Saturday, December 22, 2007

Travels Begin

Nathan and I left Engavagen, left our home for the next 3 months unsure of anything except for the fact that there will be alot of traveling. We headed to Bodo and stayed with a couple. From the time that Dan picked us up untill we left it was very awkward. The couple was incredibly kind and took us to the airport in the morning. Flying to Oslo, we hopped on a train and took it into the city. Nathan and I stored our bags in the bus station and walked around Oslo for about 6 hours. It was really cold, 8 below but we stayed positive just thinking that in a couple weeks were going to be in 20 below weather, anyways we walked all around the city, went to some shopping centers, walked the streets, back alleys and walked to the Kings Palace. A huge building, had me questioning why one man need such a large building to live in. Later that evening we took a bus to the other Oslo airport about 2 hrs away.

Finally arriving in Liverpool around 1130pm, about time...we walked out to the entrance of the airport to find that Nathans friend was not outside waiting, we werent sure where he was. Nathan called Joy (A girl he had meet last time he was there) and she said that she was at work and last she had heard is that Will (Nate's good friend) was on his way. We waited for about 20 min and then Will walked in quickly looking around glancing right over us and then realizing it was us he apologized for being late. Finally arriving at Will, Kurzon and Lukes appartment was reliving.

The following day was one that I will not quickly forget...Will, Kurzon, Nate and I drove to Wales, about 2 hours away. If you have ever read or heard Welsh it is a very, very strange language!!! Anyways we went to a small town, inside walls from what used to be a very nice, quite old castle. Walking around Wales was an incredible day but I was ready to return home and just take it easy. Returning back to Will's apartment we walked to a local Curry Joint and had the most amazing chicken curry. We walked to "The White Room" which is a coffee shop where Joy works...we had a good time just hanging out and eating and basiclly just getting to know each other...

Thursday evening was our big evening. Nathan, Joy, Will and I were the main cooks along with a couple who helped at the end. We cooked from 11 am untill 8 pm and had the most amazing christmas feast consisting of Gamman (a lot like ham), veggies and much much more. About 20 some people came and after dinner an evening of relaxing, letting food settle, poker and much more unfolded coming to an end around 3 in the morning. Friday was our tour day going into the city, seeing both the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals. If you have a chance deffinantly check both of the cathedrals out!!!

Well I am here in Denmark now and the feeling of Christmas is in the air however I cant bring myself to think its actually Chistmas. In Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark and Sweeden) they celebrate Christmas on the 24th and no matter what you cant pursuade them other wise. We have found that it is no use to argue. Well we are about to have our Christmas dinner (A DAY EARLY) but soon I will be on the move again. Continue to pray for me and for the team I am on going to Tibet. Pray also for the rest of my travels, I am leaving for Latvia on Friday going to see Madara and her family with Nathan once again.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dwindeling Numbers

As we reach out closer and closer to Christmas, more and more people leave the base everyday. So far all but two staff are gone and only about half the students remain. Many have returned home for the holidays however Nathan and I will travel quite a bit. We are going to fly from Oslo to Liverpool on Monday. On the following friday we will go to Denmark to visit Line's Family along with several of the students from the base with not many others places to go. Finally we will arrive in Latvia to visit another student...through New Years and then back to Oslo for a couple days of meetings and reunions before we all split up again and head off to outreach. It is sad walking around the usually non stop talking, yelling, laughing...a place where normally you are not able to have time to yourself is completly quiet. The loss of sunlight (you cant see the sun anylonger, just a little bit of light from 11am-130pm) has a huge effect on us, lucky for my team and I we will have plently sun in Tibet as we will be on average 16,000ft up. We will be at the base of the Himalayas, so I am not even able to imagine the beauty in wich we will gaze at everyday.
As the excitment grows each and every day so does a good amount of nervousness...traveling to a place where Christianity is illegal and where buddism has a dark, cold grasp arond the whole area we will have our share of struggles im sure. I have trouble imagining the amount of Spiritual Warfare that is and has been going on but the one thing that gives me the most hope is the fact that God is bigger than all of this and he is on our side.
So with all this in mind I leave you all untill I am able to get on a computer again...Adios, Hade Bra, Good bye...
Have a Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Practical Worship

