miércoles, 18 de agosto de 2010

The weather is warming up and life is too

I think spring is finally trying to break through! I have been waiting forever to walk past the park and see it full of people sitting out on the grass soaking in the sun. I just realized i haven't written in a while! I think its been two weeks and so much has happened! So i guess i'll just start from the most important things i can remember. And i will save the best for last :)
First of all, we took our first trip this weekend! It was me, my friend Jess and Carmen and new friend Clare from Wales! It was a long weekend (celebrating San Martin-liberator of Argentina everyone loves him here) and we decided we had to take advantage and after a month in the city it felt about time to get some fresh air. So we planned on going to Córdoba- a popular destination for porteños (people that live in Buenos Aires) to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is, however, the second largest city in Argentina. Attractions: its a colonial towns so lots of beautiful cathedrals and old buildings. But outside the capital its a popular "outdoor activity" kind of place: horseback riding, hiking, paragliding (which i reallllly wanted to do) etc etc. So there are lots of little towns that surround Córodba that are popular to visit and there is the real life Argentine landscape which iconically and wonderfully reminds me a lot of Slo and home! Rolling hills, (may a little more mountainous) with tall grass, horse and cows.
We ended up booking the ten hour bus ride tickets the morning of (3:30am) and the hostel and since everything was filling up i was nervous so i just booked the first one that was good enough. So, i was super nervous the next day about the trip hoping it all would work out. And we got on the bus at 11 30 at night (super comfy seats that recline all the way back) went to sleep and woke up at 8 and ......we were in Córdoba! The Hostel was seriously the bomb, painted all these cool colors, realy comfortable really inviting fun people working there and staying there--all in all super great. We toured the city- took another bus out to a random town with a grrreat hiking spot called Uritorco with a river to follow. Met some Argentine camping friends and their adopted stray dog, went home, had a great dinner of wine and pizza and danced a little salsa. The next day we took a bus tour of the Argentine country side, lakes, taste tested salami, cheese and homemade bread, went to a little German town called La Cumbrecita- beauitful etc etc it was wonderful and we made it home safely. Planning and executing a trip like that was so liberating and so fun, and getting to know those girls better was great.
Ok but the story i really want to tell happened today! I should preface this by saying- the past two weeks or so have been great, but as always there are ups and downs. And it was just starting to feel kind like everyday- wake up eat breakfast, maybe run around the park, eat lunch go to class come home maybe do hw, read, write go to sleep with some random fun activities through in. But i've just been praying and thinking-- Lord is this the purpose you had me here for? To live, grow with you, and love the people around me in hopes that they would see you? Just thinking back to spring quarter at Calpoly, the Lord was literally blowing my mind everyday in the way he worked. And although i have felt him here with me, i know that he is working here, but i want to see it! So ....today i went to volleyball practice- always feels good to kick off the rust and play. Today there were a good amount of people there and we're gearing up for our first game... haha. But there was a new girl there today- outfitted in vball shoes and socks, and was just all in all a really good player. Anyways, her name is Moya and after practice i found out she lives two blocks from me so we walked home together. As we were talking she was telling me how her homestay was going and she went on to say that it was ok but sometimes there is just tension- trying to figure out what the host mom wants and expects from her. Her host mom is probably in her late 60s and it is just Moya and the host mom in the house.....sound familiar? Literally everything she was saying about- feeling like the host mom was critical of her and its just hard living in someone else home--i have felt that same way! Everything she was saying i was tracking with. -But the way she talked i just felt like we were on the same page and i had thins thought in my head--just ask her if she is a christian it wouldn't be weird--. I didn't but a couple minutes later we were stopped on a street corner chatting and she mentioned something about church and i was like--wait, are you a christian!? And she was like YEAH! i thought you were too!! And we literally started jumping up and down so excited to find a sister in Christ in this big city. And from our reactions this wasn't just a -cool we can be church buddies, but i could tell she has been longing for community with other believers in this city. She knew exactly how i felt- being here seeking the Lord and waiting to find him. Then we both started talking about how it has been, being here spiritually and the way she spoke i knew that she has experienced my Jesus. Every way she described him and waiting on him and seeking him out everyday --she has such a beautiful and devoted heart for the Lord. She isn't here to experience Buenos Aires as much as she is to bring Jesus wherever she walks. Finally. To find someone with the same heart and purpose. She started praying right then thanking the Lord that we had met and it was so good to hear someone pray out loud and talk to the Lord. She went on to tell me about some cool conversations of encounters shes had since being here and that she found a church that shes been going to! And, that her and another girl are going to start doing a bible study! All things i have been dying to hear.
It was a meeting planned perfectly by the Lord. I am so encouraged by her, who she is, her love for Jesus, but also i am so reminded that the Lord does work in ways that are obvious and evident. He does have great things planned for this place and i do believe and am going to strive after seeing them. Everyday lived with the Lord is a day where he can move in amazing ways. Sometimes i forget that, but this was such a reminder that it is true! Jesus knew that i needed that encourgament and that divine encounter to remind me to strive after the things he has here.

