Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There are Floaters in my Coffee

So, being back in the States for 3 months now I'm getting used to a lot of the ways of Americans again. At Starbucks, I take orders, meet customers needs, and make countless cups of coffee. Tonight (tuesday), we are sitting in the Leigh's living room, during one of our 'Interviews'. I was reading through a journal entry as we discuss topics and events of India and I come across and entry about coffee that made me laugh.

Here's what it said:
January 20, 2009
"... I was just thinking this might be a good title or chapter in a book. "There are floaters in my coffee." More or less, this idea is that I have become so desensitized to things. I can't really explain it. It has just happened. My standard of cleanliness and comfort has gone down in recent months. I guess my worries of things has too.
I have drunk the water and eaten the food cooked on the streets. All those kinds of things would be out of the question a year ago. But it's cool how my perception of life has changed.
Now, when we are in the airports we are 'safe.' Everyone is not out to get us. My level of worry has changed a lot too. I think all these changes aren't out of stupidity or carelessness ... maybe they are. But, I think a lot of it has to do with growing up. Always having a sense of awareness is good. But the thing I realize as I step back and look at the big picture is this: The rest of the world is full of people, too ... other humans just trying to work, eat, build, fellowship, communicate, grow, learn, love and simply live. To other westerners it may look different, but people everywhere are no different than in the States. I think I came to this while in Uganda. My mindset up until that point was smaller and more closed. But now I see it differently..."
After having been away from the 'civilized' USA for 4-5 months, I was beginning to realize how desensitized I had become to certain things such as cleanliness and sanitation. They are things that people all over the world have to deal with. Over time when you are exposed to something or a list of somethings, you begin to get used to it, maybe even desensitized to it. I wouldn't really freak out if I ended up doing the things that your parents always told you not to do. I think I really began realizing this when the team from the US arrived in India. They all had their hand sanitizer and personal cleansing items at the ready at all times. They were all double and triple checking that we could drink this certain water. This was all great and I loved being a part of it. This is not a put down in any way. It was just different for me. In the morning, they had there dunkin donuts coffee that included 'no floaters'. You know, a bug or dirt or stray chunk of something. Some people call it "trail spice." Others blame it on a broken dishwasher. Floaters.

And now, I work at Starbucks and make countless cups of coffee every day, without any floaters. I am faced every day with the worries and consumption of Americans... and all the little things that get in the way that cause you to miss the more important things. I am daily in the process of remembering how to not let those things consume me as they once did; learning how to love like Jesus in this consuming culture that we were born into. How do we keep Jesus and the way of his love as our focus in our day to day lives in America? 

What does that look like for you? I challenge you with this the next time your drinking your cup of coffee...without any floaters.

-christian

Sunday, June 28, 2009

for the love of pete...

"for the love of pete... DON'T FEED THE HUUUUUDDGGE!"
-the hudge is a mythical creature in the land of strongbad. Nobody knows exactly what happens when you feed him...

NOW THAT I HAVE GOT YOUR ATTENTION...! 

as we are working on this book and pursuing interviews, we have a photo-shoot date with Cassidy Nettles at  Olive Tree Photography. she's going to some to and interview sessions and do a "photo shoot" of us, for the book. Things are going well with the book, we are currently finished with Uganda, and VERY slowly working to the end ... turns out that a book doesn't just come together from talking, laughing and telling stories (unfortunately)- good thing we have Kelley Leigh to guide us through!

