Adventures of a Manboy and his Father

The Adventures of a Manboy and his Father

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

My Ugandan Semester is over, yet I'm not really home yet. I've spent the last couple of days in London and I won't get home til tuesday. So here I am, sitting in Matt Carney's dorm planning the day, waiting for us to walk 15 minutes to the nearest underground. Half of the warm clothes I'm wearing are matt's and my hair could be described as greasy at best. Sufjan Stevens is trying to convince me to have a good day via Itunes. I think he's going still my resistance.

The fact is the last couple of days have been weird, just running around and seeing the sights has significantly less appeal. Its been awesome I know its a blessing, but intimacy is just had to come by. We left our family (that the other students had become) and have not yet reached our own. On tuesday, I played frisbee on the beach. On Wednesday, I was in London. On Thursday I had a snow ball fight, and built a snow man. All the changes I think are wearing me out. Its strange though, I can't feel their weight. I just now I am a little aggravated for no reason. Today though I woke up with hope, Christ's freedom stills rests on me, and I feel it to a greater extent still more than I did before this semester.

So hopefully Christ will give me Joy today, I am determined not to let my emotions bring me down, and thanks to GOD's grace I can have the strength just to do that. Today we're going to Buckinghams Palace, and then after purusing for a bit, settling down in a pub, and watching the red army (manchester united, a football (soccer) club)

well guys, I come home on Tuesday and the adventure continues :). I'm definitely missing my family, friends, dog, and mexican food. The next couple of days will prob fly by, and for that I'm quite grateful. Don't worry though, I am trying to be all here! It is a blessing to be able to be here, and I don't take that for granted. I'm also just trying to be honest with you.

I love you guys so much, mostly just because you read my posts, haha %100 percent joke.
Peace,
Drew

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So...

This weekend I went on a safari. It was such a blessing to see this part God's amazing creation, after hearing soo much about Africa's brokenness, I don't know really... somehow it just really helped something inside of me. Plus, it was just a really fun and exciting time! Especially trying to follow lion sightings! But yeah, I was able to see alot of cool animals, and trees, and naturey things. (The picture at the bottom is of a waterfall, where the whole blue nile compresses into one 25 foot wide section... it might just be the birthplace of rainbows.)

Tomorrow I finish this semester in school. I have two papers to turn in lacking only conclusions. Crazy, but such an awesome feeling walking away from something, knowing that its done and you did alright. The classes this semester were really interesting and I'm thankful for everyone one. Especially my class on Faith and Action, as well as, Law and Christian Political Thought (that I had with 20 other of the nicest, engaging, and most tenaciously argumentative Ugandans that I've met here.)

In less than two weeks I'll be home, and I'm really starting to miss it now. I just can't wait to hang out with my two brothers, and reunite with family and friends.

The fact is that I'm really tired, mostly just emotionally and spiritually, but perhaps a tiny bit physically due to my salivary gland stone that I'm getting over. Yeah, look that one up! School is basically over though, and Saturday I move out from my host house to go on debrief. I think I'm really going to miss my host family, they've been soo good to me. Anyways, on debrief all the USP students will try to begin the processing process over a four-day intense/relaxing time. Then tuesday I'm off to london for a week.

Ok... thought for the day... "To disappear from the world as an object of interest… is the basic movement of the Christian life." (henri Nouwen in Compassion)

It seems intrinsically hypocritical to write a blog all about myself and post that quote... but hey! its a learning process coupled with an odd scenario.

I love you guys, and I have 13 days left on my little adcenture, so I'll see some of you soon!

Drew




Thursday, December 3, 2009

Its good to hear your voice.

Well today is the 100th day that we've been in Uganda, and official 19 days until we go home. (December 22nd at 10:38 pm)

I finished almost 3 out of the four papers. One more to go! And its on Simple Living, a subject I've been thinking and writing about all semester!

I leave my Home here in 8 days. The next three of those are going to be spent on a Safari! (Its crazy the things GOD allows me to do.) Then after 4 days of debrief, josh and I are headed to stay with a friend, Matt Carney, in London.

I've been typing all day, so I'm going to go play guitar. (I've been writing songs again lately! I plan on sharing my music alot more on the return.) I'll post alot more next week.

Sorry I've been a slacker.
love you guys,
Drew

Friday, November 13, 2009

(shhh.. we're playing a game)

Ok... I've been posting like crazy this week, and it might be a teeny bit before I do again... but if you read my post (thank you and)... the next week or so is time for you guys to ask questions.... and I'll try to answer the ones I want to. haha.

So any questions?

This is it!

WOW!

Today is day 100. In the last century of days I have....

