Posts Tagged With: Community

New Zealand Bound!

 

I have some exciting news to share! Instead of doing the first part of our outreach tour in Hong Kong, my school leader has decided that will be traveling in New Zealand with the founder of YWAM! We will be spending the month of April touring and serving in New Zealand, and then spend May and June in South Korea! Below is a portion of a letter from my fabulas school leader, Maria Jackson.

DEAR STUDENTS,
WE ARE SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU ALL SO VERY SOON.:)

TODAY, ONE THING WE MADE DECISION FOR OUR OUTREACH LOCATION.
THAT IS, WE WILL NOT GO TO HONG KONG BECAUSE DOOR IS NOT OPENING.
BUT OUR YWAM FOUNDER LOREN CUNNINGHAM WANTS US TO TOUR WITH HIM TO NEW ZEALAND ONE MONTH OF APRIL.
SO TODAY WE MADE DECISION WITH HIM.
NOW OUR OUTREACH TOUR NATIONS WILL BE NEW ZEALAND AND S.KOREA.
WE ARE SO VERY EXCITED FOR YOU AND IT IS UNUSUALLY SMALL SCHOOL.
AND WE WILL HAVE 21 STUDENTS AND 13 STAFF. SO ALL TOGETHER WE WILL BE 34 OF US!

This news is so exciting for me! I am so at peace about going on my DTS, even though my health has been in question.  I have faith that God will provide what I need for this trip; physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially.  Please for continue to pray for me, I am definitely experiencing some spiritual warfare.  The devil can try to keep me home, but its NOT GOING TO WORK!

Blessing friends, hope you Christmas is peaceful 🙂

Categories: Preparing for Kona | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Post Thanksgiving Update

Laughing...because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.

Laughing…because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.

Dear friends,

I am coming home from the Tri-Cities tomorrow and I NEED HELP! I have been very successful with Black Friday Shopping and have been able to get most of my Christmas/thank you gifts for people and a lot of new comfy/workout clothes for Kona. I got some new bed sheets and towels for my move also! I have been advice to get what I can here for cheap because everything is so expensive in Hawaii. So now I just need to sort everything out! I need to sort: what I am planning on bring to Kona, what clothes I am going try to sell, what items I can use for my next fundraiser or donate to my Grandma’s House, what items I need to put into storage, and what things go together to make nice Christmas gifts!

This is fun work, guys! And I have tons of yummy food to feed you and old things to give you if you so desire! But I do need help staying focused and lifting things. I also have finals week after next and need help studying! I actually enjoy my classes and homework, its just really helpful having someone with me keeping my on track and quizzing me.

I am sad to announce that I am having more health issues. I will not get into the nature of this yet because at this point there are a lot of unknowns…which is so frustrating! So my Go Fund Me site I would say is about half missions funding and half medical funding…crazy. I am excited to be ending my second day without any Dr./Urgent Care/ER visits…but I know it all will continue once I get home again. What I can say right now is that my right wrist is still giving me trouble (its is still obviously sprained/dislocated), I am very low iron and I seem to be having some heart trouble.

One more crazy hiccup in my life…my beautiful purse was stolen/lost on the bus on Tuesday! Yes, I have checked in with my bank. Yes, I have emailed Trimet. NOTHING! Finally I had all my IDs and cards in one place…then ALL GONE. Fortunately I still have my phone and keys.

So, here are the prayer/help as you can needs for right now:

  • That my purse will be returned
  • That I will have clarity concerning health decisions
  • That I will be able to focus and do well during finals
  • That I will be blessed with helpers to get things done; even the simple things are so hard sometimes
  • That my friends will be able to understand my needs and help me, especially financially
  • That I will be able to get on a good sleep rhythm
  • That I will be able to have good boundaries with certain people, no matter how much I love them
  • That I will have the energy and focus to get the important things done
  • That I will be thankful for many people and things I have been blessed with
  • That I will rely on GOD NO MATTER WHAT

I have several new blog posts in the works, including a Thanksgiving thankful post, and a recap of the Swing Dance Fundraiser…WITH PICTURES!  But this is what I have got for now. As much as I hate admitting it, I need help.

