Saturday, December 27, 2008

A sweet short video



video! It's my friends Carlo and Steve from The Bridge and they did a really sweet Christmas mural on the wall at my church, The Third Space.

Its beauuuuutiful!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

Up here in the northern part of north america, Canada has a wee tradition called Boxing Day. On December 26th, millions of people leave their warm homes and pile into malls and big box stores. I went to Future Shop today because my new MACBOOK was 150 dollars off. (so handy considering i bought it 4 days ago!) OF course I wanted a price adjustment and wouldn't you know, no on takes returns, exchanges or price adjustments till the 28th, one day after the price of my mac going back up to 1399. You can imagine the fuss i'm going to kick up if that 150 is not back in my checkings account.

I went to north america's largest mall (no its not mall of america- we beat it by 1 million square feet), West Edmonton Mall and it was if everyone in the city of Edmonton had packed into the mall. It was nuts. Line ups for Lulu Lemon and this weird clubbing clothing store Pusch had lineups over 100 people long!! Future Shop was a nightmare with my sister and I circling the parking lot, stalking people coming out of the store to their cars just to find parking. Inside it was madness but i guess if you're going to by a tv you might as well get one thats 2000 dollars off!!!! Some stores had signs for 75% off. The news tonight had camera crews out at the mall and many people had bags and bags and bags hanging off their signs of a recession here...

Imagine my surprise when i turn on KXLY news from Spokane and they showed video from their malls and they were literally empty.

Seems more american's saw the Advent Conspiracy video than Canadians :)

Now here are some adorable photos from my beautiful Christmas Eve night with my family and Our 2 Ethiopian family friends! IT was AWESOME!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Picture Tag

This photo is the 4th in my 4th photo folder.

This is Kikondo Uganda. Me and Katie Davis were meeting our friend Musa to go fishing!! we caught 9 Tilapia that day. And we ate them alllll!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Ok I know this is kinda cheesy but i've ALWAYS wanted to get tagged and i never have yet!! Erin- you made my Christmas dream come true! Now that i've said that, i better make this tag interesting or you'll all be sorely dissapointed.

I'm at my sister's so i'm going to do the 2nd tag first. I'll do the picture tag later today.

8 TV Shows I watch
1. Grey's Anatomy (and i'm really angry that there are only re-runs until the new year. I'm also really angry that Denny just won't leave Izzy alone!!!)
2. The Office. I want to date and marry someone just like Jim Halpert.
3. Man VS. Wild- yesturday he was in some weird island off Sumatra and taught me how to build a raft and get past the reef.
4. Gossip Girl. I have a thing for Chuck.....i know its bad.
5. So You Think You Can Dance CANADA. Mary says Canada has better quality dancers than the US. TAKE THAT!
6. BBC World News. I love love love the BBC.
7. Friends re-runs. i looooooove that show. My fave is when Ross makes Fajita's!
8. The BACHELOR. I'm not even embarrassed about this. I LOVE this show. and i'm so excited for 9pm on MOnday the 5th to meet the new singles for Jason!

8 Favorite Restaurants (i'm including some fast food places because for one- i'm poor and two- i'm just not that fancy)
1. Hands down my favorite resturant is McDonalds. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
2. Chili's
3. Earl's
4. Pita Pit
5. Boston Pizza
6. The Keg
7. Ozzies in UG. The best salad dressing of my life is there.
8. Chick-fil-a. I've never been here but I'm sure i'd love it and everytime i hear any blogging mama talk about it, it makes me really want to go there.

8 Things that Happened to Me Today
1. I woke up having done a 180 in my bed somehow and had no idea where i was or how i got there.
2. My sister woke me up 4 minutes before my alarm went off and i hung up the phone and told her i'd wake up after my alarm went off, and i slept for 3.5 more mins THEN got up.
3. I went to Budget with my mom and sister to get our rental for our weekend getaway to Calgary. I LOOOOVE CALGARY.
4. I called my roommates Jenn and Steve and asked them how the Coffee House at the Bridge went because i missed it... It went AWESOME apparently.
5. I got a coffee at second cup for the first time and I should have just waited til Tim Hortons because it would have been 1 dollar cheaper and prob tasted better too.
6. I waliked to 7-11 in MINUS 30 DEGREE WEATHER (that - 22 F for all your americans) with my 4 year old neice to get sour cream for our nachos. I took my sisters debit card and she had changed her PIN and i put the old pin in 4 times and froze the account. I had to leave the sour cream, the 1L of diet coke, and Ava's kinder surprise there. But i had already eating my 2 licorises and got those for free!
7. I dragged my friend Curtis with me to Future Shop to return some headphones but we went to Best Buy by mistake. Then i drove to the other end of the city to get to Future Shop, waitied in line for 15 mins to return the headphone, presented the person with my recipt and she looked at me and said "you bought this at Best Buy".
8. I drove very very very slowly on the way back to my sister's hosue from Budget REntal's so i could show her my favorite line in a Brooke Fraser song..the line is from THe Thief and its "your eyes are full, full of the future of us." ah! i love it!

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. Going back to UG short term or long term and being the nurse at Erin and Scott's orphanage.
2. Hopefully visiting Erin on Spring Break and getting to eat at Chick-fil-a and meeting Tucker and bear hugging her kids.
3. Finishing and understanding Paradise Lost.
4. Christmas Eve with my sister, her husband, my niece and nephew, our ET friends Heewot and Nassar and their daughter Eden and our new ET friends Kidist and her GORGEOUSSSS kids Yohannes and Yosiyas, my mom and my dad.
5. Working out starting in January with my roommate Tori and losing the 30 pounds i've put on since i gradauated high school. (AHHHHHHHHHH!)
6. Snowboarding a ton this winter
7. My new macbook!
8. Getting my very first manicure (thats a lie- i got one in UG but that doesn't really count since it was litterally done in a hole in the wall and there wasn't parafin wax involved) this weekend in Calgary.

