Tara called me Smart.
It hit me hard, I don't remember a time being called smart and having actually believed it before. Ever since the days of Memory assignments in elementary school I have felt stupid cause I could never memorize things. To this day I can't, I can't even recite the Canadian anthem when asked. I used to always think I was stupid or dumb cause I couldn't do this. When I was younger we were all graded on how well we could recite things, the bad marks always made me feel stupid . The bad grades always meant talks from teachers and parents telling you try harder, even when you're trying as hard as you can. Then comes the point when you just don't care and stop trying altogether.
Back in grade 6 we had spelling words in english class, I could never remember how to spell certain words. No matter how hard I tried my mind would go blank on test. If we got under a certain percentage on the spelling tests, we would then have to stay in during noon hour and spell out each wrong word 10 to 20 times over. The teacher of that class was never forgiving and never really tried to help.I felt pretty worthless then, spending nearly ever noon hour inside and the teacher not really caring. I wasn't ever really academically smart, the only time I have ever been academically smart was with photography school. I got a load of good grades then, but my grades weren't based in memorization, or how I spelt words. It was how I interrupted words into photos, how I could express words in a visual way. Not graded on papers, not on a thesis, or how I could backed up and opinion.
Being called smart that night blew me back, I had tears in my eyes, cause for the first time ever I truly actually believed it. I am smart, I am knowledgeable, I do know my shit.
Last week we spent our first debrief in Antigua Guatemala, We left Honduras on a 17 hour bus ride. This was was quite comfy though, it was like a Greyhound but a little better, the seats could lean pretty much all the way back.
This was my first adventure/hike on the World Race! It was a total blast! Also my biggest transaction on the race. Q240 ($31 US). Well worth the money!
It was an hour drive to the mountain, then about an hour and a half up the mountain. We weren't allowd to go to the very top cause 20 days before we climbed it it had erupted. When we got to the highest point we were allowed we roasted some marshmallows from the heat of the lava.
It was a fun experience
The time came when our first month came to a close, It was hard to leave the place we invested a month of our time and love into. With the reassurance that God is there, and that He will continue to work through the family is the peace we all need to remember as we go on to our next ministry site.
This last month we calloused our hands to upturn a Tilapia pond, we rip roared through shoulder height grass to make way for a football pitch. We took over a bat infested house and made a homemade western toilet seat. The children were taught english, and were loved on every single day. We ate candy, watched movies into the late night. Cake was a rare thing, even though we had 3 times, we were blessed beyond measure by our ministry contact.
They were so loving, so generous, kind, and patient. They cooked us food, enough for seconds and sometimes thirds if allowed. They drove us around to the internet, to the hospital and even once to the mall. We could not have asked for a better place to start our 11 month journey. God was and is working in that place every single day, He is trusted and fully depended on at this ministry. Only 2 months ago did they move here, and the changes have been so amazing o this property. Photos in a year from now are only going to be that much better. God has blessed this property and family, if we all could pray for them right now, they need things like a tractor, a milking cow and most of all protection.
We are now attending our first debrief where we process with God and each other as to how this last month went. We go through things that challenged us, things we could have done better, we go over team dynamics and how we are getting along. We also go over things that we did well, we review how God worked with us this last month, and how He showed us our way. We go over the growth we saw, in each other and within ourselves.
We have had very limited internet as you may have noticed, we are trying to get wifi at least once a week to post a blog post though. We have to drive for _ mins, into this little shop that has 4 computers. It doesnt cost a whole lot, but if we actually want to have time on the internet to get caught up with email, 4 of us have to bring a computer. This is a little sketchy, but we all have our backs
An update as to what we have all done so far. The ponds have been put on hold at the moment, there is going to be a youth gathering at the property this weekend, friday to saturday. They didnt have a place for the people to stay, or a field to play games. Last week our contact started clearing the bat infeseted house. He threw fire crackers to scare off the bats, and then bleached the whole house. He bleached the whole house a few times, then on saturday we went in armed with masks, gloves and goggles to clear everything out of the house. The house was a huge mess, the library had been thrown onto the floor (this house has been abondonde for at least 12 years). There was garbage everywhere, the bat guano was thick in places. After cleared the house of the contents, our contact bleached the house again, and then proceeded to pressure wash the house.
We then proceeded to remove the couple of inched of accumlitaed soil and grass from the patio in the back of the house. I will post some more photos when the house has been scrubbed down and the patio cleaned next time we have interent. This house is going to be the place that is going to house the youth this coming weekend. We are also working on clearing a piece of land to make a temporary soccer pitch. Weed eating is our task once again, as well as pulling the roots of some very thorny bushes.