Keep updated with my Fundraising Site and Facebook Page, and of course for all my silly and/or deep thoughts on Twitter.

Blessings on you all!

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Downtown Girl

For a couple of years now my sister and I have had a running joke that the song Downtown Girl by Hot Chelle Rae is about me.  We laugh because while I am not a hooker as the song suggests, a lot of the qualities described I can relate to! If you don’t know already, I’m a REALLY typical extrovert. Depressed and dysfunctional, maybe, but extraverted all the same. So read the lyrics or take a listen, take a look into the life of Heather. And tell me what you think!

Ready for my day...DOWNTOWN GIRL! :D

Ready for my day…DOWNTOWN GIRL! 😀

She’s a weekend beauty queen of the black like clubs wearing out the scene 

Well I do love the weekends, but no, I don’t go to clubs.

You know her type, out all night

Yup, pretty much 🙂

Starry eyed for the dirty dream, always looking for the prince where the cash is king

Starry eyed? Yes. Dirty dream with a prince where the cash is king? I sure hope so not, although I think sometimes it comes out that way.  But anyone who really hangs out with me know that money is the last thing I care about.

On the boulevard in a big black car, She’s everywhere you are

Well I’ve never been in a limo, or any sort of big black (fancy) car. Normally its an old car, trimet bus, or as of lately, me walking with my “homeless gypsy cart.” I am everywhere you are however 😉

I smell her sweet perfume making rounds around the room 

I do hope I smell good as I make my “famous” rounds around the room 🙂

Cause she is a downtown girl a downtown girl 

I LOVE downtown Portland. LOVE IT!!! PDX makes me feel ALIVE.

Her lips are red and those hips are turning heads 

I have been rocking the red lipstick lately! I didn’t think I could pull it off but I love it! And as selfish as it sounds I love when heads turn when I walk through a room. This often happens when I am at a church service or a swing dance event! I’m always tearing through the room trying to find the people I love!

Living like a celebrity all the guys lined up and the drinks are free 

I’m not sure if the song is saying the drinks are free for the guys or the girl.  My drinks are NOT normally free, and I normally end up paying for everyone else too.  But that is because I genuinely like to!

She’s knows she’s hot but that’s all she got

This line makes me cringe a bit.  Half of the time I am convinced that I am an ugly skeleton, and the other half of the time a know I look damn good.  Sometimes I feel both at the same time! That was be beautiful paradox of my Corpse Bride costume for Halloween and my musical, I got to be super-skinny, scary AND pretty!

BUT. The idea of that being “all [I’ve] got” is really scary. That is my nightmare.  But I know that my looks is not all I’ve got.  I have a sense of humor, a joyful personality, and of course…MY SAVIOR!

Everybody knows she’s on the move with her six inch heels and an attitude

I actually almost never wear heels.  I say its because I’m too tall for heels, but its really that I just have a lot of short friends. And I’m a BIG klutz. But when I do wear heels, I do feel VERY sexy.  And I’m actually really good at walking in them, and dancing for that matter.  Hmmm…maybe I’ll wear heals today.

When I’m out and about…I DO have an attitude. It changes in nature, but I do.

To seal the deal she shoots to kill, but I’m not going down

This is another line I don’t understand.  I can be intense, but I’m not going to kill anybody 😉

Likes the attention gets the attention her name is on the bathroom wall

I’m an extrovert; I do like attention. I can’t lie.  And when I need it, I get it. But I’m trying to do it in the most mutually respectful way possible.

