Saturday, December 22, 2007


It is good to be home again for the holidays and have time with family and friends. The temps dropped significantly from the 75-80 degree range I left last week...the high today was 15 degrees! Not horribly cold, but definitely not SC winter. As soon as I got off the plane I felt like I had entered a different own country. Alaska is SO different from the deep south. There are pros and cons to both, but AK definitely is home to me.

The past couple days I have been working at the fireworks stand in Houston to earn a little extra money on my break. A good friend of mine does the scheduling for New Years and the 4th and they needed extra help this season so I eagerly said, "yes" to some hours. I am learning a lot about explosives and pyrotechnics. The greatest perk you ask, aside from standing outside in 15 degree weather for 8 hours? We get to view different firework displays each night so we can vouch for what we sell. Some are pretty incredible. I am amazed at how much people are willing to pay for something that lasts 5-20 minutes (depending on how much they buy). Guess I'm lucky to be selling so I can see the display for free.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

end of a semester...

“But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
Job 23:8-10

This first semester at seminary has been good, but different than I expected. God has been refining me and stripping me of things that I have held on to for years. He has shown me my need to be open and vulnerable with my weaknesses and fears. He has taken my plans and ideas and set them aside for now reminding me that HE is in control, not me. He’s also given me the gracious news flash that he is not confined to the box I put him in…he wants to do immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:21). I don’t know that refining is ever a FUN process, but it is GOOD and necessary. I also don’t completely comprehend what “exceedingly abundant” blessings look like, but I am learning to trust him for those things.

Columbia, SC was not my first choice of places to move to, but God made it abundantly clear that this was the place to go and I can say, after this semester, that it is no mistake that I am here. I’ve learned a tremendous amount in my classes, but honestly, I’d have to say I’ve learned even more relationally. Through roommates, professors and friends, God has shown me in tangible ways what grace is all about. Being with like-minded people has been a HUGE blessing, but also challenging. I realize how lax and apathetic I have become in spiritual disciplines, Scripture memory, prayer, daily time in the Word.

Right now I will be moving back to South Carolina mid January to a place in the heart of downtown Columbia, Lord willing. One of my current roommates, Kristin, and I have a desire to be intentional and strategic in where we live and found a place next to the USC campus. We are excited to see what doors the Lord will open there. I am also not going to be going to China this summer. That door was closed and I have a peace about it. Long-term future plans are on hold as I pray and seek the Lord for my next steps. As a planner, the unknown can be frustrating at times but exciting to see what he DOES have in mind as HIS plan unfolds!

Currently…I’ve got one final done, two final exams and a paper/presentation to go and I’ll be on my way back to Alaska. True confession…I have not missed the cold at all, but I AM looking forward to seeing you all SOON!!!! There is something to be said for having a WHITE Christmas!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


the girls! My aunt and uncle took us all out to the symphony Saturday.

A possible family Christmas card pose? John, Tammie, Brittany and Alex

the cousins...Allison, me, Alex, Brittany and Beth...out for a little Chickfilet!

Hitting the malls for the started at 12 a.m. Thanksgiving night! Shoppers are more anxious than ever to get on with Christmas these days! We started at midnight and were done by 4:00 a.m. and headed home for an early breakfast of bisq. and gravy with a round of the bean game!

Beth being creative with the table centerpiece

Allison and Brittany

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I spent Thanksgiving this year in Charlotte, NC at John and Tammi's house (aunt and uncle) and 4 of my cousins. Allison and Beth drove down from DC so it ended up being a mini Burdine reunion. We have had a BLAST together! I am thankful for this year of changes and new adventures and have enjoyed every minute with my family this break.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

break in the action...

This past week my college roommate, Kari, from Minneapolis flew down to visit me. We had fun catching up and traveling around SC. Our day in Charleston was a highlight...on the coast, wading in the ocean in 80 degree weather! Thank you Jesus for extended summer temps! I have to admit, I don't miss the AK cold!

We were reminiscing about the times we've been able to visit across the miles and how timely those visits are. This past couple of weeks have been good but challenging for me and having her here this week was a tremendous blessing! Thanks for spending your vacation time with me!

China update

I don't have internet at my house (on campus go figure), so my blog updates are pretty sporadic. I thought I'd take advantage of the moment and update on several things.

