Sunday, November 15, 2009
I waited for the metrobus for 15 minutes. That is a little extreme really. After that I switched to the metro. I got a seat quickly which I was excited about seeing that that there were a lot of people standing around. I thought for a minute 'why doesn't anyone want to sit here?' I quickly realized that it was because the man sitting next to me had a strong pungent odor to him. I stayed there and swallowed my pride.
I then switched to a micro (which is like a city bus). I hopped on to find just a few seats left. I plopped down next to a teenage boy who was staring at something in his backpack. I looked over too to see what the fuss was about. Was I surprised to see him viewing the cover of a pornographic video. I was disgusted and insulted instantly. Yes, Mexico is a country literally littered everywhere with naked pictures for everyone to see. But this kid was so young and we are on a bus. My thought was that I should say to this kid 'if you want to ruin your sex life that's fine but do it on your own time'. I began to ponder if this is something the churches talk about here...pornography, infidelity, etc. Then just today I visited a church and the pastor was brutally honest about how we are unfaithful-in sexual relationships, with our bodies, in our relationships with Christ as well. He specifically talked about Pornography being a lie that people believe that will help them in their marriage, etc. I was encouraged.
Back to Friday, I got to campus and found the group I was going to work with. We sat in the lawn of the university where after a bit I began to smell something different. It quickly dawned on me that a group close to us had started smoking weed. Never before on campus had I experienced that.
I headed home after a few hours on campus. When I was almost home I was standing at the back of the micro to get off the bus and I hear a guy say to his friend 'that girl isn't mexican'. Being the sarcastic girl I am spitted back, 'really, was it that obvious?'. He followed up with 'and she speaks Spanish'.
All in all it was a crazy day in the city. I can't believe I wrote about pot and pornography in the same blog. I'm am getting more edgier!
Monday, November 09, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I happened to be in the States last week and thought it was appropriate for me to have a party there with my family.
Then I followed that up with an Aluminum Foil party on Saturday here in Mexico.
And the craziest thing is, my actual birthday is still two more days away!
Friday, October 30, 2009
That's all for now.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Today Angie and I went to Tepito for a little bit. We had some donations to drop of at a church mission there. Tepito is not the safest part of the city. In fact, even my taxi driver today didn't want to go there. On the way home we saw a car accident that led to a fight in the street. It was a crazy day.
Anyways, I captured this picture. Angie was holding this baby at the church when he started to fuss during the sermon. Before long her arms rocked that baby right to sleep. When we needed to get going, she went to pass the baby off to another girl but he grabbed back on and she sat for a few minutes longer.
Doesn't it feel great to feel safe? I don't mean just physically even though that is a real thing for me here. But I mean emotionally and spiritually. I often refer to my walk with God as knowing he's good but it doesn't always feel safe. I know he will not let me go cause it's not in his character so why do I struggle so much to stay?
May I rest in my Savior's arms like this baby rests in Angie's.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I'm doing a Bible Study with some international sisters at a church here in the city. We are studying Esther. I had read it a couple of times leading up to this point but never dissected it the way our girl Beth Moore does it. It's been interesting. Esther has made me question and long to be a woman of character.
Esther's qualities that I admire...
-she was orphaned but was loved by her uncle. She respected him and obeyed her "father" figure
-she was chosen to go to Xerxes' harem for a chance to be queen. she never mentions her nationality and the book specifically says that even though the hundreds of women received beauty treatments, Esther never asked for anything additional. She was simple yet beautiful
- she first won favor with the eunuch hegei and then with the king. that kind of favor is not just in looks...she had charisma and character
- she was wise, obedient, submissive, compliant, listened, independent, humble and cooperative.
I have a lot to grow in. I know it. But I have hope. Jesus is faithful to change me.
And I would also like to share with you about another amazing woman.
I met Sandra about 2 years ago at a Crusade conference in Mexico. She was going to be joining our team here in Mexico City and honestly I just really liked her from the beginning. She was welcoming to the foreigners, genuine and her love for people was evident.
I've watched her do ministry here the last 14 months or so and have just really enjoyed having her here. On Saturday she heads back to Oaxaca where she is from. She will be missed.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Yesterday I had a Day With the Lord. Let me tell you what that means. One of the blessings of being on staff is spending one day a month with Jesus. Yesterday I went to the Latin American Tower-my favorite places here in Mexico City and I was able to process some of the things that God has taught me. If it's ok with you, I want to share them with you.
