So many blessings...

As I reflect on my time in the Dominican Republic last week, I find that there are so many things I could say in this post, but I'm so tired right now that I can't type it all! For now, I'll tell you that the week was nothing short of amazing. God did so many awesome things...the water center is open and being sold in Cielo and Nazaret, as well as the hotel where we stayed; the women's co-op is up and running in their new workroom; the women finished 250+ ornaments, each one carefully handmade and beautiful; a new building was cleaned out and painted for the Haitian community to have a place to worship; teeth were cleaned and/or extracted as the dental clinic crew worked alongside the Dominican dentist. And I could go on, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Thank you for your prayers. Justin and I are home for awhile until we pack up to head South for Christmas break. Love you all!

Sweeping Beauty

I realize tonight what makes this World Series win especially sweet. It comes after a long baseball season where Hol and I cheered faithfully from our couches, never making it to a game. But it’s also seen through the eyes of a little thirteen year-old boy who saw of the beauty of a magical world of baseball through baseball cards. My heroes from those days have since retired, but also have records tainted with questions, scandals and that one lost season to a strike.

Tonight, we celebrate as our team pulled it off and a classy group of Americans, Dominicans and Japanese players simply played the game. Congratulations Sox! See you at the parade!

Have you missed us?

'A' for Effort?

So, we've recently discovered that we like sushi. I guess my Asian-ness is kicking in. Anyway, here is attempt #1 at making it ourselves. Let's just say we'll be going for attempt #2 very soon. Does anybody know how long my opened package of nori will last?

Passion: worth it.

I don't even know where to begin. The weekend was amazing. It was so refreshing, challenging, affirming, eye-opening...I could go on, but I'll stop. On Friday, we arrived at the BU Agannis Arena to register and I'll say, there weren't many people there. I asked one of the volunteers how many they were expecting..."1200 or so" was her response. My first thought, "ONLY 1200?!?" Glad I didn't say that out loud.

But seriously, I was at two Passion events in Nashville with over 14,000 people. Where was everyone? When I told Justin and our friend, Becky, the number, I knew they would be as shocked (and disappointed) as I was. BUT, there were two girls in line behind us who were so amazed and excited to hear how many were coming that their eyes lit up. They said they only have 12 people in their New England Conservatory Bible study group. So, 100 times that is ginormous. My Bible-belts, cultural-Christian mind needed to hear their excitement. I needed to realize that students in New England aren't as inundated as I was on my huge college campus with tons of Christian groups and opportunities for large worship gatherings.

After that swift kick-in-the-pants, I knew this was going to be a good weekend. Once we entered the arena, it opened with a great time of worship led by Chris Tomlin. I forgot how much I enjoy his music. From our seats, we had a great view of the students as they sang praises. When Louie got up to welcome us, he asked how many people were at their first Passion event. Almost every hand went up! It was awesome. That's exactly why Passion decided to come to Boston.

Throughout the weekend, God affirmed our decision to move up here. I was given a new heart for this city and its college students. There were students from all over New England excited to be together. We spent time praying for each other's campuses, cities, and for the world. Passion also brought a focus on social justice locally and around the globe. We collected socks and towels to give to Boston's homeless. We collected money for Blood:Water Mission to build wells in African villages. (They brought 6 tubes of water displaying each city on the regional tour...Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, DC, Dallas, and LA. Each city was going to be challenged to sponsor one well in Africa which costs $3000. When the total is raised, the water turned blue. Not only did we raise enough for our city's well, we raised enough for all of them! By Saturday night, all 6 wells were blue!) We gave toward Passion's World Tour and prayed especially for the event in Kiev, Ukraine.

The best part about our time, for me, was seeing so many students and joining with them as they praised Jesus. Remembering how important my college years were in forming my relationship with God and praying that it would be the same for these students was so good. It made me realize that being here is the right decision. I was starting to think maybe I didn't like this place and I was missing the comforts of home. But after this weekend, I'm sure without a doubt that this is the right place to be and the right time to be here.

Passion: Boston

In January 2005, Justin and I took a road trip with some friends to Nashville, TN for the Passion conference. We knew it would be full of great speakers, worship bands, and tons of college students. But we didn't know that it would play a role in our future.

While we were there, the leadership talked about their recent stops through Boston and New York. They focused on the need for Christians and especially those interested in working with college students. I still remember the huge display in their "Go Center" with the Red Sox logo in the background. There were residents of Boston and NY available to talk to you if you were interested in going. I remember being very hesitant to walk up to them or fill anything out. I remember Justin being the brave one filling out the interest form. I thought, "We'll never move to Boston."

As you can see, I was soooo wrong. Just a year later, we were headed up for our let's-see-if-we-can-really-live-there trip. Yes, our main reason for moving was because Gordon-Conwell was the right school, but in the back of our minds, we knew that God was drawing us to Boston as he had put it in our minds years ago.

What was the appeal? Well, some interesting facts about how important Boston is to the heart of college ministry:

  • 25% future heads of state being educated in Boston
  • 250,000 college students in and around Boston
  • 75-80 campuses in metro area
That's amazing.

So, we're here and we are working with college students. We both volunteer with a multi-campus ministry called The Hill. And, tonight and tomorrow, Passion is coming to us. Instead of one ginormous conference, they're going around the country this year. The first stop is Boston. Nice. So, we are really excited and looking forward to a weekend of challenge and renewal.

Please pray for the thousands of college students from the Northeast that will be coming. Even more, pray for those that don't know or care who Jesus is. We want to be used in God's plan to impact the lives of college students here.

Here's a link to the Passion blog and the video that we first saw about Boston.


The seminary has this wonderful invention called “Reading Week.” While it is most likely a ploy to give faculty time off, it serves as a well needed break. And we get one of these every month! But after having my first extremely sub-par performance on a Hebrew quiz…this student knows he has some work to do. And just so you know Biblical Hebrew is not easy…nor fun. Why? – you might ask.

  1. Right to left, instead of left to right. Re-train your brain.
  2. No vowels… just dots and lines…which means you read one word as a zig-zag (going left – see #1).
Now that I’ve gotten the alphabet down (or “alephbet,” for you pretentious Hebrew nerds), there’s hope. But I certainly invite your prayers as I play catch-up.

I’m also taking a class on the Gospel of Mark, which I took because I've read Mark much less than the other three. Not sure why though. This of course leads me to question for you, reader: Do you have a favorite Gospel (choose between Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)? What about that book appeals to you?