HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
Friday, December 25, 2009
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them: Luke 2
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Happy holiday! I hope that you are sharing this time with the ones you love most. As one year ends, and a new is about to begin, I wanted to share with you what 2010 holds for me. In the summer of 2009, I traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia in Southeast Asia to work with girls leaving the sex trade. Needless to say, it was a life-changing experience. While there, God really captured my heart and has opened doors for me to return there for full-time position in the coming months. I will be working with as a YWAM [Youth With a Mission] Prostitute Recovery Staff at the White Doves base in Siem Reap. At the home, the girls receive counseling, healing, education, and discipleship. Before I go, I will be completing a 6 month training period with YWAM. This Compassion & Justice focused school & training will focus on the unique experiences and challenges future missionaries will encounter while serving in this capacity of ministry. The first 3 months will be in their Orlando base and the final 3 months will be overseas. The location is still being determined. I will begin this training in September 2010 and finish in February 2011. After this training is complete, I will be returning back to Cambodia as YWAM staff. I am so excited for this opportunity! The issue of human trafficking and modern-day slavery has been an issue pressed upon my heart for years now, and I am humbled to be working towards putting an end to this injustice.
For this Christmas, I ask for your prayers as I prepare for this coming journey. I know the enemy does not want me to go and do God's work, and so I'm praying against spiritual attacks of any kind. I'm also asking for your financial support. This entire position is support-based. I'm finding myself in a place of complete reliance of God. The training school amount I would need to raise is between $5900 - $6800. The final cost depends on the location of the outreach. This amount would be needed in full by November 2010. I know God has prepared this opportunity in advance for me, and I hope and pray that you can be part of this journey with me. Thank you in advance for your support.
Ruined for the ordinary,
Make checks payable to Youth With A Mission.
Mail to: Joy Engdahl, 3961 Appletree Drive, Valrico, FL 33594
Give online through PayPal at my blog: http://bindingthebroken.blogspot.com
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
So my first batch of fundraising support letters are going out this week, with the merriment of Christmas cards! And for some reason I’m nervous about sending them out. Maybe because it’s making everything real. I’ve been talking about going back to Cambodia since September, and now I’m taking the first real and tangible steps to get back there. It’s no longer just something I talk about, but now it’s something I’m doing. And I always get nervous asking people for money. And I know that raising support is about more than just money, it’s about building a support and prayer team, which are just as important. I just wish the money could be provided without me having to ask for it! Haha, that is wishful thinking. So, I’ve written my letters, signed my cards, addressed the envelopes and soon they will be delivered to many, many homes across the country. Because stamps are rather pricy, I won’t be doing mailings every time I have updates. Most of the time it will be done right here through my blog or on Facebook [JOY in Cambodia]. So stayed tuned, as in the coming months you will be seeing more and more updates on the support process, fundraising events, and just my general news. If you prefer snail mail for updates, email me your address and I’ll be sure to add you to my list! If you are content being green, be sure to follow my blog to keep up with all my latest posts!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
1. White Christmas
This movie is a classic. Singing! Dancing! Bing Crosby! Snow! My mom and I watch it every year, and the past few years, we've been going down the Tampa Theatre to catch their showing of it. It's even better on the big screen. In case you've lived under a hole for 50 years, and somehow missed this gem, here's a recap. It stars army buddies/entertaining duo Wallace & Davis [Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye] who are taking their act on the road. It's on the road they meet the ever-so-lovely showstopping Haynes sisters [Vera Ellen & Rosemary Clooney]. Smitten, Davis convinces Wallace to follow the girls to Vermont for some fun in the snow. To their dismay, Vermont is a bit greener than they had hoped, but determined to make the best of a bad situation, they check into the gorgeous mountain inn the Haynes sisters were booked to perform. It happens to be ran by none other than Wallace & Davis' former Army General, a man they had great respect for. Seeing him in a state of retirement, the guys decide to give him one heck of a retirement party! Cue the singing and dancing! There's love and romance, and toe-tapping fun!
I know, it's Will Ferrell. I'm even shocked I love this one! But Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf makes for one great holiday movie experience! Buddy, a human, was raised by elves, and soon(ish) realizes he's not like the other elves. Like a man on a mission, Buddy sets off for the magical land of New York City to find his long lost dad. But things in the Big Apple aren't quite like the North Pole, and Buddy finds himself in some laugh out loud situations. His cheery disposition doesn't sit well with everyone, but he does finally find his family and a girl of his own. It's funny, it's touching, it's...well...one of the greatest things I've ever seen
3. Love Actually
This British holiday love story weaves the lives of 16 different characters in the weeks leading up until Christmas. Some are finding love, some are losing love. Some don't want love, some are trying desperately to find it. As fading rocker Billy Mack tries so hard to have the number 1 Christmas single, this beautiful story unfolds and we discover that love actually is all around.