Met some cool people. Fo sho.

Had some cool experiences.

Read some books: Crazy Love, Primal Vision, The Shackled Continent, Bruchko (again), The Freedom of Simplicity*, Celebration of Discipline*, Compassion*, Rich Christians in an age of Hunger (well... kinda), and at least a decent amount Irenaeus to Grotius: a Sourcebook on Christian Political Thought. They were good. Especially the ones with *. Crazy.

Missed people, but sometimes have also been glad to have been away.

Seen a lot of things change and just had to trust GOD.

Appreciated facebook, loathed facebook.

Experienced lots of different emotions, often at the same time.

Seen aweful places (Rwanda, Dachau) enjoyed some incredible ones.

Learned, loved, and laughed.

Wanted to share a little Tolkien with you:

Not all that is gold glitters
Not all who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not whither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Decided that I'm pretty sure I'm returning to school in the fall, and that I might be returning to New Life as well.

but mostly, I have been blessed abundantly. GOD has unceasingly been present, always showing me His love and calling me to stop being such a ********* (ambiguous, non-specific curse word.) He is so good, and my words are undoubtedly insufficient, and unworthy.

With love, hope, and prayers,
Drew

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quick pic


Just got some rafting pics. Thought I'd throw this one up. haha. There's gotta sounds weird.
Catcha on the flip side.
Drew

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Classes and The Vase

I realize that my post yesterday might have been a little weird, which is understandable because I was in a weird mood. Good news is that I eventually was able to sign up for classes, I got in the majority of the ones that I wanted! As of right now I'm taking a simple 13 hours, with one more possible credit coming. Currently, I'm all geared up to return back to JBU in the spring, something that was a little shady around departure time. One thing I've learned is that while location might be all important in real estate... it might not always be that central to following Jesus. Wherever I go I can have an adventure, loving a lonely person now seems a lot better/fulfilling than seeing the world just to have sweet stories. I think I mean that.

In other news, the 2/3 the way through semester death week is now over. Pretty much all I have left in school here is the 30-so pages of final papers that are coming up in a couple of weeks! haha.

My host family has really become comfortable to me, which is both awesome and a little worrisome since my intentionality has been slacking as of late.

Let's see here... Last night I wrote a poem. Its called The Vase... ch-ch-check it out!


The vase sits soft
On its marble stand,
Cutting white, splitting light
It sparkles ancient sand,
But move the vase
And time slows the fall.
It breaks and it makes me
Hide from its piercing call.
The Artist runs
Sliding still before,
His masterpiece broken
Twas perfect but no more.
His tears change me
As they fall, down His face
Hands and knees begin to bleed
As on the shards He lay.
The gentle eyes
With no surprise
Look about, seek me out,
I stand, tremble and fear.
The artist smiles
And Love pulls me forth.
Hand on hand, starts again
He Guides me and we work.


GOD is good.

Anways, I'm kinda missing home right now, while being content with being here. Seems like a decent state of mind to be in. Oh! And I've been thinking alot about realizing that its my responsibility this life... especially when it comes to love and following Christ. I can't ever blame anybody or anything else for why I didn't do what I should have. Following the call is a step in which only I can move my foot.

OK. I'll keep this short. I think I'll update on friday anyways... it'll be 100 days.

catcha later,
love
Drew

(Oh, and you might not want to send any letters after this week, there chance of getting here falls somewhere between sketchy and improbable!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

There's these days when the world just seems funny, you know?
I'm sitting in an internet cafe and thinking of life. Now, to be honest this wasn't a planned reflection time, no it was the result of an epic fail. As a type I should be registering for classes, but somebody had to go type the wrong password one too many times and so his school kicked him out of its network. So much for the paper skipped, and the 30 minute hike this afternoon. haha.

SO... I just decided to type. Its crazy that I have less than a month and a half left on this little shindig outing. last Friday was 3 months that I have been gone. Blows my mind a wee bit.

Um... I actually dont't know what to type. Its simply overwhelming to think about the things I want to type...lessons, stories, thoughts, and ramblings. Today, I just can't do it. Sorry.

Know that God holds me.

Love you guys.
Drew

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hey world.

So.... the last ten days were quite an experience eh?

I moved to the border of Kenya (still staying on the Uganda side though) and lived with a family on Mount Elgon. My activities could be divided into three catagories... Picking coffee on the plantation, sitting, and eating... usually roasted corn.

haha. It was awesome... The view was amazing!! Hopefully, I can post pictures. I had 3 brothers, 2 cows, 3 goats, and lots of chickens. I would work soo hard during the mornings until the early afternoons and then just sit still the rest of the day, unless we went on walks through the village and visited people. When we would go on walks I would meet people who had never seen a white person before. Inexpressible.

