Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some things are not wrong, Just different.

We did presentations this week on how we can apply the principles we learned in class this week to working with the poor... I thought some of you might like to know what I did, so below, I included the presentation I gave. I originally wrote it to be a poem, but it turned into a play- I think it'd be great as a one woman show, but I didnt have enough time to prepare it that way, so I just read it to the class:) Enjoy- I'd love to hear comments:) Ps- it's based on our lessons about world view:)

Working with Those We Serve Presentation

Person 1- A poor woman who was cast off after the death of her husband and forced into prostitution. Her daughter has been struck down with a debilitating illness, and she feels there is not hope left in the world.

Person 2- A well-meaning white missionary who believes conversion is the way to world change.

Person 3- A white missionary who believes in following Jesus' example.

Person 1
I have no way out.
There is no hope.
I have been cursed by the gods.
I am condemned to a life of pain and torment.
First, they killed my husband.
Then they forced me to sell my body- all so we could survive.
Now they are trying to take my daughter from me.
They have cursed her with a tumor
It is slowly killing her.
There is nothing I can do
No way out.
They'll take the last good from me.
My ancestors must hate me.
Have I betrayed them?
What have I done to deserve this?
What have I done in previous lives to have such a grim fate?
What should my daughter suffer for my wrong- doing?
I need help!

Person 2:
My number one goal in life is to save the lost sinners of the world.
God has called me to share the good news.
I go to the most primitive nations and convict the people to repent, to convert.
Because of me, thousands have been saved.
The lost must turn their lives to Christ.
Until they do, they will never see God's blessing.
Until they repent every last sin, they will not see his grace and light
These people are wrong, despite what their culture says.
If they are doing wrong, they are wrong.
If the bible says what they're doing is wrong, it's wrong.
If their culture subscribes to it- their still wrong.
The poor are full of evil ways with no hope.
I can't do anything for them but preach the gospel of the true savior.
My God is LOVE and the only way to be saved is to repent.

Person 1:
I cannot change the hand I've been dealt.
I do not need yet another person to judge me.
My tribe has already rejected and shamed me.
I do not need Christians to say I'm wrong too.
I need love, not hate or force
I need hope, not a prison of this religion
What you are offering is impossible
I would have to face the judgment of my ancestors regardless
They will surely kill my daughter
I am the one full of evil
She does not deserve death
Ancestors- hear me- Spare the child
The only good in a sea of evil
Take me instead
Please, take me.

Person 3-
I have been called to serve the poor
The poor could be me or you
Saints or sinners
Sacred or evil
The truth at the end of the day is we all need God
But, most will not listen
I want to help in a way that Jesus would
I want to live as if he was here now
As if he was walking in these shoes
I want to be a friend to the friendless
If they are hungry, I want to feed them
If they are thirsty, give them water
If they are ill, provide healing and aide
What if we taught them to tend the land?
Build wells and train them to maintain it?
What if we trained doctors to help the healing
of those the world has forgotten?
If we take care of their basic needs,
Maybe then, they will ask questions.
Then the door could open to share Jesus' truth.
While we may never see the fruit the comes from that tiny seed,
At least we have planted it.

Person 1:
Why have you helped me?
I do not deserve this.
What have you saved my daughter- at no cost?
While I am still shamed in my village,
You have restored my hope.
Are you under the gods of life?
Surely they have guided you.
What's this you say about this Jesus?
Is he another god?
What is he the god of?
The god of love???
I do not know this go-
you must teach me more!

Taking time to understand another's world view- pain, trials, emotions, and experiences- can make all the difference in the world.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Best is Yet to Come.. Dadedummm...

Hey- long time no talk, eh? Oh no, my Canadian friends are rubbing off on me;) Haha..

So since my last post, I visited the Fort Worth Stockyards with Jen Howard and her family, then had an awesome couple more days with them, then I got to Gateway and began quite the journey.

Our gateway group consists of over 33 people with 30 going on to the ship(the other 3 work here at the texas offices), and we represent 8 nations!! Super cool- off the top of my head, we have someone from: Australia, 2 from New Zealand, 3 from Canada, 1 from Hungary, 1 from Germany, 1 from Austria, 2 from England and 2 from Holland... so awesome:)

We've been learning a TON- such as the character and nature of God, how different cultures have different values, we evaluated our personalities as well as our strengths and weaknesses, we learned how to live with one another, how to resolve conflict, we learned about spiritual warfare, and this week has been all about worldview and how it can effect our opinions of other people as well as the poor. Next week we begin BST which only 16 of us are doing and includes fire training, water survival training, CPR/First Aid training, then 12 of us are going to go on to do Crowd Control the Monday before we leave.

