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