A Canoe A Day

I had the wonderful privilege of spending 6 weeks at Camp Ozone in Rockwood, TN.  There is this beautiful 15 acre lake that I got to drive around every day if I was leaving camp.  It looked different every time.  Sometimes perfectly calm and still- like glass with a perfect reflection of the trees.  Sometimes blue green.  Sometimes bright blue.  Sometimes sparkling in the sunshine.  Sometimes a thin layer of ice covered the top.

Halfway around the lake, an old canoe was left.  One day I decided to take a picture of this canoe once a day as I drove past.  In the end, I did not take a photo every day, but here is what I have.  It captures a little bit of the varying beauty that presented itself every day.

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These were all taken with my iPhone.  Which one is your favorite?

Mission Trip Coming Up!!!!!!!

Hello everyone!!

I’m really excited because next August I will get to travel to Central America again!  Only this time, I will get to see Honduras.  I will be there for 10 days with 9 other interns and our 2 directors, from Children’s Bible Ministries.  We will be ministering to orphans and encouraging the missionaries that are down there.

My goal is to raise $3500 to cover airplane ticket, travel in Honduras, food, and housing.  Any extra money that is not needed for the trip will go towards my support as an intern with CBM.

Would you consider partnering with me in this trip?  Click on this link to see my fundraising page:  http://fnd.us/c/asVic/sh/e44qp9

Can you help me reach $700 by the New Year?

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Thank you for partnering with me and continue to pray for us as we prepare for this trip!!

October/November Photo Update

Here are some photos of my life for the past while…prepare for photo overload.

Going, going, gone.

So this post may or may not be a week and half late, but here it is…

My going away party….

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Lots of socializing and food

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Last times with friends

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Exciting games of Can Jam

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Volleyball

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More volleyball

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Reunited with Melanie who used to babysit us when we were knee high to a toadstool.  It was so fun to see her!!

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More Can Jam

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More socializing.

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On Sunday afternoon, I departed for my hotel in Virginia.  I looked at this pretty much all afternoon as I drove 4 hours.

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I got really excited when I saw the sign for Scotland, because I’ve always wanted to go there!! It’s really lovely in Scotland, you know.  But I did not stop, because I had to keep to my schedule.  Funny thing though, I thought Scotland was on the other side of the world.  The things you learn on road trips.

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Sometimes I got bored, so I took selfies.  It took a lot of tries before this picture turned out.  It was really hard not to get the camera in the picture.

Now don’t judge me.  I know they say don’t text and drive, but they never said don’t take selfies and drive.

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I listened to music, ate snacks, sang songs, thought a lot of thoughts, and enjoyed the scenery.  Everything went really smoothly.

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My lovely hotel room.  Two whole double beds to myself!  Wahoo!

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Monday morning started out rainy and dreary but soon it cleared up and was a gorgeous day.

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I saw a lot of crosses on the drive.  It kept reminding me of the real reason that I am going on this adventure in the first place.

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For those of you who don’t believe that pigs fly….I captured it on camera.

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This, my friends, is the beautiful Tennessee that I get to see every single day.  This is the view from Bear Lodge which is the highest lodge.  We go up there to work on homework and enjoy the view.

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Here is my room.  Our little house is not finished yet so we are living in Deer Lodge.  Thank you to Daniel for the flowers that are decorating the windowsill.  I am enjoying them!!

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A really neat carved chest that is in Bear Lodge.

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Me and Sarah one day after we trimmed flowers and bushes in the rain.  We looked like drowned rats.

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Our first weekend here, we got to set up, decorate for, and serve at a wedding!  These were the table decorations.

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The whole room.  It was actually a dining hall at a camp, so the transformation was pretty amazing!

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I got to help string the lights on the arbor thingy.

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We glued 200 invitations together.  Yay.

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I was given a piece of burlap and told that it needed a monogram on it.  I had chalk, navy paint, and a wooden monogram to work from.  First, I drew it on a piece of paper to practice.  Then I drew it on the burlap with chalk.  Then I painted it with the navy blue paint.  It was totally out my comfort zone (I’m not really an artist), but I had a lot of fun with it and I loved how it turned out!

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Having cereal for breakfast on the floor before wedding preparations began.

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Servers and drinks all ready for the guests!

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The family made blueberry jam as party favors.

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This was the day after the wedding when we were getting ready for our road trip home.  Justin plays the ukelele and keeps us laughing with his great sense of humor.

