Monday, July 30, 2007

summer camp

we just returned from a four day camp (that included the 3-4 hours in a bus each way) with 14 junior high kids. it was full and busy and good. very enjoyable. it included ..

3 breakfasts & 3 lunches & 4 dinners with some form of pork

doing two french braids for lots of girls .. mabye 10 sets of hair?

playing a really fun game (sorta romanian dodgeball?) 5 or 6 times

hiking up a mountain with most of our kids and half our volunteers to see a beautiful landscape and valley with lots of green and space and even a lake we visited later the same day

two campfires (and s'mores one night!) and time to stare at the stars a couple nights

sleeping in little cabins that have two beds, a walkway between them, steep roofs and not much else

being cold! (with weather in the high 90s or so, it was refreshing to actually wear a fleece jacket and still be a little bit chilly!)

a few good discussions (both planned and spontaneous)

speaking romanian oh so much more than i could a year ago and even having trouble talking in english sometimes because i was so used to thinking in romanian .. woo hoo! progress is being made!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

whoa .. people actually read this!?!

did you notice that there have been over a thousand visitors?
(granted some of them are the same four or five who visit to check and see if i've actually written anything recently .. )
but still. that's kinda cool!
just wanted you to notice that.
and to say 'thanks' for reading!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

hot hot hot

in the past week, we've had temperatures in the low 100s. like 102 and 104. which, as you might imagine is really warm. but God is gracious, and there are gentle breezes sometimes and cooler weather today and nights that are a bit cooler. (although sometimes not as much as i'd like!) i've been rather amazed, though. usually when it's hot outside i'm complaining and not able to do much of anything. i haven't been super-active or productive, but life is continuing. and in the midst of the heat i'm able to find the shade as i walk, and enjoy the sunshine, and be glad for simple things.

maybe my body temperature has matured and i can take the heat better. or maybe it isn't really all that hot. or maybe i'm getting better at living in the moment and being glad for today. or maybe a combination of these things. but .. even in the heat, God is present and active! and being gracious and joyful on hot days is one way to enjoy him. crazy .. but true!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

at the dog pound

well .. it's officially been more than a month since my last post. and may be another month until i post again. but i guess that's alright. hopefully i'll create space to add more before then .. but we'll see.

last week we spent time with our kids at the dog pound. they wanted to help animals for the community service projects that we're doing this summer, so last week we visited the pound three times. to give the dogs some meat, as well as to take them for some walks and give them lots of attention and petting. but it got me to thinking .. (imagine that!)

about comparisons between these dogs and people. please give me some room .. these comparisons aren't perfect or even all that well-thought out, but they're still part of what's going on in my brain. God often teaches me things (and shows me things) through things i see in others or stories, so this was an ideal opportunity.

-- there were twenty or so dogs in a largish grassy area with a fence around them. when people were outside the fence, some of the dogs would come over to be petted without too much fear. but once people went inside the fence -- even if they squatted down and made gentle noises, no dogs would come close. they were too afraid. as humans we do this too .. when others are outside our walls, it's okay to talk to them a little bit and share a bit .. but once we've let them inside the walls (or even one set of walls), it gets scarier to let them see us as we are, and sometimes we just want to run away!

-- there's lots of barking at dog pounds. this seems universal .. but it struck me that so often humans are like that, trying to draw attention to 'me' so that i'll get my needs met. pushing others aside so that i get noticed.

-- a couple of the dogs that were chosen to be taken for walks didn't know what to do when they were outside their cage. one jumped all over the place and ran back and forth and was confused and not sure where to go or what to do. another pulled as hard as it could to get back into the cage, where it was safe. another laid down and wouldn't move. (this might have been due to the fact that it just wanted to be petted and didn't so much care for going walking..) but this seems true of people too .. we want to be given freedom to try new things and experience new places. but then when it's handed to us, we just don't know what to do and it's easy to be too scared to act at all.

-- dogs are with other dogs, but it seems like they are mean to be with humans. maybe not all of them .. but go with me on this. humans feed dogs, take them for walks, love them and pet them, give them safe places to sleep, etc. other dogs cannot do all these things. but i wonder if it's easy for dogs to look for other dogs to take care of them. like dogs .. humans look to each other for all our needs to be met, but it just isn't possible. we were created to be in relationship with someone Bigger, someone Wiser, someone more capable, someone who can actually care for us well. aka God. mmm... and He does care for us well!

please feel free to add your own thoughts or questions or doubts or reasons why what i wrote doesn't make sense. or just say hi :)