Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ramasser les Fonds

Salutations.

I think English probably borrowed that word from French’s “salut” (just in case you wanted the origin of that word). How about the word “fundraise”: well, that one is not borrowed from French but it does translate to “ramasser les fonds”. Sometimes they like to make things three times as complicated in that language, which I will choose to see…as the beauty of it? Yes, it is beautiful. The Spanish translation is, “Colecta de fondos”. From this little exercise, we can gather that English speakers are simply lazy in speech and would rather choose the briefest, most simplistic manner of expressing something rather than the more elaborate, shall we say, poetic way of the French and Spanish. This could lead into a debate on rhetoric, but let’s just let that one lie.

Wow, that was a big intro to the topic at hand which, as you may have guessed, is colecta de fondos.

Synopsis: I am responsible for fundraising $1000 for this summer’s projects in Guatemala. Emphasis on the PROJECTS, the money is ALL, get that, 100%, used directly to buy materials for the construction of the homes and buildings that our guys will work hard at over the summer. That in itself is amazing. We’re not paying our plane tickets or health insurance with your donations, it is all going to help build homes for the Guatemalans.

Objectives: To tug at the heartstrings of my friends to give generously to the less fortunate in this world. No, I am not trying to be World Vision or anything of the sort, this is just a straight-up request that if you can give to our work in Guatemala, hey, that’d be awesome. I’ll spare you the rant, but the short of it is, we are way too blessed in comfortable North America, and chances are, if you can afford to live, you can afford to give. That was catchy.

Why I’m posting this on my Blog: It's true that a blog posting is more informal than sending out letters, but I prefer it in this situation for a few reasons. 1) $1000 is not that much, and I feel confident that it can be raised through simply making the need known to the select few who view this blog. Which leads me to the next reason of 2) if you are indeed reading this, you’ve made it through the screening process and can officially call yourself my friend! You made it from the email alerting you to the existence of this blog, and three weeks after its inauguration, you’re still checking it out, making you someone who cares about what the hang is going on. So, the sticky request for money goes to you.

True Story: Check this photo out. Our guys built that beast of a retaining wall last summer. "Why the hang would they do that????" may be the question in your mind, well, let me enlighten you. The family who that wall was built for (three of the six are pictured there) lived in a shack (believe me, it was a metal shack) at the top of that hill. It was what they owned, a hill and a shack, and no money to make the situation better, no money to make the house bigger, for remember, they lived on a freakin’ incline, where were they supposed to build??? Recognizing the need of this family, Global Shore committed to making them a home, but first a retaining wall had to be built in order to make room at the top for a home. The cost of the wall itself was closely equivalent to the cost of a home, but it is what had to happen in order to help this family. So, we did it.

Worth the sacrifice of a few latt├ęs to improve someone’s standard of living from that of a shack to a livable home? Well, I’ll let you answer that one.

Thanks for putting up with me. The info that you need to know for donating is available to the right on the link “Donation Info”. That will explain more in detail where the money is going, and will provide an address to which to send cheques. Tax receipts are available.

Sorry this is so long. It’s the nature of the subject.

Humbly yours, Kat

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Moses Syndrome

Greetings.

Tomorrow night I have the opportunity to lead worship at my young adults group. It’s craziness I tell you, absolute madness. I’m a little bit Moses-style, feeling largely inadequate and completely out of my league having missed the Worship-leading 101 course (whenever that one was offered.) Oddly enough, I seem to have a “knack” for leading when there’s a guitar strapped to me, although it is never without a measure of terror that I step into these situations. It’s kind of a good terror. The “Oh God” kind of terror, that forces me to completely surrender to Him.

So this relates to my summer…how????? Well, it does, I assure you, in the sense that in the same way that I will be leading tomorrow night with all the associated Moses feelings, well, in the same way I will be leading this summer. And not just for an evening, but for four whole months! Granted, it’s not quite the same situation, but the predominant similarity exists, which I shall deem the Moses Syndrome. Accompanying the Moses Syndrome is the notion that both opportunities are a great honor for me. Really it’s an act of obedience I feel, to accept both opportunities as they both present occasion to be stretched, used, and to grow whatever giftings are present within me. And so. The leading begins in four weeks, 5 days from today.

Allow me to introduce a Mr. Kris Kenemy to you. Our leader last summer, it will be an enormous privilege to co-lead this summer’s team with him. He’s currently in Guatemala, prepping for the summer, and will meet us in Ontario at the end of April. The general consensus seems to be that we will make a “balanced” team…meaning…Kris will curb the sarcastic, cynical, stubbornly singular side of Kat, and in turn Kat will breed spontaneity, a jocular disposition and a relaxed atmosphere and TOGETHER! Forces united, they will hopefully lead this awesome team of 12 to great feats both with our friends the asparagus and our friends the Guatemalans.

Please pray for us. For wisdom. For preparation. For servant-hearts. For unity as we lead together.

Now go back and read this entry again, but in a British voice, as that is how I wrote it. Perhaps you will also pick up on the astounding use of alliteration in the third paragraph.

Strangely Yours, Kat

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Resurrection

You made it. Welcome. To my life. I share it willingly with you. Here’s a brief recap of why you find yourself on this blog.

Last summer, you may or may not recall my involvement with Global Shore Opportunities, a summer program for university students that is run out of Ontario. Amazing, incredible, completely life-altering, if you’re interested in that experience just rifle through the archives, it’s all there.

This fall I had quite firmly decided not to do the program again for the upcoming summer for various reasons, mainly pertaining to my studies in school, when….in November, I received an email from Ontario inviting me to come and co-lead the team. Well. That was quite unexpected. I didn’t know what to do with that for a good three weeks, I was so torn, heart and mind, motives, re-evaluating motives, passions, re-evaluating passions, plans, re-evaluating plans….and wait, who’s plans were those to begin with anyways? It was a reflective three weeks, seeking out the advice of friends and family, having a few late-night, contemplative cigar dates with the heavenlies, doing lots of pondering on life and other deeply philosophical questions and…well, you know the answer already, I decided to accept the position.

Here’s my theory: we’re all just doing our best to live what we feel is God’s will, right? So, if our heart and our desire is to do God’s will over our own, and we are honestly seeking that….well, whatever our decision, He will walk beside us. Honest truth, excitement has been slow in coming for this upcoming summer, because I’ve felt a certain amount of grief over the sacrifice of some events and friendships that will be missed over the four months, BUT, I have recently been reminded that God’s timing is perfect. And if I believe this decision to be involved in Global Shore is God’s will, than I must also believe it to be his perfect timing. Which it is. So now I find myself getting more and more excited about the summer. God has some great things in store, he’s got great things to teach me and great things to grow in me.

Feel free to walk this journey with me, I shall post weekly updates starting with this one.

Hasta luego, Kat