Thursday, January 10, 2008

Christmas 2007 - El Paso, TX

My baby, Alaska :)

The fam

Mom (left) and her friend, Mary

Proof that men DO work in the kitchen occasionally... :)

Colombian breakfast!

My bro, Art

We went to the Sun Bowl--where Oregon destroyed USF...

Can't ya see I'm tryin' to work here? ;)

Dad and Alaska are buds while I'm away...

Pictures - MTC 2007

Thanksgiving in Michigan (Butch and Pat Bennett--left; Valerie; Aimee)

The 12 hour ride home - Mandz and Aimee

Butch and Pat - I love these guys!

Renae and me :)

Our beautiful campus

Ha Ha Tonka Park (about 10 minutes away)

View of Lake of the Ozarks from Ha Ha Tonka

My bedroom

Our living room

My work detail partner, Sarah (left) and my roommate, Renae (right)

Renae is wonderful and carries my computer when my back is bugging me. :)

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“Sasa, sasa, sasa…” Does that mean anything to you? :) I won’t blame you if it doesn’t! I only came to understand its meaning a few months ago. If you were to walk by the classrooms at the Missionary Training Center, you would hear groups of students chanting “sasa” and similar “words” with varied stress and pitch on each syllable. What is this? It is a class called Phonetics, which is (simply put) the study of physical sounds found in human speech.

Perhaps I should back up and fill in the gaps for those who may have lost track of me in all my travels. :) Most of you probably know that I spent the last two years (August 2005 to 2007) living in Atascadero, California, where I had the joy of not only working at Atascadero Bible Church but forming many special friendships with the people there. However, my desire to continue my missions training led me to apply to New Tribes Mission’s training center (known as the Missionary Training Center or MTC) in Roach, Missouri. Yes, I did say ROACH, and you will be relieved to know that the town is named after the original postmaster—NOT those creepy-crawly insects you are picturing!

In August 2007 (last year already!), my mom and I embarked on another one of our famous road trips. She flew out to California and helped me pack, and then we drove to El Paso, Texas, where I spent a little over one week with my parents. Then Mom and I packed ourselves and an unbelievable amount of stuff in my ’99 Buick (provided by God through a wonderful friend in California) and drove to Missouri. It was as simple as that—no crazy breakdowns this time! Thank you, Lord!

I have spent the past months living on a beautiful campus on the Lake of the Ozarks. I have had the joy of sharing my small apartment with a friend I grew up with in Colombia; Renae and I have known each other for about 17 years now! We have been through many things over the years, and now we have new shared experiences, including walking to the “Wash House” to take a shower and do laundry, which gets a little messy if it’s raining or snowing! :)

What does life look like at the MTC? I attend classes in the mornings; here are a few of the classes we had last semester: Animism, Teamwork, Philosophy of Biblical Foundations, Cross-Cultural Communication, Biblical Foundations, New Testament Church, Phonetics and Teaching Skills. In the afternoons, I am involved in the on-campus work program; I work in the office of a prayer ministry that supports New Tribes missionaries worldwide. In addition, I am part of a team that works with a local ministry called Woman to Woman. I am mentoring a lady named Lisa; she is married with two children and is endeavoring to find a job after experiencing some difficulties in life. God has also blessed me with the opportunity to continue singing! We have a worship team that plays for chapels, and I have really enjoyed being a part of it.

I would love it if you would join me in prayer as I go through this training! Here are a few specifics:

Pray I would purpose to know God FIRST—above classes and work and the busyness of life.

Pray I would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in my interactions with people.

Pray I would be sensitive to God’s ultimate leading – where He would have me minister long term – and for peace, patience and contentment in the waiting stage.

Pray for Lisa—that she would be drawn to Christ through our friendship.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11

“…a person is incapable of living out the kind of life that God requires of him, but… God is capable of living out that life in a person who yields to His Spirit.” James Montgomery Boice