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!!!