It has been such a blessing learning from my work at PATH last year, living in an intentional community in California, spending time with neighborhood kids and the youth group of FPCH, and God's work in me at First Presbyterian Church, Hollywood. I know I will carry these experiences with me forever and hope to share these memories with others. The time I got to spend with my neighborhood kids taking them to movie premieres, TV shows, and teaching them how to surf, and just learning about each one of them, and trying to be an example for them, were just a few of the ways God blessed me and helped me grow in my walk with him.
The Neighborhood kids with my surfer friends
For my housemates, there were some crazy moments but we all grew to learn to respect each other, our differences in beliefs and faith, each others boundaries, and we learned to love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
My CA roommates
The people I met from PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, friends from different areas of LA, and from the Door organization have also affected my life. They welcomed me with open arms and trusted me to do what they asked, and to ask if I needed their help. Working with the Youth leaders, I learned from their examples and their dedication to Christ and the youth in that church. Thanks Nick, Bethany, and David.
The youth group of FPCH
The man in the sky pushed me through different trials and I learned from my trials. I have become a stronger christian because God showed me his graces this past year when I was away from home. Being on my own caused me to lean on God more, and take opportunities when God gave them to me. My year in Hollywood has been eye opening, and I am so thankful for the experience. I met some stars, I learned to surf, and I actually became friends with Joel McHale, Those experinence was not in my plan when I came to CA. However I do believe these experiences were part of God's plan for me. God wants the best for his children. Thank you to Matthew (my leader), Brandon (my prayer partner), Josh, Brady, Alyana, Alex, and Robert (my housemates), the west coast life was awesome. God is great!
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
I am back in TN. It was good to spend time with my family and friends for a week, before I left for YAV orientation in NY. It was good catching up with old friends and making new ones. While we were in NY, we battled through the rain and winds of Hurricane Irene during orientation.
Now I moved to East Nashville, and have 4 other roommates in the house that I live in, and also have three others in our group that live in another part of Nashville. We are now working for our agencies, 32 hours a week, and I will soon begin to work for my appointed church. I am working in the education area at “Room In The Inn”. Room In The Inn is agency that helps homeless clients. It is very similar to my CA agency PATH. I will explain what I will be doing at the church in my next blog.
My TN roommates
Reverse Culture Shock (a.k.a. "Re-entry Shock", or "own culture shock") may take place — returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects. The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with than the original culture shock. Everything was so expensive in California that we really had to budget for everything, including food, and in Nashville we have a dishwasher! I have my own truck here and in California I was dependent on my feet, the bus, subway, or one van shared by 6 people, to go anywhere. Again, I learned to get along with others, give in sometimes and stand up for myself sometime, but most of all I learned to trust in the one that is in charge. I have to say that to myself often. God will take care of my needs and I need a lot less than I have. I want to fix problems, but I know I should let go and "Let God".
” Value judgements reflects our beliefs of how life can best be served. Moralistic judgments that imply wrongness or badness on the part of people who don’t act in harmony with our values. The experience I had last year dealing with different people or issues had taught me be more mature in judging. Now I am not saying I am judging all the time. Everybody judge. All I am saying that I am more relax and at peace with dealing with issues. I just give it to God the whole thing and let him take it. No more worry if it gonna be fix or do I need to talk to somebody, etc. God wants to take our problems and sometime our problems end up being little silly stuff. I come to realized that not everybody gonna get what they want or they always gonna be happy if I do everything with them. I let it be and let God work on it. Now if someone need to talk to me about issues, I will be more than happy to listen. Now speaking on this judgement stuff, being back home for a week after leaving CA, it seem that my childhood people seems showing the same behavior like always. Nothing wrong with that but my behavior have change so its not similar to others anymore. Its just weird. I am at peace now and I am in a spot where I do feel weird of what my friends say about others. I am just more into saying positive stuff about people than something that don’t need to be brought up. So that is what going on with me right now, trying to get used to being back home. I am thankful to be back home. Looking forward of what God got plans ahead for me and other YAVs this year. Please pray for me as I try to deal with the culture shock and the new YAVs at their sites.
James 4:11, 12
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
God is Great!