Friday, September 26, 2008

Partners in Discipleship

so, it's been a little while since I have updated this. all is well in chicago. oh, just a comment: if you leave annonymous messages on my blog you need to sign them so i can know who loves me! :-) i've been driving for my job A LOT! pray for safety, a good sense of direction, and cheap gas! yesterday i found gas for $3.89 and it is $4.45 at the expressway in my neighborhood. i'm learning to stop for gas when i see it even if i don't need but $3 dollars to top off my tank. :-)
this is my friend iesha. she's been at camp for the past 2 summers and so far we have gotten to see each other every couple of weeks. we are about to start a Bible study together that i am really excited about. last week she introduced me to baba's flavored lemonades. when you come visit i will take you - it's good stuff! courtney and katy. . . i might even like it more than a sno cone.
partners in discipleship (PID) is the beechpoint-developed follow-up program that i am working to connect kids to. i am also working to strengthen partnerships with urban ministries and churches. i've had lots of opportunities to interact with child evangelism fellowship staff and teachers and will be visiting good news clubs to help those children come to camp. the kids i mentor in PID are jabari (12) and jabri (10). get used to seeing pictures of them! this is jabari.

jabri and jabari at the park. pray for jabri that she will work hard in school even when it is difficult. pray that she will continue to be excited about God. pray that jabari will continue to desire to learn about God and that God will give me wisdom as i teach him. pray that God will raise up Christian adults who want to mentor children in a one-on-one setting and that He will bring me into contacts for this purpose. pray that children from the city will be connected to camp in a long-term way and that camp will have a generational impact in the city.

i've decided that while i am driving around i am going to start taking pictures of churches because many of their names are interesting to me. i'm going to make a portfolio of interesting church fronts/signs as a way to keep myself from being frustrated with all this driving. if this church google's itself it may not be happy to find itself on my blog under "interesting" - but since it's my first "sword of the Spirit church" i took its picture.

okay, now this one is funny and you can tell them that i said so. this is the "golden angel missionary baptist church". i took this picture out of my backseat window while sitting at a red light because i don't really understand the sentence under the name. first, what is "that"? second, why are we asking if Jesus is bigger? third, this is why you have someone proof read. real funny.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Getting Settled and the Shedd Aquarium

It's hard to believe that I have been in the city for less than three weeks! It feels like much longer because so much has been happening. . . I am beginning to feel settled and am learning my way around. I feel pretty confident in my neighborhood but I'm definitely still working on the rest of the city. So far, so good though. Lesson learned this week: Mapquest will get you there - but there is probably a better way.

This is my friend Krystal. She worked at camp like 6 years ago but we've kept in touch. She grew up in Chicago so she taught me how to ride the train and the bus when I got here. I live 6 blocks from the Blue Line train which makes me very accessible to downtown. I haven't yet dared to drive downtown (mostly because it's tricky/expensive(!) to park downtown) - so it's nice to live next to the train. Taking the train is no fun since I get easily motion sick . . . but it's still good to know how to get around on it. I'm still working on knowing bus routes because you have to know major streets to know where the bus is headed. . .

These children came to camp this summer (well, not the little ones but they had to be in the picture too!). They attend a church I visited last week and they are beginning the Partners in Discipleship program (PID). The woman in the middle is Auntie Glo - one of my new friends here.

One of Chicago's sky lines. Did you know that almost 3 million people live here?!?! I was driving in 8 lanes of one-way traffic the other day - but it wasn't overwhelming because we were only going about 4 miles an hour. In order to see campers and mentors I've been driving 3 - 5 hours every day. Not because things are far (although I do live about 20 miles from the south side suburbs), but because I keep hitting rush hour traffic. This is happening because I need to schedule meetings after school when the kids are home. As I become more familiar with the city I will know more about alternate routes and traffic patterns and hopefully it will get a little better.

This is Tavaris and Tamyra. They are campers from this summer and they are also beginning PID. Please pray with me that God will raise up mentors in the city who are committed to discipling and want to work with urban kids. These kids are going to begin the program by mailing in their weekly lessons to the camp. This will provide them with accountability to complete the Bible lessons. But what we really want to have is a Christian adult who can meet with them once each week to talk about what they learned that week, answer questions, and build a relationship. One of the roles of my job is to recruit and equip mentors for PID. This past week I kept busy meeting with parents and campers so they can begin in PID. I also had meetings with other potential ministry partners to continue or begin a working relationship.

This is my friend Karla. She's the camp nurse and I have known her for 6 years! She works one week each month as a nurse in Chicago and but lives by the camp. I will go to camp (2.5 hours from where I live) for monthly staff meetings and for major events that happen throughout the year. The Shedd Aquarium was free today so we went (with my roommate Elizabeth) and then spent some time hanging out downtown.

This is a sea dragon. My camera has a setting for aquariums - how cool is that?! He was one of the few animals in a tank by himself. I wonder if that is because he is just really cool, or if he's mean, or if he's defenseless . . .