Tag Archives: Life

Trying to Keep up

I haven’t been blogging much lately on here, cuz I’ve been blogging a lot over on my ministry site, Shine International.  It’s not that I don’t WANT to blog on my personal blog site, it’s just that it’s become easier to blog over on the Shine one.

Maybe it’s because writing about my personal life has become more complicated than it used to with all the craziness going on…. or maybe it’s because most of my personal life has been devoted to ministry life, and there’s more to say in that respect.  Either/or, if you miss me or just want to know what I’m up to, you should subscribe to our Shine Blog, and you’ll get more of me than you ever wanted! (hehehehehehehe)

And just in case your curious, here’s some highlights from the last couple weeks:

  • Went up to Haifa for 3 days to get out of Tel Aviv.  Fabulous!
  • Started playing Basketball every Monday Night with Refugee kids from my neighborhood. Fun!
  • Returned to “room-mate less” status once again. Sad!
  • In the process of switching majors at the university before the year begins. Frustrating!
  • Preparing for Mexican Fiesta 2: The Sequel at my house this weekend. Yummy!
  • Dreaming of Pumpkin Spice Latte’s and Fall Family Bliss. Always!

What’s your’s been looking like?


Frustration Morphed

I must admit… I’ve been frustrated! Sometimes I feel like my calling is also a curse.

No one wants to come visit me at my place… I can’t find a roommate who isn’t afraid of my neighborhood… And don’t even get me started on other circumstances going on these couple of weeks.

Like I said, frustrating!

There are moments when I get a bit upset with all the talk of reaching out to those with the greatest need, but when it comes down to it, for most people its really from the comfort of their own homes.  Sure, its easy to go into the dark areas for a day of outreach, then hop back in the car and head home to an easier lifestyle. If we are called to be the LIGHT in the dark, how can we do that if we’re not willing to actually BE in the dark?

Yes, I know that not everyone is called to live in the worse of the worst areas… not everyone is called to the same people groups or the same neighborhoods as I am; but for once it would be nice if just SOMEONE else was!  For once it would be nice to not feel like I’m alone in this calling, or this darkness.

Then there are moments, like this morning, when I woke up and embraced my calling.  Knowing that without a shadow of a doubt this is EXACTLY where God wants me.  Realizing that no matter if a thousand people are called to my neighborhood or just me, THIS is my home.

Yes, outside its rough… yes, its disgusting… yes, I’m surrounded by drugs, prostitution, and worldly rubbish… but inside is completely the opposite.  I love my apartment!  I feel safe, secure, and loved here.  I absolutely know that it has been a gift from God from the very beginning.

So, in the midst of all the frustration and challenges of life, this morning I was able to appreciate my life for what it really is.  I might be physically walking these streets alone, but spiritually I NEVER am!


Church Bells or Hell’s Doorstep

My mom recently sent me this quote by a Doctor who works in Bangladesh with Samaritan’s Purse, and it’s stuck with me since:

Some yearn to live within the sound of a church bell.  I’d rather run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.

Wow! Can this guy read my heart or what?!?

As most of you know, these past months have been difficult for me.  I’ve been honest with my struggles, even blogging about some of them.  Life, no matter where you live, or what you do, isn’t always easy.

But, here’s a little secret: I wouldn’t trade mine for anything.

I can’t tell you the last time I actually heard church bells, or anything even close.  I hear the call of prayer at mosques more than often, and as far as living within a yard of hell….well, mine’s more like a meter.  AND it’s right where I’m meant to be!

I can relate to this statement with every breath I take.

So through thick and thin, the good and the bad, the beauty and the ugly…I have to admit… I still choose life within a meter of hell than life within the sound of a church bell.

It’s where I’m meant to be!


I’m in way over my head

The one thing that has been ringing true for me these past couple weeks is this:

I’m in way over my head.

It’s the scariest thing to feel, but its also the most beautiful.

Beautiful????

Yes, beautiful.  Because WHEN I come through it, I will be able to say with absolute honesty that it wasn’t me!

It was all Him!

There is no way I could do this all on my own. I’m in the midst of madness, and it is only going to get crazier.

  • Learning 2 very difficult languages at the same time (Hebrew and Arabic)
  • Taking classes for my Masters Degree
  • Sudanese Ministry
  • Planning the new youth center and all that it entails (which is a lot, I’m learning)
  • Working on the ministry website
  • Homework/Studying/Reading/Writing
  • Blogging (of course)
  • AND just trying to breathe!!!

So, as you can see, I an in WAY over my head here….

Isn’t it just beautiful???