Every Tuesday and Thursday we have worship...most of the time consitsting of someone on the guitar, piano and myself on the djembe. It is alot of fun to be involved with playing in the worship band but some mornings I feel like not playing and just sitting and praying and spending time not doing anything however Tuesday morning Anika (one of the worship leaders) had a idea to go outside and have fun, play, have a snowball fight but most importantly just enjoy Gods creation. So thats exactly what most of us did...
It was an incredible amount of fun and then afterwards we sat around a fire and talked about what or how we see God in the nature and how we can/are praising him. As we are coming to the end of our first half, everyone starting to pack and soon to all go our seperate ways for a couple weeks and then of to Tibet...
Tuesday evening the main families of the base cooked all of us a really nice christmas dinner. We had this pork rib stuff, potatoes, and basiclly a typical norwegian christmas was amazing!!! (The craziest part of the evening was getting everyone together for a photo but it finally happend). After dinner we all meet upstairs and just hung out and had fun...we watched a good 20min slide show and it was great looking back at how clean cut and nice people looked and how short peoples hair was and on and on...It was a really good laugh...
Im starting to become tired so im off to bed
Hade Bra (as they would say in Norwegian..."Have it Good")

Monday, December 3, 2007

In the dark

So its been a while...where to start...

Well we took a trip to Ternaby Sweeden for a half week of Ski and Snowboarding fun. It was a 6 hour trip consisting of 2 short ferry rides, one hour ferry ride and 3 1/2 hours of driving. It was amazing how in Engavagen we dont have much snow but inland there is a good 9-10 inches. Arriving in Ternaby we were all completly pumped up to go out on the slopes which were only 10 meters from (30 ft). Nathan, Lillian, Madara, Lars all decided to hike up the slope since the lifts were closed and do some "in the dark" snowboarding. It was a ridiculous amount of fun...falling, sliding, slipping and all in all bad snowboarding. The following day was amazing, I headed straight up the mountian with my super skills. I had a great day learining, trying tricks when I should just be trying to ride. Falling and falling and falling seemed to be the way that I learned best. All though I was incredebly sore I just kept going. I was making alot of progress, untill the last run of the day, I was about half way down and I wreked pretty badly hitting my head, not knowing where I was, not remembering how to get back to the cabin, Lars my good german friend came to me and helped me walk back. I went and just sat down and relaxed the rest of the night...

Tuesday was and incredible day, the sun was out and it was cold with a little bit of fresh snow on the already coverd ground. The morning, Nathan and I hit the slope and there was not anyone else there...INCREDIBLE!!! I started to become a little on the tired side and my headace started to come back so I sat in the lodge with Lance and Line and had a cup of hot chocolate (sjokolade paa Norsk) after we decided to see if we could get a free refill and guess what...we got one.

After lunch we were warming up again and Madara ran into me and broke part of my binding so I spent the rest of the day in the cabin with Courtenay. It was probably for the better.

Wednesday we had the option to pay a cheap price and go for a final day. I borrowed Bens board (he is just a little bit taller than me so his board fit me)...the first half of the day was sketchy because of the snow machines creating fog everywhere. You couldnt see anything, you couldnt see the hills untill you were going over the lip. After lunch I almost was ready to not go back out but the main slope was almost empty, there was one ski team there practicing but not many others. It turns out that the last couple hours were the best time of the week. I didnt fall once and the snow was nice and soft. I was riding fast and carving was amazing...

Returning to the base was nice...always nice coming home but then to leave again Friday was hard however we were headed once agian to Sorarnoy. I feel like I have another home there so it is always really nice to go there...the youth group was great we had a Chirstmas Party, made gingerbread cookies and decorated a christmas tree. And 2 of the kids stayed for a overnighter, had popcorn and watched "Narnia."The rest of the weekend was nice just relaxing and hanging out with the family. Line and I stayed untill sunday, we had an amazing christmas lunch on sunday with Gjermunds parents (the guy Lars and I stay with). Leaving was hard knowing that we are not going back for 3 1/2 months but I just keep reminding myself I am going back in the spring.