I just wanted to say a Happy Birthday to my parents who just thier birthday this last week! I missed being there with them on these days, but here is a little something we made!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND DAD
Honduras... we made it! Our first country, our first ministry, our first time navigating foreign airports. We survived 5.5 hours of waiting at the ATL airport, we survived 4 hrs flying, we survived landing on the worlds most dangergeous air strip, we made it through country roads, and past the guard dogs.
We are now weed whacking, singing, eating and playing at the a childrens home. Ministiring with the children, playing soccer with the neighbouring childrens home. We are prepping the property for Gods calling: a community centre for the people in this area, a place to come and learn about God, and education to build on the skills He has given them.
In prepping the property, we began with building the toilet for the outhouse for our team to use. We have begun clearing a couple of ponds for a tilapia farm. We will continue with the ponds, and starting clearing the "bat house," so they can house more children and families as they come in.
The Lord has given us an awesome ministry to work with this month, I am so blessed by our hosts, and by the children we are ministering with. The host is very gracious, a very strong family following God's call wherever it may lead.
It's been an awesome first week so far!
Today marks my last day in Canada, My plane leaves tonight at 10:45pm, I then arriving in Atlanta at 11am Monday Jan 6. It will be a long night in the air.
To comemorate my last month in Canada I did a few really canadian things, like snowshoeing, going for poutine, surviving really cold weather.
New Years was an awesome time, my friends and I went to the town of Canmore AB. A couple hours west of Calgary Alberta. Canmore is nestled in the Rocky Mountain range where some fantastic hiking can be found. Of course hiking is a summer activiety, they have developed ways to hike on snow. Snowshoeing.
Check out the vidoe at the end :)
Switching from squad B to Squad C was a tough switch like I mentioned in part 1. The process of switching from one family to the another family made me realize something about myself. When you sign up for the World Race and after you get accepted, you are invited to a Facebook group with everyone on your squad. In this group we get to know each other, encourage and pray for each other.
I love how technology brings lives together, distance is suddenly this obsolete thing. Distance does not matter when it comes to the internet. We used video chatting to get to know each other, it was really awesome to see everyones face. It was really comforting knowing, that when arriving at Training Camp I would know a bunch of people already. Technology brought our relationships to a level that couldn't be done otherwise.
What I learned about myself, is that I rely on technology a little too much. When I heard they were looking for team members for Squad C, I was inclined to switch (this was God's nudge, hindsight is 20/20). I never did switch because I was too selfish, my relationship with the people on B squad was too big, and I really really wanted to go to Ireland. When I had to switch Squads at Training Camp, I was a bit apprehensive, I would have to rebuild these relationships again. How do you start a relationship without technology? Technology was my barrier, a way to escape if things got awkward. You controlled how fast things would move along. I relied on technology as the ice breaker and a way to start relationships. The first time i realized this, I took a look back on my life to see how true this was...
When living in Kelowna, I used twitter to find friends, and start the relationships. The relationships I made there are invaluable and taught me a lot of things. Back in high school I used Facebook to talk to the girl I liked the most, but when it came to face to face conversation I froze, I could open up online, but in person I was a closed book, evan after months of talking online and seeing each other in class everyday...
Technology became my crutch, it became my hiding place.
God used switching squads as a way to show me that I needed to work on this, and He threw me right into the pit to fight it, right into the middle of a ring with the lions bearing down on me. Guess what, I came out with some awesome friends, a new family, I started relationships with people that are going to impact my life in ways only God knows, without using technology.
Technology is a great place to meet people, to find friends, but when it gets to the point where it's the only way you can start relationships. That is when it becomes a problem. I am now aware of this and I am and will always keep it in check.
"Lord Jesus, do anything you need to do In me so that you might do everything you want through me."
-Ron Wolburn Training Camp Oct 2013
I was very skeptical of the people who say they have healed people. When it was Ron Wolburn's time for lectures and I saw he was going to be talking on healing, I immediately started to judge. During his lectures and his healing session I was trying to figure out if there was going to be someone in the crowd who would be "healed" someone who is planted. Thats to say I didn't completely write him off . I was interested in how this would all work out, I mean AIM brought him in to speak to us, they surely wouldn't bring in a fraud.
I was grew up with the mentality that healing happens by the hands of the doctors, and only through doctors did God heal. Of course God uses doctors to do amazing things and heal people, I am not saying otherwise. Ordinary people who are full of the Spirit and in-tune with what God has to say can heal people as well. God totally showed me that in todays world, he really does use people to heal other people through prayer. Seeing someone who was part of my squad being healed, someone I knew who was not planted, was a true turning point.
