THE TRAVELING BEGINS

June 21, 2009

My summer adventure begins tomorrow.  Well, I guess it begins now since I’m packing up for it.  Man, can I just tell you that I never seem to know what to pack, even if I’ve been to where I’m going?  Actually, I’m taking a detour so I suppose this time is different. 

Tomorrow afternoon, I’m helping my college, former co-RD’s/laborers in ministry, and life long friends (Dave & Tricia) drive out to Florida.  I’m not too sure what the actual game plan is but last I heard, we’re going to stop at the Grand Canyon for the evening, then make drive out to Texas, spend a few days there where Tricia’s parents live.  Dave and I will then drive only one of the cars (there’s 2 cars between the 3 of us – they’re having a moving company move there stuff) from Texas to Florida.  So, our plan is to pull into Jacksonville, Florida (final destination) by Sunday, June 28th.  Then I’ll spend that evening, Monday and Tuesday morning with Dave and help get their stuff settled in.  Tricia will stay in Texas and wait for Dave to fly back and then he’ll make that drive again with Tricia and the other car.  I’ll fly out from Jacksonville on my way to New Delhi India. 

I fly from Florida to DC, then to Munich, Germany Wednesday morning, spend 12 hours there (and explore – ideas anyone?), then fly out Wednesday evening and arrive into New Delhi 7am, July 2nd, Thursday morning where I’ll be the following 3 weeks. 

Until then please be mindful of my visa/passport that’s still in process.  I’m hoping to get it by the end of this week, here at Master’s, then it’ll be overnight to some friends already living in Florida.  I hope I get it by the 29th of June…

Anyway, I gotta get some more packing finished, then some little logistical things going here. 

We’ll see you soon!

I’ve Got Nothing…

April 9, 2009

This semester seems like a blur – some good and some not as good.  I’ll just update and expound more later:

  • Dave & Jeff are not returning as RDs next year – sooooo bummed about that (but excited about their new opportunities)
  • Chapel Band released their new album
  • went to Hawaii during Spring Break (3rd year in a row going to Hawaii during Spring Break)…..miss the kawaguchi’s & the dirks!!!
  • doing massive amounts of school work
  • randomly hung out in Santa Barbara with J. Lewis and had an awesome RD day away
  • been working through the slim pickings for RAs for next year
  • auditions for next year’s Chapel Band
  • watched The Passion with Pete the other nite (intense)
  • drove up to Nothern Cali in less than a month
  • going to camp Hotchkiss for Easter weekend
  • learning a lot about friendship
  • thinking about going to Germany with Jeff in June
  • planning on going to India with Gunner in July
  • wish I had more sleep
  • miss my family

happy easter everyone!

LAUGH, LAUGH, LAUGH

February 3, 2009

I would like to describe them all for you but I can’t – it would require too many words that aren’t in my limited vocabulary.  Anyway, here’s what I want to do;  I posted a while back some of my favorite hair(s) or whatever.  So, now I’ve decided to list for you my favorite laughs.  I’m sure I’m going to offend or forget a few, but you’ll get over it, I hope…

Here they are, people who, when they get going or just really great out bursts of GOOD laughs –  in no particular order:

  • all my siblings – any of the savini’s really, seriously…if you’ve heard me laugh you should hear all of us laugh together
  • jeff lewis
  • dave hulet
  • jared foy (makes me smile just thinking about it)
  • ben blakey
  • sam neylan
  • holly worsham (especially college years when matt pearson would egg you on)
  • phil anderson
  • chris travis
  • adam carmichael (when i laugh with adam, we kind of blend really well)
  • jennene margrave
  • eric margrave
  • joe keller
  • happy gilmore
  • rick dennis
  • esther dennis
  • kyle jenison
  • casey jenison
  • jake dennis
  • beth catron
  • team india (’08)
  • meredith ebner
  • josh ward
  • ryan zamroz
  • wesley shryock
  • tommy delmuro
  • majesty (1998-2000)
  • dr. plew
  • andrew shearer
  • babies laughing, well not multiple, so i guess a baby’s laugh
  • old people

i guess these are people who i’ve laughed with a lot.  its such a good gift from the Lord; I’m so thankful for it.  the truth is, i love to laugh and i love to make others laugh and i love it when laughing is happening and i’m not even a part of it, which is rare 🙂 just kidding.

