Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm back in Louisville now, trying to recover from a couple of amazing weeks. Getting back is bittersweet. It's good to be somewhere relatively permanent, where I'm supposed to be, but leaving Mexico and New Orleans was so hard. I felt useful in those places, like I was needed. It gave me a hint of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but then it ended. It kind of feels like God is teasing me with my purpose.

After we said goodbye to the Mexico team on Saturday night, I went to the room I was sleeping in and all of a sudden I felt this utter hopelessness. I felt like I wasn't where I belonged, that somewhere I had taken a wrong turn, like I wasn't on the same page with God's plan for my life. The peace I'd had just hours before had turned to worry and fear. I felt alone. I hated it.

The next day when it was my turn to drive, and the others were asleep, I felt it again. Even the worship songs we were playing over the stereo were just a bunch of noise. So I turned off the radio and had a little quiet time with God. From just outside Houston, TX, to Jennings, LA, I talked with my Father. It was the most honest I've ever been with Him. It was the most honest I've ever been with myself. I held nothing back. It shook me up.

It was good to just be silent in the presence of God. To restore the peace of mind that had gone missing. To remember that His plans are better than mine, and that His dreams are bigger than mine. I realize now that it doesn't matter if God tells me my final destination. It only matters that He lets me know that I am on the right track. That's what He did with Abraham, and He has given me the same promise.

I may never truly know my purpose on earth. But as long as I pursue it, with God's help, I believe it will be accomplished. Who knows where He may lead me in the meantime? I can't wait to see . . .

Saturday, June 28, 2008

So San Luis isn't happening. Oh well.
So we finished up the siding on the house in New Orleans, even though it poured down on us right as we were about to finish up, and the power went out so we couldn't cut the last piece. Then on Friday I did more yard work.

We got to Piedras Negras last Saturday night, and we had an amazing week. The groups were really cool. Everyone worked hard and nobody complained. I headed up the drywall mud crew. We made it into an art form. Almost got the house done.

Right now I'm in San Antonio, and tomorrow we'll be leaving for San Luis, Mexico, to have a few days of R&R. So that's exciting. The team down here invited us along, because we're so awesome.

So that's all. Bye.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

title . . . goes . . . here?

Sorry it's been a while, but I haven't had internet access since Friday. Right now I'm in a shady internet café in Piedras Negras checking up on the world. The past week's been pretty sweet, and I'll run through that later when I don't have to type on a funky Mexican keyboard.

I love you all, I miss you all. Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement. It's good to hear from family and friends. Alright bye.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Never weedwhack with your mouth open.

Monday: I helped paint CrossRoads' new building. Not very exciting, but very hot.

Tuesday: Did street clean-up ministry. Most of the time was spent re-lining weedwhackers, but I had a few chances to take on the weeds myself. They were no match. Apparently I look like Eli Manning and Brady Quinn . . . ?

Wednesday: Worked on one of the houses under construction. I climbed a tall ladder and pried staples out of the exterior wall, and then used a nail gun to frame four second story windows. We were up on scaffolding and some contraption that rested on a couple of ladders. Uh . . . yeah. We only worked a half day, so after we cleaned up I went with 9 others to this place called Café Reconcile and had pot roast, which was super good. Then I took a nap in the afternoon and went to a local coffee shop in the evening. I didn't get anything at the coffee shop. Coffee is not good.

That's all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

a clever title for this post eludes me . . .

We arrived in New Orleans safely. It took us about twelve hours in all. Not too bad. I'll post more on the city later if I can. Once I have something to post, that is.

The entire day was kinda bittersweet because I got to come back to New Orleans (that's the sweet part) but I couldn't spend Father's Day with Dad or go to the Brad/Kyle graduation party. But whatev.

On a side note, who is this 'bonzo' character who commented a couple posts ago? I can't figure it out, but I'll get to the bottom of it. You better watch out, 'bonzo'. And by the way, thanks for the encouraging words. I WILL KNOW YOUR REAL NAME! But seriously, thanks for reading and commenting.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Week in Review

This week, my boss and my fellow intern were out of town, so I worked through CrossRoads' main office. We tiled and grouted the concession stand at Salvation Army's new building downtown and did some work on the sweet inner-city minivan. Then, yesterday, I drove about three hours up to New Carlisle, Ohio, which is about 15 miles north of Dayton. I met another CrossRoads staff person there and we led a Help Build Hope, and it was super fun. New Carlisle's population is under 5,000 according to the members of the church where we built the house. It's a town that has one main street, where most everything happens. Really cool.

