Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Europe vids

So here are the last videos from Europe. There is a recap video, and then kyle and I give some of our favorite memories of the trip.

Kyle's Memory

Abe's Memory

Tim and his Accent

Tim is from England, and he was roommates with Kyle during their time at the Shelter in Amsterdam. Tim came and stayed at L'Abri while we were there. Tim was teaching us English accents, and we discovered that Tim had a incredible American accent. The following videos are of me trying to get him to talk.

This might be an inside joke... so I apologize if you don't think it is funny.

Death Cab for Cutie concert in Berlin Germany

The fallowing videos are of the Death Cab for Cutie show that Kyle and I were able to attend in Berlin Germany on 11/25/08. The show was fantastic, they played well, and the venue was really nice.

This is Frightened Rabbit who opened for Death Cab

Death Cab:

The Employment Pages

The New Year

Grapevine Fires

I Will Fallow You Into the Dark

We Looked Like Giants

This was by far one of my favorite songs they played that night. They just really rocked it. Chris Walla switched instruments with Nick Harmer and they killed it!


I highly suggest going to a show in Berlin sometime. Berlin is a must see in Europe by my standards, and they have a great art culture. So if you ever make it to Germany, then head to Berlin.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Krakow Poland

Here are some shots from Poland when it was really cold.


So I am back in Boise, and it is really cold. There is snow on the ground and the heat is off in my brother's house because the furnace is being replaced. I am over jet lag now, and I am just trying to get my feet under me. Normal life starts to move. I ordered a cell phone... I have to get some Christmas gifts in order.

I am going to be posting some new videos; 15 of them to be exact. I will put up some pictures as well, but I am going to take my time with that. Maybe in the next few days there will be some new content and new reflections.

I am glad to be home. Things are well in Idaho, and I can only hope the same in Oregon. I will be there soon. It will be weird to not be in school and be there. I guess I am getting started late on that transition.

More to come.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Update from Europe #5

So we are in Krakow Poland, and it is really cold. It is hard for me to keep the cold at bay because I do not have all the clothing I would normally have with me. I didn't have a lot of room when I was packing, but I will soon be heading to warmer lands. We are going to Prague again tomorrow for one night, and then we will be off to Berlin for a Death Cab for Cutie concert. We will spend one day looking around Berlin and seeing the normal sights. The wall and such. Then we will be traveling to The Netherlands to stay at L'Abri for two weeks. I am really looking forward to the next portion of our trip because it will be a different pace than we have had so far.

Last week we spent a few days in a great town called Polica Czech Republic. We were visiting some of Kyle's friends, and it was a blast. It was really great to see a small town and the culture there. The beer was really good too.

I am running out of steam... so I will end here. More to come soon. Some videos when I can get then uploaded.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Update from Europe #4

Hello again,

When we were in Munich Germany over a week ago we climbed a tower to see the city. It was good little clime, and the view was amazing. I hope you enjoy what we have made.

The Ascent

The Top

Update from Europe #3

Hello all,

So it has been a while since we have posted a video and I assure you that there is a good reason for that. It is hard to find Internet access that allows you to upload things to their computer. So the result is that we have had to wait to upload things. This is a video about our stay in Rothenburg Germany, even though that was more than two weeks ago, and we are now in the Czech Republic. We were a little sill that night, but you understand.

Other than that things are going well and we are falling in love with this town we are currently in. Czech Republic rocks! Independence from communist rule rocks too!
There will be about three more videos to come later today, so I am sure it will be interesting.

We love you all, and thank you for prayers and interest.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Update from Europe #2

Hello All,
So I am now here in Germany. It took me two flights from Boise to Frankfurt. I stopped in Chicago on the way, and I just watched the video from last night in that city. Obama is now our president. Lets hope that he can do all that he says he can do, and may he make the right choices in leading our counrty. Pray for him as he starts the most important job of his life.

When I aarived in Frankfurt I was met by Kyle and his friend Anne. We walked to down town and ate lunch. It was a beautiful autum day, and we sat outside in the square and ate some sausage. Good times. Then we went to the small twon north of Frankfurt named Gießen. It is a nice little city where Anne goes to theology school. We are satying with one of her professors who is Canadian. We have our own room and it is quite nice. We will be leaving here tomorrow and heading to Rothenburg for two nights. We are renting a small appartment from a old lady. That will be nice because we can cook for ourselves. Then we will be off to Munich for the weekend. After Muinch we will be heading for Austria.