Coming back to the base sunday night, the Americans were cooking a Thanksgiving Dinner...around 50 people were here to eat. It was definantly not like my moms cooking but for being here in Norway we did a really good job. We had turkey, corn cassorole, mashed potatoes, rolls, potato salad...and pumkin pie!!!! It was a really fun night. We have two more weeks of teaching then I am headed with Nathan to Liverpool, Denmark for Christmas then to Latvia for New Years. It will be interesting spending Christmas with out my family but I have family here now... From Latvia we go back to Oslo (Norway) for 3 days of meeting then off to Tibet. Busy busy busy but It will be alot of fun!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fun Inside and Out

Getting back from Sorarnoy, we had around 6 inches of snow. More than I am used to seeing. It was amazing! Nathan, Lars and I decided to go midnight was more fun than I have had in a long time. The Northern lights came out and we layed on the snow and just looked at the stars. It was like a millions little pieces of glitter. There was a distinct difference between the stars and planets, the stars twinkled and the planets were constant. The following day, Sunday we hiked all the way up the mountian to the other side and found a perfect spot to sled. Weaving in between trees, jumping over humps in the hill. It was a "heaps" of fun as Nathan (my Australina roomate) would say.

Sitting at the base Nathan, Lars, Madara and I discovered a band called "Flight of the Conchords" They are two guys from New Zealand...they are like stand up comidians who sing and just make halarious songs. If you are looking for a great laugh look them up on youtube. Last week Graham Powell came and talked to us about Spiritual Warfare. It was incredebly deep. After every day of teaching my mind was wrecked, I just didnt want to think anymore...Wednesday night Lars and I meet up with Graham and he prayed for us. I told Graham about my past and he prayed that I would sense Gods forgiveness, along with me to recive the strength to forgive myself. It was an amazing night and I definantly felt Gods presence.