4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Dysfunctional families? Check. Dead pets? Check. Unwanted Rodents? Check. Kidnapping? Check. The most memorable Christmas movie ever? Check. In yet another tale of Clark Griswold's hopes to create the perfect family memories, things go disastrously wrong. Uninvited relatives, a scrooge of a boss, and Christmas lights galore come together to make a memorable and quotable movie experience.
So there ya have it! The Top 4 Christmas Movies According to Joy. Some honorable mentions: It's A Wonderful Life, Home Alone, and Serendipity (in my head it's a Christmas movie!).
What are your favorites?
Monday, December 7, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I was sold after the video, and my experience was even better. Relaxing and soothing, the PitiCure was a dream. Then we topped the night off with the manicures and pedicures, which is never a bad night in my book! And can't forget the swag bag! We left with coupons for the spa, a Dove spa wrap, a manicure kit, Dr. Debra Luftman;s book, and a stash of Dove deodorant. The staff at Sharmaine's was fantastic, and I can't wait to go back and enjoy sometime on the beach and in the spa. If you're out that way, be sure to check them, and book your own Dove PitiCure!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
First of all, it's just not Christmas without Harry Connick, Jr. He has released 3 stellar Christmas albums that are a playlist must. Also, Sufjan Stevens has a compilation of 5 Christmas CD's that have some great tracks – both Christmasy and not! I found some great hymns on there too! Last year, I fell in love with “The Hotel Cafe presents Winter Songs” album. With artists like Brandi Carlile, Sara Bareilles, KT Tunstall, and Colbie Callait, it's hard to go wrong! Some other favorite tracks include “My Grown Up Christmas List” by Kelly Clarkson, “Joy to the World” by Whitney Houston, “O Holy Night” by Mariah Carey, “Baby, It's Cold Outside” by Doris Day & Bing Crosby, “All I Want For Christmas is You” from the Love Actually Soundtrack, "Go Tell It On the Mountain" by Needtobreathe and “Happy Christmas” by John Lennon.
Some new discoveries this year have been A Fine Frenzy's “Oh, Blue Christmas” EP. The track “Red Ribbon Foxes” is by far the best, with great lyrics such as “Love doesn't come in boxes, or truth in a crowded shop”, I've had it on repeat for days. Also found “Carol of the Bells” by the Bird and the Bee! So lovely! So that's just a few of my musical holiday treats for this season.
What are some your classics? Any new finds this season?
Friday, November 27, 2009
Ross: It tastes like feet! TOW Ross Got High [Season 6]
Phoebe: Oh yeah! Happy needless-turkey-murder day. TOW the Late Thanksgiving [Season 10]
Chandler: An 80-foot inflatable dog loose over the city? How often does that happen?
Phoebe: Almost never. TOW Underdog Gets Away [Season 1]
Will (Brad Pitt): Look at her standing there with those yams. My two worst enemies, Ross: Rachel Green and complex carbohydrates. TOW the Rumor [Season 8]
Ross: Done! With time to spare.
Chandler: This might be a new world record.
Ross: You know I hate to lecture you guys but it's kind of disgraceful that a group of well-educated adults and Joey can't name all the states. Have you ever seen a map or one of those round colorful things called a globe?
Chandler: Uh Magellan, you have 46 states.
Ross: What?! That's impossible.
Joey: 46. Well who's educated now, Mr. I-forgot-ten-states? TOW Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs [Season 7]
Monica: Fine! Judge all you want to, but... (Points to Ross) Married a lesbian. (Points to Rachel) Left a man at the altar. (Points to Phoebe) Fell in love with a gay ice dancer. (Points to Joey) Threw a girl's wooden leg in a fire. (Points to the box Chandler's in) Lives in a box! TOW Chandler in a Box [Season 4]
Rachel: You're not going to tell the whole story about how your parents got divorced again, are you?