I am so glad to be here. It feels so natural to be walking around with Kyle in Germany. I am predicting a wonderful trip with great growth spiritually and relationally.
Here is a video update that we filmed this morning. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Epic trip #1

Hello all,
This is the fist video blog of hopefully many.
In this video I am preparing to leave Boise for Europe.
Here I come Kyle!

Sigur Ros Concert

Here are some videos of the Sigur Ros concert in Portland on October 6th. It was a wonderful show.





All Alright

Untitled 8

Sunday, September 21, 2008


So this is a place that I love. I don't know anyone who doesn't love it. I have left this place, and I am going on to be a citizen. Malibu is a place that is truly unique, and as Gilbert Fuller says, "everyone must go down the inlet someday." So the real question is: what can I take with me from Malibu? Is it the people, the place, or is it something much bigger? I believe that what Malibu is in it's location, can be exported. It is my job to make sure that every moment is filled with the love and purpose that Malibu has. A taste of the Kingdom is truly sweet, and I want to taste that in other communities. What kingdom do I belong to? I can choose my citizenship.

I am back in the States, and it feels interesting to say the least. It is nice to see strangers on the street and remember what it is that I like so much about the northwest. It is sad to see people's need to have things, and buy things, and sell things. It is sad to see people's lack of care for others... selfishness. It is sad to know that those same tendencies are in me and it is a constant fight to keep them away. I don't win that fight most of the time. So Christ is calling me to something more than wanting a new cell phone, or getting the right job; in fact Christ is calling me to love more. Love God more, and love people more.

My mother talks all the time about how we should be different enough from the rest of the world that people notice. She has people come up to her sometimes and ask what about her is different. I am not that different yet. I look a lot like the rest of the world. I feel like if we look like the rest of the world we are loosing the battle. I don't think it really takes much to be different. It might be as complicated as loving everyone freely and honestly.

So the challenge to myself is to not be like the rest of the world in it's bad ways. I want to live differently. That means that I need to eat differently, consume differently, talk differently, trust differently, think differently, see differently, and love thoroughly. I want my reasons for living to change, and for my objectives to be different. What is my purpose? Christ has a purpose for me and everyone that is way better than the world's purpose, or the American purpose (also known as the American Dream). Side note: I am not sure that there is anything wrong with the American Dream, but the American dream from 100 years ago is a lot different than the American Dream of today. Health and wellbeing are great... but what is all of this extra crap that we drag along?

Anyway. This is an ongoing, Spirit lead, thought experiment for me. I have been thinking about this a lot for the past few months, and I don't have any solutions except for the ones that Christ gave us a long time ago. I just need the trust and courage to follow Christ. I wrongly think that I am better off doing things for myself, when I really just need to let go of my selfish ambition and take on Christ's ambition.

I have big plans for the next few months. I am in Tacoma right now, and then I will be in Seattle for a few days. I will be heading to Portland for a couple weeks, and that visit will end with a Sigur Ros concert. From there I will be heading to Idaho to see my parents and go camping with my dad for a few weeks. Then I am doing something fantastic. I am meeting my best friend Kyle in Europe to backpack for a month and a half. I am not proud of the money that I am spending on it, but I know this trip will be very good for our friendship. That is my weak justification for the trip. I really just want to be with Kyle and see Europe. However, if Kyle just wanted to camp in my parents backyard for a month and a half, I would still spend the money if I had to. So it is important to me. Side note: I realize that this last thought might contain some inconsistent thinking, but I am trying to make my thoughts and beliefs consistent; sometimes it is a rocky road. My mother calls this the age of inconsistent thinking, so I seem to fall victim of that quite often. That is a good topic for another time.
After Europe I will head back to Idaho for Christmas. Then, depending on how God leads, I will be moving to Portland to hopefully live with Kyle.

I hope this finds you well... I actually hope that it finds you, or that you find it. I mean; this is the next worst thing to talking with me face to face.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The moon doesn't produce its own light, but it reflects the light of something much greater. There is a great spiritual analogy here, and I need not spoon feed it.