Anyway, we did the build today, and I guess about 50 people showed up and helped us. The future homeowner and her son were able to be there, too, which was neat. My job was to answer any questions the workers had, and then help stand the house as the walls were built. I also used a router to cut out the windows and doors in the OSB siding, and did some other odds and ends. I wish I could have stayed for the benediction tomorrow, because I heard that they're a lot of fun, but I had to be back in Louisville tonight. The people in New Carlisle were really friendly, and it was good to see how this small church raised the money to build the house and then got the whole community involved in building it. Everybody had a good time. The weirdest thing for me was that everyone knew my name, but I could only remember a few of theirs. It was just kind of weird to be on the other side of one of these events. Being a leader and all that. I'll have to get used to it once we get groups in.

So it was a pretty good day. I built a house, used power tools, got a farmer's burn, got to listen to a lot of music during my drive, saw Jesus on I-75, and saw a Corvette Stingray on I-71. So yeah, I guess you could say that I had a pretty good day.

We leave for New Orleans tomorrow at 6:30. In the morning. Eleven hour drive. Then, next week, we'll head on over to Piedras Negras, Mexico, which is another eleven hours. After a week there, we'll come back to Louisville, spend a few days here, then go to Appalachia for a week. Busybusybusy.

Uh . . . yup.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Read this post.

New schedule:

June 15-21: New Orleans
June 22-27: Piedras Negras
June 28-29: San Antonio
July 6-12: Appalachia
July 13-19: Group 1
July 27-August 2: Group 2

Yeah, I'm excited.

Today was a downish day. We didn't do anything physical. I did some more preparation for the teaching times, we returned some material we didn't use, went tile shopping, and got the rescheduling done for the summer. I had the chance to use the math I learned in high school for the first time - we had to figure out how much tile to buy. I hope I did it right . . .

Tomorrow we're doing a Help Build Hope in Columbus, IN. We have to get up at 5 am so that we can be there by 7. Ouch.

Mom, if you read these posts, could you leave a comment or something to let me know that you've read it? That'd be a big help. Thanks.

Maybe I'll say something serious tomorrow.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


So . . . things won't go as planned . . . again.

Some pretty big stuff happened today. First, one of the other interns resigned, and that leaves three of us to do the inner-city tasks until August. Then earlier tonight, the group scheduled to come on the 15th cancelled, and that means we'll only have two groups the entire summer. So God has shaken up our plans once more. Bad thing? Good thing?

I'm trusting that it's good. Because we'll be free for about a whole month, we may have the chance to visit all of CrossRoads' fields - New Orleans, Appalachia, and Piedras Negras (which means, Ma and Pa, that you'll have to send me my passport along with a few other things). And, with only three staff people, we'll be busier and we won't be sitting on our hands for most of the summer. So, yeah, things will turn out alright. Luckily, Steve was sure to teach me that flexibility is the first rule of missions. I'm beginning to really see that. Nothing is guaranteed, that's for sure.

I've been thinking a lot about plans over the past year, due to all the major changes in life and all that. We make these plans, and we expect that they will be followed with relative accuracy. Then we get all disturbed when events or circumstances throw a wrench in those plans. We don't know what's going to happen, or we lose control of our futures, and we panic or we get uncomfortable. That seems backwards to me. I believe when something unexpected interrupts our plans, especially ministry plans, it's God's doing. He knows what's best for us. He wants what's best for us. His plans are infinitely better than ours.

So I'm not worried about this summer. We're in God's hands, rolling with the punches, and doing our best to keep up with the curveballs. There's nothing to worry about.

Also today, I mixed a bunch of floor-leveler concrete, spread some on the ground, and played Sequence. All firsts. Mmmmm . . . I'm having fun.

Maybe I'll post something serious tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You asked for it . . .

First post ever!

I'm really ticked off right now because MLB Gameday isn't working and I can't "watch" Edinson Volquez throw a shutout. Lame.

I'll start the serious stuff later.