19 3 / 2013
Despite the intense self-consciousness I have over my own hands, I recently realized that I can imagine very clearly the hands of my loved ones. My mother’s very light skinned, perfectly shaped fingers but slightly large palms; My father’s thick now age spotted fingers that seem to make up something closer to bear claws, tough as evidence to years of manual labor; My sister’s slightly chubbier but still femininely shaped, keyboard playing; Theresa’s that turn to the color of half cooked shrimp when it’s cold out; Michelle’s are that expected of a tiny little Asian woman, though Heather for some reason sports an only slightly larger version of this childlike shape; Kevin’s calloused pitcher scars, shaped rough around the palm muscles and curved knuckles; Joseph’s missing knuckle(s) and wood shop scars, still capable of wielding guitar picks…
When you spend a great deal of time with people it’s interesting to realize you can bring up such vivid details of something as average as their hands so easily. And yet, there’s one pair that I somehow can’t recall..
17 1 / 2013
Absolutely ridiculous how strongly songs can evoke emotions and bring back memories. Not much else to do but sit in the feeling and soak it in a bit, go back for just a moment, and remember that it’s wonderful but a thing of the past. Bittersweet.
23 9 / 2012
College is absolutely beyond anything I thought it would be. Not a single moment has been unproductive and I’ve made so so many friends. So for those curious about my experiences I’d like for you to know that I am building beautiful, blessed, ridiculously funny relationships with people I’ve known for less than 35 hours and I already love them to death. Praise The Lord always.
09 9 / 2012
I’m finally at that point. That point where I’m really leaving, but not really yet. With ten days left you are at the peak of both fear that you’re going to miss this life, and excitement for the new things that are to come. I’m attempting to schedule these next 10 days with hangouts with different friends, and yet I find myself on TritonLink staring at my class schedule and trying to map out bike routes. But amidst all these jumbled feelings and thoughts I realize that truly none of it is within my power. And here I see one simple thing: God provides. Imagine if every single thing in our lives really was capable of change depending on whether or not we thought about it. How insane would that become if life didn’t just move on and God didn’t bring us blessings without us asking for each of them? Honestly when is the last time you’ve prayed for your own safety on a regular drive to somewhere you go every day? So, I hope you guys all think about it and realize how much God cares for us. And on the other hand we are incapable of changing any aspect of our lives by simply worrying so let us be like the birds that are somehow always fed, and the flowers that are always clothed (sure wish I could remember the verse to reference because otherwise this just sounds really sappy). PTL
07 8 / 2012
I’m terrified to start my new life. And I’m even more terrified by the fact that no matter how much I try to schedule hanging out with everyone, I still feel like I’m not getting enough opportunities or using these opportunities to cherish my friends and family. I’m never going to live with my parents again, never going to be THIS closeknit with these people that I’ve built relationships with for the past 18 years. So not ready to say goodbye and so not ready to venture off on my own and find a new support group. I realize that this is probably the only summer of my life that I will be free to do whatever I want, no studying, gas paid for by parents, bills paid for by parents, just me and the pocket money I make and free time. But at the same time I’m ridiculously excited to see what else is out there and what beautiful things God has in store for me. I know it’s going to be great, but I’m still afraid. What a beautiful thing life is PTL
31 7 / 2012
I’m on iPhone tumblr and when I scroll I keep accidentally liking things. Sorry 😣
14 7 / 2012
I want to have a written record of my experiences in this place while it’s still fresh in my mind. So though it’s long if you’re wondering how my trip was here it is:
I have left such a huge chunk of my heart in La Romana. I don’t really know where to begin but in order to sum up everything I need you to know that when looking into the beautiful, shining eyes of this children, you see God. You see His love and grace and blessing even in this place of poverty. It seems like what everyone expects us to learn while there is how blessed we are to have such comfort and wealth in America. Yes, we are comfortable and it sucks that these children have to live in these less than decent conditions, but I think these terrible things have been transferred into blessings for them. In their pain and loneliness, that obviously I would love to take away from them, they have learned the true value of love and they showed it to us through mind-blowing diligence and obedience and above all, SERVITUDE. We went to be served, and yet we were served every single moment of the day.