I can't believe that it has already been over a week since I was in Oregon. Malibu has a way of wrapping you up and taking you away. There is a lot of momentum here.
Oregon was good. It was so good to see people. I was surprised at the interactions I had with old friends, and shocked at my visit with one old friend in particular. As usual, God had things under control, and my prayers were answered. They were not answered in the way I thought they would be, but who cares anyway.
So the trip to the States strengthened my faith. I was afraid of the opposite, but talk about a good change in plot.

Before I know it I will be back in the U.S. with real world problems and complicated solutions.
I am excited though. It will be really good to be real for once. Life hasn't been real much in the past few years. What is real life? I suppose we can live a life that seems very real to us, but is quite fake to others and visa versa.
I will do my best with the Holy Spirit guiding me.

I hope this read finds you well.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Surprise party

So I am sitting here in the Boise airport and I am listening to a nice song called “The Ice Is Getting Thiner.” My music is loud because there is a man with a heavy “western” accent almost yelling into his phone. I guess he thinks that he is on a walkie-talkie (insert Brian Regan reference). It is funny how people don't know how they are perceived by other people around them. I guess I am guilty of the same naivety. Hopefully I will grow out of that. Yes... I am still growing. I still get growing pains too. The pains seem to be getting worse as I grow more. Growth is a good thing; it is better than the alternatives.

This trip was supposed to be a surprise for some people, and I think it has surprised me more. I still have a few more days, but they will be long days. I am flying back to Portland where I will see some people, and surprise some people at a wedding. And then I will be driving back to Canada for the rest of the summer. I should be there until late September.

I am now trying to drown out the kids in the arcade across the terminal who are screaming at the top of their lungs. Where are their parents?

So the U.S. has surprised me. There are five ways that I have been caught off guard:
1. I have been living in a wonderful community in Canada. The best things about this community are that everyone lives in the same place and eats the same food, we all work together, fellowship together, worship together, pray together, and play together. There seems to be nothing to strive for. We were all placed there by God for different reasons, but we all work under one good reason. There is no symbol of status other than people's clothing, and even then, most of us were work cloths a lot. So as I left camp I immediately noticed the difference. Everyone was waiting in lines, driving fast, talking on their cell phones, and trying to make money right now (insert another Brian Regan reference). Some would call this whole game the rat race, or the pursuit of the American Dream. Almost everyone is doing it. So I have been thinking about it and I can't see any way around participating in this game at least a little. I think that the real challenge is how you play the game. Even Jesus held down a day job, but I am sure that the difference was in how he worked, and how he lived in the real world. The problem with Malibu is that it is not real. I can stay there for a while and pretend like it is real and I don't have to leave, but sooner or later I will have to step into the rat race. The hope is that I can live the Kingdom of Heaven in the rat race. I have to live in it, but I don't have to do it the same as the rest of the world. I feel like the more you let Christ into the rat race, that the less it looks like a rat race and the more it looks like God's Kingdom. When we let Jesus in our lives we can't help but be different. If I am not different, then maybe I am not letting Christ in enough.

2. I am worried about what I am going to do when I get back from Canada. It is easy to just disengage from the world I left behind. So I guess in a way it is good the be here and start thinking about what I need to do in a few months.

3. It is hard to surprise people when you need a place to stay or someone to pick you up from the airport.

4. I might be the reason that my friendships are not good sometimes. I can't always blame them. Nothing beats intentionality.

5. I know a lot of people in Boise. It seems to be calling my name to move here... but I don't think I will give in. Nice place to visit, but not what I am looking for.

I am sure that in the next two days I will be surprised even more than that. Lets hope it is God that surprises me.

Here is a little game for those who read this: How many times have I used the words surprise and grow in this blog? The answer will be at the end.

The next morning:
So I was picked up at the Portland airport by one of my most dear friends. We then went to wonderful Mexican food, and that burrito was one of the best I have ever had. It was really good to catch up with my friend. We were able to talk about ways that we have hurt each other in the past, and resolve a lot of it. It is always good to be honest and get things out into the open. It is trying to develop Shalom in relationships, and that can only be done by the grace of God. We talked about spiritual struggles, and encouraged each other. She encouraged me and strengthened my faith in ways that she doesn't even know. It was one of the best lunches I have ever had. Good food, and redemptive conversation. Nothing better.

