Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oh how I love Switzerland

 Switzerland, I'm coming back to you! I leave on Monday for 2 weeks in Suisse and I can hardly believe it. Suddenly my profile pic REALLY started to annoy me. I had to get rid of scarfy head. So I decided since I'm going back to Switzerland that I should use this pic of me in Gruyere last year. It's pretty much my favorite ever. Posted by Picasa

Woe, Despair, and Mourning

Oregon SIL has been CANCELLED for the coming summer!!! That was the reason I was using to come home for a few months! Alas, alack, woe is me! Well, in any case, I'm still going to need to make a trip home. I'm already committed to being a bridesmaid in Amber my friend since first grade's wedding! But no more dreams of living in Portland for the summer, and I don't know how long I'll be able to come home for. It might still be July through mid-October, but it might be for only a month.

I just trust that the Lord knew this was coming and will help me know what to do. My teammates and I had these big plans for me meeting my future hubby at ORSIL :o) Thankfully, God is sovereign over our schemes!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Emergent Church

In case any of you are confused by new buzz words like “emergent” and “relevant” and “post-modern” and “missional” that are being thrown around church today, I thought I would give you a little summary and post some links to cool sites you can check out. I am definitely NOT an expert on this subject, but I enjoy it and I appreciate many aspects of this movement. I’m sure I’m missing a ton of stuff that could be here, but feel free to comment away if you’ve got other ideas. Here are some of the basics as I see them…

Emergent Christians like:
Contemplative prayer: Some people are discovering that the way Christians used to seek God is still good for today.
Social activism: Christians should be the ones championing causes for the poor and the environment.
David Crowder Band: Great music, don’t know why he’s specifically such a favorite.
Candles: Maybe the Orthodox Church was on to something with that whole engage all the senses during a service thing.
Helping the poor: Jesus was serious about this. We should be too.
Podcasts: Where would the EC be without blogs and podcasts? It’s built upon the backs of this tech savvy generation.
Social justice: No Christian should observe injustice and do nothing.
Ancient Christian writings: Did you know that Christians wrote a lot of good stuff before Yancy and Maxwell or even Lewis were around?
Art: Art has refound its place among expressions of worship. Contemplating and creating beauty transports us into God’s presence or expresses our prayers.
U2: Bono is a hero. Plus they make good music.
Discussion: Everybody has something to share. Nobody likes being preached at all the time
Blue Like Jazz: A really popular book by Donald Miller (who lives in Oregon!!)
Meaningful symbolism: The cross is very relevant, let’s not down play it to clean up Christianity any more.
Powell’s Bookstore: Who doesn’t love Powell’s?

Emergent Christians do not like:
The war in Iraq
Cultural Christianity

Major sites to check out (If you haven’t heard of these sites already, you either a) don’t have any Christian friends, b) don’t spend any time on the Internet, or c) are old. Just kidding. Sort of. It’s just that I run across these sites continually)

Here are some Emergent Churches (note that all are in the Pacific NW. It’s kind of like the Emergent Mecca)

Some bloggers of this genre (some of these are well known, others are personal friends, others I just found while researching this post):

Some other stuff:
Amazon recommended books on the EC

I think there’s a lot of good things about the Emergent Church, but of course every movement has its pitfalls too. In any case, it is undeniable that it plays a big role in what God is doing in the US these days.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oh, baby!

 Say hello to my new little niece Everly Pegs Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Let's have a moment of remembering together what my life was like at this time last year and read a blog archive. That first picture of the vineyard is my desktop wallpaper right now. It's almost painful remembering these beautiful days in Switzerland. But not so painful considering that I'm GOING ON VACATION IN SWITZERLAND IN 2 WEEKS!!!! Yeah, I'm pretty much stoked.

I would just like to thank my friends Missy and Amber for the role they unwittingly played in the planning of this vacation. I got two postcards of Switzerland from these ladies on the same day. I was like "Ha, ha, I should pretend like this is a sign from God that I should go back to Switzerland." But then a few days later my mom called and asked "Why do I keep thinking about you and Switzerland? Are you supposed to go back there?" I was like, "Uh, sure, I'll look into it." From there everything just fell into place and on the 23rd I'll be hopping on a plane to visit my home away from home! And there was much rejoicing! I love you Missy and Amber and Mom!!!!

Random pics

 Would you let your 4-year-old play with a machete?!
 Awwww, cute wittle duckies.
 I think it was like goat mating season or something. They kept having head butting contests. I like this photo. Posted by Picasa

Would you eat this?

  These are grubs. Mmmmmm.
  Let's see, which one is tastiest?
  Annette actually ate the grubs, baked into a paté like concoction that was fairly good but unable to disguise their crunchiness and still too psychologically traumatizing to tempt me :o) Posted by Picasa

Trying my darndest to post some photos

  One of the fun things we did in Ouesso was have a pizza party :o) Some of our friends had heard about pizza and they begged us to bring them some from Brazza. We had to improvise a little. We brought pita bread and cheese and italian seasoning with us and then bought tomato paste, garlic and onion there in the village. It was delicious! Although the African response wasn't too enthusiastic. I think cheese must be too heavy when you've never eaten it before Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

I knew it was bad, but this is ridiculous!

No one told me before I came here that BRAZZAVILLE is ranked as the SECOND WORST CITY IN THE WORLD for expatriates to live in! It’s second only to Baghdad! And Pointe-Noire, Congo’s coastal city, is ranked 5th! Makes me laugh to think that many of my colleagues go to PNR for vacation…they’re not being very particular in how far they move up the scale! This article talks about the survey.

In another survey, Brazza is ranked 4th for worst health and sanitation and Republic of Congo is supposedly in the top 10 poorest countries in the world. It’s funny, ‘cause there are a lot of places I’d rather not live than here! For example, India seems like a much poorer, more disease-ridden place to me. I’d rather live in Brazza than in Nairobi where the standard of living might be better but where I’d risk getting mugged every time I set my foot on the street. On the other hand, things are pretty bad for a lot of people here and I’m glad I now have a survey to justify myself every time I feel stressed or tired :o)

It’s funny that Congo has 2 of the top 5 worst cities, because I lived in Switzerland last year and they have 3 of the top 10 BEST cities! Zurich and Geneva are the #1 and #2 best places for expatriates to live. So I wasn’t just imagining the contrast in my life between this year and last :o) See this page for the entire list of 215 ranked cities. The “quality of life“ survey based its table on criteria ranging from political, social and economic factors.

To see a lot of interesting top 10 lists comparing countries, visit, although I can’t vouch for their accuracy or their sources.