Monday, September 12, 2011

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And the transition begins...

I knew it would be hard to leave my old neighborhood...but I did not expect that some of the people I would say my "last good-byes" to on my move-out/cleaning day would be forced in a 5 minute timeframe due to cleaning, returning a vacuum back to a friend that let us borrow it, trying to figure out if our neighbor down the street could take the stove we had, and then leaving early to go watch a play involving some of the youth from our church. Phew! There was this sense that I did not have the proper closure that I had hoped for...even though I knew that I would go back and visit with some of my neighbors (as I do intend to)...even though they live only 5 minutes away, it's different not having them as my immediate neighbors now. It sunk in a little more when one the kids next door to us was surprised when she found out we were moving, and got really sad, and started crying. I did not realize that we had been that meaningful for her. I know that I can continue to pray for these families, and get to go visit from time to time at my old apartment. But I know it just won't be the same.

One good-bye that I did really appreciate and treasure happened earlier in the week by a woman who has consistently encouraged me in my faith in the Lord. The grandmother/mother of one our neighbors at our previous apartment would come to visit the mother/son from time to time for birthdays, car rides to visit cousins, car rides to take the mom to work, and just to be present with her family. This lady is a strong Christian believer, and would constantly bring me good words to hear that I needed at the time. As the days were approaching closer to our move and I had not been able to say some good-byes yet to some neighbors, and was getting more nervous about the transition, and the sadness of leaving that particular neighborhood. This grandmother, who I bumped into randomly one day, was talking with me, sharing that she heard that we were moving. She reminded me that as God's workers, we are called to be in some places for a short amount of time to plant seeds and pour God's blessings onto those around us...and then continue on, "scatter", and further God's kingdom. She thanked me for being around and being a blessing to her daughter and grandson...but truly, I feel that she was a huge blessing for me in my 2 years there. It was the reminder that I needed....that even though I knew it was going to be difficult to leave the area that I had invested in, built relationships with people, cared about the community....God will continue to be at work there, and is calling me to a different place for now, where His Kingdom will continue to grow also. Praise the Lord for His work and placing those people in our lives that bring God's truth and comfort when we need it most!

It has been officially 2 weeks since we have moved into our new apartment, and already I have enjoyed being here. My roomates and I have been able to spend some time together over meals, watching some TV/movies, and just hanging out...good good for all of us. :) We have gotten to know our landlord (our downstairs neighbor) more and his family, we have met with some different people in the neighborhood through different times of the day, and it is encouraging to be living near other friends from Church of the Redeemer who love this community also! Please pray that God continues to make divine appointments in which we are able to meet more people in this neighborhood and share the Good News about Jesus with those in this neighborhood.

Thanks so much for all your prayers, support, encouragement, and love! <3

Sunday, May 16, 2010


As a young one growing up in the High Desert, "weeding" was a common house chore. Now let me clarify, "weeding" means to use different types of gardening tools (i.e. hula hoes, rakes, etc.) to get rid of the tumbleweeds and stickerbushes (yes, those things that you see in Western movies or Looney Tunes episodes)throughout the front and back yard of the house. I never liked this chore...partly because I was out in the hot sun and not playing sports...and partly because it just didn't make any sense to me. The action used to get the tumbleweed out of the ground only got what was on the surface of the dirt, rather than cutting all the way down and pulling out the root - the underlying problem. So, later in a week, even though I had done my duty of taking care of the weeds, there would be weeds growing the same spot, from the same root. GRRR! Why couldn't we just dig out the root each time...I mean, yes, that would require more work and more time, but it would get at the problem of destroying that particular weed.

I think about my Desert days, and feel like I am in this situation all over again...with the "weeds" in my own life. There have been certain issues coming up in my own life that I seem to only be tackling at the surface, and not the underlying root cause. I think I have taken care of my "duty" by moving through that issue, praying about it some....but then days, weeks, months, and years later, it comes up again and I am frustrated that I did not choose to dig out the root instead. I would rather "go play" -> move on with life, rather than take more effort, work, and time to truly invest in removing the root. I, with my own natural tendencies, do not want to take longer and put in more effort...but because of the way that God has moved in my life, He has encouraged me that there is something better to invest in by putting in more time, effort, and work...and God is with me every step of the way. God assures me that He will work as hard as me (and then some), He will put in all the effort (and more), and He will be with me for however much time it will take (and through eternity) to take that tumbleweed that is hurting me so much, dig it out to the root, and toss it as far as it will to go so that my "land" will produce better things (maybe even milk and honey....<--biblical reference). :)