I didn't want to come back here because I was scared. I was scared that the world I knew changed and I didn't. I have come to discover that I have changed as well. I haven't grown in as many ways as I would have liked, but I have changed. So the scary thing is how the world I know has changed. I am worried that the things that I have become so comfortable with will never be the same. It is good though, because things would get really boring. Things are very different here. It will be interesting to see what life will be like for me when I come back in September.

There is more to come tonight. The wedding will be great. I just found out that I have to drive to Canada right after the wedding to make the first ferry of the day tomorrow.

Answer key:
Grow - 8
Surprise – 9
If you got it right, then I will give you a big hug next time I see you.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Malibu #2

Life at Malibu is fast. The only time it slows down is on my day off. I get one day off a week and it is on day 4. This means that I get a day off on the fourth day of camping a week. It is a different day of the week every time. This week it is Sunday, but last week it was Monday, and next week it will be Saturday. I am so excited because my parents are coming up here in about a week, and it will be really good to see them again. I have seen them more in the last few months than I have in the past few years. Between graduation and Malibu I will have seen Mom three time and my Dad two times since late April. I am excited for Mom to be up here without kids to lead. It will be nice for her to just enjoy Malibu for once. Dad hasn't ever been here before, and it will be really great to see what Mom and I have been involved in for so many years. I think that I will have him work with me for at least one day. It will be really cool show him the things that I do from day to day. Dad and I didn't really have a good relationship when I was a kid, and I am excited now when I get a chance to be with him. It is different now because we are both adults and we have a lot of the same interests. It is cool because I know things that he doesn't know and he knows things that I don't know, so we share a lot of that knowledge with each other. In the fall we are going hunting together. I don't have a tag, but I will still go and camp with him for a while. He will probably go for about a three weeks, but I might just camp for a week or so. I am excited to just spend some time with him. Now that I am out of collage, I don't know how often I will be able to spend with my parents. I would love to make that a priority.

Speaking of family and being able to visit with them, I have been thinking of that for a while. Being up here I have seen a different way of living life. I have seen more of a Kingdom-like way of life. I have just noticed that the pace of life is a lot different up here. More healthy. We all work hard and get A LOT of work done, but it is not killing any of us. Is it possible that we do not have to work the way that we do as an American culture? It might be possible that we can have more healthy communities and families if we work hard, but less. I think it might have something to do with our false need to have more more more. What if I just worked for what I need to live, and then just kept that up? I have grown up in a culture in which that is a scary thought. Not only would I have to live within my means, but my means would have to be only what I need, and not what I want. Or what the market tells me I want. So if I work less and live a more care free life, then wouldn't I have more time for important things such as family? My relationships would be more healthy, and I could take the time to focus on the important things. I have a friend who had worked hard all of his life and has done very well in a worldly sense. He is a good father and husband, and he loves God. The thing that stands out to me the most about this man, is he works hard when he does work, but his work is not his priority compared to God and family. All of this makes him seem very relaxed and loving. A slow start in the morning, a long lunch break, and quiting early with the same amount of work accomplished. I guess what I am talking about here is work ethic. Has my generation lost that ideal? Hard work when work is done. Why not enjoy everyday of your life, rather than losing most of your life to working so that you can then retire and be bored. Right now at least, I am going to live my retirement every day in little segments. Minuets at a time.

I don't want it to seem like my life up here is easy. I work hard and sweat every day. There are frustrating moments when things go wrong. God has been challenging me a lot. There are a few staff members for this session and the whole summer that I have to pray for patience with. That is a hard one for me. We are also trying to change the way I view women. I see women in a very sexual way, rather than in a healthy, respectful way. I noticed that I tend to gravitate to women that I find more attractive, and try and be friends with them before I try and become friends with someone I don't find attractive. I know that this is very shallow, but I am being honest, and I am trying to change. It is frustrating to know this about myself, but I know God will help me through this. I guess another phrase for this is “objectifying women.” I don't want to be that guy, and I am sure God doesn't want that for me either.
This job came at the right time in my life. I love it up here, but I don't think that God brought me up here because he thought that I would like it. I think God brought me here so I could heal and learn. Praise the lord for that. My hope is that I can be open to both. You can pray for me in that.