-A couple of weeks ago my friend John told me that good leaders are defined by what you say no to. I haven't done a good job saying no this year. I have allowed things to creep on my plate and I took responsibility of things that weren't mine. I have learned what matters to me and I'm committed to only doing that.
-Repaying the debt of love is something I have been learning the last 6 months. I have been very diligent in working off financial debt and comparing that to paying the debt of love--I just haven't worked as hard at that. I want to love like Jesus loves and that is what life comes down to right? Loving?
-I have figured out what I am passionate about...more than just my ministry with a certain missions organization but in life. It doesn't matter where I work. It matters what I do. (more could be coming on this if I get around writing down my ministry philosophy)
-I could stay in Mexico. Because I like who I am better here. No offense to those friends reading from the United States. Something changed in me where I realized that I won't ever be "normal" again in the US but I will never be fully Mexican. I guess I'll be stuck in between for the years to come...or forever.
I think that's all for now. It's been a roller coaster of a year but am so grateful for it.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Then in the evening we went to see the Sound of Music at a local theater here in Mexico.
And if we didn't think that was enough, she threw herself a traditional "quince anos" celebration but a double one cause she is 30. Enjoy the pics. It was a great weekend too.
Friday, July 24, 2009
As you can see, we are off to a great start. He was a champ today as my sister and I dragged him off to Target and Old Navy and to the national baton twirling competition. It was a good time but we are pretty pooped now.
In other news...did you US friends get the memo that they have started using $1 gold coins in the States? Friends. I beg you. This is your job to keep me in the loop as to the new happenings in my homeland. If not I show up looking as an idiot here.
If you think about it, can you pray for the 20 staff and students that leave tomorrow for Costa Rica. Students from all over the country will be participating in a 2 week summer project. They will be gone from July 25-Aug 8.
- for team community and they would work well together
- for the Gospel to go forth in Costa Rica
- that God will use this time for our students in Costa Rica to change Mexico. What I mean by that is that our students will experience Christ and come back changed with a desire to change the country.
Monday, July 20, 2009
It's Monday here in Chihuahua and in just one hour I will be sharing with students about how they can be a part of launching movements on their campuses. Today Joram, Barry and I went with 5 students to visit 2 universities here in the city.
I'm excited for the next two days and how God will use us here. Praise God for this amazing church!
Pray for us:
-Joram and I will train the students well
-that I would continue to enjoy my time here
-for continuity in ministry and for us to stay in contact with leaders
-for God to do something remarkable on these university campuses and we can look back years after and say, "Look what God started in 2009"
That's all for now!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Just about a year ago, my friend Andrea and I were on top of the Latin America Tower in Mexico City filming a video for my supporters. We happened to run into another US sent missionary who is a church planter in the city. As our connection grew, he invited me along with other staff to go to Chihuahua, Mexico. He was in contact with a church there that had been praying for someone to teach them how to reach out to the universities. And since that is an area where I can help, my teammate from Holland, Joram and I are leaving tomorrow morning with the church planter to train the church and college students for 5 days. It will be a quick trip but I am excited for what God will do.
This picture was taken at one of our Monday morning training times. Joram is on the far right.
Here are some specific prayer requests:
- That God will give Joram and I the ability to communicate well in Spanish. The accents up north are a little different I hear.
- For our training times. We are preparing an Evangelism training time, Discipleship and how to Launch Movements on College Campuses
- That we would be a blessing to this church
- For great time with college students (that is why we are going)
- For access to the campus UACH and that we can take the students from the church sharing at the university.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
This is my new nephew Rylan Lucas Kring. My sweet sister Amy gave birth on Thursday. I was in the middle of a biblical studies course when I got a text message from my brother. I left the class to call her. I had my priorities. :) Sorry professor.
I have sure enjoyed the pictures and stories so far but I can't wait to get my hands on him on July 23.
What a precious little guy!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
But the word missions has really hit a nerve with me recently. Yes, I'm a missionary. I'm not special. Every believer has a call on their life to missions. Some people just don't do it as their full time job. Even if I were to leave Mexico tomorrow (Oh Lord, please not yet!) and move back to the states and work at Target, I still am a missionary. It will just look different. Because the things I love and am passionate about will not change. I will still intentionally talk about a God who transformed my life. I will still walk beside younger believing women and invest in them so they have a foundation to know Jesus in a more clear way and I will still help others be more equipped to be "missionaries" as well.