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Sara and I spending the afternoon weeding and trimming flower beds.

That’s all I have for now!  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me which picture is your favorite and why.

Trust Him.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed the blog silence. I sure did. But the other week I received an email from my little sister telling me that I need to blog soon because it has been too quiet on my blog. That is when you know it is getting bad. But you see, I have a wonderful life. A crazy busy, wonderful life. To make it even better, summer has arrived (in case you hadn’t noticed) and with it, a very long to do list. But I am enjoying every moment of it. Summer is my favorite time of the year. Working outside at the farm, in the flower beds, in the garden. Playing frisbee and wading in the creek with my little brother. Having my big sister home from college and going on walks with her and staying up late talking. Sitting on the porch swing reading a book and watching the fireflies. Canoeing with my whole family on Sunday afternoon. Anticipating picnics, parties, and cabin trips. It is the little things really, that make life special. There are big events in our lives that we look forward to, enjoy, and then think back on the wonderful memories. But there are so many wonderful things that happen every single day…if only we would look for them and enjoy them.
It has been a very interesting year. Not at all how I had planned. I thought that I would be living in Oregon working on a horse ranch with kids. But God had a different plan. Then I thought I would be going to Oklahoma to get training to teach/work with public school kids. But again, God had a different plan. It was a really confusing time and sometimes I wondered if I would ever figure out what I was supposed to do. I was reminded that even when it wasn’t going the way I had imagined, God was still in control. It sounds cliche, but it is the truth. I had to trust that God’s plan was perfect and that staying home and working was the best plan, even though I really wanted to go do something big and exciting. My favorite verse came to mind a lot. “This God- his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” Psalm 18:30. His way is perfect. That doesn’t leave room for any mistakes!!
Trust. Wait. Trust some more. About the time that I knew I wasn’t going to Oklahoma, I heard about an opportunity in Tennessee. But by this time, I was not going to set my heart on anything. My sister had met a couple who were visiting Lancaster Bible College and are the directors of Children’s Bible Ministries. They talked about their internship program which provides training for people interested in missions and children’s ministry. (They just described me.) Being the dear older sis that she is, Beka mentioned me to them and told them that I should do it. Being the amazingly kind and outgoing couple that they are, they started praying for me that I would come to their program!! When I first heard all about this, I laughed inside and thought this is not gonna happen. Not after the last two opportunities fell through. But secretly, I was quite interested and really hoped that it would be God’s will for me to go. I applied and prayed and waited. I was resolved not to set my heart on going just in case it didn’t work out again. And then that wonderful day arrived- I was accepted to go!! Which means I will be leaving in a little over month for Tennessee!! One moment I am super excited to go and the next moment, my heart just about stops beating when I think about leaving my wonderful life here in Pennsylvania. However, I know an exciting adventure is just around the corner and it will be a year of stretching and growing and learning to trust God even more. It will be good to get out of my comfort zone and learn to do new things and get to know new people. I’m already excited about the friendships that will be formed and the places I’ll get to travel to. And before I know it, I will be back home and figuring out what to do next with my life….at least that is what I keep telling myself when I start freaking out about being away for a WHOLE YEAR!
So if you are traveling through Tennessee, you must stop and visit me. No exceptions or excuses allowed. Please pray for me!! It will be a very busy last month at home. I want to thoroughly enjoy every moment with the people here but also be ready to leave on time. I will try to blog consistently when I’m down there or send out email updates. If you would like to receive email updates, shoot me an email or leave a comment on my blog and I’ll add you to the list.
Before I go, I’ll just share a song we sang tonight at youth group that reminded of this whole story.
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

2014 Bible Quizzing

It is hard to believe that another year of Macsa Bible Quizzing is over.  Another 300 verses of the Bible committed to memory.  This year they memorized the whole book of Hebrews.

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Quizzing is a lot of hard work!!!  A lot of hours are put in to memorize all the verses and practice with the other teams.  And then comes the really exciting part- the quiz-a-thons!!

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The first quiz-a-thon that I went to was at this big church in Philadelphia. It was a very neat church.  The sanctuary was so pretty!!

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A selfie before the quizzing started.  That morning there was a lot of ice and traffic on the roads which made everyone late.  So we had lots of time to hang out and take pictures.

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Hosea’s team: Rockville Sword

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Althea’s team: Rockville Beast

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Quizzing is very complicated, so I won’t even try to explain it.  You’ll just have to come and watch it sometime if your curious.