Tag along Tuesday

Many of you have asked me what a typical day looks like on the field.  Let me just start by saying, NO day is a typical day. Everyday is a new surprise, and I don’t really have a 9-5 type schedule, but just for kicks I will take you along on yesterdays journey so you get somewhat of an idea:

6:45: Alarm goes off and immediately I think, NOOOOO! Not yet! (Now this IS typical for everyday)

7:40: After I’ve gotten ready and organized, made my coffee (a must!), I head out to catch the bus (1 of 2).  The first bus is about 10 minutes, then I walk another 5 to get the 2nd bus, which is about 20 minutes depending on the traffic and the driver.

8:30: Intensive Hebrew class

13:15: Finally Hebrew is finished and I’m back on the bus again.  This time a different one that will take me all the way from one side of the city to the other.

14:00: Arrive in the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. Grab a quick bite to eat and begin walking to the place we rent for the Sudanese Food Distribution.

14:20: I see the 2nd padlock we put on the door for extra security, reminding me I don’t have the key.  Brent arrives and he also is reminded that he doesn’t have the key.  Our dilemma begins.  Do we try to run all the way home and get the key (about 40 min round trip) or do we ask our “neighbor” who is a welder to just cut off the padlock with his cutter machine.  We opt for Choice 2.  Its starting to become a TII moment.  Our welding neighbor plugs in his cutting machine to a long, huge extension cord in order to reach our door.  Its a sight to see!  He starts cutting our padlock… sparks flying everywhere, Sudanese women running for their lives, and without so much as a mask on his face.  But, the lock was cut off….Success!

18:30: We finish with Food Distribution and I am on yet another bus heading for home.  

19:00: YES! I’m back home. I take a quick shower, make something to eat (tonight’s menu is pasta) drink an iced coffee and sit down on my varanda to breathe.

20:00: I am able to check my email, read some tweets and blog a little.

21:00: Homework! I have 2 pages of Hebrew to work on…grrrrr!

21:45: Attempt to do a little reading, and catch up on my OT journey. (I’m currently in Leviticus.)

23:00: Lights off.  I am trying to go to bed early tonight with no avail.  I get an SMS at 11:30 from a friend who had arrived back in IZ.  They are in line for Passport Control.

00:00: I get another one saying they got in.  I’m happy for them, but I am also tired.  

00:15: I think I finally dozed off…..

There you have it! Not always glamourous or exciting, but definitely interesting and worth the calling! Thanks for tagging along…..


Cramps, Humidity, and Insomnia

There are days when you are just NOT on your A game, and today is that day!  I’ll admit it, I’m crabby!

On top of having bad cramps, sweating the moment I step outside, and not having slept much in the past week, I had to come home last night and re-cut my hair after the hairstylist totally did her own thing.  The icing on the cake though, was coming home and finding condoms on the floor inside my apartment building, outside the flats where prostitutes live and work.  I don’t need to see OR walk over that!  Two words: TRASH BIN!!!

So there you have it.  A different side of me (unless you’re my family and you already know the crabby Mo).

Tomorrow will be better!


Relationships are hard!

Relationships are hard! 

Friendships, dating, marriage, family, or whatever kind they are there is one thing in common…..

Relationships are hard!

It seems like now matter how difficult it becomes or whatever pain they have caused, we seem to continue to dive back into them.  Sometimes I ask myself, “why?”  Why do I continue to trust after someone has betrayed it?  Why do I continue to love after someone has broken my heart?  Why do I continue to put faith in others when they have let me down?  Why do I continue to place hope in finding the someone I will spend the rest of my life with, when none in the past have?

Why? Why? Why?

For me it all comes down to this…we were created to be relational.  We were created to have people  in our lives even when we don’t think we want it.  We created for each other…to live, laugh and love. 

So, when I feel like giving up…..when I feel like letting go…..when I feel like casting aside, I need to remember that relationships are hard, but they are worth it.  

I am so grateful for all of you who continue to read my thoughts and rants, who comment and show me love, and for all the relationships I have gained throughout my life!!!  Even though most all of you are far away in distance, you are close in my heart ❤


Fallbacks

When I’m in a funk I have a few fallbacks that I tend to lean on.  These either put a smile on my face, make me laugh, or put me in a comfort zone that tends to lull away the issues at hand.  My typical fallbacks are (but not limited to):

  • Friends episodes
  • The original Star Wars trilogy
  • Eating popcorn 
  • A long, hot bubble-bath
  • and my newest one…knitting (I just learned how to)

So, its no surprise that tonight I popped a bag of popcorn, put on the Best of Friends, Season 4, and made my way through some more rows on the scarf I’m working on. Even though my fallbacks are only temporary means to dull the pain, they do the job for the moment.  

What about you??? Any fallbacks that you tend to use in times of need?  I could always add to my list….


Reflections at 34…

Last year I was enjoying a fine-dining dinner of KFC, thanks to the generosity of Thrive Africa staff in South Africa. The year before that…in the bush of Botswana (sadly, no KFC or anything else remotely close).  

Another year, another birthday, another country.  

This year I am 34!  