To give you an idea of my days, I'll outline the 'basic day' for you:)
8-8:10- we arrive to class/ get our coffee or tea and settle in
8:10-8:15 we generally have someone lead a worship song or we watch a worship video to get us a little bit focused and to wake up:)
8:15-10- Speaker
10-10:15- our morning break, which is one of our favorite times of day because an amazing lady Nancy makes us snacks every day:)
10:15- 12- more class/speaker time
12-1- Lunch. Now, on a normal week we all have a 'speaker lunch' where we have a 'fancy' lunch and have a chance to talk with the speaker of the week- we love it for the dessert, which no one else at lunch gets:)
1-4 or 4:30(on a rare occasion 5)- more class
5-6- dinner
Some nights, like tuesdays, we have meetings in the evenings as well.. can you tell why I'm so tired?? :) Also- a fun fact- our notebook is about 320 pages long.. so... that's how much material we've gone over... without BST.. not sure how many pages we'll be adding to the notebook next week.... we're all wondering how we're going to get our binders over to the ship- they weigh a lot!:)

It's been really great though. I've had a chance to have time getting to know the director a little bit, and a few of the leaders- its been a lot of fun bouncing ideas off of eachother and just talking about our lives and what God has done/where he's leading us:)

For those who have been wondering, we leave for Sierra Leone on February 8 and get there on the 9th . We still do not have all of the details as to what we'll be doing, but we do know we'll be working with a home for children with handicaps.. we're not sure what kind yet. We'll be helping getting their building back in shape, which is labeled 'delapitated' by their standards.. which is really saying something.. and we will also be doing a children's ministry.

I have some news in regards to that. Last week we were asked to fill in what jobs we'd like during field service- it ranged from transportation, lugguage, kitchen, intercession, nursing, childrens ministry, and worship- etc. etc. etc... there's a lot to do:) I wrote down my name as the 'primary' person for the children's ministry and the 'assistant' for the kitchen- the leaders picked 1 of the 2 for us.... and.. guess what? I'm the leader of the childrens ministry.... when I saw that I went 'WHAT?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS???' Haha- I really didn't understand why they picked ME of the whole group to do it. I really thought I'd be in the kitchen...I have a feeling I'm going to be SERIOUSLY stretched in ways I never have before- especially with us leaving in less than 2 weeks with 0 details... I'm kinda a detail person if you havent noticed:) Haha. But I know it'll be great- I"m secretly excited, but outwardly terrified:) My 'assistants' are great though... I"m really excited to get to work with them. I'm also going to recruit more people to help with planning who have experience in this realm-I certainly have more experience with mental illness than physical- but it'll be great:)

Hm.. what else? Oh- I got really sick the first week here. And I also didnt realize that we could take time off to go lay down if we were sick, so I just sat through class- miserable, not getting any better, because I didn't know I could go sleep- hahaha... all said and done I got a sinus infection(of course..) and got meds and I'm generally all better now:)

We also have gotten wayyy into playing Wallyball around here. For those of you who don't know WallyBall is a lot like Volleyball but you're allowed to kick the ball, and you're allowed to use the walls. You can't use the back wall on the opposite side, and you can't hit 2 walls in a row, but generally otherwise it's the same as volleyball. Luckily no one is like the super champ of wallyball, so we're all there just for the fun.. tho some of those guys really hit hard... and I aim more to protect my face than hit the ball.. you know.. I'm still recovering from surgery and all..and I've seen the ball NAIL some people in the face a few times.. better safe than sorry;)

I"m pretty tired, so I'm going to get off of here for now- I just uploaded some pictures on facebook though- go take a look!! They'll be labeled probably this weekend:)

Ps- my parents are here!! They're leaving Saturday, unfortunately, but it's fun having them around- my mom is a beast in the kitchen here- SO GOOD!!:)


Pps- if you wanted to send mail, please do so before, I'd say before Tues at the latest- I'd hate to miss it:) The address is:

Michelle Cristion
Mercy Ships Gateway
P.O. Box 2020
Lindale, Tx 75771-2020
Note: this is NOT!!! to send things to Africa- I'll post that one later!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Long and Winding Road

Yesterday I had a bunch of my close friends over for pizza, lazer tag and then we went out to a pub afterwards to say final goodbyes... now.. somewhere in the midst of all of that chaos of people in and out of the house, someone decided to walk into our house, when my parents were sleeping and jordan upstairs, and took my brand new computer that was ready to be packed for my trip, along with my mom's purse... which I discovered after starting to get ready for bed and started to pack the final items.. at 1 am. Needless to say, Ellen and I(she spent the night) were shaken up, along with the rest of my family and sleep did not come until about 4;00 and even then it hardly came. We noticed last night that we were not necessarily the only people effected by the thief's actions that night- others seemed to have had a similar issue... so... sadly my lovely new computer is gone, and I am updating from my friend's computer(thanks Jen!!)