Joey: Oh come on, I want to hear it! It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Chandler bumming us out! TOW All the Thanksgivings [Season 5]
Monday, November 9, 2009
Miller explains how our lives are a story. And some of us are living better stories than others. He tells about a friend who's daughter was living a bad story. Dating a troublesome boy, and making bad decisions. Her dad (Don's friend) decided to change his family's story. He decided to build an orphanage in Mexico, with his family. Together they raised the funds, visited the location, and made it happen. And their story changed. And the wayward daughter became excited about that story. And she in turn changed her own story. So many of our stories are lived through TV, movies, and even books. But those aren't real life. Instead of watching Oscar-worthy films, we should go out and live awe-inspiring lives. God has given each of us a story to live, and we can either be part of it, and listen to the great Narrator, or try and write our own, with our own human, limited scope of vision. Part of me imagined Will Ferrell's character in Stranger than Fiction while reading this book as well. In the movie, Will Ferrell learns he is a character in someone's fiction, and there is a voice narrating his actions as well. Then the voice tells him he is going to die. And the character didn't like that too much. And begins to change things and make things happen. I have always believed that life is bigger than ourselves. And so Donald Miller's concept of living out our story made complete sense to me. I loved reading about his bike ride across America for clean water in Africa. I envied his hike through the Andes to Macchu Piccu. I hurt for him when he met his dad for the first time. I laughed at his own missteps, knowing I've made the same ones. But mostly, it challenged me to think about the story I'm living. When I get to heaven, and God asks me about my life, what am I going to remember? It's easy to forget the day to day moments, and to only remember the extraordinary. So am I living a life of extraordinary moments? What kind of legacy do I want to leave for those behind me? Is it possible to leave this world a little better than how I found it? I hope so, because that's my story.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I was reminded of these characters in church this past Sunday. I know, odd place to be thinking of vampires, but go with me. Ryan was sharing in prayer time from Ezekiel 16 about the marriage vow, and God's commitment to us as believers. It shows how God time after time had told Israel that “you are mine” (v.8). And it got me thinking...
In the books, both Bill and Eric have claimed Sookie. “She is mine” they would say to other vampires who wanted to use her or harm her. But because she is spoken for, she is off-limits. It goes even further, when they form a blood bond to her. She is protected by them and they can always sense where she is. And I was struck by the parallel to my own life. Christ and I also have a blood bond that is unbreakable. And He has declared to Satan and all the world “She is mine”. He has claimed me for his own, and no one take that away from me. Jesus is always watching over me, and coming to my rescue time and time again. So as I'm almost laughing out loud in church on Sunday, I realized I don't need a vampire, I have a Savior.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I've been at Borders 3 weeks now, and I realized I'd almost forgotten this kind of work. Not coffee work, that's like riding a bike, but work that wasn't a faith-based organization. I'd been spoiled by staff prayer meetings and conversations about God's will in our jobs. I'm back in the thick of it, no doubt. And I love it. My co-workers are starting to get to know me, and when they find out I have a full-time job they ask why in the world I'm working another. So I get to tell them about the missions work I've done in the past and the future work I hope to do and how extra money helps. Then when anyone mentions traveling, my ears perk up and I'm anxious to hear their travel experiences and share mine. Needless to say my list of destinations raises a few eyebrows [India...New Zealand...Cambodia...]. So again, I get to share about my passion and heart for mission work. I was telling 2 co-workers just tonight about my Cambodia trip, and my sweet & spunky coworker says “So you're a missionary?” And I pause and say “Yes.” And she responds, “Girl, you got a mission field right here!” And it stopped me. Because she's dead right. In the back of my head I knew this could be an outreach opportunity, but it wasn't my sole purpose in this new job. But when someone else pointed it out, someone doing the same work in the same environment. Someone who I don't even know if they have a faith background. That's a big moment. So here I am...Joy Engdahl, missionary to Borders, hoping to be serving coffee and God's love nightly.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So I hope that's me! I really want to do the Battambang DTS because it starts sooner, and it's Khmer and English, and I can start adjusting to the life and the language, and I'm really anxious to get started in this new journey! But only if it's what God wants. The last thing I want to do is rush into something this big. So if October in Phnom Penh is where I need to my DTS, then so be it. Or maybe even a totally different one! There's one in Orlando that has a Compassion/Justice focus. So I know that God has the perfect DTS with the perfect fit. And side note, praise the Lord, my job funds have been renewed and I have a job until next September!