These have been my encouragements of the past weeks.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God...Where is the wise man?Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolishness the wisdom of this world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe...but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than mans wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than mans strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many were wise by human standards...But od chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and teh despised things--and the things that are not --the nullify the things that are so that no one may boast befor ehim. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us the wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore as it is written:'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord'" 1 Corinth 1:18-31

There are so many times when i feel weak. When i feel crazy. When it seems like God isn't of that great of importance by the people around me. But he is everything. he is our wisdom, our righteousness holiness and redemption. It is ok that i feel weak because--i am weak. that is a true statement. And in my weakness Jesus takes over. In my weakness he shines even brighter and the fact that he chooses to use me, so weak as i am, to bring his power forth is wild. It is an honor. Obviously i forget these things and i don't like feeling weak but it is so good to let the Lord take over. So this is something i am reminding myself of constantly. But man right now i am praising the Lord. Meeting Moya was such a boost and a reminder of Jesus here. Ah so good to see Him moving.

lunes, 2 de agosto de 2010

Week 3!

hola!! guys i wish i could come up with creative blog titles, but i think my creativity is slowly dwindling haha, so thanks for sticking with me anyways! plus there are just so many different things to tell you about i can't come up with just one thing to title it as!
alright so last time i wrote i remember that i was feeling kinda discouraged and overwhelmed. would you believe that Jesus answered that prayer literally the next morning after i blogged?? of course, he always does. I went on a walk to a "lake" near where i live and sat for awhile on a bench with all the geese swimming by reading Isaiah 51 and it was awesome. This was the encouragement i was offered.
"For I am the Lord your God who churns up the sea so that its waves roar-the Lord Almighty is his name. I have put words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand- I who set the heavens in place who laid the foundation of the earth and who say to Zion "You are my people"' v.15-16
It was just one of those moments where i was reminded that i am in the hand of the Lord, that he is in control and he is why i am here, and he is why i am alive. -Some how that just sets all fear, all worries, all anxiety at ease in a supernatural way. I am also reminded that while I am here, and in life in general, there are times that are hard, where we feel afraid but the Lord is good and he is working in us all the while that we struggle.
And its been such a blessing that the past week has been awesome. God has given me a heart that is excited for what the next days hold. And the past few days have held alot of exciting things! Hmm let me think, ok did some dancing, spent a rainy day at El Ateneo which is an opera house turned into a libreria (bookstore). The best place to spend any rainy day. On Saturday i went to go visit my friend Mette- the injured one, at her homestay which is a 20 minute bus ride to a more residential neighborhood, which i love because it feels more like real like haha i mean i guess city life is real life for some people jsut not for me. And her host mom is so precious, she is an english teacher- perfect for an international student learning english right? Since mette was homebound because of her soccer injury we watched Mama Mia--who doesn't love singing along to Abba yeah?- and that jsut began this day filled with music!! Gosh i am starting to realize how much i miss music! Adjusting to living in a new place i haven't been listening to it that music or having a chance to play at all.
