Archive for March, 2008

Confusion reigns.

So I’ve been back from the Dominican Republic for 11 days now, and more has happened in those 11 days than has happened most of this year.
The culture shock wore off sometime this weekend, but the confusion about how what I experienced is going to translate in my life had only been heightened, and the events of last night and this morning have only muddied the water further.

I thought I was going to graduate early. I mean, I only need 16 credits. And then I thought I wanted to work with Edge or some ministry like that full-time, but I felt stupid talking about it because who’s calling gets defined by one Spring Break mission trip? But the more I thought about it, it was no small feat how I got the money to go. It’s true that God has shown me where I’m going to use my skills for video and graphic design – to educate the world about the water crisis and continue to take more trips like I just took.

But I did jump the gun. I’m not done here. But I ignored that feeling until God decided to wake me up in the middle of the night Sunday night with an overwhelming need to pray. So I did. And he brought to mind some people I need to be here for to disciple and lead for an entire year next year.

I’ve even talked with some people at Edge about it, and still plan on taking part in their ministry while I’m still in school. Well, that settles it, right? Case closed. Wrong. Last night and this morning I think I got more confused than I’ve been since I’ve been back. If I’m not done here in Lexington yet, how are the decisions that have been made wise ones? They don’t make any sense. I’m not trying to say I know what’s right, but I do know what’s wrong, and I do know I’m not alone in thinking these things.

I know time is supposed to heal things and God will show His plan through this, but I am so angry right now that I don’t feel like I’ll ever not be. My anger is so strong I was irrational, and almost was disrespectful in ways that would not have been appropriate or wise. But I feel as though my anger is not unfounded.

I understand that sometimes we must live with the consequences of our decisions, and God will even take our wrong ones and use them for His glory. I just pray, oh boy do I pray, it’s not at the expense of some people who want to do nothing but serve unselfishly. But this fear is already materializing. I do not want to judge, but I feel whole-heartedly that selfishness was chosen over selflessness.

I am not happy with this, at all. And I don’t care who knows it.


The Dominican Republic Trip – How it’s STILL changing my life

March 19, 2008 1 comment

First off, I wrote this on the evening of Wednesday, March 12, 2008. That was while I was in the DR.

“It’s the third full day and it was another early one. Biembo, our crazy driver we have come to adore, was sick and so our new driver was 45 minutes late. While waiting we worshiped with the YWAM staff (where we are staying). It was amazing because we were singing the same praises in 2 different languages at the same time! It was awesome to realize they love the same God the same way and just as deep.
Being the third day, we have started to rub on each other, the kids really act as a buffer. They loved our cameras as always. Today I brought my guitar and they swarmed me! I sang ‘Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord” in Spanish and they had me repeat it 4 times! Then I sang almost every song I had memorized. The kids came and went, but Jeffrey stayed. He was my buddy. All the work with the water system paled in comparison with Jeffrey asking me if I was coming back tomorrow and then banging on the window to yell “Hasta manana!”

So now it’s my second day back to normal, scheduled, college life. I was excited to get back to Kentucky and see my friends, and my family this weekend, and was especially grateful considering the effort it took to make it on the plane to Louisville (good story, ask me). But some things took me by surprise yesterday and have continued on into today. Please don’t take any of this as my judging anyone, I’m still confused as to how I’m feeling.

First, I had a hard time seeing everyone go right back into the swing of things like they didn’t just have a week of their lives that was so separate form everything. Now I know everyone didn’t go on a mission trip, and that’s fine. This is the first one I’ve been on. But my week in the DR was a removal from everything I knew: my language, my culture, my values. I am having a hard time being the same I was before Spring Break, and I am having a hard time seeing everyone else do it.

Second, some of the things I did that were completely normal and routine somehow seemed wrong to me. And they were random things like picking up a Kernel on my way to work, talking about the NCAA brackets, and filming the Kyle Craft and Kahne show. I don’t know how, but these things seemed wrong to me. I can’t explain it further.

It’s just like this week of my life without air conditioning and clean water doesn’t fit into my life here in Kentucky. How can I see the things I saw down there and come back here and pretend to be happy with how I’m living and how we’re living? It’s not that I’m mad at America. I realize we’re blessed and that’s just how it is. Life isn’t fair because of the sin in the world.

But the Dominicans were SO happy. The kids in the village only had chicken and rice to eat, but they didn’t care. I have choices of pretty much anything I want to eat, and I complain. The Dominicans don’t always have electricity, even in the city. So what do they do? Open up their homes to nature and enjoy the landscape. When my power goes out I complain ’cause I’m not comfortable. The Fathers at the church we were at are facing elimination by gold mining with cyanide, and they keep teaching the kids how to read. I lost a presidential election and got upset that I wasn’t picked to be the ultimate leader. I should be thankful I get to serve in any aspect.

And so I feel stuck. I am used to the luxuries we enjoy here in America, and there is NOTHING wrong with that, and I don’t want to stop using them. It’d be stupid if I didn’t take advantage of the heat in my house. But I don’t want to live as if I haven’t experienced this. And I don’t want to have this one week be the only time I travel to the Dominican, or Costa Rica, or Haiti, or wherever.

I could go on and on about this because I feel so full, but I won’t.
Things have changed, and even though I thought they might, and even though I was warned they might, I’m still having a rough go.