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Friday, October 28, 2005

Christmas wish list

I can't remember the last time I actually made a Christmas wish list, but I decided that this year it might be worth it, especially since I don't see anyway I could get these things on my own right now. So, here it is :)

Travis' Christmas List 2005

1. Archos Gmini™ XS 202 MP3 Player ($230 @ Comp USA)
2. Digital Camera - Samsung Digimax 3.2MP Digital Camera - Techno Silver U-CA 3 TS ($230 @ Best Buy)
3. Another Hot Air Balloon ticket to take Alexis too
4. Money for tuition and books
5. Money for Mission trips
6. Money in general (for bills)
7. $300 to pay deductible for rear ending damage on car
8. $175 to fix broken hinges on laptop - update* now both are broken, bad.
9. Gift card to Banana Republic
10. Gift card to The Gap
11. Gift card to American Eagle
12. Gift card to Target

Completely and utterly bored

So, here I am sitting at a café, watching a bunch of people do some wine taste testing and laugh their heads off. Everyone else (being the majority of my friends) are in class and I'm sitting here doing nothing because I lent out the one book that I need to someone else. So instead of taking advantage of my time, I'll be staying up late, once again, with a full day ahead.

In other news, the fundraising is going pretty well, it looks like we will be able to buy at least one ticket; it would be nice for both of us to go, but for now it looks like one. We'll use the extra money to go towards our trip in the summer. Remember you can donate with PayPal on the right, thanks.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rollercoaster ride

This past month has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride for a number of the people I live with, including myself. One of our German interns has been dealing with excruciating pain with a couple of her teeth for a little over two weeks now. Thank God she found a Christian dentist who has charged her only $275 for the procedure to remove two absences from under two of her molars. This procedure has now lead to pain which has kept her up for over two days and now they've prescribed something stronger than Vicadin, let's hope and pray that it works. The last option is simply to pull the teeth since she does not have the insurance to afford the specialist (a $3,000 procedure).

As for me, this next season of my life is a huge time of transitions. Not only are people around me transitioning into new and sometimes unknown territory, I am also entering a new season of life, yet I'm not quite sure what it is. All I know is that I am becoming more and more sensitive, but I believe in a good way. For example, yesterday I was listening to our intern pastor and he was telling us what he sees for the future and I was tearing up the entire time, and through worship I almost lost it. However, inside I couldn't pinpoint the emotion; I think God is simply preparing my heart. And you know, the more I think about it the more I realize that when God's heart is being told, it resonates in me and comes out emotionally. I'm not really bothered by it, but I am surprised by it, but I like it too. I feel close to God, close to Alexis, and pretty good. I have my down times, yet they are intimate down times, not angry, empty times.

Friday, October 14, 2005

From "Glory to Glory"

Well I am truly learning what Paul meant by "going from glory to glory". You see, the night after I wrote my OCD post (the one just below this one) I had an OCD moment. Alexis and I had a misunderstanding and because I focused on the part where I felt she left out information, therefore making me feel disrespected and very annoyed, I had a bit of a blowout of anger on my part. And so, what should have been a 20 min discussion to figure out our schedules turned into a 2 hour quarrel over respect and demands.

Lesson learned - do not focus on feelings until the facts are straight. Especially if you tend to obsess on how you feel and not the other person.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Obsessive compulsive

I use to joke about being "OC" or "OCD", but I now realize that I do obsess over things such as "disrespect" and "rudeness". What I mean is that when I feel someone has "wronged" me, I become overly obsessed with that situation, and I either completely get on the person's case, or if that is not possible I become so disconnected from the rest of the world I get absolutely nothing done. Thanks to a great friend of mine who has gone through similar issues I now have some tools to get through those times, and realize that just because someone did not communicate something, or that something was not done as I asked, or whatever the reason, that person isn't trying to "disrespect" me or be "rude" to me, it's simply a miscommunication, it happens, we are human.

The root of this issue is perfectionism, I have had a lot of control over my life, especially before I decided to take the ultimate risk and follow God in faith. But since following God's call and depending on faith, I have learned that I can not be perfect, nor is anyone around me. I have no control, even the little bit that I claim to have on a day-to-day basis is not really in y control. God is providing, just enough, at just the right time, and my faith is increasing at a steady pace, not lightning speed.

