Tuesday, November 4, 2008

last night...

Last night was probably one of my hardest but best nights so far here at Joshua. This week our speaker is John Alvarado. He was sharing his story and talking about how the organization he works with feeds the starving kids in Mexico. His words brought back a lot of memories and a lot of my experience in China. While i was in China this Summer, i had the amazing opportunity to visit one of the orphanages that the kids we had at camp came from. That day was one of the hardest days of my life. The first room we walked into had about 15-20 kids in it and they all were sitting there like zombies. There was no life in their eyes. I saw one child that was so skinny she looked like one of the children you see on TV specials who are starving in Africa. The children were so dirty and smelled like they hadn't been bathed in weeks. We went into several more rooms with about the same amount of children and there were only a few staff members to be found and they followed us from room to room. They explained that they had twice as many infants as the children we saw but refused to show them to us. With the state these children were in, i could only imagine the terrible conditions the babies must have been in. There were so many times i wanted to break down and cry, but i felt the need to hold all of my tears in and just smile at every child that looked my way. They kept grabbing for me and for my attention. Each of them just wanting to be touched or talked to. It was overwhelming. My heart was broken. They took us to the lunch room and told us not to bring our cameras. There i saw children sipping broth and eating small portions of rice and some didn't even have rice to eat. After only a few minutes the man in charge of our 'tour' asked us to leave their dining hall. I wondered if he had seen the looks on our faces. No wonder favorite part of the day for my orphans at camp was meal time. Each meal at camp they would scarf down all of their food and I would give them the food that was on my plate as well. We left the orphanage and went back to the University where we were running camp. I was silent the whole car ride trying to process what i had seen but i couldn't. Last night, as John Alvarado was sharing, everything came rushing back. As i sat on the couch in the great room listening to him speak i couldn't stop the tears from falling. I got up and left during his closing prayer unable to control myself. I ran upstairs to my room, fell to the floor and began sobbing. I was crying so hard that my eyes turned a bright red. I needed to be alone and knew any minute that my roommate would be coming up the stairs. I quickly put on some warm clothes and grabbed my flash light and walked out of the building. It was raining and dark and cold but i didnt care i needed to feel something other than the pain that was rushing my heart at the moment. I walked down the hill and then back up imagining a few times in my head what i would do if i ran into a bear or a mountain lion and it tried to eat me, haha. I sat in the rain for about a half an hour talking to God and praying for those whom he brought to my mind. Nothing magical happened and i didnt get any answers, but there was something just so soothing about crying out to the Lord and sitting with him in the dark and in the silence.
It was wonderful.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Heavens declare His GLORY!

Most Mondays at Joshua we have 'DTGs' which either means 'ditch the girls' or 'ditch the guys'. This allows for some quality time with just the gals or just the guys to hang out and do something fun together. Sometimes our DTGs are joint. Today was such a day. Jeff Lilley (the director of Hume Lake) took us on a hike up into some mountains at Hume. The staff opted to take us on a couple mile hike instead of a 10 mile hike so that if it started snowing our vehicles would be ok. I was all for that! Anyways, we began our hike ad tromped through the forest. It was REALLY foggy. So foggy in fact, that when we reached our destination at the top of a mountain, we could only see white all around us. I whispered a prayer in my head that God would wipe away the fog so we could see his beautiful creation all around us. Everyone found a place and we began to eat our sack lunches. A few moments later i a cold wind and looked up. Before my eyes i saw the thick fog being pushed away and a view of hundreds of trees was soon visible! The sky parted into two cloudy sections and the sun shone through in some parts. Everyone stared around in awe! A view that was once pure white was now colorful and clear! It was quite a sight to see and such a blessing from the Lord! He chose to reveal his beautiful creation to his children sitting on a mountain top waiting for a glimpse of Him.
It reminds me of a song i used to sing at a prayer group i was a member of a long time ago...
My God is so great!
So strong and so mighty,
there's nothing my God cannot do!
The mountains are His
The valleys are His
The stars are his handywork too!
My God is so great!
So strong and so mighty,there's nothing my God cannot do
for you and you and you and me!

down the hill!

I had this past weekend off and decided to take full advantage of Fresno! Which, isn't much if you are familiar with the area :) Some friends and i headed down the hill and enjoyed everything a Joshua student dreams about! In N Out, shopping!, The Mall, quality facebook time with free wifi, talking on a cell phone, and The Cheesecake Factory! We even got to see some 'Yes on Prop. 8' protesters. It felt SO nice to get off the mountain and into some civilization for a day!