The party never over she’s always coming over even when the music stops

YES YES YES A MILLION YES! Most of the time, whenever a certain social event is over, I’m still ready for more.  And really its because I have a hard time going from lots of friends and excitement to NO friends and excitement. I just have a really hard time making that switch. That is why after swing dancing or another event, I’m almost always trying to get people to go out to eat or at least carpool home. I love that “winding down” time almost more than the actual event. And when I don’t get that “winding down” time, I normally end up bawling my eyes out while driving myself home all by myself.

All the boys staring at the girls, staring at the boys 

Its hard to admit, but sometimes I like it when the  guys are staring at me and visa versa! And I think that is ok and healthy!

Staring at the downtown girls the downtown girls

🙂

Categories: Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rewind: Krayon Kids Camp – Joy*

Posted on my personal blog “Choosing Joy,” on July 18th, 2011.  Please read and enjoy!

*Name has been changed for the purpose of privacy. I have Chosen the name “Joy” because she brought joy to my life.

A few weeks ago I have had to wonderful privilege and opportunity to work at Krayon Kids Camp as a day camp counselor. The first half of my day I would spend with “the red group” consisting of mostly 9 and 10 year olds. I (along with the other red staff) would get them checked in, play games with the kids before camp, and then accompany the kids to their skills classes: vocal, dance, hip hop, and drama.

During lunch, which all the kids had together, so ages 7-12, I was just supposed to hang out with the kids, get the engaged with games and each other, and make sure they didn’t get into trouble. On the first day at lunch however, I met Joy.  I had already known that Joy needed some special attention, and for some reason I was very eager to meet her.  She was petite eleven-year-old, with shoulder-length blond hair. Her face was covered in freckles, and maybe some scaring, but I wasn’t sure.  I introduced myself, but mostly I just sat and watched her play.

In the afternoon, the kids were all split in different groups, workshops. They had picked which workshop they would be in when they registered for camp, but now came the chaotic part where we had to split all the kids up (not color-coded this time) and make sure they were all accounted for.  I had not been assigned a workshop that I would help in.  The camp directors just said they would put me where they needed me. With this in mind, I (trying to hide the eagerness) volunteered to go with Joy, relieving the camp counselor who had been her “buddy” in the morning .  I was briskly given an ok, and so I hurried off to join Joy in her workshop, which turned out to be “Glee Disney.”

It was an instant connection. As we started singing through the familiar Disney songs and learning the lyrics, we smiled at each other, beaming. For the record, I LOVE Disney songs. Apparently so did Joy. She was incredible. She sang so beautifully, and she had the most beautiful smile.  Before I knew it,  I was being told that it was time for me to take a break, and I realized it was mid afternoon, and I hadn’t eaten or taken a break at all. As I left, she looked at me with those beautiful eyes, saying, “You leave me? Please, come back soon!”

After that, I was given “Joy Duty” for the afternoons, and I loved it. Some days were good days, and sometimes they weren’t.  Her workshop was actually rather complicated. The kids were learning a medley of different Disney songs, with choreography. Joy pretty much already knew all the songs, which was great because I didn’t know how well she could read. She hated LEARNING the choreography, because they would play the same part of music over and over. She hated the repetition, and sometimes she just got tired out. So sometimes we had to have breaks and “Joy-appointed” time outs, just to talk and do puzzles.  She learned the movements to the songs pretty well, but I always stood next to her, as if one of the kids, and did the routines with her.  That seemed to help her a lot, helped her feel connected and helped her stay on track.  Joy wanted and tried to make friends with the other kids, but that was hard. For one thing, she couldn’t remember their names, but would identify the kids like “the girl with the feather in her hair,” or “The girl with the funny laugh,” or even better, “You know, THAT girl!”  Plus, I think a lot of the kids we scared of her, because she was really touchy.  I didn’t mind if she held my hand, rubbed my arm, or gave me a kiss, but a seven-year-old might.

As the week went on, things went more and more smoothly. Her laugh was incredible and she never ceased to amaze me. She even auditioned for her favorite song, “Kiss the Girl” from “The Little Mermaid.” She didn’t get to solo, but I don’t think she even understood. She was just happy that she got sing and “make the kids happy.”