There are some major things happening right now in the ministry that I am involved in right now, as part of the internship program. It's another one of these calls to faith, bit more control is going to need to be dropped, and simply put, I am afraid. I know that I'll want to compare myself to others, and that I'll feel that I am not as qualified, but I must know that God's call is all that qualifies me.

Lord, I ask for your guidance, your voice to be strong, to keep me from the temptations of the enemy. I praise you for what you have done, for where you have managed to pull my stubborn soul, I thank you for this too. Continue to be the center of my relationship with Alexis and guide us into the right time for the next step. May all of this, and everything else I have no clue about, bring you glory, and people to faith in you.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Vision - In Letter form

This is a copy of the letter we will be sending to people. Let us know what you think.
The Lord has done much in our lives since Travis returned from Poland in August of 2004. Both of us are now in our second year of the INTERNational Training Program (ITP) in Gresham, Oregon, as well as in our final year at the Oregon College of Ministry (OCM). Through the ITP we are being equipped for hands-on and practical ministry to young people and others in our own generation. As part of this intern program we took the opportunity this past July/August to go to U-turn Poland, an annual youth camp for Foursquare Europe (each year a different country is host), that, by no accident, was in Zakopane, the same town I served in just over a year ago. In addition, through OCM we are being equipped with practical biblical training to enable us to serve God and be servant leaders to a broken world.

Over this past year God's calling on our lives has become confirmed, we are to be pastors, to sheppard His people and serve them. We have a vision to see people become equipped to lead and serve in God's kingdom. Because of the mentorship, training, and equipping we have received through OCM and the ITP we now have a heart for mentoring, training, and equipping our generation. Specifically the Lord has given us a vision and heart for our generation in the nation of Poland.

So, what will we do in Poland, when will we go? That is the question. We want to build a training program in Poland, it will look different than the ITP, but God's heart is the same; to mentor, train, equip, and release the Polish people to do the ministry themselves, plant churches themselves, and bring God's full glory in freedom. This training program will be a place for Americans, Poles, and eventually anyone to experience ministry, hands on, and receive the same kind of mentorship as Paul did for Timothy. We believe there will be restoration for both the local Polish people and the interns themselves just as we have seen in our lives since being in the ITP. In the future we want to have the same kind of quality practical Bible teaching as OCM is providing. And ultimately we want to see the Polish people take on the vision themselves.

In order to see this come to fruit we have a multi-year plan that we know will require patience and prayerful consideration. Of course we will continue building our relationships with our Polish friends in Poland, including at least an annual visit until we move there. We also want to begin building a relationship with the Polish community here in the Portland, Oregon area. In the meantime we hope to recruit Polish Christians from the Portland, Seattle, and other areas and certainly Poles living in Poland into the ITP here in Gresham so that we can start building a team of people (including some non-Poles) to go to Poland when God opens the doors and says "go". We consider this time to be the conception stage, when the vision is fully birthed we will know.

We have a couple of opportunities on the horizon that do require some outside resources. The first is in November, we have been invited to attend the first national Foursquare conference of Poland. It takes place on November 11th and 12th, our entire trip would be from November 10th to the 16th and include a stop in San Francisco where a former Poland missionary and one of the Polish girls we worked with are now, as part of our intentions to build stronger relationships with our Polish friends. Total cost for this trip is about $2,300 for both of us. This is a key event for us to begin building strong relationships with the national leaders in Poland and to capture the full vision for Poland. The next event on the horizon is U-Turn Germany, taking place this coming summer. This camp is when we see nearly all of our friends from Poland, and make new ones; it is also a key event for building our strong relationships even stronger. After we are in Germany we hope to travel back to Poland for a week to simply help and fellowship with our Polish friends. Estimated cost for U-Turn Poland is $2,000 each, this is a part of the ITP and so much fundraising is available for this.

So, again, we thank you for your prayers, financial support, and spiritual support through this entire process. If you have any questions you may contact Travis or Alexis with the information below. We pray that you too will know God's calling in your life, weather it be local or global, we know the Lord has amazing plans for each person and that it takes for each of us to trust Him and Listen to Him.

In Christ,
Travis & Alexis