crazy july…

July has been absolutley non-stop. At the beginning, Kristi and I went to the beach for a few days with her family, and we had an awesome time. I ate a lot, got burnt to a crisp, and was part of a putt-putt team that was crowned “The Indisputable Putt-Putt Champions of the World.” It consisted of myself and Kristi’s dad, and we beat her little brother Andrew and his friend Zach to win the crown. Sorry if you thought you were in the running for this trophy…it has already been taken home by us. And we have t-shirts to prove it. Maybe next year you can challenge…

From the 8th through the 14th, Kristi and I went to Nova Scotia on a work/mission trip for her, along with two other college students. We got to see a lot and learned a ton. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • We went deep sea fishing and caught a ca-trillion mackeral. Three at a time. And Kristi caught a huge seagull. No joke…it came up and swallowed one of the fish, along with the hook, while she was reeling in. It was quite the commotion.
  • We learned a lot about Canadian culture, and their perceptions of Americans. Mostly, I found out that Canadians a) view themselves as our little brothers(they think we’re cool so they’ll take our music and movies and kind of want to be like us, but they also hate us), b) that they think we are know-it-all’s, and c) that they think we are completely unaware of any countries/cultures around them because we are so consumed with ourselves.
  • I hate to say it, but I did my part to help further these bad perceptions while we were there. For one, just being completely ignorant of Canadian geography in conversations I had with people there. To be our neighboring country I knew absolutely nothing about where the different states were, etc. and that came out glaringly in conversations. To be honest, before we left I thought Nova Scotia was a country, not a state in Canada! I know that is sad. And to top off that, during one conversation I really hit home the whole ‘completely unaware’ thing. We were talking to this guy and he was telling us about a park called the Public Gardens, and how Queen Victoria picked out her favorite plants from around the world to be in the Gardens. My response was, “Oh, so Queen Victoria likes to go there when she comes over here, huh?” The guy smiled at me like I was a moron and responded, “Um….well, Queen Victoria is dead.” It turns out that she died in 1901 and the Queen of England now is Queen Elizabeth. That’s good to know.
  • We found two really cool churches in downtown Halifax that we attended and got to hang out with: Deep Water Church and Pax North. These were both extremely cool churches that we were so encouraged by. They work together and really love each other, and that was so cool to see.
  • We got to hang out with AJ, the pastor at Deep Water(who is basically a Canadian Donald Miller), for several hours one day and it was incredible. I asked him a lot about his perceptions of American church culture(things are very different up there to say the least). One of the things he was surprised by was how commercialized everything is. Then he made this comment that floored me:  “You know, I went to Catalyst down there last year. And you know what…seriously, not since middle school have I ever seen so many people trying so hard to look cool. I was astounded.”
  • You should go listen to AJ’s sermon from that week here. It is called ‘God Uses the Weak’, and it was very, very good.

We got home on the 14th and started getting work done to get ready to go to Mexico with Midtown on the 18th. We just got back from that trip on Sunday night and I am finally catching my breath. It was amazing…there’s no other way to put it. Highlights from Mexico:

  • Getting to know the amazing team that went from our family. We told testimonies/life stories every night, and it was insane just getting to hear about the lives of everyone that we were serving alongside. One thing God kept beating into me the whole week was the lesson that you never know what people have been through. It is unthinkable, some of the scars people are carrying around that you would never know. It makes you want to be nicer to people in general.
  • Getting to know Benny and Carlos, a few of the staff at Alfonso’s church, was very chito(“cool” in Mexican slang).
  • Every time I see poverty like that it breaks my heart for them, but it also breaks my heart for our culture that is built on materialism, greed, and consumption that produces people not nearly as happy as the poorest people in Mexico living in shacks.
  • Bronto burgers and Xel-ha. Enough said.

It has been a really crazy and good month, and God has been teaching me a lot through it all. But I am very glad to be back home for a good while now.

Home sweet home.

34 thoughts on “crazy july…”

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