Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sentimental day.....

What is melanie feeling sentimental about lately:

  • Great talks with Betsy Lee, Elisha J, Melody J, Ash M, Brand M, and Andrew M.
  • All SA food.
  • Rosedale memories and people who have touched my heart and life tremendously.
  • The smell of the south african atmosphere.
  • Basically great talks with close friends from these past three years.
  • Fall weather
  • Remembering laughing till our bellies hurt at the movie "stardust"
  • Cake and lots of it with the team.
  • and lots of celebrated tears with happy memories remembered.
  • Getting super excited over talking about SA food with Melody.
  • Laughing obnoxiously with Eli.
  • Wretting with wendy orozco.
  • late night talks in the RBC dorms.
  • Traveling with wonderful people.
  • Long talks in coffee shops.
  • Fitting nine people into a four person car in SA.
  • Milking cows by hand.
  • Experiencing new food and cultures.
  • Long walks around Refilwe.
:) The End

Sunday, October 10, 2010

To the Beloved Laura Garber

Two days ago a dear dear lady in my church passed away. Her name; Laura Garber.

She was a woman dear to my heart, she affected my life in so many ways. I just have to smile when I think about cute little Laura Garber. She was a small woman in stature but her heart was that of a person four times her size. She loved and accepted all, had a compassion for people that I can only hope I will have someday.

To me she was a mentor, an adopted grandmother, a person that I hope one day I can be. It breaks my heart to know that she is gone, but at the same time I feel a sense of joy because I know she did what she was meant for on this earth. She spread love and compassion so deep around us that this world was shaken by her.

I know that she's in heaven now; but even though she is gone she is still making an impact on hundreds of peoples lives.

I cherish this woman, and I love this woman. May her legacy live on forever.

*side note: she was in her 80's, she lived a great life. In fact she was supposed to get married this next week!! But the good Lord decided to take her.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Everything has changed...

My motives, my goals in life. All of this has changed since High School. God changed my path way for which I am completely thankful for.

I wouldn't be where I am right now if it wasn't for Him. Since coming home from South Africa I have asked God to continue to stir up challenges in my life to send me where He wants me to go. He has done just that.

Part of my challenges have basically been still adjusting back to the states and getting into the swing of life. In a sense, still going through re-entry. Being here in the states is a process in which God has certainly been challenging me in. When we left South Africa no part of me wanted to leave; I thought that Africa was where I was supposed to continue to be. Africa had in a sense become a safety net.

So the idea of being back in the states was not a favored idea. But yet I remain in hope that God knows what He is doing. Everything is in His hands, His control only.

It puts a smile on my face to think of how much I've changed and how it's only the beginning of the track; the race of life. The pace has been slowed down, which it should be.

Today I feel should be a marker for me. A day where I decide, do I sit here in pity that life is hard and frustrating or do I sit here and make the decision that I need to grow up and fall to my knee's for Him. Laying all of my cards on the table in surrender to Him.

No more of seeking out attention from people for my own energy, no more acting younger than my age all of the time. Of seeking out what is healthy for me, and yet can challenge me. Through out this I am not forgetting that we all learn from mistakes that we make. I am in no way a perfect person. I realize that, I wish that since I have this knowledge that my faith in God wouldn't be so shaky and selfish of me all the time.

Part of me wishes I could just learn the life lessons that I need to know now so I could just instantly grow up more. Yet in saying that, how mature is that?

Ultimately I know that what I struggle with is: trusting God, assuming everything, being full of doubt in every decision that I make.

God help me to surrender ALL of my cards, I am just a mere sinner among many. Forgive me for being so selfish. I honor you God.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Places Ive been at in the last three years:

South Africa (The loveliest place ever)

Here, i dedicated two years to learning more about the Bible.