I'm not sure how this affects me or my future. I just know that my hands are open. If this missions organization isn't the best fit for me, I am completely confident that God will show where my next missions assignment is. I just hope that it might still be on Mexican soil.
In other news, I'm currently taking a Christian Life Theology class this week in Spanish. It has been very interesting and challenging due to the language and content. I'm learning a ton, being humbled in my ability and grateful to apply some things from this week.
Monday, July 06, 2009
My sister's due date was July 3, 2009. She is still pregnant today.
Dear Baby Kring,
Auntie Em is coming home to meet you soon. I would appreciate it if you would work around my busy schedule and be home and ready to see me by July 23.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
It rains every day in Mexico these days. I often find myself with this outfit on...rolled up jeans and flipflops. I have discovered that I absolutely hate wet socks and shoes so I wear sandals a lot. And my friend Suzanne brought me handy fold up umbrella that fits perfectly in my purse so I can take it anywhere.
I just wanted to share what I'm up to these days and how I look doing it!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I am so grateful for the month of June for many reasons. I am resting, laughing, and enjoying life. July I will be traveling a lot but until then, I'm enjoying the hot sometimes rainy city.
On another note, Mexican systems such as light companies and banks. I still after almost 2 years don't understand most processes and what hoops that you have to jump through to get what you want. It's been a frustrating day and doesn't look like it's over anytime soon with the light company.
I am learning patience and how to roll with the punches in the Mexican system.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
- chai tea
- the ability to speak two languages
- laughter with friends
- 2 cookouts in one weekend!
- my new nephew who is coming so soon
- knowing that God has all things in control--finances, team situations, and my future
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Living with Angela Ruth Dexter has been an adventure the last 9 months. I would like to share with you some of the educational things I have learned from her.
The Amazing Work of White Vinegar
Being the sweaters that we are, we often find our shirts with armpits that are yellow. Shortly after moving in, she informed me of the miracle of spraying straight up white vinegar on the pits and letting it soak. Amazingly removes the stains.
Make up Brushes
Angie and our friend Lola are in beauty school to help prostitutes find other jobs. Angie has been learning all kinds of helpful information that is bettering our selves as well. Angie recently taught me the magic of brushes. My eyes are so much more bright and vibrant...watch out Mexican men, these baby blues are getting even hotter.
Beto and the Zumba crew made some workout videos a couple of years back. In fact, my dear sister Amy I believe owned them once for 30 days. Angie and I often have some time with Beto early in the morning before taking off for our days.
Mexican Pop Music
I have never met a gringa like her...she sings pop music like everyone else. Last weekend on our way back from Queretero, she made it her mission to pass her knowledge on to me.
Although these things seem somewhat silly, Angie has been a dear friend and roommate. We'll be staying in our apartment for at least the next year-together. I'm so glad that I don't have to move!
Monday, June 01, 2009
Yes, these are pigs on the highway in Mexico and I picked the most tasteful of a series of three to share with you.
I enjoyed (for the most part) the quarantine at the beginning of May. Then I snuck home to surprise some family for Mother's day and I honestly don't know where the rest of May went. Hello June!
I'm not sure what normal is but I think I'm in it. I have time to blog, rest, laugh, dance, pray and journal.
I like this. Resting, loving, healing and helping is better than controlling, enabling and making things look pretty even when it's hard inside. It's worth it.
More to come shortly...
Monday, May 04, 2009
Well the times of dealing with appendicitis returned last night about 1:00am when my teammate from Holland fell ill. We originally thought he had the swine flu and we took him to the hospital. At about 5:00am we received official word that his appendix was inflamed and would be in surgery by 9:00am. My roommate Angie and I had a sleepless, yet memorable 12 hours at ABC hospital as we hung out with Joram.
From this recent crisis, I learned the value of my sweet family. Man, I missed those guys as I was the stand in family for our friend. Pray that he recovers quickly and is released from the hospital tomorrow.
This is a pic of me about 4:30am with some snacks to keep Angie and I awake.