Yesterday, we got to hike through these forests to these waterfalls and play in them. Honestly, I have never yelled and laughed and enjoyed myself as when we were playing for sooo long. We climbed down right under them and the blast would sometimes pin us against the rock and just beat us silly. AWESOME. Later last night I hung out with a random traveling Canadian named Tim. We played guitar and talked about life.

Oh, and I was able to practice being silent and still so much. There were times when I wouldn't be able to do anything for a couple of hours... And so I just sat. Often during these times GOD would question why I wasn't talking to HIM since I was so bored. Its weird to think that we spend so much time stressing and wondering and planning, and so little time talking it out.

Welp. I gtg. I love you cats. Crazy to think that I still have a month and a half left huh?

drew

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ubuntu- I am, becuase we are.

And just like that the lights went out. Everything was pitch black. The light abandoned us through tiny pinpricks that instantly appeared in the sky. My hand stalled and a smile crossed my face, powers out again. In a way, it was comforting. I resumed my task and began stirring the liver again until the sizzling started to lessen. I glanced back up. The sky captivated me, drawing me in. The stars are different here you know. Like most of life here, half of the horizon boasts close variations of familiar designs, while the other side is captivatingly novel. I was becoming overwhelmed by GOD's goodness through His creation, when I felt it. The old woman was staring at me from the darkness across the charcoal stove. I couldn't see her, but I felt it. Our eyes locked in the blackness, and in a quiet way it was pacifying. The woman was of a different time, dark skinned blurred by years of memories. She crept with a powerful hunch, and her tongue only named the world through the words of her people. She was a mystery, and I knew she stared at me. I gazed back into the emptiness unafraid. In the moment, we saw each other for who we were. Not just physical bodies, or contrived personalities, simply us. Our essences mingling, I was lost in our invisible gaze. Then, without warning, the lights came back on, and I saw that we were strangers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

WHOA we're half way there... WHOA living on a prayer

Welp. Today is the day, I'm half way through my little excursion, and let me assure you that is weird. Not really becuase I feel as if time has just flown by,although it has, but because I feel like I have been gone forever.

My time thus far has been up and down, but excitedly mostly up. Overall the last 2 and a quarter months have been some of the more positive times in the last couple of years. Not to say everything is perfect... I still furiously disdain writing papers, the program is hard and every once a blue moon I do find myself missing people, but its been good.

Sometimes I get messages from people about how I'm supposed to be here, and that GOD is using me and my situation constantly. This is encouraging. So I want to convey a completely related truth to whoever reads this... GOD totally wants you where you are, He is using you, and is growing you in awesome ways. Just like I expect to learn or do something impactful everyday, and so I often catch more of the lessons He wants to teach me, if you have the same expectations I guarantee you'll pick up on alot of His lessons.

sigh...

on another note I've been playing guitar once every 2 or 3 days since being here and have rediscovered my love for leading worship and writing songs. Now, to be honest I never lost this love, but I just never pursued lately it in the presence of others (with a couple exceptions) I hope this will continue to be a part of my life for a while.

Just so you know the weather this last week has been getting slightly hotter (or maybe I'm just getting tired of always wearing dress pants...) My beard is getting quite a bit bigger. I'm starting to enjoy ironing my clothes every morning and taking a bucket bath everynight. Oh, and I sleep at least 9 hours a night.

I've also severely slacked in the physical activity... I played soccer the other day at a compassion international daycare type place and thought I was going to pass out. haha. It would shame any soccer coach I ever had. But hopefully I'm going to go running today, well.. maybe tomorrow.

welp yeah that's about it, I gotta go read for class and then write my paper... "How did the Creation account influence the formation of the political philosophies of Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo?" fun fun stuff...

(saying fun fun stuff reminded me of fun dip, which immediately translated into dunkaroos... I wonder if there is a single dunkaroo on this continent... haha.)

