Friday, December 5, 2008

And Here We Go

Thanks to all of you for your support in prayer and just being there with me through this process! In case I forgot to call you I am officially a part of the Reach Global Team!!! In fact I am going to be a long term missionary to Rome! I had come into the process as a Fixed Term Applicant, but Reach Global offered me the Long Term, which means that instead of a 2-3 year term, I have the option to stay on without having to reapply later!!! It also means that I get the full benefits package, including health with dental and vision, retirement and umm more I think, but I cannot remember.

All day I have orientation, but then I will be heading back to Santa Cruz.

I am super excited, in case you cannot tell.

Also for those of you who have been praying for Craig as well, he will be joining us in Rome as a Fixed Term!!! So God is really bringing our team together!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Music and Snow

This morning is just a time to be with God and reflect. So as I have been sitting in my hotel room, spending time in refletion, and conversation with God I have had Christmas tunes on Pandora and then I opened the curtins to discover that it is really snowing. Big soft flakes are filling the sky.

My Prayer

Lord, my God, my Love,
When Your Love spilled over into creation
You thought of me.
I am
From Love, of Love, for Love.
Let my heart, O God, always
Recognize, cherish and enjoy
Your goodness in all of creation.
Direct all that is me toward Your praise.
Teach me reverence for all things.
Energize me in Your service.
Lord, God my Love,
May nothing ever distract me from Your Love...
neither health nor sickness
wealth nor poverty
honor nor dishonor
long life nor short life.
May I never seek nor choose to be
other than You intend or wish.
(adapted from The Formation Poetic Form)
If you don't know how to best pray for me today, please join me in this prayer as I await to see where My Love intends me to be.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just tonights pics.

This is Stu who failed to get in my pics last night.

We went to Split Rock Grille where I sampled the Wallie Sandwich.

Thanks Rev Day 5

I really want to thank those of you who have been lifting me up in prayer! I don't recall if I have told you how evident your prayers have been. This has been a process that would normally stress me out, but the last 5 days have been some of the most encouraging and peace filled days I can remember.

I mentioned it briefly in another post but I want to highlight perhaps the most revealing thing about ministry I have learned this week. It will seem obvious, but I think we often forget it and thus lose out; that we are so dependant on the presence of the Holy Spirit when we are in ministry. Sometimes we become so used to His presence that we may become numb to its power. Even Jesus when he was in the wilderness and then headed into ministry did so with the Holy Spirit not on his own, check it out in Luke 4. This was so evident in our role plays this week. "I can do nothing apart from Him who gives me strength, but I can do everything because of Him."

Today your prayers were even more evident as I went through what I expected to be my most challenging day with compleate peace and ease. I passes my MMPI psych assesment with flying colors. With no signs of Crazy and or depression, which is actually an answer to those other prayers for my Thyroid! He even said I am psychologicaly fit for overseas living and very well adjusted and have no visible signs of stress. My meeting with my doctor was also smooth and easy, he saw no reason I could not go, and said that Rome has great heath care. My interviews with the leadership went just dandy as did all my meetings with people from every area of the World. I also got the basics of what support I am going to need and how they put together our packages, as well as how those packages care for our total health and the organizations health. I am totally sold on how ReachGlobal cares for their people.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Global Market

For this evenings dinner we ventured out to the Global Market in Minneapolis. This is the type of place that would do fantastic in Santa Cruz. There you will find food from, you guessed it all over the World, but not just restaurant options, but deli's markets, craft and cultural goods. I went for the food from Africa 3 types of curry and yellow rice, it was really good. And I still have my desert here waiting for me to have room to eat it. For desert I got a chai cupcake with some sort of filling. (not from Africa) Others had food from the Holy Land, Greece, Mexico, Latin America, North America and Italy.