So I'm inviting God into my life to help me with this tumbleweed (even though He's really been there all along and has revealed to me my dependence I need in Him to remove it)...and to really be present to remove it...pray about it...and to bring healing to this area. The Lord promises good things for His people, who chose to follow Him and trust Him. I look forward to the root-removing (to replace the weeding) in my life that I have needed for some time. Please continue to pray with me through this. Thanks! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"You're almost done with the internship...what are you doing next?"

Yes...that is quite the question that everybody has been asking! And to answer that simply...well...a few things:

-I plan to stay living in the South LA area. I hope to continue being involved with Church of the Redeemer. There are some church visions to get more involved with the education and youth in this neighborhood...and well, if you know me, those are 2 of the things that God has been continually placed on my heart and given me a passion for! So that is exciting. Some folks from our church recently read the book "Whatever It Takes" to learn some more about the importance of community, education, and what it does take to try to make things happen! It was an interesting read, and we are looking to what our church should get involved with in this community.
-I will be moving to a different apartment most likely after June. Some of my roomates are moving elsewhere (1 is going to Missouri for grad school, and 1 is moving in with our other teammates into a new house in the neighborhood) please be praying for the logistics of finding a new place to live...and where the Lord would have us to live...whether that is in this same street...or a new location.
-I am also looking for a new full-time job. I hopefully will be able to continue working at the charter school with the after school program until the end of the school year...but after that, I will no longer be working there...mostly because there was a recent childcare license that we received and I do not qualify since I don't have child development units. Please pray for the job search process.

So yes....I hope that helps answer some of your y'all have been encouraging throughout the internship, and I know that will continue as I finish up in June!

Another neat thing that just happened with our church....every year we host "Reel Joy". It is an opportunity for the youth group and new youth that come out during this time, to write their own scripts and film videos! It is a great time for our community to be invested in the youth in this neighborhood...and typically a lot of the youth and their families will continue to come to church and youth group....which is exciting to see people in this neighborhood be involved in wanting to know the Lord more and have Christian community! Here is a recent article that was written about the evening of the showing of the videos: .

Please also continue to pray for my Servant Partners there are some also that will be staying in this area...but some that are moving away! Please be praying for all us in these decision processes, and for continued protection and guidance from God. :-D

A picture of my Servant Partners team and staff at our retreat back in February! :) <3

***Lastly...I leave you with a quote that my pastor/Servant Partners director continuously tells us...and one that I have been meditating and praying upon: "Nothing is worthless in the Kingdom of God." I hope you receive these words as truth and love!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Better than mushy Valentine's day "love"... His name is Jesus Christ!

Matters of the Heart

by Abi Christian
February 11, 2010

Every year, I find myself surprised by the sudden emergence of roses and heart-shaped chocolates a few weeks before Valentine’s Day—the bright colors contrasting with the dreary backdrop of post-Christmas winter. The decorations are an unexpected sight, sending some people into a flurry of planning, mailing cards to their list of friends, or anticipating a romantic date.

But for others, the approach of Valentine’s Day can cause mixed feelings of apprehension and insecurity. The media tends to portray the happiest people as those in romantic relationships, and pity those who are single. Story characters go through Cinderella-like transformations to become lovable, making them finally acceptable for romantic interests, deep friendships, and a positive status in society.

When Jesus came to earth, he loved people as they were, whether or not society approved. He loved unexpectedly. He sat down to eat with the tax collectors, prostitutes, and fishermen, people who appeared coarse and vulgar in a holy presence. Repeatedly, the disciples urged children, the sick, and the poor to stay away from Jesus, but Jesus reminded the disciples that his love was for everyone—even those that society did not deem worthy.

(for the rest of the article:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ring in the new year...

These past few months have been going by so quickly, I can't believe how much time flies! And through it all, God is at work and powerful and has been bringing blessings....even amongst the difficulties.