I mentioned a while back about possibly going to China this summer on an internship. This trip has been in limbo over the past couple of months. We, as a team, have been praying about the right organization to go with and may have found one that will partner with us. We've also been praying about a team to take, a mix of native Chinese with some Americans. Currently I am not positve that this is the time and place that God wants me to go overseas. I am praying about it and would love your prayer in regard to this as well.

The picture posted is of my China team from my Cultures and Worldviews class. We are continuing to work with the same group of high school Chinese International students. This past month we've started discipleship groups with groups of 3-4 students. We also continue to meet twice a month for larger group fellowship and Chinese Church (the sermon is in Mandarin). Please pray for these students, for those who have not made a decision to follow Christ and those who are building a foundataion through Bible study on spiritual disciplines and growth.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ducks in a row??

For those who know me, you know that I thrive off being organized, planning ahead and having my "ducks in a row." That seems to be one of the areas that God has been challenging me in personally lately. I knew leaving my job, ministy, and way of life in Alaska was going to be a change of pace and stretch me in my faith...I am feeling it particularly right now.

I know without a doubt that this is the time and Columbia, SC is the place that God wants me to be. A time of training and preparation for what comes next...but I honestly have no idea what that "next" thing is. Sometimes I think it is foolish to purse foriegn missions, to learn another language, culture and worldview when I could just as easily do ministry here in the states. But I am reminded also that while I was in Alaska my spirit was dying. God has given me a burden for other nations and places and I believe I will be overseas serving at some point. I don't know how or where exactly, but that, I am learning, is the beauty of TRUSTING Him.

Right now my ducks are not in a row, in fact I feel like my ducks are completely lost. My roommate reminded me the other day that this is a time of training and waiting, being still and listening so that when He DOES say GO, I will be thoroughly equipped for every good work and READY to go. I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg in taking steps of faith and trusting God to provide and direct as he unfolds his next steps for me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

school update...

I've been back at school for a week now and things are busy as usual. Midterms are over, yay! But the semester is coming to a rapid end. I can't believe how fast it's gone. I'd have to say at this point that my favorite class is my Gospels class. My prof for that class is Dr. Hulbert. His son-in-law was one of the first pastors at Lazy Mt. Bible Church in Palmer, AK! How small world, aye? He asked about my church, WBC and said that his son-in-law and Larry were (maybe still are) good friends and prepared sermons together in their beginning days, Cam Arensen. Ring a bell Larry?

Currently, aside from school, I am getting resumes together to apply for speech pathology jobs and I am also looking for places to move off campus. It is MUCH cheaper to live off campus and now that I have connections and know the area better, I am in the midst of sorting through that as well. Please be in prayer for both things...that we could find a good place to live near campus for the next couple of years and that a job would open that I could maybe do through the summers. There are A LOT of job options here in the SLP realm...hospitals, in patient, out patient, schools, in home visits, pediatric clinics, the list goes on. I am hoping for somethig in the ped. department as that has been the main area of my work thus far.

I hope all is well for those of you back in the great land of AK. I hear you've got snow now? Today is the first day I have not worn sandels and I wore shorts yesterday! It feels like a nice AK summer down here!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fall Break!

Tuesday night blue grass music with Marie in NC...a cultural experience to say the least! I was offered to be adopted, offered to have an arranged marriage, told that I wasn't ugly and there was no reason I should NOT be married...the list goes on!

Deep south blue grass the way blue grass was meant to be...this was post potluck where I sampled a variety of INCREDIBLE southern home cooked food! As far as music goes, some groups were excellent, others...I had to try and dicypher the lyrics between 4 beats going on simultaneously with southern twang and slurred singing all mixed together.

My apologies for being so hit and miss with blog entries. I do have a couple of decent excuses, but I will just cut to the chase and let you see and read about the latest happenings in my life.

A couple weeks ago we had our "fall break" kind of like spring break but in the fall. I've never had one before in all my school and college days, but I have to admit, it was great. I needed the break, the time alone and way from campus. I decided to take a road trip for it and spending the first two days in Charlotte with my aunt, uncle and cousins. The next two I spent up in D.C. with a couple of my cousins. Beth lives on the Maryland side of the city and Allison lives on the Virginia side. The last two days I got to spend with my southern AK connection, Marie VanWingerden. Every part of the trip was a blessing! I loved having time at each place. Driving for hours aloud for some much needed solitude...singing my heart out as loud as I wanted, listening to books on CD and just being STILL (driving but mentally still).