HU, its where im at currently.
I think to myself, how did i get here? I had never thought that I would end up at Huntington. Im amazed and in awe of all of the places that God took me, and how in the world I got here.
In high school I knew all along that I wanted to go to Bethel College and become an Elementary Teacher. I had my five year plan: Go to Bethel, meet my husband, get a job at Waterford Elementary School and live a hunky dory life for the Lord. Things changed in my senior year. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to experience what everyone had been talking about with Missions. I saw the difference that YES did for my brother Austin and I wanted that too.
So I looked around at different missions organizations and decided on REACH. How i concluded on Reach; that my mind fails to remember. I expected reach to be a wonderful fun year where I lived overseas and learned another language. As the time got closer to leaving home thats when the nerves and doubt started to fill my mind. "Was this the right timing? Was I a good enough Christian to be doing work like this? Could I keep up with my team mates?" I was filled with doubts, yet filled with excitement for what was to come.
REACH went far beyond all of my expectations. I never thought I would be facing so many of my demons; so many challenges. I was pushed past limits that I had held onto so strongly, I didn't think I could break so many things in so little time. Granted breaking old habits and broken hearts isnt just a snap of the fingers im fixed kind of thing. But I started the process of change and thats what mattered!! Training changed my life, my team changed my life; africa "ruined" who I used to be entirely. Im so glad that I was "ruined" for Jesus. Above all God did all of the work. I give all my praise to Him for the work that He did in my life during that year.
South Africa, well I could go on and on about that old boy(country) forever. :) Its hard to imagine, but when I was there I felt this sense of belonging. Like SA, was a culture that I could meld into. It was my cup of tea. Oddly I felt more at home there, than I ever had in the states where I spent my whole life! How does that happen? One can only conclude that God was doing something for me to feel that way. I fell in love with South Africa. Its been a little over two years since we left South Africa to come back to the states. That was a gut wrenching day. It wasn' t easy to leave, in a way it felt like someone broke something deep within me that day and it was pain that ive never felt before. On the plane ride home that night I was praying to God telling Him how badly I wanted to go back and live and work there. Yet God was saying something else.
I kept getting five years in my head over and over. I felt like God was saying, wait five years and see where you are. It might mean that God will call me back to South Africa then, or else it could mean that I will then be able to accept that Im not supposed to go back and im supposed to stay in missions in the states.
Once getting back home I then left within two weeks for Rosedale Bible College. Im so glad that I went there, it was a great place to transition back into the states. It was the type of bubble that I needed for re-entry. I met amazing people there that I will never forget and will always be brothers and sisters to me. I love them all dearly.
To sum this up a bit more, Im now at Huntington University; is this the right place for me? My head says ehh and God is saying yes. Just how Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh at first and I did not want to go to more college, Im here whether I like it or not. Im not kicking or screaming about it. I love this school and the people. The idea of three more years of college just sounds so blah to me! :) If one could only inject the three years of knowledge into my head right now and hand me the diploma i would do it. :)
But I know that I am here for the experience, as well as all of the aspects that I will grow in academically and spiritually.
Its been two years since africa and I'm still going through Re-entry trying to find my place in the world and struggling with that. But I trust my God that He knows what He's doing. Im here to embrace it with open arms.
I trust you God: My feet and heart are yours!

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the lighter side

So i thought this time I would begin this blog with a few funny stories from work. (well i think their funny.) :)

Most of you probably know that when I meet people that know a language that I think i know i try and talk with them in that language. Well at the little store that i work at we have a lot of amish and hispanic customers that come in.

Like usual one day a customer came up to the register to pay for his items. He was an older man (as in older than me.), he looked to be in his 40's and he had a big long texan mustasche, the kind that hangs down past his chin, and a very long mullet. It was a pretty impressive mullet.... Anyway, he came up and didnt speak a word of english so i was thinking eh, i understand a lot of spanish i can answer in spanish. (bad idea.) Of course he was surprised that this gringa can speak any spanish at all and he gets all excited that i can understand him. He begins to ask me how i learned spanish and where from and whatnot. Then i thought he had asked me, "do you like speaking spanish?" I responded yes, then i thought that he had repeated the statement but in reality he had asked, " do you like me?" and so me thinking he had repeated it i said, "si mucho mucho." GAHHH, wrong answer. He proceeds to smile and try to ask for my number. GAHH! I just responded in english with, "whats that, oh Im coming terry." and i beat it for the back because i had no idea what to do. blehhhhh! I was not wanting to try and fix that mistake at all. lol. So, ive learned that unless i know the language fluently, i am not going to try and speak it fully. lol.

Another story that was kind of funny slash creepy was about this older black man like in his 60's. He comes in the door and the first thing he does is give me a creeper stare down smile and then comes up to my register asking where a certain kind of shampoo is, so i lead him to where its at, and then he asks where the brushes are for handsome men like himself. I just responded with the polite fake smile.
Once we got to the brushes, he turns to me and says; "why thank you, but you know what, you know what, you got a real pretty face; you could sell that face. Well dang did you know that you got such a pretty face. Dang. How old are you?" I say 20, and he responds: " well dang i thought you were in yo thirtys or somethin. Im like triple yo age. dang, well dang. I could be yo father. But, do you have a boyfriend, are you single?" Of course to get him to leave i say, "yeah i have a boyfriend, he's pretty great. His name is Je'sus." ( i tricked him and just said jesus in spanish. hehe, i thought it was smart at least. :) ) His response, "oh i see so you like hispanics, well dang. I guess I will leave then."

So quick as i could, i rang up his stuff and sent him on his way. My thought about this, " What in the world just happened?" Then i was creeped out, but i can def laugh about it now. :) It was funny if ya think about it.

So thats a little window of my what its like at my work, i re-stock shelves, ring people up on the register, try to avoid all creepy old men, and answer the phone in dutch for kicks. Its an exciting adventure. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Latest Update on my life.

