Wednesday, March 26, 2008

End of Christmas Break untill Now...Short Summary

Well, where to begin my story...After Christmas our Discipleship Training School team met up about an hour outside Oslo, in a small town called Stange. We had a "Workers Gathering'' in which we had meetings, sermons, worship and a good time preparing for our outreaches. After a week, the Greenland team left in the middle of the night and myself and seven others left in the middle of the next day. We took a train to Oslo airport and after multiple delays, six hours after the first departure time we boarded our plane destined for Helsinki, Finland. Arriving in Helsinki really late, our flight to Bejing had already left. The airport set us up with a reservation to the Ramada Hotel in downtown Helsinki and so our trip started off well. A very nice hotel, touring Helsinki the following day and at 8pm we headed back to the airport.

Arriving in Bejing, I realized how much I had missed Asia. The traffic was crazy, people everywhere, GREAT FOOD and just the culture in general. We spent a few days in Bejing and then boarded a train to Xining, a smaller city of 2 million people twenty four hours away. We didn't know who would pick us up at the station but we had our team and we had a God who is bigger than any problem. After standing outside the station in the freezing cold we saw two foreigners walking our way. It turned out to be two ''M''s (in China we had to be extremely careful of what we said). Anyways, we went to their house and had the chance to meet quite a few missionaries. The fellowship was amazing, getting to see how close to God they were was great. After spending a couple days in Xining we took a 2 hour bus ride to a very small town called Rigamoo, our first interaction with Tibetians. All around us were men and woman who were wearing ''Chubas'' which are robe-like garments that are very traditional. Motorcycles everywhere, goats, yaks - it looked like a farm town. We continued our journey further away from everything, another 45 min ride and then we arrived at the School that Kalson Gerogg (a Norwegian guy with a huge heart for the Tibetian people) started. Kalson has been out there in Tibet by himself (only foreigner) for 13 years. We helped teach an english camp for three weeks. Life out there is amazing: no showers, no running water, no toilets, not much heat inside, etc. Since there are no trees, yak dung is the main source of heat. It actually doesn't smell as bad as you think it would.

After the english camp we had a chance to split up and go into the Tibetian homes and experience 3 days of family culture. The Tibetian people are incredibly hospitible. The have so little yet they give so much; they constantly give you food to eat and constantly fill up your tea bowl. They just stand and smile at you. It was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have had. I dont understand how such a beautiful people, such a loving people, such a caring people can be so blinded. They are lost, stuck in all they know which isTibetian Buhddism. On the surface it looks like a ''peaceful" religion but after hearing stories and talking to people, I realized it is such a dark religion. There is so much that not even the monks know, that not even many of the llamas know.

The only thing that I know for sure is that every day in Tibet I longed to stay more and more. Every day I became more and more attached to these people. I prayed to God for a sign if I was to stay in Tibet or not. I had the chance to visit some of Kalson's friends and on the way we visited the 2nd largest monastery. While in the monastery, I couldnt speak - I was in shock. I couldnt belive how these people could be prostrate over and over again. I couldnt belive how lost they were. I was walking and looked at this old Tibetian lady and she looked like there was nothing, nothing in her soul...she looked like she wanted something but she just didnt know what. After leaving the monastery, I felt that God had CLEARLY spoke to me to go back. Every time I look back on pictures of the kids and of the people, my heart longs to go back and share God's word with them. I have been making plans to go back in September and work long- term. I really appreciate all of the prayer and finacial support and I ask that you contiue to pray for me and the decisions that I will be making in the near future. I also ask that you pray for practical things such as money and Visa application approval.
Thanks you very much

After outreach came to an end I had to think about what I was going to do for my easter break...Lars and I ended up going to Anetta (a girl who did her DTS 3 years ago...and visited us in the fall) along with 5 others. The other five left on St. Patricks day and Lars and I had the chance to stay longer, what an amazing family! Her family was so great, giving us a place to crash and eat and stay warm...we even were there for her fathers 50th birthday party. That was fun...seeing as how Lars and I have been traveling for the past almost three months we had the same permenantly dirty clothes while everyone else had on nice dress clothes. That evening definantly had its akward moments but it was fun nevertheless. After staying for two and a half more days Lars and I took a train to Oslo to meet up with a fellow YWAMer named Don. After being on the train for almost 30 min, no one had come for us to pay so we got all excited because we were going to get a free ride, then after getting all excited the lady showed up but things just got better...she told us that her machine had gone on vacation early so we ended up having a free ride anyways.
Arriving in Oslo we had a great day with Don eating Kababs and free oranges from his hotel. We saw some famous parks, and went to an Art Museum...ha I never thought I would find myself in one of those. After a great day we finished it off by watching "Walk the Line" at Don's hotel. (If you havent watched it and your a Johnny Cash have to watch it!!) We took the midnight train to the Oslo airpot and crashed there for a couple hours and took the 845 am flight to Bodo. It was a wierd feeling flying into the Airport that I first met everyone at. From the airport Lars and I took a cab to the Fastboat/Bus Station, we stood outside because the station was closed. We had called and they told us that there was a 1230 bus so we trusted them but it seemed wierd since the station was closed but what else could we do since neither of us had a phone...
around 1145 Arslan (staff at the base) and a guy that we had stayed with before chirstmas showed up randomly looking for a friend and they told us that there wasnt a bus or boat untill staturday (it was only thursday!) so just another instance where God provided something that we needed. We had a great time staying with Bord and Marloo (The couple in Bodo), watching movies, relaxing and going snowboarding. Well Saturday came and after a two hour boat ride we finally made it back to was INCREDIBLE being somewhere where there was familiarity...being able to unpack my bag was amazing as well...
The past two day a couple friends and I went back country skiing/snowboarding...the first day we didnt go all the way up the mountian and it got cloudy but the second day was a great day. It was sunny the whole day, we made it up the mountian in two and a half hours instead of four hours, and the top half of our run was for the most part on untouched powder, what an amazing feeling! I am addicted and I want to go again but right now my legs wont let me, two days of hard hiking in a row...ouch.
Anyways school started back up again last night and it is nice having teaching again. Time where we can sit down and get back to the basics and just learn. Time to not have to think so much but take in information and it is cool to see how much I have learned in the past 3 months. I am excited to get back to my everyday life at the base...
I am going to put my photos onto a flickr account since I can only put 4 or 5 on here so feel free to check out...
Sorry it has been so long since I have updated but I will do better now that I am back at base...Please keep on praying for me

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