This week we have a Norwegian guy named Hovard talking to us about the Holy Spirit. So far it has been a really interesting week. It is really neet seeing as how I have had alot of questions about spiritual gifts, especially speaking in toungs and it has seemed that when I have questions about a subject, God seems to bring a teacher that is really familiar with what I am questioning and most of the time he has the answer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Alot has happend since last time I wrote. Friday night the 26th, my two roomates (Nate and Danel) and three girls, (Anna, Courtenay, and Madara) and I decided to challenge ourselves and sit in this tiny prayer room from 11pm untill 9am. This adventure started out just as sitting and talking about anything and everything. Around 130am we started praying and we prayed basiclly untill we left at 845. It was an amazing night, I really feel that the six of us bonded and we did something no one else was definantly an experience. I have learned however that me in a tiny prayer room with 5 cups of coffie is not the best idea that I have ever had.
This past week 2 guys, one from the southern part of Norway...Ekkie and the other, Brad a guy from Ohio...GO MID WEST!!! Came to our school to talk about Evangelism. They came from the SOE, School of Evangelism. Ekkie was 21 fresh from the SOE and Brad was staff at the SOE. They talked and had many amazing stories about Evangelism and it was good timing seeing as the following week we were going on mini outreach. Line, Lars and me (the original Sorarnoy team) went back to Sorarnoy except instead of just being here for a weekend we got to stay from Friday untill the following Saturday. Anyways the teaching was really good and I felt that I could easily stay focused the whole week. The two amazing teachers had a great way of teaching, telling stories and since they were closer to our age it was just an amazing week.
Sofia (One of the staff that normally comes to sorarnoy with us) came to Sorarnoy with us for our local outreach but then left Saturday morning, everyother Friday we have this kids club. This past Friday we played alot of little games, mindgames and relay races. Towards the end one team recieved a recipie for brownies and the other team didnt. Both teams baked brownies and suprisingly the team without a recipie turned out pretty good. We did our devo with the kids on how the bible is like the recipie for our life. Sometimes we may have the nessicary ingrediants but without guidelines (our bible) our life can end up being very messed was a good devo and afterwards we split up into smaller groups and within the smaller groups the kids felt more comfertable to ask questions and I feel that we made alot of progress.
Sunday was a day of rest for the team. The only thing we did was in the afternoon went to the end of the island and walked through an old german base that was occupied in WW 2. It was very creepy as we were walking through the dark tunnels and rooms. Most of the base has been closed off for saftey reasons, but the craziest part was being able to move and rotate this massive cannon that probably weighed around 10 tons. After being slightly nervous all afternoon in a german base we had dinner and then remembered that we were sopposed to go to a Prayer and Worship meeting at the pentacostal church on the other side of the island. We showed up a couple min late but everyone was very excited to meet us and all in all it was a good evening.
Monday, Lars and I woke up around 7 am and had breakfast with Gjermund (the guy whos house Lars and I sleep at) and then left at 8 to meet up with Harold (the father of the family that kind of hosts us...) and we helped him finish up the siding on a house that he is building. It was alot of fun being outside with a two good friends and doing construction. It reminded me of when I was in my building trades class however it was ALOT colder here. After lunch Lars, Line and I watched over the littlest kid Signejohanna. Tuesday was another day off...we sat around and had a good time just hanging out, doing small tasks around the house to help out while Synnove (the mother) was out of town. Tuesday evening Morten and Joy (a couple from the pentacostal church we attended Sunday evening) invited us over for dinner. Joy is from the Phillipiens so the food was AMAZING. If you have heard any rumors of Europeans bashing Americans...well Morten proved that theory, I had a lesson that night to keep my mouth shut. I prayed alot that evening for God to give me strength to not say anything....other than that the evening was very nice. Wednesday the three of us, Lars Line and myself had the oppourtunity to go to the school and teach. Lars taught an hour of German and Line and I taught an hour of English, the class was cool, a whole four kids. In the evening Lars and I hiked up this hill and set up a slackline (a hobbie that I am returning to after a long time) and watched the sun set with a fire and had an amazing time haniging out.
Wednesday night I started feeling sick to my stomach and Thursday I stayed at Gjermunds house and slept while Lars and Line went to the school again. I was not happy that I couldnt go to the school but I knew that we would have a full day at the school on Friday. I had a good day sleeping, reding my bible and just relaxing...letting my mind empty itself.
Thursday night was not the most fun night, Line Lars and I all stayed at Gjermunds house and Gjermunds stomach (side) had been bothering him all week. It had been feeling better Wednesday and then Thursday evening he started to be in alot of pain. We gathered around him and prayed for him for a while and he said that he was feeling a little better but not much. Around 430 am I heard him wake Line up saying that he was going to the hospital in Bodo since there is not a doctor on the island. Lars drove him to the harbor and a Doctor Boat arrived and took him accross the ocean to Bodo. Line stayed with him thinking that she would be able to take a ferry accross at 10am so she could make it back for the last hour of our teaching the kids but there isnt any ferrys on Fridays so it turned into Lars and I teaching. The day was good, we had three English classes and only 5 or 6 kids in each class so it was an easy day. The last class was the most fun, we had the 8-10th grade. We spent the class talking about America and trying to name all the states. Supprisingly 30 some of the states were named without looking at the map and without my help...not that I would have been much more of a help but anyways it was a fun day.
Our last night at Sorarnoy, we took four boys from 8-10th grade out camping in the bunker that we had explored the past Sunday. We meet up at the soccer field at the school at 5 pm and with several mistakes (forgetting items) we finally arrived and hiked up the hill. We started a fire in the very top of the bunker and I relized that we had forgotten a big part of our dinner. Ellias and I drove back to get the sausage and with the snow and ice on the ground it was a fun trip sliding and spinning...nothing like my car back home though. We spent the night sitting by the fire, talking just hanging out getting to know the kids more and I could see that the four boys were opening up alot...
Today (Saturday) we took the fast boat to Bodo to go see Gjemund in the hospital and spent the day seeing the city and spending time with our good friend. As we were walking towards the bus stop to buy our tickets home we ran into a fellow teamate Rita who was part of a group sent to Bodo. We had a little time to catch up but not much...its okay we will rejoin tommorow back home in Engavagen. It has been a great trip and I am anxious to go back on Friday

Monday, October 22, 2007

Light in the Darkness

Hey everyone...

