Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I am home. Literally.
Our debriefing for our trip is here at Pioneers headquarters, in Orlando, FL, which is conveniently the same city I live in.
Yesterday I drove my car.
Things felt different from before. When I came back from Europe last fall, everything was strange, and weird, and big and different.
This time around everything feels normal, like maybe I never left. I miss France, but I feel the reality of my current location. I also feel very ready to be here, right now, present and in Orlando.
Praise the Lord.
More to come later, so much more. There are some beautiful things I have been learning with God and I can't wait to share them with you.
Monday, August 9, 2010
God is beauty and God is love.
I have found the loving, patient, strong face of the Lord in the beauty I see in this continent.
Tonight I walked with the girls on my team around London. Each step down these streets is steeped with history and reminds me of the immense power we have to change the world when we surrender our lives to God.
What a beautiful Lord we serve.
What a GOOD Lord.
Tomorrow, I'll be home. Goodbye France, Goodbye Europe. Hello next step.
And arm and arm with Jesus, I'll go...
Monday, August 2, 2010
I've been sleeping in the hostel this week. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at it...sounds of partied out guests thundering up our wooden stairs don't wake me...as they should.
"Excuse me, it's 3am, can you please be quiet for our other guests?" are words that should be utter from my lips every night.
But they don't wake me up. Just everyone else.
But I love seeing them in the morning.
Waking up and seeing a big beautiful kitchen, with 14 places set.
Knowing that different faces and stories and lives will soon fill their spots.
Ok. First things first. There must be coffee. There must be tea. "How many people are here this morning? Where are they from?"
Experience has shown me that if they are from England they like tea; Aussies and American's like coffee. It's a toss up otherwise.
Ok so make both, great.
"Chloe, what are we cooking for breakfast?" are the next words naturally out of my mouth. We discuss our options while setting out cereal, fruit juice, jams, honey, milk and sugar.
French toast it is.
"Hello good morning!" mhmm is the normal mumble. Occasionally there are the chipper ones - morning birds. Gotta love 'em.
The usual "Where are you from?" "Why are you here?" is passed between strangers, as they become friends one slurp of cereal at a time.
"Would you like coffee or tea? Perhaps a bit of toast? We're making french toast today, it will be ready in just a moment?"
Words I say everyday. Like a computer, on repeat. But I'm sincere. I love serving them. I love hosting them, letting them know that here, in our walls, they are taken care of.
We wrap up, it's 10am and breakfast is over.
Cereals away, yogurts in the fridge, juice and milk as well. "Is there any more French toast left?" Yes!" I grab a piece as I do dishes. Chloe sweeps, and then we must mop.
Chairs on the table - here we go.
Recycling and garbage outside. Off to the bins I go.
"Bonjour!" mister man who always walks his dog at the same time every day. Good to see you again.
Back in the hostel. Kitchen is clean and closed.
Ten minute power nap. Is anyone on Facebook or Skype? Hmm, I must read my bible before our meeting.
"Is the kitchen still clean?" I think. One last look.
Ahh, voila! It's perfect. Ready for more stories, more faces.
"Lord, let them know here they are safe. Let them know here, they are loved.
Lord, let them know here they are prayed over and cared for. "
Time for our daily meeting. Great. Now everyone cane echo this prayer too.
And we do.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Meeting up with friends in San Sebastian - yay Spain! Becky and I with our heartattack burger. Way to rep America!
I COULD NOT figure out how to get under this railing. SOOO NERVOUS. Apparently, in times of fear I become a statue. Lol.
Did it. Twas awesome. Like flying!
I just kept laughing and screaming "That was awesome!" :)
Our wonderful hosts made us pancakes WITH SYRUP for breakfast. Mandy and Nathan are proud to be Americans.
San Sebastian! is beautiful!
Marina! Look at that beautiful blue sky!
hmm...basque protests....cross the border and the basque presence gets more intense...
san sebastian theatre
Spain+France EDGE girls! Just a lovely time with some lovely people.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
...translation: "I would like an ice cream, please." One of my most commonly used phrases...
I have found a glacier that sells ice cream made from sheep's milk, which I am not allergic to. It tastes better than regular ice cream, and I am so thankful for it.
In other news.
Life since my last update seems to have only accelerated.
Here are some fun things that occurred two weeks ago:
The girls on our team, and one long term staffer, all went to my favorite beach, Cote des Basques, to go surfing. It was awesome. The waves were small, but many, and that made surfing a little hard because you just kept getting pounded...
That same night, my teammate Mandie and I went to the beach again and saw the most beautiful sunset and waves.
We had a petanque social at the hostel. Many people came out and it was lots of fun.
After working at the Picone's, I invited Victoria and all her friends over to our apartment for a movie night. After watching the sunset from our balcony, I made them pizza and popcorn, which is rare here, and we watched a Nooma video on the story of Job. Afterwards we read the Bible, and discussed what we could learn about Job with each other. It was a really beautiful, really rich time.
Later on that week, a woman in our church in Biarritz, who is actually a missionary with another organization, had a hip-hop recital. It was in the huge ballet theatre downtown - everyone went and it was a really great time.
The week after that was a really big soccer week. Biarritz is a 30min drive from the Spanish border, and every win for Spain has been HUGE here. Dancing in the streets and such (which is pictured below). My teammate Mandie and I got to witness a little bit of this after the huge win that put Spain in the finals.
In addition, there was a Basque festival that night, so we got to see some traditional Basque dancing.
One of the weekly events that happen here at team meals. It's time when we can get together as a hostel staff family twice week and share a meal. This time has always been fun, crazy, and just wonderful - all things you can expect when feeding 15+ people, I suppose!
Another lovely thing has been Lake Marion, a beautiful lake 5min walk from the hostel. I like to run here.
The past week has been a whirlwind as well.
RoxyJam, the international longboard women's surf championship, was hosted in Biarritz. So many concerts, art shows, and festivals came out of it. It was such a fun time. I helped lead worship at Hossegor again, which was wonderful. Then we sat in our allpurpose/church room downstairs from the hostel with all our hostel guests, church members, Edge team and families, and watched Spain WIN.
What a night, vive Espagne.
As well, the two girls from a Pioneers Edge trip in Spain came to visit for a bit this week. We had a girl night and watched Gilmore Girls, dyed our teammates hair, and saw went to the local theatre to see Twilight...in French. Which was hilarious.
In addition, we had a fun karaoke night for our "Apero Night", or our bi-weekly hostel socials.
Pictures coming shortly.
Oh, and some things to look forward to this weekend:
I'm going to Spain for the weekend, our whole team is, to visit the Edge girls in San Sebastian. Bungee jumping off a bridge might be one of the activities included....
again, pictures coming shortly. :)