It is now time for me to get out and enjoy my day off.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Malibu #1

Dear loved ones,
I don't know if anyone checks this blog anymore, but if not, then it takes the pressure off. I am in the middle of my second week here at Malibu, and it is my first day off. I have spent the day resting and spending some time with other interns. We will be watching a movie shortly, and that movie will be Once. Good film if you have not seen it yet. It took me less than two seconds to feel at home here. The second face I saw as I stepped off the boat was that of my dear friend Kelly McElroy. She has been working here on the program team for the month. Then next person I saw was good friend and singer/song writer Jonah Warner. It was nice to get the warm greeting. About thirty seconds after I left the boat ramp Harold (The Malibu property manager) grabbed me and threw me into the luggage line. It took us about an hour to get all of the luggage and freight transferred by hand on and off the boat. This is what everyone on the property lovingly refers to as “boat day.” So within the first hour I was completely exhausted and dirty. The rest of my first day here consisted of getting to know the new people, and catching up with old friends. I really do love it here. In many ways it is close representation of the Kingdom of God here and now. The community is amazing, and the love is supernatural. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. I think it just appeals to the type of landscape here.
I wish that all of you could see what camp is like. There is nothing like it in the world. Not only is this one of the most beautiful places in the world (One of the top ten must see yachting destinations in the world according to Yachters Magazine), but what we do here is awesome. I wish everyone could come and visit for a week. If you have never seen Young Life camping, then you can't even begin to understand what we do here. This is not a church camp, but kids do encounter Christ here in a real way.
I have been working hard here. It is really nice to get dirty and get something done. I love working with my hands, and it is great to serve God in this way. The first session is about to end, and that means that around 100 staff people will leave and we will get a new group of staff people who need to be trained for the next session. It is sad to see people go, but it is exciting to see new faces and build new relationships. It is nice to be here right now. I didn't realize how much I needed to get away from Oregon and all the emotions it holds for me. Right now I don't even want to go back. I get to take a week out of camp in a few weeks, and I don't really want to go back to Oregon. I think God has brought me here for many reasons, and one of those reason is to heal. It is good for me to be here. I do miss all of my friends though. I just need this right now, and my heart knows it.

This is the view to the east from Malibu.

This is a picture of the west side of Malibu from the Jervis Inlet.

This is a long exposure of the Malibu camp incinerators at night.

Thailand aftermath continued:

I don't really know where to start. I have had almost three weeks to reflect on our trip. I don't think that I can handle long term missions like that unless I am with people I really love greatly. I really liked all of the people on the trip, but I didn't chose them, and it is hard to be on a trip like that with twenty other people. I know that God selected all of the people for the trip, but God also knew that it was only going to be three weeks. I don't know if I am built for long term overseas missions. I would love to do it, but that might just be Christian culture talking. I have always struggled with what I call the “noble mission.” I feel like in Christian culture we have this idea that some missions are more “noble” than others even though this is not true at all. There is this assumption that someone who is in full time missions over seas is better than someone who is in full time missions in their retail store. I heard somewhere that the country that the most Christian missionaries are sent to is the U.S. This means the the rest of the world sees the great need that we have right in our own country. So why is it that we can't even see our own need? Why is it that all we hear about is the people who are leaving the U.S. to go on missions, when we should also be hearing about the people who are staying here on mission? I am not trying to challenge the validity people who feel called to go overseas. I guess that struggle I have is wanting the approval of others. I know that I should be able to mission where ever God calls me to be, but I am just so concerned with what other people think. I want people to be impressed with what my mission is. I know that as long as I am listening to God's call, then Jesus will be impressed with my mission, so I should be happy with that. That is the struggle with my future. So Thailand helped me realize that couldn't overseas missions full time, unless it is was with a wife or something. I guess I will not completely rule it out. God will let me know in due time.

Here is a picture from the school we went to in Thailand.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thailand Aftermath part #1

Dear family and friends,

I first want to say thank you for supporting me on my trip to Thailand. I appreciated your prayers and financial support. I am now back in Portland trying to get over jet lag before the next chapter in my life.
I got back from Thailand on June 3rd, and I am staying with some friends until June 7th when I leave for the summer to work at a Young Life camp called Malibu Club in Canada. It is a little crazy to have a quick turn around like this, but I know that God will give me the energy to get things done.