Ive just recently return home from a caving trip and my local outreach. Before all this fun a man born and raised in California came to speak to us about hearing Gods voice. This was an awsome week for me, this is a topic in which I have had a lot of questions about. Marc talked to us mostly in story form so it was very easy to stay focused. All in all it was a great week.

The following weekend was nice...the base was empty, many of the staff were out on a trip and it was nice having some quiet at the base. Hanging around in the living room, by the fire stove just enjoying life, talking, worshiping and just not doing anything to hard.

On Monday we left and drove about 5 hrs inland to this apparently european known caving area. I have not ever been a big caver and with a couple past experiences, I have found out that I am a little on the claustrophobic side. This was an awsome experience for me, pushing myself and doing things that stretch me out of my normal routine. None the less it was alot of fun, I can definantly say that I would not ever go caving for sport but every now and then it might be a little fun. Monday night we camped out on this beautiful mountainside and tuesday and wednesday night we stayed in a cabin...there was a sauna right outside the guys cabing so any sore mucles we had werent sore anymore...=)

We came back to Engavagen on thursday and friday morning I left again for my every other weekend local outreach. It was a nice relaxing weekend. The family we normaly stay with, we told the parents to take a weekend and go to Bodo and take a weekend off, we would watch there kids so it was alot of fun just hanging out around the house and taking it easy.

It would be nice to hear from more of you back home and see what you think. It is always nice to log on and see that I have had new posts so...

This coming week our base leader is talking to us about "relationships" so this should be an interesting week. Today for practical work, my roomate Nathan and I did alot of construction type work so it was very cool. I felt like I was back in school doing my building trades class...lots of memories.

Well I hope to hear from you all

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gods Nature

This past week a mate born in Australia came to speak to us. He has been living in southern norway for the past 10 years now. Darryl Krausse spoke to us about Gods Character and Nature. It seemed that this past week was more of a debate for us here at the base than it was a weeks worth of teaching. Alot of questions were brought to the surface and since Darryl didnt have all the answers we often found ourselfs talking with one another about what we thought.

This week of teaching fell into place very well with our local outreach. Every other weekend me and a two students and two staff travel about 3 hours north to a small island called Sorarnoy. The island is about 3 km by 1 km. Theres about 250 people that live on the island. One of the familys allows us to come and stay with them... to tell you the truth, I have only been there 2 times but they seem like family to me. Anyways, we arrive on Friday around 4:30pm and spend time with the family, at 7:30 we go to the 3 classroom school down the road and meet up with kids from the age of 13-16 and play games (this past Friday we played capture the flag in the woods on a big hill. It was dark so it was a ton of fun) After we all have a good time, we sit down and have a little devotional time with the teens. We had our talk this week in the "Saloon" It is a little building the family we stay with has built, it looks like an old west building with cowboy items...ect. We turned of all the lights and talked to them about how God is a light in the dark and I lit a candle.

One of our big prayers for the weekend was that God would move in the kids hearts and reveal himself to them. One of the kids, Ellias (dont count me on the spelling) a little bit bigger, not really into the whole running around deal, he kind of feels like an outsider, we prayed that he would have fun and enjoy himself and hear Gods voice.

It turns out that 3 of the kids started questioning who God was and wanting to know how to have a relationship with him. Keep them in your prayers as they are searching and Ellias was another who started to question. It was amazing, Ellias didnt talk to anyone the first week and this week he talked to Lars (a fellow YWAMer) and me alot. He had fun running and playing capture the flag.