I love you guys,
drew

Just because I wonder doesn’t mean I’m lost
Just because I’m not here doesn’t mean I’m gone
I just can’t buy what you’ve bought
I’m not satisfied with the cost

Friday, October 9, 2009

The email

I freeze and begin to come apart, grasping for anything to keep me together, I find nothing within arms length. So I start to fall, tumbling, splintering, splitting apart at every seam. I hit the ground hard, and the impact ripples through my now disjointed self, like a vase off of a shelf I have hit the floor and now fragments of my mind are covering the carpet. This whole occurrence takes place without a noise, but with a flash of white light, I'm back together. I find I’m intact. Everything is just as it was... my body is still, fingers poised over the keyboard, and my eyes reading the words in the email. I hesitantly glance up to see if anyone else in the room has noticed what just happened, that the world just changed. Nobody has flinched. I attempt to gather my emotions, to string together syllables with the capacity to explain the chaos in my heart, but nothing resembling coherence comes. I am alone here. I send off text messages to those who would know, but silence sings their reply. No solace will awake for eight more hours, for you see my world is still asleep. And so I want to call out, to speak up, or to break down, but no one would understand, and no words could give it justice. So I just sit here wondering what is holding me together. The curse words can't come, there is no guitar in sight, nothing to hit, and nowhere to run. I am stuck yet I know I am ok, for in some way I am still together. It doesn't make sense. I'd rather have fallen apart and had tears, my music, or a knowing hug rather than this odd composure, birthed from sudden, complete numbness. I tell everyone the basics of what has transposed, laugh at something insincere, and then prepare my escape. After an acceptable time has lapsed, just long enough to elude serious looks or questions, I get up slowly. I settle the shaking, and walk out of the room.
An hour later and I still haven't done anything at all, just walked around and had shallow interactions. Strangely, that weird binding agent, the mysteriously thing that held me together is increasing in intensity. Slowly rising forth to the surface of my consciousness, it annoys me, yet it grows in strength. I finally admit that I know what it is: the peace that Jesus Christ graciously gives. However, I don’t want it, I fight it, but its keeps covering me. Like one might fight a giant hug when they need it the most, or refuse medicine because that would mean they were sick, I throw up my arms in protest. My ineffective resistance is smothered, for I was already enveloped in His arms. I protest that this isn’t the kind of release I wanted, it doesn’t take away my pain, it only assures me that it is and will be ok. I find I am enabled to embrace the brokenness without fear or hesitation, for I know He will hold me together. Somehow, I will not be moved. The whole experience transcends understanding, as I am both overwhelmed by emotion, and calm in the simple acknowledgment that yes, yes, my GOD is holding me.

glory to the One I could never give sufficient praise to,
drew

Today the world is a little different


Monday, October 5, 2009

ok... so about 12 minutes to write this post.

Dear Everyone,

Sorry I have taken a little while to give a legit update, but I've been really hesitant to write anything.

I'm doing really well though, somedays a lot better than others, but eh thats life huh? Somedays I just walk around and half to laugh in joy about how beautiful life is, or how gorgeous creation is here, or sometimes I find myself lying in bed just basking in the love of Jesus. Those are wonderful wonderful moments. Everything seems bright and hope is found easily. Than there are days when I'm just plumb tired. I wrestle with ideas or challenges almost everyday here and sometimes you just get tired. Tired of wondering if I'm engaging in the community more, or if I'm being too much of a tourist, and weary trying to live a life of a neverending balancing act. On those days, I just pray emotionless prayers and try to note, evaluate, and then often disregard my emotions. I don't have time in life to have pity days. haha.

It is good. Today is 2 months since I've left home and I definitely feel adjusted (for the most part.) Classes are still challenging, but I should get a break this next week, and then in 2 and a half weeks I go to my rural homestay out by the border of kenya. (more details to follow.)

facebook... is a blessing and a burdern. enough said.

Its weird not being able to truly be there for people back home. I can love and encourage with words, but nothing equates to proximity. There is this longing sometimes just for teleportation, even if just for a second to look someone in the eye, tell them I love them, and then share a second hug. I know this is pretty cliche... but its endearing the things you miss, and freeing to think about the things you don't.

I'm starting 2 new books for classes now... and one of them is Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. it should be interesting... and is so far just explaining in detail over and over again, how bad the majority of the world sucks. haha.

Well... I got to go to class. Oh, and I went whitewater rafting on the Nile this last weekend. 36 km. It was fun.

cya guys, thanks for reading... I'll try to update more often.
with loaned love,
drew

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Question

If you have an answer... please give your input.


Are belief and Action inseparable?





more thoughts on this later...

Monday, September 21, 2009

I participate, therefore I am.