8 Things I Wish For
1. A boxer puppy named Scout (After Scout Finch from my fave book!)
2. 18,000 dollars to pay off my student loans
3. Excellent marks next semester so i can get this sweet scholarship
4. A master bedroom in my house with my husband that has corner windows. i LOVE corner windows.
5. A metabolism like that of a 4 year old child giving me the ability to eat all the mcdonalds and macaroni and cheese I could hold down without slipping into a cholestorol induced coma.
6. 250,000 dollars to give to my UG church- Jinja Deliverance Church for their new church building.
7. A baby from Haiti, Uganda, China, and Somalia.
8. Mandibular Advancement surgery to correct my Class 2 Malocclusion. Its 15g's!

I tag..... Angie, Amanda, Jenny, Mollie, and my new friend Leigh!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Beautiful Christmas

Tonight was the long awaited and much anticipated Bridge Youth Center and Youth Emergency Shelter combined Christmas dinner.

Through the generosity of many many people we were able to pull off an amazing night of food, fellowship, and fun! The youth shelter has a section for families as well and so we had whole families come and eat the food that 2 ladies so wonderfully made for us. It was an incredible feeling to sit on the couches at the front of the center and look over everyone having fun, eating great good and serving them. I felt an all too familiar feeling. And feeling that feeling got me feeling weird.

Let me explain.

There's this feeling I got in UG all the time. My fellow UG lovers will be able to understand and I'm sure you can plug ET lovers, LB lovers, GH lovers etc in there.

I got this feeling when I was riding a boda boda home from watching a football match with friends in town while carrying Chloe around with me too. I got this feeling in church, basically every week in UG. I got it at every bible study (each of the gazillion ones we went to every week). I got it while watching Soph sleep on my bed in the afternoon while I read and journaled. I got it all Christmas day last year.

It's that awesome feeling of knowing your in the exact spot the Lord wants you in. It's the feeling of total contentment and peace. As i looked at the youth, volunteers, staff, and families, I thought how PROUD i was to serve this AMAZING God who orchestrates these nights and allows ME the privilege of serving him while doing something that I've come to love love love.

Here's the scary part: If I'm feeling that feeling here, in Canada...where does that leave my feelings I had in UG. The really scary part is that I'm NOT going to Ghana anymore. I feel like there is something here for me, that God's got all figured out, and I just need to wait and see it all unfold before me, in His timing. I was talking to a staff at the Bridge tonight about Ghana and I told him how i felt like this is what i should do because its 'what i do'. I go to Africa. Any chance i get. Now all of a sudden I'm not jumping at that chance...I used to say that i was definitely, one billion percent going to live out the rest of my days in a mud hut. Then i cut that down to 5-10 years. Now I heard about this clinic in downtown Toronto that is specifically for the poor who have no health cards, no insurance, etc and it got me thinking about how SWEET it would be to work there. It's freaking me out.

There's a girl who comes to almost every drop in night and we've gotten to be good friends. It was beautiful watching her tonight just be. Not worrying about where she's staying that night, about all the crap in her life (there's way too much), about school. She was happy, with this peaceful look on her face like from 5 to 11 tonight, she was a 16 year old with loving loving loving parents in a stable healthy, happy, functional family, where her biggest problem was deciding whether she wanted to get killed by me at fooseball again.

1 Peter 4:10-11 "God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.


Like the new layout? My beautiful friend Erin did it! It's bright and happy- just the way i like it.

Last night I went to a Food and Drink Magazine party a friend's house. I am not a cook, or a baker. In fact, I once made a batch of cookies with 2 cups of baking soda because I thought it was flour. We were supposed to find a recipe from the cookbook or online, make it, and bring it. So i thought- Guacamole! What's easier than that? I even made a special mint guac which was delicious according to my costa rica roommate who would know if it was good or not. It looked beautiful. I had it on our nicest dish (which isn't that nice at all) and had my other roommmate Jenn garnish it because i didn't know how to do that either. Then we leave for the party. Steve is driving in his truck and it snowed a boat load this week so the piles on the sides of the roads where the graters have come are over 2 feet in some part and of course- steve parks right up close, hugging the snowbank. I have to climb over and out his side of the truck so I hand him the guac plate and start shoving over. Steve has got tortillas bag, a basket of biscotti, and a guac plate in his hands and is doing great. But as soon as i slam the struck door, something goes wrong and the guac plate leaps out of steve's hands and onto the dirty, sandy, slushy, road. upside down of course.

I have a medium freakout and steve is calm as he actually scrapes the guac off the road the puts it back into the dish.

We go inside and a nice guy takes the plate and say's he'll take care of it. I say- we'll there's obvious bits of gravel in there, we might as well through it out, it's basically useless now- to which he responds- I'll take care of it.

10 mins pass and out comes a beautiful bowl of guac and plate of authentic tortillas. Same old guac, new life to it.

I was laying in bed last night mulling over the events of my day and I was struck by the guac spilling incident. I am the guac. I'm dirty and messy and sometimes i even fall apart. But I have hope and a faith in the One who makes me clean and neat and put together.

Tonight is the Bridge's Christmas dinner for the kids. We're partnering with the Youth Emergency Shelter of Peterborough and combining into one big party! My roommate Jenn is out right now at this beautiful store called Tribal Voices, buying beautiful and super super cool, locally made, toques and mitts with the 210 dollars she raised within her small group. I'm So SO SO excited. This event has been prayed over for weeks now and it's really exciting to see how God is going to use this night to bless all our wonderful kids!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A good lesson

One of the best things about moving across the country is meeting, and becoming friends with, people I would probably never have gotten the chance to meet at home, let alone form a relationship with.

The following copy and paste is written by my friend Christ Jardin. I met him through friends and we go to the same church, The Third Space, of which he's a community pastor. We went out of for coffee last week and were talking about blogging and I told him how i have this elaborate online blog network of people i know well, people i know fairly well, people i barely know, and people i've only met via interweb. He said he was going to get the church's blog up and running again and this is what he just posted. its powerful. read to the end. its well worth it.

The curtain rises.