So that's where I am. Filling out paperwork, finding my immunization records, tracking down references. I know I'll get there...eventually and in His timing.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
With YWAM, any staff position requires a DTS [Discipleship Training School]. I've chosen the one in Battambang, which is two and a half hours south of where Siem Reap [where I visited]. I chose this one particularly because it's ran by Americans [yay English!] but it will give me the chance to start picking up Khmer. It's a 6month training school which is part missions lecture/training and part outreach. The next session begins March 2010, which is what I'm applying for. The cost will be around $3,000, which after I'm accepted to the school, I can begin raising. My position with White Doves would be support raised also, so me and God are about to start the faith adventure of relying on other for my livelihood. It's exciting, stressful, stressful and encouraging.
So that's where I am now. Getting my paperwork together to apply for DTS Battambang and get myself back there! Thanks for your prayers and encouragement and beginning this crazy ride with me! More to come...
Check out this song by Sara Groves called “I Saw What I Saw” which I could not stop listening to in Cambodia, and that really guided my decision-making process.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
So it's Thursday night and I leave tomorrow. I didn't know how I wanted to spend my last night in Cambodia, but I knew I wanted it to be special. The day had already been great, from Kid's Club in the slum (I spent 20 minutes painting little ones fingernails) to meeting some American YWAMer's from Battambang (2 ½ south of Siem Reap) to visiting Common Grounds coffeehouse, an American coffeehouse in the city (free wifi and air con..yes please!). So really it was already a pretty great last day. But the girls surprised me with a special evening. They made dinner specifically for me...sandwiches! Khmer rarely eat bread and sandwiches, so it was not a typical dinner for them. Granted the sandwiches were filled with fried pork and oyster sauce (common cooking ingredient here), so it wasn't a typical sandwich for me either! But I appreciated their effort to make sure I enjoyed the meal. Then we played games together. A banana eating contest, a scarf tying game, an animal version of heads up seven up, and my American favorite, the numbers game. I even counted in Khmer, which was impressive for me! Then they all prayed for me and my journey home. And then each girl shared words of encouragement or thanks to me. I can't believe just a week ago I blogged about figuring how to build relationships with these girls and how to do ministry with them, and then tonight they are telling me they loved me. They hope I can come back and stay longer, so they can know me more. They apologized for not speaking enough English (talk about a different mentality from the States, where we get annoyed when people don't speak OUR language!). And on and on they went. Tears were shed, and we laughed a lot too. God definitely showed up in the midst of language barriers and cultural differences, as He always does. These two weeks have forever changed me and shaped my future. The rest is in God's hands and I am anxiously waiting. So I say goodbye Cambodia, but hopefully not for forever.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
After the baptisms, everyone swam and swam. The lake isn't all that close, so it was a special treat for everyone to get a break from the heat with some water. (I opted against swimming after Martin's comment about wanting to take a bacteria sample of the water...yikes!) After swim time, we shared lunch. The girls were up late last night preparing and there was enough for all. Rice and barbeque chicken! Now that's a Cambodian meal I can get on board with! True, I ate it off a banana leaf from our backyard, but still! It was one good meal. Then, my favorite part of the day, nap time! The huts were lined with hammocks, so I cozied up and fell asleep to the sound of Khmer singing, kids laughing and water splashing. I would like to hope I can request a hammock in my mansion in heaven, because I could spend an eternity in one! After waking up with a “mild” sunburn (I have new degrees of measuring a sunburn since my recent scalding), we loaded up our truck and headed back to the Center. All 20 of us in the back of our truck (sorry Mom!) were having a great time. Funny thing happened on the way back, we were cutting through the Angkor Wat temples (I LOVE that that is a shortcut we can take here!) and we got stopped by the police. NOT because there were 20+ people in this truck, but because Martin and I are foreigners, and we couldn't be in there without buying a pass! They didn't believe we were just taking a shortcut. So we had to take the long route. But still a good time. I know that today was incredibly special for the girls, and I was thrilled to be along for the ride!
I have more photos, but the internet was not cooperating...come back soon!!
