23 September 2009

[weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.]

O Lord, be my help.

[in the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.]

[but blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.
he will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
it does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
it has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.]

wishing i was somewhere deep in the mountains listening to this song:

20 September 2009

[love is handing your heart to someone and taking the risk that they will hand it back because they don't want it.

love is a giving away of power.

love is a giving away.

when we love,
we put ourselves out there,
we expose ourselves,
we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

love is giving up control.

this is why God gives us free will.
His entire life is about the stripping away of power and control.

Jesus always chooses the path of love, not power.]
rob bell.

19 September 2009

easy essays: logical and practical.

What is not logical
is not practical,
even if it is practiced.
What is logical
is practical
even if it is not practiced.
To practice
what is not logical
though it is practical
is to be a bourgeois.
A bourgeois is a fellow
who tries to be somebody
by trying to be
like everybody,
which makes him
To practice
what is logical
even if it is not practiced
is to be a leader.
A leader is a fellow
who follows a cause.
The Sermon on the Mount
will be called practical
when Christians make up their mind
to practice it.
:peter maurin.
"But the final word is love. ... We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community."
:dorothy day.

16 September 2009

tumbleweed houses.

a good friend of mine showed me this today:


you should check it out.

how awesome would it be if everyone's houses were this size?!

14 September 2009

pry me off dead center.

Deliver me from assuming that mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I may grow more human,
not through the lessening of my struggles,
but through an expansion of them
that will undamn me
and unbury my gifts.

Deepen my hurt
until I learn to share it
and myself
and my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears
until I name them
and release the power I have locked in them
and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion
until I shed those grandiose expectations
that divert me from the small, glad gifts
of the now and the here and the me.

Expose my shame where it shivers,
crouched behind the curtains of propriety,
until I can laugh at last
through my common frailties and failures,
laugh my way toward becoming whole.

Deliver me
from just going through the motions
and wasting everything I have
which is today,
a chance,
a choice,
my creativity,
your call.

Let how much it all matters
pry me off dead center
so if I am moved inside
to tears
or signs
or screams
or smiles
or dreams,

they will be real
and I will be in touch with who I am
and who you are
and who my sisters and brothers are.

-Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle

13 September 2009

my heart is dancing.

sunday adventure.

went with some good friends on a little adventure to the nearby town, micanopy.

after grabbing lunch at blue highway pizza,

it's such a cute spot with tons of organic, recycled stuff.
and the family that owns it and they are so sweet.
i'm pretty sure i'm going to do a photo story on them.

anyways, check out their web site.

12 September 2009

a fine frenzy.

"If you wish to act as you should, and if you wish to make progress, think of yourself as a stranger on earth, as a pilgrim. You should become a fool for Christ if you wish to lead a religious life."

-Thomas à Kempis

11 September 2009

i need so much help, Father.

i am so anxious to be done with school.
i am so discontent, so often, with being in one place.

help me to have peace here in this place.
help me to be patient.
help me to accept that i am in school for a reason.

help me to not just go through the motions for my last year,
but to seek You and to love Your children here.


07 September 2009

of what we are to do and say about all our desires.

[My friend, speak about everything in this way: "Lord, if it is pleasing to you, let this be done. Lord, if it is to your honor, let this be done in your name. Lord, if you see that it will help me and if you judge it to be useful, then grant me this to use for your honor. But, if you know it to be harmful for me and of no help saving my soul, then take this desire away from me."

"Lord, you know what is best. Let this or that be done as you wish. Give what you want, how much you want and when you want. Do with me as you think best and as best pleases you and in a way which will give you greater honor. Put me where you want me and use me freely. I am in you hand; turn me around whichever way you will. See! I am your servant, ready for anything. Since it is so, I do not wish to live for myself, but for you. Would that I could live only for you, fittingly and flawlessly!"

prayer that God's will be done:

Most kind Jesus, grant me your grace so that it may be with me and work with me and remain with me to the end. Grant me this: always to desire and to want what is most acceptable and pleasing to you. Let your will be mine, and let my will always follow yours and be in perfect accord with it. Let what I want always be what you want, and let me not want anything that you do not want.

Grant that nothing in the world might be as important to me as you are, and for your sake grant that I may serve you with deep humility and love, caring little for recognition or honor. Grant above all else, that I may rest in you and that my heart may find peace in you. You are the heart's true peace; you are its only rest. Apart from you everything is hard and uneasy. Only in this peace that is you, highest and eternal Good, do I find sleep and take my rest. Amen.]

Thomas à Kempis

04 September 2009

really beautiful video.
[unfortunately, it's an advertisement.]