John and Sharon

Craig and Myself

Joan and Blair

Cheryl and John

Gloria and Gene Our Fantastic Leaders

My dinner. Chicken Fantastic, Chicken Curry and Beef Curry

John showing off their massive plate of meat from the Holy Land
I missed a few people in my pics but that was most of the group missing was Stu and Lois (a leader)

What Day is it? Tuesday I think. Day 4 of REV

I can tell you I may have reached my capacity for information, especially information in regards to myself. Today we have done so much I have to actually look at our schedule to tell you what we have fit in, and tomorrow there is even more.

Today following our devotional, we moved into our Evangelism Exercises. Not my favorite part of this so far. We had to sit down with one person and tell them in 2 min with no warning all the points of the Gospel important in leading someone to Christ. That part did not have to be eloquent, but it was cold turkey with someone we had not met, while they sat and took notes. My time started and I went blank, so much so that I could not have even told you my name. It was like someone turned off my brain. Luckily someone flipped that switch back on and I think in the end I hit all the points I might need. Then we did some cold turkey roll plays, where we just needed to include our faith in the discussion, looking more at our conversational skills, and how easy or hard it is for us to talk about our faith. I did much better on this portion. The problem we found with the role playing is that the Holy Spirit is not role playing with us. Which means we are really out there on our own...I never realized how much I depend on the Holy Spirit in prompting and guiding my conversations, but it was clear that I do.

After the Evangelism we went over or Cross Cultural Assessment Inventory, which estimates how one will handle living cross culturally. It looks like I am pretty set in many ways to live overseas, a good thing. In the area I was lowest, it turned out we were all lowest except maybe one.

Then there was lunch, after which we went over our Keirsey Temperament Sorter, which is like the Myers Brigg normally I have come out as an ENFP but on this test I was an ESFJ. But I ranked smack in the middle on P and J and I totally feel I am more of the S than N.

You would think that was the end of the personality assessments, but you'd be wrong. We then went over our Spiritual Gifts. My highest three a surprise to me in some ways were; Knowledge, Pastor/Shepherding, and Faith.

We finished all of this by 2:30pm So at that time we got filled in on more details of what we can expect if we are hired by Reach Global, and what the next few days will look like.

Just to give you an idea of how to pray for me tomorrow, here is my day:

8:30am Latin America Meeting
9:00am MENA and Europe Self Guided
9:30-11am Leadership Interview
11-12:30pm Psychological Interview
12:30-1pm Lunch
1pm Dr. Visit
1:30pm Asia Meeting
2pm Africa Meeting
2:30-4pm Philosophy of Finance
4pm Take down stuff in the Chapel
5:20pm Dinner

Your prayers will be much appreciated for me and my fellow applicants these next few days.
On Thursday I get to spend most of my day reviewing on my own and praying, and then at 7pm I will have my Acceptance Meeting where I will be told one of three things.

Not Yet - but with some work on one or two things
No - and by no they mean not now and or ever

So by 7:30 my time 5:30 CA time I will know if I am part of the Reach Global Team.

Just so you all know, I have decided that I am for sure willing to go where ever God is leading. After one of our exercises where we had to choose if we would be willing to die for the Gospel, it was clear that if I am willing to die than I am willing to go where ever God may ask me to go.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Had to Go

We are in Minnesota and I am on "vacation" after all so we had to take the free shuttle from our hotel to the Mall of America (thanks dad for the shuttle tip). All I can really say is it is everything I thought it would be. It is so big that they have to duplicate stores just to fill all the spots. Which may be good business but makes navigating the mall tricky, just like Jon and Traci warned it would. (thanks for the heads up there) First we sampled some really tasty and some not so tasty tea at a Tea store (Craig do you remember the name?)

Then we came to a choir singing Christmas songs and right past them you could see the twisting roller coasters and amusement park. So thankfully Craig and I both love roller coasters so we asked to see which was the must ride. We ended up on the Sponge Bob Coaster. Where you head straight up, and I mean straight face to the glass ceiling and back to the ground then you tip down the other side so your facing the floor and your back is at the ceiling if only for a second. After some twists and turns we came to the end. I thought there was only one roller coaster in the mall prior to going but in fact there were at least three. Along with numerous other rides, games, mini golf and an aquarium I think.