Which leads me to talk about the Pastor and his family at Iglesia Bet-El. Turns out I was related to all their neices and nephews by cousin thrice removed or something of the sort. Regardless, their beings put me to shame. The Pastor’s wife there, who I will continue on to refer to as samoneem, is the most respectful woman of faith I have ever met in my entire life (except for my mom). She has raised 4 kids of her own, 8 nephews, one neice, and 10+ orphans better than I will ever be able to see myself growing up. They don’t ever complain, and they never live for their own comfort, not a single moment of the day. They are constantly helping, constantly working with their hands, constantly using their muscles, never ever ever sitting down and just relaxing for one second. Every chore that we try to force ourselves (and often fail) to do, they do immediately without question. And no doubt this was the effect of witnessing samoneem’s beautiful serving heart and desiring to follow her footsteps (also apparently she’s scary when she’s mad). But that woman, so loving and so compassionate, is such a ridiculously good driver in the crazy traffic of Santo Domingo and the dirt/rock roads of La Romana. She fought with the guards at a beach resort to let us in the resort waters, and she massaged my completely cramped up calves and applied medicine for me, when she was the one who was on her feet the entire day. And the Pastor, he really likes trees. And it’s funny but this purity and honesty in desiring simply for MORE TREES and more life and more wealth from the fruit that they bear for the people of this country is the perfect balance to Samoneem’s strong driven nature. The entire family of koreans and orphans are so so happy in this place and I know it is the result of not being tainted by the worldliness that we live in.
Back to the children. There was in particular a precious, precious boy named Yohan (Yo-an) who recently joined the orphanage less than a year ago. His mother passed away about four years ago and his father beat him incessantly. His step mother kicked him out of the house although he begged to stay despite the beatings and he lived for the next three years at age 7-10 in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. A man found him eating out of the garbage piles and felt compassion for him and he was brought to the orphanage. Needless to say he fell in love with our mission team and we fell in love with him right back. Never have I seen such a pure, beautiful, serving soul. Looking at him I was struck through the heart with the truth in that God leads the strong by the weak and there must be an absoutely wonderful place being prepared for Yohan in His Kingdom.
Truly, I wanted to stay in the Dominican Republic for a year before I start at UCSD. And although I absolutely love my life here in California, there wasn’t a single time I thought about home while in La Romana. Not because I am not thankful of what I have, but because in this place I was overcome with such happiness and thankfulness and admiration with these children. Obviously it was not a comfortable place. 20 something mosquito bites with 12 on one ankle, calves cramped up so bad that I buckled down when standing up on the second day we were there, dirt always everywhere, roosters with supernaturally loud cockadoodledoos, electricity that worked maybe 5-6 hours of the day and shut off completely sometime between 9-11pm, and plumbing only for the missionaries available 75% of the time. Try going to the bathroom in a toilet that hasn’t flushed for 3 hours. BUT, this place was so beautiful and the children and people so wonderful, that anyone could not help but love them, love it, love being there. I feel like if I had stayed for a year with their family I would return to the states a completely changed and better woman and I want that so badly.
So to sum up everything, whenever I am put in any situation at home I swear I will not make my decisions without thinking of Yohan’s shining eyes crying about our going home 2 days before we actually left, or Richard’s single tear dropping as he stumbles over his words to say the most basic thank-you’s, or Reuben putting his arm around Eric as he cried out to God, while he cradled his brother Richard’s head in his lap. They are all so so precious and I thank God for building them to be these people. I will never forget this place and these people and I pray earnestly that they will be safe forever and happy forever and in God’s presence forever and ever. Praise the Lord for this opportunity. I have truly been touched.