I was originally told that Joy would not participate in the “end of the week presentation” at all. But as the week went on, I hoped and hoped otherwise. She was eager to do the show, and I wanted more than anything for her to do it too. I knew that the idea of performing in front of a ton of people could cause a melt-down, but I was willing to risk having to deal with that.  It wasn’t fair on her for her to practice so hard all week-long, and not have anything to show for it. So on the last run-through on Thursday, I had her do the whole thing without me. “Joy, can you show me how well you can do it?” She did the whole thing without a hitch. It was incredible. And the look on her face when she was looking at me, just melted my heart! I could see the pure joy on her face. Not only had she made me so proud, but she was sharing one of my favorite loves, singing and dancing.  After the whole thing was over she exclaimed, “Heather, Heather! Did you see me? I did SO good! I did it all perfect! Did you see?”

The Friday performance was there before I knew it.  I did have worry as we walked into the gym, for one thing because Joy hadn’t eaten any of her lunch. I knew it would be loud and echo-y in the gym, which could be a lot of sensory overload for her, for anyone hadn’t eaten properly. But we hustled in to the gym and got in to our spots where we sat and waited as announcements were made. Joy draped herself over my lap, and starting eating her lunch, right there on the gym floor. Finally the parents started to file in. The two of us watched and waited, looking for Joy’s mom. When most of the parents and there was still no sign of Joy’s mom, I  started to worry. I thought to myself, “I’m going to have a serious meltdown on my hands if this girl’s mother doesn’t arrive.”

The first groups started their performances, and still no sign of Joy’s mom. Good thing WE weren’t first up! Finally, right before It was our workshop’s turn to start, we spied Joy’s mom walking in the door. We waved, and she waved back, looking almost surprised that her daughter was with the other children, ready to join in.

The kids scrambled to their places and the music began.  Gotta admit, the adrenaline was pumping for me too. All of us camp counselors were kneeling in front of the kids, facing them, ready to prompt them with choreography. And then it started….and it was INCREDIBLE! The rundown of the songs went as follows:

  1.  Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast)
  2. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
  3. Arabian Nights (Aladdin)
  4. Kiss the Girl (The Little Mermaid) 
  5. Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid)
  6. A Whole New World (Aladdin)
  7. Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)
  8. Fathoms Below (Little Mermaid)
  9. Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid)
  10. Friend Like Me (Aladdin) 

Whew! A lot to learn in one week, huh? But ALL the kids did incredible! It was like a miracle. Joy had gone from flopping around and barely being able to handle learning the work, to doing the routines almost perfectly! I was so proud of her, and she was incredible to watch! Because she was SO HAPPY! I see so many kids just go through the motions with performing (and LIFE for that matter). But that is the special thing about some special kids like Joy aren’t always afraid to show how DANG HAPPY they are!  It’s just so simple: “This is what makes me happy, so here’s my lovely smile!”

Anyway, back on topic, Joy succeeded in every way. And her mother, with tears in her eyes, DEFINITELY agreed. Joy’s mother was very touched, and when I saw the look on her face, I knew I had been part of something miraculous. Her verbal gratitude toward me was beautiful. I am also pleased to say that I will most likely be babysitting Joy during the school year!

I finished the week feeling very accomplished. THIS is the reason I want to work with kids with special needs. It’s so fulfilling! I got to BE JESUS to this little girl for a week, and it blessed me SO MUCH!

Joy* and I on the final day of camp

Categories: Rewind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rewind: My Journey Towards Choosing Joy

Below is a compilation of personal blog posts telling the story of my special horse and I, and the way we learned to trust together.  Please enjoy the stories and pictures.  Stay tuned for more posts telling about my more current experiences with horses, including a trip to this ranch just a month ago! 

Continue reading

Categories: Rewind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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