Needless to say we barely scratched the surface of the mall. We did however go into the 2 story American Girl store. Where there is even a cafe, and a beauty salon for the dolls. Excess is a good word for this mall.

It was good to get out and do something totally unrelated to our mission, though we did spend most of the time talking about the week. We did move past that and got to share and learn a bit more about each other.

It's a little after 10pm I still have homework to do, so that's it for now.

It's All About Me

Today was the day, well was the first day where we spent the good majority of the day discovering who we are, and what makes us tick. We looked at our DISC assessment first. For those of you who care my scores are:

D -3
I - 5
S -5
C -3

Which very very simply means that I fit the "counselor" type. And the following words are most commonly used in describing me: Trusting, Influential, Pleasant, Sociable, Generous, Poised, Charming, Serene, Possessive, Complacent, Inactive, Relaxed, Non demonstrative, and Deliberate.

Generally I would agree with this assessment, but because I am a even blend of I and S some of those words are not as much me as others may be. But you all know me, so you would already know that.

Then we went over our Strength Finder Assessment, I am in this order:


Then we did some group work. Which is top secret. Sorry.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Famous Dave's

So we finally took some pics at dinner. Here is a pic of all the people I am with.

Here I am with Craig...Team Roma as we like to say
And here is one of three trashcan lids filled with yummy foods. Pulled Pork, Pork Ribs, Beef Ribs, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Corn Muffins, Fries, Slaw and Beans.

Snow Day Two of REV

I awoke at 6:30 am MN Time which is 4:30 CA time to snow falling. Actually to be completely honest I did not look outside, I am assuming it was snowing then. I know for a fact that an hour later at breakfast it was falling.

It didn't amount to too much, but at least now it looks as cold as it is.
Today has been a good but tiresome day. I enjoyed my own sweet time with God this morning before breakfast, and then following our first meal we worshiped together corporately. At least I think that was today, it seems like a long long time ago.
After worship Gene shared some thoughts, then we had a break. Following break we met the psychologist who introduced us to the MMPI Assessment, made up of 567 questions to determine if we will be going crazy anytime soon. That assessment took about 2 hours to complete, and was lots of fun (NOT). We will each meet with the psychologist on Wed. A day chalk full of interviews with all sorts of people.
After our assessment I got to spend some time chatting with Craig then it was time for lunch where I enjoyed good conversation with a few members of the group. After the nice sandwiches we met with the Director of ReachGlobal Tim and he gave 3 presentations about ReachGlobal its beliefs purpose and theology. The Sandbox of ReachGlobal, check out his blog is you want to know what that is. I put a link on the sidebar.
I think overall it was an encouraging time, discovering just how in sync I am with the ReachGlobal Sandbox.
Now we are meeting in the lobby in a min to go to Famous Dave's for dinner.
Hope you all had a good day, I was and am praying for you this week too.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day One of REV

Well, I made it safe and so-und (you can hold out the O if you want to sound like me in MN) to the cold but beautiful land of 10,000 lakes. Seriously I already am holding out all these O's that I am typing, even in my head. Hopefully it won't last when I get home for too long.

My first stop upon arrival was to visit with Jon and Tracie and new or not quite so new Grace Ditty! Jon was met me at the airport and took me to see their new home. Should have taken pictures, cause it's real cute. But I did snap a few of Grace, so here you go...

So as you can see she is super cute and in case you can't tell she is a sweetie too! They said she was cranky, but if that is cranky, then well they are blessed with a fantastic little girl.
But onto REV. I am staying in the Quality Inn, and I have a great room all to myself.