Friday, May 01, 2009
All Restaurants are "Take Out Only". Chili's is usually where we hang out on Thursday nights as US staff women.
And here I am trying to send a couple of faxes at Office Depot. In this picture, I'm rocking a "cubre boca" (a mask). We don't go into stores very often these days.
So we are here in the houses until May 6. If you have any ideas to keep us busy, leave a comment!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I hear the news is calling Mexico City the "epicenter" or "ground zero" is a little outlandish. Don't get me wrong, we are on quarantine in our apartments until May 6 but the city is running almost normal. People still are working but just some are wearing masks which people say don't even protect from the flu. I guess it takes a lot to shut down a city of 20+ million. The flu hasn't done it and that earthquake didn't do much either.
Pray for us:
- that our staff would find things to do in their apartments and not get itchy to leave.
- for the baby that was born to our staff couple Ale and Beto. All are fine and at home.
- for continued safety for us as we stick it out in the city.
- for God to use this to reach people.
What a Birthday it was!
In the meantime, we are throwing birthday parties for our friend Lola (who lives in the same building so we didn't break any rules) and watching 24 and reading Twilight. We do a little administrative work every now and then too. :)
Thanks for reading!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
We are taking precautions...hanging out inside, avoiding transportation, public places and practicing hygiene. I will keep you updated from Mexico City.
Monday, April 20, 2009
This week is my late Grandma's birthday. She passed away last year on Mother's day. Her life ending has been a rough spot in my heart the last year. I have learned a ton about the character of God and the way he continues to ask my heart to be willing to go to the hard spots in life and heal. It hasn't been an easy year in a number of areas but I can safe I am grateful. Transformation sometimes comes in the valleys of life.
Today I celebrate my Grandma. She was a great woman. She loved people deeply and she took care of her family.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I can't say much but Jesus showed up. He annointed registration, ballrooms, programs, testimonies, students to share their faith and lives to be changed.
Above is a picture the night the 200 students went to the beach to release helium filled balloons. The message was that just as balloons were meant to be filled with helium, we were meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit and soar. It was a beautiful night.
I spoke on the last day giving a training on how to launch movements on their campus. It had been a stressful, emotional week but Jesus showed up.
And I lost a bet when we were bowling a couple of days before and I had to twirl baton for the students. A little scary and embarrassing. I guess that is what I get for making a bet with the conference director!
I don't usually like rain. I feel like it's inconvenient and just is kind of annoying at times. But this day as we stood under the awning, waiting out the rain or for a taxi--which ever came first, I was so grateful for renewal. That things could be washed away and made new. You see, this has been a hard year for me both personally and in my job. I'm sure that it's nothing that was out of Jesus' hands even for a minute but I am reminded that even though rain is inconvenient, it brings a fresh slate, a clean start, a new flower- hope. I have hope for a fresh start in Mexico and in Jesus.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I bought a basketball yesterday. I think with all the long hours of working, I have had a high need to be outside doing something active. Yesterday, I caved and Caitlin and I walked to the local Marti (sporting goods store) to buy a ridiculously overpriced basketball. New joy has come to my life with this guy. We went and play at a local court again 3 kids from Chiapas. I can't say that Victor, Caitlin or I dominated at all. The only advantage we had was our height. It was a blast...we laughed so hard and made some new friends.
A new #1 way to relieve some stress? Pick up my basketball walk a few blocks and shoot around for a little bit.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Here are some things that are bringing me great joy:
- My friend Caitlin from last year is back for three weeks helping us plan our annual student conference. She's great and fun and makes me laugh all the time.
- My sweet roommate Angie. She has been such a blessing and great friend this year.
- Knowing that that there is joy in sadness and sadness in joy. It's messy but Jesus is somehow good in the middle.
- Listening to my Mexican guy friends singing pop music in the car in falsetto voices. So hilarious.
- Getting long phone messages and emails of random thoughts from my pregnant sister.
- Seeing Jesus move on campuses and in the lives of students and staff...it's just priceless.
- My international Bible Study at church. I love the women and the countries they represent.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
and I am addicted to work. (APPLAUSE)
I've been learning a little bit about myself the last couple of weeks. Mostly that I take on more than I can handle. That I will do anything to not let things fail and make my life and work look pretty.
So I've been re-checking my priorities. Let me share them with you.