Me and my cousins, Beth and Allison...out to eat after a low key day in D.C.

Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument

Capital Building

"Gentlemen, start your engines" will never be the same to me now. Talk about LOUD!!!
This was taken during the two warm up "slow" laps...after that the pilot car exits stage right and it's just down right FAST! They go 160-190 mph...I do that sometimes too. :)

#48 Jimmy Johnson (not shown above, got the wrong pic in place but you get the idea) the racer I pulled for...a random pick out of the newspaper that morning. He did really well actually, the top 3 for most of the race then wiped out and ended up 16th overall. Oh well!

NASCAR line up

Alex's fan club...he's a senior this year, CRAZY!!

Brittany showing off her Appalachan State victory shirt!
(they beat Michigan State in football earlier this fall)

Monday, October 01, 2007

a Chinese weekend

So this weekend was packed with ministry! Friday night Anita Chik and I had dinner with a group of our girls to make sushi and miso soup...yes a Japnese meal but it was Asian and they LOVED learning to make sushi! The entire house ended up coming, 7 girls in all, 6 from China and one from India. Anita shared her testimony and presented the gospel through a sushi was interesting. Probably one of the most unique ways we've shared the gospel. We had a great time hanging out together and got some good feedback on where they are at in their lives.

Saturday night we went to the Columbia zoo with several of them. It was a free night for college and international students from CIU, USC and Ben Lippen. This was lower key and fun to just hang out and continue to build relationships. They had a good laugh teaching me mandarin phrases and songs! I'm learning...slowly!!

Sunday morning went really well too. By this time I was getting fatigued with so many things back to back, but it's just the way it fell this month. We had the students act out the Prodigal Son story then broke into small groups to discuss it in more depth. They were really offense, but more so than American students, they seem to take education and teaching more seriously. It was encouraging to have that time together.

Later that night I went to a presentation on a particular Chinese group. Anita Chik worked with this people group a few years ago and shared about her experience. Several students came and we had a good time of prayer and fellowship afterward. The presentation was two fold, one to learn about that people group...Chinese about a blending of religions...and second to pray for future direction for a summer trip to this people group. For confidentiality purposes I am not sharing specifics, but please pray with us for wisdom in moving forward with the vision God has given CIU. I would love to be a part of this team and I am praying about the logistics...timing, money, this particular group, etc. We appreciate your prayers in regard to all this!

The greatest blessing to me this weekend was the reminder Friday night about where God has called me. As Anita shared the gospel message with the girls I couldn't help but thank God for brining me here for such a time as this. My heart's deepest passion is evangelism and right now specifically to Chinese people. There is no greater joy to me than to be able to share the TRUTH and LOVE of Jesus Christ with those who do not know him. Nights like Friday night are what make me come alive!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at workwithin us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ministry update

Contrary to popular belief and blog entries, I am going to seminary and I am busy with classes and ministry. I've had the opportunity the past two weekends to compete in a couple of races which were a blessing and much needed break in the action. This weekend is going to be a little different and I am even more excited for the things that are in store.

Friday night one of my small group (China small group) teammates and I are having a sushi dinner with 5 of our Chinese high school girls to celebrate (belated) Chinese Fall Festival...the Moon Festival. We are going to hang out, make dinner together and then have a short Gospel presentation. Saturday we are going with ALL of our students to the's a discount day for school and college students. This will be a time of low key fellowship and getting to know each other better. Sunday is our week to go to the Chinese Church together. The students can go to a church in their heart language 1x a month (the reason being wanting to learn and push English most of the time in their program). Anita and I will be leading them in our Sunday school time through the story of the Prodigal Son making it interactive and culturally relevant...teens from China!

Please pray for this coming weekend and all that HE has in store. This past week the two guys on our China team had a dinner with some of the guy students and 3 of them inquired about believing in God and made decisions to follow him. Please pray for their growth as new Christians, for discipleship and follow up to take place in a culturally relevant way. I am EXCITED to be able to work with these students and look forward to all that this semester and year holds! Thank you for your prayer support, our team is eternally grateful!!

a few more...