So this post marks my re-emergence into the world of blog after a hiatus of two plus years. Greetings fellow wanderers of the internet, it’s been awhile. I’ve come a long way since the summer of 2006. No longer do I bear the title of lowly Intern, I graduated from university, got some letters after my name, and somewhere along the lines got upgraded to the status of Community Pastor…take that title however you will, I’m still working that one out myself. All that pre-amble to give context to the fact that the reason I’ve broken my silence is due to an occurrence that is perhaps simple and mundane to the outsider, but was incredibly profound and meaningful to me. I had an encounter last week that led me to the notion that the only appropriate response would be to share it in a wide-scale format. Enter….the internet.

Enter the players.

Last Saturday after having made my way to Ottawa via my thumb and the kindness of strangers, I found myself wandering downtown streets in search of nothing in particular. Aimlessly wandering, talking to no one, lost in grand thoughts about nothing of significance or consequence, I had no agenda. Eventually I found myself wandering down Dalhousie street in what I felt at the time was somewhat of a westerly direction. The street was fairly well occupied by hurried pedestrians, all of whom seemed to be paying no particular attention to their immediate surroundings or those filling up said spaces. I suppose I would count myself as bearing a similar mindset to those around me. Yet as I strolled down the sidewalk my ears pricked. “Excuse me, are you o.k.?” My eyes gazed to my immediate left only to be confronted by a man in a wheelchair. My eyes soon registered the fact that this man had no legs nor fingers on his right hand and seemed to be in some depth of poverty, he having a Tim Horton’s cup in his left. “Yes, I’m fine. How are you?” “Oh, I’m all right.” At this point we proceeded to converse about the weather and how he had found himself in his present circumstances, (not the most pleasant of tales) until he asked me something that caught me quite off guard. “Listen are you hungry? Do you need anything to eat?” “No I’m fine. I’m doing pretty all right actually.” At this point he reached into his pocket, fumbling for a few seconds with its contents, and when his hand emerged it now possessed a five dollar bill. “Here take this, buy yourself a sandwich.” At that moment, I found myself speechless. Eventually I was able to sputter “Oh…no, no, I’m actually o.k., I don’t need it, but thank you so much…” “No worries, I try to give as much I get. Anyhow, it was nice meeting you.” “Yeah, for real, uh, thanks again, bless you.”

The final act wherein certain revelations are made.

I walked away from that man pained and heartbroken. That encounter, that man, that act, that heart, to me, to my understanding of God, of this world, of humanity, and of their purpose, is it. That was it. This man who has never seen me before, has no idea who I am, where I come from, or what I’m about, perceives that I might be in need, that I might need help, that I might be hungry, that I might be suffering. Instead of letting me walk by leaving me to my own devices, he stops me, offers me what he can, to help in whatever way he can, to make my stay in this world that much better. He sacrifices what he has and presumably needs, because he perceives a greater need, and his heart, his love prevents him from doing otherwise. This man whose society, whose community, has largely ignored him, for no one on Dalhousie St. was paying that man any mind, sees fit to give back to that society, to that community, even though they don’t deserve it. That is the love of Christ.

Exit stage left.

A little while ago I was having coffee with a friend who was relating to me a story of how they had been on a bus in Peterborough and had noticed that a fellow passenger was crying and obviously was in some degree of duress. This friend of mine proceeded to tell how she had gone over to this person to see if they were ok, if they could do anything to help. Upon concluding this story, she exclaimed to me, “It’s weird that I did that, isn’t it?” My response to her was this, “Yes, that is weird, but that’s also the most normal thing you could have done.” Herein lies my challenge, one that’s perhaps, especially relevant at this time of year, when it becomes so exceedingly easy to become immersed in our own lives, our own families, our own happiness. For all its complexity, it’s really quite simple: Don’t let those who are suffering walk you by, and be sure not to walk them by.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I think I'm a smart girl. Academically speaking, I pick up concepts easily and have very good recall. With a mild/moderate amount of effort I have been pulling off A's in 3 out of my 4 classes. But there's that one little pesky class that i just can't seem to get into. Maybe because it's the hardest.....I have to have a 60%(C) in this class in order for it to count as a nursing credit and in order to stay in the nursing program. I have a 65ish% right now. I've put it a mild amount of effort and oddly enough, that mild amount just isn't cutting it this time around. So I've formulated a plan. My prof posted how many questions are going to be on the test from each chapter. So instead of cramming and stuyding 14 chapters, I'm going to hardcore study 4 chapters and if all goes according to plan, that will give me 82 marks. With the other questions I'll get right, I'll add 10 marks to that for a grand total of 92. Which would mean i'd get 76.7 % on the final. That mark would bring up my average by about 6 percent which would leave me with a 71. Which is perfect! if i could have only used this knowledge to just stay on top of things during the last and learn though right!??!

Along with weekend drop in's, I go to Girls Group at the Bridge. Myself, and 3 other volunteers and some youth come together and we eat food, talk about Jesus and share about our lives. Yesterday we talked about how we want to be remembered when we die. I said I wanted to be remembered for service- that i served other people well. Since all the girls know i love AFrica, they said "oh like a mother teresa kind of thing?" and it got me thinking..

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be remembered like people remember Mother Teresa. But if my life just doesn't happen to unfold like her's did, I still want to be remembered for serving. And not just doing big things like going to Africa for a few months here and there, but the little things. I want to be remembered for always being kind and friendly to cashiers and bus drivers. That I always gave 100% when helping people. That i never passed up an opportunity to help. That I had great compassion even for white people:):) 1 Peter 4:10-11 says "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.If you speak, you should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If you serve, you should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised though Jesus Christ."

One girl shared that she experienced the love of Christ so profoundly a few weeks ago while skating with friends. She's been through a lot and is a real trooper, struggling daily, but overcoming. She talked about the negative thoughts that would dominate her mind about not being good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough- the usual things girls these days struggle with. And it got me thinking of this verse I've really come to love lately.