It was a huge blessing to be able to go to Thailand. There is so much that I could say about my trip, but I will try and make it simple. We traveled to Chiang Mai on May 11th, and my initial impression of Thailand was very positive. The only other country I had been to in Asia was India, and so I think I was expecting something like that, but Thailand blew my expectations out of the water. We stayed at the YMCA, and that was a very good thing for us. It wasn't too comfortable, but it was nice to have a place that we could rest at ease. In the end we spent about $8 a night per person for the whole three weeks. It was important to us to be good stewards of the money that God allowed us to raise.

For the first two weeks we worked with a organization called The Garden of Hope (GoH). This organization is a few years old, and was birthed out of the International Justice Mission (IJM). One of the founders of GoH was working in Thailand with IJM to free sex slaves, and she noticed that there was no ministry that was reaching out to the voluntary prostitutes. So that is how GoH was started. The first week was spent a few days getting to know Thailand and learning some basic language. GoH did a great job getting us accustomed to Thailand and their ministry. We were able to help teach English at a language school, and it was a good way to interact with Thai people.

Right before we arrived in Thailand GoH opened a new facility that is right in the middle of the red light district. They call it the Drop in Center (DIC), and it is just a place where the street kids can come to play and do homework, and the women can come, learn English, and receive other care. The vision for the DIC is to provide a refuge for kids and women in the middle of a very deprived place. GoH's mission is relational, and they spend a lot of time just loving people. It is incredible what love will do for people who don't get it at all. The females on our team worked with the women during our stay, and us males worked with the kids. It was wonderful just see the way that the kids responded to our love even in the short time that we were there. Some of the kids were transformed by the love we showed them. By the time we left, we could tell that they kids were more trusting, well behaved, and all around more joyful than when we first came.

The day to day activities that we took part in seem inconsequential, but I will give some examples. One afternoon I went out and collected garbage in the red light district. It was wonderful to see the reaction of the Thai people as we picked up their neighborhood. I think that it was a awesome testimony of the Kingdom of God. The Thai people knew that it wasn't us who made the trash, but we were the ones taking responsibility for it. The rest of the time I would spend at the DIC playing with the kids. It was a really good time for me. I am normally a service oriented person, so it was good for me to be stretched in relational ministry.

The last week of our trip was a little different. We worked with a organization called Remember Nhu. Their objective is to keep children out of the sex industry. We worked at their orphanage on a building project, and we did a building project at an other orphanage named Asia's Hope. It was good to work with our hands and also get a chance love the kids that were there. Near the end of our trip we were able spend a day in the villages which are where most of these kids are from.

Collectively our team raised about $9,000 more than we needed, and since we lived conservatively while we were there we saved more than $4,000. So we were able to buy things for these ministries that were much needed. We were able to buy kids resources for GoH, and some building materials for Remember Nhu. We were also able to contribute a substantial amount of money to Remember Nhu for the new orphanage they are starting up in Burma. I want to say thank you again for helping us go to Thailand, and it was a great trip. God really moved, and it was wonderful to see what God is doing over in Thailand through these groups.
Blessings to all of you

More reflections and pictures to come...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thailand pictures

Here are a few pictures to help you get a idea of what it is like here. I have a lot of pictures, so these are just a few. I also haven't been able to edit these yet either, so consider these just samples.

Thailand Update 5/24/08

Hello once again from Thailand,

Right now I am sitting in Ozone Net paying 12 Baht an hour for Internet (that comes out to be about 36 cents per hour). I am also drinking a 12 Baht Coke from a glass bottle (we all know that Coke from a glass bottle is way better). Today is our Sabbath day, so I am taking the time to rest and catch up on things like this news letter.