In the morning, I got up to take Jordan to school, which proved to be one of the hardest moments of the day, then we went to brunch(me, my parents, Ashley and Ellen) which was delicious, then got to the airport. My luggage was over 5 lbs in one of the cases and under 1 in the other, so we did some re-arranging and luckily figured it out quickly:) After that goodbye, of course I had a little freak out moment since I said goodbye to the 2 closest people to me within 2 hours of each other- Ellen and Jo, and so I proceeded to go to starbucks to cheer me up.

I get there hoping for a passion iced tea lemonade, but they were out of lemonade, so gave me a free bottle of water to go along with the passion tea. I proceeded to dump a good portion of said tea onto my lap(not happy for someone who has no change of pants in her carry on), spilled more on my arm after that, almost lost my pillow(which is suspended from the bottom of my backpack) and just felt like giving up on the day there and then.

Then, I hear someone calling my name and approaching me. It was Kaylyn- who as many of you know her to be Ellen's roommate and IV staff worker- she was there with Kathy Smith and tons of the regions staff workers, and it was EXCELLENT to see them... lifted my mood so incredibly much. Our flight was delayed, which I knew would mean that I would miss my connecting flight(or at least my luggage would), and i started to panic a little bit, but knew it'd work out. We took off, and all was well. Then all of the sudden we hit a huge patch of turbulence.. its the worst I've ever felt and I was honestly to the point of tears and running through my head what to do if we had to evacuate or something.. then it stopped..

Not long into our flight to St Louis(where I was going thru to go to Dallas Love), I noticed stewards bustling around and looking slightly panicked. People started to notice, but the commotion died down, and I figured all was done. Then all of the sudden, I hear the intercom over my headphones saying that any medical personel are needed immediately to the front of the plane. Later, a girl was sent to the back of the plane to find another seat. From what she said, the man next to her was on heart medication, and suddenly felt really hot, so they got the attention of the staff. Soon after, we noticed they moved him to the floor up front, and brought out the defibrilatior and the oxygen tank- I dont think they had to use the dfib, but they certainly used the oxygen. I noticed we were losing height, and I predicted we were going to have an emergency landing. We did indeed make an emergency landing in Columbus, Ohio. the man was held on the floor by a steward during the landing then quickly evacuated. Unfortunatly, we learned after we got to St. Louis, they thought one of the bags was his bag, but it was actually the girl next to him's bag.. poor thing. We don't know how he was doing, but I think he was at least responsive when they took him off the plane. Ps- my ring also broke during this flight- which... sucks.. they put a chink into it to make it bigger a few weeks ago, and it broke...:(

We got going again, and I was talking to the neighbors next to me- the landing was certainly a conversation starter:) We then landed in St. Louis- which was a huge relief. I went up to the counter to get my new boarding pass, since I missed my flight by about an hour, and they told me my flight was supposed to take off at 4:55 their time, which was then delayed to 5:40... perfect... So... I had an hour and a half- I ended up calling people and finding some food.

The flight to TX was pretty uneventful- I fell asleep(finally!) I landed in TX and felt so so happy... I thought it was all over and I'd be happy, get my luggage and go.. but.. of course 1 of my bags got lost- I have yet to find out which one it is.. I'm hoping it has the things i need in it... but my other bag ... but yeah.

Luckily, everything in TX has been good so far- I should be getting my bag in the morning, and Jen took me to Olive Garden- I ended up eating the WHOLE entree... I mean.. I hadnt really eaten since 11, so can you blame me?

Anyway- I'll update more later- but keep me in your prayers, okay? I've had to laugh all day because it was just so frustrating haha...

Peace out!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tommorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you're only a day away!!

Well, it's not quite TOMORROW, but It's sure close.. I leave in about 39 hours to go to training in TX.. crazy talk!!!!

I'm all packed(thank goodness for friends who know how to pack well) and about to finish the Harry Potter series(one of my biggest goals before I leave) and it's all starting to set in.. tomorrow I"ll be taking my nephew to have a day with his aunt, then having friends over to say farewell with a bang:) (aka Lazertag!!) :)

On that note, below is my FIRST NEWSLETTER- it was written last week, so its a tough outdated, but here it is!!!!