Hey guys,
I have so much work to do, but I started these pics to upload while I worked (takes about 45 minutes) so you could have something to look at. The people on the boat are fellow IMMEs (intercultural ministry and missions emphasis), the bird is a weaver who makes little ball shaped nests in trees, and the last one is one my friend took and it just kinda made me a bit happy.
anways, I'm doing pretty good, school is hard. I always have so so so much reading and deep wrenching discussions to carry out (which are quite fun, but sometimes a little too numerous and constant) I know that might sound funny coming from me... I mean I love "deep" convos but sometimes there's just so many questions, so much brokeness, so little time for rest, I just wanna go swimming or play guitar. Or chunk the frisbee with the neighborhood kids!
But life is so blessed in the end. The Lord is teaching me so much and just showering grace upon me. I love you guys so much. thanks for reading the blog.

oh and if you wanna see pictures of the family I'm staying with... check out Josh's blog... www.joshuaweed.blogspot.com
or at least I hope that's it.
anyways... back to reading about historical Christian political thought and its application for modern day uganda! haha.

drew

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To get a clearer picture.

My African mom sits next to me preparing Matoke over a charcoal fire. Josh just walked by and grabbed the torch (flashlight) to equip his venture out to the squattie-pottie. By my shoulder, little Mark is trying to cram more random Luganda words into my head, and under the table the cat Max is preparing to claw my feet again. Just another night in my Ugandan house and I’m now just trying to be present. Its quiet except for the TV (a computer monitor with 2 channels) breaking the noise softly in the background, which is quite different from then the monsoon-sounding rain that pelted our roof earlier today. Our house is a nice brick house with cement floors about a ten-minute red-dirt walk from the university. The academics here are pretty great so far. The schooling is British so lots of lectures, one or two huge papers, and mountains of nightly reading. Discussions are constant here, and I’m trying to learn how to prioritize my inputs and save my (unofficially) limited comments for times when they matter (which is hard because as I’m sure you guys know… I always have things to say.) The issues we’re dealing with are mostly new for me, and so for the first time in a while I’m trying to struggle towards solid answers over hard scenarios. Its fun, and I’ve been blessed with the ability to meditate over several issues. It’s amazing what GOD will do when you are constantly expecting HIM to teach you things.
On a lighter note, most of my free time in the neighbor (which isn’t a lot) is spent tossing the Frisbee with about 14 neighborhood kids… who all run away from it, but still call for “mzungus” to throw it to them. This last weekend we went to the farm where we’ll work “a good amount” on the Saturdays we’re in town. The grow matoke (a cousin of the banana and the staple food here), cassava, sweet potatoes (my favorite with g-nut sauce (peanut)), beans, cocoa, vanilla, and other things. Its very pretty here as its still the rainy season and so many trees have brilliant color flowers on them.
I still miss home quite a bit, but am slowly getting more adjusted to my schedule here… which on weekdays goes like… 7 am. Wake up. 7:30. Morning tea. 8 go to school 8:30 classes start. Work on school stuff almost unceasingly til 7 at night when we go home. Once home we have evening tea, wait and talk, and then eat around 9-9:30 where we watch part of the news and go to bed. Repeat.
It’s a good schedule and I’m starting to enjoy the restfulness of it. Since being here joy has come some easily, and I feel free. I’m constantly thankful to GOD for the grace and am learning how to live in the joy. Sometimes, that ever so familiar darkness threatens to rear its head. But GOD has strengthened me to be able to recognize it and refuse it for the lies that it brings. Freedom, Hope, Life, Love, and questions, and refusing the flesh are what my mind dwells on. I have received comfort from the confidence that I will go where the LORD wants me, and I will be who He wants me to be. This semester will not be easy, but that’s not what I would want anyways. Please pray that GOD would continue to transform my mind as is also my constant prayer.
Know that I am always trying to keep praying for those I am not with right now.
Love you guys,
Drew

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Innocence-written in Rwanda

Twisted corpse starts to smell
Bloody streets that brought forth hell
Empty eyes, distant shouts
My steadfast soul full of doubt
Maybe I machete in hand
Would have slashed, through this land
Raping, laughing, taken part
It's in my heart, in my heart
Bile, blood, and stranger's fear
On my heart, in my tears
Aching, shaking, heavy breath
Oh Lord God why such death
It hurts, it hurts, oh how it hurts
The hunger, the pain, and dying thirst
Place and time, have kept my hand
Innocent due to circumstance.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Catch Up...

Well… its been awhile. I’ve moved into my home in Uganda and classes have already started, but lets backtrack just a bit.

We arrived in Uganda very tired, albeit quite excited. Josh and I were really excited to meet new people and get into a schedule. Once arriving we stayed at the university for one night and then were taken to our new African homes. Believe it not Josh and I were randomly paired up to stay together, and as we were approaching our house there was a tired silence in the air. However, our African host mom ran out screaming for joy and enveloped me into her very large arms. Sometimes a good hug is all you need to completely change your attitude. Haha.