Life in the United States has been tough... honestly. Between the relationship shock and culture shock, we are finding it's difficult, if not impossible, to live as we did over seas. We heeded much warning about the battle of reverting back to our past, or living in a mediocre way- and are still trudging through. 
It feels good to be 'normal' as we are somewhat caught up on cultural norms.It is cool to see good ol' friends. Its cool to go to our local wal-mart in our small town and recognize half the people there. We don't feel like aliens too much! Haha, this helps but also leaves a lot of temptation to settle for comfort in how we live. By this we mean aiming and striving for comfort, complacency and simply ourselves in every day life. We are finding much need for time of reflection, on how things used to be, how God wants them to be, and how we/things are now. We have found in our lives that we only have so much time, and its easily wasted. Its up to us how we use it. 
every single one of us has a specific purpose daily, and we must take it upon ourselves to pursue it. God has made each one of us specially designed and unique, and its up to us to... BE! Its been amazing to find that God has these things for us no matter where we live, our jobs or who is around us! It is so cool to find that the trip is not even close to being over! All of these things are staying close in our minds and hearts as we prepare for the next step. Just another mission trip. Another mission day. For me this is the "modern day Soddom and Gommorah"; for Christian, it's an awesome community to mature his unique gifts and abilities; and for Andrew,  it's to worship God and all His glory, and to be with those who share it too.
while here in our small town, we are finding that God is here, with us, and working here. So we are taking much joy in seeing our friends find their purposes here, as well as ourselves. One thing I believe to be true is that we need God even more hard core than we ever have! God is proving Himself to be faithful to us. We feared returning dealing with the frustration of culture shock and "relationship" shock, and against our doubts of Him leaving us God has totally continued to be near us. 

So... things are good! Tough, fun, stuggling, with much joy and passion. ah.... LIFE!!!!!!!!!

stay close- we are going to continue posting whats happening here in Colorado!

watch for pictures from the photo shoot from Cassidy!

evan

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Zealand Video!

video

Sorry it took like 2 months to get this video up but here it is! We miss all you Kiwi's!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Almost 3 months back...where are they now?

So as most of you know, we have been back in Colorado since March 24 and it has been good. We have all enjoyed catching up with family, friends and our lives here in the States, but not forgetting the people and the places that had such a huge impact on our lives in the last 8 months. God taught us much on the trip and is continuing to teach us. So I just want to let all of you know what V-team is doing these days as we are back in the States.

Andrew is living at home with his family in Woodland Park, CO. He has also taken over the worship pastor position at Woodland Park Community Church for the summer, while the full time Worship Pastor, Todd Zeller, is on sabatical. Andrew is pursuing his career in guitar and working towards going to Belmont University in Nashville, TN for next year some time. Andrew is also working at a car wash.

Evan is living with his family in Woodland Park, CO. He is working for his dad's company as a pool boy and a volunteer youth intern at Woodland Park Community Church. Evan will be moving to Los Angeles, CA at the end of July with a mutual friend, David Gillie. He will be working and going to school at Fullerton Community College and only a short distance from where his girlfriend, Kayla, lives. Evan is also working at a car wash.

Christian is living in Woodland Park, CO in a cabin with a mutual friend, Micheal Correll. He is working at Starbuck's Coffee and volunteering as a youth intern at Woodland Park Community Church. Christian will be going to school at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR in August. His family has moved back to Little Rock, AR as well.

As V-team, we are doing some follow up things from the trip as well. Currently, we are working on sending a couple care packages to Canaan Farm in Uganda. We are also working on the production of our DVD and our follow up letters from the trip to be sent out soon! And for some rather big news...
Let me just go back a few months to the trip. While we were gone, we started toying with the idea of writing a book when we got back. We would share stories and experiences of what God taught us with trusting and relying on him. We would share about traveling on our own at a young age and living without parents for the first time (and in another culture). We would give our advice to those wanting to do similar things regardless of age. Ultimately we would encourage people to soley rely on and trust God whether in the USA or over seas. This was our thought.
After returning home, many people began encouraging us to pursue this book idea. Of those people included writer, Kelley Leigh (Andrew's mother!). So we sat down with Kelley and began brainstorming this thought.
Now moving forward, the process has begun. The project thus far is known as 9th Country: The Interviews. We sit down twice a week with Kelley, some snacks, a computer and our journals. We have been going in order of the trip, starting with Haiti, then Brazil, so on...Kelley asks us questions, we have themes, and we record it all on the computer. We were praying for a transcriptionist and God provided. A member of our church used to transcribe and she volunteered for the position. We are so grateful for this. We don't really know where this is all going but its a process that is just really at the beginning. You can be watching for excerpts of the interviews on our blog and updates of where the project is going.

We would love to hear from you! We still frequently check our email worldboundmissions@gmail.com
Please send us an email and tell us what is going on in your life!

~Christian