November and December were good times of growing in my position at work, learning to deal with change, and being flexible through it all. These were also some good months to spend with family and friends....both of mine and Scott's! And as for my family in every year, Christmas is a time to make baked goods and enjoy the house smelling amazing with food and goodies! It has also been a time of reflection to look on these past few months of the Servant Partners internship....look at my development plan and see how I have done with certain areas....some that I have grown in, some that I have struggled to make the time for, and some new areas that come up with new parts of life, neighbors, and relationships.

One exciting thought that had come across my time while being off for 3 weeks during the Holidays and traveling to different places, was really missing getting to be in South LA. Missing the time opportunities of being with my neighbors, wondering what they were doing for their holidays, and realizing that as much as 3 weeks sometimes didn't seem like long enough for a break, 3 weeks to be away from my new home neighborhood is a HUGE amount of time. There was so much joy as I was driving back into Los Angeles in early January....and seeing the skyscrapers as I drove westbound on the 10 freeway. I am thankful to God for His heart for the city that He shares with me everyday. I continue to pray and seek what God's call for me in the urban city is....what He wants me to do on a day-to-day basis, if He is calling me to a specific city, and what it really means to love my neighbors as myself. Please join me in my prayers through that, as well as during more time of discerning of what I will be doing after the SP internship is over.

We have 5 1/2 months left of our SP will be full of bible studies, seminars, retreats, quality time with one another, continuing to build relationships in the neighborhood, and really seeking God's calling for each of our lives. I look forward to what God has in store!

**Take a look at some of these pictures from the holidays:

My Servant Partners Internship Class and Staff :)

Scott and I hiking in San Luis Obispo

Some of my favorite high school girls! Jen, Lati, Rosie, Cor, and me at Red Robin

Familia! :) Daniel, Mom, Me, and Dad at the Grand Canyon...visiting where Daniel lives/works

Friday, November 6, 2009


So in a more normal part of the United States, when it is the season of Fall, the leaves change colors and it's really gorgeous and pretty! I normally do not get to experience this part of the "season", since in California, it was still a hot 84 degrees earlier this week! I was fortunate to see this as I was out in Cincinnati, Ohio for the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) conference in mid-October. It was a really neat time of being out there with ~10 other people from my church, and being among other Christian believers who are in the mindset of community development in the the neighborhoods where we live....and trying to live out what it means to be incarnational, like Jesus was, and to really love God and love our neighbors. I also got to attend a few different workshops that were focused on education, after school programs, and identifying with the poor...all were really neat and helpful! I also connected with a lady who is from the Pasadena area, that started an after school program through one of the churches there. She was such an encouragement to me throughout the conference as I kept bumping into her and conversing about the conference. One important message that I remember from the conference, is that Bart Compolo shared that if you are going to relocate to a differnet place, you need to go with people, or you need to go and be meeting people that are already in the place you are going to. This is important for the significance of community, and how that will be helpful in a venture to a new place, and being able to be in Christian community.

Right now I am still in a transitional phase in my workplace. My position recently changed to more of a supervisor/lead teacher position. This means that I am helping with more of the administration aspect at the after school program, helping with structures/programs, and helping to support the teachers. I am enjoying it in all the newness that it is, but still adjusting to the longer hours, getting to know more of the students, and learning different systems. Please pray for my adjustment, and for good mentorship and support from co-workers as I am new into this position.

Prayer Requests for the neighborhood: With my new work schedule, it seems that I am more on a time cruch now. Please pray for time opportunities of still being able to take care of personal tasks as well as things I'm working through with my Servant Partners development plan...AND...get to spend time in the neighborhood and connect with neighbors.

I want to share some highlights of these past few months:

My parents and me at the Lighthouse Run 5k/10k in East LA! :) This is us right after Dad and I ran the races.

My birthday celebration. We celebrated my 24th birthday at Exposition Park with neighbors, Servant Partners friends, church friends, and Fullerton friends. What a joy it was to be with everybody and celebrate together. God is good!

Who doesn't celelbrate their birthday with Superman?! Ha ha :-D Here is my boyfriend, Scott, and me, along with college friends - Mia and Jojo!

A [silly] picture of my roomates and me! Liz, Regina, Sierra, and me. Please continue to pray for us, as we have lived together for 1 year, and will be staying together for until June 2010 at least! Pray for our house dynamics, for love/service to one another, for us to have more time to hang out with one another (as our lives are all pretty busy and do not always match together to spend time with one another), and for a continual presence in this community!