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Althea’s team in a time-out to discuss points and strategy.

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The very cool sanctuary

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Concentration at it’s finest.

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There are 3 quiz-a-thons and 1 quiz retreat.  The quiz retreat is tons of fun including two days of quizzing, a talent show, many games of Gaga, and staying up late with friends.

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The very last quiz is the Bunny Quiz which is completely for fun.  The quizzer with the most points gets to be coach and keep score.  Hosea had the most points!!  Way to go Hosea!!

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Hosea’s team did really well at the quiz retreat and got 1st place in Division B!!!!!

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I’m just a spectator but I think I have almost as much fun as Althea and Hosea.  I help them memorize so it’s quite thrilling to go and watch them.  I like the intensity of the quizzes.  Plus I get to watch my very own brother and sister win trophies, which makes me so proud.

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Ready to jump at any moment…

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That moment when you know the verse…if only you could find it between the other 299 verses…and then say it before 30 seconds are over.

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Althea’s team in the last day- winning.

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They got 2nd place in Division AA which is the top division!!!!  It was an exciting year.

For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Guatemala adventures

Three weeks ago today, I had the wonderful opportunity to go back to my other home- Guatemala!!  I went with 18 other people from my church.  And what an adventure and a good time we had!!  We had quite a few problems getting to Guatemala including our flight being cancelled.  But everyone stayed positive and cheerful, and eventually we made it.

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Trying to stay ‘cool’ while relaxing in the airport.

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Our project while we were there was building a second story on this house.  The orphanage is expanding to provide a bigger house for the girls and start a program for handicapped/disabled children.

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Working hard!!!

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They mixed all the cement on the ground and pushed it up to the second floor in wheelbarrows.  They also carried all the concrete blocks up the ramp.  We had a lot of hard workers!!

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Our fearless leader.  He may have been much older than the rest of us, but he worked just as hard.

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In 5 days they had all four walls completed and started working on the peak!  I don’t have a picture of when it was all finished.

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I was very excited when I found out Shirah was going along as we used to be good friends before our busy lives got in the way.  She and I spent the week in the baby house since I know their routine from last year and we both love working with kids.  Sure enough, we had a fantastic time playing with the kids and having long conversations about life while we washed dishes.

Right now there are 13 kids in the baby house.  The youngest one is 7 months and the oldest is 4 years.  Be prepared for cuteness overload!!!

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This little girl just loved Shirah!  Whenever she saw Shirah she would get a big smile on her face and crawl over to her.  Sometimes she would try to crawl up her leg just so Shirah would give her a hug.

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There is nothing quite like having a baby fall asleep in your arms.  Even if it is because of the bottle.  🙂

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This little guy was my buddy.  He didn’t talk and he was very serious.  But while he was playing he would come find me to hold my hand or if he needed a hug.  Then he would be satisfied that someone still cared about him, and he would toddle off to play again.

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I was very excited to see little Miss N again!  She was walking this time!!  Only, when she walks she holds her arms out in front of her for balance…it is so cute but it makes me laugh.

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This guy was hilarious.  He had an adorable smile and loved to be tickled.  He would get all floppy and wiggly when you tickled him.  He also loved to be spun around, over and over and over…

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Friday night I went out for supper with Isa and her parents.  I got to know Isa when I was there last year and she would let us stay at her house on our weekend off.  They speak English very well so we could communicate easily.

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They took me me to a very fancy restaurant (similar to a steakhouse in huge U.S.).  I had steak, guacamole, garlic bread, and mashed potatoes.  And of course, their excellent cheesecake.  I get hungry just thinking about it.  These three musicians came over and sang a song for me.  They told me it was a Guatemalan song, but Isa said it was actually a Mexican Song.

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Confession:  we did not work the whole time we were there.  In the evenings we played games and socialized.  On Sunday night we made chocolate chip cookies.  It turned out to be a hilarious and interesting process- including two bakers who both had a  recipe in their head and no measuring cups.

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The cookies were not world-class, but they were all eaten by the next day!

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Playing volleyball Guatemalan style.  Basically, hit the ball however you want and whenever you want.  Pretty simple.

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This was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  Spending time with my girls.  This girl worked with me in the baby house on weekends.  She is only 15 years old, but we have similar personalities so we got along well.  She is really great with the kids and knows A LOT of English (though she will never admit it).

I’m already counting the days until I go back….anyone want to come with me?