03 September 2009

more pockets of hope.

atanga secondary school:

To date, support from Schools for Schools has helped Atanga with some of its highest priorities. Previously there was one school building that was built in 1983, which consisted of four incomplete and severely damaged classrooms. Bricks were broken around the non-existent windows, and there was no plaster or verandas. There were also no doors, preventing the classrooms from being secure at night. The average classroom consisted of 50-60 students per teacher with an average of four students per desk. Some classes were being held in storerooms. The latrines were waterlogged due to poor drainage and posed a great health risk.

With your support we constructed two dual classroom blocks, renovated the four classrooms, supplied them with furniture and a basic supply of textbooks, and refurbished an administration block. We have also drilled a new borehole, replacing the old one that was located downhill from the latrines and posed a risk for contamination. An additional two blocks of five-stance of eco-san latrines have been completed and a generator has been installed to provide a secure and regular power supply. We have also continued to invest in teacher training, including school development planning, monitoring and evaluation, psychosocial support for guidance, and counseling teachers. Furthermore, we provide training for financial management and planning, record keeping, and computer literacy programs.

Work is currently underway for the construction of two additional blocks of eco-san latrines. Underground cabling is being laid to connect the recently supplied generator to all the classrooms and other facilities. These projects will complement the two-story administration block that we will break ground on in the upcoming months.

awere secondary school:

Awere Secondary School was founded in 1982 and has since spent 17 years at a displaced location. Many of the 890 students live in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and walk miles upon miles to attend school every day. Some students live in hostels while others live with friends or relatives, leaving their families for the opportunity to receive education. A large percentage of the students are orphans, formally abducted LRA soldiers, or child mothers, and several suffer from HIV/AIDS. The facilities and infrastructure at the temporary site in Awere are inadequate and in disrepair. The classrooms are constructed out of split logs and wire, providing no protection from wind, dust, and rain. Termites infest the wood, there are no sturdy walls and the dirt floors become extremely muddy in the rainy season and dusty in the dry season. Awere’s original site is deep in the jungles of northern Uganda, and only a few bare structures remain.

We have completed three fully furnished classroom blocks at the school’s original site since the first round of Schools for Schools. A much needed laboratory block has been constructed and accompanying equipment supplied. A motorized borehole now supplies the entire school with clean water and all of the buildings on campus now benefit from a generator and wiring system providing a regular and safe power supply.
A limited amount of core texts and scholastic materials have been delivered, with more books and sports equipment on the way. We have also been able to assist the staff by supplying them with a limited number of textbooks and by arranging teacher trainings, psychosocial support for guidance counselors, financial management, record keeping and computer literacy trainings. We are currently finalizing the plans for a girls’ dormitory to be built, which we hope to complete using funds from Rounds III and IV. To augment the work that S4S has implemented, the dedicated Head Teacher Mr. Matthew Ottober has mobilized the school community to invest in the construction of an admin block and the beginnings of on-site teachers housing.


the war continues.


some good news though...
even in this war, there is hope.

a post by the organization, Invisible Children:

Anaka Secondary School was built in 1965, approximately 35 miles from Gulu. In 1996, Anaka was displaced from its original location due to the conflict. There are currently 916 students enrolled at Anaka. The school recently began providing housing to 290 students, 105 of whom are girls. Approximately 80% of its students come from the surrounding internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Most of the students and staff have been greatly affected by the war. Many students are orphans, former child soldiers, or girls who have been abducted and molested or raped by the LRA. The school is continually working to provide counseling and outlets for its traumatized students. However, only one of the five guidance counselors has received training.

Due to the displacement of the school in 1996, the original site needed a massive overhaul. There were cracks in the walls and floors, poor foundations, broken windows and open roofs. All of the classrooms at Anaka were in need of total renovation or demolition. Based on our research, the student-classroom ratio was 115:1. A lack of textbooks or a school library contributed to very poor reading levels. Anaka’s original site had no electricity, no latrines and only one borehole, which is used by the neighboring IDP camp and can provide only enough water for ¼ of the student population.

With support from S4S and the local District Education Office, Anaka successfully returned to its original site in February of 2009. Their return home signifies a huge step forward for the community. An improvement in attendance and punctuality has been attributed to the excitement of holding lessons in the new classrooms. To date, we have been able to build three blocks of dual classrooms and 24-stances of latrines, as well as drill a new borehole, provide adequate classroom furniture for the new classrooms, purchase a small amount of necessary textbooks and reference books, art supplies, and sports equipment and some basic laboratory equipment. We have also been able to provide the staff with training in many areas, including teaching techniques, financial management, computer literacy, and evaluation and psychosocial support.