We stayed in their house for 2 days, were treated like royalty and then traveled with the rest of the Group to Rwanda where we studied, missions, development, and the genocide.
First lets talk about the missions and development… we talked to many different missionaries in all different capacities in Rwanda. Some were starting up businesses, others facilitated the selling of local crafts, others worked with different projects that centered on Discipleship through development and encouraging independent self-initiated reform. Pretty awesome stuff. Development work is a really tricky, long process where sometimes your heart has to be put on hold in order to long-term love the people, and not just satisfy their immediate needs.

The genocide… Its not possible to communicate everything that I encountered. Straight up. It’s one thing to watch Hotel Rwanda, and another thing to stand in front piles and piles of bones. It’s commendable to encourage forgiveness and reconciliation, but its hard to listen to a guy who squeezed under the bodies his dying family to escape his murdering neighbors. Man… its hard sometimes. A country of 10,000,000 where 1,000,000 were killed. 500,000 women survived rape (often by men known to have AIDS) and 2/3 of the country either displaced, fleeing, or held hostage.

That being said, I know it can’t matter to most of you. Numbers are impersonal and for me, impossible to grasp and associate with real people or real pain. I did however look in the eyes of the victims, and their stories are impossible to discount or shake off.

After Rwanda we went for a debrief and relaxation time on an island in southern Uganda. Definitely one of the most beautiful places on the earth.

On the way back, our bus broke down, we told life stories, sang Disney songs, and saw some zebras.

I am also beginning to think that this will be the hardest academic semester thus far in my career. Thank goodness for the grace of Pass or Fail when transferring grades.

I love you guys… Pray for me that I will love Jesus Christ with all that I am, that I will seize the many opportunities to gain discipline, that I can be a servant in my house, and for my friend Matt Lester.

Peace out from Africa,
drew

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm tired, but ready.

Well its over, and its just beginning. In about 4 hours Josh and I will wake up (at 3:45 am) and Leave England... (yeah... sorry I've been behind... I'll tell you how Switzerland ended up and how France was.)

uganda here I come.

(please pray that we will find energy in Christ. Neither of us will sleep much more than 4 hours tonight.)
love you guys...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

all the way to the alps

So... lets skip past the boring parts and just summarize my three days in florence and cinque terra. Super hard. I began to be heavily conflicted by the fact that I was backpacking in Europe while people starved. Could I still be in GOD's plan? Needless to say, that question tore me apart, and the wrestling's pain has been ebated by the decision to rejoice in my blessings and redouble my efforts to glorify GOD in everything I do. (Although before we completely skip past those super hard days I will admit that Florence is a lovely, if not very touristy, city, and the beach at cinque terra (which is a collection of 5 villages along the coast of western Italy) was pretty spectacular. The sand glittered. Seriously. The water was torquoise. At one point I had swum out about 40 yards and looked down through the water and could still perfectly see the bottom. So i thought, hm... must be about 8 feet deep. NO. I don't how deep it was but I couldn't reach when I dived down the couple of times I tried.)

Ok... So now we are in switzerland, and it is baller beautiful. Today was the most relaxing, music, bible, prayer. crazy love, napping, swimming, and being amazed by GOD's creation, day yet! Tomorrow I'm going to try to rent a motor bike and rip it up through some mountain trails... ;). Just kidding mom. (well, no not really... it'll depend how much it costs... its better than skydiving though right?)

anyway josh and I have 4 more days in Europe before we travel to Uganda and its good. I'm so excited for the remainder of the time, but I'm excited to move on to what's next to!

thanks for the prayer. It helps. I love you guys.

Drew

p.s. read josh's post. It^s usually most detailed than mine. plus, its funny to compare.

p.p.s. I^m trying to learn not only to love myself, (which has been super hard in the past) but how to obey the command to rejoice in the lord always. NOt that I^m against rejoicing but sometimes we make excuses and take ourselves to seriously or too critically to remember that we're just supporting actors in this wonder, epic, descriptionless, love story.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

hey dizzles,

The last two days have been pretty chill. Yesterday we went a just walked Rome for the majority of the Day. We saw a big ole castle and stuffed ourselves on pizza. The Trevi Fountain was also on the agenda so we stopped by and took some pics of that... (honestly, it looked like something that belonged in Vegas, but considering it was designed in the 1630's, its a mountain of impressiveness. Oh, and we stopped by the spanish steps. Lame. (Except for the nearby pirate looking ship with portholes that everyone filled their waters with.)

Last night we had fettucini Alfredo (a rare dish here) and pineapples for desert (a delicacy of sorts.) YUMMY!