There are actually two beds, so I can have a sleepover or something:)

When I got to the EFCA headquarters I was met at the door and instructed to go to the elevator to the 3rd floor where I was met by Gloria and ushered into the Chapel transformed into a boardroom for this event. There I found my name sign at my seat around the table and my own new HP Laptop and the book Leading From the Sandbox. Which I am too read tonight if possible so this will not be too long. I have to say that thus far I am pretty impressed with the quality of the program. We will be using OneNote to learn together and keep notes as well as an online community for different Bible Studies and training activities. Pretty High Tech for the EFCA.

There are 10 of us participating in the REV Event. Myself and Craig the other one looking towards going to Rome are the youngest and the only newbies in the room. But, that doesn't seem to be a problem. Craig, another girl a little older than myself and I are the only singles.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the room we are meeting in is that they have poster size papers on the wall for each of us with our names and our strengths and our spiritual gifts on them. So you can pretty much size up everyone in the room. This is kinda fun, and kinda weird.

Well, I have homework and there is a hot tub kinda calling my name. I will post again tomorrow. But in case you were wondering this is all the snow I have seen and it is right outside of my hotel.

Live from REV

REV is what this week long event is called. I just thought I would post from my new HP laptop. We are set up in the Chapel, each with a new laptop and mug. There are 10 of us here. Craig and I are the youngest by far, but it is going great so far. We are using OneNote for most of our training, so that is fun.

More later.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

video link

Hey Craig, who is also coming to MN to find out if he will be coming to Roma sent me this video on Facebook that is from a friend of his who is a missionary in Naples, I found it informative so I thought you might to, in case you were wondering why one should go to Italy to spread the Gospel. If any of you know a better way to show a Facebook video on Blogger, let me know. Till then I also added another video from youtube that shows the need at the bottom of all the posts, enjoy.


I don't know how you qualify success but last night is what I would qualify as a successful shopping trip. I had just about two hours to find the much needed winter apparel for my trip to Minnesota. A true California girl I have no cold weather dress clothes needed for the week in the chilly Minneapolis.

I had not had the money nor the time to head out to the mall until last night following a Youth Trip to Sky High I grabbed my two faithful shopping buds; my sister Krista and friend Jenny (thanks girls!) and we high tailed it to the mall. With their help I was able to snag some fantastic new clothes and even better deals!

I went to New York and Company and took joy in the amazing by one get one 75% off sale they were having on pants and sweaters. Convenient that was. I found two great sweaters, two pairs of pants and a great shirt. At Macy's I also got my first pair of wedges, super cute and over 50% off! In all I saved more than I spent, and I had just received a Thanksgiving gift of money from my favorite Lady, Grandma Selma, so really it was almost nothing out of pocket!

Something to be truly thankful for!

Now I am set for the cold, and ready to print my boarding pass and get to getting!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Bit Like Reality TV

I have discovered that the application process to be a missionary with Reach Global through the Evangelical Free Church is a bit like being a contestant on a reality television program. Especially the closer we get to the end. It has been about 6 months now of application process. I have filled out more forms and personality tests then I thought possible. It is sad but true that the folks at Reach Global know more about me than anyone in the world. What is strange about that is that aside from my handler and his wife I have not met any of them.

But all that is about to change, because the day after tomorrow. I will be getting on a plane and flying to the freezing cold of Minnesota. Where I will spend a week being interviewed, tested, and trained. And finally I will meet the people who know every last detail about what makes me me.

I would be lying if I said I was not nervous. So I won't. I think what is most disarming is we have no idea what to expect, and as a fellow "contestant" said to me on Saturday, "I don't think there is any question left" So that begs the question what are we going to be asked for a week?

On Thursday Dec 4th they will finally bring us into "Judges Table" or something and let us know if we have been chosen or not to be a missionary with Reach Global. However there is no guarantee that we will be offered a spot in the country we have been hoping for.

So keep checking back because I plan on using this to release all of my worries and hope and updates.

This is not the group I am trying to join, but it gives you an idea...