This last week has been even better than the first week. As before, there is too much to say about what we have been doing here. In a lot of ways, last week was a introduction to Thai culture, Thai language, and the mission of the Garden of Hope (GoH). This week we were able to actually do things on a more profound level. We spend the whole week working with the GoH Drop-in-Center (DIC) which is in the heart of the red light district. We all had different tasks as the week went on, so I will let you know what I was doing through most of it.
On Monday we took the kids to a movie and then to dinner and ice cream. It was nice to start to love the kids they way they were made to be loved. We didn't know it at the time, but Monday is when the relationships with the kids were really started.
Then Tuesday we started to work at the DIC exclusively. We would have different shifts where people from our team did different things. Sometimes we would play with the kids, and other times we would go out and try to interact with different people. On Tuesday I played with kids in the after noon and then we all had dinner together at the DIC. The house keeper for the GoH is a wonderful cook, and she made out dinners for the week. On Tuesday evening I went a few of us went out with the GoH childrens coordinator Faa to do childrens outreach. This time normally looks like Faa trying to find kids in the red light, and building relationships with them in order to either get them to the DIC, or to get them to stay at home at night. We ran into a few kids and played soccer with them.
On Wednesday a few of us went out in the blazing sun to collect garbage in the red light. Brittany thought that it would be a good idea to try and redeem the way that westerners are perceived there by trying to clean up the area. Supposedly, westerners are thought to trash the city, so it was a good way to show that we care. This was one of my favorite thing that I got to do this week. The reation of the Thai people was very positive, and we were able to have some good conversations with a few of them. I met a man named Dam who is married to one of the women that GoH works with in the red light. He is a neat man and I wished I could have gotten to see him more. I have ran into him a total of 4 times, but I wish I could be his friend. That night we had dinner at the DIC again and then I played with kids. On Thursday I was able to play with kids again at the DIC, and then after dinner a group of us went on children's outreach to the city gate for soccer. It was good for the GoH to have some new faces around. Yesterday was our last day with GoH since we will be working with Remember Nhu next week. Brittany and I went to the Talaat (open air market) to get about 50 pounds of food for people in the slums. We went to the slums with Faa in the afternoon and distributed food to some of the kid's families. It was nice to see where the kids lived, but sad at the same time. We said goodbye to the kids and women yesterday, but it was a good week. I will always remember them.
While I was doing things for the GoH, the women on our team were doing quite different things. They would go on women's outreach to the bars and they would visit with the prostitutes as they were working. The same women would come in the afternoons and they would be taught English by the women on our team. It was really rewarding for the women on our team to connect with the women in the bars. That is the love of Christ; both ways. That is really the heart of GoH. They are all about relationships and love. Praise the Lord for what they do.
The day before we got here to Thailand was the grand opening of the DIC, so this has been a very successful first two weeks for that part of GoH's ministry.

I am doing well. My spirits are high. I have not gotten sick, and I have tried a lot of new things. Earlier this week I was a little stir crazy, but God is faithful to settle my heart and give me rest.

I hope all of you are well, and I appreciate your encouragements. I will probably get to send one more update before we leave, but it might be short since I will be sending out a long summery after I get back to the States.

If you could pray for our team to have strength to finish strong in this last week. Pray for me to grow more in my faith, and gain compassion for the hurting people of the world. Thank you for your prayers!

I also have a few pictures up on the team's blog too. This is a blog that our team leaders update twice a week if you want more information:

I love you all

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thailand P.S.

If you want to see some pictures that I took, and also a team update from Roger Newell (one of our leaders), then check out this blog:

Thailand update #1

Hello All!
I am sitting in a internet cafe called Buddy Internet. It is around 3:00pm and we have had a relaxed sabbath. We are staying at the YMCA International Hotel here in Chiang Mai, and it quite nice.

There is so much to tell about this past week, but I will try and hit the hight points. When we arrived, we were greeted by a very excited Brittany and Kelly (for those of you who don't know these two, they are some alum from George Fox who are working with the Garden of Hope here in Chiang Mai).We then spent the next day getting over jet lag and setting the Garden of Hope Drop in Center (DIC). The DIC is right in the hard of the red light district for the westerners. We were able to see some of the bars where prostitution is so common. The work that Kelly and Brittany do is quite wonderful. but also challenging. The are consumed with he work of befriending and loving the women who work in these bars to feed their families. It is a discouraging job, but they do well at it. Kelly told me that, "This problem wont change here in Thailand until the people of Thailand own up to it, and want to change." This is not to negate the work they are doing here with the Garden of Hope, but it is probably the sad truth about the issue. In the mean time Garden of Hope and other organizations will be tying to help the situation the best they can with God's help. Jesus loves these women who are caught in prostitution, and he also loves the people who use these women. They are all broken and need the grace of God.