Today we traveled to Pompei and Naples (but we're going to skip talking about Naples, becuase I don't want to come across rude.) Pompei was awesome though. Its a huge huge, brilliantly preserved archeological site, and it has a great view. It's just mind-boggling to walk around streets and buildings that could be up to 2500 years old. Also if you remember your history, people died pretty much instantly too. So, they have casts of their bodies... rrrreeeaaaaallllllllllyyyy weird.

Idk... I'm going to keep this post short, I'm kinda tired of typing already and people are waiting. So ciao!

drew

P.S. I began reading the book Crazy Love today. Please pray that GOD can use it to refresh my soul and sharpen my focus. Josh and I are on a unique mission field, and its hard to remember to seek, or even at least grab opportunities (especially when they hit you in the face and you're scared.) Pray that we walk as we should. Thanks.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tonights post- The Sequel

ROMA!

Yesterday we went to the Vatican. It was big and old. Actually Saint Peter's Basilica is the biggest church in the world filled with lots of statues and paintings (although they weren't really paintings but giant mosaics with tiny tiny nearly unnoticeable pieces.... AMAZING!) I also saw a giant pinecone, lots of latin words, and the sistine chapel, which grew more and more fantastic every minute you looked at it. The whole story behind it just made it better as well. Oh, and just so you know... in the sistine chapel there is also almost as huge painting by Michelangelo called the Last Judgement. Look it up... it's a pretty tubular 40 foot masterpiece. Last night we had lasagna (Stupendous!) and gelato (which tasted like a magically transformed brownie melting in my mouth.)

Today was my favorite day of the trip. We saw ancient Rome. It was so cool to just sit and try to imagine what it must have been like. I'm telling you, to walk among the ruins of the "greatest city on earth" you can't help but appreciate the thing. Not only was everything massive and brilliantly designed, but there were so many flowers and pretty trees that gave shelter from that cancer giving orb of destruction (and life... I'll give it some credit.) The whole day we continuously crept closer and closer to the Colloseum, and to be frank I was nervous it wouldn't live up to its reputation. It did though. The coloseum is stunning. The ancient romans accomplished a stupendous feat in its design and construction. I got jeebers standing on ground level and imagining the place packed with 70,000 people crying for me wreak havoc with my short sword and hide shield. Baller. When I wasn't filled with bloodlust, I was overtaken with curiosity reading every sign talking about the history and functions of the arena. (I have so much to talk about with my younger brother tommy! and don't worry I took close-ups of multiple signs so you can read them too.) Josh and I proceded to bum around the historic district until some night photos presented themselves, and finished tonight with meeting our new roomates (the other 6) and now typing this blog out. haha.

feeling- good, thankful, tired, a little more in rhythm.

GOD is so good guys. I hope for all my friends still in school. The beginning and preparations flow smooth and excitement would be abundant.

welp my extra hour is up. I love and miss you guys.

drew

Tonight's Post- The German-Austrian Connection/How did they solve the problem of Maria? Shoving her off onto the engaged Captain? sneaky nuns


haha. I have 15 minutes on the internet... so here its goes...

We took the night train to munich and were crammed into a sleeping car with 3 new-age super awesome free-thinkers on their way to a psychadelic hippy trance festival in the middle of a forested valley in the name of love. Needless to say they were awesome... we talked about prostitution, the film Zeitgeist... and they showed more love towards me than I did to them. (Not that that's a bad thing but when people personify Jesus more than the christian they're talking too... who was trying really hard too... ugh...its just awesome)

Munich was cool. All of the buildings are at least 5 stories except for their parks, which are one story and multiple times bigger than central park! We saw the Olympic stadium; the huge fantastic, modern, incredible, futuristic temple to the god of BMW; and we picked random german things off the Dinner menu to munch on! (I got the farmer's feast with 4 meats and saurkraut, while josh received some quiche looking things... haha. sucker, should've guessed german better)

The next day we went to Dachau (the concentration camp.) It was unbelievable (in a literal sense.) I walked around numb the majority of the time... finding it impossible to imagine the occurences that took place in the very buildings that I stood in. Sigh... definetly only a conversation for personal interaction, but I will admit I thought alot about the sinful nature that resides in all of us. I felt in my flesh's heart forming rationalizations, and some apathetic darkness wanting to rear its head. Our flesh is a jacked up scary thing... we shouldn't ever think of ourselves above the evils that others have done, becuase that darkest potential resides within each of us.