EVALUATION

January 27, 2009

okay, so last night i finished up an evaluation that we annually do here for our deans, RAs, staff etc.  and i’m baffled at how quick i am to evaluate so harshly or so unreasonably.  i know there is room for “correction” and “redirection” but i found myself at a place valuing relationship and interaction around what its done for me (a lot of that is due to the questions asked like, “how have you been cared for?” or “how can we help you in your job/ministry etc?”).  i know i have normal, God-given needs.  that’s mainly because i need a savior.  but i’m slowly learning that life, relationships, singleness or marriage, missions overseas or here are all about what you lose, not what you gain.  simple concept, it seems.  but its not.  its hard for me to learn that and live that – i’m still fighting that now, when i think about what my dean is going to say about me when he evaluates my “performance” on the job.  but i want to lose it all.   

Jesus says, If you want to gain your life, throw it away (paraphrase adopted by Howard Hendricks).  what a revolutionary way of living.  i can’t live this way without Jesus patiently changing me from moment to moment, from the inside out.  how humbling is that?  Jesus stationed where He is, actively, gently, powerfully changing the heart?  my heart? what’s really freeing is that He promised to finish that!  beautiful.  astounding. 

so, when i look at others and my interaction and relationships with them, am thankful for them,  am joyful with them, am frustrated with them, impatient, judgemental, harsh, irritated etc., i ought to and will strive to remember the Lord Jesus and His relationship with me.  i want to evaluate that more and more.

BIG TIME STUFF

January 8, 2009

so chapel band was in the studio yesterday for hours, one 30 min lunch break, 10 min break around 8pm and then we ended around 9:30ish.  and all we did was do scratch recordings so dave (our drummer) can lay down his stuff for 7 of the 10 songs we’re recording.  brian steckler is legit (he’s our producer). 

its been fun, humbling and exhausting.  but mostly fun. 

i think i’ve just been taken back by the possibilities of people.  obviously God empowers, gifts and directs people and i don’t want to negate that at all.  but the sheer talent in human nature is sometimes beyond me.  i am thankful and it actually makes me want to work harder with what i have been gifted in, talents, abilities etc. 

i was at a basketball game the other night watching the guys play and i told someone later that i want to sing the way ryan zamroz plays basketball 🙂   he’s amazing on the court by the way.  anyway, its fun to see people work hard and be good at what they love doing.  and there’s so many examples of that in my life.  you’d think i’d be better at a lot of things with the amount of examples i have.  

well, we’re off to another full day of recording. 

please pray for me, i still have tons to do for RD prep, with the recording ’til Saturday then chapel band rehearsal sunday through tuesday and my RAs get back monday, then TLC starts Wednesday – its crazy…pray that i look to Jesus in the midst of all this.  

this rookie is off to the studio.

NOT QUITE 5

June 25, 2008

okay, so this is more for me than for anyone else, selfish, I know.  The answers are supposed to be top 5…I didn’t want just 5 with some of them.  So, here you go:

Things under $5 that I couldn’t live without
chapstick (or blistex), eyeglass cleaner, deoderant, toothbrush, $.99 chicken sandwhich at jack-n-the box

Favorite movies
Seven, The gods must be crazy (1 & 2), Kung Fu Hustle, Gladiator, Mystic River, Goodwill Hunting, Once

Baby names I love
Pearson, Deborah, Preston, Braxton, Douglas, Pele’ese (Samoan, obviously), Ajanae, Patrick

Songs I could listen to over and over again
Goodbye Apathy Onerepublic

Where the Streets Have No Name U2

One Thing Hillsong

We Break the Dawn Michelle Williams

Try a Little Tenderness Michael Buble’

People who have influenced me in a positive way
Mom, my sisters & brother, Aroni Nuimata, Pastor Bob, Brad, JPK, Sam, Dr. Behle, Dr. Plew, Scott Vinson, Rick & Esther Dennis, Zane Jensen, Even Gapelu, Kyle Jenison…and more I promise

Things that are always in my wallet
Driver’s License, ATM Card, Medical Insurance Card, Pictures, Business cards I NEVER refer to

Moments that changed my life forever
teaching

RD’ing Hotchkiss my 3rd year

going to India

having a former friend tell me he doesn’t want to hang out anymore

Matt Pearson’s death

Savini family reunion

Places I would like to go
Samoa (always), India, South Africa, Iraq, Hawaii, Indonesia

anywhere where there are polynesians, children, college students, muslims, hindus

Appliances or kitchen tools I couldn’t live without
faucet with running water (does that count), lighter, pot, plate 

People who I would like to see their top 5’s
Debs Suluvale, Sam Neylan, JPK, Pastor Bob,

NO SLUMBER FOR ME

June 21, 2008

I’ve had a restless night.  It’s 3:45am and I’m not alseep (obviously).  I want to be spiritual and say that the Lord has kept me up and that I have been having sweet communion with Him.  But I haven’t. 

