July 15, 2012

I am a ragamuffin

Happy Anniversary to my parents! I was so glad to be able to Skype with them today!! YAY!
*from now on when I use another language it will be Chuukese*
Raan Annim Aami! (good day everyone)
Ifa ussumw? (when someone asks me how I am doing)
Chaiwakawak (this is my usual answer...it means that I am super strong-and that is definitely how I feel with Jesus always by my side!)

June 9 - I have been here for 1 month! and I also began language training! (my current host family speaks Chuukese so I am able to practice at home!)
July 14 - family picnic at Nicho Marine Park! My nohno wanted to take me on a picnic before I leave. It was a great day! I even went on a canoe!

I have been reading "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning, it is amazing! (by the way I have been enjoying every one's random messages throughout the book, thank you!) I love the word ragamuffin! It describes me so perfectly - I know I am a sinner...and that is why Jesus loves me!

some recent deals in my window shopping experience...
*all quotes come from Brennan Manning's book*
-keeping an open mind
"There is a wondrous open-mindedness and an insatiable desire to learn from life. An open attitude is like an open door - a welcoming disposition toward the fellow travelers who knock on our door during the middle of the day, the middle of the week, or the middle of a lifetime."
I look at each new day as a new door and I am so excited to see what Jesus wants to show me behind the door! Children have always been a huge part of my life. I love teaching and spending time with them. They teach me so much about child-like faith! Finding joy and happiness in the simplest of things. (like when my 4 year old cousin wants to play 'gimme a hi five' for 15 minutes!)
"If we maintain the open-mindedness of children, we challenge fixed ideas and established structures, including our own."
My outlook on life has changed drastically since my time in FSM. I am immensely more happy with having less stuff, and having more time with community and Jesus.
"The open mind realizes that reality, truth, and Jesus Christ are incredibly open-ended."
The more my mind is open the more I learn from Jesus!

"Trust defines the meaning of living by grace rather than works."
My entire experience with my journey through Peace Corps has been based on my trust in Jesus. I know that He goes everywhere before me to prepare the way for me. I know that He is holding my hand and guiding me daily. I have given my life fully to Him and He has blessed me beyond what any words can describe.

"Our response to the gratuitous intervention if Jesus in our lives is heartfelt gratitude."
I am forever grateful for Jesus' love. (I have learned the most about being grateful from my host family/community)
"Each encounter with a brother or sister is a mysterious encounter with Jesus Himself."
I feel so welcome and a part of my family, they have truly accepted me as one of their own, and they would do anything for me (and I for them!) They have offered me their friendship...
"Our deep gratitude to Jesus Christ is manifested neither in being chaste, honest, sober and respectable, nor in church-going, Bible-toting, and Psalm-singing, but in our deep and delicate respect fro one another."
I am going to miss my first host family! I know I will always have a family to lean on in times of need in Pohnpei.

Jesus has showed me so much in my short one month in FSM. I can only hope that I am always being myself, and be more of who I am in Christ to those around me.
"Authentic faith leads us to treating others with unconditional seriousness and to a loving reverence for the mystery of the human personality."

Kinissow chappur (Thank you very much) Jesus, I am so thankful that you are always holding my hand!

July 8, 2012

life on an island...

There has been a lot going on around here...
to catch you all up, here are a few of the highlights.
June 26 - my nohno took me out to lunch, to meet her co-workers. She works at the municipality building. It was so awesome! I was able to see the courthouse and meet one of the judges.
June 27 - my first long call home and my first package! (God's timing is amazing!) I was able to talk to my family for my birthday and I received a birthday package! (the best part was that my parents sent me a birthday in a box! complete with 'cake.' I also love my card-it was one of those ones where you can record something, and my whole family was singing happy birthday to me!)
June 29 - computer freak out! The keyboard on my computer is out of order...none of the keys work. So I have to use an on-screen keyboard which is like texting only worse. I was upset when it first happened, but I know that it happened for a reason. I only use it to upload my pictures. I go to the library or an internet cafe to write emails or blog. I don't miss it, I actually love not having a computer! (God has blessed me through this by giving me a ton of time to spend with Him, and my host family)
June 30 - my first hike! I was so excited to be able to go on a hike!! A group of PCT's went to Sokehs Ridge. (It is way different than a 14er for sure!) It poured rain on us, but it was refreshing from the heat/humidity. We also were able to see some amazing views! (check out my slide show link on the right)
July 2 - our first ET (early termination). The married couple that was in our group went back to the states, they decided this was not for them. It was very sad to see them leave.
July 4 - Happy 4th! We went to the U.S. Embassy for a celebration and some yummy (American) food!
July 6 - site announcements! I am so excited! I am going to Chuuk! When I went home, I listened to some music and the first song that came on was 'I am Second' by the Newsboys - coincidence I think not! (I know God is preparing the way for me!)
July 7 - local cooking. PC had all of us trainees get together to learn some ways to cook more healthily with local foods. (it was so delicious, and I ate way too much...wait there is no such thing as being full here! I am always eating...)

*some interesting things that I have noticed since being out of the states:
-licking stamps is gross!
-the bananas in the states are lame...there are about 10 varieties here and they taste amazing!
-I wake up to roosters every morning

God is so amazing, I can not even put into words how blessed I am and how much He shows His love for me in all the little details of everyday!

July 2, 2012

little reminders

this week’s tour…little reminders from God that He is always with me
I seriously cannot believe this is my life! God is so gracious!
June 18 – While sitting in the kitchen with my nohno, I heard a song coming from the living room. I recognized it immediately! My brother was listening to ‘How great is our God’. I was so happy! (it is one of my favorite songs) It was a little present from God reminding me He is everywhere with me!
June 19 – I received my first letter from home! Getting mail is the best feeling in the world! It is so amazing to me that I can be so far from home, but I feel like I am still home. (being connected through prayer to my family and friends back home, makes it feel like we are still right next to each other!) Also one of my family members, I believe she is a cousin, gave me a whole pack of Reese’s! (my all time favorite candy!) I had to lick them from the wrappers but it was so delicious!
June 21 – Before class began, there was an amazingly beautiful rainbow above Ohmine Elementary school.
June 22 – I finally was able to talk to both my mom and my dad! (figuring out the time difference and making sure I have enough time and money has been a bit tricky)
June 23 – Water safety day! (this has been my favorite day so far, because I was finally able to be out on the ocean!) PC took us out on some boats and taught us how to start an engine. (in case we ever get into a situation where we need to) We also went over some basic safety skills, putting on a life jacket, making a group huddle in the water…
The rest of the afternoon was spent snorkeling! It was so incredible! We had the most amazing weather! (I prayed for good weather and so did my nohno!) It was very different for me, coming from a landlocked state, to see nothing but water for as far as I could see!
June 24 – I went to church with my family. My nohno had a traditional dress made for me! It is so beautiful! Even though the service is in Pohnpeian I can totally feel the Presence of God all around me! It was a special day, my nephew was baptized!

Every day God sends me little reminders of His love, and that He is with me through this entire journey! I am so thankful for the big things like talking to my family, and exploring His underwater creation…to the little things like licking the Reese’s out of the package, rainbows, and church with my family.

Kalahnghan (Pohnpeian for thank you) Jesus for everything you have blessed me with!