Saturday, August 22, 2009

God's provision

So, I mentioned already how I'm working on campus. It's a 20 hr a week job, doing custodial. So far, this whole trip, I've seen God taking care of all of my needs, big and small. Firstly, there was this job, of course, which I'd originally been told would not be available, but found out things had changed by the time I got here. Then, there was the man I met when I arrived.

I was waiting for the suitcases to come out on the carousel, and randomly, a guy made a mention to me of how long it was taking. I agreed, half mindlessly, only thinking of how I'd get to school from there (no, I had not worked that out before departure). So I asked the gentleman how to catch a taxi here, and he explained. From there, he asked me where I was going, and we chatted for a few minutes. During this time, I discovered he was a Christian, and his wife's family had been involved in founding PBC in its early years. In the end, he offered to drive me to the school if I didn't mind! So I got a taxi ride for free!!

The next day, as I registered for courses and paid for my semester, I found that it cost less than I expected.

Then, there's also the fact that I haven't had to buy much at all here, as far as blankets, or towels, etc. We have a freebee pile here in the dorm, from things left behind by past residents.

And then this morning... Yesterday, after purchasing an online library software called Logos, I found I couldn't upload it into my computer. My built-in CD player was broken... I'm assuming that was from those Cambodian DVD I watched on it. I was really frustrated, and simply said "God, I don't know what to do about this... please help me!" Then I moved on. I only mentioned it once later in the evening when I hung out with some of my new co-workers.

This morning at breakfast, I introduced myself to one of the guys I hadn't met yet. When I said my name, his response was "oh, you're the girl who has the Mac problems..." It just so happens that he works for the Mac store!!! One of the guys told him about my problem last night, and he just so happened to get up early and have breakfast this morning, at the same time I did, and just happened to sit beside me... that's really cool. And now he's going to help me solve this problem!

Before I left, I got a little nervous about finances, to be honest. The severance pay I'll be receiving from work hasn't come in yet. Fortunately I'd been saving up, so I had enough for this semester. But I didn't know how things would work out.

But, once again, God's proven how much he watches over me, over all of us, even in those things we don't think are worth that much attention! Oh, I'm so glad! It's so reassuring to know that wherever you are, God is always with you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My first week of school!

It's late afternoon on a Thursday night, my first Thursday of school at PBC, and I'm sitting in the shade, enjoying the soft breeze of Portland on this lovely sunny day. As always, a few of my fellow students are playing a game in the open lawn in front of the dorms. There's a frisbee involved, but it doesn't look like extreme frisbee, and I'm not sure it'll last for long... In a couple minutes, Nami will come join me to do some reading. I've adopted the habit of doing my reading and studying outside. I would hate to stay cooped up in my tiny dorm room... Fortunately, when winter comes, I'll be able to use our really cool open common area in the dorm. There are comfy couches, rugs and colorful decorations. There's even a fireplace in there, but we can only light candles in it. The dorms date from the 1930's. They were barracks for army. Some of the other buildings on campus are more recent, but they've kept the same style of construction, so it looks pretty good. All except the sand colored church building int he shape of a giant dome; during a short discussion with some co-workers earlier, we agreed that electric blue would be much more becoming for the place.

I had my first day of custodial work today. Portland is a city of about 2 million, and it's pretty spread out. Plus, there are neighbouring cities, like Vancouver, Washington. City Bible Church, which is the church attached to the school, has a "one church, several locations" vision. So they have campuses spread around the city which use simulcast for services and communication. My work today was at the Mill Plain campus, where I cleaned bathrooms, washed floors and cleaned out the garbage, along with my fellow co-workers Dylan and Nate. Nate is a highschool student at City Christian School, and Dylan is a graduate from the school, a surfer dude Australian. Many of my other co-workers are also international students: Canadian, Nepalese, Indian, Brazilian, Japanese, etc... Though cleaning work is never glorious, it needs to be done, and it's a job (20 hrs a week), and we do it as team work, which makes it quite entertaining. Today, I found some playdough, stamps and finger puppets... no, I didn't rummage through the garbage; they were in boxes of kids curriculums that were being thrown out, and we thought it was too bad cause I'm sure some pre-school programs would've considered them treasure!

My classes have been taking up most of my time. They've been really really good. Wisdom literature is looking at the books of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, the wisdom you can glean from it. Hermeneutics is study tools for deep Bible study. Homiletics is about preaching and teaching, communicating God's word basically. Mentoring Epistles is about mentoring, obviously... looking at a few of the epistles and what we can learn about them for better coaching, pastoring others, etc. Local church is looking at the role of the church in history and today in the world. But that quick overview really doesn't do it justice. I so appreciate that each course, teacher and class is so balanced, so down to earth, realistic, and inspiring. in class discussions are very open, and students aren't afraid to raise questions, and teachers not afraid of discussion and questions. They're humble too, which is awesome.

Right now, a handfull of girls are sitting nearby and singing together. One of them is playing guitar, and the other, violin! It's so lovely, I may have to join them right now... in fact I think I will...

So, that was fun :)

And we just got some homemade deep fried delicious chicken given to us... This studying (well, blogging right now) outside deal is quite beneficial!! The cook is a jovial black guy who reminds me a lot of Pr Hughe! And now he's singing along in good ol" black gospel style to "trading my sorrows"... awesome!

Oh, food, that's another thing about here. We get breakfast and lunch provided. I expected some stale or mediocre cafeteria food, but I was so wrong! There's always delicious full meals available. Then there's a whole make your own salad bar, and a vegetarian foods bar, and a make your own sandwish bar, and delicious homemade desserts, and homemade breads, and iced tea and lemonade, soft drinks, tea or coffee... all you can eat! The lady in charge used to own a bakery! I'll have to be careful; I've already been gaining weight. Fortunately, a couple of the girls and I have started a running routine at 6:30 am three mornings a week before classes... One of them is my roommate, Rachel, so I won't escape it, I hope!

Rachel is a Kiwi. She's got the whole accent and mannerism too! It's great! She's mature and serious and organized and clean, very studious, owns a Mac, and loves to wear bright red shoes! We get along really well. Last night her parents and grandmother, who have been touring the American and Canadian West coast took us out for dinner, and I got to know them a bit. I asked a lot about New Zealand, and it sounds like a lovely place. Apparently there are no wild animals other than birds on the Island, at all!! Also, Rachel is 24, which is really nice. There are several girls in our mid to late 20's. I don't think there are as many guys our age. Not on campus anyway. There are older people in classes that are not staying on campus as well. But I'm glad to be on campus. It's a really nice atmosphere. Kinda like home, but like having everyone living in a comppund. That would be really nice, I admit. But it's not real life, I know.

I do miss home. I miss everyone. I miss the long lasting friendships, the inside jokes, and everyone that I love... I'm feeling better now that I've been here for a week 1/2, and I'll probably feel at home even more after camp this coming week. But nothing can replace those I've left behind. Though this first week has seemed fairly slow, I'm certain things will speed up and it'll be Christmas before long...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hello from Portland Oregon!

Well, upon request from a few people, I've decided to update my blog. It's lunchtime right now, so I won't write much, but soon I'll give you a description of my surroundings and my experience here so far at PBC. It's a lovely place, and I'm blessed to be here and have this opportunity to study. But yes, I miss home... I hope everyone is doing wonderfully :) Much love and 'till soon!