Friday, June 29, 2007

playa del carmen (day 2)

The second day of the trip we travelled via half-air conditioned van three hours away to do an outreach with a pastor there. We stopped at a grocery store on the way there...Wonder Bread was bought out by a bigger brand down there...

Here is Ron & Donna's son, Josh, trying to sleep through the drive...

We went to the church there for lunch...some of the kids were a bit shy at first...
Jarred and I tried to corner 'em, but they still stayed pretty quiet...
I just like this picture...

Eric calls this my National Geographic picture...
There were a lot of these bicycle taxis all over the village...
Our outreach was in the town square and we got to use this awesome ampitheatre with the creepy gunman mural peering down at us...
Dane making popcorn for the ninos with Micah & Jarred looking on...
Stephenie face painting one of the beautiful Mexican girls...
Yes, I was stylin' pre-outreach in my 3 layers of sunscreen, half inch of sweat, 80's Volcom sunglasses, & Molly's great sun-shielding hat...
We told people that the outreach was going to start at 6pm...but this is when it really started...
And here is towards the end of the event, after the altar call & prayer ministry...

playa del carmen (day 1)

It's been a while. For those of you who don't know, I just returned from a week long missions trip in the Yucatan area of Mexico with 11 other people from Westside (9 CLC students, 2 other young adults, & our fearless leader, Jay). We saw at least 145 salvations (including many ninos) and well over 80 healings (physical as well as emotional & spiritual).

People keep going, "Ooh, Cancun. That must've been rough." But you have no idea. For many people on the team Cancun is a great a vacation spot, but I would never go there unless it was for Jesus. I blame it on my Scandinavian blood. The heat, humidity, & food mix a pretty nasty concoction for my body. But I'm still really, really glad that I went--despite the bodily pain.
I took over 400 pictures (suprise, suprise), so I'm going to post a small fraction of them in installments. Here is the first day, the 21st of June (we arrived very late the night of the 20th).
We stayed in one of these very nice condos that a lady from Ron & Donna Griggs church owns
The stairs leading to the little room Stephenie & I shared the first half of the trip
The roof above our patio
A 15 minute walk away led us to the beach! Here's Angila & I--this is actually the only time I made it out here, I was too busy and/or sick to go any other time
That afternoon we drove to a construction site where we had our first outreach. Most of the men who work there also live there. Their boss is a Christian and delivered the message. This was our only outreach that was mainly to men (no women or children around except in our team).

At the salvation call at least 15 people came forward. Here they are, with some of our team standing back a little around them, waiting to pray with them.
...tune in later for more...

Friday, June 15, 2007

"i wish i had a podium...

...instead of just a thigh." -Corey Parnell

Emerge was outside last night. Hot dogs, gardenburgers, s'mores, sand volleyball, interpretive dancing, you know, the usual. We sat on the lawn facing the road during worship and the service.

Here is Seth sharing briefly about his 3 month Africa adventure that he just returned from:

And my beautiful friend Katie Bergstrom. I couldn't pass up the picture, she looked absolutely picturesque in the late evening sun:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

photo scavenger hunt

This month's small group adventure consisted of a highly competitive photo scavenger hunt. There were only six of us, so we had a varisty and JV team. I only have pictures from the varsity team...but the JV team did a superb job. We tied. Actually, we had no judge, so we had to call it a tie.

Here's the list:

With someone in uniform (Marcel...he's behind the glass)

All under a red umbrella.

Helping someone across the street (this guy was totally freaked out)
2 members in a tree
All frolicking on a bridge
All wearing sunglasses

Go Michelle, Janna & Joann--Purple Team power!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

graduation and s'mookie

CLC graduation was last night. Pictured below are the tall Stephenie, Joann, & Katie:

Okay, so I lied. I'm short. I cheated.

Then firepit at Casey's.

We made cookies. Then Eric made a s'mookie.

great and terrifying

Sometime in the beginning of March as I read this great phrase in my morning Bible reading, I was inspired and wrote a poem that looked forward to the emotions of finishing 19 years of schooling--which I did yesterday as I graduated (for the last time) from my 2nd year of Cascade Life Commission, with no plans of ever returning to school as a student (enough is enough!).

So here it is, it's one of the cheesier poems I've written, but also true to my emotions, so I guess I'm just a cheesy person:

Great & Terrifying
from Deuteronomy 1:19
by Joann Renee

Oh, great and terrifying wilderness!
Unexpected friend.
How vast you seemed
When first I set foot in your land!

So dry. So startlingly empty.
An ocean of sand
Spreading endlessly in all directions.

But the word to enter you
Was so strong,
There could be no resisting.

I entered with joy.
Like a child excitedly climbing a tree,
Then petrified as he realizes
He will have to climb down.

That’s how this wilderness encompassed me:
First with exuberance,
Then with great fear.

But now, at the edge of this desolate
Place—about to set foot into
A new, lush, fertile, abundant, full land—

I turn and look back at the journey:
I lacked nothing.
I was not alone. Ever. I barely even
Walked on the scorching sands.
I was carried.

As I prepare to exit, I am almost sad to leave—
So much was gained here!
How tenderly I learned love and trust!

Tears silently fill my eyes
As the wind whips my hair across my face
And I turn to set my gaze forward again:

Oh, great and terrifying wilderness!
Unexpected friend.
How vast you seemed
When first I set foot in your land!

Monday, June 04, 2007

sunglasses circa 1982

Billy Chinook has become a new favorite. After a long week of sunburn recooperating and CLC finishing and thundershowers and service directing, several of us headed out to the lake.


Wind blown tresses:

Casey has cool sunglasses too:

It got pretty stormy and we tried to escape the rain (which we only partially succeeded at)--but no one got hit by lightning (don't worry Mama--I didn't even touch metal):

Nicolette trying to help Casey get water out of his head:

The Beetle Bailey Supreme:

Saturday, June 02, 2007

loving, personal God

2 Chronicles 6:1 “…'The Lord has said that He would dwell in thick darkness.’”

Do you ever have a moment where the reality of God is suddenly real? I always know about God—He’s lurking in the back of my mind all day long and I wave at Him periodically—but it may go days or weeks before I see a glimmer of something and stop to peer into the thick darkness where God dwells.

Everything gets so much smaller! In that face-slapping moment He is no longer the Guy in the shadows of my thoughts, He is God who talked with Moses and Joshua and Daniel and Mary and Martin Luther and the dude sitting next to me in church—the same God! He parted seas and multiplied bread and sent an angel army through treetops and every second repaints the sky with shifting clouds and twinkling stars…and He hangs out with me!

I know this all sounds very “Buddy Jesus” and “Jesus is My Homeboy”—but He really is! This realization and relationship far from demean His awe, power, and sheer enormity—O contraire! It actually boggles my mind how much reverence and intimacy are simultaneously brought into clearer focus in these moments.