But Mette's fam has a piano and so i was playing it and then her families brother, Fran (probably in his late 20s, i think he's an actor ) came in and busted out his guitar and started singing folk songs in spanish! Then the mom grabs her guitar and joins in! There is nothing i love more than a good zamba. Seriously i am loving the Argentine folk music. He'd play a song on guitar then i'd play one of the piano. Then he was filling us in on the different Argentine folk music. Mette and i spent the rest of the day looking up stuff on youtube and listening to music!! A little Andrea Bochelli, a little James Morrison, whatever -Marielle if you ever read this i have to confess i showed her a vid of you singing--you are one of my favorite artists, and Mette is an appreciator of good music :) But it was just one of those really good days and Mette is one of those people where whatever we do its a blast, and we always end up experiencing random Argentine moments together. -Fran invited us to come to his house next Saturday and see some bands play- uh yeah thats only what ive been waiting for! Music! Sad that the day ended by me being really allergic to their cat and sneezing all the way to the bus stop, but no importa it was a great day.
The next day we got to play tourist and saw the Argentina i have been waiting for. All the kids in my program, along with one of our directors Lucila took a trip to the antique fair in San Telmo. Ok so let me paint you a picture. First of all San Telmo is one of the older neighborhoods, strongly Italian where the tango originated. Cobble stone streets, people performing tango, little old Argentine men serranading with their guitars, and...a giant antique fair!! Which is like a flee market but everything is authentic and is from Argentina which just makes it so much cooler. Ah. I couldve sat at cafe soaking it in forever. Then we made our way to Recoleta to another feria. Recoleta is another neighborhood and its where many of the aristocratic families lived back in the day and still do i guess. One of the gems of the neighborhood is the cemetary. I don't knwo how to do it justice but it is like a little town of moseleums and tombs that adorned with statues and rotundas. Its like all the cool buildings of europe put right next to each other- except they are where these rich families are buried. its wild. Evita Peron is buried there too so we visited her tomb. Its one of those things that blows your mind that so much money and work was put in to house dead bodies. But at the same time it is really incredible.
Sunday morning--highilght, Silvia and I went to breakfast together! It was great i hope we get to do it every week. I definitely feel like i am understanding her better and what she expects and wants from me and it was fun to get to do something like that with her. I ve just been asking the lord to show me ways to love her, so that was great.
Ive been getting more and more excited to continuing exploring this place. And the past couple days God has been putting a joy in my heart to seek him out everyday. A handful of the people in my program i have been getting closer to and its been awesome. I want Jesus to use me to speak his truth to them, but i'm also learning--love the Lord, and love them, and He's going to provide those opportunites. I'm still reading through Jeremiah and i'm telling you if you haven't read it, or haven't read it in a while--read it, it is awesome. --The Lord is allowing Israel to be overtaken by a pagan nation-Babylon and hes telling them even though they are being taken over they will not be destroyed. he says
"Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on the earth and hear of all the good things i can do for it. And they will be in awe and tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace i will provide it" Jer. 33:9

Well thats the update!--ps tonite i went to the volleyball practice for the university's club team--and i rekindled my love for volleyball. --felt so great. and i think that BTE should start brushing up in the fall because i think its time for us to make a come back :)

Usually, i am not that good at responding to emails and fb messages, but you guys, since i've been here, i live for hearing from you all. i look forward to my nightly routine of reading a little, writing a little blog sometimes, and responding to messages. and i love writing letters. so if you want to have a pen pal i'll be one!!
In that case here's mine, (Silvias) address.
1730 La Pampa Floor 6 Apt. C
(1428) Belgrano, Buenos Aires Argentina