1 Peter3:3 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit, which is of great wworth in God's sight."

I used to read this and just skim past it because I don't have the quietest or gentlest spirit...or so i thought. Just because i'm outgoing and have volume control issues sometimes doesn't mean i can't have a quiet and gentle spirit too. I think that my quiet and gentle spirit is revealed in how I love deeply. In how I feel other people's pain and can empathize well. In how I am learning to confront friends with issues not in a sarcastic mean-ish way like i used to, but in love and for the right reasons.

I struggled all through high school with being good enough. I was never good enough and there was always someone better at everything than me. So i tried to make my outward appearance conform with what I what I thought it should and it only made me feel worse. Now when I'm having a bad day, i meditate on this verse and focus more on changing and bettering my inside than my outside.

I have a hard time saying NO sometimes. A new friend inviting me over for dinner tonight after meeting her at Church in the Caf last weekend. We have lots of mutual friends from home and she just seemed SO cool and SO friendly. So i said for sure. Now its crunch time and i'm hooped for my exams so i decided to prioritize and cancel. As soon as i push send i'm worried that she'll be mad, or disapppointed, and i think maybe i should just go. But i know the whole time i'd be there i'd be worrying about my exam and not having any fun. A few minutes later i get this response...

Dear sweet Jesus bless Amy as she studies for her test...Lord give her your peace and help her to drink in all the information that she needs to know. Bless Amy and give her the concentration to keep to the task..we pray for a fantastic grade on her exam Lord we know that this test is not beyond you-thank you God for the amazing woman of God that Amy is-continue to pour your Holy Spirit upon her...Amen

I think you are very wise to focus on your Foxs will miss you and are looking forward to having you in our home another night-when do you leave for Sherwood Park? Would you like to meet for coffee at Timmies one day before we both trek across the country?We are leaving on the 17th..hopefully we will start driving around 4 am :))))

So absolutely no pressure...I will continue to pray for you throughout the week-you will do an amazing job on your exam...
Richelle :))

I was SOOOO blessed by this small little email!! Thanks Richelle!!!!

I'll keep you all updated on my exam studying progress:)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

When time and space are through.

Yesturday I walked into the kitchen with my roommate Tori (or Toar for short). She and I are the most alike out of my roommates and I like to think of her as my little sister that I never got, no matter how many times i asked.

I've often been cynical and jaded about cheesy Christian love books, you know the type, Captivated, Wild at Heart, I Kissed Dating Goodbye...They just didn't do it for me. I was probably much to busy with my boyfriend(s) to put too much thought into them as well:) Before I came to Ptbo, I was told that my heart was encased in ice, surrounded by a brick wall. I told my roommates that yesterday and they could NOT believe that someone had told me that. Granted- that was definately the case when the person told me that- but something has cracked in me. I'm now a very very very deep feeler and often times, its incredibly annoying and sometimes embarrassing.

I will cry during prayer after a night at the Bridge because I feel so deeply for the youth. I will cry during baptisms. I will cry during Grey's Anatomy, I will cry when I read a powerful verse from a friend. I will cry when i watch World Vision. I will cry when I hear a beautiful song. I will cry when someone does something kind for someone else. I will SOB into my pillow with Steve on one side of me, Jenn on the other and Heather in front of me as i unwrap my christmas present from Steve and find that he's unknowingly painted my favorite photo of Sophie.

I used to only cry when i was really really really mad or when horses got hurt on movies.

So yesterday. I look at the kitchen table while Toar is making her lunch and scoff "hey Toar, look at this dumb book, i wonder who's reading it." i flick through the pages..."Wow toar! its highlighted like mad, i'm going to find you the best parts and raed them to you" and we both laugh at the prospect of this book having a 'good part' and i dig in. Almost immediately I find this story of a guy Rick, and a girl Christy.

The author touted it as the most romantic story he'd ever heard, so i decided to read it out loud to Tori.

Rick and Christy met when they were 14 at church and were good friends. Ricks liked Christy but it wasn't until they were 18 that Christy really fell for Rick. They wrote eachother hand written letters all the time and were falling in love.

Christy's dad took Rick aside one day and encouraged him to think rationally about the situation. Both Christy and Rick wanted to attend college, and were years away from marriage or beign ready for marriage. He challenged Rick to think of Christy and how best to serve her.

Rick met Christy and told her he could no longer see her. He loved her, but he was not ready to have a relationship with the end result of marriage and either was she. So instead of distract her from her relationship with Christ, her schooling, friends, family etc, he was letting her go. He asked for all the letters he'd ever written her and he took them.

That night he drove to Christy's late at night and burried all the letters (over 100 of them!) in christy's front yard. He had a funeral of sorts that night, for his love for Christy and his hopes for a future with him. He prayed that only God would unearth these feelings if and when the time was right. and then he left.

Fast forward a year and half and Christy calls home form college telling her mom she's still raelly struggling with feelings for Rick. She hadn't heard or seen from him since the night they broke up but still loved him. Her dad was impressed that he respected Christy and loved her enough to serve her that way and he called Rick up for coffee. He told Rick that he could rethink he's breakup with Christy, and that he should pray about starting a courtship. Rick prayed, and told her dad that the Lord told him to wait.

So Rick waited, and a few months later him and Christy started along distance courtship with the goal in mind, of marriage. Christmas day of their last years in college, Rick went to Christy's house with her present. It was a red tag for a maple tree. Christy and Rick and her family went to the front lawn for her to plant it. As she drove the shovel into the ground, she hit the box of letters that Rick had sealed and planted 3 years previous.

Christy took the box, opened it, and realized that the 100 love letters they had written back and forth were in the box with one unopened letter on top. She ripped the letter open and read it. 3 yaers previous, when Rick was 18, he wrote a letter to christy, asking for her hand in marriage when the time was right. The time was right and rick got on his knee and asked Cchristy to marry him.