Galatians 5:6b says, "The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love." I have realized that sometimes I become so focused on the task at hand that I forget that my job is to love people first and foremost. So I'm switching my priorities so I'm freed up to love people and students more than finishing the next task at hand.
Now that I can admit my 'issues', I can start learning to rest. So I'm setting up some boundaries. I am going to observe the Sabbath, enjoy my evenings in community, sleep, work out and find valued time with the Lord.
I started that resting and relaxing in Cancun a couple of weeks ago with my friend Kathryn and my parents. It was a great time.
I mean who couldn't relax after looking at this for 4 days?
Friday, January 30, 2009
I went to a student meeting this past weekend. It was great. In just 4 months, students are leading meetings and ministries without a ton of help from staff. It was impressive but I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the way we as Christians tend to separate ourselves from everyone else. We use a different language, take our kids to different schools, listen to a radio station that only plays music that is wholesome and uplifting…the list goes on and on. And honestly as those things were probably put into place to help us Christians grow closer to Jesus, what I really think it has done is make the chasm of us v.s. them a bridge that I wouldn’t even want to cross. I just don’t think we are very approachable. God calls me to live not of the world but I think that Jesus would have gone to a New Kids concert or out to a bar to watch the Pumas play futbol or maybe even have voted for Obama. I think our legalism in trying to boil down our faith in ways that we as humans can micromanage it has made faith something not adventurous and life changing but just one of those things that people “fall into” to supposedly make their lives better. I don’t want to be lukewarm by any means. I just want to be someone that is approachable to understand and know in the context of me knowing Jesus. Is that too much to ask?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The girls and I went to see Mary & Me last night. Cute movie and well done however it left me feeling like I never want a dog cause they are ton of work and I don't know if I want kids either cause they seem like even more work. I cried a couple of times (a couple of things hit close to my heart) and I laughed out loud.
There has been some rare days in Mexico. Now I don't know exactly what I mean when I say rare but I'll try to explain. I was coming back on a bus to the city on Friday night and I was engrossed in a book (we'll get to that later) and I look up and around and for a minute the book had taken me to another world and I forgot that I lived in a foreign country. It was surreal and weird. I heard the horns honking and rain was falling down as Mexicans scurried around trying to find transport to get them home on a late Friday night. I thought...'what had happened in my life that I really would be living in another country?' and then I thought about how Jesus had radically changed my life and nothing was off limits when that happens. Yesterday was rare too cause I saw a woman carrying a poodle down the street like a baby. That was no small dog either and I saw a grown man relieving himself on the street. I quickly moved past him.
I made a sacrifice yesterday. I threw away a pair of beloved pajama pants. They were purchased from a Wal-Mart in South Bend, IN in July 1999. That was a good summer. I ran around with a crowd that I worked at Target with. It was the closest I have ever gotten to being truly rebellious. Anyways, the pants had been through everything with me and it was starting to show...so much that my roommate called them my wedding pants because strips of fabric just followed behind me when I walked. They were not attractive and probably at least 2 sizes too big. Me and the pants had a private good bye near the dumpster in my building.
I just finished the book "The Shack" last night. This the book that I got lost in when I was riding the bus. It was really good. Makes you think about life and faith in a completely different way. Doesn't mean it's all doctrinally sound but still good. Check out this link to hear more: http://theshackbook.com/
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I must admit my time at home was really good but quick. I flew in to Chicago on December 22 with bronchitis and hit the ground running. My sister Amy and I shopped our faces off, I got to see a ton of close friends and supporters of my ministry, spent time with my family for Christmas, and saw Wicked on Broadway. And that was all in 5 days. :) I slept a little while I was home too.
Two sweet friends that lived and worked on the same team with me in Mexico were willing to commit to a road trip from South Bend to Denver, CO. It was such a fun way to catch up.
It was a blast to see friends from Colorado as well. The conference in Denver was great. Jesus worked in my heart and I enjoyed connecting with staff too.
I'm back in Mexico City now. Starting work back today with training some new volunteers in the city. The teams from last semester starts again on Jan 12.
Here are some things you can be praying for:
- wisdom, direction and clarity for our long term ministry
- that I would set good boundaries and not be a workaholic :)
- for sweet time with my friends here in Mexico
- that I would connect deeply to the heart of God and experience the Gospel daily