Friday, May 16, 2008

Closing in on a New Begining

Well we have finished all of our teaching, all of our outdoor trips, all our local and mini outreaches. We have gone to Tibet and some to Greenland, we have meet hundreds of people, learned new things everyday, found how to live closer with God and how to live close with those who love God as well. I have become a friends and family with a whole lot of strangers, I have found myself as a stranger as well. I am a different person now and through many teachings and times of self searching I am now begining to find out who I am.

We are wraping up now, we have one week of debriefing left, a time where we can reflect with others on all of the things in which we have soaked up this year...all the things that we have learned and had chances to put into practice. It is amazing to me how this nine months has gone by so incredibly quickly. Looking forward nine months seemed like such a long time to be away from home, family and friends but now looking back it just seems like yesterday when I arrived and took the 4 hour car ride here to Engavågen, it seems like yesterday when we took our first outdoor trip, had our first week of teaching, went on our first local outreach to Sørarnøy, a small island with many AMAZING people...seems like just yesterday traveling around for Christmas, going to China/Tibet, celebrating easter with good friends, it all seems so close yet in another way it seems like I have know all these people for so long. We all know how to cope with one another, we all know when someone needs space or someone need a hug or someone need to talk...returning home to what used to be familiar will be so strange. All those people I know back home have changed, have moved on in life...I have changed.

I could keep rambling on and on but let me see if I can finish telling about the final part of my time here. Last week we had our last outdoor trip. We drove (partialy drove and took 3 fairy's) down south to a small town where we went to a small camping place with a cabin, no doors or heating but a roof over our heads. We spent the evening at the local indoor pool practicing rescueing fliped kayak's, we practiced getting out of flipped boats and so on. The next day we took another fairy to an island surrounded by 1000's of other islands. We put on our wet suits and paddled for a couple hours to where we set up camp on a very small island. There was one house on the island, a small family who spend most of there time collecting a special type of bird down and they make blankets and sell for 40,000kr each (7961,92 US). The next day we paddled back to the cars and took once again another fairy to a beautiful island called Lovund. We had a super nice spot, a big field that was soft and flat, beach on one side and boulders all over on the other side. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!! The only downside of this trip was that we had to wake up at 430am so that we could catch the fairy to go home...with the sun now not going down, having light 24/7 it messes with your mind, but it is incredible...

Finally I just want to inform everybody that I have been talking a little bit with my contact in Tibet and the plan is to work for the summer, get a visa and return to Tibet in September. Pray that God will open the doors wide so that I wont have trouble getting a visa and pray also that the school in Tibet will become registered this year so that I can go back....

Well I look forward to talking and shareing my stories and adventures with everyone when I return home...untill then

God Bless

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Tåkeheimen Trip

One of our last outdoor trips was here, it was hiking up to a small cabin called Tåkeheimen which is located 200 meters under the top of the largest mountain top in the area. I was incredibly unmotivated to go on this not sure why, everyone else was so enthusiastic about it...on the first part of the hike I was talking with Sofia and she prayed with me about the hike and a couple other things. Throughout the journey to the top she would periodicly ask me "Nick hows your modivation..." and I found it getting better and better. Reaching the top, reaching this "Number 1 rated cabin to go to in Norway" the view was breathtaking, it was so incredible. We were above many mountians, above the fjords, right next to the Svartisen Glacier. I couldnt belive how great it was to be up there with good friends. We spent the rest of the day...resting since it was a pretty crazy hike, but the following day we had two segments of teaching. The first segment Lance gave us a homework assignment and that was to go out into the snow, have fun like little kids and set aside all worries. Set aside anything that your thinking about and just HAVE FUN. What an amazing day. We went body sleding, played king of the mountian, did so much and it was so great doing all of this with such incredible friends. Laughing, joking, shoving, sliding, sliping, falling...all things we did and all things in which we felt like little kids...what a great day!!!
That evening we had a time of worship and Lance continued his teaching about Gods love. After the powerful evening of teaching we just hung out inside the cabin. It is so strange because before we left for outreach, light outside would start 11 am and get dark around 1 pm. Sometimes we didnt even have that much light and now it gets light outside at 5 am and it gets dark around 1130 pm. The days are so much longer and now we dont want to go to bed, it seems like its only 9 pm when acctually it is 11 pm. Light really plays with my mind but it is so beautiful.
Thursday we hiked up almost to the top...Mother Nature wouldnt allow us to go anyfurther up because of the wind and dangerous snow drifts but almost to the top we had an incredible view. We split up into four groups and did our own worship and after twenty or thirty min. my team joined up with another group, and we started yelling at the other two groups that had joined..."We love Jesus, yes we do, we love Jesus how about you?" and after a couple min of yelling back and forth both sides started marching towards each other, snowball flying through the air, people wrestling, it was like a movie. I wish I could have recorded it. Luckly I can play it back in my mind but it was great. Following the epic worship battle, we started our decent back down to the cabin, however unlike the slow, hard hike up we just slid. Some slid on there backs, some on there bags and I got the idea to slid on my stomach...I was flying downhill passing most people. Finally coming to a halt I looked back up and people were scatterd all over the mountian side on a pretty steep slope sliding. All laughing and having fun some of us did it again...another great day.

Friday, May 2nd was my birthday. I woke up to everyone in the cabing singing happy birthday and a bowl of oatmeal ready for me. After breakfast we sat around the cabing for a while and then we left and started our journey back down the mountian. People kept asking me so, how is your birthday going. I have never had such a brilliant view on my birthday. I have done some fun things but I have never had that view before. Arriving back home we spent the remainder of the day hanging out, in the evening we went down the road to one of the staffs houses and we had brownies and ice cream. We were standing around and I was playing the guitar for a bit and then all of the sudden they started singing happy birthday for the fourth time. Then everybody wanted me to do a birthday not so good at speeches but I did my best...this is definantly a day that will be in my memories for the rest of my life.
That evening we watched "The Office" untill 130 am and now today I am a bit on the tired side but its okay...Now were planning for a party tonight for some guests we have here at the base, and also for my birthday so tonight should be a great night as well but on top of all this I have been talking with my parents and base leaders about future plans. Please continue to pray for me, and pray that God helps provide clear guidance. Thanks so much

God Bless