My my it has been a while since the last time that i have written on here. I think that it is high time that i write on here again......
Well, I have been home from Rosedale a little more than a month now and have been working on "re-entering" back into home life with my family. Its definitly a growing but challenging experience being back at home on little old County Road 40. I will admit that being back at home hasnt been easy for me. I think its definitly been a time where God is telling me to slow down a bit and not be SO involved with social things. A time to really teach me about not depending on my habit of wanting to be constantly doing social things with people. I gues as well of re-learning how to have a social life that isnt automatic like college and reach is. :)
While being back at home God times definitly have become fewer and fewer........But,
I am happy to say that things have gotten much better. I think it began to get better when we had a really good communion service at my church for fathers day. It was such an eye opening sermon.
It was a time where God was really speaking to my heart. Of telling me that He understands how hard it was for me to accept the fact that i wasnt accepted into being on staff with YES ministries. I had thought that i was accepted into the program but it turned out in the end that i was not the right person for the job. So since this God has shown me that i cant just sit here and mope in the idea of failure over working with YES.
So, with Gods help i gathered the gumption to start looking at colleges once again. Even tho, while I was at RBC i was saying that oh I dont think that college is really the place for me. Im kind of thinking that actually i think it might be. But God definitly has worked through me taking steps forward at such a time as this when I dont know what I actually want to do. He worked through my trust that He would work it all out.
And you know what, He has. I got a call from a director from RMM; Todd Miller and it sounds like their may be a strong offer for a two year internship in Gazientep, Turkey. I know, WOW, right!! It is SO SO huge. The only information that I know about it so far is that I would be living with this 70 year old lady who would be my mentor. She seems to a real powerhouse of a lady. She says that she has felt this call in her life at her age to be a prayer warrior in Turkey until the day that she dies. wow, she sounds amazing already. Like this woman has lived life and here she is at her age still fully living it. wow. amazing. :)

Basically the work that i would do is go to turkish language school and take an online course in teaching english as a second language and work at the orphanage down the road, and who knows their could be a possiblilty of hosting future REACH teams and as well go to an english college in the area and have that be a source of outreach as well as i would make friendships there. :) All of this is so big, and I mean Im still processing it all in my mind. I think right now until i find out more information about what is going to happen I am on the fence of going to college and doing this thing in turkey.

So be praying for me folks as I begin to make huge life pin point decisions.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Latest Aspirations

In my life I have been trying to discern what I want to do with my life and where God is leading me to go. This week my ideas of what i want to do is: Either do missions with some program for a year, or go to a missions college in pasedena or Minnesota. Or else go to huntington university for some major which i would have no idea what i would do it on.
I have been googling different missions programs and so far I have seen one program that i liked which it was called "Thrive". This program entails a one year internship near Johannesburg. Which I would have training and bible classes in the morning and then later in the day i would go out and teach bible lessons or run a bible school. Then as well be teaching community leaders different biblical skills that they can convey to their people. One smaller aspect is that we would do little medical trips in the settlements and be working in the local schools.
It sounds really interesting to me, plus on my vacation that i would take i would want to go and visit Refilwe, (the place where my team spent our outreach.)

I feel like their must be a reason of why all i can think of every day is south africa and the feeling that i need to return to the country that i cant get out of my head. Either its just an emotional connection that is calling me back, or it truly is God that is calling me back.

I had good conversation with a friend that when we are trying to decide what to do with our lives, its good to try and discern what God wants for us in our lives. But then we have to realize that we do have to make a choice and God will not always come to us in some big prophetic dream or something of the sort. We may not get some big sign that we want. God may want us to decide and what ever we decide God will still teach and bless us through anything that we decide. So we need to stand as strong christians and just put a trust in ourselves and in what we feel God is calling us to do.

Im still at Rosedale right now, and its been good but hard at the same time. I mean when is college not hard. At times i do feel a bit depressed that life here in america is still stinky and just not enjoyable any more. That the only way i can truly be happy is if im back in SA. Which completely is not the answer. I need to be able to find a sense of "ok-ness" with being back at home. But now that i have experienced the world for an extended amount of time, home is not really home anymore. The world is now my home.

So as I am here at rosedale every other week i have been fasting from something different. The first week i started out by just doing liquids but since i am hypoglycemic i got really sick from doing that, so after the third day i decided to do a rice and bean fast for the rest of the week. That was really good. It was a dry time in my week with God, but at the end God helped me to see that i need to stop looking into the future and just take one day at a time. So then i skipped a week and then will do a fast this week and then skip a week and so on until it equals 40 days. Im so very ready for it. I wanted to do rice and beans this week, but you know you are poor when you cant afford to go on a rice and bean fast. lol. In result i have decided to fast from facebook which is hard. But i mean its an internet site that i seem to not be able to go a few hours without not checking. In result i am not going to look or check it until noon next monday. I know i can do it, it will be good for me. :)
Once i get paid this friday i will be paying back a handful of people and then buy rice and beans that will last me for like three weeks and then cook them at the begining of each week that i am doing the fast so that i will have a stock and not have to buy anymore. I cant wait to see the end of this.

Keep pourin on the prayers Jesus. Love you