I tend to look at birthdays in a negative light, don’t ask me why.  I guess its the getting older part that doesn’t suit me too well, and unfortunately I have this ‘glass half empty’ attitude when it comes to this day.  I think things like…

‘No husband, no kids, no house with the picket fence, no dog….’ etc.

I do it every year, and every year I end up a tinge bit disappointed.  But this year I am vowing to look at it from the ‘glass half full’ attitude (or at least I’m going to attempt to).  Instead of thinking of the things I don’t YET have, I am going to make a list of the things I have been incredibly blessed to experience throughout my 34 years on this earth.  I’m turning over a new birthday leaf.

As we say in Hebrew…. la chaim! (to life!)


Cape Town…apparently

Out of pure boredom the other day, I took a fb quiz entitled, “Where should you be living?”  Here was my result:

ctThe quiz wasn’t too far off…I completely love Cape Town and could see myself living there.  Sooooo, here’s the question of the day.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose to live????


Q: What does a Canadian, a German, and an American have in common?

A: Rehov Frishman. Apt. 808!  

Yep, thats right….I now have 2 roommates.  Michelle just arrived from Canada today, which makes us 3 in my apartment.  She is volunteering with Calvary Chapel for a year, and will be sharing her life (and some yummy Tim Hortons coffee) with us. My other roommate, Anja, is from Germany, and has been here since the end of January.  She is staying in Israel until August, also volunteering with Calvary.  

This has been a bit of an adjustment for me, having roommates again; I really haven’t had one since my first year in Brazil, back in 2000 (WOW!!! Has it been 9 years since then?!?).  Being as the cost of living is soooo high here in Tel Aviv, it really isn’t an option for me to live alone, and so far I am enjoying the company.  

Maybe  Hopefully, this is God’s way of preparing me for a permanent roommate of sorts in the near future…..if you know what I mean 🙂


Happy New Year!

2009! Here we are…

I don’t do New Years Resolutions any more since I hardly ever follow through with any of them.  I only have one resolution, which is a lifelong one: to walk daily in the purpose God has for my life.  That’s it!  It’s only one small sentence, but wrapped up in it is every hope, dream, passion, struggle, laugh, tear, and smile I posses.  It’s gonna be a great year!


In the news…

crashToday we were rocked with news of a huge catastrophe in Eilat (a city at the southernmost point of the country).  A huge tourist bus tumbled into a ravine killing 25 Russian travel agents and injuring many more.  The rumors on the street is that there were 2 busses involved, and they were each trying to reach the checkpoint first.  Its even on record now for the deadliest traffic accident in Israel’s history.

While this is horribly tragic, what I find interesting is that is became such a huge piece of news.  I hate to say it, but people die from bombs and gunfire everyday near/on the borders here. Unfortunately, its gotten to the point where this has become the norm, and hearing about this type of tragedy has not become ‘top news’.  I am deeply saddened by the news of this bus crash, of course, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder why we are becoming numb to what is happening to the people loosing their lives in Gaza/the West Bank. When will we recognize that one life is just as precious as 50 others.


All I want is a shower!

Today was one of those days!  We’ve all had them, I’m sure, so you can probably relate in some way or another…

Dave and I were the only ones working at the shelter today, which not only means more work, but constantly needing to be aware of everything.  That being said, one girl attacked another one (God only knows what that was about), leading to tears and bloodshed…another girl brought in drugs and we caught her with it in the bathroom…and another girls’ mind was so lost she was rambling on and on, making no sense what-so-ever the entire time she was there.  EXHAUSTING!  On top of all that, we still had all the daily to-do’s piled on.

While I was waiting for my bus to take the 30 minute trek back home, I thought, “All I want is a shower!”

The moment I walked in the door, I turned on the heater for the water. (We can’t just turn the faucet on here and get hot water.  It has to be heated up first, which takes about 20 minutes.) Usually my hot water runs out in the middle of the shower, so today I wasn’t in the mood for that. (I waited 45 minutes before getting in.)  

Needless to say that shower was the most glorious event of my day!  Like I said in the beginning…today was just one of those days!


My Quick $.02

I don’t usually write about politics or US economy, but it seems like its all I hear right now.  When I’m overseas I just get snippets about what’s going on, and even then it doesn’t phase me much.  I don’t want to sound cynical or simplistic, but for me it comes down to this… ‘with much power comes much responsibility’. Whether it be power in your job, your family, your business, your choices, or your country; if you have any power whatsoever you have responsibility.  

The problem seems to be that we have taken that responsibility for granted and now we are in a financial crisis.  Many Americans have an incredible amount of credit card debt, yet continue to shop like crazy.

Our country has been extremely blessed and many opportunities abound here.  I have met soooo many people from around the world who would give anything to live in the states.  WE ARE BLESSED!  But I will say it again: with power (and blessing) comes responsibility.  I hope we are beginning to understanding that!?!


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