-------Thank you Jesus for a hope to deliver us not only from the world, but also ourselves------

So.... Wednesday, in an attempt to climb every mountain, we went Salzburg, Austria! Salzburg was the most beautiful city we've been to by far and thankfully my confidence in the sunshine held through the rain threatened! We toured this huge fortress/castles that turned out to be the oldest preserved in all Europe. It was tightizlle. As was the marionette museum... just kidding... freaky little things! After the fortress, I was leading, so we ran down to Nonnburg abbey! (Sound of Music... Hello!) Anyways I wish it was one my favorite things... but we went to the wrong side and couldn't get in so we left, (only to realize our grave mistake as we left Salzburg. haha. Super lame in retrospect.) We did however do-re-mi through the park that the kids did in the movie!!! (and I posed on the fountain... the pegasus one.) Oh, and we saw where motzart was born, his first violin, his first piano (with the key's colors reversed...), as well as a slew of other artifacts in his personal museum! Not too bad for 5 hours in a different country, so after we said so long, and fair well, we jetted slowly to Rome.

Whew... at this point I'll admit it. 15 minutes just aren't going to cut it for this post... I still have the last two days in Rome to talk about. So go... take a breather before you read the next one.

oh, and if you're a friend scanning through these the day before I see you again, so you can claim you read them or something... eh! haha. lame.... but thanks for the effort! Love you too.

but to the rest of you... thank you for your prayers and your care. I love you.

drew

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Please don't stop the music... or traveling... or suicide pace.

So.... lets recap the last 4 days.

I woke up thursday morning drowsy (probably due to the steroids wrecking havoc on my body in the name of vanquishing my poison Ivy that I contracted on the last day and a half of camp.) and began packing. After a stressfree :) couple hours my mom and dad took me to the airport and said goodbye. It was sad, but not too sad, because it didn't seem real.

Josh and I flew to Atlanta, and then to Heathrow, followed by the underground across london to the train station. We then joyfully/angrily dropped off our extra bags at storage for an arm and a nostril.

We Rode the superfast bullet train to Brussels (It was really cool actually.)

We arrived at 8:00 in Brussels and walked across the entire city, through a carnival, some parks, a sweet palace of justice, and a couple thousand people having a drunken dance party, and before arriving... thanks to a nice pity-filled belgium lady... at our hostel! We ended the night with a walk to the time square, an excited sighting of the MANNEKIN PIS (josh was not nearly as impressed), and delicious chocolate covered belgium waffles!

Saturday I woke up excited. It didn't matter that I smelled, or that our roommate came in quite inebriated (and later conducted a brilliant snoring symphony that I attended... free of charge!)
I was doing it. I was backpacking Europe with a friend, and ultimate freedom was mine.... boooohahahaha (evil/realizing-dreams/childish-joy-filled laugh.) We took lots of pictures of cool, gold old things and then left for Amsterdam.

Amsterdam was pretty awesome. We met up with my cousin Calley and my friend Liz and rented bikes for the day. While riding we saw the sights, ate turkish pizza, fed and cuddled the pidgeons, gaped at the canals, chilled on the roof of the YWAM mission, and then went clubbing. booya.

Today (day 4, Sunday) we woke up, walked late into church, visited a historic Holland village, and took pictures of huge windmills.

Tonight we're hopping on the overnight train to Munich!

Side Note: It was awesome seeing and experiencing things with Calley and liz. It was refreshing and now we share so many awesome new memories! I love them both very much. On a different note, hopefully as josh and I get more comfortable traveling we can start befriending random people. Keep praying that Jesus uses every second of our travels to teach us things and to plant seeds in others. Alot of people here don't even care about being "spiritual," and so I just pray that GOD can use my cowardice heart to at least shine for HIM with my actions.

Overall Feeling: good, tired, a little spiritually/emotionally empty, but excited and searching!

with much love,
drew


First Post!

Hey guys!

Well... since this is my very first post, I want to briefly summarize the manmade plans I have for the next fourth and a half months....

1. Go to Europe with my friend Josh Weed and backpack through Brussels, Amsterdam, Munich, Salzburg, Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terra, Zurich, and Paris... From Aug 6th til Aug 25. (We're hoping to learn alot about culture, GOD, and ourselves during this part of the trip, and I pray that we can be intentional in the moments that GOD provides us the opportunities to share his love and glory.)

2. Fly down to Uganda on the 25th to live with a local family and take classes at Uganda Christian University. My classes will focus on culture, history, religion, and missions. The whole experience is indirectly connected with JBU and designed to put us out of our comfort zone.... but I'll explain more of all that later.

3. On December 18th we will fly to London and chillax until 22nd, when the United States and I will reunite.

Thanks for reading guys, and for those of you who believe that pray changes things (and even those who don't, cause it does) please exercise your gift to talk to our perfect Father! Goodness knows prayer is needed.

I'll miss alot of you guys.
love you,
Drew