Days since coming to Kona: 76
Days before outreach begins: 7
Days before I return to Canada: 83
Right about now, I feel like I’m in a strange sort of limbo.
Not quite done lecture phase, not quite fully prepared for outreach.
Not quite fully comprehending what all I learned over the last ten weeks, still learning this week, and yet not quite sure how it’s all going to come together as we apply it all in Cambodia.
Not quite halfway done this DTS, but feeling like I’d really love to head home right about now, at least for a visit.
But hey. Outreach happens in one week, people. As we count down to the outreach phase and keep going strong in the lecture phase, a lot of us are feeling a bit torn, terrified, and excited!
Needless to say, it’s a bit of a strange place to be.
But still so good.
Monday morning sunrise over Hualalai Mountain, east of campus.
Last week (Week 10) was FULL. As in, full of everything it could possibly be full of and then overflowing with fullness.
Our speaker for the whole week was Dean Sherman, who has been speaking on the topics of Spiritual Warfare and Relationships for the past 40-some years. We all learned a lot from Dean. I think I can speak for most of us students when I say that many of us walked into the lecture on Monday morning expecting Dean to rant and rave about spiritual warfare all week… and were quite (pleasantly) surprised when he said the most important aspects of spiritual warfare are not “going out and yelling at demons” but one simple concept: relationships.
If God’s entire agenda is to have good relationships, the enemy’s entire agenda is to break relationships.
When it’s broken down that simply, it becomes easy to see that the enemy will attack us in areas of relationship: how we see and relate to God, how we treat and relate to each other, and how we perceive and feel about ourselves.
It was a great week of discovering how we can be victorious through Jesus’ work on the cross, how we can initiate and maintain good relationships with God and with others, and how we can do what we were created to do.
Dean also discussed the blessing that comes on unity, on humility, and relationships. One quote that has stuck with me is that “unity is simply corporate humility,” that we can choose to be humble and serve others in order to have unity in our personal relationships and especially in our outreach teams as we head out soon.
Tuesday evening sunset from one of my favourite spots on campus, a little table behind the campus cafe! A great watch to hear the surf and watch the sunset while homework gets done. ;)
Some other things that kept us busy and active this week included:
We also spent an evening watching “The Killing Fields,” a movie made in 1984 depicting the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia from 1975-1979 that resulted in the genocide of millions of Cambodian people, some of whose families are still living in Cambodia today.
While violent and hard to watch, the video also gave us a lot of insight into what the Cambodian people went through, and what they are now going through as a nation struggling to regain identity and independence.
We’ll be seeing some of these people a week from now, and it really hit home for us the struggles and hardship that they went through as families and as a nation.
(Note: If you’d like to pray for Cambodia with us while we’re there, this is a great prayer point to consider. The people there are struggling to find their identity as they lost so many loved family members and educated people, pained by the atrocities that happened in their nation, and still hurting from what their nation went through and from a relative lack of interest from the rest of the world. More prayer points to follow in my next blog posts, but this could get you started. ;) )
We also spent some time planning more in-depth for our outreach and getting to know the others on our team a little better, and man, we are starting to get excited! We’ll be facing a lot of challenges while there, but the hope of meeting some beautiful Cambodian people and letting our and their lives be changed by the Lord as a result is really exciting stuff. :) Plus, we’ll get to share our skills and gifts with people in big cities and tiny villages both, and I’m excited to see what all will happen with two whole months in Cambodia!
(My beautiful outreach team! L to R (use your imagination, haha): Charm, W, Min Jeong, Alex, Bless, Max, Casey, Priscille, Me, Eleanor (team leader), Jenny, Dani, Eanja)
I also was B-L-E-S-S-E-D on Thursday when I discovered not none, not one, but TWO packages waiting for me at the post office! The first was some medical equipment (clearly I’m a nerd when finding blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters in the mailbox excites me), and the second was a package full of LOVE from home! Some of the girls got together and showered me with gifts and love letters and a journal and some photos and even a hand-crocheted snowflake. My heart was so glowy after receiving that!
A happy, happy me and the aforementioned love package. Seriously one of the best parts of my week.
I also got to meet up with a friend of mine from BC who is here on vacation for a bit, and what little time we had was filled with good talks, some good eats, and of course a dance party and some ocean. :)
After a heavy week of theory and busy-ness preparing for outreach, the weekend definitely felt like more of a tourist-y one than usual!
Saturday began with an early morning acai-banana-strawberry-granola bowl at a local eatery, snorkeling in the ocean over some gorgeous corals and some friendly fish, eating nachos on the roadside while watching some surfers hit the waves, and then off to the pier to catch a boat to head out on a whale-watching tour!
Dani, Jenny, and I had postponed this trip twice already because of rain and poor weather, so we were dying to get out on the water and see some whales! And whales we did see. Along with some friendly dolphins, a naturalist with a long ponytail giving commentary on the whole tour, and a whole lot of sunshine and open ocean. It was glorious to be out on the water! Definitely felt like we were in Hawaii… after only three months of being here. ;)
(A couple “little” whales who were pretty much the least shy of the whales we saw that day!)
Loving the sunshine out on the open water :)
After our whale-watching adventure, we ran back to our room, showered off all the ocean salt and sweat, and prettied ourselves up for a little thing called Love Feast! Love feasts here are basically celebrations with a whole lot of delicious food, good-looking people, tons of laughter, and enough love to make your heart overflow.
Our love feast was fantastic, with hilarious skits, beautiful music, enough photos to make us a little nostalgic, testimonies and speeches, and so much blessing!
Most of our Medical DTS ladies! Please remember this photo when you see pictures of us girls on outreach… we really can look good if we try. ;) Love them so much!
After all that excitement, Sunday was definitely a day of rest… of sleeping in until a solid 7:15 am, going for a walk, enjoying some introvert time, going to church in a renovated movie theater, finding some good music, skyping some fantastic parents, and then off to bed to begin another good week.
So there you have it! Week 10 in not so much of a nutshell. ;)
Just so y’all know, while on outreach I’ll be pretty much off of the internet (goodbye, Facebook…) but will be sending out weekly updates, which hopefully will be by blog post method. Soo…. if you want to keep up on the happenings in Cambodia, click “Follow” on the bottom left there to follow my blog! That way, every time I publish a post, you’ll receive it straight to your email inbox :)
Hope to hear from you soon!
Kona sunsets… SO beautiful. I think I’ll miss this.