I woke up this morning (or yesterday morning…just not this current morning) at 4:32am and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I went for a run, then came back, took a shower and drove to the mall.  I needed a shirt to wear to Durso’s wedding.  I came back (by this time it was about 12:50’ish.  I laid down for a moment and woke up at 3:37’ish – Eric’s wedding started at 3:00pm.  I immediately sat up before my blind eyes would allow me the “blessed” sovereign.  My heart was immediately saddened with disgust and so much regret.  The wedding was in Upland (about at least an hour away).  Idiot!  I’m such an idiot.  I know things happen but seriously?  Am I 18 years old?  I feel so bad!  Eric, I’m so sorry bro!  AHHH!!!  Life’s torments I tell you.  Anyway, he and Ashley are happy anyway, PTL for that. 

3 “I will not enter my house
       or go to my bed-

 4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes,
       no slumber to my eyelids,

5 till I find a place for the LORD,
       a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

This is taken from Psalm 132 and I suppose I’d like to apply this to where my heart is now.  There are a couple of things in my heart and mind that need some sifting and some resting upon.  And I woulnd’t recommend you (if you’re ever in this spot…not able to sleep) allowing your thoughts to linger with themselves – that could be dangerous.  So, its very freeing to find a place for the Lord, as it were, in the chaos or lines of my thinking. 

I thought about this Psalm and then read it.  Then I thought about what it might have meant to David and then thanked God for it.  The word of the Lord really does revive and bring joy to the heart.  I will rest in that and trust that this is indeed from the very mouth of God. 

I do have tons on my mind; India, prayers, people (all kinds), sins, forgiveness, list of things to do, list of things I haven’t done that should’ve been done, when I’m going to do laundry, the future, the past, Coldplay’s latest album (which is really quite good – has a lot of emotional depth to it, musically and lyrically – you should check it out…good stuff). 

Well, I’m gonna try to lie down – its now 4:10am and I leave at 5am to take Rick & Esther to the airport for their week long trip to Brazil.  I’m so glad I have people in my life who travel – keeps life very exciting and eventful – or it keeps the people in my life very exciting to be around

NAMASKAR

June 14, 2008

Today is Sunday, 10:15am Delhi time.  I’m in an internet cafe here at the YMCA and I will soon pack and check out of my room here.  We have tons today for service and Focal Point tonight. 

I will meet up with the muscisians at Capital Bible Church (a church plant here that the Malakars help start).  We will rehearse for service that will begin at 4pm tonight.  Focal Point will begin at 6pm and combined we will be doing 7 songs.  I’m excited – to sing, to listen to the message, to interact with workers and to talk to some university students.

Our team had a debrief last night – it was great.  I have been very impressed with this team of students.  I’ve been a part of a lot of student teams and I can tell you of some teams that have not done well, sadly.  You name it, its been there – conflict of sorts, male/female interests, selfish ambition, self-centeredness, immaturity, disrespect etc.  Not this team.  These students were great – and had some really profound things to debrief about.  Its great to see this generation love God and pursue growth in Him as well as pursue growth in service to people. 

The team will be splitting up 3am Monday – Jason, Andrew and Fred will fly out from Delhi and hopefully make it back to California.  Chara & Allison leave at 9am in the morning for Allison’s home town in Puna, India (she’s Indian) for 2 weeks.  I don’t leave Delhi until Tuesday afternoon.  If I din’t have wedding commitments this summer (no, not mine), then I would have stayed the rest of this summer here in Delhi – honestly, I would have. 

Anyway, I’m not ready to come back to the States.  I want to stay here longer.  I want to come back again someday.  Maybe longer.  I probably will.  One of our debrief questions asked if this trip has confirmed or changed any future plans for me.  Two weeks ago when we were in Varanasi working with the slum children I thought, “Man, this is it.  This is where I’m suppose to be”.  Then coming to Delhi my thought was, “Ah man, now what?  I love this…working with university/college students”.  So, I feel like I’m back to square one but you know what?  That’s okay (for now).  It has inspired me to work harder to take action about my future. 