On Friday we thew a party for the kids of the prostitutes and the other street kids in the area. It was a blast and even included western style pizza. By the end of the night we were all exhausted, and felt we had never sweat that much. Garden of Hope is truly doing wonders for this community by the grace of God.

The food here is wonderful. Sometimes it is spicy, and sometimes it looks like you shouldn't eat it (either because of the way it was prepared, or the place it was prepared in). The fruit is on here and it is awesome to get fresh pineapple whenever I want. The culture is interesting and it is all based on the Buddhist religion. The people are very kind and the temples are beautiful. Yesterday when I was at a Buddhist Wat (a Wat is the name for Buddhist temples, and it is pronounced Waat) there was a monk there blessing a young couple's new motor scooter. I commented to one of my companions that I thought that it would be cool if we did that type of thing in our Christian faith. I think that blessing things is a very beautiful way of showing thanks to God, and submitting to God's will for our lives with that thing.

God has been working in my heart. I am not sure what he is doing, but maybe he is making more compassionate, and more able to love. God has blessed our team with a wonderful closeness. It has been nice to get to know everyone, and I feel blessed to be here with them.

Next week will will be working more with the Garden of Hope, and then we will start working with Remember Nhu.

I have seen a lot more that I don't have time to write about here. I will just have to sit down with you when I get back and tell you all about it. Pictures to come. I think that I will be able to email another update next Sunday.

Sawatdee khrap! (The Thai "hello" and goodbye")

I love you all

Sunday, May 11, 2008


In a few hours I will be leaving for Thailand. I don't know what to expect. I do know that God is working there and will be working in me a lot on this trip. I will try and give a few updates during the trip, so check back. Life is changing now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Anthony Goicolea

So there is a long story for this one, but I am not going to tell you here. If you care to know; then ask me some time how I found this artist. Anthony Goicolea is a incredible artist. He does all sorts of drawing/painting, photography, and films. His photos are insane and they are mostly self portraits. Most of the people in his shots are himself in different poses.

Here is his website:
*Warning: Anthony Goicolea sometimes has questionable themes in his art. So you may not want to visit the website for that reason.

Check it out if you want to have your mind blown.

All of the photos in this post are Anthony Goicolea's

Saturday, April 12, 2008


This is my project on sleeping. I was saving this one for last because it was the hardest to set up and I wanted to be able to think about it for longer. I had to make some compromises on my original idea, but I am pleased with what I got. I originally wanted to just get some shots from directly above the bed, but in just a normal bedroom. I found out that is really hard, so here is what I got.

This is my project on laughing. I just wanted to capture laughter. These look better off the blog, but here they look dead.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring and friends

The color is robbed on these as usual. These make me smile. I love my friends.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quiet Places

This project is "quiet places," and was inspired by the desire to capture the heart of being quiet and waiting on the Lord. I was at a loss for what to do, and I didn't feel very creative, so here is what I got. I like these because they seem quiet because of how dark they are. This was a hard one for me because it is hard to know how to capture a true reflection time with the Lord.

Just a side note: God has been really good to me in the past few days, so it was nice to do this photo project as a way of worshiping and thanking God for taking care of me when I needed it most. Praise the Lord!

Field Tripping

Here are the photos I like from the field trip we went on Saturday. It was a hard day to shoot because it was raining on and off, but I was able to get some good shots when there was sun. It was a good day and we were able to get a lot of different kind of subjects to shoot. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

So the project for this week is "through your eyes," But I kind of did it "through my eyes." The sweet things I captured were: riding a bike, driving a car, learning, kissing a girl, and playing drums. These are the things I see everyday, and now you can see what I see. Sometimes the everyday things are the good things. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


This is my project on mouths. I thought this would be a good idea because people have such different and interesting mouths. While taking these pictures it was interesting how uncomfortable the subjects were. The mouth, and any part of the face for that matter, is a very intimate part of the body. It is hard to let people into our bubble like that. Enjoy!