Me and Toar sat at the table crying over the beauty of this story. And from noon yesterday I've not let go of this book and I've been giving it a fair and honest read. No judgments. And its beautiful. Its a beautiful model of how relationship between a man and woman should be, and CAN be. How when you're LOOKING for a mate, you could find many potentials, but when your LOOKING for Christ you don't even need to worry about it. And thats awesome!

Anyway- my friend Lana, who i met in uganda in 06, came to visit me yesturday with her 2 month old baby zoe! it was an awesome short time of catch up and we live so close to eachother which is awesome

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Tonight something happened that I won't soon forget.

I spent the better part of today emailing back and forth with Erin. I told her how i was going to be saying a little 'schpeel' at Church in the Caf tonight on campus. I was going to be speaking about SUUBI and how i have these gorgeous necklaces waiting to be under christmas trees. I wore my adorable pink suubi tee and of course, had a suubi necklace around my neck as I told 70-80ish people about my love love love for Uganda and how this is an awesome organization to support. She wrote in her last email to me, "....Anyway, i will be praying for your schpeel tonight -- your passion is contageous and i know that your heart for the developing world will impact whoever listens to you!"

I sit down. Big man from Wales stands up. He's a guest speaker and him and his wife have recently moved to town to pastor New Life Church in ptbo.

Big man starts talking. "I was sitting on my setee (i dont know how you spell that word) today and a song popped into my head. It's an old song about beads, bobbles and bangles. So i asked the Lord to tell me why this song was in my head and he told me that tonight i would meet a girl with colorful beads and i needed to give her His message."

I'm thinking to myself..." he talking about me?? ahh..this is weird. this has never happened....eek"

Big man looks me dead in the eyes and says the following. "The Lord gave me a prophecy about you. He told me about a girl with colorful beads and that girl is you. He told me that you will change nations. That you're heart will become even more compassionate. That you will be given every gift you need to accomplish HIS plans for YOU. He told me your hands will heal the sick. He is preparing you and as you give of yourself, and pour into other's lives, you will be blessed. He wants me to tell you that he is doing great things in you. and YOU will change nations. You will be sent to other countries outside of Uganda and do the Lord's work there too. This is what the Lord told me."

I am crying at this point, feeling very overwhelmed and a little bit weird. I was JUST reading about prophecy today and thinking just how cool it was that so many parts of the gospels are fulfilling prophesies from the old testament.

Big man keeps talking and asks the 2 people in the crowd, one with back pain and one with neck pain to come to the front. Girl and guy come forward. Big man and Man's wife lay hands on them and pray for them to the healed. They are healed.

Big man gives an amazing talk about the GIFT of christmas. Jesus.

At the end, him and his wife call me to the front. I stand facing them and the wife puts her hands on my back after she raises my arms and my hands are outstretched. Big man's hand is on my head and one is stretched to heaven. They begin praying for me, my future ministry, my life and calling for Africa. They pray for wisdom and patience and that i will be equipped for everything I am going to do. They hold my hands and pray over my hands that I will use them for the good of the Lord and that the Holy Spirit will heal the sick through me. They pray that I will always give all the glory back to God. And that i will be blessed.

I felt dizzy and a bit like i should slump to the ground like those Benny Hinn infomercials:) They hug me and i sit back down.

Big man closes in prayer and I think 4 or 5 students come to Christ.


It was incredible. I felt weird like there was this wind trailing behind me as i walked, like i was wearing a loooong flowy skirt.

I talked to the man and woman after wards and we talked for a bit and they asked me more about my time in Uganda and invited me to their church. New Life, next Sunday!

On Saturday I chatted with my mom for a long time and got off the phone feeling SO blessed to be the child of my wonderful parents. I sat down and decided to journal instead of do MORE anatomy studying. I wrote 8 pages in my journal in what felt like a matter of seconds. I felt this blanket around me. a really comfortable safe weight and God told me he was preparing me for something. That something big was going to happen and that i was ready.

I'm ready.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Really Black Friday people??? REALLY!!!

I'm just gonna put this out there. This is to those 2000 people who trampled a walmart employee to death for the sake of 100 dollars of a stupid play station.

Seriously new york walmart fanatics? Seriously?! Did you really need that play station that bad? Did you really just have to have that digital camera? Was that marked down makeup really that important? Are THINGS so important to us that we can't have normal hours in stores? We need a day when we can get there when the sun's no shining and line up in the cold for a piece of plastic made by little hands that are cut and bruised attached to tiny bodies that are worn out and malnourished and sleep deprived? Do we really need to line up in front a store that broke the knees of one of its factories workers for wanting to start a union in the sweat shop he worked in?

Was the amount you saved on your bill worth more than a life? Were those few dollars saved worth the feeling of stepping on a human being?

It's a good thing everyone got their shopping done though. At least you can have a merry Christmas. because that's what its about right? things. stuff. plastic. waste. accumulation. money. The family of the walmart employee surely knows that's what you thought about as you stepped on their child.


I'm boycotting gifts this Christmas. i want to EXPERIENCE Christmas. i don't want to buy it. the only gift i want, and that i have already, is the gift that God gave me, you, those 2000 stampeders at walmart, the 6 billion people on earth. and thats more than enough for me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

love love love love love

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act"
Proverbs 24:12 (stolen from erin's blog)

A couple days ago I read erin's blog and came across this verse she posted. My immediate reaction was "whoa! that's such a sweet verse!" but now a part of my wishes i had never heard it.

I think it's really scary knowing that i'm responsible to act. There is a song by Brooke Fraser (i'm obsessed with her) and i think its so powerful.

I am sitting still
I think of Angelique
her mothers voice over me
And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent
And on a thousandth hill, I think of Albertine
there in her eyes what I don't see with my own

now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are

I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet


I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them Albertine


I am on a stage, a thousand eyes on me
I will tell them, Albertine
I will tell them, Albertine

Think about it. I've been told that the one who weighs my heart and keeps my soul is counting ME responsible. That's huge. And scary.

