow half of our team gets up really early to go do the Foundation! πŸ™‚ Help us to sleep really well!!

DR 2012 — One. Week. Away.

I can’t believe it; my team and I will be in an airplane flying to Santo Domingo at this time one week from today! We have prepared much and been in prayer for the people we will minister to and with… that they will be touched and that we will learn from them as well. We have practiced our mimes to the music that go with them. We have rehearsed all the songs that we will sing with the children (in Spanish!) and practiced with the big arm puppets on the rest of the songs. We have collected all of the supplies we’ll be taking with us (each of us are taking two checked bags — one for us and one filled with everything we’re taking to give away and minister with!). We have turned in our passports to our leaders so that no one gets left behind. We have completed all of the logistics and organizational details. Physically, we are ready for this mission. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally… I’m not so sure. I know that each one of us is at a different place in our relationship with Jesus. We each have different worldviews and presuppositions that we bring to this mission trip, some more similar than others. My prayer as we embark in less than a week is that we be unified — in His purpose, as a church body, as fellow believers and friends, as team members. My prayer is that we each let God mold and transform us into the people of His name that He created us to be. My prayer is that we are humble, willing to accept correction and even rebuke. My prayer is that we invest in each life we come into contact with as unique, image-bearing of our Creator and special to Him. Thank you, friends, for your support. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your monetary gifts. Thank you for your love. Amen, Abba, let it be. ❀

Questions, Questions… “Make College Count” Reflections #1

I got a book for graduation called “Make College Count”. In it the author discusses briefly seven different questions and encourages the reader to think more deeply about and discuss these questions, for they are foundational to these critical years and to life as a human being. Here are some of my thoughts on the first question:

Question #1: What kind of person do you want to become?

  • Christ-like — growing and transforming… patterning my character after His
  • Generous — sacrificial and pouring out LOVE
  • Pure — unified in mind/spirit/body; faithful to Christ as my center, my core
  • Virtuous — pursue godly character and attributes
  • Purposeful — having a responsible, focused urgency for His Kingdom and His will
  • Content — not seeking more than what IΒ truly need; relying on Abba
  • Joyful — displaying the love of Christ and His grace in my life –> through the good AND bad *Philippians 4:4
  • Peace-filled — not anxious or worrying, but settled in my identity in Christ
  • Integrity — dependable, keep my word
  • A Dreamer — imaginative of God and His plans –> they willΒ always be greater than mine! πŸ™‚ *Ephesians 3:20
  • Humble — not seeking the approval of others, but of God; yet also grateful for the community of others and honesty in accountability
  • Teachable — moldable and shapable as He works in and through me
  • Patient — in helping others, giving them advice when wanted; in waiting on Abba
  • Thankful — for EVERY circumstance: trials, good times, sorrow, joy, rain or shine –> count ALL as blessings from the LORD * 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • Passionate — about God, His People, His World… about the gifts He’s given me and desires He planted within my heart
  • Encouraging — always building up others –> BE the church! * Ephesians 4:29
  • Honest — not stretching the truth or known for cheating anyone, but known for TRUTH and seeking truth
  • Beautiful — as a person on the inside! Beauty of Character
  • Listening — caring and respectful of others’ needs and wants
  • Smiley — it brightens cloudy days and others’ moods!
  • Forgiving — not holding anything against others (especially if they WERE wrong) but extending grace just as Christ has given to me
  • Prayerful — in close communication and communion with my Abba and my Savior
  • Life-long Learner — read lots! expand my horizons of people, cultures, His world… theology. Always keep growing and refining my worldview!
  • Wise — make good decisions. Become a Proverbs 31 woman!
  • Brave — willing to go all out for Jesus! Do all that He asks of me.
  • Investor — use God’s resources and gifts to me wisely and well! Remember that every moment is an opportunity to invest in others’ lives –> for ETERNITY.
  • Creative — show His love and truth in new ways that highlight His nature (musically, verbally, in word, deed, and thought)

SA 2012 — A Memoir

(started May 17, 2012 and finished today)

Thank You, Jesus, for this year,
Thank You for my beloved class.
We have shared our joys and fears.
These nine months have gone too fast!

Kerryn, my dear preschool reject,
You’ve been with me from day one.
God has blessed me more than I could expect;
These years have been such crazy fun!
Alex, bosom buddy, friend,
Thank you for your loyalty.
This year will not be the end
‘Cause we’re both going to NWC!
Sarah, Washington calls to you
and who am I to say something else?
I will definitely miss you, too;
Remember the trip to Wisconsin Dells?
Tabs, you bring life to any group,
especially Philosophy with DanD.
How in the world will I stay in the loop
Without you there to always inform me?
Abbey, pretty Tinker-bell princess,
I love your pens and sticker books.
Vicky, luscious golden locks,
How attractive are your sexy looks!
Kiersten, running motorcycle-fanatic,
Be careful driving in the big, wide world.
And dear Sydney, miss word-smith,
Someday your book I might hold!
Taylor, the sanity in our hurricane,
thank you for your entertainment.
Schwy, whoops, I won’t call you that again,
Though your reaction to me reveals your amusement.
Heather, dear, I always know
That with you I can be crazy and wild.
Steph, my tan cheerleader friend,
I’ll never remember you as boring or mild!
Laura, plant and environment advocate,
Your style never fails to be
New and funky, colorful and cute,
Sometimes fancy, but always unique!

As I come to the end of this poem,
I’m overcome by thankfulness
For knowing you all and loving you much;
Father God, thank You. I’ve been SO blessed!!

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