Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Monday, August 25, 2014

Home

When we were giving praise reports last night in Bible Study I had to praise God for this most recent transition back to Florida. Thinking of leaving my friends and family AGAIN made me cry a little bit everyday when I was in Mexico and Temecula, CA. (Not that everyone knew that I was on the verge of a meltdown for about a week there.) I teared up seeing my older sister's belly containing the newest Kenneth Ernest Fietz (IV), I spilled some tears saying goodbye to Mexico once again, I even cried just looking at my mom. She wisely told me to go to bed. That helped, I was exhausted. The worst, however, were the tears in the airport on the phone with my grandma (the San Diego airport is tiny, everyone saw), and the tears as I left the Orlando Airport and stepped into the extreme mugginess of Florida. I was a mess.

The praise is that only a few days later I was ok with Florida once again. We reconciled (most) of our differences and I feel more at home again. I still hate the bugs, humidity, and distance from home. But I also love my church, my friends here, the work I get to do at I-TEC, flying, and my roommates. So I think the giant spiders will have to die one by one as I get my courage up to squash them and  the humidity will just continue being destroyed with air conditioning. All is well. Praise God for contentment in His plans. When you know He has you someplace on purpose, sometimes it doesn't even matter what the purpose is (the jury is still out on that one).

As for the trip itself... too many good things to list them all! I spent 4.5 days in Ejido El Porvenir, Mexico and 4.5 days in Temecula, California. It was not enough time in either place but unless I can clone myself to live permanently in both places, it never will be. Both places are home to me. Which is probably why I maximized my time with people. I think my longest night of sleep might have reached 6 hours. Most were closer to 5. For me, that's insane. I was a zombie by the end. A happy zombie. Once again, I regale you with a tale via pictures:

 After two trips it took me FOREVER to be motivated to pack again.
Such a welcome sight! I drove down with three close friends: Jason (on staff with me my first year), Jessica (one of my students last year), and Rachel (worked at the orphanage in Porvenir my first year).
The first day in Porvenir meant a nice lunch in the valley with the Vomsteegs and gang. Oh how I love these people!
 We went to the beach of course and discovered you could tour ships, for free, from the Mexican Armada... pretty sweet!
 Our old houses were gone. No more Ventana as we know it. Lots of changes happening!
 Rachel and I attended our friends' wedding and it was beautiful. Then I found out last week that we made it in the newspaper (middle right). We are now Ensenada Socialites.

I don't know why I don't have any pictures with my Mexican friends. I spent more time with them than anything. I think others have pictures on their phones.

To Temecula!
 Temecula was a whirl of coffee/dinner/hang out dates with people who mean the world to me like Kristin and Chelsea here. Chels was showing Kristin how to do makeup and I just know it was a lost cause for me. ;)
 I got a great afternoon of Del Mar, Ikea, and Panera with Stacey. She makes everything great. =)
Spent an evening at the beach with Matt (who now lives in Chicago) and Chelsea (who lives in Ukraine)... such a random but good combination.
 Then the best part of California! Celebrating Amanda and Kenny, and itty bitty Kenny, aka Cuatro. The shower was beautiful (go mom!) and it was so great to spend time with this baby bump and the family.
 I am truly blessed with such amazing sisters. =)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Still Learning... The D.R.

I am still learning...
How to listen.
How to ask the right questions.
How to support.
How to love well.
How to complain less.
How to be missional.
How to make changes.
How to be humble.

I love College Road Baptist Church. They are my family here in Florida and I get overwhelmed thinking of how much I love these people and how supported and cared for I am by them. When I do anything with this family, I see Jesus. It's incredible.

So to be with them in the Dominican Republic this past week (the DR) was such a fun experience. We laughed (loudly), ate (a TON), snacked (even more), talked (about everything), and did life together (also loudly). I will never forget the nights on the hotel balcony sharing together, the times of seeing God's church body at work, the sweet worship times in Spanish, and the many hours of traveling and exploring with this amazing group.

On top of crazy family bonding, this trip also allowed me to listen more. To the local pastor, missionaries, my pastor, my church, the local Dominicans, VBS kids, etc. They all have voices. They all have ideas and passions. I was privileged to ask questions that would get them talking about their hearts for the DR. I got to see how we can support those on the front lines better, how we can love this country more effectively, and how to be humble when my ideas don't line up with what I see or hear. God showed me when I needed to practice humility... and when I needed to practice A LOT more humility (not my strong suit).

Now as we are back in Florida, I am excited to take this trip, and work with all the hearts involved to become truly useful to the Dominican people, to Pastor Jose, to the worldwide church. How can we be missional so that it makes disciples? So that local people are empowered? So that we take a back seat to the Dominican people loving on their own? So that we can help without hurting? I have some ideas, but what really matters are the Dominican's ideas. I can't wait to be part of the missions conversation at College Road. As a family we move forward!