But then I think.....That's exactly what being a Christ follower is all about. Being accountable. Being Responsible. I try to imagine what it would be like and how many hours it would have taken me to implode if i had gotten off the plane at home from Uganda and not said a word about it. Yesterday my roommate Jenn held me while i was crying on the floor is the doorway between our kitchen and hallway because i just read all my roommates this powerful verse and the whole huge weight of it fell on top it. As that whole huge weight fell, and as i went to my room to be alone as i often like to do, I saw the giant framed photo of sophia on my wall staring at me and i thought of the text message mama lois had sent me about how my mom had given her family christmas this year. I thought of how many people i've been able to help through me being responsible on acting. More importantly- i thought of how many people i've gotten to help others because i dont have any money!:) Lawrence wouldn't be going to university right now if it wasn't for my friend Curtis. Mama lois may have still been waiting for her very important surgery if it wasn't for my Mom and dad. The kids at STAO wouldn't have had christmas presents last year if it wasn't for Beth's mom. The kids at STAO wouldn't have gotten to go to town in a REAL CAR (!!!), been taken to a real doctor, been treated, gotten medication, a new outfit, a beautiful yummy lunch, and to watch a movie if it wasn't for the Pastoor/Barbour/Richards family. Musa wouldn't have a place to stay at during university if it wasn't for my dad.

Sometimes i KNOW my life would have been SOOOO much easier if i had never gone to UG. IF i had only stayed home and gone to college right away....I'd be able to have a mac instead of this busted PC. i'd be able to have a car right now instead of wearing out the sneaker express. I'd be able to get my hair highlighted and not feel guilty. i'd be able to buy stuff that wasn't on sale.

And i would have been stuck in a north american mentality of spending and spending and spending and having no concept of what i'm buying, where my money is going, and who ISN"T getting paid for what i just bought.

So ya. Now that i have seen, I am responsible. And thats ok with me. I have wonderful Godly, Christ loving women in my life, and in my online life:) Erin always makes me smile with her stories of her kids that i ADORE. I also love that I can email her asking her if she likes these boots i want to buy in one sentence and get her advice on guys in the next.
I love that Becca takes God's words to Joshua to heart when God says have i not commanded you? be STRONg and COURAGEOUS!!
I love that Brandi loves UG and Katie and that she has the cutest white daughter Gracie who is hilarious and i love hearing stories of her whining:)
I love that Jena went to UG and got her babies Kaia and Kendric recently and that her son plays the tuba!
I love Carolyn because she calls her husband a hottie, LOVES ethipoia, has the most beautiful daughter Selah, in involved with Project Hopeful that one day i'm going to use when I'm adopting my HIV babies!
I love Katie. This powerhouse of a girl (woman!) who cares for 10 UG girls plus 150 others, plus probably hundreds more that we just don't know about yet. I love the heart Jesus has placed in her little body and how HUGE the love that pours out of all of her is. i LOVE that she loves being a ugandan in uganda and not a mzungu. I love that she kept my bestie bethany company for 3 weeks while i was getting sliced open.

Mukama Yebazibwe!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This Just In!

Hey BlogFam-

I got my suubi spread box in the mail today and i'm ready to sell!! These necklaces are GORGEOUS (trust me, i've looked at them all!) and they can be yours for the low low price of:

10 for a choker(great for guys)
15 for a slim long one
20 for a black and white long (soooo cool!)
20 for a multicolored long

Instead of wasting money on gifts that don't mean anything and gifts made by some robot in a factory, CHOOSE HOPE and give Suubi!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm going to see THIS movie tonight at a local church.

Its a documentary (more like a mockumentary) about consumerism during the Christmas season. Its this revenered Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping and they go into malls and big box stores and spead the news on the shopocalypse.

It's called What Would Jesus Buy and it looks wonderful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Meet Steve. He's like our 5th roommate. He is always at our house and even has food labeled in our fridge. We love him.

We also love when he goes to the emergency room with Bea and comes home looking like THAT. The pee in the urine sample is the top skimmed off of pea soup (hahah get it?). We put it on our other tori's desk and she freaked out. Its now sitting on our mantle in the living room because we all agree that its hilarious to have a urine sample for all to see.
Did i mention i love it here?
It looks like I'm Ghana bound come July 3!!!!

You go before me, you shield my way, your hand upholds me and i know you love me.

In 15 minutes I'm meeting with the a guy from Youth For Christ to talk about Ghana this summer. I was told about an opportunity to serve with a team in July for 5 weeks and I was instantly attracted to it (obviously!).

I left a message on my mom's work answering machine for prayer and then i sat and read romans, the verses about our lives being predestined. Then i sat on my bed and prayed for clarity, and peace and answers. Then my roommate Jenn came in and sat beside me and prayed for me too. (i love my life!)

At the cross i bow my knee, where you're blood was shed for me, there's not greater love than this. you have overcome the grave, your glory fills the highest place, what can separate me now!?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

heart hurt

how gracious, relentless is the father's love towards us. breathtaking the beauty is the radiance of you. oh majesty i live to see your face and be transformed into your image.

I don't want to think of who i was 2 years ago. I was a good person, who was funny and nice but empty. I was complacent and comfortable and ordinary.

I am active and uncomfortable and radical. I HATE injustice, i feel it to my core. I HATE the sin my life and work hard at getting rid of it. I LOVE the only one being who can redeem me. Not just love actually. I am IN love with Christ Jesus. My savior and redeemer.

I am surrounded by poverty. I am surrounded by brokenness. I am surrounded by despair and sadness and loneliness and self hatred.

I am surrounded by light and love and grace and mercy and fellowship and activists. I am surrounded by people who are actively involved in bringing the kingdom of heaven to EARTH. to where we are. I am surrounded by people storing up for themselves treasures in heaven. I am surrounded by people who have sacrificed SO much for the cause of Christ. I am surrounded by people who share my same love and desire and passion and call for the brokenhearted.

I am surrounded by the Holy Spirit. I am being led by the Holy Spirit. I am living in and through the Holy Spirit.

I love to spend money on clothes. Tonight Jesus convicted me of my excess. He shoved it in my face and said AMY WHAT GOOD DOES THIS DO YOU. but more importantly he said AMY WHAT GOOD DOES THIS DO ME!