Keep all these kids in your prayers and ask God to really show himself. This was an amazing weekend and I am looking forward to going back and talking to all the teens again. God answed alot of our prayers, good weather, he even provided Northern Lights when we were playing capture the flag. We all stayed safe, like I said it was an amazing weekend.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Bible and MPW

For our second week of teaching, a Norwegian guy named Lars Olay came and taught about the history of the Bible. This week was a little harder to stay focused than with Gawdatt because of the type of teaching. I felt like I was back in school...I guess I am back in school. It was quite a bit more interesting towards the end of the week.

MPW...mountain peak worship was the focus of our outdoor trip this past week. We took an hour long boat ride to an island called Bolga then hiked around to our base camp. It was so beautiful. There were massive boulders everywhere. It was so amazing getting to climb on rock that didnt fall was great. We stashed all our gear and hiked up to this huge split in the mountain then hiked through it to the other side of the island. Before we reached the other side, I was smart and droped my knife into a crack in the rock and it took 3 of us to find it. I was not to happy about almost loosing my only knife but with Gods help we found it. We walked along the rocky coast all the way back to our camp, it was definantly an enjoyable day. The next day we hiked up the main mountain on Bolga. The view was pretty sweet, it was so windy up on top that you could lean forward pretty far and the wind would hold you up. We spent time on top worshiping, singing songs and praying for the surrounding communites. The 3rd night on Bolga was a solo night where we all recivied a tarp and some rope and we were sent of to go to different parts of the island and spend the night by ourselfs. This was so that we could just have some time to reflect and pray and not be distracted by the outside world. It was a really cool night other than the fact that me and all my stuff got soaked...oh well it was an experience. Thursday we took another boat to a smaller island called Melaoy (dont take my word for the spelling on this one) and hiked up about half way to this beautiful cabin sitting on a fresh water lake. We then hiked up to the tallest mountain on that island. My two roomates and me have started a tradition of every mountain peak we reach we stand on the cairne and get a photo. MyThe view was incredible, from the top I could see Engavagen (the town the YWAM base is in), the boat harbor, I could see Soranoy (my local outreach point, every other weekend me and a group of 4 others go to this small island and work with 5-16 year old kids and teach english in the school and just build relationships with them) anyways back on track, we hiked back to the cabin and had a nice warm, dry night just worshiping and having a ton of fun. Sleeping there was nice but I decided to sleep on the porch on the picnic table and again had a briliant moment when I rolled of. Again it was another experience, this one I hope to not repeat.

It is weird to call Nordtun home but in a way it is really cool. All I know is that its good to be able to say...its good to be home.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First week back to school

Ive been here in Nordtun, Norway now for 12 days. Every day im here I learn new and amazing things. The weather here is not very consistant...rain, sun, rain, and so on so it has been very interesting getting used to the cold wet weather. So far we have climbed up the 2nd biggest glacier in Norway. Its called "Svartisen", meaning black ice. This was the first time I have ever done any ice climbing and I definantly think im going to stick with rockclimbing. Ice climbing is amazing however im not so sure about the cold.

My two roomates Nathan and Daniel and a friend from germany, Lars took a bouldering trip. The hike wasnt bad, about a 20 min walk/scramble from the base. Its kind of a bummer how the rock seems to just fall apart here but that just makes me become a more cautious climber.

Next we hiked up a 2000ft mountain called "Risnestind". This mountain is the view I have when I look out my window. Every morning its one of the best parts of my day. After the sweet hike, we had a norwegian style barbaque on a beach about 20 mins away. It was nothing like back home on the warm beaches of Florida, however it was nice.

Finishing up our first week of class, I have taken in more info than in a long time. Our teacher this past week was a guy from Egypt named Gawdat. He was so halarious in class and had a cool way of keeping me focused. He liked to draw pictures however all his pictures consisted of was lines, circles and dots. Every time he drew one, the whole class laughed. To end this amazing week, one of my roomates Nathan and I decided to start a campfire right by the water. (About a 10 min. walk from the base). A good size crowd came out and joined us and we had a great time laughing, worshiping and just hanging out.