And we're off! Teams took off every 30 seconds, there were over 600 teams!

brief pause for a team pic

little mud swim...not sure how deep the trench was but deeper than 5.5 feet

Swimmin' through the trenches

action shot

one of several log obstacles,over, under, over, under, GO TEAM!!

final obstacle, stretcher run across the finish line!

anyone need to borrow some shoes???

the group with Cindi our team photographer

Gayle glad to be done!

Stephanie with her tribal face paint

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mud Run

Group hose down...notice the garbage pile of shoes and socks


Post race pic...candidates for a Tide commercial

Gayle and me after our trudge through mud trenches under the jeeps

Me, Gayle, Rick Higgins, Stephanie

This weekend I had a break in action from school related stuff. Friday night I went to a Grad Life retreat about 45 min. from campus. One of my housemates and I along with a couple other people had the opportunity to lead worship that night and were blessed by it. The speakers were encouraging and the time with other grad studens was refreshing.

Saturday morning I ran in a race called the "Mud Run" with one of my profs and two other girls. The Mud Run is a HUGE race in Columbia on one of the military bases down here. You run 4 miles with a team of 4 through 39 different obstacles, everything from climbing walls, swinging on rope swings over trenches, swiming though mud trenches, to crawling on your belly through the mud under huge jeeps. I have never been so dirty in all my life. It was GREAT!!! I had a blast and would do it again next year in a heart beat. I was asked by my prof (he teaches one of my classes) if I'd consider joining his team this year b/c they were one man short. I said yes not knowing initially that one of his teammates last year fell off one of the obstacles (cargo net wall) broke his wrist and knocked himself unconscious. Another man last year died of cardiac arrest in the middle of the race! We prayed for safety and all of us made it through with minimal scrapes AND we had a GREAT time! Teams are seeded and we started a little after 11:00 a.m. in 90 degree sunshine!! The mud was a welcome retreat to the heat!

One of my friends came along to photograph the event. I've got a few from my camera here but will add some more when I get the full CD of pics.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

lookin' for a church home

I have been reminded that moving involves a lot of place, new friends, new work/school, new culture (south!), and a new church. I've got to 4 over the past few weeks and am still praying and seeking where the best fit would be for me. Today I went to Gateway Baptist, a larger church abou 30 minutes from my house. A friend of mine in class, Ben, is the Young Professionals pastor at this church and he recommended it to me.

I came to find out as I sat and reviewed my bulletin this morning that this is the same church Adam Brown is a youth pastor at! After reading the pastoral list I looked around a little and spotted Adam and Connie over a couple sections from me. After church I went over and caught up with them. Adam is Ashley Brown's brother. He and Connie just had their first baby, Josiah 2 months ago. He, by the way, is ADORABLE! He looks a lot like Adam to me.

Anyway, it was fun to meet some "familiar" faces in a far away place. I do have to say though it was a little weird not having Sarah and Ashley there too. The last time I saw Adam and Connie was at Thanksgiving at the Browns. I MISS not having the other Brown's here too!! Guess I'll have to get my Sarah fix in December!

For those who are praying for me, please continue to pray for wisdom on where to plug in to church. I will be going to the Chinese church with our students every last Sunday of the month, but am looking for another church to plug into on a regular basis.

Lexington Fun Run

Team post race pose

Showin' off our medals (Anita and Cindi won in their age divisions)

I took 3rd place overall for the women...small races can do beautiful things for self esteem!

Anita coming across the finish line!

Our enthusiastic 1st time racers (Anita and Matt)

Cindi, me, Anita

Matt, Anita Chik, Cindi

This weekend a group of us ran a 5K race in Lexington, about a 30 minute drive from campus. Two of the 4 of us had never run a race before so it was fun to experience. There were only about 40 runners total so we all ended up winning a medal for something. Good times were had! The race started at 7:30 which was perfect b/c the temps got up in the 90s later that afternoon!! It is still pretty warm here. Today cooled down a little...reminded me of an AK summer day.

more pictures of Charlestown

Me and Jenn (my housemate)

Kristin with our group plate (the restaurant lets people design their own plate and hang it on the wall)

JP and Kristin

Matt, Ben and Jenn

Friday, September 07, 2007


Kristin, Jenn, me getting ready to go to church
Krissy, our 4th roommate is in a picture below