Friday, January 28, 2005

A Week of Festivities!

This week...I have spent most of it cleaning and organizing my apartment. John had a Yard Sale last weekend, so until then-the majority of the stuff we were selling, was in my apartment. So, this week was the week to get everything in order since I now had the space to do it. After work on Monday...a girlfriend of mine came over. It was such a blessing. She works with an after school program in Watts. So the two of us are a great support for each other. On Wednesday, however, I was sent by InnerCHANGE to San Francisco. It is always a joy to see the team that is up there.
My team wanted me to go up there to see how San Francisco did their Urban Plunge Day and hopefully get ideas for our Urban Plunge Day. What is Urban Plunge Day you ask? It is day for people who are interested in learning more about InnerCHANGE to come see what we do. We take them around to varies areas of our community and give them a little taste of what we are all about! It is a rather neat experience. Ours is March 17th!
This plans are to celebrate some Birthdays, help a friend of mine from the neighborhood paint her kitchen, and go to a wedding shower for one of them men in InnerCHANGE and his future wife.

Monday, January 24, 2005


To give you every detail of my week...would take days, but I did want to give you all some highlights!!! Last weekend, I moved into my very own apartment!! It's still a studio, however, it is all my own. I know...who would want to live alone. But, actually, having my own place is very therapeutic. There are so many things that I am doing with people...that it is nice to have a place where no one is, but me.....unless of course, I have others over....which I do! And it is such a blessing.....I even have furniture!!! The day I moved even began with a trip down to San Diego. A man living down there, offered his furniture to our team, so we got 1 couch, 2 futons, a love seat, 3 end tables, some lamps, a table, a dresser, etc. all for a reasonable price. So, 2.5 hours down, renting a truck, loading the truck, and 2.5 hours back!....a 10 hour trip. And I believe it was more than worth it! Our team has been praying for furniture for the last 3 months and then "out of the blue", this man wants to bless us with more than what we even asked much more that we were even able to bless some of our neighbors. One of my good friends and her husband were really in need of a bed for their kids. Because of the tight space (a studio apartment) they really didn't have much room. We were able to give her one of the futons. During the day they have the room to move around because the futon can act as a couch and then during the evening, the kids have more than enough room to sleep comfortably when they pull it down. It was a joy to be able to bless a family that so often blesses me with their presence and friendship!
Along the rest of the week, aside from work, I had a friend tell me that she might be deported. This was a scary thing for me. I didn't want to loose someone so close to me, especially to a place that might not be the safest. Immediately, I searched the internet for information on how to help her.
My friend moved here as a refugee from El Salvador when she was five. I'm not sure if any of you have every heard of the war in El Salvador, but it was a very intense situation. My friend has memories of people being skinned alive. Other have to me stories of Guerilla warriors that came into villages...simply line up all the men or women and just shoot them. Kids would watch as their parents were killed. When my friend's family came, they were offered asylum and have been living here for the last 17 years with no problems. Apparently, in July, when she was suppose to receive her annual work permit...instead came letters that she would soon be receiving it. In September, she received a letter saying that she would need to come in for finger prints and still no permit. While having her prints taken--they told her that instead of receiving the permit she would be sent on an "interview", regarding her status. When her mom and her showed up they were presented with a form stating that they had never filled out the proper paper work, in 1998, to continue living in this country. However, the two of them have no recollection of ever receiving the paper work. Which doesn't surprise me, being that it took the government, 5 months of not issuing their work permits to finally tell them why they weren't issuing the permits. Everything is so backed up in government offices because they don't have a high enough labor force, that it is quite was never sent!
My roommate and I spent the week contacting as many people as possible to help them out. And in the end, though not through any of our endeavors, the two were able to get a lawyer. We are thankful they have someone to defend their case and thankful he was able to fill out the proper paper work, increasing their chances of staying. But please pray over this entire situation--that the judge would be in their favor. There is still a chance, she might deported.
This whole situation has caused me to think a lot where it is God is leading me. I thought about the Law. And I thought about the many ways I could have helped my friend had I had my law degree! I see crazy things every day and I watch as the injustice in the World hurts people I care for deeply. And I think to just isn't fare. And I ask God...Why? And as He answers me, I am overwhelmed with the Brokenness of this World. A World, that out of its brokenness, tries to function...tries to find their own logical answers. Answers that often feed only unconscious selfish needs. And at the same time...I am, also, overwhelmed with the unabounding love God has for every person in this world, every person in their brokenness. I feel His longing for Truth to scream out louder than anything else and His desire for healing and wholeness in each of us.