I bought the sketchbook to use as a memory book. I've really moved away from the art of a scrapbooking (much to my mother's chagrin), and am all about digital pictures. But there is just something about holding tangible memories from a trip that is just so meaningful. So my intentions are to print out some pictures from the trip and mount them in the book, record some thoughts or verses from the trip, and even have some of the girls write in it, because the Khmer written language is just beautiful. I liked that the cover said “Kingdom of Wonder” because this whole trip has been a wonder. Not only do I “wonder” if I could be moving back here, but I'm in “wonder” of how these people live day to day, and I'm in “wonder” at how big our God is. So I thought it was appropriate, so I picked it up! I was about to pay my 5 American dollars (btw almost all shops use both American dollars and Cambodian riel, so it's quite common to get change back in both currencies. I have 3 different countries currencies in my wallet right now too!), when I saw a stack of sharply designed postcards with catchy sayings. One that grabbed me read “JOURNEYS are nothing more than a pile of plane tickets, bus stubs, restaurant bills, unused anti-diarrhea tablets, dirty laundry and a roll of undeveloped film still awaiting recollection of still memories to remind us that we are all strangers all yearning for a CONNECTION”. Oh what truth! On a $1 postcard! Every city, country and continent across our globe is filled with people searching for a connection. With a person or a place or a higher power, there is a yearning that remains unfulfilled. I consider myself extremely blessed to know that my yearning for connection can only be met my the Most High, and nothing short of eternity with Him will fill that void. So as I travel, across the world and back, I connect with people and places and hope in one way or another I am pointing back to where true connections are found.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Well, women are taught since birth to respect men and honor and obey them. So a wife has a strong allegiance to her husband. Men are not taught this principle. Men disrespecting their wives (and women in general) is common and expected. Husbands are abusive and unfaithful, and wives are supposed to take it. It's no wonder so many in this culture are in bondage!
I know dating isn't the best invention of the modern Western world, but how else does one discover compatibility with a partner? Do these cultures even want marriages to last? For a country that is so focused on the family, they sure have a warped view of marriage.
I write about this because I think it plays into the issue of sex trafficking here in Cambodia. Men who are unhappy at home with wives they married without knowing, go searching for the physical comforts of a woman. Or men who are too poor to afford a bride, looking to meet some needs, hire one of these bar girls for the night. And women, never taught to stand up for themselves, or value themselves, or realize they are more than a man's object, are caught in this industry to provide for family. How heartbreaking, how devastating, and how overwhelming.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The YWAM base and White Doves center is located in a suburb of Siem Reap and it's even poorer than the city. Huts line the poorly paved streets where owners are offering a service (restaurant, hair salon, internet, book shop) or just living. I (and Martin) am one of the few white people in this area. I'm sure I stick out like a sore thumb! I got to the YWAM base Monday morning and was able to take a short nap before my first trip to the White Doves center, which is about a 5 minute bike ride away. I joined the girls for lunch (rice & undistinguishable greens and beef....still adjusting to the cuisine to say the least!) and got to meet each of them. There's only about 11 girls there right now, many have moved on. And out of this bunch, all of them have been at the center for over 6 months, so they are very adjusted to the way of life there and even have a relationship with God now. Their English isn't too great, and so most of the time Martin and Dary were translating for me. The girls introduced themselves to me (in English) and I found out that they range in ages from 30 – 16. Now that they are more stable, Martin and Dary have begun reconnecting the girls with the children. About half of them have kids, and there's about 6 living at the center. Beautiful little things with huge brown eyes. Two precious little girls have latched onto me for life! After lunch I was able to go with Dary to take a few of the girls to start their “internships”. One girl is working at a hair salon, learning to do hair, makeup, nails, etc... And two other girls will be learning dressmaking. It's exciting to see how far along these girls are in their recovery, to the point of learning such crafts and soon to be employed. The girls who aren't interning simply played with their children, did chores or did some knitting to make some bags they sell. I found out that these girls actually earn money while staying there, $55 a month! So it's incentive to leave the brothel life, and start anew.
I was so jet lagged yesterday that I went to bed at 4pm and slept until 6am the next morning. Dary had picked up some groceries for me (probably after my reaction to lunch!) and I was pleasantly surprised to find bread, jam, Coke, and yogurt (aka Western food). This morning I began mastering the art of bike riding, and joined the girls at the center for devotions and prayer. It was exciting to know that even though I can't understand them, our God can, and how big He is! Martin, Dary and I went out for breakfast (I got iced coffee – delicious!) and I got to hear how they met (he's Norwegian and she's Cambodian...it's quite a story!) and how the ministry came to be. Love those stories! Had lunch with the girls (a little better...still weird) and we celebrated 3 girls birthdays. I found out that not a lot of them know their actual birthday, because their parents never kept paperwork on them, so some of it was just guesswork. It was the most emotional birthday party I've ever been to because 2 of the girls, had never celebrated their birthday before. Mum, turning 24, and Sari, turning 17, had not once had someone ever celebrate their birth or their existence. We sang, ate cake and gave presents. It was beautiful.
