I told you I was a bad blogger! I promised every Friday and now I’ve missed two. 🙁 Oh well. At least I’m blogging now!
Right now we’re in a period of CRAZY transition. Half our belongings are packed up. This Friday some girlfriends and I painted the apartment back to white. (You girls are AMAZING and I’m going to miss you all so much!) Right no I’m packing up my car to drive down to SoCal tomorrow for my sister’s wedding next Sunday. I’m then going to leave the car there and fly back to finish packing to leave Washington state September 30th.
I kind of feel homeless right now. I walk into our apartment and instead of being greeted by warm sunny yellow walls and pretty happy pictures, I’m greeted by stark white walls and an empty bookshelf. There are piles of stuff that stress me out and a lot of decisions about what to take to Atlanta, what to store, what to give away. Even though we’re not leaving for 12 days I feel like our home has already left us.
Today was our last day at Mt. Zion Baptist church and I nearly cried. Everyone was so excited for us and wished us well and gave us lots of hugs. It feels so sad to be leaving something that has been so welcoming and uplifting to us only to be moving to a place with so many unknowns. At least I have Grant with me. I’m really looking forward to finally being in Atlanta with all this transition behind us so I can focus again!
For the weekend. We won’t actually move in until October 3rd. But the people we are going to live with are moving in right now. I am in what will be our bedroom in what will be our apartment! The apartment is has plaster walls, old wood floors and old moulding that remind me of 449 Landfair (my residence at UCLA). The kitchen is awkward shaped but is DEFINITELY better that 449. For one thing it has a DISHWASHER! Yes. I thought I’d have to hand wash my dishes this year but apparently not. 🙂 Also there is a self-cleaning gas stove (Yes, Rebecca M. Self-cleaning). The best part is that there is central air conditioning, another item I thought I’d have to live without. There is also plenty of storage. We kind of like it! Also, since it is attached to Emmaus house there is an alarm system for the apartment. We thought our mothers would like to hear that!
Last night we went to the grocery store to buy food for the weekend. We were supposed to buy $20 worth of food for the weekend and $20 worth of staples that would last longer. We succeeded! However, after my bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and my one chicken sandwich I think I need to be content with not stuffing myself until I’m satisfied. It definitely gives you a different perspective on food when know you have to make what you have stretch for the whole weekend.
Today we learned how to use the public transportation. We were definitely the only white people on the bus. Even though we’ve been going to Mt. Zion Baptist Church for the past year, we still weren’t the ONLY white people. This will take some getting used to.
Gotta go now. We’re attending the kick off meal with the rest of the Mission Year Team who just got in today. Until next Friday!
There is so much to do! We’re starting Mission Year in about 5 weeks and it’s starting to get hectic. We’re putting together our September newsletter, gathering addresses, figuring out what to take, coordinating with the couple we’re going to live with. Our orientation is in 6 DAYS! That means we’ll fly to Atlanta so see the place we’re living in and meet the people we’ll be working with. Then we’re flying to Chicago for the nation wide Mission Year orientation. Then when we get back I’m packing and painting. Then a week after that I’m driving down to SoCal for my sister’s wedding! Then back to WA for one week and then to NorCal to move all our stuff to storage and then finally to Atlanta! Whew! As you can see just the thought of it all is overwhelming. What’s weird is that I will never have a normal Washington week again. I won’t have a normal peaceful week until after I start getting used to living in Atlanta. As a perfectionist this is difficult to take. Please pray that my anxiety decreases.
So I’ve never actually been a good blogger. Maybe it’s the lack of discipline in regular posting. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a science major and anything that smacks of humanities or liberal arts makes me cringe. However, despite my bad blogging background I am going to try blogging every Friday. I know there are a lot of people out there who want to stay updated on our life on Mission Year and since building relationships is what Mission Year is all about, blogging it is!
Everything seems to be rushing forward to when we leave for Atlanta (6 weeks!). We’ve met the couple we’re going to live with (via video chat), we’ve raised 76% of our support, and we’ve begun planning what things we’re going to take to Atlanta, what things we’re going to store, and what things we’re going to get rid of. This week I’ve started trying out some recipes I’ve invented that use a lot of dried grains and legumes and other really cheap ingredients. Since we’re not going to have much money for food I want to come prepared. Grant is a little skeptical as he doesn’t believe that cheap food can be tasty and delicious. I am going to do my best to prove him wrong!
I’m getting excited as we get closer. This past week we went to the east coast for our friends’ wedding and we met a lot of people that we’re involved in organizations like IJM, Intervarsity, and the Simple Way. The conversations I had reminded me a lot of the conversations I had back at UCLA with Intervarsity. I met one guy who was a part of the Simple Way (as in Shane Claiborne’s group) and he gave me a copy of the Irresistible Revolution which I finished before the end of our trip. I also read the controversial “Love Wins” by Rob Bell on the trip too. Everyone that I met, all the books that I read, every conversation I had reminded me about why I was doing Mission Year in the first place: to pursue justice, reconciliation, and the heart of Jesus himself! I can’t wait!
This is an exert from my application for Mission Year:
Why do you want to be a Mission Year Team Member? What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I want to be a Mission Year Team Member because that is what Jesus would have me do. During my time in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship I became convinced that following Jesus was meant to be taken literally. Jesus lived out his ministry living among the poor and building relationships with them in direct opposition to the religious leaders of his day. If Jesus is the image of who God would have me become, I must do as he did. If my Lord, the king of all creation, served the poor, how can I do less? Mission Year will give me the opportunity to love others as Jesus did in a very real way.
Another reason I want to pursue Mission Year has to do with the story of the Rich Young Ruler found in Mark 10:17-27. In the story, a rich young man asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life. Jesus then asks him if he has obeyed the ten commandments to which the man responds affirmatively. Jesus then challenges him to go sell everything that he has, give to the poor and then come follow him. The young man went away sad because he was very rich. My husband and I are very blessed. We both come from families where we never wanted for food, clothing or shelter, our parents remained dedicated to their marriage, and higher education was easily attainable. We both attended UCLA, received prestigious degrees, and now both have very stable careers and incomes. However, whenever we read this story we ask ourselves if we too would turn away just like the rich young man. Could we ever give up the comfortable lifestyle we live in order to follow Jesus? We believe that Mission Year would give us the opportunity to live this out. By choosing to give up a year of stable income and living among the poor we would be “selling all we had, giving to the poor, and following Jesus.”
I hope to gain insight on what God wants for the direction of my husband’s and my life. I am not naturally an outgoing person when it comes to relationships but I have learned and grown so much in this area in the past 4 years that I hope to be challenged in relationships even more. I also hope to grow my compassion for the poor and the marginalized. I also have thought that I would like to be a teacher in a poor urban area but I felt inexperienced in dealing with the behavior often associated with students from low income families. I hope that Mission Year will give me experience understanding the youth in that area.