Kori's Testimony is an example of God healing someone through a regular person, an example of great devotion, courage and trust in The Lord. Kori canceled her surgery so she could face her fears and overcome them and at the same time be healed by God, that takes amazing courage and complete faith in Him.
I came to camp as an orange b-squader, the very first night at training camp God changed my route. God said "no, you need to step out, Be vulnerable and make friends w/o using Facebook/twitter as a ice breaker. Be your own ice breaker." God then proceeded to place me on C-squad, a rag-tag put together last minute group of people.
He stuck me on C-Squad, I was a purple c-squader. A rag-tag put together last minute group of people. While the 4 squads around us were becoming family and having unity, our squad was just trying to be friends with each other, just getting to feel each other out. Read Nathan's story about how he felt, It was hard for myself as well.
It wasn't until day 3 when as a squad we decided we really needed to come together and become a family. What we were doing before hand just wasn't working, we weren't letting God do his work through us, we were trying to become family without God's help.
We came together right before morning worship, formed a circle, held hands and we all prayed out loud to God asking him to make us whole, to create unity within our squad, to bring us together as a family.
Everyone at in my squad felt a change that day, God brought us together as family. When you let God do his thing, when you finally surrender everything to God, that's when you truly see Him work.
I am selling t-shirts!
You can pre-order these shirts through me, all the proceeds from these sales go directly to my trip.
I got the idea after reading Isaiah 41. The 10th verse goes like this:
This is a verse that my team and I are going to have to lean against. During our trip we are going to experienceing a lot of hardship, a lot of unfamilar territory. This verse, for myself, is a comfort to me and relaxes me.
There are a few options for you to choose from.
If you are wanting to purchase on of these t-shirts please email at email@example.com with the size, colour and type of shirt you want. From there we can do a paypal transfer or you can give me cash for payment.
Once I have enough orders, I will go ahead and tell Fund The Nations to start printing them. Once they arrive at my house I will then track you down and give them out!
August 15-18 I spent time hanging out, hiking, white water rafting, eating and enjoying fellowship with some really awesome people.
My friends Nathan W. Vicki #1, Naomi, Miriam, Dalainya, Carl, Vicki #2, Josh, Nathan H. and Cristiana and I made our way to Dead Man's Flat. A tiny little town just outside of Canmore AB.
We found a nice small campground next to the transcanada highway with 2 nice large sites for spending 4 days.
Earlier this year this area was effected by a large flood that destroyed alot of Canmore and cut through the campground we were staying at. The camp is now about 70% recovered from the flood but the area around it not so much.
A bunch of us went White Water Rafting with Canadian Rockies Rafting. I was quite nervous leading up to the rafting, but after learning that it was a family run we were doing my nerves quieted down quite a bit.
It was still a fun time! out guide (I forget his name already) tried surfing the raft on some rapids, we ducked the front of the boat a few times into the water. All in all it was a lot of fun!
Thanks to everyone making it out! it was a memorable trip forsure!
Here are the photos of our adventures together.
I love, love hanging out with friends. It just makes your night so much better.
It started with a BBQ of burgers (12 for $5 cant go wrong with those!) and hotdogs and smokies (which no wants to buy again apparently). We then went to the park to play some grounders with the young ones!
Along the what Shae learned to ride the long board and we all had a great time.
The night ended with Curtis and I buying a 6 pack of Red Stripe and going over his church's website!
All in all it was a wonderful awesome night.
Thanks for the good times.
- Before the World Race is an ongoing series of my life before the World Race
Say "I love you"
Zip your zipper
Give a hug
View 30 photos
To judge someone
To make a decision
Say a few words
Drop a puck onto the ice
Put on an earring
Open a door
Put on glasses
x60 = 1
Flip a page of a book
Date: May 18 2013
A couple weeks ago before I knew I was accepted to go on this crazy adventure with God, I phoned up Yvette who is the organizer of my communities farmers market. I was curious if her offer from last year still stood, that i can have a booth in the farmers market to set up a Photo Booth and promote my business.
She was so thrilled that I still wanted to set up a Photo Booth. She also mentioned I could have the booth for free cause I was an artist doing my craft. After that was all done and said our conversation ended me mentioning that I might possibly be going on this 11 month missions trip, and that I will most likely be using the booth for some fundraising. Yvette had no problems with this at all.
Every other thursday I will be setting up my Photo Booth on the Highlands Farmers Market. 112 ave and 64st Edmonton, AB.
This past week, the first week I was out, I raised exactly $100.
Here are some of the photos.
A huge thank you to all that have supported me already!
God Bless you all