I am now in downtown Siem Reap, where tourists and white people are a plenty, sipping a papaya-orange smoothie and enjoying some free wifi. Gotta love it. Some prayer needs...rest & adjustment (jet lag is still wearing on me), and ministry opportunities...I know that sounds odd, but I have found it quite hard to do relational ministry, when I can't speak their language. I would love for God to help me see how to serve these girls. I think I'm moving into White Doves either tonight or tomorrow, so I'm hoping for more chances with the girls. So until next time....good bye!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
It was a 13 hour flight, no stops. Something I don't American Airlines ever considered when building their aircrafts. True I had a lucky window seat, and with the 2 seats-aisle-5 seats-aisle-2 seats set up, I only to crawl over one other passenger. That was good. But the rows are so crammed together that while in my seat I could barely move. That was bad. One thing I enjoy about international flights is in-flight entertainment, and here AA did not disappoint. With my very own viewing screen, I spent the bulk of my flight watching “X-Men: Wolverine”, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”, “Star Trek”, and “27 Dresses”. And by the time I began to tire of my iPod games (lifesaver, btw), my trail mix and Elizabeth Bennet slaying zombies (plane book: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), we were preparing our decent into Tokyo.
On Sunday afternoon. Yeah, we crossed that sneaky International Date Line, so I “time traveled” if you will, to an entire different day on my 13 hour flight. But I find my way out of the gate and things get a little tricky. I didn't have a boarding pass for this next leg, but the original ticket counter said it would be no problem in Tokyo, so I hoped she was right. I located the gate for my flight, and I hiked the loooong hallways of Naritu Airport, got my boarding pass, no sweat. So Sunday evening, I board a Thai International flight to Bangkok. And let me tell you what, I would fly the remainder of my flights on Thai International. They really do it right! It was a HUGE plane, double decker, and the 3 seats-aisle-5 seats-aisle-3 seats set up. Their airline colors are bright pink, purple and gold. The flight attendants were on top of everything, hustling about. And I got free headphones and an eye mask! So if one can judge a country by their airlines, I would venture to say that Thailand is about comfort, luxury, and beauty. And America is about the money, cramming as many seats into a plane as (barely) possible in order to sell the most tickets. But, I digress. Sadly, as beautiful as the Thai airline was, it was my least favorite leg. When I boarded I realized it was a SIX hour flight from Tokyo to Bangkok (so like half of the flight I just finished), and its like midnight Florida time, and I was on the aisle. So I did my very best to sleep on and off, but it just left me groggy.
But we finally landed in Bangkok, at like 9pm and another problem presented. My flight to Cambodia is on a completely separate ticket, and I can't get to the baggage claim without a visa to Thailand. Which I don't have. Now, I didn't JUST realize this (I'm not a idiot..usually), and the lady at the ticket counter in Tokyo set it up for my baggage to go through to Siem Reap, I just had to verify it in Bangkok. But I couldn't verify it because the ticket counter wasn't open! So after multiple conversations with airport staff, the only thing for me to do, was to go back and just wait for the ticket counter to open at 5am.
So now, I'm in a foreign airport in the middle of the night, hoping my bags are going where I'm going and trying to figure out how to get some more sleep! Thankfully, the Bangkok airport is huge, and beautiful, so I wander and find an internet cafe (not free) and then an airport lounge that let me crash on their couch for a few hours (with free internet, ugh), but they closed at 12:30am and kicked me out. So as I wandered the shops of the Bangkok, an oasis beckons me from afar. I blink twice to make I'm not seeing things. I'm not, it's true...I've found Starbucks. I run up to the counter, and realize they are still open (24 hours actually) and order an iced vanilla chai (almost tastes the same), sit down in a big padded comfy chair (which will double as my bed in a few), plug in my laptop and write this blog. Not a bad ending to a long weekend. So, tomorrow I tackle Cambodia. And after today, I'm ready to be DONE traveling and just starting LIVING. Until then, from across the globe, good night.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Emma by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Ulysses by James Joyce
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Lookingglass by Lewis Carroll
Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
Adventures of Huck Finn by Mark Twain
Oliver Twist by David Copperfield
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Confessions by St. Augustine
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare
Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Sherlock Holmes by Athur Conan Doyle
Faust by Goethe
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by R. L. Stevenson
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
1984 by George Orwell
The Prince by Machiavelli
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Brave New World by Aldus Huxley
Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I'm quite excited, but ask me in a year how this list is coming!