Saturday, December 20, 2008

One year

Looking ahead to a year seems like a really long time. Looking back on it, it seems all to short. My year living in Namibia is over, but after seven trips I can't imagine it will be my last. One thing that's always been a motto of mine is "be where you are." Trying to make that a reality in my own life I realize that the very purpose of blogging is to be somewhere else, to share what's on your mind with people who aren't there. So not that I've ever written on this blog with much regularity, but in trying to be more purposeful about living purposefully I won't be updating this blog as often. If you're interested in what's on my mind drop me an email or take me out to lunch! If you're interested in my observations from living in Namibia for a year, check out my African Travel Blog.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A year in Africa

From December 2007 through Dec 2008 I will be living with my friends Dieter and Joan Morsbach in Okahandja, Namibia. I will be serving as a Distributed Pastor of Christ’s Church working with orphan ministries, humanitarian aid projects, and community development programs. I’ll also be exploring many of the cultural differences with the youth and how youth ministry is different than in the States. If you’re interested in a short term missions trip to Africa, I can help in making arrangements for that as well. :)

During this year I will be posting to my African Travel Blog. You can find it at… On that site I will include updates, prayer requests, photos, and hopefully even some video of my trip. I will still have occasional access to my email, myspace, facebook, IM, etc, so we can still keep in touch. Thanks for your prayers and support, and please continue following my journey at my African Travel Blog.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Voice in the Wilderness

I often find I connect most with God when in the midst of creation. I know, it's not some grand revelation unique to me. Many of the great forefathers of the faith met with God in the wilderness, but it still feels like a grand secret between God and me. From the sand dunes of Lake Michigan, to the rolling hills of the Kentucky horse farms, to the extravagantly colored hills of the Smokey Mountains in peak foliage, God proclaims His glory through what we see all around us, though often times we're going by too fast to stop and notice it. I wish I had cool photos that could capture it all to share with you, but nothing would quite compare, so it'll remain my little secret, until you drive Rt 40 in early-November.

"Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature." ~Romans 1:20

"The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship." ~ Psalm 19:1

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Friends and Photos

I love friends that you can jump back in and pick up 5 years later right where you left off. It's been refreshing connecting up with friends from college and extended fam that I haven't seen in years. Everybody grows up so fast. My cousins are so big! So many of my friends are having babies and starting families. I love hearing their dreams about pursuing ministry and what God's been teaching them. I love seeing them in their environments, meeting their friends, and reminiscing old times. It's great knowing such cool people. :)

The Photos of the Day start with Arianna Siegrist, Laura and Dave's miracle baby. She was born with heart troubles but at their 7 month check-up the doctors told them she looked great and didn't need to take daily meds anymore. Cayd Elijah Sespico is Sarah and Chris' newborn. God has turned their mourning into dancing after suffering a miscarriage not long ago. And the last is my aunt and cousins whom I haven't seen in years. It was fun going to youth group, playing foosball and Wii, and making movies with the kids, and catching up with my aunt and uncle. I would love to live closer to my cousins so I could see them more and watch them grow up. In fact, it's too bad all my cool friends and fam couldn't all live in NH so I could hang out with them all, but I guess I have to share them with the rest of the world. :)

So I think traveling has also helped me mentally prepare for being gone to Namibia for a year. I've gotten to share with many people about my vision for the year and help them get on board with what I'm doing. It's cool having so much support and so many people praying for me. I'm getting more and more excited and ready to be there. It seems unreal that it's less than a month away and I know that's gonna fly by with the rest of my trip, then Thanksgiving, then packing. I'm excited, but also a little nervous. A year is a really long time...from this side of it. I know when it's over it will seem to have flown by, that's how it always works. And then I'll be on the flip side of all this about coming back. But I don't have to think about that now, just take it a day at a time, which is all we really have anyway. (To learn more about my year in Namibia check out my African Travel Blog.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Photo of the Day

Tara Leigh Cobble has inspired me by her "photo of the day" series on her blog, so I thought I'd add my own from Saturday's adventure to Vermont and upstate New York. Though I'm sure you won't find nearly as much amusement about this shot as I did. This family was attending a small-town wedding in Bicentennial Park. I slipped alongside their photographer and asked if I could take a shot as well. They were speechless as to why this stranger would want their photo so I snapped it quickly before they could say no. Although now I owe them a couple wallet-sized prints. (ps. I think my favorite is the little boy in the front holding his little stuffed animal.)


On a more serious note, driving along the back roads, checking out the hillsides ablaze with color, left me plenty of time to consider country living. Having grown up visiting my many relatives in upstate NY I have a pretty good handle on what it's like to live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, and I have to say, it's nice to visit, but I don't think I could live there.

Maybe I just have too much ambition (or delusions of grandeur) to be content living my entire life in a small country town, talking the latest gossip about nothing important. Maybe I've seen too much of the world (and the city) to get so wrapped up in small town drama. Maybe I'm just too young and restless to appreciate what so many people call home. I don't know, but it's not for me.

But as with anything, there are upsides to be learned from. There is something to say for investing your entire life in a particular community, building life long relationships with neighbors and friends, and the authenticity to talk to anybody and everybody. Those things I do value, but I don't think I could do it in the middle of nowhere.


While at the park, a young teenage girl came up to us asking who was getting married as if we were with the party. She hadn't seen it in the paper or heard of anyone getting married around town. She went on to tell us how everybody knew everything in their small town. She had no regard for the fact that we were complete strangers and could probably care less except for the fact that we're not that rude and had just been talking about small-town folk and were amused that everything she was saying was corroborating exactly what we'd been talking about.