I can definitely come back here.  I’ve thought about Samoa a lot, while here, and Hawaii, and Carson and even some of Santa Clarita (not too much though)…the point is, I could go anywhere and do anything – I just want to give my life away for the cause…not for a dream, especially not the American dream (sick)!  Either way, I’m thankful for this trip and wish that I could stay.  It’ll be okay to be back in the States – pray that I will not react and be discontent to be there – pray that I have just as much a ferver and compassion for people when I come back (after I sleep for about 3 days =) just kidding! 

Namaskar!  See you later!

INIDA UPDATE #2

June 11, 2008

Well, we’ve been in Delhi for almost a week now.  It is VERY different from Varanasi.  It’s more western, significantly cleaner (in most parts, not all), the weather is slightly cooler and there are more people who speak english. 

Last Friday we got off the 15 hour train ride (which is quite the experiencer here in India, as all of the experiences) and we were greeted by Peter Malakar & Raj.  We had some time at the YMCA that we are staying in before we met up with Peter and Heather for lunch later.  After lunch they took us to their place where they also have their PMI head quarters (its atually in the basement of their building.  

Later that night we had a study with all the “workers” there.  It was a really encouraging time.  We broke up into pairs and prayed.  I got to pray and talk with Raj (who came earlier with Peter to pick us up from the train station).  He’s a 21 year old graduate of university with a degree in Political Science.  He was discipled by Bjorn about 2 years ago and excited to take classes with Dr. Halstead when he comes for his sabatical here in July.  Raj just arrived back to Delhi after spending a year back in his home in South India, with no believers around.  It was refreshing to him be so glad to be with people he grew up in the faith with.  I was so thankful to God for times of difficulty and endurance.  Raj explained that his times of depression and spiritual hunger for a year was nothing compared to being in fellowship again with people of like faith.  It was so humbling to hear that and think of some many who are discouraged but press on – PTL!   

It’s pretty awesome what’s going on here with the Malakars.  They have such an extensive and profitable ministry to university students. 

Sundays, immediately following their fellowship is Focal Point.  This is a time where university students gather (of all cultures, religions ages etc) and discuss the issues of life.  It’s awesome.  This last Sunday, the topic was on “Right & Wrong: How do you determine what is right or wrong?”  It was great and fun and normal and stimulating.  I’ve been able to do a lot of music here and its been really fun and exciting…and humbling. 

Anyway, since Sunday we’ve been teaching conversational English the last several days.  Having worships on pronounciation, word order, intonation/emotion in sentence phrasing and idioms/slang/listening & asking questions (that’s my worship – its really fun). 

Last night I gave a concert – yeah, I know go figure.  It was an hour long concert.  I sang some worship songs and even a couple of secular songs by the Beatles and OneRepublic – it was actually quite fun.  I don’t like to consider myself a performer but I suppose I do really well in that element.  It was fun and the Lord used it to spark a lot of conversations.  We ended up talking with some universtity students for about 2 hours after that about everything. 

Well, we have a couple more days here and its very exciting to think about all that we have left to do here.  I love it here!  I love the people, the culture, the food, the “workers” the university students.  It’s so relational here – I’ve probably had more in depth conversations with some of these university guys than I have with people I’ve known for years now.  I want to know why.  I’m not resentful or mad, it just actually makes me really sad.  But I’m finding it more natural to speak with these people than I have found with most Americans.  I guess that’s another blog to write about. 

Okay, that’s it for now.  It’s still as hot as chili here but I’m okay with it.  The most difficult thing for me here is wondering why things are the way they are here and why things are the way there are at home.  Otherwise, keep praying for us – the message has been shared and its going forth, so pray for mercy from the Lord! 

KINDNESS

April 24, 2008

Here are the words of a song I listened to (a lot) 5 years ago.  It helped me get through deaths and some doubts. 

I’m not experiencing any pain from the loss of a loved one nor am I in current doubt of who God is or what He’s doing.  However, when this song came up in my random play of my itunes it brought me to a place in my worship of God that reminded me of His kindness which in fact has led me, over and over again to repentance.  I’ve experienced what I know to be true in my head and believe with my heart that the love of Christ is definitely better than life, even life’s best and worst. 

So, yeah, God is enough – that’s my prayer and what I rejoice in and continue to hope in.    

Open up the skies of mercy
And rain down the cleansing flood
Healing waters rise around us
Hear our cries Lord let them rise

It’s your kindness Lord
That leads us to repentance
Your favor Lord, is our desire
It’s your beauty Lord
That makes us stand in silence
Your love
Your love is better than life

We can feel
Your mercy falling
You are turning our hearts back again
Hear our praises rise to heaven
Draw us near Lord
Meet us here