Monday, May 24, 2010

North America Tour

I just returned from a tour with Iris Ministries. I am beyond exhausted. I just took a two hour nap, most of it sitting upright with my mouth open. That kind of tired. I came home to a huge stack of mail and bills and a tag on the door that told me my grass was too high. Oh, well. Tomorrow. The suitcase is open by the washing machine and I am slowly unpacking. My stomach is growling, but the only thing in the fridge, Greek Yogurt, expired in April. The jug of milk looks as if it is bulging a little and I fear taking the top off. But, it is good to be home.

We were in Boston, Fredericksburg, Toronto, Orillia, Ottawa, and Cleveland, Ohio. I loved Boston. We were near Cambridge. You could feel the smart people. The whole area was safe and pedestrian friendly, with great massive square with shops and restaurants of every cuisine you could desire. I got to have Sushi with my friend Tanya. You have read about her. I met her last summer in Mozambique and she is radical and she dreams in color about sustainable farming and development, like me.

I didn't get to see any of Fredericksburg, other than the venue and the hotel. However, I really liked the Fredericksburg Prayer Furnace and the band St. Lorel and the music of Andrea Marie Carr, and you would too.

The next stop was Canada. It was all good and productive and beneficial. Our goal is to share the experience of Iris Harvest School of Missions and help plug others in to the ministry. This took place at every meeting and it was fun to watch it all unfold. We met with some radical, amazing people; Relief workers, AIDS and Cancer Researchers, Engineers, Scientists, Activists, Revivalists...I got to do all of this following in the shadow of Helene Inga, one of the most amazing women I have ever met. We did mission school together in 2007. She is a concert pianist from Iceland. And that is only one of her giftings. My life has changed as a result of just hanging out with her for 10 days. She wants to study law and Opera and be a voice for the voiceless and the oppressed. And she will be. She is. I miss her.

Our final leg was in Ohio. I have never been to Ohio. What to you do in Ohio? My mission school friend Jen, picked me up at the airport and drove with me to the hotel. It was so good to see a friend and to have her help and she brought me a veggie sandwich with avocado. While in Youngstown, I got seated next to a sweet blonde with an accent named Maggie. We exchanged handshakes and names and that was it. Two days later she stood in front of me as I registered 1,500 youth for Jesus Culture in a town two hours north, which I worked at as a BSSM student. We laughed at the irony and she handed me her business card. Jesus Culture was beautiful to watch and I was honored to serve. I went back to my hotel, exhausted, from all the travel, lack of sleep, and watched a huge fireworks display from the Cleveland Indians stadium right outside my window, soaking it in as if it were just for me. They lost, but they celebrate anyway and it made me smile. I was even able to get away one afternoon and stumbled into this stunning cathedral. I sat on a little embroidered pillow on the floor and listened to gentle songs of Laura Woodley on my iPod and rested here. It felt so good.

The following day I looked up from my pew of the little church I was visiting that morning and there was Maggie again. I was so happy to see a familiar face, a friend, from way back to Tuesday! This time, she took me to lunch. Her husband Jeff told me about this great buffet and my heart sunk a little bit. If you know me, you know I am a food snob and the buffets I know are not pretty. Oh, but little did I know. We went to this place:
Sweet Jesus. Big God. Little me. I could have cried in my Sauvignon Blanc. Big tears. I was so happy. I was so sick of cashews and waxy apples and food on the go and bad airport sandwiches. And here before me was nothing short of Ritz Carlton Sunday Brunch with a breathtaking view. I could barely enjoy the food, for the big huge lump in my throat of being so totally undone, by such a wonderful blessing, a glorious meal, and new powerful, amazing friends. Thank you, Maggie and Jeff.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Harvest School

Currently in Canada, meeting with engineers, nurses, relief workers, graduate school students, NGO workers, who all want to get involved!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A tiny update

In keeping up with my personal goals of writing more and forcing creativity and self expression, I reckon I need to post a little update on what all is going on. Clearly not paying any attention to properly ending sentences and just putting it all on paper, here it goes: Working lots. Jobs 1 & 2. In Job 1 I just completed my 13th legislative session. In Job 2, I just got home from a 13 hour day. Still madly in love with my Yamaha P85 and cannot spend enough time with her. And as if I had nothing else to do, I have taken on a little volunteer job with Iris Ministries. As you may recall, this is the group I just visited this past summer, attended their mission school and with whom I am interested in doing full time missions, perhaps.

I say that word a lot. Perhaps. I start sentences with it, end sentences with it. Answer questions with it. I love that word. So fitting for most all things. "Perhaps you would like some chocolate"? "Perhaps". It is an adverb and a noun. Meaning, possibly but not certainly, open to doubt. It is a shortened version of, "kinda sorta... not really", which is my other favorite phrase. I reckon I feel that if I precede the words "not really" with "kinda sorta", the blow of "no" is not so bad.

This is the very reason why I have not been here to write, delirium ensues. I am so tired and exhausted that my poor little mind can't even hold a thought together for one little minute. But now, upon reflection, I should not use the "p" word at all in referencing missions and all that. It is only a matter of time. Simply praying into when, where, and how. So that is that.

Iris Ministries asked if I would help set up small teams to take to conferences around the U.S. and Canada. If you are a Harvest School student and want to know more. Write me! We are there to simply serve as an extension of the ministry, share more about the school, the variety of projects supported by Iris, how others can get involved and the like. Doctors, Nurses, Engineers, Teachers, Policy Analysts, man, woman, boy and girl, we can use anyone and everyone! I love seeing the faces of people who have deep heartfelt dreams to serve in Africa and want to come. Their excitement is contagious. I love playing a small role in equipping them in their lifelong dreams to serve. And I love the way they teach me how to love. I am so inept at it. I am not much of a hugger, not much of a talker, pretty oblivious to most things around me. But these missionary types are all so kind and sweet and affectionate and such good listeners, attentive and generous. I am learning a lot from them. Soon, we will be traveling to Boston, Fredricksburg, Toronto, Orillia, Ottawa and Youngstown, OH.

Updates to come, perhaps.

Photo Courtesy of Micheala Potterbaum