Thank you JESUS CHRIST for loving a broken, helpless, empty girl. Thank you for filling me with you and love for you and love for your people, your heart. Thank YOU for doing more than I could ever ask or imagine.

Romans 5:3-8
There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Can i please be this woman when i grow up?!

Auntie jan and Auntie Margo and Mom, watch this. This is the lady i always talk about and its Selah's mom!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Today i got baptized! My roommate Jenn baptized me in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit! It was AWESOME.

And very very very cold. It was a nice 15 degrees
celcius outside but the water was practically freezing. But very refreshing!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cats Galore

This is weird. I know it is. But it is also so so very funny if you let your mind go to that place where everything about cats is matter what.

As i looked through my recent downloads i was struck by the fact that probably 93% of my downloads are photos of cats. You're probably wondering why. This is the answer...


Mollie is my best cuzzie. she also loves funny cat photos. so sometimes in my spare time i like to google cat photos. and below are some of my favorites so far.


PS- FTW means For The Win (a common phrase in mollie and my vernacular)



I'm getting baptized tomorrow. In the river near my house. With a few close friends.

I've been thinking about it for a long while through a curious chain of events, i've decided that tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow at 3:30pm in the Otonabee River.

Also. last night as i was walking back from my nursing 100 seminar, i crossed the bridge that links the east side and west side of campus. as i stepped onto the bridge, i had an overwhelming sense that i should let go. let go of something i'd been holding onto for far too long.

so i did. and as i pictured it falling into the river below, i let someone fall out of my hands and into the river as well. (bio degradable of course!)

And it feels good.

and now for added artsy fartsyness. i've included some wonderfully cheesy pictures that i found by googling "letting go".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

there's more to living than being alive.

Hallereen. The Trent experience. The Bridge.


check it. click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

if i only dwell in thee.

If to distant lands I scatter
If I sail to farthest seas
Would you find and firm and gather 'til I only dwell in Thee?
If I flee from greenest pastures
Would you leave to look for me?
Forfeit glory to come after
'Til I only dwell in Thee

If my heart has one ambition
If my soul one goal to seek
This my solitary vision 'til I only dwell in Thee
That I only dwell in Thee
'Til I only dwell in Thee

brooke fraser.

Friday, October 24, 2008

different, but the same.

I love the Bridge. I love being a part of it. I love spending my weekend nights there. I love the friendships i'm making. I love the kids i'm meeting. And i especially love it because in a sense, these messed up youth are exactly like my african orphans.

When i came back to Canada i had this complex like somehow every issue in the world paled in comparison to Africa and that NO ONE in the WORLD could understand me, what i saw, what i did etc.

Then as we are praying in debrief tonight, i was struck by this realization.

These youth and my orphans are different, but exactly the same.

Although the youth i'm friends with may not live in institutions, their hearts do. They are desperate and alone and lonely and unloved. And as such, they don't know HOW to love. So we are there to love them, to teach them boundaries, to guide them, to laugh with them, to cry with them, and sometimes just to BE with them.

My heart broke tonight. I thought my heart only broke for african orphans. But what i realize right now is that my heart breaks for orphans in general. These kids that come to The Bridge may not be true orphans, but they are in such desperate dire situations that they may as well be. And maybe that's almost worse, because at least being an orphan affords you the option of being rescued.

I did a silly thing a while ago. I prayed "Lord break my heart with the things that break your heart"...and what do you know, he's come through.

Lord- take these kids. take their families and their situations and hold them. comfort them like only you can. show these kids that their worth doesn't come from relationships on earth or any external force but only from YOU. give us volunteers the wisdom and courage to pour into these kids lives. Give us your love. We need you Lord. Oh how we need you.

Can they see him in you?

I’m sitting outside. The coldness from the sidewalk quickly creeps into my jeans and sets up house under my skin. I rub my hands together and blow air from my lungs between my palms, but even the air fro m my insides is just as cold as the air from my outsides.

The coffee cup that sits in front of me mocks me. Its purpose is to hold heat and give heat, yet it is empty, save for a few coins.

I look across the street to a beautiful old church. It is lit from the inside and its warmth radiates through the old stone that it scares away the frost that is covering most things around it. I can see people coming in and out. It is Sunday morning and sometimes, if I’m up to it, I’ll sit near the church and watch.

Families get out of their sleek cars in their Sunday best. Mothers hold the hands of their children as they cross the street from the parking lot to the church. They walk the steps directly in front of me. Yet they do not see me.

Today is not the day for helping the poor. Today is the day to worship the Lord. A little boy is hurrying to keep up with his mother and father, rushing so as not to be late. He is curious about me and my coffee cup. He slows as he nears me and intuitively, his mother turns around and yanks him away from me. She whispers in his ear as they continue on and the boy looks back and catches my eye.

I lean against the building I’m sitting by and try to rest my mind. It is full and always working. Sleep is hard to catch because my body is constantly cold. Sometimes i dream that my sleeping bag has a heater and i can actually feel warmth creeping into my worn tennis shoes.

The service is over and as people file out of the church. They are laughing and happy and talking about a great sermon. “Pastor really out did himself today” they say. I hear that often and i wonder if people really mean it or if they are just being kind.

As they cross the street, i am in their way. I am between the church and their cars and I can see the gears in their heads turning, looking for alternate routes around me. Some take the long way around, some try not to look down at me as they pass, some just wouldn’t even see me if they looked me dead in the eyes.

I see a man walking by me. I recognize him. He stopped to talk to me once when I was sitting in a bus shelter. He told me about a man named Jesus. He told me that his man came to save my soul. To love my unconditionally. And that the people coming out of the church in front me are his people.

But i wonder.....If these people are his, and if this man Jesus, really loves unconditionally like i was told, why don’t they see me.