Friday, January 21, 2005

My Trip Home!!!

I wanted to share with you a little piece of me and the place I come from. I grew up in Chicago and Mosinee, WI. My father and his family live in Chicago and my mom and her family live in Mosinee, WI. I treasure each experience I had the opportunity of having in each of these places growing up because they are a part of who I am. My experience home was wonderful because I got to spend it with some very great people, people whom I love dearly. I hope you are just as blessed in seeing these pictures as I was blessed being in those places to take them. These pictures are of people that I hold very dear to my heart: they are my family.

The Drive up Through WI...Isn't it Pretty! Posted by Hello

My Home Town...Mosinee! Posted by Hello

My Street.... Posted by Hello

The Neighborhood Rec Center.....It's where we go Ice skating, have the Polish Fest (Majority of us are Polish), the Car show, the place the Mosinee Hockey Teams play (really big here). It's really the everything center!!! Posted by Hello

The Wisconsin River...going over the Bridge into Mosinee Posted by Hello

The Paper Mill! The Main Employer in our town of 4,000. Ever use the Paper Towels in a Public Restroom....chance are, it came from here.... Posted by Hello

The Day of the Storm! 8" in two days... Posted by Hello

The Home of my Youth..covered in 8" of snow! Posted by Hello

The Corner of 5th and Main St. I grew up on 5th..and the picture is the view from the house! Posted by Hello

My Roomates (And still good friends) when I lived in Stevens Point....Amanda (Left) and Laura (Right) Posted by Hello

The 3 of us Posted by Hello

Tucker on this new Truck.....isn't He adorable....(My cousin, Jaime and Her husband, Terry's son) Posted by Hello

Christmas Eve with my Dad and Family

The sister and here boyfriend up close! Posted by Hello

Another Fam shot......My Auntie Herta is on the Left with Tori and Anna. My Uncle Karl is on the Left. Posted by Hello

A little Goofy....but we love each other... Posted by Hello

Morgon, Tori, and Me. Aren't we cute....(My Cousin Maria's kids) Posted by Hello

My Cousin Ken and His Girlfriend, Melissa Posted by Hello

ME and Santa (My Uncle Karl) Posted by Hello

My cousin, Anna and I Posted by Hello

My Dad and My Uncle Karl..I mean Santa! Posted by Hello

My GRAMMA and Santa! Posted by Hello

The Cousins: (Left to Right) first row: Erish, Anna, Kenny, Me, My sister: Dani..second row: Maria with her two children: Morgon and Tori Posted by Hello

Christmas Day with my Mom and Family

The Family: My Auntie Laurie and Cousine Jaime are on the right, My Cousin Nina is behind them. My mom is the one in red and my Uncle Gary is on the Left--with my gramma directly in the middle Posted by Hello

All of us together for presents Posted by Hello

My cousin Ben and Sister Posted by Hello

Grandparents presenting my sister, Kalib, and Tucker with the gifts my grandpa made for them Posted by Hello

My Grandpa Posted by Hello

The Boys!!! (L to R) Gary, Kevin (Nina's husband), and Terry (Jaime's husband) Posted by Hello

Sittin' in the living room Posted by Hello

My godson, Kalib and sister, Alexi....playing-so we think! Posted by Hello