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:)
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
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:
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!