I can see Jesus around them. The sad thing is that I don’t see Jesus IN them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thats MY king!

watch this. its sweet.


when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you
- brooke fraser, shadowfeet

Care,, has been posting about a little boy, Z. Sometimes my heart is so heavy its hard to put one foot in front of the other. But then i think of when Jesus tells us to cast our cares upon him.

This Saturday was my first real night as "staff" at The Bridge. It was awesome. I was so pumped to go and really looking forward to it. I prayed before hand for the kids that i would be meeting. This one youth R and I had a great talk. He's this incredible grafitti artist and brought this book out with all his drawings and art work and i was floored. Then i thought about the potential this guy has for greatness. He told me about his life and his girlfriend and his dreams for his future.

During debrief after we closed up, we talk about what happened during the night and good talks we had and prayer requests for kids and stuff like that. I talked about R and our talk and his artbook and stuff. Then everyone told me how that was amazing because he rarely does that. He has this one guy he talks to at The Bridge and thats it really. And i thought how cool it was that God would use me, this girl who has had about the most opposite life experience possible as this kid, to pour into this guys life. We spent a long time in prayer for the center and the kids and while i was praying i was overcome with this sense of gratitude like i've never felt before. It's actually mind boggling to me how my year has been so far. So easy the transition from home to away from home has been. How incredible my roommates are. And now this youth center.

I would NEVER have actively sought something like the bridge to volunteer at when i was at home.

I love how i'm changing. I love how i'm growing.

I love how its all God and none of me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A love that just be.

This note came to me via my bestie cousin Mollie. She is friends with this guy (yes a GUY wrote this beauty) Josh Z and on his facebook was the note below that he wrote. So i emailed him randomly and asked if i could put it on my blog because i think its AWESOME! So here it is! For your viewing pleasure!

I want a love that can just be. A love that doesn't need to be anywhere else, that doesn't need to be entertained. A contented love. My heart is saddened by the many hearts I meet that are still chasing, never longing for rest, for slow love. If the lights and addictions please you so... my simple, deep longings will never do. Continue on your journey into the lustful night; I will continue on my slow walk with the ever-burning sunset in my eyes.

Let us glory in beauty, not in selfish desire! Let us revel in this light, not in what we have to keep hidden! What Life there is when two become One; when the simple and the Divine become One. Can you see all the beauty that I see everyday, or are you blind like all the others! What glories there are far from the parties and egos; my happiness is not dependent on a crowd of pride and lust. Why are so many so content with what never satisfies? Why do you fill your life with the shallow, the superficial, the mundane? Is this all just a daily sedative, a daily drag to fill the nodes of happiness, contentment, and belonging? Have your fill, everyone drink in deep! Dear, I am sorry I am not filled by all of this, I am sorry that I am cynical of all that tranquilizes so many. I am not like all the others, or I don't want to be. I can't turn a blind eye at what I see. I will walk alone before I live a lie; I can't live in opposition to what I know brings true Joy, Life, and Love. Will you discern these words? Will you wait for love in time?

You are so impatient; bound by fear, young girls. You will never be happy. Only in the slow, the soft, the sound, the spiritual will you, will we find solace. In this we will find peaceful sleep and joy. Yet, in all your yearning you will give yourself away without ever living or truly loving. All you are feeling is to get what you think you want. Do you really want to put out all your chips so quickly? Are you so sure you'll find what you are looking for here?

Real love is not simple. Surely, your love is nothing more than emotion and sex; but you won't realize it or you won't care. You'll go on, blind to the fact that nothing can compare to Love. All the vices and compromises can't fill your heart, not even the ring on your finger.

I am content in all of this. I have no need to chase down what doesn't want to be caught. The restless have no desire for rest. I have no desire to watch my heart die, to yearn for what will bring more pain. Your joys bring me sorrow, and everything I hope for will only weigh you down. I am alone in Love, but that Love will grow when you see it with your spirit. Entering in, leaving behind the grey world, the Sun will flood in such glorious, warm light. Let this world and it's empty desires be a fading memory in the presence of the Life we are in.

"She was made for him, and him for her..." A resonating love that builds in time; let our hearts be something that is welded by a Love that is beyond this world not bearing on all the nature of fickle, broken man. Do you know what depth Love can take?

a note for my nana, a note for my mom.

Dear Nana,

I love you. I admire you. You are never afraid to call me on things even when it might be ackward or you think i'll get offended or mad. I appreciate that. I hope you will always do that for me. I look at your life and how you raised my mom and my aunts and uncles and i'm so thankful that God gave me grandparents like you and Buppa.

At your house this weekend, I woke up early and as i was going past the downstairs door, i heard buppa praying. I stopped at put my ear to the door and listened to you guys praying. It made my heart so happy to know and realize what leaders i have in my family. It makes me so thankful to know that I have grandparents who love me so much. Much more than i'll ever know. It makes me want to live a good life. It makes me want to make you proud of me. You are an inspiriation to me nana. I want to be old and wise and kind like you. I want to sit at the breakfast table with my husband and pray for my family. I want to pray for my grandkids before they drive home like you and buppa. I want to care so much about my grandkids that I'd do anything for them. I want to know my bible inside and out like you do. I want to love my husband and be the best wife for him. I want to love Jesus as much as you do. I want my grandkids to love me as much as yours love you.

I love you nana!

Dear Momma Bear.
Today at my interview for the bridge I had to say who is the most influential person in my life. I said you. I told them how proud i was that you are my mom. How you live a life that makes people want to know whats different about you. How you sit at your desk at night and do you bible studies. How you desire to know more and how you desire for me to know more. How you've stuck by dad through thick and thin. How you fight for what is right. How you hate injustice. How you've taught me how to take correction. How you've taught me about unconditional love. How you've taught me to learn from my mistakes. How you've taught me to be kind. How you've given me a love for bible memory. How you've supported me and listened to me and prayed for me. How you let me talk about africa till i'm blue in the face. How you love sophie like i love sophie. How i could come to you with anything and you will love me and accept me. How you sit with me when i'm panicking and you are quiet and you pray for me. How you read books that important to me just because they are important to me.
I love you marmie!